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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8cd30001A blog featuring the work and work life of NHPR's interns and fellows.

D.I.Y. Sistine Chapel Security: How To Build Your Own Faraday Cage

faraday cage drawing_0.png
Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

Want to keep your home as signal-secure as the Sistine Chapel will be during the Conclave? 

Today's segment on Faraday Cages really inspired my inner maker-bot so I asked Rob Fleischman to give me instructions on exactly how to make one. It really does seem surprisingly easy to create one out of a few relatively inexpensive materials easily acquired from your local hardware store.

Supply List

  • Metal Mesh - the finer the mesh, the better!
  • Thick metal wire - in metal lingo, the smaller the gauge of wire the thicker it is.  Maybe try 12 gauge?
  • Iron Pipe - black iron gas pipe is easily found at hardware stores and would do the trick.
  • The Ground - you'll need to drive the pipe into the ground in order to ground your cage. Aren't homonyms fun?
  • A Radio - this is just to test the cage to make sure it's working. And so you can listen to your favorite radio show, Word of Mouth, natch.  Kids, ask an adult what a radio is. 


  1. Form your metal mesh into any old shape. A birdcage, a box, or if you're feeling super crafty, a dodecahedron.
  2. Shove the pipe into the ground immediately adjacent to your cage.
  3. Wrap some wire around the pipe and then attach the other end to the cage.
  4. Tune a radio to a nice strong frequency and then put the radio in the cage.
  5. If your radio suddenly produces static: by Jove you've done it!

If for some reason your radio is still working just fine after following these incredibly vague steps, it might be an indication that you've done something incorrectly. I recommend watching reruns of this guy until you figure it out.

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