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Old November 4th 11, 11:33 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

It started on Saturday night, with a finger-poke and my wife saying
"Bill, the power is out". It ended at about three am today, when I
noticed that the streetlight was on and I went and threw the transfer
switch back to commercial power. I leaned a lot during the power
failure, and I invite comments and discussion to help other hams who are
preparing for the coming winter and for public service events.

My first response to my wife's report was to tell her that there is a
flashlight on top of my tool chest in the cellar, and to roll over and
pull the blanket tighter. That was the first of many mistakes I made in
the next 57 hours. ;-)

We have a large candle on the headboard of our bed, which I placed there
last year so as to have light during a power failure. So, when I was
told that I was expected to do something about the blackout, and that my
tool chest was too far away to reach in the dark, I naturally assumed
that the candle would provide adequate lighting.

In times past, most American men would have a cigarette lighter or a
book of matches in their pants pocket. Times have changed, and I with
them, so I don't carry matches as a rule. I therefore went on a groping
expedition to try to find some matches to light the candle so that I
could find my way to the flashlight and thereafter to a solution for my
lack of sleep and my wife's need to arise at 5 am.

I have an electric stove, so there was no pilot light burning from which
I could light a candle. My hot-water heater has a pilot flame, but it is
located next to my tool chest in the basement of my home, and seemed a
long way away at that moment.

After a few minutes of debate, we compromised: I was able to find a
battery-operated alarm clock that I keep for travel, and set it up for
the appropriate hour thanks to it's internal push-button lighting. We
spent the next several minutes listening to the oddly quiet "Thump" of
frosty-sized balls of snow falling off the trees in our back yard, and
then I drifted off to sleep while congratulation myself for being
energy-efficient and having quilts and covers that would keep me
comfortable.

I woke with my wife shaking my shoulder and pushing the alarm clock in
my face and demanding that I turn it off. I did so. There was a little
bit of moonlight, and a little bit of pre-dawn light, and we could just
make out a sea of white, adorned with patches of dark that made me think
some giant had dropped a jar of toothpicks: the trees that surround my
yard had given in to the snow by saying goodbye to pieces of their
branches and trunks, some as much as seven inches in diameter.

There wasn't any heat, of course: very few American homes have furnaces
that don't depend on electricity, no matter what fuel they burn, and
mine is no exception. The snowfall had been about five inches. My wife's
car was in need of cleaning, and the driveway in need of clearing, and I
resigned myself to another visit in the winter wonderland.

Five inches isn't much by New England standards, but it was the
heaviest, wettest snow that I've ever shoveled. Even at five-something
am, it was already slushy, before the sun had even come up, and I knew
that if I left it, I'd have a skating rink instead of a driveway. I
don't own a snowblower, and the "guy who handles mine" that my neighbor
had recommended for plowing had never called me back, so I got out the
shovel and went at it, just my fall jacket, and no gloves because I
couldn't see where they'd gone in the dark. My wife was off to work at
six am, and my driveway and stairs and front walk were cleared by seven.

By then, with daylight come, it was obvious that there had been a major
storm. I had lost several sections of the Oak trees in my front yard,
and there were limbs torn from the Maples in the rear, a couple of them
bending the fence railing that surrounds the pool. I shrugged my
shoulder, and went to wheel out the generator.

It was hidden behind a roll of tar paper and a hammock that someone had
just tossed into the shed, behind a ladder that won't fit anywhere else,
and next to sever cans of naphtha (a.k.a. "Coleman Fuel") that I had
placed in my shed on general principles so that I wouldn't have to worry
about fires in my basement. The shed also contains several bottles of
gasoline stabilizer, some motor oil, a pint of two-stroke oil for the
trimmer and leaf blower and chain saw, and a can of carburetor cleaner
that comes in handy when trying to turn over the lawnmower on damp days.
Everything needed to keep small gasoline-powered engines in operation.

Except gasoline.

I had a blue plastic jug filled with kerosene, and about a half-gallon
of gas/oil mix that I had used for my leaf blower the week before, but
nothing else. The five gallon gas can was bone-dry. I had used it up on
the last lawn mowing of the season, and I stood there with my socks
getting wet, and remember how I had thought that was a perfect end to
the summer, running out of gas at exactly the right moment.

My usual gas station was as dark as the rest of the town, a fact I
discovered after nearly running into not one, but two separate trees
that were lying across the roads in mute testimony to the irreducibility
of water and the insistent nature of gravity. From the center of town,
it was a game of finding somewhere with both passable streets and
operating gas stations; I got back home with my prize around eight-thirty.

Now, there are two really important things about connecting generators
to your house's wiring: first, you have to cut off the connection to the
electric pole, so that you don't electrocute any of the linemen, and
second, you have to connect your generator so that it can deliver the
power that the pole will not.

I had met the first requirement by picking a "transer" switch out of a
dumpster next to a construction site during the summer. It is a giant
box at least half as big as my own electric panel, and I had mounted it
on the same backboard and connected it in series with my utility feed.

The second requirement, which involves having a properly connected plug
into which the end of the extension cord from the generator would fit,
was sitting in a bag of parts next to the Cutler-Hammer cabinet: a "next
week" project that had been moving to the bottom of the "Honeydo" list
as more pressing matter were added by an unseen hand. In a moment of
inspiration, I retrieved the electric cord that my wife had cut through
with the shrub trimmer, and opened the panel and stripped the wires and
had a 120 volt feed into one of the "generator" connections all ready to
go after only three-quarters of an hour juggling the flashlight and the
razor knife and the screwdriver.

There was, of course, only one cord available. I chose the "left" phase,
and connected it to the generator, and added stabilizer to the gasoline,
and checked the oil, and fired it up.

Now, here's something important to think about: when you size a
generator for use during a power failure, it's a good idea to pick one
that can power a representative sampling of lights, and your
refrigerator, and your furnace, and, if possible, a microwave oven.

I had sized my generator by buying it at a yard sale, from a man who had
one that was used for small electric tools at job sites before
battery-operated hand tools were common. My generator is sized so that
it can power the furnace, or the refrigerator, but not at the same time.
With 2,500 peak watts and 2,000 continuous watts available, I had known
from the start that I would need to make compromises to keep it
operating properly, and so I had planned a generator connection box with
two separate plugs, one for each side of the electrical box, so that I
could plug the extension cord into whichever phase was most in need.

As I said, that part of the plan was still in the bag of parts, and the
cord I had on hand was now hard-wired to one side of the electrical service.

It turned out to be the side with the refrigerator, and also the side
with the kitchen lights, but not the bathroom, not the stairwell, and
not the overheads that light the spot where I had placed the generator.

I decided to see if I could reach the internet using my laptop computer:
I was curious how widespread the outage was, but I didn't want to temp
fate by turning on the TV, which was, in any case, not connected to the
"live" side of my house wiring.

My laptop connects to my home LAN via a wireless gateway, and I knew
that the UPS I had purchased for my wife's desktop PC would run the
gateway without trouble, since it's only a small twelve-volt transformer
that's needed.

Unfortunately, the UPS was dead, having wound itself down during the
night, even though my wife's PC has a special connection to the UPS
which forces it into hibernation when the power goes out. The UPS,
apparently, was smart enough to tell the PC to go to sleep, but not
smart enough to do so itself.

No problem, I thought; I'll just hit the "on" button after I unplug my
wife's PC, and run the WiFi gateway from the generator.

Here's something you need to know about uninterruptible power supplies:
they are incredibly finicky about the frequency of the power source that
charges their batteries, and even though there is power coming in from a
generator, they will only come on for a second or two until the
generator surges a little or slows a little, and then the UPS will, if
it has any battery capacity, switch to backup mode. That was, as my old
dad used to say, not going to work with that sort of operator at the
controls, so I shut it down and moved the gateway's power transformer to
the "surge protect" outlets that aren't part of the battery backup.

The "surge protect" outlets on that UPS are, however, part of the wiring
for the on/off switch, and the UPS, which was shutting itself off every
few seconds during the minute or so that it would stay on at all, wasn't
willing to power even the outlets that weren't connected to the
"uninterruptible" portion of its circuitry.

The outlet into which the UPS is plugged is recessed into the wall, with
a child-safe ring around it that I haven't needed in years, but which
effectively prevents any "wall wart" transformer from fitting.

Plan B: I would move the Ethernet cord that was plugged into the gateway
"Internet" port directly to the laptop, obviating the need for a
wireless connection. To do so, I got down on hands and knees, and
crawled under my wife's desk to get at the gateway.

The desk collapsed on top of me.

Well, not exactly "collapsed": more like "came apart in slow motion as I
watched the seams part where the pressed board was old and feeble". The
desk wound up on top of my wife's PC, with the side panel tilted over at
a crazy angle and the back bracing digging into my hand, stuck in the
carpet inches from the Ethernet cord I had been reaching for.

I heaved myself up, and the desk with me, and grabbed the gateway and
used it as a wedge to support the desktop on top of the PC so that I
could beat a hasty retreat while teaching the teenager next door some
brand new words he did not know before.

I then proceeded to remove the computer monitor and the printer and the
books and the glassware, so that nothing else was showering off the
structure every time I looked at it, and to make temporary repairs to
the side panel, and to retrieve the Ethernet cord which I had so
innocently thought was within my reach a few minutes prior.

My laptop informed me that no internet connection was available. I
grabbed the flashlight and went to investigate the DSL modem, which is
located in my cellar, next to the telephone company demarcation point.

The DSL modem was plugged into another UPS, which is the one that powers
my server. I had run a web site for my son's Boy Scout Troop a few years
back, and the UPS was still there even though the server is only turned
on for backups these days. So, another UPS, feeding another gateway and
the DSL modem.

Which was, of course, as dead as the first one. No problem, though, the
cellar outlets have no child-safe rings on them, so I simply moved the
ADSL modem's transformer to the wall outlet.

Which was, in short order, ascertained to be on the side of my panel
which was not connected to the generator. I decided to let my
refrigerator continue to cool, and to enjoy a meal at my favorite
restaurant, a place that serves marvelous french toast and very good coffee.

Except, since it had no power, it was closed. There was a scribbled sign
on the door, with a "try back later" message. I got back in my car and
made my way to a place two towns over that, according to the two-meter
repeater, still had power.

It took a thirty-two minute wait before I was seated: so many other
suburbanites had found themselves in the same boat as I that the line
was, literally, "out the door". I occupied my self with a notebook,
drawing sketches of my electrical system and making notes of how I could
most efficiently switch the generator between the furnace and the fridge.

After a wonderful breakfast, I went back home, and found the generator
silent: it was out of gas. I refilled the tank, moved the wire at the
end of the extension cord from the "left" to the "right" side of the
power bus, and fired it up again. The DSL modem came to life, as did the
furnace, but my laptop didn't have the "PPPOE" software required to
connect directly to the Internet and there was no spare outlet to plug
in the wall-wart for the router which always handled that in the past,
so I gave up and decided I would do without the net for a while. Then,
suddenly tired after the shoveling and the desk collapse and the French
Toast, I went back to bed.

I was woken up by my wife, who returned home from work with food that
she had bought ready-made at the grocery store. She told me that the
first two stores she went to were all sold out of prepared foods, but
she had been able to get a pre-cooked chicken and some cole slaw at a
third. We ate dinner, basking in the warmth our radiators were giving
off after I filled the generator up with gas again.

With my belly full, I noticed that the sun was going down, and so,
thinking to save wear and tear on the generator, I took down a brass
lamp that hangs in our family room, a model which is advertised to work
on any liquid fuel, all brass, which we keep on a ceiling hook as a
conversation piece and just-in-case light. I knew that it had Naphtha in
it: I had gone through the directions page-by-page when I bought it last
year, and I had lit it up with no trouble. I remembered reading
something about the lighting procedure being different for different
fuels, but the instruction manual is on a CD-Rom that came with it, and
I couldn't remember where that was. I figured that it would be about the
same as a Coleman mantle lantern, and I pumped up the fuel pressure
while I thought of how nice the brass looked in the light from my dad's
old Bernz-o-matic lantern, which runs on propane fuel.

The brass lantern lit right up: up about one foot above the top of the
of the glass, and then all over the inside of the glass, and, within two
or three seconds, all over the table top where the fuel had leaked out.
I did keep my wits about me, but just barely: I upended a trash can and
used it to cover the whole mess, and got a satisfying "swoof" of the
fire going out, at the same time that I realized I had used a plastic
trash can and that its sides were suddenly rather warm in my hands.

I let the pressure out of the lantern's fuel compartment, and wiped up
the remaining fuel, and emptied the tank back into the Naphtha can, and
hanged it back up where it had been before. I went down to the cellar
and retrieved the kerosene lamps I've had for years, and cleaned the
globes and added the kerosene and set them out for use: not nearly as
bright as a mantle lantern, but fine for finding your way around the house.

I found a three-way converter cord, and plugged in the router down in
the cellar, next to the ADSL modem, and got on the net long enough to
tell my alternate system administrator to take over my duties, and long
enough to find out that the power outage was much bigger than I had
expected. The computer also told me that the forecast was for
below-freezing temperatures that night, so I used the lanterns to find
my way out to the outside spigots, and (with a lot of stumbling and
tripping) to disconnect and drain the garden hoses that were coiled up
next to them. I turned off the water lines so that the spigots wouldn't
have any water in them, and then retreated back inside.

We had flashlights for when we needed them, and kerosene lamps going in
the bathroom and the kitchen, and a warm home. I filled the generator up
yet again, and we called it a night.

Monday was pretty much the same: the generator would run for about 80
minutes before it needed more gas, and I was even able to run the
coffee-maker, so that I could think clearly enough to realize that I
could put a jumper across the two power poles on the "generator" side of
my transfer switch, and use the circuit breakers in the electric panel
to turn the refrigerator or the furnace on. As a side benefit of having
the refrigerator on only some of the time, I found that the ice cream
was much easier to scoop, and treated myself to frequent retesting of
the effect. I ran the refrigerator more often, though, concerned that I
might have been too optimistic about its insulation and the thermal
inertia of the food in the freezer.

As I said, we had power back by early Tuesday morning. I coiled up the
extension cord next to the transfer switch, threw the lever to the other
side, and rejoiced in the sound of my furnace and the cellar lights and
the UPS and the refrigerator all coming on at once.

They say an ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory, so I'm
putting this out there, unvarnished, to illustrate some fundamental
principles of disaster preparedness which I will be following in the
future.

1. Any fool knows you need extra matches around in the winter.
2. Don't put off electrical work that you're going to be
wishing you had done earlier if the power goes out.
3. Any widespread outage is going to tax _ALL_ the resources of
your community: gas stations, restaurants, and road-clearing.
Unless you have your own water, food, fuel, and the
capabilities to use them efficiently, your just a guy with
some extra stuff lying around.
4. It's no good to buy a small generator and think that it
prepares you for the winter. Without a proper setup and
regular tests, you wind up with a marginally useful device
that needs too much attention and provides
sub-standard capabilities.

FWIW. YMMV, and I hope it does.

73,

Bill, W1AC


--
Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)


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Old November 4th 11, 03:07 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

On 11/4/2011 5:33 AM, Bill Horne wrote:
It started on Saturday night, with a finger-poke and my wife saying
"Bill, the power is out".


[ snip ]

73,

Bill, W1AC


Damn it Bill, you owe me a keyboard.

Been there, done that, had all the same sorts of fun and
games in the process. At least YOU were UNDER the desk
when it collapsed. I was on top of it.

Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi


--
"Everything from Crackers to Coffins"

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Old November 4th 11, 04:34 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 115
Default Scotty, I need more power

On 11/4/2011 10:07 AM, Jeffrey Angus wrote:
On 11/4/2011 5:33 AM, Bill Horne wrote:
It started on Saturday night, with a finger-poke and my wife saying
"Bill, the power is out".


Damn it Bill, you owe me a keyboard.


Trust me: my wife poking my shoulder at ten pm is no laughing matter.
_SHE_ wanted _ME_ to stumble down to the basement and play blind man's
bluff until I came across the flashlight I had left there. The nerve of
that woman! My bedroom is still too cold: must be something wrong with
the heat.

Been there, done that, had all the same sorts of fun and
games in the process. At least YOU were UNDER the desk
when it collapsed. I was on top of it.


I not sure that having my face shoved up against the sharp edges on the
back of my wife's computer was any less memorable, but then again, I was
able to calm myself for at least 250 milliseconds by recalling that the
machine was off.

There seems to be a conspiracy among all the electronic devices in my
home: the more important they are in an emergency, the farther back into
the corner they will have receded. They insulate themselves with dust
balls, conceal themselves in darkness, protect their cords with
child-save latches that only a child could figure out, and roll over so
that their switches, controls, and indicators are facing the wrong
direction.

They should call it "Disaster Avoidance", not "Disaster Preparedness":
the trick is to avoid the other disasters that occurred when I tried to
deal with the original.

73, Bill W1AC

--
Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)

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Old November 5th 11, 04:27 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 17
Default Scotty, I need more power



In article , Bill Horne

wrote:



snipped fopr brevity



It started on Saturday night, with a finger-poke and my wife saying


"Bill, the power is out". It ended at about three am today, when I


noticed that the streetlight was on and I went and threw the transfer


switch back to commercial power. I leaned a lot during the power


failure, and I invite comments and discussion to help other hams who are


preparing for the coming winter and for public service events.




1. Any fool knows you need extra matches around in the winter.


2. Don't put off electrical work that you're going to be


wishing you had done earlier if the power goes out.


3. Any widespread outage is going to tax _ALL_ the resources of


your community: gas stations, restaurants, and road-clearing.


Unless you have your own water, food, fuel, and the


capabilities to use them efficiently, your just a guy with


some extra stuff lying around.


4. It's no good to buy a small generator and think that it


prepares you for the winter. Without a proper setup and


regular tests, you wind up with a marginally useful device


that needs too much attention and provides


sub-standard capabilities.




FWIW. YMMV, and I hope it does.




73,




Bill, W1AC




Read your stuff, and it is a GREAT Story, of the Unprepared, trying to

fix things..... I would suggest that you get some good Surivial tips

over on www.survivalmonkey.com, and some Generator Installation

information, over at www.smokstak.com..... there are lots of folks over

there that have "Been there, Done that" and have fixes for all those

issues, from practical Experience.ome even in your area.

Just Say'en.... YMMV..... Bruce in alaska AL7AQ



--

Bruce in Alaska add path before the @ for email




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Old November 5th 11, 04:29 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

On 11/4/2011 6:33 AM, Bill Horne wrote:

4. It's no good to buy a small generator and think that it
prepares you for the winter. Without a proper setup and
regular tests, you wind up with a marginally useful device
that needs too much attention and provides
sub-standard capabilities.



I agree... To make sure a generator will run when you need it to run you
need to run it at least once a month under 1/2 load for at least 30
minutes, You need a good supply of STABLIZED gas and small engines often
do not like alcohol in the gas so just siphoning the car.. not a good idea.

Plus.. To do it right you should have a proper GENERATOR TRANSFER
panel/switch(es) put in the house.

How I did it:

Onan Emerald Gold 5.5KW generator (120 volt only) in the motorhome.

Holds 70 gallons, burns just over 1 an hour at FULL load.

30 amp Twist lock in the MH basement (along with a pair of TT-30
Pigtails) fed by dedicated 30 amp breakers in the distribution box

Transfer switches in basement (not all the lights, more on that in a
bit) and an "inlet" on the back of the house.

Plug in the cord, crank her up (install Gen-Turi first) and start
flipping switches.

Now, that not all lights.

I left a couple of lights that I do not often use on the main box and
did not route the circuit through the transfer switches. That way when
power fails I turn those lights ON.

When they actually come on... I know it's time to shut down Mr. onan.


--
Nothing adds Excitement like something that is none of your business.

-----
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Old November 10th 11, 08:57 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 115
Default Scotty, I need more power

On Fri, 2011-11-04 at 06:33 -0400, Bill Horne wrote:
It started on Saturday night, with a finger-poke and my wife saying
"Bill, the power is out". It ended at about three am today, when I
noticed that the streetlight was on and I went and threw the transfer
switch back to commercial power. I leaned a lot during the power
failure, and I invite comments and discussion to help other hams who are


preparing for the coming winter and for public service events.


[snip]

They say an ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory, so I'm
putting this out there, unvarnished, to illustrate some fundamental
principles of disaster preparedness which I will be following in the
future.


Here's an update on what I've done since the storm, and also a request
for help. I'll get to the "help" part in a moment.

1. Any fool knows you need extra matches around in the winter.


I now have a book of matches next to every candle in the house. I also
have a well-maintained flashlight in the drawer next to my bed.

2. Don't put off electrical work that you're going to be
wishing you had done earlier if the power goes out.


I've decided that the arrangement I had just wasn't workable: there's no
reason to switch "everything" over to a generator that will only power a
couple of things. So, I'm rewiring my home to have a generator feed
available to only a few devices:

A. Furnace
B. Refrigerator
C. Seven low-wattage compact-flurescent lamps, one in each room
we usually use.
D. The Internet connection: an ADSL Modem and the routers.

With this arrangement, I anticipate that my current generator can
support both the refrigerator and the furnace, as well as a few lights.

3. Any widespread outage is going to tax _ALL_ the resources of
your community: gas stations, restaurants, and road-clearing.
Unless you have your own water, food, fuel, and the
capabilities to use them efficiently, your just a guy with
some extra stuff lying around.


I've moved my Coleman camping stove, some Coleman lanterns, and my
kerosene lanterns underneath the stairs to my cellar, in a space that
wasn't being used. The fuel for them is now in a small storage box on my
back porch, so that I can get to it even if the path to my shed is
blocked by snow. I'm keeping a five-gallon can of stabilized gas on
hand, and I'm going to swap it into my car once a month and refill it.

We have plenty of canned food, some dry food such as pasta, and
some packets of things like cocoa, plus a couple of gallons
of "spring" water just for good measure. Without power or the
chance to get to a store, we'd still be well fed for about
a week.

4. It's no good to buy a small generator and think that it
prepares you for the winter. Without a proper setup and
regular tests, you wind up with a marginally useful device
that needs too much attention and provides
sub-standard capabilities.


As much as I hate to eat my words, I'm going to have to "make do" with
the generator I have for a while. I can't complain too much, since I
bought it for a great price and I knew that it wasn't a "whole house"
machine at the start. My XYL has shown very little interest in upgrading
to a larger model, so I've painted myself into a corner by
demonstrating that the 2KW unit can work, even if only barely. I'll
have to wait awhile before I can upgrade, and I'm gathering info
in the meantime.

However, there are larger issues, and here's where I'd appreciate help
from the other readers. This applies to field day, to EmCom in general,
and (of course) to being prepared for storms at home, and so I'm going
to ask some questions about preparedness in the hopes that all can
benefit.

1. What information source(s) are there for generator ratings,
fuel consumption, durability, workmanship, and cost-per-watt?
This may seem like the most obvious stuff, and it should be
available anywhere, but the retailers' web sites don't have it,
and I don't want to buy a set that isn't rated for "continuous
duty". Are there any neutral parties who will offer an
opinion? Are the specifications of units available to the
government available to civilians?

2. How much do the various fuels cost to use, in real dollars? I've
heard several people advise me to get a generator that runs on
natural gas, but I've also seen claims that natural gas is
a lot more expensive to use than gasoline or diesel fuel. Counting
factors such as "derating", is natural gas competitive
with diesel or gasoline?

3. What would it cost to fit a larger fuel tank? The 2KW Coleman
unit I have only runs about 80 minutes before it needs
refueling, and that's just too little time to allow for
work and sleep. I'd like to have at least eight hours
between refuelings.

4. What about noise? I need some information about ways
that I can reduce the noise from my 2KW unit enough
that I can run it at the same time I'm trying to
sleep.

5. Last, the subject of keeping food on hand when the roads
are blocked. How do I, as an individual, judge the
companies that sell "emergency" food? I don't want to
seem cynical, but all I could find is word-of-mouth
opinions about the various firms that are in the business,
and I'd like to have some more objective information
available before I spend hundreds of dollars for
freeze-dried or other long-term-storage food supplies.

Thanks for your help.

Bill, W1AC

--
(Filter QRM to write to me directly)

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Old November 11th 11, 03:30 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:57:22 EST, Bill Horne
wrote:

I'd like to have some more objective information
available before I spend hundreds of dollars for
freeze-dried or other long-term-storage food supplies.


Times of stress are not a good time to eat strange new food. Stock up
on what you usually eat.

Whenever you see a particularly good buy on something, buy as much of
it as you think you'll use before it spoils. Restock a staple when
you open the last package, not when you empty the last package.

Keep various items at various stages of restocking. (It's all right
to run clear out of chicken when there's plenty of fish and pork.)

The only emergency foods in my house are two cans of evaporated milk
-- which reminds me that it's time to take them to Our Father's House
and buy two more. (I normally have an emergency before their six
months is up.)

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net

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Old November 11th 11, 04:12 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 47
Default Scotty, I need more power

On 11/10/2011 1:57 PM, Bill Horne wrote:
1. What information source(s) are there for generator


Avoid just about everything you see in places like Home
Depot or Harbor Freight. What you want is a generator that
is quiet, dependable and runs for more that an hour.

Pricey, but I bought a Honda EXS4500 back in 1989. It's in
a full soundproofed cabinet so it doesn't sound like a moto-
cross race in your back yard. It runs for about 4 hours on
a tank of gas and has required no maintenance expect checking
the oil and replacing the battery a couple of times.

2. How much do the various fuels cost to use, in real dollars?


The "cost" of natural gas isn't the BTU cost, it's whether or
not it will be available when the power outage is widespread.
Both propane, gasoline and diesel require electrical service
to run the pumps. And tanks that need to be refilled.

3. What would it cost to fit a larger fuel tank?


Marine fuel tanks. Self contained with all the proper safety
bits and pieces. MUCH better than a Jerry Can with a hose stuck
in it.

4. What about noise?


The biggest problem is the exhaust. If you can get a larger
muffler in addition to the one that it comes with, that's a
step in the right direction. The next problem is mechanical
noise. Most open frame generators sound like a blender full
of rocks.

Learn masonry. Build a little house for your generator with
additional partitions (separate) for fuel and other supplies.
You can camouflage it to look like a back yard BBQ ;-)

5. Last, the subject of keeping food on hand when the roads
are blocked.


First and foremost is fresh water. Got to keep plenty of that
on hand. Also, you should consider a plastic 55 gal drum full
of "non-drinking" water for such niceties as flushing toilets.

Military MRE's are rated for 10 year storage. This means they're
good for probably 20 or so. Freeze dried, back filled with dry
nitrogen then vacuum packed.

On the other hand, just stock up on canned goods. Also check the
typical expiration date on some "pre-cooked" meals in sealed
bags (Not frozen food). I used to buy some excellent complete
dinners in a bag from a Canadian source at REI Co-Op for camping.
Not cheap, but an absolute no brainer to prepare.

Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi



--
"Everything from Crackers to Coffins"

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Old November 11th 11, 09:04 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:12:31 EST, Jeffrey Angus
wrote:

Both propane, gasoline and diesel require electrical service
to run the pumps. And tanks that need to be refilled.


And good luck getting a permit for any decent-sized tank for those
fuels in any residential area. I'm talking about 96-hour capacity,
not a five-gallon Jerry can.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net

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Old November 11th 11, 09:47 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Scotty, I need more power

On 11/11/2011 15:04, Phil Kane wrote:
On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:12:31 EST, Jeffrey
wrote:

Both propane, gasoline and diesel require electrical service
to run the pumps. And tanks that need to be refilled.


And good luck getting a permit for any decent-sized tank for those
fuels in any residential area. I'm talking about 96-hour capacity,
not a five-gallon Jerry can.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net


Phil

Perhaps there is that much difficulty getting such permits were you are
but it is not uncommon in Maryland for people to have five hundred
gallon propane tanks when they heat with the stuff. Underground fuel
oil tanks are not uncommon either, although new ones are expensive to
install. Above ground concrete encased tanks are the storage of choice
for commercial sites now because less monitoring for leakage is
required. Those are also fairly pricey though. What you cannot get a
permit for is above ground storage in shipping containers such as five
gallon plastic cans or fifty five gallon drums. If you need to store
fuel in the same containers that will be used to dispense and transport
them then the containers must be stored in a flammable liquids cabinet.
Those are also quite pricey. So the cheapest one to store lawfully
would appear to be propane. My firehouse heated the apparatus bay with
propane and used it to fuel an eighty kilowatt generator/ A five day
outage used two thirds of the propane tanks one thousand gallon
capacity. If that duel fueled unit had had a natural gas connection we
would have had a smaller tank for the propane which would have been used
only as a backup fuel supply.

--
Tom Horne



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