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Topic takeover - Electricity and Communications

(26 Posts)
winchester1 Wed 28-Oct-15 20:14:50

I'm planni for buggin in and this is my next big thing, we get power cuts every couple of yrs anyway.

What are your plans? We have lots of torches, candles etc but they wouldn't last forever and batteries are awful in minus temps so wind up or recharable would be better. We have on wind up torch in the car for breakdowns but its shit. Are there any good ones?

So I'm thinking about a thermal USB charger or a 12v thermoelectrical generators to use on the log burners.
12v is better in the home and in a longterm local emergency but a little camping pot with a USB charger we would actualy use day to day.

Also I know nothing about the costs - would a 12v pay for itself if we used it anyway day to day over the winter months when we are charging phones, laptops daily? Guess that depends what I could run off it. I also don't know if they are designed for daily use or more a pack in abox and leave it thing.

Anyway enough of my rambling what are your plans?

winchester1 Wed 28-Oct-15 20:15:30

Sorry I've a sticky g so a few are missing smile

warmastoast Thu 29-Oct-15 12:29:15

I have a powermonkey traveller solar charger and a levin solar charger with backup battery that could charge a laptop if necessary. So I guess have some solar backup for small devices, and a gas stove for cooking. I looked at the bigger goal zero and Duracell solar generators but can't justify such heavy duty items yet. I think a thermal USB charger would probably be a little more reliable in case of rainy weather and needed power at night.

We also have a HAM radio from DH's work we're supposed to carry around though I don't expect it'll be needed at all, so I guess qualifies as SHTF communications prepping.

Stratter5 Thu 29-Oct-15 15:48:13

Oh, I'd love a HAM radio set envy

I think mobiles will be pretty pointless. They'll either go down, or get switched off, as they did on 7/7.

winchester1 Thu 29-Oct-15 22:23:38

I'm thinking more local problems during our power cut some houses even in our village were fine as they are on a diff power line, so of course phones were fine. We are remote so not much chance of terrorism on a large scale, we aren't in an earth quake zone, hurricanes etc. We get lots of snow and high winds knock down the power lines regulary though.

I don't know much about whats needed - voltages, watts - it would be good to be able to keep at least one laptop charged and both phones for a semblance of normalliving. Better still if we could charge/run the second laptop and the mobile home TV.

I've been looking at a TEG 15 watt, 12v, (with a 5v USB port). We have at least one of the log burners going all day during power cuts so could keep it on all the time (if thats safe?). I've no idea what that could keep running/charged.

Solar isn't much use as we don't get much daylight iin winter and even less sunlight, fairly unlikely to get a power cut in the summer.

We are thinking about solar for the houes anyway but with electricity prices so low can't justify the cost.

KatherineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Nov-15 11:05:48

We are moving this over to our brand new Preppers topic in a mo grin <rubs hands>

PigletJohn Thu 05-Nov-15 13:39:21

Ordinary solar panels don't work in a power cut, because they are synchronised to the grid, and are required to immediately turn off if the grid fails (all private generators must, by the Electricity Act, be incapable of feeding electricity down the cables where it might electrocute the people trying to repair the fault).

Mobile phones usually fail in an emergency, or are overloaded. Landline telephones (but not cordless) require no electrical supply, and telephone exchanges are equipped with standby power batteries for such an eventuality, and diesel generators are used if it lasts a while.

When I worked for a well-known electricity company, they equipped all their engineers with mobile phones and scrapped the 2-way radios from the vans.

They later re-equipped the engineers vans and Land-Rovers with PMR when they realised that in a Severe Incident, the mobile phones would stop working until the engineers were told where to go and what to fix.

cozietoesie Thu 05-Nov-15 15:12:40

I'm guessing that most mobile phones would run out of charge before the networks went down anyway. (Excepting call overload which could happen right away.)

winchester1 Thu 05-Nov-15 20:41:57

Good to know piglet,thanks.

Thermo electric generator and some 12v alliances it is then! Or you know a little teg usb charger so I can mn while they turn the village leccy back on!

BeyondThirty Tue 10-Nov-15 13:54:20

Seems the best place to ask without starting another thread...

I may be having a dopey moment. Someone said about just using their neighbours gas ovens if the power was off... Doesnt gas require electricity to be pumped into the domestic supply, so no electric = no gas?

winchester1 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:02:18

Growing up we could use the gas even if the electric ran out just the ignition didn't work. Not sure how it is if there's a total power cut.

gamerchick Tue 10-Nov-15 14:05:43

I wouldn't mind one of these for backup.

cyberwarzone.com/an-hour-on-this-bicycle-will-give-your-house-enough-power-for-24-hours/

Keep you fit anyway [grin

I do need to focus more on backup energy. It's working on the husband that's the problem but I think I'm wearing him down.

Zetetic Tue 10-Nov-15 15:00:57

Some gas / oil central heating system with a boiler and radiator do not operate without electricity and you have to reset timers as soon as supply is restored. However others do work (although the automatic ignition will not) and you have to use a match. I have LPG.

People don't fully comprehend that if power goes out there will be no water (water pumps fail), mobile telecommunications go down, banking & tills stop working. Critical services such as hospitals have generators.

consumers.ofcom.org.uk/phone/problems-and-complaints/landlines-and-power-cuts/

Zetetic Tue 10-Nov-15 15:04:55

Just repeating this from the other thread (sorry if you have read before). Vulnerable customers can get help in a power cut. Gas companies run the same scheme I believe.

if anyone reading is vulnerable or has vulnerable relatives they can apply to be on the prioirity services register for extra help during power cuts. This includes those who are....

* dependent on medical equipment
* chronically ill
* with a disability
* visually impaired or blind
* hearing impaired or deaf
* the elderly
* nursing or residential home
* young babies in household

Zetetic Tue 10-Nov-15 18:06:22

Found this too. I fill baths!

www.survivalsuperstore.co.uk/how-to-survive-a-power-cut/4583335521

BeyondThirty Tue 10-Nov-15 19:06:44

Mines one of those that needs resetting after the power comes back on. Whole bloody thing locked out last time i had a power cut so i spend about a month without hot water or heating while waiting for non-emergency gas engineer!!

Zetetic Tue 10-Nov-15 19:17:31

Also gas ovens can have electric fans so those cut out during a power outage. Have to be careful about the one you buy.

Oh my word. My DH is talking about building a little off grid outhouse / shed run off the mains that we can go to during a power cut. He is very practical so I wouldn't be suprised to find him out there building it!!

howtorebuild Wed 11-Nov-15 00:35:14

I wish I was practical.

winchester1 Wed 11-Nov-15 06:25:52

Never a bad time to learn a new skill howto

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 11-Nov-15 08:55:11

Thanks for the links zetetic, I've just been having a read. One thing that I hadn't realised is that mobile phone networks may not work; I'd always assumed a fully charged mobile = perfect working order.

howtorebuild Wed 11-Nov-15 09:27:39

I read in another thread some people had HAM radios. I would just wait it out for the services to come back up.

Zetetic Wed 11-Nov-15 09:34:38

I would love a HAM radio. smile How much do they cost? I think you need a licence don't you? It would be seriously good fun. Christmas present idea but probably too expensive Zetetic, over and out.

Mobile phone might work immediately after a power cut so worth a try but they go down pretty quickly. If you can't get through it is worth trying a text. I'd love a satellite phone, but again expensive.

We do have walkie talkies that we use on the canals.

Stratter5 Wed 11-Nov-15 10:19:21

I'd love a HAM radio too. We should ask for them for Christmas (no idea what they cost), and set up a little network

PigletJohn Wed 11-Nov-15 12:11:31

You need a qualification to get an amateur radio licence, but you can get a PMR set, including hand-held. The range is not far because they are limited in power by law (European standard, except Switzerland). It is better in open country.

There are toy ones, but Motorola make a range and are popular on building sites, e.g. ground to crane operator. Binatone are more aimed at the toy market. I don't know other brands. Maplins have a variety.

They have a digital channel coding and various numbers of channels that makes it more difficult for other people to eavesdrop.

A riding centre I knew used them for emergency contact for hacks on the downs and forests, and they are widely used by ski patrols. The RNLI volunteers have them round here.

Zetetic Wed 11-Nov-15 21:39:28

Where do you get this qualification? What do people use the HAM amateur radio licences for please? A hobby or is it much more serious?

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