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#112373 - 11/13/07 03:54 PM Power outage turns on the lights...
OutdoorDad Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 76
We had some high wind gust come through the area last night. Some supposed to be in the 80mph range. Nothing too bad. We usually get at least one power outage or two per year. Last night was one such night.

The lights flickered once than go out roughly 30 seconds later. This comes in handy as we drop what we are doing and get the oil lamps and stuff ready. We light the lamps, got the scanner switched over to battery and turned on the portable radio just in time.

This past summer a local sporting good store was clearancing out their lanterns so we picked up a couple Coleman Rechargeable Retro Lanterns. These are incredible lanterns. They have a high/low/night light setting which covers a great range.



I took one out for a walk around the neighborhood and it lit up the houses on both sides of the street and one charge lasted all night.

Many of the homes had either one candle light or someone walking around with a flashlight. There were a handle full running their own generators and many in the complete dark.

I will get more of the coleman rechargables when I see them on sale as backups.

Another item I am going to buy more of is the small glow sticks. They make great night lights for little kids who panic without one!!

Anyone else go thru the blackout or other blackouts and learn from them?


Edited by OutdoorDad (11/13/07 03:55 PM)
_________________________
If people concentrated on the really important things in life... there'd be a shortage of kid's fishing poles.

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#112374 - 11/13/07 04:27 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: OutdoorDad]
Shadow_oo00 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 301
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
I've gone through quite a few, I'm still doing the retro thing with my oil lamps, but I have two of the Rock River Led lanterns,which are very bright well made little lanterns, Led Flashlights, coleman lanterns, LED headlamps and of course my generator. And instead of plugging the electric stove into the generator I have a cook stove in the basement storm shelter converted to propane.I also have a 700 watt inverter if needed. Went without power for 2 weeks once, was a long time ago, that was the beginning of my learning to be prepared.


Edited by Shadow_oo00 (11/13/07 04:46 PM)
_________________________
Shadow out !!!

Prepare Or Not To Prepare That Is The Question. The Answer, You Better !!!

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#112376 - 11/13/07 04:36 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: OutdoorDad]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1841
Loc: MINNESOTA

i use Coleman gas lamps for the few times i have lost power..
however i really like that electric Coleman--i have an older
relative who lives alone and that would just the thing for her.
lots of light and easy to use..

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#112377 - 11/13/07 04:39 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


I wish there was a cheap way to wire in my tiny 900W generator to power just the lights in my condo. The whole house is florescent. It would be enough to light up everything. If there's a power outage now I use the battery lanterns reserved for car camping and if anything AC needs power I have a 60Ah battery pack with a built in 1000W inverter.

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#112380 - 11/13/07 05:37 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
I wish there was a cheap way to wire in my tiny 900W generator to power just the lights in my condo. The whole house is florescent. It would be enough to light up everything. If there's a power outage now I use the battery lanterns reserved for car camping and if anything AC needs power I have a 60Ah battery pack with a built in 1000W inverter.


You might be interested in the Xantrex PowerHub 1800 - US Version at
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/240/p/docs/pt/30/product.asp


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#112383 - 11/13/07 05:51 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


That's super neat...but it's $900 for the Canadian version. Since I live in a condo I can't do any major modifications to the wiring anyhow. The power pack I have is very similar to one of the Xantrex models (I wouldn't be suprised if Xantrex was the manufacturer):
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/63/p/1/pt/10/product.asp

I use it when we car camp or road trip to run the 12V cooler and other assorted goodies. Combined with the 950W inverter generator and a couple of solar panels, hotels are a thing of the past on road trips. Comes in damn handy when the power goes out too.

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#112387 - 11/13/07 06:20 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: OutdoorDad]
beadles Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 105
Loc: Richardson, TX
One thing to be careful of, is that the rechargable batteries won't last forever. You'll need to be careful to check them periodically to make sure the batteries still function.

Flourescents are a pretty good idea for this sort of work. Earlier this year, we had a storm pass through that knocked our power out for 3 days. Fortunately, since I do emergency response ham radio stuff, I have a bunch of high capacity gel-cell batteries laying around. I also have compact flourescents in a bunch of my lamps. I was able to run out to the store, get some cheap 12v to 120v inverters and plug the desk lamps into my batteries. Worked quite well. Probably a good idea to keep some low wattage (14w) bulbs around to replace the higher wattage ones for this purpose.

Also, Home Depot around here carries a $10 battery operated flourescent lamp, requires 8 AA batteries. The neat thing is that it also has a 2.1mm socket for external 12v power, and runs beautifully off my batteries. Not the brightest light, but it's enough to get around the house without killing myself.

For anybody here in the D/FW area, Costco has been carrying a single tube, battery operated single-tube GE flourescent lantern for around $15. I need to pick up a few.

Another little trick - I recently standardized on DeWalt power tools. DeWalt has a flourescent handheld light that runs off the 12/14v and 18v batteries that their tools use. Cheaper bought off eBay. It has a lot of hanger options built into it, too. I keep that hanging on a shelf for immediate use. It's not long lasting, a battery only runs it for about 4 hrs, but it does let you use those tool batteries in an emergency.
_________________________
John Beadles, N5OOM
Richardson, TX

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#112389 - 11/13/07 06:26 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Hi Hacksaw,

There is of course a very cheap and simple way to connect your condo lights to your 900W generator in an emergency situation. All you have to do is cut the ring main wiring lighting circuit/s 3 core cable (or disconnect at the RCD or Fuse Box) and connect it up to using some terminal block to your generator or battery pack/inverter package. (just be sure that the electricity is off or could be a shocking experience) whistle


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#112390 - 11/13/07 06:28 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


Actually that's not a bad idea. I'd do it at the fuse box so I could isolate only the circuit(s) that the lights are connected to. Unfortunately condo living means the fuse box is in the spare bedroom. I'd have to run 70 feet of extension cable through my place LOL.

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#112394 - 11/13/07 08:22 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ]
DrmstrSpoodle Offline
Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 138
At Wally World they had flourescent battery operated lanters on sale, with spare bulbs, for an insanely cheap price. I took advantage and stocked up. The only gripe about those lanters that I got is that the original bulbs that come in the lanters, for some odd reason, seem to conk out after periodic use (they'll light up on "high" mode, but only half the bulb will light up on "low"). I put the spares in though, and they work just fine.

Also, at my local Target some Energizer Hard Case flashlights of the AA variety also went on sale, for about $2-3 each. I stocked up on those too, and bought four in all, marking numbers on them from #1 to #4 with a Sharpie. Now part of my contingency plan for a blackout is that I take those four flashlights, leave one for myself, and give one each to my three neighbors in our apartment building to borrow. When it's all over they give them back. It's a good way to get invited to a grill cookout when the power's out. After all, sharing means caring...

I've also got one of those portable battery chargers with built-in outlets. Works pretty darn good and once we used it for a film shoot to run a camcorder through the outlet for a few hours! It won't do anything crazy like run the refrigerator or light the whole building but it'll recharge the battery on my laptop or other handheld devices for a little while, if need be, which is all I would really want it for. Wouldn't it be possible to divert power FROM a car battery, and not just charge it with one of those things? Just curious.

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