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#149507 - 09/18/08 06:06 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: samhain]
clarktx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Here is a post ike report from Houston.

Things I was glad I had (other than your typical things):
1) 2 computer UPS s. They make good backup batteries. Each one lasted a day and was used for small electrical jobs (ummm coffee grinder). These are good because you can use them when the weather outside is bad and you aren't sure you want to go to your car and set up your power inverter.
2) Candle Lantern . I had gotten this about 8 years ago as a gift and its really best for LONG backpacking trips. Which I don't get to do. We hung it in the kitchen, nothing flammable nearby. It worked great and I preferred it to using a battery powered solution. Very long lasting.
3) Cheap power inverter for the car. 200w will power a laptop and another small item (like a DSL modem). Your cigarette lighter is only good for 90W. To get more then 90w you have to wire it directly to your battery.
4) Probe type thermometer. There are many kinds of probe thermometers out there, I just happen to have a Center 304 Type K which I use for my work. Why you ask? Because the CDC recommends that you throw out food that has been over 40 degrees F for 2 hours. This document caused a lot of controversy between my wife and I, because some foods keep longer at warmer temperatures. Of course, getting a case of botulism or salmonella would be problematic after Ike hit. The thermometer helped us with our food management. The nice thing about the probes is that we didn't have to open the refrigerator to check the temps. Sunday morning, my freezer was still at 38 F. We were able to keep it under 40 until the power was restored in the afternoon.
5) I had been hoarding empty plastic bottles for various projects, and used all of them to make large blocks of ice. Large blocks of ice keep longer than ice cubes, although they cool less effectively due to the lower surface area. Regardless, they kept our freezer below 40F for 36 hours, and would have lasted longer but the power came on.
6) The cheap-asp headlamp Merriwether traded to me. It has amazing battery life, and was great for leaving on all night in the bathroom so that people didn't get hurt on the way to the bathroom (I have small children).

I'm not recommending anyone go out and buy anything, thats just what I had that performed better than expected.

In addition, I had MREs, bottled water, battery powered radio, etc... but I think its too mundane to list it all.

Things I wasn't so keen on:
1) My Zebralight . It developed a short and failed very early on.
2) Cheap princeton blast flashlight. These were the kid's flashlights. Really bad battery performance.

Something the wife wishes we had:
Small fan, battery operated or low-power 110v, to help keep the baby cool.

Other observations:

1) "Cold boot" your cell phone, by removing the battery. While carriers and phones may vary, this is what made my cell phone find a signal. Like most modern devices, cell phones are never really "off". They just go into a hibernation state, and the power button is usually a momentary switch which tells a latching relay whether the phone status should change or not.
2) Infrastructure returns VERY quickly.
3) The most important thing after the storm... that we told our kids... was to NOT GET HURT. We were very careful about what we let them do, because it wasn't a good time to have an accident.
4) Only 3 people in my neighborhood of 300+ boarded up windows. Not one home sufferred any damage from projectiles. We live in an area where there are many fences and mature trees. Fences tended to fall in sections, and when pickets fell off separately, they did not become projectiles as people often describe. They just laid on the ground. For a mid-cat 3 or higher I would board up the windows.
5) FEMA will pay for your generator!
6) Expect to go back to work before life returns to normal. My sister's employer actually set up a temporary day care on the 7th floor of her building so that employees could come to work without having to worry about child care. She doesn't have power at home.
7) Automated gas stations are empty at 11pm at night!
8) After the hurricane passes, put as many containers as possible outside to capture rainwater. We used this to flush the toilets (not the tub water). I shaved with rainwater, and the kids shampooed their hair in it. Soon after collection you will only want to use it for flushing.
9) Neighborhood kids are starting to play after dark... on other people's property. Boys will be boys. But with the fear of looters, and other concerns, its really foolish. Someone is going to get accidentally injured or hurt by a property owner.


Edited by clarktx (09/18/08 06:11 PM)
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#149509 - 09/18/08 06:18 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: clarktx]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Thanks for that report! I'm disappointed to hear about your Zebralight. I've been meaning to buy one for a long time.

And regarding your comment about 3 of 300--are you in Houston proper? Or somewhere outside of Houston? I only ask since I was under the impression that folks in Houston weren't advised to evacuate.

Edit: I just reread your post--boarded up isn't the same as evacuating. So I assume that most of your neighbors were actually around.


Edited by Arney (09/18/08 06:19 PM)

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#149510 - 09/18/08 06:21 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: clarktx]
Greg_Sackett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
I spoke with my parents last night, who live in Kingwood. They were still without power, but were running the generator and doing ok. No major damage at their place but apparently there were lots of trees down in the Greenbelts. Their neighbors have all banded together and work well together, so they are doing fine. Once power comes back everything will be back to normal for them.

I sent my battery operated TV to them for their neighbors without generators. In a few months it won't work for me anyway, and I feel like I need to do something to help my home state.

Greg

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#149514 - 09/18/08 06:42 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: Greg_Sackett]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

Found this link on another forum...

Pictures people have sent me

-john

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#149520 - 09/18/08 08:05 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: ]
Nishnabotna Offline
Icon of Sin
Addict

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Nebraska
How long do those glo sticks keep in storage?

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#149522 - 09/18/08 08:16 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: Arney]
clarktx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Arney
And regarding your comment about 3 of 300--are you in Houston proper? Or somewhere outside of Houston? I just reread your post--boarded up isn't the same as evacuating. So I assume that most of your neighbors were actually around.


I'm outside of Houston, but have Houston water. Cypress is the name of the city. Its what some folks call a "sleeper community".

I'd say less than 5% of my neighbors bugged out. We saw winds of 74-80mph.
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#149524 - 09/18/08 08:32 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: Arney]
clarktx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Arney
I'm disappointed to hear about your Zebralight. I've been meaning to buy one for a long time.


I'll go into a bit more detail for you...

I actually bought all three models about 3 months ago. On my expense report, it was as a way to quickly test the efficacy of the CREE LEDs for use in a cell phone product I am working on. In real life, I wanted to see how they performed otherwise. I usually get to keep any samples for personal use.

The H30-Q5 has problems cycling through its 3 brightness phases correctly. Often it skips the brightest phase. It also comes on accidentally. That little rubber push switch is too sensitive.

The H50-Q5 works well, but twisting the cap to cycle the phases is not preferable to me (it leads to a lot of twisting!).

I think the switch is a better concept, but it needs some refinement before it works well.

And, whether they have a switch or a twist cap, it would be nice if there were a memory feature on it where if I was using it on "high" it would restart on "high" instead of going back to "low" every time.
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#149527 - 09/18/08 09:10 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: clarktx]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: clarktx
The H30-Q5 has problems cycling through its 3 brightness phases correctly.

Your original post linked to the H50, but is the Zebralight problem you're referring to with the push button switch of the H30 skipping the high setting?

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#149529 - 09/18/08 09:44 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: clarktx]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: clarktx
Originally Posted By: Arney
I'm disappointed to hear about your Zebralight. I've been meaning to buy one for a long time.


The H30-Q5 has problems cycling through its 3 brightness phases correctly. Often it skips the brightest phase. It also comes on accidentally. That little rubber push switch is too sensitive.


Regarding the first issue, contact whoever you purchased from and point them at this post on CPF. It appears that it is Zebralight's intention to make this right for people who purchased lights with the UI problem. They have also have had the fix for quite a while.

Regarding the second issue, while it doesn't happen to me all the time, I have had this happen. Obviously it is best stored in a way that decreases the chance of the button being pressed by accident.

Note this thread where CPF user nekomane made a ring to protect the button. While he doesn't have any for sale, nor plan to build any more, it appears this modification has been brought to the attention of Zebralight (note post#9). Hopefully they will include this option at a later date.

-john


Edited by JohnN (09/18/08 09:50 PM)

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#149594 - 09/19/08 05:47 PM Re: Post IKE Reports [Re: Arney]
clarktx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: clarktx
The H30-Q5 has problems cycling through its 3 brightness phases correctly.

Your original post linked to the H50, but is the Zebralight problem you're referring to with the push button switch of the H30 skipping the high setting?


H50-Q4: Shorted out. Doesn't work any more.
H30-Q5: Touchy switch, doesn't cycle correctly. Turns on accidentally.
H50-Q5: No problems yet, not entirely pleased with the cycle mechanism.

Recommendations:
H30-Q5 needs a recessed switch. Also uses CR123A which is not a convenient battery.
H50 series needs to go through the industrial design process again before its really good.
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