Author Topic: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?  (Read 2088 times)

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Hi All

Just thinking out loud here.

If something happens and there is no power could you run your equipment? If so what do you have to replenish said batteries and such?

Me? I have some SLA batteries that I have set up in kits. I also have solar panels and a generator to refill them.

OK OK so Im just trying to stir up some discussions  ;D
Kid


Offline Sailor

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 205
  • Karma: 15
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 10:27:27 AM »
Extra deep cycle marine batteries that I have for the sump pump. 

8kw generator. 

1000w inverters for the cars

60w folding solar panel.

Offline SCWolverine

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 541
  • Karma: 65
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 11:10:08 AM »
A few small inverters
a few old SLA batteries
an old 3500w Generator.

that's about it.  Not a doom and gloom guy but realize I need to invest further in back-up power.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 11:25:52 AM »
Yeah
I try to not be a gloom and doom guy but when we lost power for about 4 hours the other day at 20 degrees outside I figured it was time to step up my game.

We hardly ever lost power for more than an hour. Not so much nowadays.


Offline SCWolverine

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 541
  • Karma: 65
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 12:37:50 PM »
I feel ya!  We've lost power once here in 8 years-for 30 min.  At our previous home it would go out nearly weekly-in winter for Days at a time (ice storms).  Of course now we're on a Co-op system and the $ is about 2x that of the other Monopoly  ??? 
Either way, my biggest concern is powering my well so we can drink! (hope to simple-pump that pretty soon!)

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 02:58:54 PM »
I use FOUR batteries of 125 amp hour at 12 volts  with 200 watts of solar
I have NO generator as I use a 1600 watt (3200 peak) inverter that,when tied to my auto,will power my fridge and charge the house batteries (load continuous to 500 watts) while the auto controls idle speed and runs just over 2 1/2 hours per gallon of fuel.

My BOL has a better set up and is independent of grid power.

When operating Ham portable ,I use the auto/inverter and extension cord to not have to carry battery as my radios all run better from a 13.8 volt power supply.

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7013
  • Karma: 329
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 05:08:21 PM »
When amazon has the 100w solar kits for < $150, it's not a bad value.  You can try it out during field day.  Even at my northern latitude I can get 6 amps in the summer time.
Depending on your duty cycle, that with a couple deep cycle batteries will keep you on the air almost indefinitely with moderate sun light.

Offline Alan Georges

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4456
  • Karma: 208
  • Still trying to reason with hurricane season.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »
A couple of Group 24 deep cycle batteries (~70 AH each), Morningstar PWM controller, and a 140 watt panel on the back deck.  That lets me average 40 AH of refill per day, a bit more during hurricane season when I'm most likely to press things hardest.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 02:45:47 AM »
A couple of Group 24 deep cycle batteries (~70 AH each), Morningstar PWM controller, and a 140 watt panel on the back deck.  That lets me average 40 AH of refill per day, a bit more during hurricane season when I'm most likely to press things hardest.

500 watt hours is a lot when it is all you have.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2018, 06:18:51 AM »
I have been building a bank of 35AH 12 volt batteries. Got 3 so far.

Got a pure sine inverter for it too.

Oh a by the way when it comes to pellet stoves you want the sine wave inverter. I blew out the igniter when I used a standard inverter.

On the funny side of things I would really like to build a prop Gonk droid from Star Wars to house the battery bank.  8)

Offline Alan Georges

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4456
  • Karma: 208
  • Still trying to reason with hurricane season.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 06:30:27 AM »
500 watt hours is a lot when it is all you have.
Yes it is.  Nothing excels like excess.  I didn't even go into the backups to this system.  Not to go all Scarlet O'Hara here, but I'm never going to be stuck in the dark for a month like happened after Katrina ever again.

I have been building a bank of 35AH 12 volt batteries. Got 3 so far.

Got a pure sine inverter for it too.

Oh a by the way when it comes to pellet stoves you want the sine wave inverter. I blew out the igniter when I used a standard inverter.
Good job KC, 3x35AH will get you a long way.  Careful with that pure sine inverter, some of them put out crazy levels of RF noise.  Test things out and let us know if you've found a quiet one.  What model is it?

Quote
On the funny side of things I would really like to build a prop Gonk droid from Star Wars to house the battery bank.  8)
Nice.  Pictures or it didn't happen!

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 06:58:08 AM »
Things to remember:

1 Batteries are RENTAL UNITS,use them and they will age and die...don't use them and they will age faster and die, Treat them well and they will still age and die.
2 Batteries are chemical storage and have parameters to provide longest useful life. In general...

don't discharge below 60% capacity,
don't just charge them    constantly or they will sulfate.
Use a load monthly to exercise the battery...load should be equal or greater than battery amp hour rate for up to ONE MINUTE so as to remove sulfate from plates
then charge at 1/10 or the amp hour rate ...or less.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2018, 07:04:34 AM »
When it comes to SLAs I have been trying to not discharge below 12 volts or 11 in emergency.
Am I babying them too much?

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2018, 07:13:19 AM »
When it comes to SLAs I have been trying to not discharge below 12 volts or 11 in emergency.
Am I babying them too much?

NO, at rest a 12 volt battery is below 10% charge at 12 volts. Under  C10 or 1/10 of the amp hour rating load then you are about correct.
A SLAB (sealed lead acid battery) will stress at 20% (of amp hour rating) load and can out gass and lose moisture that can't be replaced....relax as I also use a 12 amp hour cell for 100 watts ssb on my Icom 7100 and it runs about 3 hours or so in use...SLABs will last 3 to 4 years in service even when somewhat abused.
When I use my inverter on a battery ,I set it to shutdown at 11 volts under load and have not failed to restart my auto 5 to 10 minutes after the inverter shutdown.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2018, 07:56:55 AM »
Man I wish I understood what you just typed my friend.

OHM's law I get

These percentages things I do not. Sorry.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2018, 08:06:11 AM »
Man I wish I understood what you just typed my friend.

OHM's law I get

These percentages things I do not. Sorry.

No worry,what you said you are doing is OK,in my opinion..Just work them so they last longer and expect to replace in 3 to 5 years as they do age.

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7013
  • Karma: 329
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2018, 09:41:07 AM »
Not all inverters are equal, and they are inequal for different reasons.

For example, I have an 800w and a 1600w cobra inverter.  Aside from double the output of power, the 1600 has low and high voltage shut off.
I bring this up because I discovered powering my furnace blower brought the voltage down to 10.5 volts momentarily, which shut off the inverter.
What was curious is the 800w inverter, being ignorant of such things, happily stayed running through the initial spike, and powered the furnace (250watts once it settled down) for a few hours happily.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2018, 10:02:05 AM »
Do you think a NON sine wave inverter would work for a well water pump?
I have a 1500 watt one

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7013
  • Karma: 329
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 10:06:19 AM »
Do you think a NON sine wave inverter would work for a well water pump?
I have a 1500 watt one

I can't imagine why the sine wave would matter at all in your examples.  Usually problems arise with audio equipment or TV/displays that are sensitive to those things.  Spinning the motor of a pump, or heating an element does not seem like it should matter.  That said I'm not super experienced here.

Offline kid_couteau

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 21
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2018, 10:22:39 AM »
It may have been a coincidence that the igniter blew out when I used the other inverter.
But I dont dare take a chance. A lot of small electronics in the control panel on the pellet stove.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2018, 10:29:57 AM »
Do you think a NON sine wave inverter would work for a well water pump?
I have a 1500 watt one

I have run a 1/2 horsepower submersible pump from a modified sine wave 16-- watt (3200 start peak) inverter ...motors are often fine though some control electronics don't like non sine waves...check your manual or manufacturer.  Also NOTE that few generators are well regulated sine wave due to design.

Offline Alan Georges

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4456
  • Karma: 208
  • Still trying to reason with hurricane season.
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2018, 05:32:14 PM »
Modified sine wave inverters dump out about 24% of their power as non-60 Hz harmonics.  That's why electric motors, transformers, and some electronics sometimes buzz and a few will eventually smoke.  IEEE power standards call for no more than 5%.  The "timing" of the motor is keyed to 60 Hz, and the rest goes where it goes.  Sometimes the off-harmonics will deliver a little bit of power to the motor, and some motors are more resistant than others to the off-harmonics.  A lot of electronics just don't care, because a wall wart is converting back down to 19 VDC anyway.  But some electronics care very much.  And of course heating elements don't care at all.

Most things are just fine running on modified sine waves, to a point.  It may come down to something subtle like a refrigerator lasting for only a year on MSW power, as opposed to 15 years on PSW.  If it gets you through a two week outage, then MSW's not a problem.  Planning on running for years, could be a problem.

Offline idelphic

  • I Zgjuari I DynjasĂ«
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1903
  • Karma: 44
  • Theoretical Conceptualist - Avatar by Ada
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2018, 11:25:07 AM »
Modified sine wave inverters dump out about 24% of their power as non-60 Hz harmonics.  That's why electric motors, transformers, and some electronics sometimes buzz and a few will eventually smoke.  IEEE power standards call for no more than 5%.  The "timing" of the motor is keyed to 60 Hz, and the rest goes where it goes.  Sometimes the off-harmonics will deliver a little bit of power to the motor, and some motors are more resistant than others to the off-harmonics.  A lot of electronics just don't care, because a wall wart is converting back down to 19 VDC anyway.  But some electronics care very much.  And of course heating elements don't care at all.

Most things are just fine running on modified sine waves, to a point.  It may come down to something subtle like a refrigerator lasting for only a year on MSW power, as opposed to 15 years on PSW.  If it gets you through a two week outage, then MSW's not a problem.  Planning on running for years, could be a problem.

This right here is why I like running direct DC over DC to AC in a grid down event. 

Offline jerseyboy

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 539
  • Karma: 28
  • Garden State Prepper
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2018, 07:06:58 AM »
125 AH AGM battery supplying DC directly to the radio on a Schumacher charger. Handheld wallwart chargers connected to a 400 watt inverter off of the Anderson power pole distribution block.

5000 watt generator tied into a transfer switch at the breaker box.

Should invest in a solar panel or two.

Jerseyboy

Offline mountainmoma

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4306
  • Karma: 193
  • suburban homesteader
Re: What setups do you have to run your radios if the power goes down?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2018, 11:40:32 AM »
Mine is partial household scale, Solar panels to a real sine wave inverter with battery back up. So, power for HAM and other communications is AC via a house plug