Field Day, Emergency Power, Participation etc. etc.

18 May

I have been contemplating emergency power for a long time. Any longer term reader here knows very well that I am conscience of the frailty of modern infrastructure and would like to have some backup power available if only to keep the fridge cool during times of electrical outage. A side benefit would be to be able to keep a radio powered up as well. I secretly have visions of things going to heck and having no power at all for weeks at a time. This is very possible and only an accident or two away.Really! Trust me.

One of the problems with emergency power is sizing a system to do enough but not too much as cost per watt is high. Our fridges are normal sorts of kitchen appliances with no special insulation so they are power wasters of the first order. If you want to know how to run a real fridge check out the 12 or 24 vdc models designed to run off grid on solar power. In any event I have been trying to size a power system for solar cells and the hitch in my “gitalong” has always been the radio-not the fridges. My Icom sucks up an enormous amount of power. So thinking went to a second small 12 vdc radio running off of batteries, a gas genset vs a solar array and finally a Natural Gas Gen Set running off of the underground utility pipe we have to supply our water heaters and forced air heating. The natural gas solution appears to be the best. I could size it to accommodate what I need to power,  have it switch over automatically, be assured of a continuous supply of Natty Gas as all sources are underground and not subject to electrical outages and of course it is clean. Not cheap however.

The NG solution appears to be the logical winner so I will commence hunting a suitable source for the beast and begin to fund it. No small feat here. In the meantime it appears I will have to forgo Field Day here as there is no local effort of any meaningful dimensions that I have found. This year in particular I would like to attend Field Day as my son is newly licensed and would probably enjoy the whole Field Day experience. Sigh. Nothing doing -again. Perhaps I can drum up some interest this morning at coffee…..speaking of which its that time. Ive not been for several weeks now so I am looking forward to the company of other Hams for a few minutes.

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG

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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Radio, Stuff


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