Thoughts on living without electricity for a few days

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Graeme

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Dec 3, 2021, 9:31:54 AM12/3/21
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We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
a few days. Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.

When the power went off we had one open fire plus a large supply of
coal, kindling, logs, fire lighters and spills. Three portable gas
fires, a Gaz lamp with two spare cylinders, a 'proper' kettle and a
kitchen hob powered by 47kg Propane cylinders in the garden, candles,
several torches and a small battery powered radio, plus spare batteries,
several lighters and a utility lighter, plus spare gas. What we didn't
have was any form of generator or inverter.

The open fire is in the largest room (two rooms knocked into one, years
ago) and that was OK, supplemented by one of the portable gas fires.
The other gas fire was in the kitchen, the third kept as spare in case
either of the others ran out of gas. The Gaz lamp was great, burning
from roughly 4pm to 11pm each evening, but used a cylinder per evening.
Cold outside, snow on ground, dark by late afternoon.

We moved into the main room, wife sleeping on the three seater settee,
me (and dog!) sleeping on a single mattress on the floor. Plenty of
duvets, as we didn't run the gas stove when we were asleep, and the coal
fire is not an overnighter. We have an oil boiler and proper hot and
cold tanks. The hot water in the cylinder lasted well, although was
cold by Monday morning. We don't think we lost water, although could
just have been using what was in the tanks, but I didn't notice the tank
suddenly filling when power was restored.

Mobiles and laptops batteries expired, but no wi-fi of course, and no
mobile signal as no power to the tower, so no great loss.

We always keep tins of soup for emergencies, so had soup and toasties
twice. Made toasted sarnies using a wire barbecue fish cage thing, over
the coals in the fire. Fried sausages another night. Plenty of hot tea
from the gas hob. Dib dib dib :-)

We were lucky the power came on when it did. Just about exhausted
whatever was still edible in the fridge, had the last of the soup but
had managed without opening the freezer door. When I did open the
freezer (upright) stuff like ice cream was binned, but all the meat was
still solid, so hopefully safe. We were using the last of the spare
batteries, and almost out of camping Gaz for the lamp.

We have an old paraffin lamp. Tall brass affair with frosted glass
shade and clear glass chimney. Monday morning, knowing we were almost
out of Gaz, I found two wicks in the shed (don't know why it uses two
wicks), and filled it using kerosene removed from the tank in the
garden. Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop. Luckily,
the power came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin
lamp using kerosene have been safe? How similar are paraffin and
kerosene?

We have had power cuts before, but nothing like this length of time. I
think we did well, with our emergency kit coping. Yes, we could have
been better prepared, but how much preparation is required for something
that may never happen again, or not for many years?

One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
did we cope pre Internet?
--
Graeme

Unknown

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Dec 3, 2021, 9:46:35 AM12/3/21
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Graeme expressed precisely :
> Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop. Luckily, the power
> came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin lamp using
> kerosene have been safe? How similar are paraffin and kerosene?

Just as safe to use and was often used, but kerosene has less of a
smell to it. If the smell doesn't you, use either. You can also buy
lamp oil, which is supposed to be even less smelly.

newshound

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Dec 3, 2021, 9:47:56 AM12/3/21
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I would certainly have tried to keep a smartphone alive. We're in a
small town and I doubt if we would ever be "out" for more than a day. I
do have a woodburner, a small generator, and two or three rechargeable
LED "Work Lights" that provide fairly adequate background lighting (also
they have USB out ports, so convenient to keep phones alive).

I think if I was somewhere more rural I would invest in a proper
"changeover" switch and get something like a 3kW diesel generator with
electric start. I'm in my 70's and my wife is slightly disabled, so I am
not quite as fit and active as I used to be. I'd be staying put if I was
snowed in. I would not want to be without my woodburner (or freezers).

Chris Green

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Dec 3, 2021, 10:33:06 AM12/3/21
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I thought that kerosene was simply the USA name for paraffin, is that
not correct? Or is it that UK kerosone is something different from US
kerosene?

--
Chris Green
·

Dave Plowman (News)

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Dec 3, 2021, 11:03:17 AM12/3/21
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In article <ZbXGrKIJ...@binnsroad.myzen.co.uk>,
Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
> did we cope pre Internet?

Sounds like you were pretty well prepared, Graeme. If it happened in
London, I'd likely perish. Only heat I'd have would be from the gas hob.

--
*Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder...

Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.

Scott

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Dec 3, 2021, 11:13:51 AM12/3/21
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On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 14:31:37 +0000, Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk>
wrote:
[snip]
>
>Mobiles and laptops batteries expired, but no wi-fi of course, and no
>mobile signal as no power to the tower, so no great loss.
>
What about one of these power banks (other brands available) for
resilience?
https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9216637?clickPR=plp:1:50

I understand the phone mast was 'down' but on a different occasion it
could be working.

My portable radio charges from USB so I am guessing a power bank could
keep it going for a very long time.

Theo

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Dec 3, 2021, 12:06:37 PM12/3/21
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Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
> did we cope pre Internet?

I think it's starting to make a lot of sense to have a serious lithium iron
phosphate battery - pricing on bare cells is about $130-150/kWh from China
these days, so you can make a ~10kWh pack for about $2k (on top of the cells
you need a BMS, an enclosure and some way to charge, maybe an
inverter/charger unless you want to use it as DC directly).

You might not want to go to the 10kWh scale, but a few kWh would keep a lot
of electronics going and run things like boilers, gas cookers and pumps,
maybe a microwave. That would keep a lot of low-load 'life support'
operating. Obviously not enough to run the heating, although perhaps enough
for hot water bottles and such.

You can also use it to store solar generation and timeshift grid power, to
charge it at cheap rates. Although you might not want to do that when
there's a storm, so it's full if there's a cut.

Theo

Graeme

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Dec 3, 2021, 12:32:54 PM12/3/21
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In message <sodak5$2p1$1...@dont-email.me>, Harry Bloomfield
<?.?@harrym1byt.plus.com.invalid> writes
>Graeme expressed precisely :
>>How similar are paraffin and kerosene?
>
>Just as safe to use and was often used, but kerosene has less of a
>smell to it. If the smell doesn't you, use either. You can also buy
>lamp oil, which is supposed to be even less smelly.

Excellent, thank you.

--
Graeme

Graeme

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Dec 3, 2021, 12:35:32 PM12/3/21
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In message <P9ydnT6kZo5KsDf8...@brightview.co.uk>,
newshound <news...@stevejqr.plus.com> writes
>
>I think if I was somewhere more rural I would invest in a proper
>"changeover" switch and get something like a 3kW diesel generator with
>electric start.

We've been here twenty years, and have had the occasional power cut, but
usually only an hour or three. The biggest disaster was about ten years
ago when the oil tanker could not get through for a few days due to
snow, but at least we had electricity, and the mobile gas heaters.

As you say though, the effects of this sort of thing become more
worrying as we all age.

--
Graeme

Owain Lastname

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Dec 3, 2021, 1:59:58 PM12/3/21
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On Friday, 3 December 2021 at 14:31:54 UTC, Graeme wrote:
> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
> did we cope pre Internet?

With a landline phone you could phone the local council or power cuts 105 for such information.

With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.

Owain

John Brown

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:03:14 PM12/3/21
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Chris Green <c...@isbd.net> wrote
> Harry Bloomfield, Esq. <a...@harrym1byt.plus.com> wrote
>> Graeme expressed precisely :

>> > Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop. Luckily, the
>> > power
>> > came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin lamp using
>> > kerosene have been safe? How similar are paraffin and kerosene?
>>
>> Just as safe to use and was often used, but kerosene has less of a
>> smell to it. If the smell doesn't you, use either. You can also buy
>> lamp oil, which is supposed to be even less smelly.
>
> I thought that kerosene was simply the USA name for paraffin,

Not just USA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene

> is that not correct?

Mostly.

Or is it that UK kerosone is something different from US
> kerosene?

Nope.

Unknown

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:04:00 PM12/3/21
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Chris Green formulated on Friday :
> I thought that kerosene was simply the USA name for paraffin, is that
> not correct? Or is it that UK kerosone is something different from US
> kerosene?

The USA call paraffin kerosine, we use the word kerosine to mean a form
of cleaner burning lamp oil, though to confuse the issue even more, you
can pay a premium for lamp oil, supposed to be even cleaner.

Rod Speed

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:09:28 PM12/3/21
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Dave Plowman (News) <da...@davenoise.co.uk> wrote
> Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote

>> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
>> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
>> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
>> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
>> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
>> did we cope pre Internet?
>
> Sounds like you were pretty well prepared, Graeme. If it happened in
> London, I'd likely perish. Only heat I'd have would be from the gas hob.

Not if you had enough sense to use the bed with doona etc.

The Natural Philosopher

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:15:12 PM12/3/21
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On 03/12/2021 14:31, Graeme wrote:
> How did we cope pre Internet?
> --
local radio via batteries.

--
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

The Natural Philosopher

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:21:44 PM12/3/21
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My aga and central heating run on 'kerosene'

--
"If you don’t read the news paper, you are un-informed. If you read the
news paper, you are mis-informed."

Mark Twain

S Viemeister

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Dec 3, 2021, 3:03:26 PM12/3/21
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We have a number of portable power banks, which I make sure to keep
charged. I also have one which has built-in solar panels, and can charge
while simply sitting on the window ledge. It was very useful when our
power was out for 5+ days.

Peeler

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Dec 3, 2021, 3:16:19 PM12/3/21
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2021 06:09:20 +1100, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

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David

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Dec 3, 2021, 3:34:26 PM12/3/21
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2021 14:31:37 +0000, Graeme wrote:

> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
> a few days. Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.
>
<snip>

We have a wood burner which will heat the main living area (and is also
suitable to cook on at a push), and a gas hob.
So heating and food sorted.

Also have a number (!) of camping stoves and a gas heater which runs off
propane as a backup.

Lighting would be the main issue although we do have an LED work light
which would do for a while.

The major problem would be keeping the freezers freezing.

We have a very small Honda generator to go with the caravan, so that might
keep the big chest freezer going.
Alternatively it could probably run the central heating if I decoupled the
boiler from the mains.
Not both, though.

Oh, the caravan.
Push came to shove we could abandon the house and just live in the caravan.
Central heating, hot shower, hob and oven.
LED lighting.
Usually run on mains power but could be run from the generator.
Once the battery runs down.
However that abandons the big freezer.

An extra larger generator and a change over switch would allow us to
maintain services in the house, but we have never (touch wood) had a
prolonged outage and our power lines are underground.
So far no cost justification for this kind of thing, but who knows what
the future holds if we keep shutting down nuclear power stations without
replacement?

Cheers



Dave R


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Andrew

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Dec 3, 2021, 4:09:20 PM12/3/21
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On 03/12/2021 14:31, Graeme wrote:
>
> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
> a few days.  Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.
>
> When the power went off we had one open fire plus a large supply of
> coal, kindling, logs, fire lighters and spills.  Three portable gas
> fires, a Gaz lamp with two spare cylinders, a 'proper' kettle and a
> kitchen hob powered by 47kg Propane cylinders in the garden, candles,
> several torches and a small battery powered radio, plus spare batteries,
> several lighters and a utility lighter, plus spare gas.  What we didn't
> have was any form of generator or inverter.
>
Seems like you have everything except for effective insulation, or
just one decent fire should be able to keep the place just about
liveable.


Rod Speed

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Dec 3, 2021, 5:22:06 PM12/3/21
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Owain Lastname <spuorg...@gowanhill.com> wrote
You can call them using your mobile and do facebook on your mobile too.

Peeler

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Dec 3, 2021, 5:41:29 PM12/3/21
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2021 09:21:57 +1100, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

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Mark

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Dec 3, 2021, 7:11:17 PM12/3/21
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Graeme wrote:

>
> We have an old paraffin lamp. Tall brass affair with frosted glass
> shade and clear glass chimney.

:)
I lived for almost 3 years without elec, gas or even mains water in the 70s
rampant mortgage inflation and the threat of repossession meant every penny
we earned had to go to paying the mortgage.
Still have the 3 aladdin lamps which were the only lighting.
and still have the occasional power cut as we have overhead line wire
but now have a 14kW generator powered by a Rolls-Royce K60 engine

--


Graeme

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Dec 4, 2021, 2:37:38 AM12/4/21
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In message <sodqo3$n73$7...@dont-email.me>, The Natural Philosopher
<t...@invalid.invalid> writes
>On 03/12/2021 19:03, Harry Bloomfield wrote:
>> The USA call paraffin kerosine, we use the word kerosine to mean a
>>form of cleaner burning lamp oil, though to confuse the issue even
>>more, you can pay a premium for lamp oil, supposed to be even cleaner.

>My aga and central heating run on 'kerosene'

Ditto. The stuff that a local oil company deliver to feed my boiler is
described as kerosene on the invoice.
--
Graeme

Graeme

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Dec 4, 2021, 2:47:38 AM12/4/21
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In message <59951a4...@davenoise.co.uk>, "Dave Plowman (News)"
<da...@davenoise.co.uk> writes
>
>Sounds like you were pretty well prepared, Graeme. If it happened in
>London, I'd likely perish. Only heat I'd have would be from the gas hob.
>
To be honest Dave, were I still living in SE England, I doubt I would be
prepared, either. It is not that I think power cuts are more likely in
Aberdeenshire, just that the results can be more dramatic in terms of
fewer daylight hours and lower temperatures outside, not to mention our
rural location and old age.
--
Graeme

Graeme

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Dec 4, 2021, 2:47:39 AM12/4/21
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In message <250d2a95-fb83-443d...@googlegroups.com>,
Owain Lastname <spuorg...@gowanhill.com> writes
>On Friday, 3 December 2021 at 14:31:54 UTC, Graeme wrote:

>>Yes, a few people charged their
>> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother.
>
>With a landline phone you could phone the local council or power cuts
>105 for such information.

Yes, I should have mentioned that an older phone lives beside the
router, and was plugged in as soon as power went off, to keep in touch
with the power company. Also useful to keep in touch with family.

Had forgotten 105 though, and called their 0800 number, having found a
phone book.
>
>With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.

I'm well aware of that :-(
--
Graeme

Owain Lastname

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:00:32 AM12/4/21
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On Friday, 3 December 2021 at 22:22:06 UTC, rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote:
> > With a landline phone you could phone the local
> > council or power cuts 105 for such information.
> > With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.
> You can call them using your mobile

Only if your mobile stays charged and the mast also has power.

> and do facebook on your mobile too.

Only if you do facebook, your mobile can do facebook, and the mobile stays charged and the mast also has power. The sort of phones that do facebook usually only have a couple of days' power capacity at best.

Owain




Owain Lastname

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:15:27 AM12/4/21
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On Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 07:47:39 UTC, Graeme wrote:
> Had forgotten 105 though, and called their 0800 number, having found a
> phone book.

That's the other thing, looking up phone numbers when the internet's down.

I've got 105 and suppliers' numbers on labels stuck next to the meters so I don't lose them. I've just saved the council number on the mobile.

Owain

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:26:31 AM12/4/21
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Owain Lastname <spuorg...@gowanhill.com> wrote
> rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote

>>> With a landline phone you could phone the local
>>> council or power cuts 105 for such information.
>>> With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.

>> You can call them using your mobile

> Only if your mobile stays charged

Trivial to ensure that with a power bank or your car.

> and the mast also has power.

We have have COWs, Cell on Wheels which are
tower on a trailer or truck with its own generator.

>> and do facebook on your mobile too.

> Only if you do facebook,

Trivial to start doing it when the shit hits the fan.

> your mobile can do facebook,

Only the stupid don’t have mobiles that can do that.

> and the mobile stays charged and the mast also has power.

See above.

> The sort of phones that do facebook usually only
> have a couple of days' power capacity at best.

They have much more than that when you turn them off when
not doing facebook and its trivial to charge them in the car etc.

charles

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:26:57 AM12/4/21
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In article <P67TjBB6...@binnsroad.myzen.co.uk>,
Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In message <59951a4...@davenoise.co.uk>, "Dave Plowman (News)"
> <da...@davenoise.co.uk> writes
> >
> >Sounds like you were pretty well prepared, Graeme. If it happened in
> >London, I'd likely perish. Only heat I'd have would be from the gas hob.
> >
> To be honest Dave, were I still living in SE England, I doubt I would be
> prepared, either.

I have a small geny, a number of battery lamps and torches, 2 different
camping stoves and a supply of candles. (Living in Surrey)

--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
"I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of boredom" Thomas Carlyle

charles

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:28:32 AM12/4/21
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In article <9ed732ff-7c62-4203...@googlegroups.com>, Owain
That's ower on standby. If you only turn the phone on when you want to
send, the battery lasts a lot longer.

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:30:09 AM12/4/21
to
Owain Lastname <spuorg...@gowanhill.com> wrote
> Graeme wrote

>> Had forgotten 105 though, and called their
>> 0800 number, having found a phone book.

> That's the other thing, looking up phone
> numbers when the internet's down.

Any decent mobile phone can do that.

> I've got 105 and suppliers' numbers on labels
> stuck next to the meters so I don't lose them.

My electricity supplier sent out magnetic
fridge magnets with the number on them.

Brian Gaff (Sofa)

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Dec 4, 2021, 4:55:18 AM12/4/21
to
You were lucky to keep the cell towers that long, round here their power
only lasts a day or so. Luckily we did not lose our power but I think unless
the infrastructure is invested in more by cutting back trees and stuff, this
problem will get more frequent. I do not recall in 1987 that any power cuts
anywhere lasted more than a day.

I did live through the three day week but in those days we were warned of
when power were going to happen on a rota, and hence could be prepared with
batteries, like several lawn mower batteries, paraffin heaters and the like.
As you say freezers were a concern.
Brian

--

This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
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Note this Signature is meaningless.!
"Graeme" <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ZbXGrKIJ...@binnsroad.myzen.co.uk...
>
> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for a
> few days. Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.
>
> When the power went off we had one open fire plus a large supply of coal,
> kindling, logs, fire lighters and spills. Three portable gas fires, a Gaz
> lamp with two spare cylinders, a 'proper' kettle and a kitchen hob powered
> by 47kg Propane cylinders in the garden, candles, several torches and a
> small battery powered radio, plus spare batteries, several lighters and a
> utility lighter, plus spare gas. What we didn't have was any form of
> generator or inverter.
>
> The open fire is in the largest room (two rooms knocked into one, years
> ago) and that was OK, supplemented by one of the portable gas fires. The
> other gas fire was in the kitchen, the third kept as spare in case either
> of the others ran out of gas. The Gaz lamp was great, burning from
> roughly 4pm to 11pm each evening, but used a cylinder per evening. Cold
> outside, snow on ground, dark by late afternoon.
>
> We moved into the main room, wife sleeping on the three seater settee, me
> (and dog!) sleeping on a single mattress on the floor. Plenty of duvets,
> as we didn't run the gas stove when we were asleep, and the coal fire is
> not an overnighter. We have an oil boiler and proper hot and cold tanks.
> The hot water in the cylinder lasted well, although was cold by Monday
> morning. We don't think we lost water, although could just have been
> using what was in the tanks, but I didn't notice the tank suddenly filling
> when power was restored.
>
> Mobiles and laptops batteries expired, but no wi-fi of course, and no
> mobile signal as no power to the tower, so no great loss.
>
> We always keep tins of soup for emergencies, so had soup and toasties
> twice. Made toasted sarnies using a wire barbecue fish cage thing, over
> the coals in the fire. Fried sausages another night. Plenty of hot tea
> from the gas hob. Dib dib dib :-)
>
> We were lucky the power came on when it did. Just about exhausted
> whatever was still edible in the fridge, had the last of the soup but had
> managed without opening the freezer door. When I did open the freezer
> (upright) stuff like ice cream was binned, but all the meat was still
> solid, so hopefully safe. We were using the last of the spare batteries,
> and almost out of camping Gaz for the lamp.
>
> We have an old paraffin lamp. Tall brass affair with frosted glass shade
> and clear glass chimney. Monday morning, knowing we were almost out of
> Gaz, I found two wicks in the shed (don't know why it uses two wicks), and
> filled it using kerosene removed from the tank in the garden. Taped a
> stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop. Luckily, the power came on
> shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin lamp using kerosene
> have been safe? How similar are paraffin and kerosene?
>
> We have had power cuts before, but nothing like this length of time. I
> think we did well, with our emergency kit coping. Yes, we could have been
> better prepared, but how much preparation is required for something that
> may never happen again, or not for many years?
>
> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power saw
> any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their phones
> via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How did we
> cope pre Internet?
> --
> Graeme


Brian Gaff (Sofa)

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 4:59:58 AM12/4/21
to
Yes one thing to be careful of is carbon monoxide build up, though back in
them old days, you had drafts and lots of ventilators. The one issue turned
out to be the water generated causing condensation everywhere.
Of course in certain parts of the USA they get a lot of power out ages and
you find many stores actually selling survival kits and generators etc. I
heard these mentioned on some of the more rural radio stations you can
sometimes find on the Internet, but previously on short waves.
These days they are more hi tech of course, they always seem to include a
gun or some knives.
But then this is America.
Brian

--

This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
The Sofa of Brian Gaff...
bri...@blueyonder.co.uk
Blind user, so no pictures please
Note this Signature is meaningless.!
<Harry Bloomfield>; "Esq." <a...@harrym1byt.plus.com> wrote in message
news:sodak5$2p1$1...@dont-email.me...
> Graeme expressed precisely :
>> Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop. Luckily, the power
>> came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin lamp using
>> kerosene have been safe? How similar are paraffin and kerosene?
>

Jeff Layman

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 5:53:22 AM12/4/21
to
Quite a few years ago some digital equipment around at the time didn't
like generators (and perhaps inverters), as they didn't produce clean
sine waves but rather clipped square waves, often with a lot of spikes.
A friend who ran a small shop found this out when he tried to run the
till and digital scales from a genny during a power cut. The scales
needed to be replaced. Are modern generators safe to use with all
digital mains-powered equipment?

--

Jeff

Tim+

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:07:11 AM12/4/21
to
Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
> Are modern generators safe to use with all
> digital mains-powered equipment?
>

Only if they have a full sine wave output. Not all do.

Tim

--
Please don't feed the trolls

Peeler

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:15:05 AM12/4/21
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2021 20:26:21 +1100, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
williamwright addressing Rodent Speed:
"You are an insecure blathermouth with an inferiority complex."
MID: <j08dic...@mid.individual.net>

Peeler

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:15:47 AM12/4/21
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2021 20:29:54 +1100, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
"Who or What is Rod Speed?

Rod Speed is an entirely modern phenomenon. Essentially, Rod Speed
is an insecure and worthless individual who has discovered he can
enhance his own self-esteem in his own eyes by playing "the big, hard
man" on the InterNet."
https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/rod-speed-faq.2973853/

Owain Lastname

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:50:48 AM12/4/21
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On Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 09:26:31 UTC, rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote:
> We have have COWs, Cell on Wheels which are
> tower on a trailer or truck with its own generator.

We had trees down which brought down the power wires and blocked the road. No generators going anywhere till the trees got moved.

> > your mobile can do facebook,
> Only the stupid don’t have mobiles that can do that.

I don't.

I certainly don't have a facebook account, so even if I have to view a facebook page half the content seems to not appear.

Owain

newshound

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:55:00 AM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 11:07, Tim+ wrote:
> Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>> Are modern generators safe to use with all
>> digital mains-powered equipment?
>>
>
> Only if they have a full sine wave output. Not all do.
>
> Tim
>
True (the magic word is "inverter"), but I suspect that modern
electronics is a lot more robust than earlier stuff.

The Natural Philosopher

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Dec 4, 2021, 7:04:40 AM12/4/21
to
Indeed. The value of not having a faecesbook account vastly exceeds the
value of having one


--
“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to
fill the world with fools.”

Herbert Spencer

The Natural Philosopher

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 7:07:35 AM12/4/21
to
Its all a bit problematical - today's switched mode psus will rectify
mains to whatever the peak is, and it ifs a massive spike they may end
up applying that to the SMPSU circuitry and blowing it


Most non electronic generators will be approximately sine, approximately
50Hz, but very poorly regulated,.

S Viemeister

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 7:31:42 AM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 09:00, Owain Lastname wrote:
> On Friday, 3 December 2021 at 22:22:06 UTC, rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> With a landline phone you could phone the local
>>> council or power cuts 105 for such information.
>>> With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.
>> You can call them using your mobile
>
> Only if your mobile stays charged and the mast also has power.
>
Until fairly recently, when our power went off, so did the power to the
local mast. Now it stays on for 2 hours or so.

Going VoIP could make ham radio popular again...

Chris J Dixon

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 7:55:38 AM12/4/21
to
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

>Indeed. The value of not having a faecesbook account vastly exceeds the
>value of having one

A very subjective issue. All I will say is that it works for me.

Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
ch...@cdixon.me.uk @ChrisJDixon1

Plant amazing Acers.

Martin Brown

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 8:40:15 AM12/4/21
to
On 03/12/2021 14:31, Graeme wrote:
>
> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
> a few days.  Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.

I'm in North Yorkshire. We were without power 3am Saturday to 9pm
Sunday. Part of the time spent being "on power" according to the
incompetents at Northern Power grid but not in reality. Correcting that
proved to be virtually impossible. Calls went to the Dalek which only
asked "have you checked you main breaker" then dropped every time before
you could actually speak to a human. My mate got through eventually.
>
> When the power went off we had one open fire plus a large supply of
> coal, kindling, logs, fire lighters and spills.  Three portable gas
> fires, a Gaz lamp with two spare cylinders, a 'proper' kettle and a
> kitchen hob powered by 47kg Propane cylinders in the garden, candles,
> several torches and a small battery powered radio, plus spare batteries,
> several lighters and a utility lighter, plus spare gas.  What we didn't
> have was any form of generator or inverter.

I thought we were reasonably well prepared and we fared OK considering.
Logs had just about run out (delivery was on the Sunday) almost no coal.
No gas mains or otherwise. Survived using a 1970's era fondue set with
spirit burner to boil water for tea and coffee and ate up Brexit pot
noodle emergency rations. Able to check neighbours had hot water too.
Couldn't quite boil water on top of the stove - hot enough for coffee.

I thought I had plenty of batteries but LED torches needed more and the
DAB radio ate them like there was no tomorrow 4x AA every 8 hours use.
My old Sony radio would last over a week per set of batteries.

We had to nip out on Sunday afternoon to get more meths and AA batteries
since it was very unclear when power would be restored.

> The open fire is in the largest room (two rooms knocked into one, years
> ago) and that was OK, supplemented by one of the portable gas fires. The
> other gas fire was in the kitchen, the third kept as spare in case
> either of the others ran out of gas.  The Gaz lamp was great, burning
> from roughly 4pm to 11pm each evening, but used a cylinder per evening.
> Cold outside, snow on ground, dark by late afternoon.

We have a log burner in the main room with a back boiler, linked to the
CH, hot water and a radiator of last resort in the bedroom. I couldn't
run the fire too hard without the pump for fear of boiling the system
but it was more than adequate to keep the main living room warm and the
chill off the bedroom. Snow on the ground and a hard frost meant that
the rest of the house got dangerously cold. Fibre internet obviously
down - POTS line continued to work. Mobile masts began to drop out after
about 36h could just about reach next ones out but useless signal
strength unable to access internet without travelling closer to them.

We relied on candles in the main room for light and played Scrabble and
card games to pass the time. Torches everywhere else.

Wife's iPhone bricked itself by running out of power completely early on
and in that state it refused to charge from the car USB 5v. Needed an
Apple mains charger to get it back into the land of the living. It would
happily take charge in the car provided that it was running normally.
>
> We moved into the main room, wife sleeping on the three seater settee,
> me (and dog!) sleeping on a single mattress on the floor.  Plenty of
> duvets, as we didn't run the gas stove when we were asleep, and the coal
> fire is not an overnighter.  We have an oil boiler and proper hot and
> cold tanks.  The hot water in the cylinder lasted well, although was
> cold by Monday morning.  We don't think we lost water, although could
> just have been using what was in the tanks, but I didn't notice the tank
> suddenly filling when power was restored.

Slight advantage there in that the bedroom was still habitable thanks to
the radiator and putting the summer quilt on top of the winter one was
enough to make it cosy. Hot water became insanely hot (dangerously so) -
which was great for hot water bottles but exciting to wash with.
>
> Mobiles and laptops batteries expired, but no wi-fi of course, and no
> mobile signal as no power to the tower, so no great loss.

Mobile signals were still available to us at least for the first day. My
own phone signal is normally so weak here that voice is OK, txts can
take a very variable time to arrive and internet is impossible.

Being on FTTP I was very glad I went to BT and still had a copper POTS
landline to ring 105 from.

> We always keep tins of soup for emergencies, so had soup and toasties
> twice.  Made toasted sarnies using a wire barbecue fish cage thing, over
> the coals in the fire.  Fried sausages another night.  Plenty of hot tea
> from the gas hob.  Dib dib dib :-)

A camping gas stove, power block and a generator are on my Xmas list. I
might yet get a UPS for my computer (which could be repurposed in an
emergency to run the CH pump for a while instead).

> We were lucky the power came on when it did.  Just about exhausted
> whatever was still edible in the fridge, had the last of the soup but
> had managed without opening the freezer door.  When I did open the
> freezer (upright) stuff like ice cream was binned, but all the meat was
> still solid, so hopefully safe.  We were using the last of the spare
> batteries, and almost out of camping Gaz for the lamp.

Our freezer was kept closed throughout and the kitchen temperature was
probably about the same as inside the fridge (maybe colder in parts).

Freezer showed -3 and "too warm" alarm when power was restored. It had
in effect defrosted itself. Most stuff was still (just) hard frozen. A
ruthless cull of any old food with freezer burn was made and we are
eating up anything that was in there at the time.
>
> We have an old paraffin lamp.  Tall brass affair with frosted glass
> shade and clear glass chimney.  Monday morning, knowing we were almost
> out of Gaz, I found two wicks in the shed (don't know why it uses two
> wicks), and filled it using kerosene removed from the tank in the
> garden.  Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop.  Luckily,
> the power came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin
> lamp using kerosene have been safe?  How similar are paraffin and kerosene?

Although we do have a paraffin lamp I am not to keen to use it. They can
start impressive fires if they ever get knocked over. I found LED
torches of the 3W inspection type to be perfect for getting around with.

> We have had power cuts before, but nothing like this length of time.  I
> think we did well, with our emergency kit coping.  Yes, we could have
> been better prepared, but how much preparation is required for something
> that may never happen again, or not for many years?

It might be an idea in this group to make an exhaustive list of the
things that you might want to have handy in case of emergency
(particularly if you depend on pumped potable water). We actually don't
but I still have an emergency water container from my time in Japan.

In an absolute emergency I could have uncapped next doors well. My
garden water butt was no good because there was 4" of ice on the top!

> One final thought.  When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
> saw any of it until power was resumed.  Yes, a few people charged their
> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother.  Lesson for next time.  How
> did we cope pre Internet?

Local radio and classical POTS phone line back in the days when you
could speak to a human rather than a badly programmed Dalek.

One thing I found was that it was impossible to tell Northern Powergrid
that their "Information" was incorrect. The engineers who finally turned
up late Saturday night to my mates house insisted that he (and I) were
the only ones in the village without power (totally incorrect). They
insisted on taking his main fuse out and then checking the drop wire
from the pole to tick a box before they would do anything useful.
Otherwise the system would charge *him* for their callout!

He got his revenge though he made them walk the 33kV line in the pitch
dark until they found the downed pole about 3 miles away!

To cap it all when power was finally restored on the Sunday evening a
text arrived simultaneously to tell us that there was "no prospect of
getting power back tonight and we should if possible make alternative
arrangements". On the Monday night I got another call from a field
engineer sent to our village to restore power to those houses still
flagged as being "off power" by a system that was completely unfit for
purpose.

Once back on power checking their website map showed our village as
neither being off grid nor having been fixed. Basically we didn't exist.
There were still loads of flags of all colours but nothing near us!

Start of list of stuff to have for emergencies:

1x box of kitchen matches
12x candles
12x AA batteries (is that enough?)
Nx pot noodles/cupasoups
AM/FM radio *NOT* DAB
3W LED torch
10W LED torch
Solar charger or power block for charging Smart phone.
Fuel for whatever form(s) of heating you have.
5 gallons fresh water (changed monthly) if you are on pumped supply.

My emergency lights did me no good at all they had both run out by 7am
(run time is typically 4h from onset of power loss).

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Martin Brown

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Dec 4, 2021, 9:00:45 AM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 12:07, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
> On 04/12/2021 11:53, newshound wrote:
>> On 04/12/2021 11:07, Tim+ wrote:
>>> Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>>> Are modern generators safe to use with all
>>>> digital mains-powered equipment?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Only if they have a full sine wave output.  Not all do.
>>>
>>> Tim
>>>
>> True (the magic word is "inverter"), but I suspect that modern
>> electronics is a lot more robust than earlier stuff.
>
> Its all a bit problematical - today's switched mode psus will rectify
> mains to whatever the peak is, and it ifs a massive spike they may end
> up applying that to the SMPSU circuitry and blowing it

There is usually a choke to stop fast transients from causing damage.
OTOH if the spike is high or wide enough then the next stage is toast.
>
> Most non electronic generators will be approximately sine, approximately
> 50Hz, but very poorly regulated,.

One interesting behaviour we sometimes get locally is just one phase
goes down due to a short to ground and trip on bare wire distribution.

In the good old days of filament bulbs it was immediately obvious as
they would dim and go almost orange. Modern switched mode PSUs and LED
lights continue quite happily on the reduced voltage. It is only when
you go to make a cup of tea that the fault situation becomes obvious.
(assuming you are on one of the two remaining good phases)

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Martin Brown

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Dec 4, 2021, 9:07:28 AM12/4/21
to
On 03/12/2021 18:59, Owain Lastname wrote:
> On Friday, 3 December 2021 at 14:31:54 UTC, Graeme wrote:
>> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
>> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
>> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
>> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
>> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
>> did we cope pre Internet?

One thing to watch is that iPhones need to be kept topped up or they
won't accept power from a default basic USB 5v charger in the car.
>
> With a landline phone you could phone the local council or power cuts 105 for such information.

You assume here that 105 provides correct information.
In my instance it did not :(

But at least after moving to BT for my FTTP service I did still *have* a
POTS copper line to contact them on.
>
> With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.

The other nasty is that mobile phone network base stations start to go
down about 36 hours into a long power cut as well. Many of the places
affected have poor mobile signal in normal times and the signal with it
running on emergency batteries seemed to be weaker still.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Martin Brown

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Dec 4, 2021, 9:18:19 AM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 11:53, newshound wrote:
> On 04/12/2021 11:07, Tim+ wrote:
>> Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>> Are modern generators safe to use with all
>>> digital mains-powered equipment?

The sorts of loads that generators really don't like are the very high
initial starting current of a freezer compressor motor. The generator
needs to be pretty beefy to cope with that current surge.

You might not want to attach expensive electronics to a generator just
to be on the safe side but much of it ought to work OK. Don't blame me
if you fry something expensive though. I have seen surge protectors save
themselves by allowing the parts they were supposed to protect die!

>> Only if they have a full sine wave output.  Not all do.
>>
>> Tim
>>
> True (the magic word is "inverter"), but I suspect that modern
> electronics is a lot more robust than earlier stuff.

It depends a lot on the kit.

Hardly anything that is properly designed these days cares one jot about
the input waveform being a sine wave (my PC PSU for example will work
down to about 90V and 49-61Hz according to its rating plate).

Modern switched mode PSU's can cope with an incredibly nasty input
waveform since the first thing they do is rectify and smooth it to DC.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Dave Plowman (News)

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Dec 4, 2021, 9:20:12 AM12/4/21
to
In article <k7pmqgp726n2krsld...@4ax.com>,
Chris J Dixon <ch...@cdixon.me.uk> wrote:
> The Natural Philosopher wrote:

> >Indeed. The value of not having a faecesbook account vastly exceeds the
> >value of having one

> A very subjective issue. All I will say is that it works for me.

Quite. Of course if you set out to have all and sundry as 'friends' you
may have a bad experience.

--
*I have a degree in liberal arts -- do you want fries with that

Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.

Jeff Layman

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Dec 4, 2021, 10:13:40 AM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 13:40, Martin Brown wrote:

> I thought I had plenty of batteries but LED torches needed more and the
> DAB radio ate them like there was no tomorrow 4x AA every 8 hours use.
> My old Sony radio would last over a week per set of batteries.

My 1976 FM/AM radio ("Made in Hong Kong"!) lasts for 2.5 - 3 months on
four NiMH cells. DAB radios are fine on mains but, as you say, eat
batteries. Another triumph of trying to convert everything to digital -
what good is Voip when the power's off? I'm sure the latest problems in
Scotland and NE England will make BT think twice about getting rid of
POTS. Well, it won't, of course, but it should.

> We had to nip out on Sunday afternoon to get more meths and AA batteries
> since it was very unclear when power would be restored.
You're lucky the local shops had them; there must have been a high demand.

> We have a log burner in the main room

So do we (but I'm way down south). Unfortunately, it chose the cold
weather last week to snap off the fixing lug from the smoke outlet to
the top of the stove! A spare one has arrived, but now I've got to
arrange for a HETAS engineer to come and fix it.

> We relied on candles in the main room for light and played Scrabble and
> card games to pass the time. Torches everywhere else.

Candles are so easy to come by and last for several hours. I'd say they
were more useful than several torches.

> Slight advantage there in that the bedroom was still habitable thanks to
> the radiator and putting the summer quilt on top of the winter one was
> enough to make it cosy. Hot water became insanely hot (dangerously so) -
> which was great for hot water bottles but exciting to wash with.

Was that because the hot water cylinder was fed from the back boiler and
there was no control over the supply of hot water from the back boiler
to the cylinder? Or is it that the CH pump would normally "remove" the
excess heat via the radiators?

>> We have had power cuts before, but nothing like this length of time.  I
>> think we did well, with our emergency kit coping.  Yes, we could have
>> been better prepared, but how much preparation is required for something
>> that may never happen again, or not for many years?

I would have thought they'd be even more likely. If our weather is
getting more extreme, whatever the cause, it can't hurt to be prepared

> It might be an idea in this group to make an exhaustive list of the
> things that you might want to have handy in case of emergency
> (particularly if you depend on pumped potable water). We actually don't
> but I still have an emergency water container from my time in Japan.
>
> In an absolute emergency I could have uncapped next doors well. My
> garden water butt was no good because there was 4" of ice on the top!
>
>> One final thought.  When power came on, we found countless Facebook
>> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
>> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
>> saw any of it until power was resumed.  Yes, a few people charged their
>> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother.  Lesson for next time.  How
>> did we cope pre Internet?

I think we talked to each other, but it's so long ago I don't remember!

> Start of list of stuff to have for emergencies:
>
> 1x box of kitchen matches
> 12x candles
> 12x AA batteries (is that enough?)
> Nx pot noodles/cupasoups
> AM/FM radio *NOT* DAB
> 3W LED torch
> 10W LED torch

Why so powerful? Wouldn't 1W or even less do for pottering around the
house? The more powerful they are the quicker they eat the batteries.

--

Jeff

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 10:49:56 AM12/4/21
to
Brian Gaff (Sofa) <bri...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote

> You were lucky to keep the cell towers that long, round here their power
> only lasts a day or so.

We have COWs, Cell on Wheels, which is a cellphone
base on a trailer or small truck with a generator which
can be used when the mains power is gone for longer.

> Luckily we did not lose our power but I think unless the infrastructure is
> invested in more by cutting back trees and stuff, this problem will get
> more frequent.

Cant see it myself given that new estates mostly have underground power.

> I do not recall in 1987 that any power cuts anywhere lasted more than a
> day.

Some other jurisdictions have had that, most obviously
with the mega ice storm in northern america which took
out the main 330 and 500KV distribution system.

> I did live through the three day week but in those days we were warned of
> when power were going to happen on a rota, and hence could be prepared
> with batteries, like several lawn mower batteries, paraffin heaters and
> the like. As you say freezers were a concern.

Texas just had another recently.

South Australia lost the grid for days when a megastorm
quite literally blew down a few 33OKV towers on the link
to Victoria. Takes more than a day to replace those.


> Graeme <Ne...@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote

Owain Lastname

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Dec 4, 2021, 10:55:23 AM12/4/21
to
On Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 12:04:40 UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
> > I certainly don't have a facebook account, so even if I have to view a facebook page half the content seems to not appear.
> Indeed. The value of not having a faecesbook account vastly exceeds the
> value of having one

Unfortunately many organisations only have a facebook page, or update their facebook page a lot more often than their website.

I don't blame the local chippy, although being able to see when it's open or closed would be useful, but the community council not having GDPR-compliant means of communication is a nuisance.

Owain

Rod Speed

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 10:58:20 AM12/4/21
to
Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote
> David wrote
>> Graeme wrote

>>> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
>>> a few days. Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.

Safe in the sense of not killing them, yep.

John Brown

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 11:00:12 AM12/4/21
to
Tim+ <tim.d...@gmail.com> wrote
> Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote:

>> Are modern generators safe to use with all
>> digital mains-powered equipment?
>>
>
> Only if they have a full sine wave output.

Wrong.

> Not all do.

Correct, but the others don’t kill modern digital mains powered
equipment.

Rod Speed

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 11:12:31 AM12/4/21
to
Owain Lastname <spuorg...@gowanhill.com> wrote
> Rod Speed <rod.sp...@gmail.com> wrote

>> We have have COWs, Cell on Wheels which are
>> tower on a trailer or truck with its own generator.

> We had trees down which brought down the
> power wires and blocked the road. No generators
> going anywhere till the trees got moved.

Hardly anywhere that matters has just one road to
it and it doesn’t take long to move a fallen tree.

>>> your mobile can do facebook,

>> Only the stupid don’t have mobiles that can do that.

> I don't.

Costs peanuts to have one that does.

> I certainly don't have a facebook account,

Trivial to get one when you need it when the mains power is gone.

> so even if I have to view a facebook page
> half the content seems to not appear.

Trivial to get a facebook account to avoid that.

Rod Speed

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 11:15:03 AM12/4/21
to
newshound <news...@stevejqr.plus.com> wrote
> Tim+ wrote
>> Jeff Layman <jmla...@invalid.invalid> wrote

>>> Are modern generators safe to use with all digital mains-powered
>>> equipment?

>> Only if they have a full sine wave output.

Wrong.

>> Not all do.

> True (the magic word is "inverter"),

Not all of those are sine wave.

> but I suspect that modern electronics is a lot more robust than earlier
> stuff.

I know they are, they just rectify the mains
so couldn’t care less if its sine wave or not.

JNugent

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Dec 4, 2021, 11:26:50 AM12/4/21
to
On 03/12/2021 02:31 pm, Graeme wrote:
>
> We live in rural Aberdeenshire, and like so many others, lost power for
> a few days.  Off at 4pm Friday, back on 1pm Monday.
>
> When the power went off we had one open fire plus a large supply of
> coal, kindling, logs, fire lighters and spills.  Three portable gas
> fires, a Gaz lamp with two spare cylinders, a 'proper' kettle and a
> kitchen hob powered by 47kg Propane cylinders in the garden, candles,
> several torches and a small battery powered radio, plus spare batteries,
> several lighters and a utility lighter, plus spare gas.  What we didn't
> have was any form of generator or inverter.
>
> The open fire is in the largest room (two rooms knocked into one, years
> ago) and that was OK, supplemented by one of the portable gas fires. The
> other gas fire was in the kitchen, the third kept as spare in case
> either of the others ran out of gas.  The Gaz lamp was great, burning
> from roughly 4pm to 11pm each evening, but used a cylinder per evening.
> Cold outside, snow on ground, dark by late afternoon.
>
> We moved into the main room, wife sleeping on the three seater settee,
> me (and dog!) sleeping on a single mattress on the floor.  Plenty of
> duvets, as we didn't run the gas stove when we were asleep, and the coal
> fire is not an overnighter.  We have an oil boiler and proper hot and
> cold tanks.  The hot water in the cylinder lasted well, although was
> cold by Monday morning.  We don't think we lost water, although could
> just have been using what was in the tanks, but I didn't notice the tank
> suddenly filling when power was restored.
>
> Mobiles and laptops batteries expired, but no wi-fi of course, and no
> mobile signal as no power to the tower, so no great loss.

Could you now re-charge from a motor vehicle's 12v port with the engine
on tickover, or even whilst you were out going places?

That was my first thought when I read about the storm and its effects.

> We always keep tins of soup for emergencies, so had soup and toasties
> twice.  Made toasted sarnies using a wire barbecue fish cage thing, over
> the coals in the fire.  Fried sausages another night.  Plenty of hot tea
> from the gas hob.  Dib dib dib :-)
>
> We were lucky the power came on when it did.  Just about exhausted
> whatever was still edible in the fridge, had the last of the soup but
> had managed without opening the freezer door.  When I did open the
> freezer (upright) stuff like ice cream was binned, but all the meat was
> still solid, so hopefully safe.  We were using the last of the spare
> batteries, and almost out of camping Gaz for the lamp.
>
> We have an old paraffin lamp.  Tall brass affair with frosted glass
> shade and clear glass chimney.  Monday morning, knowing we were almost
> out of Gaz, I found two wicks in the shed (don't know why it uses two
> wicks), and filled it using kerosene removed from the tank in the
> garden.  Taped a stick to an empty soup tin to use as a scoop.  Luckily,
> the power came on shortly afterwards, but would running the paraffin
> lamp using kerosene have been safe?  How similar are paraffin and kerosene?

They're effectively synonyms, I think.

Like Perspex and Plexiglass.

This company says that kerosene and paraffin are different, but only
mentions additives to reduce the smeall:

<https://www.nationwidefuels.co.uk/oil-guides/difference-kerosene-paraffin/>
>
> We have had power cuts before, but nothing like this length of time.  I
> think we did well, with our emergency kit coping.  Yes, we could have
> been better prepared, but how much preparation is required for something
> that may never happen again, or not for many years?
>
> One final thought.  When power came on, we found countless Facebook
> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
> saw any of it until power was resumed.  Yes, a few people charged their
> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother.

Ah... well, it was there if you'd needed it.

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 11:28:24 AM12/4/21
to
S Viemeister <firs...@lastname.oc.ku> wrote
> Owain Lastname wrote
>> Rod Speed <rod.sp...@gmail.com> wrote

>>>> With a landline phone you could phone the local
>>>> council or power cuts 105 for such information.
>>>> With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.
>>> You can call them using your mobile
>>
>> Only if your mobile stays charged and the mast also has power.
>>
> Until fairly recently, when our power went off, so did the
> power to the local mast. Now it stays on for 2 hours or so.
>
> Going VoIP could make ham radio popular again...

Nope. Our repeater is mains powered and few would
bother with providing an HF service with the mains down.


Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 11:30:09 AM12/4/21
to
Chris J Dixon <ch...@cdixon.me.uk> wrote
> The Natural Philosopher wrote

>> Indeed. The value of not having a faecesbook
>> account vastly exceeds the value of having one

> A very subjective issue. All I will say is that it works for me.

Yeah, its by far the best source of local news with a mega disaster like
that.

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 11:50:30 AM12/4/21
to
Martin Brown <new...@nonad.co.uk> wrote
> Owain Lastname wrote
>> Graeme wrote

>>> One final thought. When power came on, we found countless Facebook
>>> messages on local groups with plenty of information and offers of help,
>>> location of mobile hot food vans etc., but of course few without power
>>> saw any of it until power was resumed. Yes, a few people charged their
>>> phones via their cars, but I didn't bother. Lesson for next time. How
>>> did we cope pre Internet?

> One thing to watch is that iPhones need to be kept topped up or they won't
> accept power from a default basic USB 5v charger in the car.

My 6S and 5 don’t care and since I always keep the previous iphone
when I upgrade, it would be available if the mains is gone for days.

>> With a landline phone you could phone the local council or power cuts 105
>> for such information.

> You assume here that 105 provides correct information.
> In my instance it did not :(

Mine does, but generally doesn’t try to predict when the mains will return.

It does tell you which areas are down so you can
decide whether the shops will be working etc tho.

> But at least after moving to BT for my FTTP service I did still *have* a
> POTS copper line to contact them on.

We don’t, I use the mobile.

>> With everything being changed to VoIP, you can't.

> The other nasty is that mobile phone network base stations start to go
> down about 36 hours into a long power cut as well.

We have COWs for that situation, Cell on Wheels, mobile
base on a trailer or small truck with its own generator.

> Many of the places affected have poor mobile signal in normal times

We don’t have that.

> and the signal with it running on emergency batteries seemed to be weaker
> still.

Or that.

N_Cook

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Dec 4, 2021, 12:07:04 PM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 13:40, Martin Brown wrote:
> 1x box of kitchen matches
> 12x candles
> 12x AA batteries (is that enough?)
> Nx pot noodles/cupasoups
> AM/FM radio *NOT* DAB
> 3W LED torch
> 10W LED torch
> Solar charger or power block for charging Smart phone.
> Fuel for whatever form(s) of heating you have.
> 5 gallons fresh water (changed monthly) if you are on pumped supply.

A number of those mylar? silvery or gold space blanket sheets plus
gloves as that sheet next to fingers radiates out your body heat rather
than reflecting it back in. I assume that is why they are used at the
end of marathon runs to better radiate away heat from heat-conductive
sweaty bodies and sweat-sodden clothes.
For anti-cold measures, build up of condensation is the problem, so more
frequent change of clothes required

--
Global sea level rise to 2100 from curve-fitted existing altimetry data
<http://diverse.4mg.com/slr.htm>

Owain Lastname

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Dec 4, 2021, 12:17:32 PM12/4/21
to
On Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 16:12:31 UTC, rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote:
> Hardly anywhere that matters has just one road to
> it and it doesn’t take long to move a fallen tree.

There was a shortage of tree-moving people and machinery as they were all busy moving other trees.

Owain

Martin Brown

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Dec 4, 2021, 12:37:56 PM12/4/21
to
On 04/12/2021 17:17, Owain Lastname wrote:
> On Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 16:12:31 UTC, rod.sp...@gmail.com wrote:

>> Hardly anywhere that matters has just one road to
>> it and it doesn’t take long to move a fallen tree.

Quite a lot of small villages in the UK have a single road through them
and maybe a T junction at one end like mine. Most roads round here had
two or three trees fallen across them at first light last Saturday.

> There was a shortage of tree-moving people and machinery as they were all busy moving other trees.

Where I live the farmers had pretty much cleared the roads of fallen
trees by 10am (and had been at it with chain saws and tractors with
prong attachments since first light). Those that fell parallel to the
road or into fields got left. Any across the road were sliced and diced.
A tractor can easily move remarkably big chunks away! I gather they get
to keep the wood so anyone with the right kit & expertise was out doing it.

They won't tackle ones on power lines though!

--
Regards,
Martin Brown

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 12:59:57 PM12/4/21
to
Martin Brown <new...@nonad.co.uk> wrote
> Owain Lastname wrote
>> Rod Speed <rod.sp...@gmail.com> wrote

>>> Hardly anywhere that matters has just one road to it and it doesn’t take
>>> long to move a fallen tree.

> Quite a lot of small villages in the UK have a single road through them

Yes, but there needs to be a fallen tree on both the road
coming into the village and the one leaving it to prevent a
COW being used and they have enough range so you can just
have the COW before the tree until the tree is removed anyway.

> and maybe a T junction at one end like mine. Most roads round here had two
> or three trees fallen across them at first light last Saturday.

Still easy to have the COW at the first fallen tree, that works fine.

>> There was a shortage of tree-moving people and machinery as they were all
>> busy moving other trees.

> Where I live the farmers had pretty much cleared the roads of fallen trees
> by 10am (and had been at it with chain saws and tractors with prong
> attachments since first light). Those that fell parallel to the road or
> into fields got left. Any across the road were sliced and diced. A tractor
> can easily move remarkably big chunks away! I gather they get to keep the
> wood so anyone with the right kit & expertise was out doing it.

> They won't tackle ones on power lines though!

Not hard to get the power turned off a line in case a recloser powers it
again.

Rod Speed

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Dec 4, 2021, 1:03:59 PM12/4/21