Date   
Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

I hadn't thought of trying to run the refrigerator off of a battery and an inverter.  For people like us who live in areas that are likely to have shorter, less-frequent outages, the idea of hooking a quality inverter up to car batteries is an intriguing option.  We have three vehicles which could function as gas-powered battery chargers and we could keep a spare battery in the garage. 

Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Gary - KC3PO
 

Wow, that took all of three minutes for a reply:

"Hey Gary,

 

Thanks for reaching out.  On Propane both regulators are used.  On natural gas only the demand regulator is used.  The demand regulator’s inlet for propane & natural gas are the same, at 11” wc or ½ psi. 

 

Give us a shout with the specifics of your project & we can ensure you get what you need.

 

Thanks!!  J

 

Clayton

Hutch Mountain

435-494-1975

info@...

 

Propane Generators for Life’s

      Work, Survival & Play"

Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Gary - KC3PO
 

Yeah, I was wondering about switching between propane and natural gas as well - I just sent an email to the company I was checking out asking for more details about that.

I think I'd probably use mostly propane... but it'd be nice to have the possibility of natural gas too. I haven't had natural gas cut off for events yet, but I could see it happening for a severe earthquake or nearby fire or something. Possible in some cases, at least.

- Gary  KC3PO

Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Greg D
 

Hi Gary,

Those linear compressors sound like a great idea. My fridge is over a
decade old, so it has the old style compressor with an AC induction motor.

I'm going to guess that a tri-fuel kit is actually a dual fuel one, with
an option on whether to use propane or natural gas for the second fuel.
Marketing makes that a tri-fuel unit. Usually it's a matter of swapping
out the orifice and maybe some other parts (one mentioned a spring) to
convert between propane and natural gas, and if so, it's not something
that can be done casually.

If I were to go the Genny route, it would definitely be run from either
propane or natural gas. Storage and maintenance of a gasoline-powered
unit would be the issue. I don't have a natural gas line run for the
BBQ (it's run from a standard 20lb propane tank), but the physical
piping easily accessible under the house, and could probably be put in
for low cost. Might just do that when doing the fireplace insert, while
they're at it. I've never had an issue with the gas being turned off
during an "event". Not to say it couldn't happen, but if so, we'd be in
a lot bigger trouble anyway. Do note that the output from a
propane-powered unit is slightly less than gasoline, and natural gas
slightly less than propane.

Greg KO6TH


Gary KC3PO wrote:


I was recently able to do some testing on my fridge as well (fairly
new - about a year old now I think... large, french door, freezer on
bottom, linear compressor).

Using an in-line appliance load tester, the highest draw I ever saw
(when I first plugged it in, and it only lasted a few seconds) was
somewhere in the 400W range... I never saw it break 500W. Typical
running draw with the door closed was just under 30W... opening a
refrigerator door popped it up to the 75-80W range and leaving the
door open for several minutes gave me some brief excursions up around
150W. Due to the kitchen layout, I wasn't able to open the freezer
drawer with the appliance load tester in place without moving the
fridge more than I really wanted to (wood flooring that isn't
particularly hard - even rolling the fridge straight out a couple of
feet out on its wheels leaves some slight indentations).

So, the fridge seems like a yawner for the EU2200i.

Something else I'm curious about and wonder if anyone has experience
with - tri-fuel (gas/natural gas/propane) conversion kit for the Honda
generator? Has anyone taken the dive on that? Sure is tempting! I've
got a natural gas connection to the house for the BBQ... I could run
forever unless they shut off the gas. Even propane tanks seem easier
to manage than gasoline... plus no gummy carb, etc. Reviews I've seen
online seem very positive. Run time on a standard propane tank is much
longer than a tank full of gas. Very tempting.

- Gary KC3PO

Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Gary - KC3PO
 

I was recently able to do some testing on my fridge as well (fairly new - about a year old now I think... large, french door, freezer on bottom, linear compressor).

Using an in-line appliance load tester, the highest draw I ever saw (when I first plugged it in, and it only lasted a few seconds) was somewhere in the 400W range... I never saw it break 500W. Typical running draw with the door closed was just under 30W... opening a refrigerator door popped it up to the 75-80W range and leaving the door open for several minutes gave me some brief excursions up around 150W. Due to the kitchen layout, I wasn't able to open the freezer drawer with the appliance load tester in place without moving the fridge more than I really wanted to (wood flooring that isn't particularly hard - even rolling the fridge straight out a couple of feet out on its wheels leaves some slight indentations).

So, the fridge seems like a yawner for the EU2200i.

Something else I'm curious about and wonder if anyone has experience with - tri-fuel (gas/natural gas/propane) conversion kit for the Honda generator? Has anyone taken the dive on that? Sure is tempting! I've got a natural gas connection to the house for the BBQ... I could run forever unless they shut off the gas. Even propane tanks seem easier to manage than gasoline... plus no gummy carb, etc. Reviews I've seen online seem very positive. Run time on a standard propane tank is much longer than a tank full of gas. Very tempting.

- Gary  KC3PO

Re: Power outage experiences and plans thread

Greg D
 

Hi folks,

Just remembered I haven't given an update to this thread in a bit...  This latest outage bypassed me, but there's potentially another coming.

The fridge has been extracted and an extension cord inserted so that I have ready access to switch power sources.  Running it through a Kill-a-Watt meter shows a whopping 135 watts draw while running (just a little over 1 amp), which is within easy reach of a battery inverter.  Power Factor is 85%.  But the startup current pegs the meter at 15 amps (1.8kw) peak, and runs some 11 amps for a second or two.  The 55AH battery that I have should be good for several days, running an hour or two at a time to keep things cold. 

Doing some research, there are a number of relatively inexpensive inverters that can supply a kw or more sustained, and 2kw peak for starting motors and such.  The ones that are pure sine wave are a bit more expensive, but still less costly than a generator.  And of course an inverter produces no noise, fumes, nor has any maintenance requirements while being stored for long periods of time.

The furnace in the attic has been measured with a current probe at about 3.8 amps (so, under 500 watts) running.  It appears to be a 1/3 hp motor.  Starting current is unknown, but it's on a 15 amp circuit, so still under that 1.8kw limit.  500 watts would be a strain for long-term battery use, however.

So, the current plan here is to get a 1kw or 2kw inverter to run the kitchen fridge during these otherwise-good weather events.  The battery that I have is not designed for "starting" applications (it's more for a UPS), so I'll probably get another deep-cycle marine battery that has a CCA (cold cranking amps) rating and use that, or maybe put them in parallel for longer outages.  The startup draw from the battery would be something like 150 to 200 amps for a few seconds.  That's arc welding territory, and needs to be treated with some respect.  If I can find a good deal on a 100 to 200 watt solar panel and charge regulator, that will complete the "summer outage" package.  In the mean time, I should be able to recharge the battery from the car if an event runs more than a few days.

For winter outages, I think I'll look at getting a gas insert for the fireplace.  Probably a better plan than trying to run the furnace from batteries, or getting a "real" generator to run the house, or just burning wood.  We did the wood thing back in 1990, and it was barely effective.  Fireplaces are designed to look good, not provide an efficient source of heat.

The choice of a "modified sine wave" vs "pure sine wave" is one I don't have a lot of information on, other than that the "modified" ones can cause interference.  For running an AC Induction motor, does the pure sine wave offer any significant advantage?

Thoughts?

Greg  KO6TH


Greg D via Groups.Io wrote:

Sure, but I need to get the short extension cord before I start dragging the fridge out.  Only want to do this once, concerned about damage to the flooring...  The contractor who put in the floor had a protective sheet in place.

The alternative is to dig into the breaker panel and hang a current probe on that circuit, but if I am to put the fridge on a generator at some point, I need to create that power loop anyway.

Greg  KO6TH


AI6US - Brian Gohl wrote:
Why guess? Pull and test in less time than it takes to write a post... LOL! 

Test the draw during start-up and while running. If you dont have a meter, AC watt meters are inexpensive at Harbor Freight and accurate enough for genny testing.

BTW... I have an old analog AC line monitor to loan.

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell

-------- Original message --------
From: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
Date: 10/15/19 9:50 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] Power outage experiences and plans thread

Ok, good info.  I have a regular Sears fridge from a least 10 years ago, so I should probably plan on 2.2kw starting current.  The power cord is nicely tucked behind it right now, so I can't measure anything without dragging the whole thing out into the kitchen.  Plan is to get a short extension cord so I can put a disconnect loop within reach on the side.  Only drag it out once.

Thanks for the info,

Greg  KO6TH


Gary - KC3PO wrote:
I meant Linear Compressor, Gerry :) I didn’t mis-speak or anything. I look at the label everyday.

After reading the description of digital inverter compressor, it sounds fairly similar though. My guess is Linear Compressor hit first and patented... the competition is traversing the patent by doing something similar but slightly different. Maybe even better... who knows... but it looks like they’re cousins.

- Gary  KC3PO 

On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 8:03 PM Gerry - WA6E <gjbrent@...> wrote:
Greg-

Perhaps he meant a digital inverter compressor.  These are relatively new and are making their appearances in refrigerators and household AC units.  They are a big hit among the RV crowd for use with refrigerators as they draw a fraction of the current of a regular compressor and when you are reliant upon inverted AC from a battery, conservation is the key.

Read more here:  https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-digital-inverter-compressor-in-a-refrigerator

Gerry
WA6E

On 10/15/2019 11:24 AM, Greg D wrote:
Linear compressor? Never heard of it. How does one know what one has?

Greg KO6TH


On October 15, 2019 11:21:02 AM PDT, Gary KC3PO <kc3po@...> wrote:
Greg,

Re: the starting surge on the fridge... I plan to do some testing as soon as I can, but I don't think it'll be a problem in my case since my fridge has a linear compressor, which doesn't have anywhere near the surge of an older school compressor.

If need be, I'll get another 2200 so I can parallel. I probably will at some point anyway, just didn't want to go too nuts all at once.

- Gary  KC3PO

--
This space for rent...




Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Jef - N5JEF
 

Gary -

How high was (the center of) your antenna at Field Day?  I would guess you had it up high to make as many contacts as possible.

- Jef

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 11:12 PM Gary Frerking <gfrerking@...> wrote:
Interesting... we seemed to have 40m NVIS working OK during Field Day. Bummer. 

- Gary

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Gary - KC3PO
 
Edited

Interesting... we seemed to have 40m NVIS working OK during Field Day. Bummer. 

- Gary

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 9:02 AM Jef - N5JEF <jef@...> wrote:
I've gotten great satisfaction working with the Scouts during the annual JOTA, but for me, the last JOTA was a (personal) disappointment due to the non-existent 40-meter NVIS propagation.  If I could have gotten a 40-meter antenna up about a half-wave (60-feet) above ground, it could have been fun operating skip, but we didn't have the structure for that, and with a 40-meter antenna only about 18 feet above the ground, most of the radiation was lost as it penetrated the very weak F-layer.  

That's not to say NVIS wasn't doable under these conditions, but it would have been on 60-meters with a suitable 60-meter antenna.  The Scouts wouldn't be on that band, but emergency communications would have been fine -- on 60-meters, with the right antenna.

Fortunately, the group had a good 20-meter antenna up about 30 feet, and that worked pretty well into New York and Saskatchewan, and the 2-meter repeater station was very popular with the kids (as was the CW station!)

Here's a chart of Solar Cycle 24, showing we're still near the bottom of an exceptionally poor cycle:



So what will I offer to bring and do for next year's JOTA?  It won't be 40-meter NVIS for a few more years.

  • I may have a large magnetic loop for 80/60/40 meters, providing good vertically polarized radiation even at low height above ground. That could be interesting.  I'd better get back to work on completing that project...

  • And it might be fun for the kids to have an array of two or four small microwave transceivers (5GHz) networked and sending audio.  They could talk to each other, and experiment with turning the antennas in azimuth and/or blocking or reflecting the beam.

  • Another option would be a demo of digital modes such as FSQ, Winlink, APRS...

Those are my thoughts for now.  Thanks to Orion for all his work organizing these JOTA events.

- Jef  N5JEF

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Michael - N6MRP
 

Hello All,

I was on my 2m Yaesu FT-2900. The key to getting numerous contacts was bouncing around the many repeater frequencies programmed into the radio. Several of the hams responding had been Scouts themselves.

73

Mike KK6GLP

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 1:59 PM Greg D <ko6th.greg@...> wrote:
Thanks, Nathan.  But you were quite busy on 20 with the site up in Canada, and they were doing a lot better getting kids on the air than I would have ever been.

What I probably should have done was to find a somewhat more local station on HF or VHF and have the kids make voice contacts from my car...

Greg  KO6TH


Nathan Chilton - K6NDC wrote:
Greg, 

I should have mentioned that I had a Yaesu FT3DR with me.  We could have exchanged APRS messages between our HTs!
 

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

Yes, I was fairly busy on 20.  It was a lot of fun to connect these scouts with other scouts in Canada over the radio.  It was also a lot of fun for me personally, because it was actually my first time operating on HF (other than operating PSK31/FT8), my first time operating SSB, and my first international contacts (not counting the time at the last field day when Brian set everything up and passed me the mic -- which was also a fun experience).  

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Greg D
 

Thanks, Nathan.  But you were quite busy on 20 with the site up in Canada, and they were doing a lot better getting kids on the air than I would have ever been.

What I probably should have done was to find a somewhat more local station on HF or VHF and have the kids make voice contacts from my car...

Greg  KO6TH


Nathan Chilton - K6NDC wrote:

Greg, 

I should have mentioned that I had a Yaesu FT3DR with me.  We could have exchanged APRS messages between our HTs!
 

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

Greg, 

I should have mentioned that I had a Yaesu FT3DR with me.  We could have exchanged APRS messages between our HTs!
 

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Greg D
 

Hi Jef,

Good thoughts.  I did have a small APRS demo, along with receiving a few satellite passes, but APRS is best demo'd with two people to exchange the messages between.  I was able to get the point of the mode across between the D74 and the laptop (when it was cooperating), and adding in some of the services (Fortune, weather, satellite pass predictions, email / SMS gateways, etc), but could definitely have used another station to communicate with.  Now that you've got your D74 configured, if you're not having luck with that loop, consider moseying over to my table...

Still, a good event overall. 

Greg  KO6TH


Jef - N5JEF wrote:

I've gotten great satisfaction working with the Scouts during the annual JOTA, but for me, the last JOTA was a (personal) disappointment due to the non-existent 40-meter NVIS propagation.  If I could have gotten a 40-meter antenna up about a half-wave (60-feet) above ground, it could have been fun operating skip, but we didn't have the structure for that, and with a 40-meter antenna only about 18 feet above the ground, most of the radiation was lost as it penetrated the very weak F-layer.  

That's not to say NVIS wasn't doable under these conditions, but it would have been on 60-meters with a suitable 60-meter antenna.  The Scouts wouldn't be on that band, but emergency communications would have been fine -- on 60-meters, with the right antenna.

Fortunately, the group had a good 20-meter antenna up about 30 feet, and that worked pretty well into New York and Saskatchewan, and the 2-meter repeater station was very popular with the kids (as was the CW station!)

Here's a chart of Solar Cycle 24, showing we're still near the bottom of an exceptionally poor cycle:

image.png

So what will I offer to bring and do for next year's JOTA?  It won't be 40-meter NVIS for a few more years.

  • I may have a large magnetic loop for 80/60/40 meters, providing good vertically polarized radiation even at low height above ground. That could be interesting.  I'd better get back to work on completing that project...

  • And it might be fun for the kids to have an array of two or four small microwave transceivers (5GHz) networked and sending audio.  They could talk to each other, and experiment with turning the antennas in azimuth and/or blocking or reflecting the beam.

  • Another option would be a demo of digital modes such as FSQ, Winlink, APRS...

Those are my thoughts for now.  Thanks to Orion for all his work organizing these JOTA events.

- Jef  N5JEF

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Jef - N5JEF
 

Nathan -

I like the way you think!  :-)

- Jef

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM Nathan Chilton - K6NDC <k6ndc@...> wrote:
I like those ideas, Jeff! 

Another digital mode to consider would be MT63 2k Long.  I've played with it a little bit and it's incredibly simple and effective even without an interface cable  between the computer and the radio.  I used it to send messages between a Chromebook and an Android phone using HTs in different rooms of my house.  I think the kids would find it fascinating to hear the messages be converted to/from sound and transferred over the radio.  All we'd need is a couple of HTs and a couple of Android phones (or laptops/Chromebooks). 

I heard some people working this mode on a net a while back, on a repeater that didn't have a strong path to my home.  I couldn't always make out every word when they were speaking, but when they sent a form with MT63 2k Long, I received the full form without error.

Re: Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

I like those ideas, Jeff! 

Another digital mode to consider would be MT63 2k Long.  I've played with it a little bit and it's incredibly simple and effective even without an interface cable  between the computer and the radio.  I used it to send messages between a Chromebook and an Android phone using HTs in different rooms of my house.  I think the kids would find it fascinating to hear the messages be converted to/from sound and transferred over the radio.  All we'd need is a couple of HTs and a couple of Android phones (or laptops/Chromebooks). 

I heard some people working this mode on a net a while back, on a repeater that didn't have a strong path to my home.  I couldn't always make out every word when they were speaking, but when they sent a form with MT63 2k Long, I received the full form without error.

Solar Cycle 24, 40-meter NVIS, and next year's JOTA

Jef - N5JEF
 

I've gotten great satisfaction working with the Scouts during the annual JOTA, but for me, the last JOTA was a (personal) disappointment due to the non-existent 40-meter NVIS propagation.  If I could have gotten a 40-meter antenna up about a half-wave (60-feet) above ground, it could have been fun operating skip, but we didn't have the structure for that, and with a 40-meter antenna only about 18 feet above the ground, most of the radiation was lost as it penetrated the very weak F-layer.  

That's not to say NVIS wasn't doable under these conditions, but it would have been on 60-meters with a suitable 60-meter antenna.  The Scouts wouldn't be on that band, but emergency communications would have been fine -- on 60-meters, with the right antenna.

Fortunately, the group had a good 20-meter antenna up about 30 feet, and that worked pretty well into New York and Saskatchewan, and the 2-meter repeater station was very popular with the kids (as was the CW station!)

Here's a chart of Solar Cycle 24, showing we're still near the bottom of an exceptionally poor cycle:

image.png

So what will I offer to bring and do for next year's JOTA?  It won't be 40-meter NVIS for a few more years.

  • I may have a large magnetic loop for 80/60/40 meters, providing good vertically polarized radiation even at low height above ground. That could be interesting.  I'd better get back to work on completing that project...

  • And it might be fun for the kids to have an array of two or four small microwave transceivers (5GHz) networked and sending audio.  They could talk to each other, and experiment with turning the antennas in azimuth and/or blocking or reflecting the beam.

  • Another option would be a demo of digital modes such as FSQ, Winlink, APRS...

Those are my thoughts for now.  Thanks to Orion for all his work organizing these JOTA events.

- Jef  N5JEF

Upcoming Event: SFARC Monthly Breakfast - Sat, 10/26/2019 7:30am-9:00am #cal-reminder

sfarc@w6ek.groups.io Calendar <sfarc@...>
 

Reminder: SFARC Monthly Breakfast

When: Saturday, 26 October 2019, 7:30am to 9:00am, (GMT-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where: Mel's Diner, 1730 Grass Valley Highway (Hwy 49 at Luther Road)

View Event

Description: We meet in the back room at Mel's. Everyone is invited to come out and attend the Breakfast! See http://w6ek.org/meetings.html. NOTE: The breakfast is held on the LAST SATURDAY of every month, although the calendar may not reflect this due to programming limitations.

Elmer Net - looking for a net control

carl.wf6j@gmail.com
 

Hello SFARCers,

I am looking for a part-time or full time recruit to be the ELMER NET, NET CONTROL.

The elmer Net is twice a month, every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 19:30  (7:30) pm.

I’ve been running the net “controlled” but giving a lot of leeway in how it runs. It is a
fun net and educational for the old timer or the new Ham.

There is not net roster as it is an “open” check-in every week.  Several of the SFARC
folks check in regularly to provide technical support.  Usually we can provide the Ham
that has a question, with a direction to go in, or a solution based on experience and
good intuition. 

Can explain more… email me at: carl.wf6j@...  or wf6j@... thanks!
73, Carl, WF6J

My personal life situation (not just the failed Camry) has placed some restrictions on
what I can do.

Upcoming Event: SFARC Net - Thu, 10/24/2019 7:30pm-8:30pm #cal-reminder

sfarc@w6ek.groups.io Calendar <sfarc@...>
 

Reminder: SFARC Net

When: Thursday, 24 October 2019, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, (GMT-07:00) America/Los Angeles

Where:W6EK Repeater - 145.430 -600, PL162.2

View Event

Description: Check-in for Club updates from Officers and members, QSTs and more. Everyone is welcome!

Re: Paul - KB6NYB SK #obit

Orion, AI6JB
 

Good Morning Everyone,

We received memorial service information for Paul.  Please see attached.

Paul, RIP.

Orion, AI6JB