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  • Get Home Bag
    Assembling a get home bag Something is wrong. You don't know what it is. Your car won't start. No planes over head. No sounds of cars on the highway. Do you have a Get Home Bag? Do you have water? Can you make fire? Having a get home bag is important when you are away […]
  • Make Fire With Vaseline Cotton Ball and Jute Twine
    Vaseline Cotton Ball and Jute Twine Starting a fire is easy with Vaseline soaked cotton balls and some jute twine. In this You Tube video I explain how to use a Vaseline cotton ball as tinder to start a campfire for cooking and keeping warm in survival situations and for camping. Share on Facebook The […]
  • Garden Preparation For Spring
    Garden Preparation Getting a Garden Spot Ready for Spring Prepare a garden spot for spring planting by using some high mil black plastic. The black plastic will screen out the sun light killing any grass under it. Prepping a garden spot can also be done by placing cardboard over the area to be used [Read […]
  • How To Make Char Cloth and Charcoal
    Char Cloth Today I will show you how to make char cloth and charcoal. Some cotton cloth. Some pieces of wood. A small metal tin with one small hole punched in it. Add some fire and you can make char cloth to start a campfire and charcoal for writing on hard surfaces when you [Read […]

Power Inverter In Your Car

For those of us on the go a power inverter is a fantastic thing to have. A power inverter allows you to operate your laptop or tablet from your vehicle. Inverters come in many different Power ranges. The particular type of power inverter I am discussing is designed to plug into your cigarette lighter.

Power Inverter For Your Cigarette Lighter Socket1

You can buy this Cyber Power, Inverter here.

The inverter that I am talking about is a 160 watt power inverter. It is designed to plug into your cigarette lighter and operate most laptops and tablets. It has a pivoting head so you can turn it where it's convenient. Whether your cigarette lighter is in your dashboard or your console, the head pivots.

Cyber Power Inverter

The Cyber power Inverter has a 110 volt plug for your tablet or laptop and a USB connector. If you're like me and "On The Go" constantly, it is very convenient to be able to operate your laptop from your vehicle without running the computer's battery down. These inverters are not designed to operate large appliances so you will not be able to run your coffee pot, microwave, a large compressor or any other item that requires a large amount of power. These inverters only provide approximately 160 watts of power.

In a post a few days ago I posted about attaching a power inverter to your vehicle to run lights and perhaps a few small appliances from your vehicle battery during a power outage. The reason I said to connect the inverter with the clamps directly to the battery was due to the limiting factor of the cigarette lighter in a vehicle. It can only provide approximately 150 to 160 watts of power. Anymore than that will blow the cars lighter fuse.

When I am out and about, I can stop at any place that has a public WiFi connection to upload large video files that I shoot for my YouTube channel "Survival Existence". Having my computer and the ability to use it anywhere is a great convenience.

Helping You Help Yourself

Bobby

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Generator Servicing and Maintenance

Servicing your generator is an important thing to place on your to do list at your home or homestead. A generator is quite often thought of as being very useful tool during a power outage, and it is. The generator's usage is for far more than power outages only.

generator service

Generator

A generator can be easily transported to anyplace on your homestead or in your yard where power it is not easily accessible. Whether using a pole saw to prune limbs from trees, shaping bushes or using a drill and the many other things that can be accomplished with the usage of a generator.

In this YouTube video I explain and show you how to maintain your generator.

Maintaining your equipment is very important. The maintenance on a generator is no different than the maintenance on any other small engine. Whether it is a lawn mower, pressure washer or any other piece of equipment that uses a small engine.

Oil Change

The first thing we will do is change the oil. You  will need an oil drip pan, a wrench of suitable size to fit the drain plug of the small engine. A rag of some type and a funnel. Once these items have been assembled, slide the oil pan under the oil drain plug of the generator engine and loosen it. While the oil is draining out, check the drain plug and gasket for cracks or any other damage. Wipe away any build up or sludge that may appear on the drain plug or gasket and clean them thoroughly.

Once the oil has completely stop dripping from the engine, replace the plug. Tighten the drain plug fairly tight but do not over tighten or you will damage the seal. Checking the literature that came with your generator or small engine, find out what weight and type of motor oil the manufacturer suggests be placed in the engine. Also check the amount required and this this amount into the engine. Once you have refill the oil reservoir, place the oil dipstick back into its threaded receptacle. Turn it back out and check the oil level. If it's full, great! If it is not, add enough oil to bring the level up to the full mark on the dipstick.

Air Filter

Our next check is the air filter.

The air filter, located on the side of the carburetor opposite the engine, is important to be kept clean so the engine can operate properly. A dirty air filter will cause your engine to miss, flood and sometimes not operate at all if it is not maintained properly.

Find the air filter canister and remove its cover. Usually it is attached with one or more thumb screws. Once the cover has been removed, you should use compressed air to blow through the filter to remove dust and other particles. Blow from the engine side of the filter out to dislodge the dirt and dust. If you do not have an air compressor, you can simply strike the foam air filter on a hard surface to dislodge as much of the particulate matter as possible.

Before returning the filter to the canister, cover the carburetor opening with a clean shop rag and blow the air cleaner canister out, removing any dust, dirt or foreign matter. Once this has been accomplished, return the filter to the canister. Replace the cover and tighten the thumbscrews.

Spark Plug

The spark plug or plugs should be removed, cleaned and gauged after several hours of operation. If you notice an abnormal amount of fouling or if your spark plug is arcing any place other than the electrode it should be replaced. Check the ceramic on the plug. If it is cracked, it should be replaced.

Starting The Generator

It is hard on an engine to not be ran regularly. A generator is no different. Your generator should be started at least once a month and allowed to run for several minutes until it reaches operating temperature. If your generator is an electric start model, ie with a battery, it should be started at least once a month and the battery should be put on a charger once every two weeks to maintain its charge level and to extend the battery life. A generator should never be started under a load. Always turn off the breaker or remove any equipment that may be plugged into the generator prior to starting.

Closing Thoughts

The fuel in your generator is it's life blood. Always add fuel stabilizer to your fuel. Failing to do so will result in a clogged carburetor and involve removing the tank and rebuilding the carburetor. It costs less to add fuel stabilizer than it does to fix a clogged carburetor.

Helping You Help Yourself

Bobby

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Turn Your Car Into a Generator

You can turn your car into a generator during a power outage.

In this article I will explain how to use your vehicle as an emergency generator. This emergency generator can be used to power lights. Run a radio or television. Power your router, modem and lap top computer.

YouTube Video Showing You How To Turn Your Car Into a Generator

Power Outage

This emergency generator set up is not magic. It isn't designed to power your refrigerator, conditioner, heating or central heat and air unit. It is designed to provide light. Run a box fan during hot weather. Provide power to operate a small modern television or radio and power your lap top computer, modem and router during a power outage.

The name of the game is efficiency. A LED light bulb is far more efficient than an incandescent light bulb. For instance, a 40 watt incandescent light bulb consumes 40 watts of energy.  An equivalent size LED bulb is approximately 5.5 watts and consumes 5.5 watts. I'm not suggesting you use 5.5 watt LED light bulbs unless you need that much light. In most cases you will not need that much light. In the interest of efficiency, you only need as much light as is necessary to keep you from stumbling over the furniture or stubbing your toe on the coffee table and exposing your children, and the whole neighborhood, to several adjectives that are best not pronounced in mixed company.

The Name of the Game is Efficiency

Efficiency is the most important factor when using any alternative power source. The bottom line is: The more efficient each light and piece of electronic equipment is, the more items you can attach to the system or the less power required to operate the system. That, in turn translates to, the longer the power source will last.

Safety

•A word about safety and the use of internal combustion engines. NEVER run your vehicle in an enclosed garage. Don't even run it with the door open.  At a minimum, move the rear portion of your vehicle out of the garage to allow carbon monoxide to escape into the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer. It tends to collect in enclosed spaces even when it has a way to escape. NEVER EVER RUN YOUR VEHICLE IN AN ENCLOSED GARAGE!

Equipment Needed To Turn Your Car Into A Generator

–If you want to buy these items through Amazon and support this website and YouTube channel, I have placed the links for each item in this equipment list. –I thank you.–

  • 1 Plastic tote. Best bought locally. I can't tell you how important it is to have the equipment needed, where you need it, when you need it. If you keep the needed items where they are supposed to be and never use anything out of it until a power outage, you don't have to be concerned about having the equipment, when you need it, to turn your car into a generator. If it's kept in a single tote, it will be in one place and will take only a few minutes to have lights, a police scanner, weather radio and a small TV on and running so you can be informed of an evolving disaster.
  • 1- 410 watt Schumacher power inverter. I suggest the Schumacher power inverter because they have a proven record of excellence in design and function. I suggest the 410 watt inverter because your vehicle can only produce so much power from the alternator.
  • 2- or more extension cords. You will need enough extension cords to run from your vehicle into the house. The longer the distance, the larger gauge cord you will need.
  • 4- 2.5 watt LED light bulbs. This the size bulb you will want to use most of the time in order to conserve power. Buy these at Wal-Mart. They are much less expensive!
  • 1-  5.5 watt LED light bulb. This brighter bulb is for the rare occasion when you need a brighter light.
  • 2- small LED flashlights with batteries. For the times you need to venture into parts of your home that doesn't have lights.
  • 2- LED lanterns with batteries. For when you need to venture out side to check on your car or home.
  • 1- LED rope light. LED rope lights can light up a hallway and 2 rooms.
  • 2- 3 Outlet AC splitter plugs.

How To Turn Your Car Into A Generator

No matter how inept you feel about electrical work, you can assemble this emergency generator.

•Do remember that the voltage the power inverter puts out is the same AC voltage that is in your home. It can kill you dead, dead, dead! Treat it with the same respect as you do the electricity in your home.

The most complicated thing about constructing this emergency generator system is attaching the power inverter to the battery, and that's not complicated. Anyone can do it!

The power inverter comes with 2 sets of power leads. A cigarette lighter socket and a set of clamps like small jumper cables. Discard the  cigarette lighter socket plug. The inverter can consume more power than the cigarette lighter plug can produce and will blow the fuse in your car. You want to use the clamps that connect directly to the battery. Go ahead and connect the battery clamps to the power inverter with the round washer type ends attaching to the 2 posts on the back of the inverter.

Also attach the inverter to a board of suitable size that you can store it but large enough to keep the inverter from falling into the engine compartment and becoming entangled in the belts or fan. Leave both of them them attached  while stored. No since in having to fumble around in the dark trying to attach them during a storm.

Instructions

Back your vehicle out of the garage and pop the hood. Attach the inverter to the battery by clamping the red clamp to the positive post of the battery (Normally the positive post will be marked with a plus sign). Attach the black clamp to the negative post.  (Normally the negative post will be marked with a minus sign). Flip the switch to the on position. The red light will light up momentarily then go off. The green light will come on and stay on. This tells you that the inverter is attached properly and is ready for use. You are now ready to run the extension cords into the house. I do this by opening a window and laying a rolled up towel on the windowsill, then running the first cord through and laying another rolled towel on top of the first towel and cord and letting the window down to keep weather and bugs out. After attaching the first cord and putting through the window, go inside and attach the lights, modem, router, small TV and any other low power demand items you want to run, making sure to not exceed 75% of the rated output of the power inverter. I always try to not push the limits of electrical equipment. Electrical equipment lasts longer if you don't push it to it's limits.

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Helping You Help Yourself

Bobby

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Battery Backup Power - Storm Week

Battery Backup Power

The first day of spring was March 21st. With spring comes storms. Having battery backup power for lighting and a few other items is nice to have when storms take power lines down.

Often, lights will go out when strong storms and heavy rains are passing through an area, daylight will turn to dark. Not to mention, some storms occur in the evening hours during periods of darkness.

When using battery backup power as a source of electricity, you must pay close attention to the power requirements of the equipment you use. Using a 100 watt incandescent light bulb for lighting, an older television or a large screened HDTV is a waste of power and will drain your batteries quickly. In order to extend the availability of power for the longest possible period of time, chose the equipment you want to use wisely. Low wattage usage is what you want. LED light bulbs, small screened HDTV's and an external antenna, low wattage DSL and cable modems and routers are what is needed to minimize power consumption.

12 Volt System

The design I will submit to you is a 12 volt battery bank system designed to operate a power converter to obtain the most flexibility from your system but it is also easily used for the operation of 12 volt electronics. The reasons for using 12 volt battery's and equipment is the wide availability of 12 volt equipment and the availability of salvage light bulbs and radios from automobiles during a severe disaster. This particular design can also be adapted to charge from solar cells in addition to a battery charger. I will not cover the attachment of the solar cells in this issue but I do strongly suggest you obtain a solar cell charging system to hold in reserve in case of severe disaster just in case the disaster is so severe that you cannot obtain gas for a generator or don't have electricity available for an extended length of time.

The items needed to build your own battery bank are:

  • 1 or more marine 12 volt deep cycle or 2 golf cart batteries (golf cart batteries are 6 volts each). The type and number of battery's you chose, will determine the length of time and the amount of power available to you for usage.
  • Power inverter. (The size of inverter will depend on how many batteries and how much power you will need from the system).
  • Cabling for battery, converter and charger connections (Minimum of 2/0 gauge except for cable runs of 15 or more feet, use 1/0 gauge).
  • Battery charger. (Do not use a trickle charger).
  • A wooden or metal cabinet or stand to place the batteries, charger and converter on. (The stand or cabinet should be open for ventilation. The hydrogen gas produced from the charging batteries is explosive when confined).

The two different voltages of batteries I've suggested are 12 and 6 volt. The marine deep cycle batteries are 12 volts. The golf cart batteries are 6 volts. The golf cart batteries must be hooked up with two of the batteries in series in order to obtain 12 volts then the groups of two batteries attached parallel to each other in order to achieve more capacity. To add more capacity to the marine deep cycle battery configuration, you only have to attach the batteries in parallel.

Benefits and Draw Backs of 12 Volt Marine and 6 Volt Golf Cart Batteries

Benefits of the 6 volt golf cart system is the amount of charge/discharge cycles they can endure. These batteries were designed for numerous cycles with extra thick lead plates. The draw backs are the cost of the batteries and the additional cabling and terminals needed.

Benefits of the marine 12 volt deep cycle system is lower initial cost for the batteries. Less cabling and fewer terminals. The draw back is the number of cycles the batteries can endure. The lead plates are thicker than automotive batteries but thinner than a golf cart battery.

∗Do not use automotive batteries. They are not designed for discharge and recharge cycles and will often fail in as few as 10 cycles. Their lead plates are too thin for this kind of usage.

12 Volt Marine Battery Backup System

 

marine 12 volt deep cycle system battery backup powermarine 12 volt deep cycle system pdf

12 Volt Golf Cart Battery System Using 6 Volt Batteries

12 volt golf cart battery system battery backup power

12 volt golf cart battery system

Battery Backup System

Do you want to be your family's prepping hero? Having a battery backup power system can be just what you need for those times the lights go out during storms or on other occasions when you need power. Put on your SUPERMAN/SUPERGIRL tee shirt and cape, and build a battery backup system for your family!

Maintenance Of The Batteries

  • Check the water level of your battery bank once a month. Only add distilled water and do not over fill.
  • Top off the charge of the batteries once a week. I suggest on a Saturday or Sunday when you will be home to monitor the charging and so you will be more likely to remember to charge them.

In addition to the items listed above, you will want to keep all of the LED lights, extension cords, a flashlight and any other emergency lighting equipment in a plastic tote so you can find what you need, when you need it.

Having a battery backup power system is quite and depending on the amount of batteries and power consumption, can provide several hours of usage before needing to be re-charged.

Helping You Help Yourself

Bobby

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Instant On Lighting - Power Failure

Instant On Lighting

When the lights go out during a power failure and your left in the dark fumbling around for a flashlight you will wish for some light to find your way around. I wanted instant on lighting to avoid this scenario. I bought two instant on lights. I caught them on sale at the local Wally World for $7.00 each.

Emergency Lighting

I feel the $7.00 is well spent for each of ETON's  Blackout Buddy's, in order to have some method of emergency lighting during a power failure due to wind and ice storms or the occasional squirrel, opossum or raccoon that want to commit suicide by shorting out power lines or electrical substations.

instant on lighting

The Blackout Buddy lights I chose have a night light that can be turned on or left off with use of the slide switch mounted on the side and a photocell that turns the night light off when there is daylight or any other lighting in the room. The face of the Blackout Buddy has a push button on/off switch on the face, used to turn the light on or off when used as a flashlight, and is also used to turn the light on before plugging in, when used as a blackout light. When used as a blackout light, the light must be turned on prior to plugging in. Once plugged in, the light will go off and stay off until there is an power outage. Then it will come on automatically.

Another Good Reason

Another good reason to have instant on lighting that comes on when the power fails is to let you know the power is out so you can start auxiliary heating during the winter months without letting your home get cold. It is easier to keep a house warm than it is to heat it up from being cold.

Lighting Not An Issue For Most Preppers

If the power goes out when i'm in bed, I always have 2 flashlights close at hand, so lighting is not an issue for most preppers during sleeping hours. But using one of these lights will let you know the electricity is off without getting out of bed to check. If the power goes out during the day, when very dark storm clouds are gathering or during the evening hours. that could be a different story altogether.

Helping You Help Yourself

Bobby

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CME and EMP

CME and EMP

The electricity we take for granted every day, not giving it a second thought, has become essential for life as we know it in many ways. The loss of power, even for a relatively short time, could be a serious problem. The loss of power for long term would be devastating. The end of the world as we know it.

During a short term power loss, storms, a substation transformer shorting out, a squirrel  shorting out a substation transformer, ( yep it's happened where I live. It took over six hours for the local electric company to borrow one from an electric company over one hundred miles away and get the new one on line to restore power). It took another six months to order, construct and deliver another one. That six months was, order to delivery, under ideal conditions.

transformer

Under wide spread CME or EMP damage, the time for delivery of another transformer would be measured in years. Years only if the over seas country or ally of that country, isn't the one that detonated the atomic weapons over our country during an EMP attack.

A large CME, (Croinal Mass Ejection), is a massive geomagnetic solar storm. The same type of geomagnetic solar storm that caused the well known Carrington Event in 1859, causing telegraph wire and equipment to short out and in some cases, to burn. The CME, striking the long lines of the telegraph system and acting as a very long antenna, almost simultaneously, caused the build up of a massive amount of electricity. Electricity always finds it's shortest path to ground. In this case, the telegraph offices.

electricity power

CME is not likely to destroy your electronics unless they are plugged in at the time, or connected to cable or antenna. Electronics plugged into a receptacle, cable or antenna, is the same as attaching an extremely long antenna to it. That is why your electronics should be safe if not plugged in during a CME. In some cases, turning off the electronic object then turning it back on will fix the problem depending on the intensity of the CME.

An EMP, (Electromagnetic pulse), is similar to a CME except it has the potential to do a lot more damage. An EMP, under optimum conditions, has a far greater electrical intensity than a CME. That being so, it would take a far shorter length of wire to conduct enough electricity to destroy electronics, not to mention the direct effect on the junctions of transistors, diodes, capacitors and other such components. A nuclear weapon, detonated at the optimum altitude, can and will cause widespread damage. It has been determined that it would take three such weapons to destroy most of the electrical grid and electronics in the United States. I know better. If a small fraction of the U.S. was struck, it would bring the country to a screeching halt. If one part of the electrical grid goes down it causes a cascading effect to the rest unless several different electric company employees with several different companies in adjoining areas are quick to isolate the effected area. Adding the actual damage to the panic that would surly ensue, there would be pandemonium.

Electronics in your vehicle and hand held devices are shielded by the manufacture, to an extent, due to interaction between components. If they weren't, the car, phone, laptop or any other compact electronic object wouldn't work. The provided shielding would protect most consumer electronics from CME but not the electrical grid. The provided shielding would not protect electronics close to the effected area from EMP.

From speaking with several retired and active military personal, most of the critical military infrastructure is EMP shielded and has been for years due to the open air nuclear bomb studies done after World War Two. How long their generators and fuel would hold out is up for discussion. Our enemies know this and know it would be suicide for their nation to attempt a strike, but it would only take a rouge nation or a person in control of high altitude nuclear weapons to successfully launch an attack.

Placing your critical electronics in a Faraday cage could save your electronics under some circumstances if it is properly constructed and the electronics are insulated from contact with any of the cage metal due to the skin effect of metals and electricity. Notice I said, could save. Depending on the intensity of, and the distance from the event, your electronics may be saved.

Even putting your small electronics in a Mylar bag, between two pieces of cardboard could help, but there is no guarantee.

Lights Out

Helping You Help Yourself.

Bobby

 

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