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Messages - cockpitbob

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Tactical Corner / Re: Loss of House Water Supply
« on: November 07, 2017, 02:55:37 PM »
Update:  I've learned that my forced water heating system should run fine for a very long time(weeks or months) without house water.  I'll call it a semi-sealed system that works at a lower pressure (12psi) than the house water and only draws in new water if for some reason it loses some.  Apparently if you flush the system the water is supposed to look black.  That means it's been there a long time and no new oxygen has gotten in to help corrode things from the inside.

Knowing that the furnace will keep the house warm even if the town water is out for a week is a big comfort.  One reason I got the generator is around here people have been without power for over 2 weeks in winter and unless they had a wood stove their houses froze.

Tactical Corner / Re: Loss of Water
« on: November 07, 2017, 09:41:11 AM »
Water is the most valuable but hardest to prep for, it takes up a lot of space to store it, gets heavy quick, and requires maintenance.

The best set up I have seen for water storage is plumbing a 275 gallon storage container in to the houses water system. Once the tank is full as you use water in the house it draws it through the tank just like a hot water heater. This allows the water to be constantly circulated. The down side is when the main goes down you will have no flow unless you plumb a pump (preferably 12 volt) it the system. Or drain into buckets.

We have 2 of these tanks at my moms place, I still need to plumb them into the system. Iím looking at plumbing into the sprinkler system so I can keep the tanks in the back yard and out of site.

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Nice!  I worry about it handling the pressure of house water, but something like that has a lot of potential.  We don't plan on being in this house more than 5 more years, so this idea is for the next house.

Water was restored late last night, so life is back to normal.  I think my biggest take-away from this is the realization that my house's heating system is forced hot water and I don't think it will work without the house's water supply.  I need to research this.  In winter we can go a month without seeing temperatures above freezing.  If we lose water for an extended period I'd be heating my house with electric heaters and hair dryers.

Tactical Corner / Re: Loss of Water
« on: November 07, 2017, 09:38:41 AM »
And I thought you were going to talk about delivering babies...  :o

The stream is great, but you would need to have a mean of transporting that water back to your house, more than a couple buckets at a time... The stream could be contaminated too, so I'd definitely get a tank like Joe suggests...

Babies....yeah, when I read my own thread title of "Loss of Water" this morning that was the first thing I thought too.  I just changed it ::)

True about the stream.  But a mile isn't too bad with either the car or my ride-on mower towing the dump cart (or walking the cart if the fuel supply runs out).  For now it would be mainly for flushing toilets since this isn't a SHTF situation and I can go buy bottled drinking water after my 30g water heater is empty.

Tactical Corner / Re: Preparing for an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse)
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:24:37 PM »
Also someone else may know more about that than me but the older vehicles had a lot of fusible links on them and I'm not for sure if those would hold up or not.

Sent from my 5049Z using Tapatalk
I'm pretty sure the fusible links will be OK (gawd, I hated just the very idea of them in a car!).  For the short antennas (wiring) in a car the energy received won't be enough to get all those fuses red hot and melted.  The main problem is voltages can be high enough to zap semiconductors.  Especially this modern stuff where the supply voltages for most logic is 3.3V and some as low as 0.9V.  The oxide (glass) gates on the CMOS FETs punches through at less than 3x the supply voltage.  They put pretty good ESD protection on most pins, but still, it's crazy-fragile stuff.

Tactical Corner / Loss of House Water Supply
« on: November 06, 2017, 06:50:06 PM »
I thought I was doing OK with my preps, but there's one area I'm not happy with now.  My generator just makes life go on as normal when power goes out, but I don't have any way to deal with a loss of water without feeling a bit like I'm camping.

A water main just broke a couple miles from here and we may be without water for a while.  We've got 2-3 days bottled drinking water and I shut off the valves to the water heater, so I've got 30g there I can get through its drain, but...but...but...there's nothing for showers or to flush the toilets with :o

In my kit I even have one of those WaterBOB things you put in your bathtub and fill with 100g of water that will remain clean and drinkable for a long time, but you need warning to make use of that.  We also have a stream 1 mile from here where we can fill buckets for flushing.  We'll be OK, but I want my whimp-preps to be complete so we are totally comfortable when the bad stuff happens.

Oh, one more thing, I'm glad it's not below freezing outside.  Without water our house's forced hot water heat system doesn't work.  I never gave thought to how really dependent we are on our water utility.

You can't go wrong with the FT-60R.  It was my first radio and is still a popular choice.

New To Radio / Re: Yaesu FT-60R programming
« on: November 05, 2017, 11:40:59 PM »
Hi Red.  Programming an HT from your phone would be a big convenience!  I don't see why it wouldn't be popular, but I just did a brief search and came up dry.
Good luck with the test!

General Discussion / Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« on: November 01, 2017, 10:03:40 AM »
...and if you have tried 160m, what are you using for an antenna?

I have a 180' random length end fed on an MFJ-941 Versa Tuner (manual 200W tuner).  It will tune 160m, but I haven't listened to that band in years.  The best I recall was lots of QRN and not much activity.  I'll give 160 a listen this weekend.

Batteries & Solar / Re: Hydro Power
« on: October 31, 2017, 06:28:47 PM »
Did you buy one of the mini hydropowers ?
If so, you can test it on a water hose at your residence.
I really want to roll my own, just for fun, but it's unlikely I'll ever get a chance to use it.  I live in pretty flat country and don't get out backpacking much these days.

General Discussion / Re: Gas Generators
« on: October 31, 2017, 03:07:50 PM »
I just shut the generator off after a day and a half.

Sunday night we had some pretty dramatic winds here in Massachusetts with about 250K people out of power.  Ours went out early Monday morning and just came back on.  Having a generator that will run most of the house (not all at once) is WONDERFUL!!!!  And Verizon FiOS rocks.  Whenever the power goes out, even in the wide spread outages, the internet, TV and phone all still work once I plug the house into the generator.

Power was supposed to be out for up to 3 days and I was worried about the food in my neighbors' fridges, so I offered the closest 2 houses an extension cord.  One took me up on it so we strung the heaviest extension cords we had into their house.  I told them in addition to the fridge they could run the microwave or coffee pot (not both), lights and of course the most important thing; charge their phones and laptops ;).  They were really grateful!  They were resourceful too.  The mom was out in the cold, in the back yard making eggs on their propane bbq grill early this morning :)

I think I have a slight evil streak in me.  At night I leave the driveway and front porch lights on so people know we have a bright warm house.  Most houses had cooled down into the low 50s.  I tell myself I'm just encouraging them to be more prepared, but I think I enjoy it too much ::).

CB / Re: Palomar Digicom 100 SSB transceiver
« on: October 31, 2017, 11:16:14 AM »
Wow, Sam's is still around?!?!?!?!? ;D

General Discussion / Re: Lost at sea 5 months without comms
« on: October 31, 2017, 09:29:30 AM »
Sounds like a short between the headphones

That was awesome ;D  There are purists that believe the whole goal is to make the contact, and the more difficult, the prouder.  I do like how the guy receiving the "voice-Morse" was chuckling and enjoying making that kind of contact.

I have a pico-keyer that I can plug one of those little battery powered speakers into.  I assume I could use that and just hold the mic up to the speaker while I work the keyer with paddles.  With the rig set to USB that should work on all bands, shouldn't it?

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 26, 2017, 04:48:01 PM »
Gil, they are C25-C28. In my case they are 2ea 390pf and 2ea 180pf. Apparently the ones provided are not high enough voltage rating and are heating up during Zmit and are responsible for low power output. I'm not sure I agree with this theory, because they are 50 volt caps and I have used them up to 7-8 watts without any trouble. I think somebody is grasping at straws. In any case a lot of people are having the 1.6 watt output problem and Hans needs to get to the bottom of it.


I too doubt it's the voltage.  If they are heating up it's their ESR (equivalent series resistance).  There's a lot of AC current flowing through the Tx filter capacitors.

ESR is determined by the dielectric used.  From good to bad, the common dielectrics are:
  NPO and Mica:  Either is the good stuff.  Almost zero ESR.  Very stable(doesn't drift with time, temperature, voltage).  Can't get them in large values though.

  X7R:  Most commonly used. ESR 25 times greater than NPO.  Used when 2nd best is fine.

  X5R:  Same as X7R but not quite as stable.

  Y5U:  Cheap stuff, but you can get large values in a small package.  ESR 2X worse than X7R.  Changes value like crazy: temperature, frequency, DC voltage.  Put 48V on a 50V capacitor and its capacitance goes down by 80%.  Seriously, a 1u cap becomes 0.2u.

For a Tx filter I would NEVER use anything but NPO or mica capacitors.

EDIT:  I just looked at my 80M filter bag and I can't tell what type of capacitors are in there.  I guess if my power is low I'll just swap all of them with NPO caps

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 24, 2017, 01:40:08 PM »
Gil, that looks great.  I'm jealous!  Can't wait to hear your operating reports.

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