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Author Topic: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.  (Read 10969 times)

Luigi

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Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« on: June 18, 2014, 05:18:56 PM »
With all of this radio discussion, I know that most here practice using their radios and they have a process that is pretty solid. There was some discussion about GPS degradation and the use of a sextant for location calculations. That was a pretty inspiring thread.

Don't forget the other areas of being prepared in areas of our basic needs. Practice makes tasks easier when you really need them.

One summer, I used a propane camping stove and a small 1 gallon refillable propane tank to cook all of my meals for an entire month. At the end of my month, I refilled the tank. Only 25% of the fuel was used. It cost $3.00 to fill it at the beginning of the month. My total cooking cost over the month was $0.75! All of this was practice for a family camping trip. It is amazing what you can cook with a small pressure cooker pot and a camping stove. By the time we were camping, we had some really nice meals and the best coffee ever. We took a wok, and a steamer to use as outdoor "microwave oven" to reheat items, or steam a washcloth for washing our faces at the end of a day.

One Thanksgiving, we lost power. We ended up cooking a turkey on the grill as a result of the power outage. Cooking a turkey for a few hours outside in freezing rain with a propane grill will teach anyone how to maintain a constant temperature on a grill at a very low fuel flow rate. Many people operate gas grills on high, when they should be run a lower fuel flow rates.

Someone here asked how long could you go without power. In a grid down situation, several fuel types and stoves are vital if you need a way to sanitize water and cook food. Optimal fuels to keep on hand are propane, butane and kerosene. Have all three if you can. Rather than powering things, the concentration should be on food, sanitation and heat. Electrical items are low on the priority list. Email (Winlink) becomes a thing checked 2-3 times a week rather than several times per day.

Attached is photo a small butane stove that I pull out every now and then. Today, I made a cup of cafe mocha using a hand operated coffee grinder, a mocha maker and a simple butane stove. I am using a butane canister that I have had for a few years. The fuel goes a long way if the stove is used correctly.

Dependence on others is the current way of life. Our energy grid is pretty fragile. Current EPA regulations will strain it more. Politics aside, stay on top of your other needs.

Luigi

mdmc

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 10:51:17 PM »
I have never seen a one gallon tank such as yours. What brand name or identifier does it go by? That is a pretty slick little unit.

When summer is over, I plan to start on a wood gasifier.  Can cook with the flame or run a generator with one. We loose power for extended amounts of time here, generally in the winter.

And remember, prices of electricity will necessarily skyrocket when he uses his pen and phone to outlaw coal. :'(   He said so. >:(

cockpitbob

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 11:05:22 PM »
Mike, keep us posted on your gasifier project!  I live in the northeast and have a generator because without electricity pipes freeze in the winter and the basement's sump pumps don't run.  I have 25g of fuel stored in the shed, but if the SHTF that 25g will be gone in a couple weeks.  One thing I have is lots of wood.

RadioRay

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 11:29:03 PM »
I'll second the vote to learn about your wood gassifier.  Our little property has alot of wood and we live surrounded by woods.  Oh - and fish.  even after the end of the world as we know it - we might be able to squeeze in the occasional fish fry!




>RadioRay ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

Quietguy

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 11:40:13 PM »
When summer is over, I plan to start on a wood gasifier.  Can cook with the flame or run a generator with one. We loose power for extended amounts of time here, generally in the winter.

I thought about doing that for backup power because we have plenty of wood but not enough sunlight for practical solar.  Several year ago I bought a book titled "Convert Wood Into Charcoal and Electricity" by Richard M. Buxton, published by Lindsay Publications.  Lindsay retired and is no longer in business, but copies of the book are still available from "Your Old Time Bookstore", who appear to have bought Lindsay's remaining stock.
http://www.youroldtimebookstore.com/product-p/22873.htm

He gives detailed descriptions of his experiments in making producer gas and using it to power a Briggs & Stratton engine driving a car alternator, including how to modify the engine.  The biggest problem he ran into is the gunk that's present in the gas - he ran his gas through three cleaning stages and still has to pull the head off the engine to clean the tar off valve stems after every run.  Otherwise the tar solidifies and the valve stems seize in the guides.  He says there are some nasty by-products coming out of the kiln that bear some thinking about.  I would suggest picking up a copy of the book; it's fairly cheap ($9.95 plus shipping) and has some some good details.

Wally

KK0G

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 09:54:35 AM »
Somewhere I have a link to a site where a guy built a gasifier and ran an engine on it but I'll be damned if I can find it now :( . It may have been the same guy you're referring to Wally. And yes, he had a lot of problems with byproducts causing engine failures, definitely something you'd have to perfect long before the SHTF. I'll keep searching for the link and post it here if I find it.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Luigi

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 02:52:18 AM »
Here are the photos of the 1 gallon refillable tank. This tank is easy to carry. It is refillable. I have it for the next 12 years. At that point it needs to be inspected to legally be refilled. It will pay off in time. It is much better than the disposable canisters.
Photos:
1. A comparison between the small 1 gallon and the 5 gallon tank.
2. Trial at home.
3. During a camping trip.

Thanks
Luigi

mdmc

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 01:08:57 AM »
Well, now you got me wanting one! Think I will see if I can locate one locally. If not, I'm sure my propane service can get me one.  Thanks for posting the pics. Not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't realize they were just miniatures of the regular Bar-B-Que type tanks we are all familiar with.

I have been collecting various tanks, for several years, that I can use building gasifiers.  Some hot water tanks, water well pressure tanks, old 100Lb propane tanks even old welding gas bottles and tanks of unknown origin.  Also I bought a fair sized slip roll from Grizzly Tools. I may have gone over board there, but time will tell. The idea was to also be able to help neighbors build their own gasifiers if times got really bad. The people up here are pretty resourceful, but most haven't heard of gasifiers and many do not have much money. Trees are everywhere though.

I spent a whole year researching gasifiers at night and did necessary  projects in the day. Ham radio can really eat up your time. ;D
There are many many videos on You Tube about gasifiers people have built. There is also a ton of articles on the 'net. I finally came to the conclusion that gasifiers can be pretty easy to build. It's building a really good efficient one that can be tough.  You can literally build the from junk if necessary. You just need to understand how they work.

I have the perfect generator for experimenting with. It is a 5KW that I bought on sale, from Harbor Freight, years ago for a bit over $200. It is nearly worn out from a 2 week power outage here during the ice storm of 2007. It saved our butts. I almost couldn't get enough gasoline because I started to town too late and nearly didn't make it home. I slid backwards down a mountain for a couple hundred yards on snow and ice. That is when I decided to try and find an alternative fuel for a generator.

Gasifiers were something I had never heard of before then.  I learned my lesson about being prepared. We had plenty of food, but 50Gal of empty gasoline cans. >:(

I will try to document my progress.

NCGunDude

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 12:33:59 PM »
Here's a link to a guy who has a lot of practical videos, including gasifiers and wood burning generators.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpDl4WPpgvvOeZFpw4ewycA

I've got a couple of propane stoves, including a camp chef, and a king cooker. I've got a bunch of 20# tanks and one 100# in storage. The tanks are good for about 20 years, and the gas never goes bad, afaik. Not a bad prepping premise. Once I get a tank I like, we'll refill them at TS or the local oil co.

We use pressure cookers for camp cooking and home canning.

Now if I can only get on winlink /grin

Luigi

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 12:34:12 PM »
We had a massive storm in the Northwest in 2007 as well. It was an eye opener. The same thing happened here. One week without power or communications. We were lucky enough to have taken delivery of a diesel generator a few days before the storm. Today we have the communications part covered.

For many here the preparation needed is not some apocalypse, but rather natural disasters that last quite some time.

Back to the propane tanks. The 1 gallon tank is available at Lowes hardware stores. A hose with a converter is needed for the stove. I have used it with my BBQ grill when I have taken it to a picnic at a park.

One safety issue. Propane tanks over 1 lb are not supposed to be stored indoors. This tank needs to be stored outdoors. A fire department will let your house burn down if they run into a propane tank fire within your house. It is a matter of safety for them.

Luigi

mdmc

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 03:08:55 PM »
A few years back, I spotted a thread about a little single burner cast iron stove. It's a heavy duty little thing, too. It has come in handy for many things. Smelting down lead for casting "bullits"  (Google it) , heating a big pressure caner,  even cooking inside or outside. The little one gallon propane tank would be perfect for this little camp stove. We found it at one of the big sporting goods stores.

Propane is a very useful fuel. On my oldest generator, I put one of the little multifuel conversion kits. That allows me to use gasoline, propane, and the wood gas when I get ready.


mdmc

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 03:15:51 PM »
  Our little property has alot of wood and we live surrounded by woods.  Oh - and fish.  even after the end of the world as we know it - we might be able to squeeze in the occasional fish fry!

>RadioRay ..._  ._

Ray, with the 4 foot tidal changes along your coast, can you go out and dig clams it low tide also?

gil

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 05:22:01 PM »
Quote
we might be able to squeeze in the occasional fish fry!

Just be glad you're not on the Pacific side :o

Gil.

Joe

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 02:22:45 PM »
Quote
we might be able to squeeze in the occasional fish fry!

Just be glad you're not on the Pacific side :o

Gil.

We just have to start taking the iOSAT the day before eating  ;)

Joe

gil

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Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 02:40:36 PM »
Quote
We just have to start taking the iOSAT the day before eating

I've got'em in my BOB :o

Gil.

Radio Preppers

Re: Practice, practice, practice...non radio stuff.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 02:40:36 PM »