Winter Exercises

Bill McFarland - N0AXZ

Group (s)
I had five responses last week for the exercises. But I announced last Wednesday net that I wanted to cancel WFD due to cold predictions. I held off until today watching the Weather Channel App for a better prediction. Not happening. At this time the prediction is low of 10 and high of 20 (maybe) for January 26 with a 10 mph wind which translates to 20 mph at the Cosmo Park.


You of course can get outside for yourself, or operate the contest from home (1H).

The previously mentioned COMO Whiteout exercise for February 16 at 10:00 AM is still on, BUT with some timely changes. Just a short aside here about power outages:

Last Friday at 8:04 PM, trees fell on power lines up the creek from our house and as I heard the transformer blow, we were plunged into darkness (relatively speaking). For the next 49 hours I got to practice emergency power operations. And guess what? I never once got on the radio! I had three charged up storage batteries of various capacities. As the temperature in the house fell, I used up two of these (with inverter) to power the blower on the wood burning insert in the basement rec room (where we lived for the next two days). They lasted about 10 hours total. Three times I saw utility workers in the back woods working on the lines, so I kept thinking the power would be restored shortly. BUT by Saturday afternoon, I decided I had to get the Honda generator powered up for the blower. Wood supply was still good. With the 2KW generator going, I plugged in the TV and refrigerator, and a 12 V battery charger, and of course the cell phone chargers. With the KilAWatt power meter (Harbor Freight) I measured power requirements of appliances. With TV, blower and refrigerator and a 12V battery charger all on, I was drawing 2.4 A at 120VAC. Less than 1 A when the frig was not cooling. The generator was just idling along, so I plugged in an electric skillet. Current drain went to about 11 A and the generator sounded like it was now working a bit. I think I have drawn 15 A from the generator in testing before, but didn't like doing that much when the generator was so essential for the day. The power came back at 9:05 PM Sunday. I ran the generator for another half hour just to make sure. I used about 4 gallons of gas. (I had to go for gas Saturday afternoon, because I didn't trust the old gas I had on hand). After two days of no heat, temperature in the rooms that the wood stove couldn't reach fell to 55 degrees. Radio room battery back-up still fully charged!

So the moral of the story is: if we really have a serious loss of power for some time period, we will need to be more prepared to take care of the house and family than for getting on the air. 

So on February 16, instead of a white-out, I want us to talk about a black-out, and as you check-in to the net on EMERGENCY power for the radio, I want to talk about what have your done to take care of the house and family when the lights go out besides powering the radio.

 May the Power be with you.
Bill N0AXZ

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