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Comment Re:70CM (Score 1) 60

Yes, we do. I figured to hit him with an easier argument that the military uses that band as well. The portion between 420 and 430 MHz is used for Land Mobile Radio (think Taxis cabs, busses, and other businesses) in Canada and the Hams can't use it north of Line A (CONUS) or east of Line C (Alaska). There are other geographical restrictions in that band.

Comment Re:5 days no government, is that so bad? (Score 3, Insightful) 85

They have the power, they just can't get it where they need it without equipment overheating. Since it is a busbar overheating you can't just switch over to emergency power to fix it, you have to route power around the issue which is not economically feasible in this case except for the emergency services systems which can use their redundant power supplies.

Comment Re:Simply amazing (Score 1) 90

All it takes is some skill in working with the TIA which is the video chip. The CPU does all the work and the TIA sends that to the TV. Graphics processing occurs when the electron beam is scanning the screen and other processing is done during blanking. Some developers narrowed the playing field sometimes to allow more time for non graphics processing.

Comment Waynesboro, Pa USA (Score 2) 421

Currently it is 92.5 degrees at the high school weather station. When the storm came through we lost power twice, but only a matter of milliseconds each time (UPSes switched over and lights flickered). My family does have a generator that we can use if there is a long duration power failure.

My biggest advice for purchasing a generator is to know how to size, maintain, connect, and most importantly for portable models store the generator. When sizing the generator, take the following priorities in order. (NOTE: THIS LIST DOES NOT TAKE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT INTO ACCOUNT, THAT IS PRIORITY ZERO!) First, you want to maintain your refrigeration of food, cooking can be done with non-electric methods. Remember, you can disconnect a refrigerator momentarily to run the microwave if you have enough capacity in your generator. Second thing you want to look for is cooling of people, if cost of the generator is a problem, rule out air conditioning and use fans during the outage if possible, otherwise you may want to look at dropping some of the lower priority loads. If you must have air conditioning and you have a central air conditioning system, use a window unit in one room temporarily and live out of that room for the duration of the outage, this reduces the cost of the generator substantially. Third priority is lighting at night. This is best provided by incandescent or halogen lights as CFLs and LEDs can be damaged by power fluctuations in smaller generators caused by refrigerators and air conditioners starting. Fourth on my priority list is battery charging for communications, The idea is to charge batteries later at night when your generator load is lower. Get a jump start pack and charge that up and use the lighter sockets in it to charge the cell phones during the day. Don't worry about cordless phones, that is a very low priority in this situation use a wired phone on the landline. Everything after these four priorities are considered luxuries. TVs, PCs, even your router and modem are very low on the list. A transistor radio will serve you well to bring news and information.

In our household the extreme heat means we are running air conditioners harder than normal and in the case of the bedroom units, starting sooner than normal. The obviously affects our electric bill.

Preparation for a long duration outage in my household simply means we will have to take the gas cans out of the area to get gas for the generator. If out power dies, at least two of the local gas stations will be down as they are served from the same substation and it is very unlikely that the line between my house and the substation would be knocked out as the line is short (I'm about a block from the substation).

My advice to the city dwellers that don't have power or air conditioning in this heat is to simply get out of the situation. At a minimum go shopping at the mall during the daytime and best find another place to stay.

Protecting electronics and data is actually of minimal concern to me as my equipment is protected by a UPS and my data is backed up with the most critical backed up in multiple places. I do recommend an off site backup of some kind though. I have not seen any damage directly related to this extreme heat in any of my equipment or any other equipment that I've seen.

My method of beating the heat is simply cranking up the A/C and drinking more water. My home has air conditioning, my car has air conditioning, and my office has air conditioning.

Comment Re:Dilapidated infrastructure? (Score 1) 813

The transformers and switching stations are a problem, the overhead wires are not. Where I live the infrastructure is new and reliable as well as overhead. The last outage of significant duration at my house was when the utility upgraded tr infrastructure. The power does for a few seconds every now and again, but that's what UPSes are for.

Comment Re:Largest non-hurricane related power outage ever (Score 5, Informative) 183

The automatic transfer switch(es) would be the first component I would check even without knowing anything. In order to maintain the UL listing on the transfer switch, it must be tested monthly. The idea is, if it is tested monthly, everything is operated and is less likely to seize and fail than if the device is not tested. Modern systems can be designed that the generators can start BEFORE the transfer switch operates when in test mode to reduce the impact of the test (miliseconds without power versus 30 seconds or so).

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