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Entries in Power Management (2)

Monday
Oct292012

Planning for #Sandy (Or, "What to do when you can't find a generator")

Updated on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:21PM by Registered Commenterjf

Almost exactly a year ago, we were without power (And heat. And fresh water.) for almost five days.

My wife and I vowed that we would never go through that again if we could help it, so we planned to buy a generator and transfer switch for this year's storm season so that we could power our home's basic necessities (heat, hot water, sump pump, fridges).

Long story short, we didn't. The money we budgeted for a generator went toward replacing our broken hot water heater, but we vowed to get a generator as soon as it made sense for our budget.

Then we started tracking Hurricane Sandy.

Thursday night, my wife said, "We should get a generator tomorrow." 

Powering our sump pump is critical for us, especially after installing a new hot water and heater and, six months earlier, replacing a broken washing machine - both of which are located in our relatively wet basement.

At 7 AM on Friday I began calling around, looking for generators. Most retailers laughed at my request while others were sympathetic to my search - but they still couldn't help me as there weren't generators in stock, anywhere.

So I started to do some research to find a creative solution. Here's what I came up with.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct302008

I'm a Vampire

iPhone Monster on ShanaLogic.comEven though Halloween is upon us, this is not a post celebrating the annual spookfest. No, this post is about my quest for power.

Electrical power, that is.

I've been an early adopter of mobile computing and gadgets my entire life and have always had to find a solution to power those devices while on-the-go. Usually, that involved the purchase of a second battery or, if available, a larger batter with greater capacity.

All that changed when I got my iPhone.

I have a love/hate relationship with my iPhone. I love all that it can do. I love the App Store and the third party accessories for it. I've even learned to love the touchscreen (I've become so comfortable with typing on it that a BlackBerry or Palm keypad now feels odd to me.) The one attribute of the iPhone that continues to aggravate me is the battery life - which is only exacerbated by the fact that the device doesn't allow for a swappable battery.

Where I used to carry nothing but a laptop and cables to charge my portable gadgets using the USB ports, I now find myself traveling everywhere with all my usual gear plus the iPhone wall wart.

I'm constantly checking the battery drain on the device and when I find it depleting too rapidly for my liking, I'll find myself searching for an electrical outlet somewhere. Anywhere. I'm like an addict, looking for his next hit.iPhone/iPod Wall Wart

I've been known to search for and power-up in the homes of friends and family, conference rooms, reception areas, random cars (I carry a USB car charger with me, too.), restaurants, Penn Station, the New York City Subway, airplane bathrooms, airports and even my son's elementary school during parent's night.

I've even resorted to purchasing some USB extension cables, for those times when an outlet is just slightly out-of-reach of the standard iPhone cable.

For those times when I know I won't be able to get a charge from an outlet, I've purchased a portable battery charging system from iGo that uses standard AA batteries and has an adapter for the iPhone. (Hey, you can always find a AA battery somewhere...) I use it frequently on airplanes when I want to watch a movie on my iPhone but still want to arrive at my destination with a full charge.

And please note, I have an iPhone - not an iPhone 3G. I still haven't purchased one because the battery drain while using 3G networks and GPS is even worse than when using EDGE network technology on the original iPhone.

The big question is: When will it get better? Of course, I'm not just talking about the iPhone.

There hasn't been a significant improvement in battery technology in years. Everything I've read indicates that it will be some time before battery technology will be able to keep up with our gadgets.

In the meantime, I'll just continue to live my underground life as an electrical succubus.