Generac GP 6500 Portable Generator, by Thomas Christianson

When high winds sweep through our area, it is not unusual for electrical service to be interrupted, sometimes for days at a time. For more than eight years now, a Generac GP 6500 gas-powered portable generator has provided my family with a reliable and effective way of dealing with the challenges of occasional, short-term power outages. The Backstory Nine years ago, my wife and I fled suburbia for a log home in the woods. There we provide most of our own utilities. We provide our own water with a well, our own sewage treatment with a septic tank, and our …




Solar-Battery Home Power – Part 2, by Jeff M.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) POWERING UP & MORE TO LEARN Don’t expect step-by-step instructions. I found all the needed information but chronological steps for start-up or shut-down are not readily available. However, there is plenty of online info where people figured out the best steps. I powered up my inverter with battery power first, then went through the entire menu. Go slow, though it’s pretty easy. A couple of battery voltage settings from the battery manufacturer were the only deviations. Then I turned the solar panel input on and waited for the screen to recognize battery …




Solar-Battery Home Power – Part 1, by Jeff M.

So to begin with I must say that my move to a solar/battery system was rather supernatural. I had been pondering for a long time as to installing a generator for our home, or use the large portable I already own and can connect manually, or do nothing. I was constantly worrying about two things:  1. Where will I get fuel in a long term, serious societal event? 2. All generators make noise, most of them a lot, including mine. I was trapped in a vicious circle of worry, especially with events of the past six years. I truly believe …




Jackery Explorer 1500 and Solar Panels, by Michael Z. Williamson and Jessica Schlenker

This is a review of a battery/inverter/solar panel combination. The Jackery “solar generator” (portable battery pack with charge controller and inverter) and the solar panels were well-packaged. They arrived just after Christmas, so temperature concerns (here in Indiana) have made testing it tricky. The battery pack arrived partially charged, and per instructions, it was plugged in to charge from a 120-volt AC wall jack. The input options are DC from the solar cells, DC from a car (12 or 24V), or 110/120V AC household current. Outputs are three 110V outlets (with pure sine wave power, rated for a 1,800-watt load), …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 5, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article.) Spare Electric Motor The motors used in the Dankoff slow pumps are of the highest quality and would not need service except for brushes. However, it would be nice to have a spare motor just in case an armature fails, or a bearing fails, or if the original motor is lost to theft. If the spare pump motor was stored in an alternate location with a spare pump head and coupler, then we could eventually fabricate the missing parts.  A recent quote from the owner, Kenny at Dankoff Solar Pumps: $539 for …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 4, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 3.) Delivery Line Pressure Specifications Water pressure per foot of head, in the Dankoff chart indicates 60 PSI static pressure at 140 feet.  When water is pumped, if my gauge is accurate, 60 PSI was reached at about 100 feet. Note that 60psi is the maximum pressure rating of most 1/2″ drip irrigation that is the least expensive black poly pipe. As a quick reference when designing a system, download the PDF of this chart.  To save money, you can use inexpensive black poly pipe rated for 100 or 160 PSI for lifts above 120 feet. To …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 2.) If a 100-watt panel is used, the voltage could be 17.5 to 19 volts at its peak amperage, which is too high for long-term operation. As tested, I use two 100-watt panels, that have one cell covered with duct tape to reduce the voltage at the pump. Voltage is confirmed using a multimeter, and output measured with a one-gallon container, and a tachometer confirms that the pump head is turning at less than 1,725 rpm. Output should be slightly less 2.50 gallons per minute (GPM) if the Dankoff Model #1303 is used, and slightly less than …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.) There are clear advantages with the addition of electronics, and a battery-based pump system.  However reliable they may, or may not be, both of these options can fail at a future date.  As it is, if there are not the microchips to produce it today, so I would not expect it to be available during or after TEOTWAWKI. If we know how to work around a complex device normally used to run solar pumps, then we can also avoid the expense of either the pump controller or perhaps even a PV system altogether. Simplicity is better …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

The Mission: To “Survive and Thrive” In my opinion, the ability to irrigate crops is not covered adequately.  Few have a plan, or the ability pump water for decades without electricity from the grid.  And fewer still have a contingency plan that includes relocating with this critical ability. Not only is our currency at risk, at the same time, so is our food supply and the ability to grow it.  Famine could soon be in the land. What is occurring in the world today has no equal in modern history books, but has been foretold in the Book of Revelation. …




Backup Power Generation Considerations, by Tractorguy

Emergency backup power is a key consideration in prepping for emergency situations and disasters. This is not meant to be a exhaustive discussion of different types of generators and backup power systems, but rather a discussion about critical items in an emergency situation. Backup power is a two-edged sword. Many people think they are ready for a power outage because they own a generator, with no consideration given to proper connection, maintenance, fuel availability, or operation. I have been maintaining generators and backup power systems for more than forty years as a broadcast engineer and engineering consultant, and I can …




An Electric Car for TEOTWAWKI? – Part 1, by S.B.

I’ve been working on an article for SurvivalBlog on electric cars for quite some time…writing a little bit here and there then prioritizing other activities and halting work. With the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware fiasco and associated fuel shortages on the east coast Report: U.S. Capital Nearly Out of Gas While NC, VA Also Endure Outages (breitbart.com), I thought this an opportune time to buckle down and finish up the article. Regardless of how you interpret U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent statement regarding the Colonial Pipeline shutdown where she said “if you drive an electric car, this would not …




Simple Photovoltaic Power, by A. DoItYourselfer

This article presents my photovoltaic power experiences to give fellow do-it-yourselfers an understanding of what it takes to use the sun for energy. I am a 69-year-old carpenter with experience in residential, commercial and industrial construction. I abhor relying on others for needs. So that is what drove me in the area of energy, especially stored energy. By “stored energy, I mean propane, solar battery systems, stored food, and so forth. I live in Arkansas which is considered a subtropical climate in late spring to early fall. The heat in summer coupled with humidity from the Gulf of Mexico is …




Lessons Learned from the Texas Deep Freeze, by B.B.

Texans had two weeks warning about the artic cold set to hit the state last month. Yet most Texans were not prepared. It is estimated that 80 people died from the cold and lack of power. Some froze to death from lack of heat while others died from carbon monoxide poisoning trying to stay warm in foolish ways. It started Sunday night with rolling blackouts in my area, but complete power outages in some areas. For my family, rolling blackouts continued through Wednesday night, ending in the early hours of Thursday morning. During this time, many lost water service, either …




Letter Re: 2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned

Dear Editor: Regarding the 2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned article, I have a few recommendations: I keep a 1800W variable speed inverter generator around to charge phones, run the internet and routers, power a computer, run a television and keep the refrigerator or freezer going.  It is quiet, doesn’t disturb the neighbors, and sips gasoline, especially with the variable speed.  It is small and light enough I can bring it into the house to keep it warmer for easier starting. For the car and the generator I keep a can of ether in the shed.  Most cars today do a …




2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned , by Chill N. Texas

I am a long time reader of SurvivalBlog.com but this is my first time submitting an article to the blog. Much of this will be “train of thought” as I am reading through my notes that I was keeping during and immediately after the exceptionally cold winter storm that hit the Houston, Texas area in February, 2021. I have been “preparedness-minded” most of my life, but didn’t consider myself officially a “prepper” until about 10 years ago. I have generally had the support (or at least she humors me) of the wife when it comes to being prepared, but as …