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Surfin’: Got Generator?


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ considers portable power generators in the wake of another horrific storm.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy barreled through here Monday, but I was lucky: The tree man had done his work last month, so there was no tree damage on my property, except for a few small branches that landed without incident here and there. And my home lost power for only 23 hours (compared to last year’s Halloween surprise snowstorm that kept us off the grid for over three days).

Despite my luck, there were queries again about buying a generator for the house. After another night of bumping into things in the dark, I am seriously considering such a purchase this time around.

Some of my co-workers (electrical engineering types) already own generators, so I asked around and received some tips about buying and using them, including a few that are probably not in compliance with the electrical code.

Online, Popular Mechanics offers some sound advice in its article titled “How to Buy the Right Backup Generator for Your Disaster & Budget.”

The American Red Cross addresses questions about using a generator when disaster or emergency strikes in its article “Safe Generator Use.”

From the ARRL website, you can download a June 1999 QST article called “How to Choose and Use a Portable Power Generator.”

I will read all three articles while I figure out where to store enough gasoline to run a generator for three days or more!

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.




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