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Help with dumb power outage questions

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  • Jul 6th, 2020 8:12 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2455 posts
738 upvotes
GTA

Help with dumb power outage questions

So I live in an apartment, and want to prepare for a power outage. Ok, with eating cold canned food, wearing lots of clothes, and a few flashlights. But I want to continue to charge my cell phones, Rogers phone line and internet modem/router and laptop. If I get one of these, would it work e.g. for about a week, or would it be an overkill? If it's an overkill, what do you recommend? I'm hoping it will help in a local outage if networks are still up. Also what other uses can I get from this? Reason I'm reluctant to pay such a lot is that I won't be able to add solar panels to charge it unless I take it to the car and put the panels on top of my car because I have no garden, also wouldn't be driving around, and not the camping type. I imagine solar panels won't work inside through windows.

https://www.amazon.ca/Jackery-Portable- ... ljaz10cnVl
8 replies
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User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
19471 posts
22607 upvotes
GTA
Catnippy wrote: So I live in an apartment, and want to prepare for a power outage. Ok, with eating cold canned food, wearing lots of clothes, and a few flashlights. But I want to continue to charge my cell phones, Rogers phone line and internet modem/router and laptop. If I get one of these, would it work e.g. for about a week, or would it be an overkill? If it's an overkill, what do you recommend? I'm hoping it will help in a local outage if networks are still up. Also what other uses can I get from this? Reason I'm reluctant to pay such a lot is that I won't be able to add solar panels to charge it unless I take it to the car and put the panels on top of my car because I have no garden, also wouldn't be driving around, and not the camping type. I imagine solar panels won't work inside through windows.

https://www.amazon.ca/Jackery-Portable- ... ljaz10cnVl
Yes, solar panels can work through windows, just less efficiently. Could also work on a balcony is you have one.
A setup with deep cycle car batteries may be cheaper, but would take more room.
One thing to look at would be to generate your own power using human power, like on a stationary bike or something.
You could also power a generator with water pressure, especially if you don't pay for it.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
3526 posts
1717 upvotes
Mississauga
Since no one asked.. I will
Where are you located that power dropouts is an issue... just curious
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2455 posts
738 upvotes
GTA
TLSRULZ wrote: Since no one asked.. I will
Where are you located that power dropouts is an issue... just curious
In the GTA and no frequent power outages, but hoping that the pandemic 2nd wave will not make the hydro workers sick (like it did with the meat plants). With everything that could be closed, need access to my laptop and/or cellphone (can't pay my bills or order groceries with my little portable radio, so thought I should make a few plans).
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4622 posts
4064 upvotes
Toronto
Get a deep cycle 12v battery - as in for a boat. Like a car battery but longer lasting. Get a sealed model, not one with caps and acid you have to maintain.

Put it in a nice box.

Get an inverter - something like a 300w model. Nothing overkill. And a battery charger/tender. Common use for these is motorcycles.

Keep the battery plugged in on the charger/tender. It will stay charged and properly conditioned.

When you have a power outage, connect the inverter, run extension cords to your modem and a power bar for your device charging. Get a simple floor lamp or a utility light and a 5w LED bulb for it so you have light.

Probably outlast any GTA power outage and will cost you <$300 all together. It's basically what's in that overpriced plastic $1300 thing you linked to.

I have an offgrid cottage. The boat battery and a 75w inverter is how we kept the lights on etc. in the evening when we didn't want to run the generator. Since then I've put a decent solar system in with 6 panels, a 4000w inverter and 8 large solar specific batteries. It keeps us running from March to November 24/7 with a fridge, lights, water pump, computers, tv, power tools etc.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4622 posts
4064 upvotes
Toronto
Catnippy wrote: In the GTA and no frequent power outages, but hoping that the pandemic 2nd wave will not make the hydro workers sick (like it did with the meat plants). With everything that could be closed, need access to my laptop and/or cellphone (can't pay my bills or order groceries with my little portable radio, so thought I should make a few plans).
The GTA power grid is highly exposed to risk, being above ground for the most part and the transformer stations are prone to flooding.

During the large windstorm a few years back we lost a tree, which took our feeder line off. Ripped the mast off the side of the house and left the live wire on the ground wrapped up in the tree.

Took Hydro 5 days to repair it. Thankfully we just ran an extension cable from our neighbor's place for our fridge and Bell services and we didn't need to heat or cool the house being it was May.
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User avatar
Jan 6, 2002
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Toronto
Catnippy wrote: In the GTA and no frequent power outages, but hoping that the pandemic 2nd wave will not make the hydro workers sick (like it did with the meat plants). With everything that could be closed, need access to my laptop and/or cellphone (can't pay my bills or order groceries with my little portable radio, so thought I should make a few plans).
Why do you think that is power delivery is affected, that data/cell delivery won't be? Do you not remember 2003?
Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2455 posts
738 upvotes
GTA
hoob wrote: Why do you think that is power delivery is affected, that data/cell delivery won't be? Do you not remember 2003?
Yes, threw out all the food in my fridge! But if it's a localised power outage like the Dec 2013 icestorm, I can still hope for some cell towers to work and tether my laptop. Safer to bug in than bug out these days.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
8045 posts
9022 upvotes
Montréal
Catnippy wrote: So I live in an apartment, and want to prepare for a power outage. Ok, with eating cold canned food, wearing lots of clothes, and a few flashlights. But I want to continue to charge my cell phones, Rogers phone line and internet modem/router and laptop. If I get one of these, would it work e.g. for about a week, or would it be an overkill? If it's an overkill, what do you recommend? I'm hoping it will help in a local outage if networks are still up. Also what other uses can I get from this? Reason I'm reluctant to pay such a lot is that I won't be able to add solar panels to charge it unless I take it to the car and put the panels on top of my car because I have no garden, also wouldn't be driving around, and not the camping type. I imagine solar panels won't work inside through windows.

https://www.amazon.ca/Jackery-Portable- ... ljaz10cnVl

You may want to get something like this? Way cheaper than what you point to, amd can do what you look for... Bonus: you can jump start your car with it. You can charge it at the office if needed, and when you are back home if power is ne-ot recovered you are still good. Yo can't heat your apartment, plug in your fridge. Onle 400W though, but you can plug in your cell phone, Rogers home phone, a radio to listen to public advisory, etc

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Features a premium 33 amp hour deep-cycle internal battery, ideal for providing portable power for extended periods
Offers four portable power options
120V household outlets (400W) for powering small appliances
12V outlet for powering accessories
12V positive and negative terminals for quick connection of equipment such as fish finders, trolling motors and bilge pumps
USB port for powering/recharging USB devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and handheld game consoles
With a built-in LED work light with 10' (3 m) self-storing cord, navigational lights, and 150 PSI air compressor ideal for car, truck and trailer tires

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