[opendtv] Re: News: DTV Converter Box announcements

  • From: Cliff Benham <flyback1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 20:14:59 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

I do not disagree in principle. I would note that generators often allow folks to watch OTA TV after an emergency.
The term 'generator' has been used frequently in these posts, but I think a note is now necessary to offer a sense of scale to
the word, it's cost and what you can expect from it.

A generator sells for about $1 per volt amp until you get beyond 3KVA, then they begin to cost less per VA. I finally bought a small, bright red 1 KVA generator. It is air cooled and holds about a pint or so of gas. It originally sold for $999.00 and works fine for a few hours, after which you must shut it down, let it cool, then refuel it. Being air cooled it has to be shut down every few hours so it won't overheat and burn up. Hence the small gas tank.

Now, you can't actually get 1KVA out of it for more than about 30 seconds, or the breaker will pop. The instructions tell you not to load it continuously with more than 650 watts worth of lightbulbs or other resistive loads.

What this amounts to is that in about 12 minutes I can make one 5 cup pot of coffee with no other loads connected. Or I can make two slices of toast in about 4 minutes. You soon begin to understand how much electricity we use mindlessly each day...

I tried running my 230 watt TV and then my PC on the generator but neither device liked the voltage waveform until I ran it through a Sola CVS neutralized harmonic constant voltage transformer. This generator will also charge a car battery, albeit slowly, but you then limit the 120 volt output to <500 watts.

If you expect to be in the dark for a few days don't buy a generator smaller than 3.5KVA and a 5 KVA or bigger is really better.

~the Cliff whose 3 day power outage at home was less than one step up from camping. ;^)

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