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Preparing for the blackouts
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mobbsey



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2243
Location: Banbury

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely you need a luminous board game for power cuts? Wink

However, to be a little more serious, the Free Range Network put together a handout as part of our 'Great Outdoors' training weekends that looks specifically on "roughing it" at home -- http://www.fraw.org.uk/fwd?o9

For the rest of the series see --
http://www.fraw.org.uk/fwd?oseries
http://www.fraw.org.uk/fwd?wsoutdoorswe

Basically, our advice is "don't go bunkers" -- you'll do far better working as a group/with neighbours than trying to create your own personal/family lifeboat.
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5556
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be a fanatic for board games. I have finally managed to get my daughters to catch the bug with Talisman, a complicated but addictive fantasy role playing game that (with guidance) can be played from the age of 8 but is really good at any age.

I used to enjoy a game called Civilisation, there is still a version available, but not the one I used to play.

Board games have really caught on again in the geeksphere, and internet shopping means that all the old titles have become economically viable again. There are some really good internet sites specialising in old and re-issued board games - there are thousands of them.

eg. www.dicebay.co.uk

PS. Avoid games that are tie-ins to films, TV series etc. They are almost always rubbish. Too many of them are aimed at a mental age of two.
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DominicJ



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talisman!
Not got that one, got hero quest, and multiple armies / editions of the big two Smile
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to again re-visit this thread.
Is anyone reviewing or increasing preps for power cuts ? especialy in view of the concerns regarding gas supplies for the comming winter.

I suspect that with a bit of luck we will probably muddle through, though there seems to be some risk of rota power cuts.

IMHO one should be prepared for both short term, planned rota cuts, and also for any long term TEOTWAWKI situation.

For short term or rota cuts, battery lighting that recharges automaticly when power is restored has a lot to be said for it.

For the longer term, a large battery bank charged by PV, together with a low-tech plan B such as a few thousand candles might be better.
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 12654
Location: York

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fear that proper power cuts are a bit passee now. What I mean by "fear" is this: it seems that rather than cut off the power suddenly and all in one lump, HMG will swing it so that less will get used but no-one will notice: they'll somehow get the price put up, so that more and more people on pre-pays will simply fall off the system, either temporarily (i.e. til pay-day) or permanently.

The thing about power cuts is, they're too fecking egalitarian for this government. They also tend to bring people together and get them talking.

Of course it's still worth preparing, because power cuts due to infrastructure problems (gales, ice, thieves) are still going to be an issue.
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember the rota-based power cuts of the '70's (I was a young teenager at the time). It would be interesting to see just how differently people react now. Back then people grumbled, but basically took them in their stride. The impact on business and production, of course, was more serious.

My memory is that the role of the media was primarily informational, rather than sensationalist. There would be a daily bulletin, basically like the weather forecast, outlining the timetable for the cuts. We got used to a whole new geographical terminology of CEGB districts and regions. I remember we were in "Ravensbourne", even though we lived in the London Borough of Merton.

ETA: We had a gas cooker and a gas fire in the lounge (the only form of heating). Our water heating was by way of an immersion heater, so the only impact on us was that we had to make sure we had enough provision for lighting if the power cut was coming after dark, and remember to put the immersion on for an hour or so while the power was on. Apart from that it wasn't a big deal.
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JavaScriptDonkey



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember being told that those power cuts were mandated by the Government in order to draw off support for the strikers.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
I fear that proper power cuts are a bit passee now. What I mean by "fear" is this: it seems that rather than cut off the power suddenly and all in one lump, HMG will swing it so that less will get used but no-one will notice: they'll somehow get the price put up, so that more and more people on pre-pays will simply fall off the system, either temporarily (i.e. til pay-day) or permanently.

The thing about power cuts is, they're too fecking egalitarian for this government. They also tend to bring people together and get them talking......
That sounds about bloody right RC
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JavaScriptDonkey wrote:
I remember being told that those power cuts were mandated by the Government in order to draw off support for the strikers.
Can you by any chance remember, who you were told by?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this thread was started over four years ago, technology has moved on.
In particular LEDs have improved greatly, there are numerous LED torches, headlights, and lanterns on the market, though some cheap ones are of very poor qaulity.

LED retrofit bulbs for torches and lanterns are now much improved and well worth the high price.
A 2D Maglite with an LED bulb gives several times the light, for at least twice the run time as the incandescent bulb.
A 6D Maglight fitted wth an LED bulb gives more light and a run time of about 100 hours compared to about 12 hours with the incandescent bulb.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TTS-1WCREE-1-Watt-CREE-2-to-9V-LED-Torch-Flashlight-Bulb-Replacement-Upgrade-/271057505559?pt=UK_SportsLeisure_Camping_LightsLanternsTorches&hash=item3f1c494d17

I use these and can recomend them, they also do an MES version.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yes but they still go out if the leccy gets turned off Smile !
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Well yes but they still go out if the leccy gets turned off Smile !


Not so, these are torch bulbs specificly for use in torches and lanterns when the mains electricity supply is not available.
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JavaScriptDonkey



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
JavaScriptDonkey wrote:
I remember being told that those power cuts were mandated by the Government in order to draw off support for the strikers.
Can you by any chance remember, who you were told by?


IIRC (and I probably don't) I first heard it when I was in college. One of the lecturers was ex-CEGB and his opinion was that it wasn't feasible to run up and run down the coal fired plants quickly enough to reflect the pattern of power cuts.

I also remember seeing a documentary on the coal strikes stating that there was plenty of coal at the power stations before the strike had begun. Preparation I think they called it. But that might have been the later miner's strikes.

Was anybody here working at the power plants at the time?
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5285
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JavaScriptDonkey wrote:
[IIRC (and I probably don't) I first heard it when I was in college. One of the lecturers was ex-CEGB and his opinion was that it wasn't feasible to run up and run down the coal fired plants quickly enough to reflect the pattern of power cuts.

.....?

Not my field but I don't think that is how a rota cut is managed. They can cut off what ever plant they want and use the switching stations in the grid to turn off first one section of the grid then the next etc. without turning on or off any more plants. A weak or outdated grid distribution system might place limits on this but they should be able to shut down a plant in say Kent and balance the loss by turning out the lights in Liverpool.
Of course I think AC power comes out of the meter at 110 volts and 20 amps per conductor so what do I know. Razz
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The output of coal burning power plants is not easily or quickly adjusted, but this was not needed for rota power cuts.
There was no question of altering power production to fit the rota ! the rota was adjusted to fit the available power.

Throughout the working day, a proportion of the national load was dissconnected, on a rota basis.
As a previously blacked out area was reinstated, another area was blacked out in turn.

The published rota was in 3 hour blocks for each load group* Each 3 hour block being identified as high, medium, or low risk of dissconection.
The plan would be to dissconect all "high risk" load groups according to the published rota. In the event that more power than expected was available, then either some and not all "high risk" consumers would be cut off, or the power might be restored after 2 hours rather than the planned three hours.
If the supply situation was worse than expected, then some medium risk consumers would be cut off in addition, but not normally for the whole 3 hours.

In urban areas at least, the geographic area covered by one load group* was fairly small and an area still on was often in walking distance.
Those right on the edge of one load group often had a mutual assistance arrangements with someone nearby but in another load group.

*the load groups were identified by 18 letters of the alphabet, and it was important to know in which load group ones home was. It was often desireable to also know in which load group ones friends and relatives resided, and also the load group of ones workplace, public house, local shop, takeaway food shop etc.
Local newspapers published maps of varying accuracy that showed which parts of their circulation area were in what load groups.
Even if the published map was not accurate, one could determine in what load group one was by the time of the FIRST rota power cut.
If the rota said "group A at high risk from 06-00 until 09-00 on Monday" and ones supply went off during those times, then it was virtually certain that one was in group A.
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Last edited by adam2 on Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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