Do you get power outages often in your area?

Spango

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Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
154
Hi,

After reading through the numerous posts in the forums, it seems that a lot of flashaholics carry a couple of lights everyday, for fear of being left in the dark suddenly. Do you get power outages and are left in the dark suddenly quite often?

For me, I don't really have a real power outage for the past 20 years, well, there was once, but it was due to my the mains outside my unit frying, and it only affected by unit. Wasn't really left in the dark, as there was lots of surrounding light coming in. That was the only time I found my LED flashlights to be useful. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Reason I post this question is because when I purchase some of the high quality lights or try to bring them around with me, people around me usually wonder if I am trying to be funny. They must think I am silly if I try to carry a flashlight wherever I go, and I must be crazy spending so much money on flashlights... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon23.gif
 

JOshooter

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Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
544
Location
Alaska
Hey it is good to be prepared, you just never know what might happen or who may ask for a flashlight.

As far as spending money on both, when in doubt buy 'em both. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

flownosaj

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
1,235
Location
Fayetteville, NC
I get a power outage at least twice a year here at home when we have bad storms (or someone hits a pole).

I showed up to a class last semester and the power was out but the prof. decided to have class anyways. I started handing out lights to the people immediatley around me (I happened to have quite a few keychain lights and two incans)... I let the prof. strugle to see her notes /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

-Jason
 

iddibhai

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Oct 28, 2002
Messages
829
Location
SoCal
i *wish* we had outages, dind't even get hit during rolling black- and brownouts in california. i like my thunder to rock and roll, not this wanna-be "sprinkler" drizzle that makes headlines in so. california.
 

Spango

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Jul 28, 2003
Messages
154
Come to think of it, although I own a couple of LED lights, the only light that receive daily usage is a lousy incandescent based 'right angle' flashlight that takes 2 AA sized batteries. I originally got it for using whenever I am back in the force.

This is the only flashlight I own that includes a button switch (probably used for signaling), and I find that more convenient to use than twisting the head of the LED flashlights to switch them on. This light is so weak that it is rather dim even when I have a fresh set of alkaline batteries installed, and will refuse to light up 50% of the time. However, I find the dim light an advantage as it does not to blind me whenever I turn it on in the dark to check the time. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif Funny isn't it.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

zmoz

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Feb 28, 2003
Messages
605
Location
Oregon
Very rare...I don't remember the last time it happened, and I know it's been at least two and a half years. (that's how long I've been living in my new house - with power) I wish it would happen more often! Most of the power lines around here are under ground...
 

The_LED_Museum

*Retired*
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Aug 12, 2000
Messages
19,414
Location
Federal Way WA. USA
I moved here in 1996, and haven't yet seen a power outage. About a year earlier though (summer 1995), the power was out in this area for 5 days. Having all that food in the fridge go bad, having no electric fans, and having no place to recharge an electric wheelchair (not to mention not having the elevator either) doesn't sound very pleasant though. I'd be worried about more than just flashlights if the power went out here for more than a day. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif
 

Tomas

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Jun 19, 2002
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Seattle, WA area
Craig, I spent all five and a half of those days at some of my customer's (Sprint, GCI, AllNet, Alascom, AANet, MCI, State of Washington, etc.) who were all in the same building, assuring emergency power for their networks and helping them out with network re-routes and equipment problems. We had several thousand feet of cables running up and down stairwells and hallways.

We supplied two 500KW generators parked in the alley and were still running their systems alternately on the generators and their batteries so we could meet the current demand. Even at that we were doing equipment cooling at one customer using fans and dry ice. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/huh.gif Luckily the largest communication company in the building (the entire 31st floor was their equipment) had their own 500KW emergency generator on the roof of the parking garage across the alley.

Ron, the building electrician, had to run new power feeds from the generators to the building distribution system to feed the essential customers (lowest one was on the 24th floor) and since the power units were ours we got to decide who THEY were - the communication companies. We cut most of the other stuff off the 3000A north power riser, and transferred the comm companies to that one bus.

The rest of the building was shut down since their "emergency backup power" was one 250KW generator on the roof to run fire pumps , emergency ventilation, emergency lighting, and one elevator (which was mostly used to haul 5 gallon jerrycans of diesel to the generator on the roof).

I slept in one of my equipment rooms on the 34th floor that week and the wife brought me (and some other folks) meals.

After we had commercial power finally restored, we spent the next week putting the building wiring back together, and cleaning diesel out of the lobby and number eight elevator.

Over the next six months we completely rebiult the power buses in the building so that their were the two standard risers, two "emergency power" risers, and two "essential power" risers. We also installed an nice 1MW autostart emergency generator and specialized switching so that the emergency power and essential power buses could cross feed if necessary. We also put in a power jack in the alley that you would NOT believe so we could plug in one of our 500KW, 460V, 3 Ph, portable generators without having to run cables all over.

OK, Extra Credit: What caused the power to 31 square blocks of downtown Seattle to fail for 5 1/2 days?

T_sig6.gif
 

Tomas

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Seattle, WA area
Uh, just thought I should actually answer the question first asked: Here in the apartment building where I now live, we have had two outages of more than a few minutes in the past three years.

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Brock

Flashaholic
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Aug 6, 2000
Messages
6,346
Location
Green Bay, WI USA
usually about 2 to 3 times a year. It was out last weekend at work and we had a band camp preformance. We had to move everything out to the lobby and did the show with all natural light /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

PhotonBoy

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Mar 11, 2003
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Location
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada http://tinyu
Here in rural Nova Scotia, we get at least 3 major power outages each winter due to ice or wind storms that drop mature tree branches on the power lines. One of these outages is guaranteed to last at least 8 hours. Last winter, we had the power off for 15 hours during one storm.
 

FalconFX

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Nov 1, 2002
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3,297
Location
Davis, CA
El Nino in '97 was the best power outage I've seen in my areas (Fresno and Davis)... Otherwise, the notorious rolling blackouts here were redeeming only in that it provided me the excuse to burn some batteries...
 

MisterEd

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Jul 11, 2003
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Location
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Well, the uptime on my cablemodem linux router is two days shy of a year, and the last time it was rebooted was for a kernel upgrade. The power hasn't been out long enough for a PC power supply to notice in the ~2 years I've lived here. It's easy to get spoiled living in a city, with underground power feeds.
 

Chris M.

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Jan 17, 2001
Messages
2,564
Location
South Wales, UK
We occasionally get stupid little half-second blips which are enough for the contactor powering the bench in here to drop out, but not much else. Meaning the computer gets shut down, the CCTV goes off and it goes very dark in here.

And then I get up, reset it, reboot everything and a half hour later *blip* off it goes again. It can do this a half dozen times in one night, but thankfuly those nights/days are not common.

Hasn`t been a significant drop for years. Well, maybe about a year ago when it all went off one night for a half hour. Two eight-watt emergency mains-fail lights in here lit up as they should do, that woke me up and I looked out the front to see the streetlight off too. It didn`t last long and didn`t affect much more of the surrounding areas - everything off in the distance was still glaring into the night sky.

I must admit I don`t look forward to power outages. Nothing works /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif And I can find plenty of excuses to use my lights elsewhere!
 

d'mo

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May 9, 2002
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Location
Rochester, NY
My house is at the end of a circuit. Homes accross the street are on the next. Since any problems upstream will take out my power, it happens three or four times a year, but usually only for a few hours. Many times, we don't notice until the next morning when all of the clocks are flashing. It's very irritating as it takes me an hour to reset all of my clocks and older VCRS (big home theater).

Every few years or so, we have an ice storm or nasty weather that can take out the power. I love the navigating with flashlights part, but the cold part stinks. During the last one, I broke down and bought a generator.
 

The_LED_Museum

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Federal Way WA. USA
[ QUOTE ]
Tomas said:
OK, Extra Credit: What caused the power to 31 square blocks of downtown Seattle to fail for 5 1/2 days?

[/ QUOTE ]
Now that I don't know...but I'm guessing that an underground transformer or two went boom and took some power cables along for the ride. I'd think that a transformer fire could be put out pretty quickly and a new transformer installed within 1 day. But power was out here for 5+ days, so I don't know what that was.
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif :toliet: /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif
 

Tomas

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Seattle, WA area
That's the right answer, Craig. A contractor was jack-hammering a chunk of sidewalk out (right next to the old Bergman Luggage) and nailed one of the underground 600VDC runs for the electric trolleys that started a fire in an underground transformer farm and switching node that burned for about 4 hours and crisped everything running into it or near it.

Watching that fire, and seeing how intense it was, and how little the SFD could do to fight it was a bit frightening. No one could even get into the hole 'til the next day.

Replacing all the transformers and many thousands of feet of underground cable that had been fused together in the conduits when the insulation burned took an awfully long time. Even cables in conduits that didn't have any openings or breaks in the vault and were just 'passing thru' were damaged and were replaced.

Ugly job.

The area around that vault stank for months.

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Joe Talmadge

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
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2,202
Location
Silicon Valley, CA
We live for power outages?

There's only been one power outage here in the past 3 years or so. However, I'm in California, and you may remember a few years ago there was a 4 or 5 month long power crisis. During that time, I was probably in 6-10 outages. That's when I started always carrying at least a keychain light.
 

Bill.H

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Nov 25, 2002
Messages
630
Location
Maine USA
I've had 3 in the last 6 weeks all between 20 and 30 minutes. That's unusual though. Normally there are only 1 or 2 a year that last more than 10 mins.
The worst was The Ice Storm that knocked parts of the state out for 2 weeks back in 98 (or was it 97 or 99?). I just missed it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

For the occasional 2 to 30 second outages I have an APC UPS on my PBX, router, and cable modem; and another for the main computer. Those things are bulletproof.

And when the lights go out at night I take my Arc AAA from my pocket to find my way to the closet where the Blaster II is. That thing makes an awesome candle.
 

Tater Rocket

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Jun 25, 2001
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574
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Close to St. Louis, MO, school at Rolla
Power was off at my school for 30 hours this summer...luckily I wasn't there, I don't have enough batteries or long light lights to keep it bright, plus I'd be really bored.

(This post is mainly so I can see my member number so I can search for an old thread I posted in)
 
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