What's the best choice for individuals that want to have backup power?

jhotz

I wasn't in the area of the country that suffered (or continues to suffer) power outages, but I have been through a couple of hurricanes in the past. Surprisingly, the longest I was ever without power wasn't because of a hurricane, it was because of an unexpected severe thunderstorm. I actually have a small gas powered generator, which is great for keeping my fridge running and a couple of fluorescent floor lamps on during a power outage, but I have concerns about hooking it up to my computers and smartphones because I'm not sure how clean the power output is. Is it safe to hook up a devices like a PC to a gas generator, or is there another choice that is better?

Answer this Question

Answers

2 total
jluppino
Vote Up (17)

A good surge protector would probably help to minimize the risk.  A better quality generator would be best, like a Yamaha or Honda.  The power output is cleaner and they make a heck of a lot less noise than most of the Briggs & Stratton powered generators.  I have a gas generator at home, but I also have a rechargeable portable power unit that I keep plugged in and charged all the time.  This is essentially a deep cell battery with a converter that changes DC to AC.  I've used it a few times over the years during power outages.  It also has jumper cables on it so I can start my car after leaving my phone plugged in too long with the engine not running. :-)

 

One thing to think about - laptops use more power than I would have thought.  If memory serves, my Windows laptop uses about 250 Watts of power (without going in and changing power settings), and it discharges my portable power unit in just a few hours of use. 

jimlynch
Vote Up (17)

Perhaps hooking up a surge protector to the generator, then plugging in the computer to the surge protector might be a good idea? It seems that a lot of folks use generators with computers, so it might be worth a try.

The other thing that you could do is get a plugin for your vehicle, then charge the smartphone on that. It might also work for a laptop, and certainly for a tablet. Then you could run those things without even plugging them into the generator. Just use your vehicle to recharge them if you need to at some point.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Researchers have concluded that those billions of connected devices could help save lives in the event of disaster, even one that knocks out the Internet
No July 4th show can match the entertainment value of watching dad upgrade an iPhone
A big barrier to widespread adoption of GitHub by Windows users has been the lack of friendly tooling to interact with the service. Most everything needed to be done through the command line and the initial setup of the security key exchange between your desktop and GitHub was enough to deter a lot of people. All of that has changed with GitHub Windows 2.0.
Advances in technology just keep making parenting more expensive
You don’t need to excavate a New Mexico landfill to find the code underlying Atari’s infamous video game flop
New technologies are giving small companies enterprise-like DR capabilities
Last week Jim Salter over at Ars Technica wrote a thorough and interesting article about the phenomenon known as bitrot and how next generation file systems are gearing up to combat the problem.
Most companies understand the risks associated with disaster recovery and business continuity and plan accordingly. Few can say the same thing about the software they own -- or don't own, as the case may be. That's where software asset management and software license management tools can make a difference.
Drinking and programming often go together, but is that really a good idea?
Real-life smartphone mini-disasters are widespread. They can be maddening and often amusing.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

randomness