Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You, um, expecting trouble? BIG Batteries...

Through a contact at an SF Bay Area web hosting company I recently obtained for free a set of used -- but still very strong -- UPS batteries; the Deka/Unigy 31HR5000. This hosting company offers their customers a 100% uptime guarantee which means that they can't wait for their UPS batteries to fail; they are used for a number of months and then they're replaced. Since the hosting company has to pay someone to come haul them away they're happy to see them repurposed.

These batteries aren't the typical deep-cycle marine variety you see on Field Day. They weigh 95 lbs each. Fresh from the factory they're rated at 135 amp-hours, which is about 1,800 watt-hours. My main HF rig (Kenwood TS-2000) consumes about 200 watts worst-case (when keyed on 2 meter FM, set for 100 watts) which means that using one of the Deka batteries I could leave my rig keyed-down on 146.520 FM @ 100 watts and it would remain on the air for about 9 hours.

I now have 3 of these monsters running in parallel on my home station. That's over a full day of continuous talk time. Left in receive-only mode my station will run off-grid for about 8 days.

Total cost? About $40 for some 4-gauge jumpers and misc hardware.

Bring on the zombie attack. I'm ready.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Secret History of the Silicon Valley

I'm really enjoying Steve Blank's article series on the Secret History of the Silicon Valley. A very well-written series that has also been presented live at venues such as Google TechTalks, etc.

Most interesting for me is the confirmation of something I've believed for a long time; the "Silicon" Valley might might just as well have been named the "Wireless" Valley.

Frankly, I prefer the latter...