TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS AMATEURS
ALL NON-WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS AMATERUS
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INCORPORATED
WOOD COUNTY BULLETIN NR 11.36 DATE: September 4, 2011
SUBJECT: THE USE OF BACK-UP POWER
With winter coming on, you need to start looking at your back- up power source, is it ready to go? As emergency communicators your station should be the last one to go off the air, not the first. In the winter your commercial power is more likely to be lost, than it is in the summer. Trees falling onto the power lines from too much ice hanging on their branches, power lines breaking under the weight of too much ice, or being too tight due to the contraction of the wire from cold weather.
You may have a generator ready to go, but when was the last time that it was started? Does it still have fuel? Is the fuel still good? Did you put a fuel stabilizer in it the last time it was serviced?
Do you have batteries as a back-up? They are the easiest of all to checkout. All you have to do is disconnect the charging system from the main power, and see if everything stays in operation. This will work real good, if they're connected up in a "floating" system. A floating system is one where your communication devices, power supply, and batteries are all connected in parallel, and the batteries are just "floating" in the system. That means they are not being charged, but are just sitting across the line, waiting to be put into operation.
A floating system is how the telephone companies keep from losing telephone service when there's a power interruption. When the commercial electricity to the telephone equipment powering system is lost, the telephone equipment, and telephone connections are not lost because the batteries are sitting across the equipment power leads. The batteries "ARE NOT" switched into service when the power is lost; they are already sitting across the line, just waiting.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV