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OLD FISHIN' TIPSTER'S
TIPS AND TRICKS


Got a question about fishing, that you have never been able to figure out?

Well, along comes old Fishin' Tipster, Weekend Semi-Pro and resident backlash picking champion, with the solution.


Ever lose electrical power to your house? Sure, we all have that happen at one time or the other. Either Joe GoFaster misses his 90 MPH 90 degree turn and takes out a power pole, lightning eats up a transformer, or maybe a storm puts everything out of action. Let me tell you, friends, hurricanes do it, too. Try nine days for Francis and eight days for Jeanne. And, when you need a generator, there aren’t any available south of the Canadian border. So, unless you have a strong hamster with a generator tied into his running cage, you can’t even watch the BassMasters at Lake Gotchawallet, much less the ‘News at 6’. Well, along comes old Fishin' Tipster, Weekend Semi-Pro and resident backlash picking champion, with the solution. This is so simple, I figured Old Tipster was the only one who didn’t think of it. But, it was really just TOO simple.

NEED A WAY TO GET ELECTRICAL POWER FOR YOUR HOME IN A TIME OF OUTAGES? TIPSTER HAS A WAY, AND WITHOUT A GENERATOR, TOO!

Take a look at the accompanying pictures.

That red device is an electrical ‘inverter’. It changes 12-volt DC power (a car battery, for example) to 110 volt AC (normal household current). It has a couple of normal 110-volt house plugs, on/off/re-set switches, and some diode indicator lights. I have had one in my truck for years and use it to power my electric knife when I clean crappie at the ramp.

My wife, Dot, and I were in Western North Carolina this past summer when Hurricane Ivan came through. We had evacuated our flood-prone riverside home for the higher ground of our good friends, Don and Pearl Hitchcock. As we sat watching the progress of the storm on the Hitchcock’s satellite TV, we could hear the 80-MPH winds outside and could also hear an occasional tree go down. One eventually went down across the nearby power lines and we were plunged into darkness. Out came the candles and we sat bemoaning our situation in the dim light. With no TV and no portable radio, we couldn’t even find out what was happening and if we needed to evacuate.

Then, we remembered the radios in our cars. How dumb we felt for not thinking of that right away. Then, moments later, I recalled the inverter. ‘What would it be able to power’ was the big question. We knew, with an occasional recharging of the truck battery by idling, we could have a few table lamps. But, would it power the TV and its satellite receiver?? The inverters all have an automatic overload protection circuit, so you won’t burn it up if you overload it when trying things out.

Here is what happened. The inverter we had at that time was a 400-Watt item, somewhat smaller than the 750-Watt unit in our pictures. The 400-Watt unit powered the 30+ inch TV, the satellite receiver, two lamps and a small fan. Through trial and error, we found that the truck battery only needed recharging every 3 hours, or so. It was not large enough to power refrigerators or other large electrical items. But, we had lights and TV for the duration of the outage (3 days).

Here is a bit of basic electricity from high school physics: Watts = Amps X Volts. Or, you can use the version that says: Amps = Watts divided by Volts.

If you take our pictured 750 watt unit and apply the formula (Amps = 750/110), you will find this unit will support a continuous power draw of 6.8 Amps. (For the 400-Watt unit, it would be 3.6 Amps.) Nearly all electrical items have their amperage draw requirement on them somewhere. There is also an approximation table that comes with the inverter. So, you can determine what single item, or mix of items, the inverter unit will support. The 750-Watt unit, when I returned to Florida and got hammered by Hurricane Jeanne, powered my TV, satellite receiver, computer Internet system, lamps, two fans and a small dormitory-style refrigerator. No air conditioners or large refrigerators, but we were we in pretty good shape compared to most other folks. We even ran an electric chainsaw in a standalone mode to get trees off the yard. I had to run the truck 15 minutes every 2.5 to 3 hours to recharge the battery.

Don’t ever forget this Tip. It can save you a lot of misery when the time is right. Just be sure you get an inverter in advance. It doesn’t rot, it doesn’t spoil, and it needs no upkeep.




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Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855




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