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1
Using Energy from the Sun / Re: Renogy Firefly Solar Power Pack
« Last post by Bill Quick on April 25, 2015, 01:21:46 PM »

At any rate, you wanted more forum activity, and I answered the call by providing content. ;D
And I'm very glad you did.  That's one of the best ways to approach this forum and, indeed, this entire subject:  Post the information, and let folks make up their minds.

2
Survival-Prep Gardening / King of Guerilla Gardening Turns Down CNN Cold
« Last post by Bill Quick on April 25, 2015, 01:19:16 PM »
No Thanks CNN: Prepping Star Turns Down Network Special Over Media Bias Concerns [Interview]
When talking with Austin about the “no thanks CNN” reply, he was unfazed about passing on what may have been a substantial publicity opportunity for Prepper Camp 2015.

“After living life on the farm long enough, you begin to understand that if it looks like horse s**t, sounds like horse s**t, and smells like horse s**t, well then it is more than likely complete and total horse s**t,” Austin said when describing the Kamau Bell United Shades of America interview offer.

Even though Prepper Camp 2015 does not occur until late September during national preparedness month, the available tickets are already half-way sold out. Offers to become a presenter from renowned authors and personalities are still pouring in, and the number of hands-on self-reliance courses offered each hour have in fact, doubled from 2014. So, it sounds like Austin’s publicity denial was not much a gamble after all.

What do you think about the preparedness author turning down the opportunity to be featured on the Kamau Bell United Shades of America CNN special?
I think he made the right decision.   I'm getting more interested in the whole subject of guerilla gardening, by the way.
3
Personal Experience / Re: We Had a Power Outage In San Francisco Yesterday
« Last post by Bonnie on April 24, 2015, 09:21:36 AM »
Quote from: Bill Quick on April 23, 2015, 03:53:13 PM>
Quote
It's weird the things we do when we aren't paying attention, isn't it?

Over the years we haven't paid attention to the stuff we've stored; and living in what amounts to a compound - 4 buildings - we've managed to squirrel away a ton of stuff! Deciding which would go with us & which would go to the moving yard sale was an eye opener. Now I'm going to have a not-moving yard sale & be much more careful about what I hang onto.
4
Using Energy from the Sun / Re: Renogy Firefly Solar Power Pack
« Last post by AuricTech on April 23, 2015, 09:12:59 PM »
Finally, someone answered! ;D I didn't write this post in vain!  8)

Bill, I agree with everything you said.  One can certainly assemble a small, more-capable DIY system for less money, though wiring the components (PV panels, charge controller, battery and inverter) together will likely make a DIY system less convenient to use.  Turnkey systems charge a cash premium, while DIY systems charge a time premium....

That being said, I figured that bringing this turnkey system to the attention of the forum was better than not doing so, especially since it's currently* on sale for 25% off their list price (through 25 April 2015).  Even at list price, it seems to compare favorably to equivalent Goal Zero turnkey systems.

For preppers who anticipate short-term power needs along the lines of keeping a laptop computer running for a couple of hours a day, along with charging various USB devices such as smartphones, this system may well make more sense than a DIY option (paying more cash for an unfold-and-deploy/fold-and-go system, as opposed to a set-it-up/tear-it down DIY system), for such minimal power needs.  OTOH, this system makes much less sense for preppers who anticipate needing more power than about 60 Watt-hours per day for an extended period of time (on optimal insolation days, the Firefly's integral 20W of PV panels ought to provide around 80 Watt-hours of recharging, but no sensible person** would count on that for any amount of time).

If you think of the Renogy Firefly as an extended camping power solution, but not a grid-down power solution, you'll be in the ballpark of its intended function.

At any rate, you wanted more forum activity, and I answered the call by providing content. ;D

*Pun intended, of course...  ;)

**By definition, preppers are assumed to be sensible people, else they wouldn't be preparing for what might go wrong....
5
Water / Re: "Simple Shower"
« Last post by Bill Quick on April 23, 2015, 04:03:02 PM »
Excellent news, Geog!
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Using Energy from the Sun / Re: Renogy Firefly Solar Power Pack
« Last post by Bill Quick on April 23, 2015, 04:02:24 PM »
AT, I think these systems are worth it to folks who are willing to pay a premium for turnkey plug/play simplicity.

For those who don't wish to do that, though, there are ways to DIY for higher input and larger storage at half the price or less.  It's up to the prepper, I expect, to decide which works better for their own situation.

If I had money to burn, that might be something I'd keep in the back of my GOOD vehicle.
7
Personal Experience / Re: We Had a Power Outage In San Francisco Yesterday
« Last post by Bill Quick on April 23, 2015, 03:53:13 PM »
It's weird the things we do when we aren't paying attention, isn't it?
8
Water / Re: "Simple Shower"
« Last post by Geog on April 23, 2015, 11:03:55 AM »
Wow, it's been a while since I've been here (been busy). 

Anyhow, quick update - the Simple Shower was on the Fox News episode, and bumped sales a bit. 

For the really great news, the US Patent and Trademark Office "allowed" all 11 claims on my patent application, which means that I'll be issued the actual patent number shortly.  Wahoooo!

For those in Northern California, Real Goods now carries the Simple Shower (for less than what it's being sold on Amazon).

For our neighbors up north, you can find the Simple Shower at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Geog
9
Personal Experience / Re: We Had a Power Outage In San Francisco Yesterday
« Last post by Bonnie on April 22, 2015, 04:07:01 PM »
We didn't have a power outage, but poor planning can have a similar effect. We had thought we were going to move, but then decided not to. Part of our moving preparation was putting a lot of unneeded stuff in a storage unit. After we decided to stay, we realized that our spare batteries, ammo, and coffee were in the unit. Not sure why we put them there.

When we got those items back home, I told my husband that we now had coffee and ammo, so we were going to be OK.  ;)

If we should move in the future, we won't make that mistake again.
10
Using Energy from the Sun / Renogy Firefly Solar Power Pack
« Last post by AuricTech on April 20, 2015, 02:18:11 PM »
Here's an item that might be worth looking into for those wanting a portable solar power solution for short-term and/or low-power situations:

The Renogy Firefly

The Firefly's stat sheet (pdf warning) seem respectable for the price (list price is $399.99, with free shipping in CONUS).  Better yet, from today until 25 April 2015, it's on sale for $299.99.
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