Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daily Report: Home Generator Shopping

Apparently, the lake that supplies the water that creates the flow that spins the generators that makes the electricity is running dangerously low. Therefore, it is the plan that from now and for the next four months (4... uno/dos/tres/quatro: shit!) power will be cut all over Mindanao every other day for 4 hours, from 1:30 to 5:30. The first time, it happened on Thursday and nobody told me the news, so I failed to grasp what was happening. On Friday night I was informed of what would be happening, and this afternoon at precisely 1:30, the power went out again. (At least this time I was ready.)

As much as I would like to miss half a day of work every other day, I really can't afford to do so. Therefore, it was off (with Dave joining me, since he knew where to look) to shop for a home generator.

When we got to the little store near Cogon Market in Cagayan De Oro, they had not surprisingly already sold out of generators. However, a few phone calls to their buddy stores and they came up with two generators for Dave and myself, a little one for Dave, and a big one for me. There really was a huge run on generators: While we were debating over a first one described to us over the phone, by the time we made up our minds 2 minutes later, the guy on the other end of the line informed us, "Too late, it's been sold."

Anyway, I got a nice 2250 watt 4-stroke gasoline generator for 13,500 pisos ($300). It will be enough to run my computer, monitor, router, and modem OR it will run the big screen television, surround system, and satellite receiver, and maybe, barely, both at the same time... although that remains to be seen.

(UPDATE: I added the wattage of all the various components (AV and computer) together, tacked on another 25% on top of that, and it came out to 1,300 watts, so no problem keeping everything — including lots of lights, and even a fan or two — up and running.)

Dave wasn't happy with his purchase of a 950 watt 2-stroke generator for 6,000 pisos ($130). For starters, it was only rated at a constant 600 watts, which really limited its uses, and the 2-stroke engine was just too loud. So, he passed on the little generator, and used the 6,000 pisos as a down payment for a generator like the one I had bought, which would hopefully be ready for picking up some time next week.

The only major complaint I have is that at 1.5 liters fuel consumption per hour, every 4-hour outage is going to cost me 270 pisos ($6), not including the oil which I've been told needs to be changed every 24 hours of operation.We used Driver Chris for the day (paying him 1,500 pisos to drive us everywhere, wait for us everywhere).

After buying the generators, it was off to Kingston Lodge for a couple of beers with Warren and the rest of the crew up there. Then it was off to Columbia Computers where I bought a UPS system (1,700 pisos, $38) for the computer so I wouldn't have to reboot when switching from wall outlet to generator, and that would also act as a voltage regulator protecting the computer, as well as 2 actual voltage regulators: One for the modem and router in the TV room and one for the entertainment center downstairs.

Now tomorrow, I've got to splice together an outlet for the generator's weird plug setup, and buy 3 extension cords to reach each of the 3 places that I will want to provide electricity.

4 comments:

Mom said...

Life is always interesting, isn't it? Well, now you're ready for a power outage, so that's good. . .

Luc said...

Is there still internet available when it's brownout?

Jungle Jil said...

Luc,

Yes... if you use the Smart Bro wireless internet service, which runs via the mobile phone antennas, there is. I don't know about the other methods of obtaining internet through... such as via the cable television service or phone lines.

Gingoog Electric Trading (G.E.T.) ™ said...

Hi Jil,

Our gennies cost a few Pesos more but they are durable products, come with one year warranty and we assure complete spare parts availability...

They can be purchased conveniently at our

Online Store

and we deliver for FREE...

Just another option maybe for the future...

Ralf