Are you ready for a power outage? Be honest, now!
No? Me, neither.
thing is, the grid in my town has been really reliable in recent
years. Even though I "nominally" have made some preparations for an
emergency power supply, thanks to everything running smoothly for
several years I have not found it necessary to update or even maintain
my backup systems. When I tripped a GFI with too much RF, I lost power
to my main computer. That shouldn't have happened, because the computer
is protected with an uninterruptable power supply, UPS for short. The
battery in the UPS is supposed to supply instant power in the event of a
power outage, but instead it let the computer die. I pulled the UPS
out of the circuit, put it on the bench, and extracted the obviously
dead gel cell. This battery is a lot smaller than the one we used on
Field Day, but its chemistry is similar. These batteries can fail - as
this one obviously did - and as long as the AC power stays on, I would
never know the difference. Unfortunately, it took a power failure to
alert me to the problem.
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