Federated Republic of Sean is a user on retro.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

My power is still on, but I have no idea yet if it will be staying on. That's how shitty a job PG&E has been doing of communicating.

First it was going to be midnight Tuesday morning, then noon, then 8PM, then 10PM, then they started actually turning off power in my county at 11:30 PM. Their map says my location won't be affected if I put in my address, but I'm inside the boundary they've drawn and nobody will say whether the address lookup is authoritative.

On the bright side, this has me thinking about emergency preparedness again. I am considering a switch back to a real mobile carrier rather than jmp.chat and a hotspot. And it's a good excuse to get a landline, which I need for the USR Courier modem I just got.

Federated Republic of Sean @freakazoid

The prospect of living off of battery for days has me thinking about low power electronics, too. Laptop is too power hungry, though I do have that 7 inch one. I guess I can get a SIM card and move it to the feature phone I have in a drawer somewhere if I need long periods of power. Or I could switch to a 2 way pager instead of 1-way. That depends on 2 networks but can send and receive both SMS and email with a battery that lasts for days

The kids broke the antenna on my emergency radio, and even though it's probably only 6" shorter now it can no longer receive weather band. It still gets my local NPR station though. The Tecsun can receive it even better and also does shortwave but can't receive weather band. I have a TH-D72 that can do APRS and send and receive on 2m and 70cm and can also receive weather band. Along with my paper repeater directory, I can talk to people all over the region and even planet with that.

There are even services on APRS that will tell you when satellites will pass overhead, but of course if you're reliant on satellites for APRS you have a bootstrapping problem. Need a local satellite prediction method. Perhaps I should start printing satellite pass tables?

What I don't have right now is a way to run my base station directly off of battery, only UPS. I think I need to set up a solar-charged battery that can power it along with some USB ports so it's completely independent of house power. With an AC charger of course in case of a long period of cloudy days or solar panel malfunction.

I'm tempted to go full low-power and solar for my essential servers (mail and AX.25) as well as the radio and the pumps and heater for the aquarium so that I don't need to worry about using the generator for upstairs stuff at all unless there's not enough sun. Bonus, I can set up the solar panels as shades for the windows since the office faces due south and I need to run cables through that wall for the antennas, weather station, ethernet, and phone anyway.

@freakazoid but is the landline a "real" landline though? Increasingly its just terminated at the VDSL cabinet where an ATA (analogue telephone adapter) converts it to VOIP, and there is only a 3-6 hour battery in that (if its working at all!) rather than the huge ones at the main Telephone Exchange.

In UK they plan to use LTE for the Emergency Services comms, so at least some mobile phone base stations and networks are being made more resilient against mains failure..

@vfrmedia Local telephone utilities are required to provide real land lines in California. AT&T introduced a bill in 2016 to allow them to start using alternative delivery methods, but it didn't make it out of committee.

California is the state that created the emergency response system used by most of the rest of the US. You'll pry our land lines out of our cold, dead hands.

@vfrmedia AT&T of course makes it as hard as possible to order land line service. First they hide the fact that they even exist deep in their site, instead offering "bundles" that include Internet and VoIP. Then they make you call and talk to a salesperson who will try very hard to confuse the customer into ordering a bundle instead.

@freakazoid British Telecom (either directly or via the Openreach division) still offer landlines direct to the Telephone Exchange, although those with VDSL are often only copper to the cabinet and VOIP downstream of it.

But I have noticed what appear to be battery boxes tacked on to street cabinets that weren't there before so it looks like there *is* some provision for power failures (I suspect Ofcom, our Communications Ministry has demanded that resilience is improved)

@vfrmedia As far as I can tell, land lines are the only kind of service that has had any kind of resilience requirement whatsoever in the US. I am guessing the Federal requirements have been relaxed since land lines are obviously not required everywhere anymore.

@freakazoid thats good to hear! At some work sites (nursing homes) I deliberately select one ADSL line (+ analogue circuit) which normally *does* go to the Telephone Exchange as well as a VDSL circuit so a longer power cut gives more resilience, although its rare to lose power for more than an hour (its happened about twice in 12 years) - and the improvements to the LTE network in last few years are real and effective (I can use my mobile phone in areas where it never worked before)