Offline Hootie

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The Survival Podcast

EPISODE:      940
DATE:         July 12, 2012



Steven Harris returns to TSP for his 9th visit. Today he joins to further discuss how to deal with a large scale blackout like the North Eastern United States is currently dealing with.  Today we continue on yesterday’s topic and focus on recharging batteries, keeping cell phones and computers running, keeping the TV set operating and more.
Steven Harris is a consultant and expert in the field of energy. He is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Publications, the largest energy only publishing company in the USA.
Mr. Harris came to his current position to do full time work on the development and implementation of hydrogen, biomass and solar related energy systems after spending 10 years in the Aero-Thermal Dynamics department of the Scientific Labs of Chrysler Corporation.
Steve is always full of great ideas, knowledge and projects we can use to improve our personal energy independence and today is no exception. Once again we ate up the entire hour without covering Steve’s entire outline so he will be back for Part 3 in this series soon. – Get info on all Steven’s Sites – This is for the small still, currently sold out.
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intro/housekeeping 0:00 – 7:21>
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 08:01:58 AM by Hootie »

Offline Hootie

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<intro/housekeeping 0:00 – 7:21>

Jack Spirko: With that I got everything wrapped up. We had an outstanding interview with Steven yesterday. I am bring him back on today. Here he comes for his 10th appearance... or 11th. I don't even know anymore, but definitely won't be his last. With that, Steven welcome back to The Survival Podcast again. It seems like I just talk to you yesterday.

Steven Harris: Yeah, seems like it 10 visits on the TSP show. <woohoo> I'm in double digits now.

Jack Spirko: You are also the first person ever to do two in a row. The reason I had you back on, is the topic we are talking about is dealing with long duration power outages, more than a day. We covered a bunch of great stuff yesterday but we focused heavily on refrigeration and the basics of how to set up power from your car. But you promised to teach people how to like never run out of AA batteries. How to watch TV. All kinds of other cool stuff. So I have go you back to talk about that today.

Steven Harris: Okay guys, we are going to move through some of this material. Because I have about hour and a half of material, to cover an hour. Jack and I are going to move through it. I am not going to sit there and explain it three times like I usually do. I am just going to explain it very well once. You might have to skip back and listen to part of it again or listen to the show twice. Use your MP3 player for what it does, but Jack and I are move through this.


Jack Spirko: Let's start out with TV.

Steven Harris: Let's talk about your main stuff that is dead. Your TV is dead...

Jack Spirko: The TV is dead, kids are angry, it's hot, they are mad, they are screaming at each other. If I could put the put freak'n Teletubbies on, I don't know if they are on TV anymore. The Wiggles or the Teletubbies, whatever, they will shut up and sit down while I figure out what to do. How to get the daggon running.


Steven Harris:  This is your main source of news information, your TV.  It's really like a big thing. If you have 37, 42, 50, 60, 70, 80, or 90 inch TV, it's going to be powered off big inverter off the car at idol. It's always good house have a smaller TV. If you can find yourself a 4 inch, or 7 inch, or 12 inch, or maybe at most 17 inch TV , they're all less than $100 today. These will run off of low power, off of the inverter. Which means you don't need to have car idling. You can draw it off the battery. You can play a DVD player into it that you can get for $30. That thing draw like 5 watts. You can plug in the DVD player into the TV, put the DVD on, and help keep the kids will bit less nervous and let them watch SpongeBob. While you and mom are taking care of the other things dealing with the disaster. Do not forget to have a set of rabbit ears or external antenna for your TV, so you pick up the new digital TV over their stuff. If you have a cable box in power failure, the cable will be out. It is just not going to work, you have use the antenna. You people to DirectTV or Dish TV, if your dishes is still pointed to the correct spot because the tornado has not blown it off your house, you can power your dish or your DirecTV box at same time as you do your TV. You'll have one great source of information coming in. You'll have all your TV, CNN, and everything else. These cable boxes can be small power hogs. They are a computer. Their hard drive and everything in their own. They draw between 50 and 100 W power. Yes I have measured them myself. The norm being closer to 50 W, is what your modern cable box, your DVR, sucks down.


Jack Spirko: Let me add something there for you, Steve. On the dish and what have you, a lot of times people have like the big robust one with the DVR in it. They will have two of those and they will be running four TVs off of that. Then you want a TV in grandma's room and have the old-school receivers that are just the receiver.

Steven Harris: Yep

Jack Spirko: They draw a lot less power. That might be the one you want to run in this scenario.

Steven Harris: The old-school receiver, that would be a over the air box. That would be to convert a non-digital TV over to digital.

Jack Spirko: No, I am talking about Dish Network or DirecTV. They have, I think it's a 979 receivers, that is just for the extra room. They don't have the DVR and all that crap in them. They are just a satellite receiver.

Steven Harris: That is the new kangaroos thing, the Hopper thing. It might be required to pull off of the main DVR. It might get a signal from the main DVR. You'll have to look into that yourself, for everyone who is listening. I can't answer that for you right now, because I got Comcast. If you are have to run your DVR box and your big TV at the same time, your car might have to idol. It might have to be on 30 minutes, off for 30 minutes, on 30 minutes, off 30 minutes. Just keep trying to power usage. If you go up there and you turn your car over and it goes <rawr rawr rawr> and starts up, you know you let it run for too long. If you go out there and turn your car on and it goes <click click click click>, you better get a jump, you let it run for way too long. Radios, almost any radio you can leave plug into the inverter in the car all day long and never have start the car. A radio draws about nothing as far as power goes. It's very little power from inverter. Just plug into the cable going to the inverter in the car. You can just leave the inverter in the car and listen to your radio all day long. You don't worry about starting the car or anything else, it draws so little lower. You have an extension cord plugged into converter at the car and that cord is run into your house. This is your own little mini power grid. The best place in extension cord is a Walmart or Home Depot or Lowes or local department store. I do not have a cheap one on Amazon that I can send you to, to order. I got everything I'm talking about listed at You can get everything from Amazon that I'm talking about. I am enabling you. If you don't want to buy from Amazon, then go there and look at the pretty pictures and go find it locally. Do whatever you want to do.


Jack Spirko: On the power cord or extension cord, is there a minimum gauge you would recommend or something like?

Steven Harris: The standard orange one. Those are going to be 16 or 14 gage. If you're running low power, like if you are running less than 150 W it can be any size extension cord. It can be the lightweight ones. They have these light weight green ones that you get that are really cheap, like for running just your weed wacker. Those will work just fine. If you running your 800 Watt inverter, even the green cord would be fine. Your orange one, which the 14 gage, would be good. I actually have the yellow ones, that are from Home Depot, they are 12 gage and they're expensive. They are a $1 per foot. When I do some serious power stuff, like when I want electric chain saw off of my Honda generator. I have that great big 100 foot 12 gage cord. It is a beast, it last forever.


Jack Spirko: Okay, great.

Steven Harris: Also your radio might running AA batteries. Most radios do run on AA batteries. This leads me to the next subject, having an unlimited amount of AA batteries for your disaster. What runs on AA batteries? Your radio might. Your small LCD digital TV might run AA batteries. There are bunch of headlamps, really great headlamps that run on AA or AAA batteries. In fact one of my favorite super durable LED headlamps is actually an energizer. Most people know, I don't like energizer too much, but they make this awesome headlamp made for construction workers, that is as durable as heck. It listed on and it has a link to Amazon. There are many tactical light that run on AAA batteries, like lights you put in your gun to light the world up so you can shoot the bad guy. These will run on either CR123 batteries or AAA. Obviously the AAA are cheaper. If you got a charger for charging AA and AAA, you now have unlimited source light from these. These things are bright enough to find a lost child. Plus, the new ones have a low light mode on them and a bright light mode in them. You can take your light and put in on low mode and put them around your house. You can put them on bright light mode if you want to find my lost child.


Jack Spirko: Absolutely, you extend the life that way.

Steven Harris: That is right.

Jack Spirko:  There's like a bazillion different brands and types of rechargeable batteries. What ones do you recommend that people use.

Steven Harris: In early days, the first rechargeable batteries recalled nickel cadmium. You're not going to use those. Those things have 1/4 of the amount of energy of our current batteries. Be careful nickel cadmium AA is still available. You are not going to by them. They are used in your little lights, that go outside because they are so easy to charge and they are so durable. You are only going to use... The only battery, I repeat, the only batteries you were going to use are AA or AAA nickel metal hydride batteries. The only nickel metal hydride batteries you're going to prefer to buy, today in 2012, is the pre-charged it nickel metal hydride batteries. If it just says rechargeable nickel metal hydride, that the older nickel metal hydride technology. If it says pre-charged or always charged on it. Duracell say always charged, everyone else is pre-charged. Those are the newer chemistry nickel metal hydride batteries. The difference is a long story, I won't take up the time to tell you different between the two. The newer ones have a much better chemistry. They are all about between 2000 and 2200 milliamp hours if you read the fine print. An alkaline battery is about 2400 to 2600 milliamp hours. It is about the same size in power as an alkaline battery. If you see AA is listed at 2500, 2700, 2900, or 3200 milliamp hours. Do not buy those rechargeable batteries. They have a serious sacrifice internally to the recharge abilities, to play this numbers game, making you think you are buying a better battery. The batteries I am tell you about you can recharge 1500 times. If you get one of these 2800 or 2900 mA hour, you will only be able to recharge them 50 times. Here we go, here's down and dirty. What you want is "SANYO eneloop". Those are my number one all-time favorite AA nickel metal hydride pre-charged batteries. If it says Duracell precharge or Rayovac precharge that is also going to be acceptable. I'd rather you buy the SANYO, then the Duracel, l and then Rayovac third. The Rayovac used to be my favorite but they took my favorites off the market. When they came back of some new ones. I have not run through the paces for more than three months yet. I have run the Duracell and the SANYOs through the ringer. You can bet your life on these damn things, so stick with those two. They are all listed on You can get links to Amazon. You can see them and buy them from there or you can go buy them locally. I don't care, just get them. The SANYO eneloop, like I said, are my favorite. They are 100% above all the others. I use them in my personal stuff. I have used them in the last five years. I have beat the heck out out of them and they keep on working. The newness version of them loops can be recharged up to 1500 times. Older technology nickel metal hydride, the non pre-charge could be charged only about 500 times, but that is still fabulously. 500 charges of AA battery is good. You cannot the SANYO eneloop. They are all white in color. They are the only rechargeable battery that's all-white. They are hard-to-find on the storage shelf. I do see them at Costco. That is the only place I've seen them. You are going to have to go online, to Or your are to have to Google them to find them. Just go follow my links, you will find them quickly. Everything, all the devices I'm talking about today on the show, have links to them, to Amazon from They are all shipped by Amazon, from Amazon facilities not third-party sources. They all have the highest feedback rating. Everything I'm telling you about I used, I have beat it up and I love it and so does everyone. You go read the feedback of what people say. It's all going to be 4 to 5 stars for everything. Everything is Harris approved. Like I said, I means I own them and have owned them for between six months and five years. Notice I did not say anything at all about Energizer brand nickel metal hydride batteries. They don't have a AA nickel metal hydrate is worth a crap. They are all oldernickel metal hydrate technology. None of them are precharge technology, which is the low self discharge technology. The pink bunny does not have a damn thing when it comes to good nickel metal hydrate battery.

Jack Spirko: <laughs>


Steven Harris: The pink bunny has a great headlamp and a good 15 minutes charger, that I mentioned later. They do have an awesome little head lamp. Then again, if you couldn't find anything in the world but Energizer nickel metal hydride batteries, you had nothing else available to you. They are still good. They will charge 500 times, they will work. I am just saying, I'm here to tell you about the best. Jack, brings you the best. He demands the best of me. For you people listening, Jack demands... The stuff he talks about, he demands that we bring our A game. That we bring the best stuff to you and that's what I'm doing. It took me six hours to write the stuff I'm talking to you about incidentally. That is how damn dedicated I am to Jack and you people.


Jack Spirko: <laughs> I wish everybody was like you, Steve. You make my job easy…

Steven Harris: <laughs> I'm here, right now, tell you what works for power failures and that is a good thing. I don't feel right saying buy and eneloop battery and you drive to 5 places or cast you to the wind to find it on the Internet. That's why I am telling you about it right now. I'm telling you to go to Amazon. It's a big company. You trust them, they have a great refund policy. they sell stuff at Walmart cheap prices. I am all about enabling you. Which is education and where to get the tools that I just talk talk to you about.


Jack Spirko: Cool man. I think people should be not just buying a bunch of these batteries and sticking them in the charger and having them there in case something goes wrong. They should be using them in their everyday stuff, right?


Steven Harris: That is right, you and the kids. Use them in your remote controls. Those things are taking AA or AAA batteries. I want you to buy 16 or 32 of these SANYO eneloop batteries. I want to put them in everything. I want to put in the remote controls, in your flashlight, in your headlamps, in your flashlight that you use on a semi regular basis. I want them in your kids toys. I want your kids to be able to put them in the toys themselves. I want your kids to go, "Oh my toy is dead." Then take the batteries out, go to the charger on the table, and put them in and recharge them. And know when ready for him to use them again. I want the kids to do that themselves.


Jack Spirko: I they put them in their wireless Game Boy controllers or their Sega controllers and shit. They will be expert battery chargers. You won't even have to tell them how it works.

Steven Harris: That's right. This is the best up for disaster because they are now going to be pre trained on how to have an infinite amount of power for their entire life. You're teaching them good habits. Their favor flashlight, when batteries die they to go the charger and get some more batteries. They put them in their self. I want the kids know this cold. I want the kids to know how to do this under stress and I want you to know how to do this under stress. That's what we do by using a battery charger. Plus you are going to save money. You are not to be buying alkaline batteries anymore and put them in your stuff. You are going to be using rechargeables. There is $.50 to a $1 a piece right there you're saving. Now speaking of chargers, if this is another subject I can't just cast to the wind, trying to find a good one. Because there are so many AA nickel metal hydride batteries out there that suck.


Jack Spirko: What kind of chargers are there? And what are the ones people should avoid? And what are the ones that people should definitely look at making part of their preps?


Steven Harris: Jack, basically the chargers are going fall three categorie. There is going to be chargers a run off of USB power. You put two little batteries in it and you plug into you computer to recharge two AA batteries. These can take 16 hours to recharged two AA batteries. Forget those, stay away from those. Then there are some Energizer and Duracell brand, in AA or in AAA battery charger. They will run off the wall or the car cigarette lighter and will charge four AA batteries in 15 minutes. These are fast chargers. They have fans added to them keep the batteries cool. I got one of each, of everyone ever made. I can tell you which ones are the good ones. For some people to 15 minutes charger is good. If you're in the jungle, in the middle Africa, and the local missionary comes by once a week in his Toyota 4 x 4 to your village.  And you can run up to his truck. You can charge four batteries every 15 minutes while he's sitting there waiting for you. If you got to 15 minutes  battery chargers, you can charge eight battery in 15 minutes. This is getting to be a lot of little batteries for you. This is what I call power harvesting. It is a subject I teach to the military. This is a subject I'll teach you on a different day. A different TSP show. These chargers have to charge at least two batteries at a time. Two time to time, can't do one, can't do three, has to be two, or has to be four. These are cheap chargers. There are cheap charger that charge four batteries in 4 to 8 hours. Ignore these as well. Then we have chargers that charger your AA or your AAA batteries in 1 to 2 hours. When you read the back of it, make sure it says it is going to charge the AA and 1 to 2 hours. Some of them do create a marketing that says, "Charges battery in one hour." Then you read the back and it says it charges a AAA. AAA has half the energy of a AA. Make sure the package says charges in 1 to 2 hours. These 1 to 2 hour chargers are your sweet spot. These are the ones I like. These are the ones I use on a daily, if not weekly basis. The one I like the best hold eight AA or eight AAA batteries, in any combination AA and AAA or AAA and AA doesn't. It will do from 1 to 8 batteries at that time. It charges each battery individually. I can put 2 batteries now, come back half hour later and put it one more, comeback 10 minutes later put in a AAA. It doesn't matter. It charges each one individually. they can go in at any time, in the order and they will be all charge perfectly. There is an LCD gauge on the front of each battery so you know when it's charged. The big thing is, this charger I'm talking about, kids love this thing. It is the easiest one from them to use because your three year old can drop it into a slot. He doesn't have to know that he has to charge two at a time, like some other chargers. It is the easiest one for you to use. They are made by Powerex. I have my favorite ones listed from Amazon on Here's the funny thing, now listen to this. My favorite one is the one of the Chargers the does of eight batteries in two hours. There is a more expensive one of the eight batteries in one hour but it has a big ass power supply that hangs off of it. It is awkward. The two hour one, is nice small wall plug power supply. You can wrap it's thin cord easily around it and store it with the charger. Eight batteries two hours is fast enough. Eight batteries in two hours is like four batteries in one hour. And it is a much better charger. I got both of these chargers linked at Even though I put the one hour one  up there of there get the two hour one. Save the money, buy the cheaper to our one and just get extra AA or AAA batteries.


Jack Spirko: I think, if you'd make a practice of always having the daggon thing filled up. Then you always got a whole thing of batteries there and you got all the others of your devices. As they wear out, you rotate them through. It's a lot of resiliency

Steven Harris: It's a very smart charger. You can leave eight batteries in it all the time. It will just sit there. It will dribble energy into them for a second every hour, just to keep the things 100% perfectly charged. You know when you go pull them out of the charger, they are at 100% no matter what. I cannot say enough things about this Powerex charger. You can go off and buy other ones if you to. But I'm telling you, if you want something you can trust your health and safety to that is not going to fail you, get this particular one I am referring to. I got no other alternative means or anything. I literally have nearly 100 AA batteries. I could make a museum of AA battery changers.


Jack Spirko: You are a AA battery charger hoarder. Hoarders, remember the show Hoarders?

Steven Harris: Yes.

Jack Spirko: I am going to get them to can come to your house and clean out all your leftover battery chargers.

Steven Harris: My house is pristine, because it is my wife's house. It is my engineering shop that looks like a hoarders place.

Jack Spirko: <laughs> Anyways, what is the biggest reasons the people want all this stuff is for light. It is fine during the day, but it gets dark. You're looking for stuff, without light you can get hurt. I have always said that darkness is one of the few things in the world doesn't really exist but can hurt you.

Steven Harris: <laughs>


Jack Spirko: Because darkness isn't real, right? Darkness is simply the absence of light. It doesn't exist but if you walk into a dark room you can bust shit out your foot or worse.

Steven Harris: Here is the thing that will screw you noodle around. Jack, I can't see you. I literally cannot see you. I cannot literally see anything. All I can see is the light reflecting off of things.  We interpret that as things, but we are not really seen a thing. We are seeing the light reflecting off of it. Have a couple beers and let that comment screw with your noodle for a little while. There are two ways we can handle a light situation.
I'm going tell you the simple way and the good way. You can use either one. In fact you should practice both of them. You should for a weekend just go throw the breakers your house, turn everything off and say, "It's going to be a weekend without power and were going to have fun." The first thing we are going to do is eat ice cream. That's a good way to start it. Let's say you got the $20....  I got two inverters up on I got $40 800 W one and I got $21 150 W one. Let's say you got the $20 150 W inverter I got on and you have the AA and AAA battery charger I listed there as well. I also have up there and energizer headlamp listed because it is durable as heck. They if they sell it at Lowe's. The one I like of the seven LED one. I am not sure it Lowe's has it. But they might have three or five one. The link is up there for the seven LED one. I use it all the time. When I go out on duty, and do different things, I carry it in one of my pockets. It will run on three AAA batteries for up to 14 hours. I also have Maglite flashlights listed up on that uses two AA batteries. It is a LED Maglite and it will run for 31 hours on low. You can screw the cap once and it is on low. Screw the cap again it is on high. You can unscrew the cap from it, and set the cap down and set the light into the cap so it is like a little candled. Just a little bar LED that is setting there and it will light the whole room up. It is really kind of cool. they did a good job of engineering it, well done to Maglite. It is like a candlestick and light up the whole room. You can do this it'll run all night. You can run either of theses for 14 to 31 hrs. Then you can put batteries back into it, that you just recharged in two hours. If batteries are not an empty they take less time. If you only use half the batteries, you put them back in charger and it won't take two hours to charge, it will take one hour to charger.


Jack Spirko: Sure.

Steven Harris: You can charge something in two hours that will run for 14 to 31. This can be your source of light in each room. You can just put a headlamp in each room and turn the thing on and leave it on and walk around. You can recharge it in two hours and it will run for 14 to 31 hrs. This will work. This is simple. This is keep it simple stupid. No cables, no nothing. Just 150 W invert, a battery charger, batteries, Maglite, flashlight, and headlamp. Or whatever you want to use from your local store. The method I prefer to teach and the method that I use, is that I either use compact for fluorescent lamps that are 5 W or less. It says that they draw 5 W, which is equal to a 25 W incandescent. You've all seen the boxes, 5 W = 25 W. I'm talking of actual power draw here, not what it is equivalent to. Or I use LED bulbs. 5 W for a compact fluorescent bulb is enough light for an entire room when it's dark. You would be amazed. How can one candle light up a room, because it is dark and your eyes adjust to the low light really quickly. Humans actually have can see as good in the dark as a cat. It is just that a cat can see in the dark quicker than we, because our eyes have to dark adapt. You don't have to light the room like to do when you have full-time power. People always think that,  "I got have a refrigerator. I got my freezer. I got have all might lights on." No you don't  you don't need to have all your lights on. You need to have one light on. Everything does not need to be 100 W bulb, especially in a disaster. A 100 W bulb would be a 27 W compact fluorescent bulb, just FYI. I can't find a good compact fluorescent 5 W or less light bulb on Amazon. I'm telling you, they are at Home Depot and they're generally the ones for chandeliers. Many of them come with a mini chandelier base adapter. Some of them come with chandelier base and the big base adapter. FYI, is a little detail, a regular light bulb socket call them an Edison base or an Edison socket. Named after Thomas Edison, the guy who invented it. Still using his socket after 120 years. A 5 W or 7 W compact bulb will also be fine. Use a 9 W, if you can't find a 5 or 7. I think a 9 W is too much light, unless you need the light because you are working on something  like a car. Then you really do need a fare amount of light. Again these are compact fluorescent bulbs. They use about 1/4 of the energy of an incandescent bulb. I prefer for you to stick with the chandelier type of bulbs and get the adapters so they go into the Edison sockets. Try to stick with 5 W or less. You will be very very happy with these. It being year 2012, what I prefer for you to use are LED, because you might break the glass around the LED portion. But you won't break the bulb. The LEDs will still be there. Break a compact fluorescent bulb, the tube is broken. It is broken and is dead. Break an incandescent bulb, it is broken. Break an LED bulb, you just broke the decorative glass around it that makes it look like a normal bulb. I have listed at, my favorite LED light bulbs they're made from Lights of America. It is a 2 W bulb, which puts out about the same light as a 20 W incandescent. Which is enough light for room. Need more light? Used two of them in one room at two different locations. It is only 2 W, put one in each room. Five of these LED light bulbs only 10 W. That's less than 1 amp of withdraw from the battery going to your inverter at your car. At this power level you can you can let it draw off the battery of the car for about 12 hours before you might idle the car for 30 to 60 minutes of energy back and the battery. This is the whole thing. You want to sip low levels of energy of your car battery so you do not need to run the car to power the inverter. You want the power level so low that you do not need to worry about killing the battery in the car. The AA and AAA battery charger takes nothing terms of energy. The low double-digit watts,l like 10 W or 12 W of powered, it is nothing. The LED lights take 2 W each. This is the principle we are after. I called the submarine approach. When you need to run the refrigerator the TV from the 800 W inverter or your cable box, your ice maker. You start the car. You let idle. You power all the stuff you need power. Like a submarine running on the surface. It's running full power on a diesel engine. It is going 22 knots and it is charging its batteries at the same time. Then after an hour or two of running on the surfaced, you turn off everything. You run silent, run deep. You run a low amount of energy, just off the car battery not at idle. This means you're running your AA battery charger, you're running your LED light bulbs, you're running your radio, you're charging your iPhone or your cell phone or your smartphone or your iPad or other tablet computer. Because you got your games or movies or music on them, that will help you past time when the power has failed. This is called run silent run deep. Go back to listen to this twice. I don't have time in this show to really repeat it. Jack, our next subject.


Jack Spirko: I think we cover the lighting pretty well there. Like you said that's why we have a podcast, so people can rewind if they missed anything on that. Lets move on to a primary mean of communication. Assuming that the storm hasn't wiped out the cell phone towers. A lot of times we will still have cell phone service, even when there's weak signal and different problems. Maybe a tower is lost, but there is still stuff we can do. We can at least text and get information out. We get a lot of information across the cell phones. It seems pretty simple that we would just charger for cell phones with this is the system you have already set up, right?


Steven Harris: yeah, very much. Don't forget about what Jack just said. In the blackout, all cell phones were down for about 24 hours. Then they came back up, slowly for 24 hours. Even in Katrina, there were doctors down there. They're going to the top floor the hospital and they would text their friends that are outside the zone. They would coordinate the entire relief effort, just by text messages. I have personally talk to you about how to take your cell phone and duct tape it to an 8 foot piece of wood the hold up in the air. Then you got your ear buds or your Bluetooth sitting in your ear so you can say, "Dial Jack" or "Dial Home." You are actually holding it up there to get better signal, as you are on the top of your house with an eight foot pole, talking to your cell phone or your friend through your Bluetooth. There are all sorts of little things you can do. Cellphone, talk about incredible tool in a disaster. Not just cell phones, but the iPhones and androids and other smart phones. I have a bunch of disaster tools on my android phone, Jack. There are two things that are important. You need to have power for your cell phone and you need have data. If the cell system is up and running, then you got data. That is out of your control. Keeping your cell phone powered up is something that is under your control and you can do very very well.


Jack Spirko: A car charger. It is pretty simple, right?

Steven Harris: Yeah I'm going to make a little segway here. I have a few tools on my phone number pretty cool. I got a radio scanner, police scanner utilities that ties into all the police scanners that are streamed on the Internet. I can listen to the cops, fired, and ambulance in almost any major city. I can sit here on my cell phone and I can listen everything going on Pittsburgh, without having a radio scanner. Just to my cell phone. If the power has failed, but I still got data and can charge my cell phone, I can listen to all the cops in the local area. I can get the real news about what's going on, without having to listen to the news. The app is called Scanner Radio. I have weather apps. I have radar apps,, weather bug, weather underground are the three of them. I have Skype. I can make video calls or phone calls. I can show people something with a video or photo. That helps a lot getting something fixed. Plus Skype give me another phone line to use. All the popular insurance agencies, State Farm, Allstate, etc. have apps for documenting damage your home so you can submit the claim from your phone. I have standalone no data needed GPS features so I can find where I'm going with my cell phone without any data. Which is good is a tornado hurricane wiped everything off the map. You can't even find where your house used to be. I have news apps, like CNN and FOX News. I get the news without turning on the TV. That's a good thing about you have a smartphone. I have all my emergency contacts in there so I get hold of anyone. Of course I have this printed out. In fact somebody out there, someone listening to me right now, should write to Jack and tell him about all of the apps you have on your smartphone just for disaster. You could be all new guest of the new subject on TSP. I think it would make a great show.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:45:51 PM by Hootie »

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Jack Spirko: We talked about it before. I have given out some apps. You are mentioning the scanner apps. I have a app for the iPhone, that is scanner app call 50 Radio Pro, like 5 0, like Hawaii 5 0 kind of thing. It's a great app. I think it cost $4 but it's worth it. It's got any local thing you can think of is on there. All across The United States. It has even got stuff, like monitoring stuff with law enforcement in Australia and English and all. It's it's an awesome app. I would love to get somebody on to talk about some apps that we haven't covered and some other apps. Maybe some things like, "Did you know you can also do this with this app?" That would be great. Let's get back to powering cell phones because if you don't have power the app is not going to happen.


Steven Harris: You got that right. Here is the rule of thumb. You got to have a AC charger and DC car charger in each of the places you go. You move the cell phone from location to location. You do not have to take your charger with you. Then you always has a spare one close by. You have an AC wall charger and a DC charger at home. You have one in each car that you own. You have AC and DC charger at work. If your charger at home breaks there's a spare in the car. If you forget to charge your phone overnight, you can charge it in the car on the way to work and then at work. If something happens at work and you have to leave with someone else, you have an AC-DC charger at work you can take with you in their vehicle and not say, "Hey I need to run to my car to get my charger." Where I used to work at Chrysler, it will take me 15 minutes to walk one way to my vehicle. It is good for you to have that in your desk at work and not just your car. That way if your charger breaks at work, you make a 15 minute walk and you get your spare out of your car. Do you guys understand the psychology I'm getting to hear. If you didn't, go back rewind and listen to it. I mean your kids have one of each charger at home, as well as in their locker school. If they get locked out of school or have to evacuate then they have chargers that can take with them. They have communications with you. I don't care what the damn state laws are in your state. Have your kids take a cell phone. You kids should have a cell phone. They should know how to use it. They will take it to school. They will keep it off is the laws are at school. But they will be able to turn on the cell phone and says "Mommy, I'm fine. I know, I heard we had something happen here. I am fine. Yeah, pick me up at by the football field." You got have one.


Jack Spirko: Absolutely. I look at it this way, teaching your kids to keep the cell phone concealed in school is good training in the future, when they become responsible armed citizens. They will be able to keep their weapon concealed.


Steven Harris: You got it. As one of my instructor told me, "It's called carry concealed for a reason." Most all cell phones and smartphones charter today are going to be, again this is year 2012 I'm talking to you about this is, so if you're listening this from the future so it could be true for quite some time. All the cell phone chargers are going to be from a full-size USB connection. That means what you plug it into in the wall is a full-size USB connection. There are three popular connectors on phones out there right now. There is the iPhone cable, that's one. There is a mini USB cable, that's two. There is a micro USB cable. The micro USB being the most common on most of the non-Apple phone, that's number three. Note I have the highest quality, highest rated, best prices, on each of these cables listed on on right now. You can see a picture the cable. You can see my description of it and the link to it at  Amazon. You can go read the feedback and the feedback is outstanding. One of the tables have 982 five-star feedback on it.


Jack Spirko: You know Steven, I got to say something real quick. You got really like a cable to bother with an Amazon review on a cable. That is not something you usually say, "I am going to write a review on my USB cable today.


Steven Harris: That's right. I'm really telling you guys, I'm doing this for reason. Not only do I love it but everyone on Amazon loves it. I have beat them up. I've left them to bake in the car. I have sat on them. My cats chewed on them. I got them stuck in the center console of the truck and shut the door on them. They keep working. One of the cable has 982 five-star ratings on it, wow. When I say I'm suggesting something to you, I really mean it. I've had it for 6 months to 5 years. I'm not telling you about the other dozen ones that I got that were junk, that I threw out or they just didn't work. Yeah the cables are between $5 and $9 apiece. You can find the same cable for $2, but guess what? The $2 ones are junk. These $5 to $9 ones are not. The cable to your phone is either iPhone Apple or it's a mini or micro USB. That means on the other end there is a full-size USB connector. These in these plug into USB charger. One of these would come with your phone. Probably a wall charger but in the field USB chargers there are really three categories. There is the old ones that will only charge at one 1/2 of an amp. There are the new ones that will charge up to 1 amp. There are the  very new ones that are big enough to charge an iPad. An iPad want to be charged at 2 amps lamps. My Samsung android phone charges a lot faster with the newest USB charger, that can charge up to 1 amp than the charger that came with it that only charges that .5 amps. It is the difference between charging my phone in 45 minutes and charging my phone in an hour and a half to two hours. On I also have the 150 W inverter, I mentioned that cost only $21. It's also outputs 120 V AC from  the cigarette lighter. It has got a three prong plug in there, that you can plug into it. Plus it has a 2.1 amp USB outlet on it and a 1 amp USB outlet on it. I've been really loving this thing for about the last five months. That's why I put it up there, it's been rocking. I like it so far. The big thing is you need to have a quality 120 V AC wall you USB charger and you need to have a quality 12 V DC car USB charger. I have to my favorite ones. One of each, up on Each one cost $9.99. These are $25 each at Walmart. They are $35 each at Best Buy. They are $9.99 up at Amazon. Good deal, no shipping, don't have to drive to the store, no gas to burn to do it. You order it, it shows up, I like it. That's me, I might not be you. The cables I mentioned, those cables are $15 to $20 at Walmart and $15 to $20 bucks at Best Buy. The cables for $5 to $9.99 are good price as well. I know this. I had to buy them in a pinch, when I had ones of ones I was testing fail on me. I was up north with my wife with my relatives and the cable I am testing failed. I was like, "OK where is my other one? I don't have one. I got to go to Best Buy." I paid $30 bucks for a new cable and charger. Then I go on Amazon and find the damn thing cheaper. That's how I find these things for you guys. I spend a lot of money. You can look at the feedback comments on these units. They are all nearly 5 stars. None of them below four stars. They work very well and I can trust them for my use. I have my wife use them, at home, work, and in her car. I have my close friends, the people I teach, Jacks is going to use these things. I know your safety is going to be dependent upon these. I take it very seriously. There's one more thing I have been using the heck out of. There are portable lithium batteries. Not the AA types. These are little battery chargers. What they are is a lithium battery. They are from Duracell and other companies. You charge it up via USB charger. You take the battery, it is square, you plug into the USB charger. You charge it up. They then hold, in the lithium cells, the energy that you just charge them up until you plug in your phone, by USB, into lithium battery to use that energy to charge your phone. Invariably, I forget the plug in my android at night. When I wake up I have a phone with the battery 20%. I do my morning stuff, hop in my truck plug in my phone either into the trucker one of the lithium batteries. I only have 10 minute drive to work at the moment. It's really not enough to charge my phone up on a long commute to work. I got these lithium batteries. I walk around with both the phone in my pocket and one of these lithium batteries charging. I become a big fan of these. I wasn't at first. Especially when my wife forget to charge her iPhone, I just go here honey take one of these. It will charge her phone up to about 75% from nothing. That's the Duracell one I of been using a lot of. Have a link to it on but I've started using the bigger one from Trent if you want to go Google it. I'm using the most out of it now. I'm using the 5200 mA version of it. That means it holds 5200 mA hours of energy in the battery. That is 3 1/2 times charge of an iPhone. A iPhones is about 1800 mA hours of battery capacity. That's more than enough to charge my android from nothing to 100% three times. It's the right size of my hand. It is like the size of a phone in my hand. It fits in my pocket, especially in my jackets. It is $31 on link to Amazon for 5200 mA hours. It's better than the $19 Duracell ones I've been using that only 1800 mA hours. Trent even have a 12,000 mA hour battery that I have used. I think it's too big. That also on the site just in case you want something that will power your iPhone for an entire week. I'm not joking, an entire week. Like I said with the AA battery chargers, the two hour battery charger that charges eight of them in two hours is sweet spot. You don't need the one hour charger. I'm telling you the same thing with this Trent lithium battery. The 5200 mA hours is more than enough. It will charge your phone three times. It is small enough to fit in your hand. It'll fit in your pocket. It won't stick out like your big SIG SAUER your Glock full size gun, printing through your shirt. It's not too big. If you want to 12,000 mA hour battery, go get it. It is all yours. If you're going to the jungle, take the 12,000 mA battery. Here something very important. It regards batteries. Let me go back and cover something with you on batteries. If you have an emergency kit or go bag or something that is intended for a disaster or intended for you getting stuck someplace. And it takes AA or AAA batteries, whatever it is that in your bag, the batteries you have in that device are Energizer lithium AA or AAA batteries. The blue and silver ones. There is yellow and silver, those are good. Blue and silver are the best. Energizer lithium AA or AAA. These have the highest capacity. They have the longest storage life. They have the longest shelf life, over 15 years and at 15 years it will still have 85% of its energy from the day that you bought it 15 years previous. We're talking your 2027 it will have 87% of its energy, if stored room temperature. They have the highest performance in the extreme cold and extreme heat. Energizer lithium, blue and silver, AA or AAA batteries.


Jack Spirko: You are not an Energizer fan on the rechargeables but you are on these.

Steven Harris: On the lithiums. You got it exactly. There's like eight of them are like $20. They were expensive and they're also the lightest batteries in the market. They are very lightweight. If you cannot get Energizer AA or AAA, blues and silver lithiums, for your go bag. Your next best choice of AA or AAA Duracell Coppertop alkaline batteries. Again, not the Energizer AA or AAA batteries. The Duracell AA or AAA alkaline batteries. Energizer for AA or AAA lithium batteries. Duracell for alkaline batteries. These are from my personal tests in my lifelong experience. Again if you don't have any choice, an Energizer AA alkaline battery is better than no battery. Let's say you are at home and you have your radio and your headlamp and your flashlight and they are loaded with energizer lithium and your mothers house is blown away by a tornato. And you need to go hop in the car, at midnight, in the rain, to run to your mothers house and help her look for her lost cat. You are keeping the lithium in the device. If you're stuck in a hurricane shelter and a CAT 3 or a CAT 5 hurricane is blowing by and you got no other way to get power from your car to recharge things. If your car is not under water to begin with. You are keeping your energizer lithium or Duracell alkaline in your tools. I am making important point here, guys. Listen to this twice. If you are at home and your power fails from a thunderstorm, from a drunk driver hit a telephone pole, for what ever, you are taking your lithium or alkaline emergency batteries out of your lights and radios and tools in your go bag and you are putting in the precharge nickel metal hydrate batteries into the device. Because you were just going to use them around the house and you can recharge them with power from your car easily. You can you can save the lithium batteries for a real disaster, when you're isolated from powering and you need the best of the best of the best to be available to you at any time. You guys understand the principle. Don't usually lithiums at home and then go use your rechargeables. Just take a lithiums out, but the rechargeables in. Again the only two brands of pre-charged AA or AAA nickel metal hydride batteries, I am going to suggest, are the SANYO eneloop and the Duracell nickel metal hydride AA or AAA batteries, that clearly say pre-charged on them. Or the Duracell's might say active charge on them. Just saying rechargeable on the package means they are older nickel metal hydride technology. Which is better than no nickel metal hydride technology. If you can get the ones that say pre-charge, I want you to have thoughts. Rayovac did have my favorite pre-charged AA and AAA nickel metal hydride batteries. There were called hybrids, but those are gone for the market now. Rayovac now has a new line pre-charged nickel metal hydrides out that I am testing. But I don't have half of the year of experience and data on them, so I'm not suggesting you get them yet. Stick with the one I suggest, especially the envelopes. Again, I have them at lowest price, four of them, eight of them, 16, 20 packs on at I have the direct link to the newest ones that can be charge of the 1500 times. There are quite a few listings for eneloops on Amazon. I took the time to select the newest ones, that I have, that are shipped directly to you by Amazon. Not third-party. They are prime eligible. That my friend concludes the second part of Steve Harris talking about energy and emergency power for your house.


Jack Spirko: Awesome awesome stuff Steve. And it is all simple. That is what I love about what you do. I can bring you on here and we can talk about the high technological aspects of whether or not we should be using ethanol. How to make it. You can explain all the biochemistry. When it comes down to all the nuts and bolts thing that people are going to do. You make it simple and easy and you use the stuff that we can go down buy any store.

Steven Harris: You can buy it at any store. You can buy it at Amazon. You can get it at Walmart. You can get it at your local hardware store. Go on Solar1234 click on the link, go look at it on Amazon. Then go, "Ok. I know that one and go buy it from your local store." Do whatever you so desire. It is up to you. I want to enable you. Enabling to me means, I teach it to you, I show it to you, I tell you how to get it, I tell you what it's good for, and what's not good for. I am all about that. Speaking of alcohol. I need to mention that the TSP MSP discount still applies to alcohol kit and stills that I'm shipping. There's a link for it on but it is They are in stock for the first time since January. I have stock of stills right now. If you order one today, I will ship it to you by UPS ground to you today. That is until I run out of stock again. If you have been wanting one, get it now. The thing about about moonshine still... Again these are moonshine stills that make car fuel. I got the whole video for it. Making moonshine to drink is illegal in the USA but if you were in a country where it was legal to run the little table top still in your kitchen, the size of coffee maker in the privacy of your own personal home, with the door shut and the curtains drawn. I bet that moonshine in this country, like New Zealand it is legal to do it there, would be a huge trading currency during a disaster. I bet you could get almost anything you want for a couple jars of moonshine, Jack, in a disaster.


Jack Spirko: Not to mention it's an excellent preservative. We can use to make herbal remedies and medication. You know alcohol can be medicinal.

Steven Harris: A fire starter, as well. It can be a topical disinfectant, for disinfecting and cleaning and everything else. There are a thousand uses for it. You can put ice into, you can get it down to -40°F. It can go very cold. There are lots of uses for it. Again I got a complete 21 minute video for free at the top of that shows you exactly how to make alcohol in your kitchen with a still from sugar and yeast. I show you everything just like I showed you everything during this whole entire show. That's it, that's my only sales pitch. I love you guys. I put a lot of effort making these two shows for you. Their hands on. What I want you to do is if I missed something, invariably I did. I want you to call into Jack's phone and I want you to leave the question for me. You leave a voicemail with the question. Jack will send me the voicemail. I'll listen to it and then I will record an answer for you. Then I'll send it back to Jack and he will play during one is upcoming shows. What do you call it, not your counsel? Your panel?


Jack Spirko: You are a member the expert counsel. Just let me add to that to remind people. For anybody that is on the council, that you want to do that for. When you call for Steve or if you call for Tim or one of the other people or Joe Nobody or what have you. As soon as you hang the phone, send me an email, and tell me you called and the number you called from. That way I will get a priority in the queue and make sure goes off so it's on the next show. On expert counsel calls, I give those calls priority over everything else that comes in. If you been wanting to get a question answered on the show and you got one for Steve, that would be a way to make sure that you're in the 10% to 20% calls that get on air every week. If you send that email, I'll guarantee it will get screened. If you don't send that email, just the call volume alone, it may not get screened. It's very important for Steve or any of the expert council members, always shoot me an email. Say, "Jack, I just called the think line." I'll remind everybody that number 866-65-THINK. "I just called the think line. I just left a  question for Steve Harrison and Tim Glance or whatever. I called from..." Even just give me the area code you called me from. I'll spot it, like that fast.

Steven Harris: Yeah. This is the church of Jack. We wouldn't be in the church of Jack if wasn't for the congregation. You guys are the reason I do this. You guys the reason I spend so many hours getting ready for shows and writing stuff. It took me two days to make all those links on I kid you not, it took me two days to make that, for you. It is just not something threw up in 5 to 10 minutes. I'm about enabling you. I do this because you guys are so serious.Because you call back with the questions. You write me with questions. You can go to my email, is someplace on You can go there and email me question, if you want call into Jack. I'll answer you personally. Again, Jack, your show was awesome. Your audience is incredible. I am thrilled. It is a privilege and an honor to be here and to participate in this great little empire you have built. I'm thrilled to be on here for 10 times. It's wonderful and wait till next show.


Jack Spirko: Yeah, we will definitely get you back on again. I will have Dorthy get in touch with you to schedule you for the next slot that is open.

Steven Harris: Maybe next time we will talk about generators and powering your house and how to store fuel and all the other stuff that I got.

Jack Spirko: That would be a great topic. Steve again thank you for being here and thank you for all the effort you put in. I appreciate, I know the audience does as well.

Steven Harris: Jack, you are wonderful. Good night everyone. Hope you enjoyed those shows.

Jack Spirko: With that this has been Jack Spirko, today again along with Steven Harris. Helping you figure out how to live that better life. If times get tough or even if they don't.


<closing song>
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 08:46:38 PM by Hootie »