Yesterday I was out grabbing clips for a video I’m about to publish. While looking at my gear, the thought of how far my off-grid portable power capabilities have come, brought on a feeling of accomplishment. Truly amazing! The satisfaction slowly turned to concern as I realized energy is one of those “centralized commodities” which is (for whatever reason) overpriced, and in “short supply”.
Over the years, I have built up enough off-grid capability, to deploy kilowatts of portable solar power, with a matching kilowatt-hour of battery storage. I can do this from a bike, sled, backpack, or vehicle, in any weather. My modest home station hasn’t received the same attention. At least not yet!
My home only has 300 watts of solar and 190 watts of wind power to run the station and emergency lighting. This is because we can heat our home with wood, cook with wood or butane, and have a few years’ supplies of wood on hand. Solar power capabilities at home were designed to run the station, recharge flashlights, charge battery lanterns, power personal electronics, and provide minimal lighting in the event of some grid down disaster. We already live a very frugal lifestyle, but still, have some dependence on the energy grid.
As energy prices increase, working class citizens in many cases, can’t afford to purchase electricity from the grid. Even if they could afford it, electricity isn’t always available to be purchased. Fiat currencies like Dollars and Euros are getting weaker due to inflation, forcing people to set aside more and more of their income, to purchase centralized commodities. Just as we plan for natural disasters, we must create for ourselves decentralized buffers from the grid. A grid currently priced far out of step with inflation! We plan for floods, we plan for earthquakes, we plan for all sorts of natural disasters, but we never protect ourselves from the sudden cost increases of centralized energy. This has to change!
As we inevitably begin the discussion of generating our own energy independent of the electric grid, we actually began talking about reducing current consumption and Equipment efficiency already a year ago (÷021) on the channel. Although the context was portable ham radio, the same rules apply in the household.
My wife and I have been “preparing” for quite some time. We grow and can vegetables, store food for the long term, and constantly add to our supplies of firewood. From an energy perspective, my focus has always been on field deployment for emergency communications with reliable off-grid power. This is because of my ham radio goals, but also because the energy grid here in Finland, has remained relatively stable and cheap until now. Today our traditional sources of energy are attacked by WEF hypocrites flying around in their private jets. As such, we need to adapt! Now as we’re being expected to own nothing and be happy, we realize wherever centralized Commodities are concerned, we need to create a buffer between the energy grid and ourselves. One example of this is electric bicycles. Our electric bicycles have not been connected to the electric grid for more than 8 months at the time of this article. We are completely capable of powering them ourselves without grid power. Our Subaru has one of the diesel boxer motors, so it’s already incredibly efficient. Unfortunately, as Energy prices increase, the Subaru is relegated to emergency Mobility status, with very few casual drives for the fun of it. The e-bikes are used for things like grabbing groceries, going to the local shop,… I digress!
My wife and I agree it’s time to reduce the risks associated with our dependence on centralized electricity. Over the next year, we are increasing our off-grid solar power capabilities at home. Although saving money is part of it, not being dependent on a monopoly for one’s critical needs, is simply good practice. We don’t need to care how much electricity costs per kilowatt, if we’re mostly generating our own electricity. Decentralize!
As many of you have noticed over the past couple of years, censorship has increased exponentially. Newspeak and twisting of words and phrases away from their traditional meaning create confusion. Along with cancel culture which effectively blocks anyone from discussing topics critical of the centralized Utopia we live in today. Ham radio is critically important for keeping the discussion going. Just the other day A buddy of mine in Australia sent an interesting article about gardening, over a winlink email. Another sent me an article about DIY fertilizer for the household Garden. Even this very topic was discussed in a QSO using VarAC, just this past weekend. This website exists so I can say anything I want to the people who would like to listen. Social media like Instagram is great for showing you what I’m working on, but getting the message out really needs to happen on my website. We need to have these discussions right here, sharing ways of decentralizing our lives directly with one another. And just so you all know where I stand, let them come and take it!
Buy me a rootbeer: https://paypal.me/oh8stn/2usd
Very wise and very true, we are under siege.
Thanks Jim. Sad days indeed.
Outstanding essay, Julian. Too many assume that freedom and liberty are gifts, given to one by the state, and not the birthright from the Divine that they are. The Texians of Gonzales understood that, as did Stephen F. Austin and the people of what became the Republic of Texas.
Self-sufficiently is empowering. Being so isn’t always easy, but rarely is it overly difficult. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Indeed. As we learn to become more self-sufficient and less dependent, the grip of the central power upon the individual lessens. That is why people like you, and millions of other ordinary men and women around the world, raise such fear in those who wish to exercise ever more central power and control over society.
Man is man and God is God, and only a fool confuses the two — but there are plenty of fools about. Every few generations, men who think they are Gods use the tool of tyranny to try to subjugate free men and women to the yoke of centralized “progress”. Every few generations, therefore, men and women who desire to live free have to fight to do so.
For the moment, like you, I tend my (much smaller) garden, preserve what I can, put away what I’m able, help my neighbors to do the same, and am thankful for what I have and eager to share with those less fortunate. However, I’m aware that the sand through the hourglass is passing ever faster and there is much I need to do to become better and stronger (digital!, my bane…).
Fellowship, harmony, balance are all fine goals and worth pursuing, without any doubt, but they can exist because liberty and freedom exists. The distant rampart is both shrinking and receding; manufactured distractions are enslaving minds and helping to sow the seeds of discord, creating confusion and resulting in censorship, as you rightly point out.
Free speech, discussing these topics with people who may agree or not, who may challenge our assumptions, is critical in the forever fight for freedom and liberty. I stand with you, brother, ever mindful of those brave men and women from “the Lexington of Texas”, and always faithful to cause of freedom against tyranny and despotism.
I am looking looking forward to your future posts on your off-grid power capabilities.
I couldn’t agree more and I’ve been discussing the same concept with my wife. I’ve been watching your videos for a while and I feel I am also well prepared for grid down communications, as well as EMCOMM. However, I’ve also been giving more focus and attention to building off-grid power for our home. I have to look at it as piece meal at this time and then select what is most critical to power using the system I am planning, because planning for a regular days use of electricity will cost me north of $35K USD for batteries, charge controllers, solar panels, and associated connecting material. I am going to make sure that what I start as a base system can be built upon as funds permit. Keep up the great work. 73.
It is wonderful to read your comment.
My next door neighbor just told us what a world of crap they are in. We locked in a great electricity rate for two years, giving us time to piece together our off grid home system. It was a risk as electricity prices could also have gone down. Thanksfully we saw the light and took the bet. My neighbor that it was a marketing scam, only to end up with no fixed electricity deal and no way to mange their ever increasing monthly electricity budget. He has had to come out of retirement, just to keep up with his mostly electric powered homes monthly energy costs.
The energy crisis looks like another (2008) way for the banks to take away our homes and land.
Thanks for the amazing comment.
Great content Julian
Many thanks for youre view en thought’s
We are living in a world of gambling leaders with a onknown Outlook
73′ harry ph7fe
You are very welcome Harry. Kind of crazy times.
Great article, Julian. I agree. I am prepared to a very modest degree for man-portable off-grid HFoperation. My decision was to go as lightweight as possible with my solar power system. I use a 6 Ah LiFePO4 battery, a total of 88 W in solar panels and a hand crank generator for backup. (I’d like to convert the hand crank to pedal drive, but haven’t had time to pursue it.) My radio is the Elecraft KX2. I also ventured down the road of designing a cart for hauling gear, based, like similar designs, on the Chinese wheelbarrow, but with some improvements. I have an aluminum prototype and a much improved design in digital format that I hope to build. I’m also developing plans for ruggedizing the KX2. All this to say that you and I are on the same page.
My interest in preparedness began in 2008 with the financial crash in the U.S., and my serious pursuit of preparedness began in 2015.
I have two questions for you. First, would you please elaborate on your statement, “Today our traditional sources of energy are attacked by WEF hypocrites,” either here, if you feel safe doing so, or via email, if you have time. I subscribed to their newsletter to try and stay abreast of their goals and activities. I’d really like to hear more about your perspective as a European citizen.
And my second question is why Winlink as opposed to JS8? I understand that Winlink is a faster protocol, which is advantageous from a stealth perspective. But I’ve found it hard to understand why we expend so much effort to free ourselves from infrastructure, only to tie ourselves to infrastructure with Winlink. I guess the hope is that if internet outages were to occur they would be localized, and that Winlink over HF would be able to find an active node somewhere. But I still prefer JS8Call because of its awesome networking capabilities and its ability to function at 100% in the event of total loss of infrastructure. If you’ve already blogged or vlogged about why JS8 isn’t more popular, please point me to your existing content. Otherwise, would you please comment?
As always, thanks for all that you do in the realm of ham preparedness.
Sounds like we are cut from the same cloth.
First question: the topic is too big for a short response. I will say this, the world economic forum is like Spectre from an Ian Fleming novel. I’m always suspicious of those who seek to control others without adhering to the controls they expect from others.
Beware of the harsh language. https://youtu.be/QOrS6buynAk
JS8 & Winlink are not competitors. I use them both. Winlink allows a greater amount of data to be sent, while JS8 is very slow, but insanely reliable. Both of these tools are indispensable.
Julian, this is great content. Keep us apprised of your decentralized set up. I’m currently in the process of building a ham shack and am always looking for how to make my hobby cheaper and energy efficient.
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I certainly will document everything I’m doing. It’s a long journey but we need to get there.