[SATLUG] Generator powered laptops?

FIRESTORM_v1 firestorm.v1 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 00:11:11 CDT 2008

Well, as many of you know, Houston got it's posterior handed to it by
Ike.  Unfortunately, I am (along with most of Houston and surrounding
areas) without power.  We are fortunate to have running water and
natural gas.  Recently we bought a generator and have been surviving
quite well.

The question I have for SATLUG and XCSSA is concerning the 110VAC
output coming from the generator. I took a meter to the power output
and found that the power fluctuates almost constantly between 116VAC
and 118VAC after getting the engine calibrated correctly.  (Before it
was surging wildly from 105VAC to 130VAC.  It's amazing what a quarter
turn on the idler adjustment does. :P)

The questions are:
1:  Would you consider this clean enough to run a laptop or other
computer fed by the brick-style switching power supplies?
2: If it's not clean enough, would adding an UPS clean it up without
resulting in a blown UPS?

The idea behind this is that DSL and cable are both out in my
neighborhood and there are a few people in my neighborhood that are
needing to apply for FEMA assistance.  I am thinking of using my VIA
Artigo with it's miniscule 12watt power supply to NAT the cellular
modem connection I'm currently on (at the office) to retransmit via an
accesspoint locally so that others nearby can contact FEMA, their work
or loved ones and let everyone know they're OK.   It's nothing fancy
like satellite uplinks or anything the Red Cross has, but it's way
better than nothing at all.  On a side note, Sprint came up on Monday
night, while AT&T and Tmobile are still down for the count in my

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Thank you.

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