Scram bag: Radio

Got to get information.

Access to information is very important and radio, while an old technology now, is likely to be one of the best sources of information during a crisis. AM radio is a particularly good source because of its range and likelihood of operation.

the DEGEN DE13 world receiver.

DEGEN DE13 Solar / windup/ 5V DC powered. Radio AM FM SW, LED flash light, red flashing LED, USB power output, and alarm.

This is a really great radio, packed with features.

A radio? You may think that because your mobile phone has a radio you’ve got it covered. Well partially. Mobile phones generally only receive FM radio and usually only with headphones attached as they double as the antenna.

FM is a relatively short range radio signal so if you are far from a transmitter you wont hear anything.

AM radio stations use large amounts of power and have large capacitors in order to operate, so that when the power goes off to radio stations FM stations only have generator reserves. AM stations will have a few days of electric reserves in their capacitors on top of generator reserves, so an AM receiver will be more likely to give you information and for longer. AM stations also have much longer range in reception as well.

Shortwave SW radio has enormous range, you’ll realize this when you start hearing languages other than English on them. Shortwave radio receivers are somewhat uncommon these day also.

Powering it.

Solar: A nice little polycrystalline panel.

Wind up: 60 turns of the handle for 1 hour of radio.

AAA cells: 3 AAA cells are an option.

micro USB port: the 5 pin connector, connect to a computer or other 5V DC source.

Lithium battery: Just like what is in cordless phones.


3 LED light, a pretty good light for shorter range illumination.

Red flashing LED, this is meant to be for reading maps at night, the red doesn’t affect you night vision too much.

Siren: I’m not sure how this is useful but its there.

USB output: I think this runs from the wind up only,  and has output limited to low current for charging older mobile phones or small electronic devices, but better than nothing (though the manual doesn’t specify).

Down sides.

Not waterproof, this can be mitigated buy using a small water proof container or bag.

Not dust proof, if your operating environment is very dusty of silty you could have trouble.

Antenna clasp is a bit fragile, fortunately this is not a critical component.

Battery case cover for the 3xAAA compartment seems a little flimsy.

No clock, one of the few products where the addition of a clock might have made sense, radio shows are scheduled to start at certain times, thought announcers do tend to quote the time often enough.

The instruction manual that comes with this device is pretty vaguely written, a bad translation from Chinese, it’s almost a throw away manual.

There is not form of charge indicator, just  charging LED (green) and a discharging LED (red).


Short wave radio stations sometimes talk about transmitting on X meters rather than a frequency.

This length distance they are talking about is the wave length of the radio wave, wavelength is usually given the Greek letter λ

c is the speed of light in a vacuum 299 792 458 m / s , you’ll notice this number is close to 300,000,000,  300 million or 3 x 10 ^8.

Frequency: f , measured in Hz (Hertz).

For example if someone was transmitting on 19 meters:

c  = λ  *  f

f =  c / λ

f = 300,000,000/19

f = 1,000,000   *  300/19

f = 1,000,000   *   15.79 Hz

f   = 15.79 MHz  (or 15,790 kHz )

This radio can detect that short wave frequency and those between 5.8 MHz and 18.2 MHz (51 to 16.5 meters in wavelength).

It should be noted that some SW bands are not in the frequency region where they should be due to some historical conventions.


Radio frequency notebook

You should create a series of notebook entries listing for each location you plan to be in which frequencies are operational and what type of information is given.


location 1

AM  frequency  information types

station 1             music and hourly news

station 2             news and weather (mostly prerecorded)

FM  frequency  information types

station 3        music  (infrequent news)

SW frequency  information types

station 4        Chinese language (shipping?)


A great deal of information can be inferred from which stations are still broadcasting also with what information they are giving.


This handy radio comes in several colors; dark green(pictured), lime green fluoro, and white, though I’m sure almost any color is possible

Can be bought from many internet sellers for about $30.

Scram bag: Vice grips

Vice grips as I have previously mentioned, are far superior to pliers.

6 pairs of vice grips. The two in the center are needle nose.

A remarkably versatile tool, they are simple to use and very durable.

They allow you to dial in a specific jaws distance( the screw knob on the end of the handle) and clamps onto an object.

I once pulled out a glued in wooden dowel out of a piece of kit-set furniture with vice grips, they are really strong.

They are extremely useful, allowing you to do things that require three hands and use only two.

Vice grips can also be used as a vice if attached to a stable platform.

Vice grips can also me use as a semi permanent clamp to hold things together.

Can also be used as a spanner or shifter, and if you are a bit desperate a hammer (nice flat sides).

They are so good I recommend you have 2 sets of vice grips, one large and one small.

Needle nose are very much worth considering as as models with cutters and the back of the jaws, other jaw arrangements tend to be a little to specialized for all round uses.

Some of the pliers based multi tool manufactures are catching on to the vice grips trend, but still a good pair of vice grips costs dramatically less.

Vice grips a really great versatile compact tool, let your mind run wild.

Every set of pliers one day hopes to grow up to be a set of vice grips.

Buyers guide, make sure the bottom jaw doesn’t slop too much (side to side and up and down) and that the screw adjustment is smooth and precise.

Usually made from chrome vanadium steel so they wont easily rust or corrode.

Cost $10-20 available at most hardware/ building supply stores.

The great Global Warming swindle

I’m sure this will be controversial, but it shouldn’t be.

The inconvenient truth is that the data must be false.

What kind of chart is that? Any vertical line through a temperature chart should cross the charted line only once, as at any point in time, there is only one temperature at that given point in time.

This chart is phony just like the guy standing in front of it.

The following chart is however real.

World average temperature 1997-2012

Where is the global warming?

The fundamental point is earths dynamic systems are self correcting ( homeostatic),  runaway processes are the exception. The sun determines the temperature on earth.

385 ppm CO2 total

15ppm  contributed by people’s activities.

10,000-40,000 ppm H2O

Remember this a thermal effect not a chemical effect on the green house effect.

[CFC’s which we don’t really hear about anymore, have a chemical effect on ozone and it is a chain reaction ( a reaction occurring many time over).]

CO2  reflects some heat back but is unchanged in the process, and the human contribution is only 4% of the naturally produced CO2.

The more CO2 there is the more plants are able to absorb it also.

Global warming deniers are right wingers who know nothing about science and are just protecting their fortunes.

Actually the the opposite:

(Certainly in any policy change there are going to be winners and losers, and some potential losers are quite strident in their denials of global warming, but there are some big winners too like Al Gore.)

Dr David Bellamy: Well known Botanist and environmentalist says there is no global warming.

Al Gore: Ultra wealthy former politician promotes global warming and make enormous money from it.

A letter he [Dr David Bellamy] published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large percentage (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating.

Previously Dr Bellamy supported Global warming, but he started to see the facts were not adding up. He has now predicted 30 years of cooler weather. How does he know this? He understands global temperature is influenced by solar heat output, which is influenced by cyclical variations in the suns intensity, i.e the sunspot cycle.

The whole global warming scam is because the status quo don’t want to run out of oil just yet, so they want us to use less and pay more for it (and feel bad for using it).

Use less and pay more is a very old trick from fascism’s play book. Ration books anyone? Oh wait we had a choice of cap and trade (ration book) or a…

Carbon tax.

I.e. a tax on  producing carbon dioxide, a tax on breathing.

Look at how they are spending carbon tax money already: they  are wasting it.

This is yet another tax to prop up a failing economic paradigm. a way for central bank to print even more money and let you have even less of it by taking it back off you.

You have been lied to by the global warming advocates, look back at some of their earlier predictions.

If  atmospheric CO2 is a result of burning fossil fuel it’s not really a problem as we are running out of fossil fuel anyway.

Which brings me to…

I remember the first book I read at school as a young child.

Chicken little. AKA Henny penny.

Chicken Little. Golden book edition cover circa 1960.

With it’s simple story and repetition of the character names it was a good place to start learning how to read. But more fundamentally it warns of using false logic and dangerous speculative projection based on failed logic to spread panic among your community. It was only when the wisest member of the community was told of the story, that the panic subsided. A nice way to show the axiom in science that one right answer has more weight than many wrong answers.

In one of the several variants of the story an unscrupulous fox takes advantage of the fear of the group and kills and eats them all.

The story is a modern retelling of  many similar stories going back over 2500 years.  Do you really believe the sky is falling? This story is older than Jesus, and people seem to be forgetting it; to their detriment.

For anyone that’s into Buddhism, its part of Buddhist teachings.

Coastal property scares.

Another bonus  of the global warming scam is they are scaring people away from coastal property claiming the sea will rise and wash them away, whereas in the future, many people will need to live close to the sea as it is an abundant food source.

Historically many peoples have lived from food gathered from the sea. The sea is rich in phosphorus and water  where as in many places these two substances must be added to the land to promote good harvests. this is especially true in Australia, how exactly are we planning to add phosphorus to the land in a post cheap oil world? Wouldn’t it make more sense to live close to the sea? The Status quo want to tax you for breathing and scare you away from the sea so they can use your money to buy up all the good coastal property and live next to the one of the best post peak oil food sources the sea.

Having lived for a long period of my life on a coastal property, I saw the sand dunes wash away and then be rebuilt by different cycles of storm and calm in the ocean and weather. Even as I saw it happen over multiple decade length cycles, there would occasionally be a ‘sky is falling’ opinion, then along time resident with much gray hair would set the record straight: they saw it come and go, and come again.

So is your sky falling or is it just an acorn?

more reading?–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

The world more likely to be colder in the future. Interestingly the mainstream media didn’t want to run the story until it had a prediction of doom attached.

we survived these cool periods in the past, we will again in the future.

Bicycle Power

200W 3 phase powered bike hub, 2x BR 354 rectifiers, 12 V 1 Farad capacitor, 12V lamp.

the picture is a gif animation click on it to see.

So me and a mate managed to get hold of some powered bicycle hubs. They are basically a 3 phase alternator built into an over size axle hub. Of course you can reverse the process and instead of adding electricity to get wheel rotation, you can spin the wheel and get electricity. The 3 phase AC needs to be rectified and smoothed a little with a capacitor (3 phase is smoother than single phase however).

The light pulses because the wheel is not constantly spinning. we later figured out we had wired up the capacitor backwards.

The work continues.

The original bulb pictured was an incandescent  indicator lamp from a car, essentially a tiny 12V light bulb. After some slightly energetic riding it actually burnt out, after glowing quite bright.  I estimated we were able to put 21W through the setup safely thought it (by pedaling slowly in top gear) though the bike is capable of a lot more.

The electrical diagram of the bike powered the light bulb.