Here at SWLing Post HQ we’ve been under a Winter Storm Warning since yesterday–it’s not set to expire until sometime tomorrow. This storm hasn’t been all snow–it’s a mixture of snow and ice. If this continues, I fully expect to lose power at some point today.
In general, we’re prepared to handle this sort of thing: our refrigerator and freezer are powered by solar and completely off-grid, we have a super efficient RAIS woodstove to keep us warm and of course, we have a generator at the ready if needed.
Playing radio off-grid
As I write this post, I’m listening to the Signal Corps BC-348-Q (photo above) which is tuned to a local AM broadcaster. It’ll fill my shack with local news/tunes and its vintage valves will do a fine job warming this small room until the power eventually goes out.
When it does go out, I’ll switch to my blackout buddy, the CommRadio CR-1A.
I find that the CR-1A is nearly ideal for off-grid and field listening, as long as you have a good external antenna. The internal Li-Ion battery powers the thing for ages and it has an incredibly capable receiver.
In addition, I have the new battery-powered CommRadio CTX-10 transceiver in the shack.
I’ve been receiving numerous emails about this particular field rig because there are so few CTX-10 reviews out there even though it’s been on the market since late July.
Please note that I’ve been giving the CTX-10 a thorough evaluation over the past few weeks and plan to publish my initial review in the next few days.
Even though I live in a very rural and remote area with little-to-no RFI, when the power is cut, my noise floor still drops . We’re not immune–like most homes, we have power supplies and devices that emit radio interference.
It’s funny: most urban radio enthusiasts I know don’t fear power outages, they prepare for and embrace them! When all of those RFI-spewing devices go silent, it’s simply amazing what you can hear from home on frequencies below 30 MHz with pretty much any receiver.
Personally, as long as I have a means of 1.) powering my radios, and 2.) making coffee (extremely important), I consider myself properly prepared.
I’ve always got those two points covered.
Bring it, old man winter! I’m ready to play radio!
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