just heard from feds

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


-- raymond kratofil (rkrato2862@phonl.com), November 30, 1999



I've "been advised" to power-down by 1600hrs 31 Dec/99 and not to even approach the building until 0800hrs 04 Jan/00.

Apparently it's something to do with securing the building and preserving the worthless programs we daily abuse..!

-- (Kurt.Borzel@gems8.gov.bc.ca), November 30, 1999.

Yep, that's been discussed on the Forum. Protect your electronic gizmos! We're not buying much freezer / frig stuff, eatin it bare, gonna scrub frig out thoroughly after Christmas, put baking soda in it, unplug -- don't want it to fry, hear friges are fragile that way.

Not expecting to get replacement units easily or quickly. Going to turn breakers off December 30 (maybe before) and unplug absolutely everything. So easy to do, good insurance. Will see if the neighbors' stuff gets fried and zapped. Don't think electricity will be reliable and stable by the 3rd of January. Won't be a 3-day storm!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), November 30, 1999.

Hi Ashton and Aleska,

You have raised an issue that I had really been ignoring up to now. I had heard power might cause damage, but it seemed too much a sacrifice to power down. And I had been planning to be on the internet since it remains the only half way reliable source of info on whatever problems go down around the world.

I am signed up on the Year 2000 site to make reports for this time zone and connect to web cams and reports from others around the world. And I was hoping this forum with its wide range of locations reporting would also help.

My biggest concern is that I will lose power eventually without having any idea what is going on around the world. If it is possible to find out about nukes in Russian and Japan, oil disruptions in the middle east or terrorist attacks anywhere, I was just so set on trying to find out about these that I was going to take the chance.

Don't you think, as far as the computers go, that the surge protectors that most people have will be enough protection? I can see unplugging all appliances, but how long will you do this? If power will be unreliable for months, assuming we have any at all, would you go without your appliances indefinitely? How long are you going to leave the power off?

I have learned much from you and I really want to make the right choice here, so I would really appreciate a little expansion on your reasons for unplugging altogether and how long. Thanks very much for everything, and for having such good hearts and beautiful ways of expression.


-- Lora (artemis45@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

Apologies for printing Aleska instead of Leska!!

-- Lora (artemis45@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

Lora, There is a special surge protector for the extreme variance of dirty power, about 30 bucks. Does anyone here remember the type? It's recommended as a supplemental, to run in series. Small price for the added security. If we don't get a response here, you might wanna ask the prep group.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 01, 1999.

You can run your pc's off of pure 12 volt battery stuff during rollover. Get an inverter-12volt dc--->110ac. I don't think the small voltage/amperage in the phone line for the modem is going to do much, IF it stays up and the net stays up. What you are worrying about is your 110 AC household juice that you plug into, so...just...don't....use it! You should be getting prepped on alternative juice anyway, methinks.

just a way to stay online safely zog

-- zog (zzoggy@yahoo.com), December 01, 1999.

I don't know how good these surge protectors are, really. I'm going to unplug before 7 p.m. on the 31st. Also I would like to avoid the viruses said to be ready to pounce.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), December 01, 1999.


Thanks very much, that is a good idea. I will try to pick one up before rollover.

-- Lora (artemis45@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

Possible Remedy - A "Whole House" Surge Protector"

1. go out to main circuit box on side of house where electrical service enters house. Add up the current ratings of the 2 breakers or fuses located in the switch box. To calculate the required surge protector add 20% to the total.

2. Go to an industrial electrical supply company and ask for an industrial 220v surge suppressor of the current rating calculated in step 1; an electrical box to mount it in, 4- 8' copper ground rods and 5-ground rod connectors, and a length of #"0" (naught - or zero) ga insulated wire ( about twice as much as you think you will need) and two lengths of #6 GA insulated wire.

3. Outside your house, at point nearest your inside circuit breaker box, dig a square hole 3 foot on a side and a foot deep. Drive the four ground rods into the ground at the 4 corners about 3" from each side. connect them together using the connectors and the "0" GA so that you have a wire 'box' around the four rods. The fifth connector will be used to connect a length of "0" wire from just 1 of the rods thu wall and up to the surge suppressor when it is installed, so do not fill in hole until that is completed. BTW: is a good idea to pour a pound of potassium chloride (fake salt) into hole - covering bottom evenly. 'Fake' salt will not kill grasses and plants as easily as 'real' salt but will greatly improve the efficiency of the ground system. This setup will make an excellent ground for your suppressor. Electrical system sees a ground rod 5 foot in diameter ... FWIW: electricity only flows on surface of conductor - called skin effect - so the bigger around the better.

3. If you do not know how to install the suppressor, you should hire an electrician to install this unit inside your house - connected between the service box outside and the breaker box inside. If you know how, I don't have to explain! :-)

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 01, 1999.

Lora, we certainly are not experts about this. We are poor and each little thing we have, we cannot afford to lose! We're ready to go without power for @ 4 months, not too hard in PacNW because it doesn't get below freezing that often. We have layers of polartek. We're going to exist extremely simply.

If millions of ppl think "nothing's gonna happen," can you imagine the lines and lllooooooonnnnnnngggggg waits for appliances that get burnt out? Can they still manufacture them? Is it robotic automation at the plant in Taiwan? Can they ship parts? etc.

Of course we'll be eaten away by curiosity, but we don't have the $$ to buy more surge protectors 'n batteries. We're keeping it really primitive. It the Net stays up and y'all can post, hopefully the news will remain intact in the archives and we can catch up ... later? when? Have no idea.

Just know we can't take any chances with any of our stuff and won't be plugged in until we're sure it's OK.

We don't have many toys but cherish what we do have. This bondi blue iMac is our portal to the globe! Will not risk polluting it nohow noway :-)

Sorry this was not a technical explanation ;^)

Financial & emotional decisions. Better for us to sacrifice than to be saddled with useless stuff, hassles, and too long to replace. Who knows how difficult it will be to earn money next year, or what it will be worth, or what material goods will be worth, or ... or ... or ... or ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), December 01, 1999.

Your reasons make perfect sense and have really given me something to consider. I think I will try to get the family to disconnect appliances, but get some kind of protection for the computer.

You have been able to realize how difficult manufactured goods will be to replace and the value of what you now have. I think that is a good plan. And you will likely get enough feedback from neighbors on how things are going to decide when it is safe to use them.

Thanks for the tip.

-- Lora (artemis45@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

This is why the SSA is taking its main database center (in Baltimore) offline for a while around the rollover.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), December 01, 1999.

What is the big deal. Buy a UPS battery backup surge protector. 130- 400 bucks depending on how many battery protected lines and the "time" to allow a controlled shutdown. I have run mine off a generator cycling on heavy loads. It cycled back and forth but until the voltages stabilized but worked fine. The only other reason might be that it isn't a power problem at all but a software/hardware problem. Maybe going through the rollover live is heavier risk than booting up after the date change.

If there are power problems you might see rolling brownouts. Those cheap strip surge protectors are designed for over voltage spikes and will not protect your pc from an under voltage (brownout condition). Lower voltage I do believe translates into higher current flows in your machines circuits boards (ouch, bad). I cannot believe our esteemed DOD doesn't have multiple layers of electricity protection for their pc's.

Maybe there is something to that darn Rotterdam report after all.

-- squid (Itsdark@down.here), December 01, 1999.

I have an ISOBAR (metal box) unit that kept my PC running thru an extreme brown-out a few years ago, the house lites went dim while I was in another part of the building. I mean REAL dim, you had to look at the bulb to see anything, I ran back to the PC and it was still running. Since then I've added a UPS. Out of our 3 PCs I think I will chance having my old reliable 586 up and running during New Years Evil.

-- Dan G (thepcguru@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

From the Prep archive

 Alternate power

An excellent thread.

 Low Voltage problems

-- Brian (imager@home.com), December 01, 1999.

Cheap surge protectors are useless. They don't respond fast enough or at a low enough threshold. I've lost several components in my home PC due to dirty power (one lightning strike, one just failed in service). :(

Either get a proper - and expensive - UPS, or just unplug. Also, check with your insurance company if they specifically cover you against damage caused by a Y2K related surge. Mine are currently "considering it".

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), December 01, 1999.

just remember PHONES can be fried too. mine have been.

-- tt (cuddluppy@nowhere.com), December 01, 1999.

Interesting implications of ***insufficient energy usage*** was mentioned in South Africa: Essentially if the power requirements drop below a certain megawatt level (that is, if a large number of domestic and industrial consumers turn off power appliances over CDC for safety sake), the energy grid becomes "unbalanced/unstable", which could result in other power supply problems. I'm sorry, I don't have any official quotes or links, just something I remember from a presentation by a member of the Y2K Decision Support Centre a couple of months back....

-- (indigoseahorse@hotmail.com), December 01, 1999.

A regular PC runs on 12V and 5V. So, Use a big 12v and a 6 volt batterie. Make a DC hookup to your PC and of ya go. Use the Batterie to buffer and with this you are 100% save. Forget the lossy inverter. Adjust your internal 5V supply to deliver just over 6V to trickle charge the batterie. Insert a high current diode in series to feed the 5V (the drop through a silicon diode is .7v)so you will end up at 5.3V this is within specs. The larger the batterie the better the buffer effect. 6V at 25 and more AH is fine 12V at 25 and more AH is fine also.A large car batterie and large 6V batterie can run your PC for quite some time.

-- Sparky (Sparkt@sparky.arc), December 01, 1999.

Good morning all. My understanding of the grid is that it runs on Zulu time. If that is so, we here on the west coast should unplug before 1500 hrs. Does anyone have more info on this? OT: So this is what the sixties were like here in the World. Glad I missed it. Good luck.


-- michael frazier (mfrazier@pacific.net), December 01, 1999.

Get a nice little battery powered AM/FM/Shortwave radio, and you will likely still have incoming communication, even if the power does go out.


-- Pinkrock (aphotonboy@aol.com), December 01, 1999.

Took the words right out of my mouth Pink...

Get a couple battery powered shortwave radios and you'll never want for a lack of uncensored news.

-- Powder (powder@keg.com), December 01, 1999.

Ordered a power line conditioner ( shipped yesterday ) 1200 watt 4 outlet to protect sensaive electronic equipment from dirty power, or if I need to run my genset. Pretty cheap only $149 from cozone.com .

-- kozak (kozak@formerusaf.guv), December 01, 1999.

Got a "whole House" surge protector from Home Depot for $45 bucks. Shouldn't that be enough to protect frig, tv etc.? Really do not want to unplug. No computer at home but can't afford to lose appliances either. Will this be enough?

-- (Wishing@inone.hand), December 01, 1999.

I have a ups for the crappiest computer in the house, am definitly planning on monitoring events as much as possible. Have all the parts necessary to replace it (its the sacrificial pc). Have had several modems fry, and will try to protect the one I'll be using with a good surge protector. Will be unplugging everything else in the house. Remember to plug your monitor into the UPS as well if your planning on being on-line!!!!!

Work: I am taking every Electronics device off-line on Thurs. Evening 12/30/99. The network, pc's, printers, fax, phones, etc. until Monday 1/3/99 (date dependent on available power/and or other related problems)

I was kinda hoping a few people from the forum would be sporadically partying at the Monkey House on New Years - hope I'm not alone ;-)

-- disconnect (karlacalif@aol.com), December 01, 1999.

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