Battery-powered TVs

pgw

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
I own a battery-powered TV (analog, obviously) which is very good to have when the power goes off! However, the converter boxes must be plugged in - meaning, you cannot use them without electricity.
So - can I ever use use this TV again during power outages? Is there a battery-powered converter box?
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#2
As of this time, I have not been able to find a solution for handheld or mobile television owners.

The FCC has mandated that only digital signals are broadcasted, even during hurricanes. I find this kind of surprising, given the fact that there are a lot of people that depend on their handheld television sets for news and updates during a hurricane.

Here's a link to FCC comments about digital television and their choice not to broadcast analog signals during an emergency or bad storms: http://www.tvconversionhelp.com/2008/08/20/startling-fcc-dtv-hurricane-plan-for-handheld-tv-owners/
 

mjr643

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
DTV portables and you

There are DTV portable TVs out currently, however at reported prices of $200 for a 7 inch LCD and no guarantee on battery life at radio shack.

However almost every reviewer gave it bad grades in that you need some sort of external rabbit ears to watch TV
 

djs

DTVUSA Member
#4
I thought the same thing as I have a small portable TV I use outside. I'm sure somebody will design something to solve this problem, it's just a matter of how much will it cost.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
Solutions for battery analog TVs and disaster prep.

Yea, I don't own one of those battery TVs, they are almost giving them away at the local thrift store... but my solutions would be:

with a converter box:

1> DTVpal runs on DC, AFIK its the only box that does. It has a wall wart... but it has a plug on it that I have yet to find a replacement for. It could be hooked to a battery pack. (the price of a plug and parts, and a little work)

2> A small 12v to 120v inverter for your box. Obviously, your TV would not be so portable anymore. Use the small ones they sell for plugging your laptop into (about $50)

3> And without a box, you could use an inverter to run a new smallish LCD DTV. You would need about a 200+ watt inverter. Again, you're not taking it with you easily. (about $100)

4> A usb tuner for your laptop. ($50 or less if you already have a laptop)

The whole subject of emergency preperation is something I have some experience with... In NY we went through 2 ice storms that cut power for up to a month for some people, and we had the East coast blackouts (does anyone remember the '65 blackout?) I also live in Utah now, and the Mormon church is determined to make sure that all the faithful survive no matter what. Here's what I recomend:

a> Get an inverter. 400+ watts is a good choice, not too expensive. You can run small TVs and other small devices off it (a fan in hot weather is AWESOME!). And you'll be the envy of all your neighbors when you're watching TV in front of a fan with a light on! Of course, you'll need a car, make sure you have enough gas and start it every hour to charge the battery.

b> Generator? NICE! but expensive. Make sure you get one big enough to run your fridge, and again, enough gas to run it for 48 hours. Without the generator, DON'T open the fridge or freezer unless you have to. You should be good for up to 24 hours without electric with a modern fridge/ freezer.

c> Coleman lanterns and fuel. Keep a 5 gallon can of gas... Gas stations can't pump without power! Propane lanterns and Aladdin kerosene lamps (these have a mantle) are great also. All of these put out about 50 - 100 watts worth of light and a few thousand BTUs of heat (important in the winter, your furnace won't work!)

d> Repurpose. The solar lights in your yard will make great nightlights. Your water heater is full, 30+ gallons of potable water... use the faucet at the bottom - don't drink the first gallon or so (sediment). Be creative!

e> Your microwave and electric stove won't work. Your gas stove will need to be lit if it doesn't have a pilot light. Have another way to cook. ( I used my propane grill for 3 weeks once.)

OK way off topic, but PLAN AHEAD.
 
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FOX TV

Contributor
#6
More emergency stuff

There are many models of battery powered DTV receivers available today. A small power inverter is also a good option as mentioned above by MrPogi. I would think that a small generator would almost be a requirement, and its main use would be to power your refrigerator, or running a small Mocrowave oven so you could have some hot food and beverages, but it could be used for other purposes to such as charging batteries also.

links to battery powered DTV sets.

Radio Shack:
Haier® 7" Portable Handheld LCD DTV - RadioShack.com
AUVIO™ 7" Portable Digital TV - RadioShack.com

Amazon.com
Amazon.com: battery powered tv: Electronics

B & H Photo Video
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=battery+powered+tv+sets&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#7
TV During a Power Outage

Many of us already have a USB or Internal TV Tuner for our Computers.
Then, having a nice Hi Capacity UPS* is an advantage too !

I have several of the...
APC Products.
and find them quite reliable.

Pogi,
I don't mean to be snippy, but, down here on the Gulf Coast, we go through the equivalent of that 1965 Blackout you mentioned, about once a year ! :D
I have a Checklist which I do starting on June 1 of each year to prepare for Hurricane Season.
I'm fortunate though, I live on a hill, and haven't had to go through an evacuation.
We don't run from the wind, but we DO from the the water !

Batteries, Fuel for the Generator, and ride it out ! :whoo:
(a lot of other stuff too)

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.

*= Un-interruptible Power Supply (a Battery Backup Unit)
 
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Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#8
Of course computers won't run without electricity, unless you have a battery powered laptop. I remember reading about the handheld portable tv issues. Frankly, the government doesn't care.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#9
SWHouston:
quote:
//I don't mean to be snippy, but, down here on the Gulf Coast, we go through the equivalent of that 1965 Blackout you mentioned, about once a year ! //

no offence taken... everyplace has its own set of challenges. You can't be too well prepared. I agree that a ups is worth the price, I have the worst electric supply... my lights flicker all the time.

This ties in also with another thread (TV should go away) and the importance of HAM RADIO operators in these situations. And that brings up, for the non- hams, a good set of FRS two way radios.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Pogi,

That flickering is usually caused by (someone else's) demand on your main line. Seen it and done something about it before.
When there's a sharing between regular users like residential and some higher demand facility, Power Companies frequently use a set of Capacitors to smooth the draw out.
Don't underestimate the power of the Consumer, I have complained about this issue, and, got them to change to higher capacity transformers, AND install Caps as well. Call um, write um, your needs count. They probably already know of the problem, and have just been dragging their feet (as usual) to defray going to the expense of the update.

Power interruptions and complete failures are really an issue where I live.
I just don't understand it. EVERY time we have a storm (hurricane) some part of our Power Distribution System goes down for a little or long while.
And every time, they patch it up, and we start the nasty scenario over and over again. How many times does a Tower have to be blown down, before thy figure out they should install a beefier one ! :doh:

I'm sick of going to the trouble, to maintain a Generator, store Fuel which is dangerous, plus, having the physical stress of dealing with the results of a power failure. My situation is not unique, but sitting in a house at 90+°, is not something a old guy like me (or anyone else) should have to endure in this date and age.

You mentioned Ham and FRS...
Tried and true technologies, and worthy of use given their respective designs.
Though it's not very popular any more, I still have CB equipment from that era, and have thought to set it up again. If fills (from a range point of view) that distance between Ham and FRS. Another project for consideration.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Orry,

You're right on both accounts.

But it depends on what you're in to. There are Ham and CB Clubs which continue to communicate via their respective technology's, and I TOTALLY support the continuance of those activities.

Cell Phones, good stuff.
Very convenient, but still they count on a Tower "standing" up and able to be used. Then there's the Battery problem, if you're conservative, it's ok, IF you're in an area you can actually communicate from.

FRS, nice too.
But very limited range. Ok for very local communications, maybe a couple miles. AND, the reliability is "individual", In other words, you don't have to count on some Company to keep you in business, just make sure you got a spare set of batteries.

Now, the HAM part.
Probably the only guys who actually appreciate Atmospheric influences !
Those transmitters can REALLY reach out and touch another. But, let's consider an actual crisis, one forgets just how the volume of communications can saturate a technology like HAM.

Here comes the CB.
Able to reach out quite a ways, city for sure, and can unload the HAM operators quite a bit, from local conversations. So, use the right tool for the right job, I wanna see all this in play, when push comes to shove.

Just a moment of nostalgia here now...
I remember back in the 80's, before Computers took up so much of my time.
I had a Base Station and units in my vehicles, talked on CB quite a bit, mainly on Ch 9, doing what we're doing right now, helping people out.
There's a lot of memories one can hold on to, and supporting another in a time of need, are some of my most cherished.

I'm SO proud to say, I was a member of Harris County React #2144 for many years.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
(KDB-3062 Unit 6)
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
survivalist thread?

... "You mentioned Ham and FRS...
Tried and true technologies, and worthy of use given their respective designs.
Though it's not very popular any more, I still have CB equipment from that era, and have thought to set it up again. If fills (from a range point of view) that distance between Ham and FRS. Another project for consideration."

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
----------------------------------------------------
SW and MrPogi,

Power failures are happening far more often in Seattle compared to only a few years ago and we lost power at least four times here over the past year - allegedly do to an 'aging' electrical grid.

I have a 40 channel SSB mobile CB rig setup with a cigar lighter plug and a magnet mount antenna should I ever need it, as well as a good set of FRS radios that also receive NOAA Weather and I have a cigar lighter charger for them.

I also have two (modern) 'AA' battery powered AM/FM transistor radios (and a few vintage ones) and a 4-bay Radio Shack charger that runs on 12 Vdc that could easily be altered (hard wired or cigar lighter plug) to charge from an automobile.

MrPogi and I both found the DTV Pal converter box as a real possibility to use to receive DTV on an older portible 'camping' tv set (I posted about that here on a different thread as an option a couple months back) and I have yet to find another easily altered box (power cord/network to change from 12Vdc to 5Vdc): good job MrPogi and let's keep looking. :thumb:

Hmmm ... come to think about it, I have a 90 watt mobile linear amplifier in storage...

Jim

PS I worked with REACT too!
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#15
My local SHOPKO store has a portable DTV like about 7" battery powered this week, under $6o after rebate. Not in any flyer or on their website, there's 2 others also there for a little over $ 100. Didn't check them out, was in a hurry and not in the market. I am sure some will be returned after people find out they don't work driving down the road (meaning, check the clearance racks of your local retailers soon!)
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#16
Pogi,

That flickering is usually caused by (someone else's) demand on your main line. Seen it and done something about it before.
When there's a sharing between regular users like residential and some higher demand facility, Power Companies frequently use a set of Capacitors to smooth the draw out.
Don't underestimate the power of the Consumer, I have complained about this issue, and, got them to change to higher capacity transformers, AND install Caps as well. Call um, write um, your needs count. They probably already know of the problem, and have just been dragging their feet (as usual) to defray going to the expense of the update.

Power interruptions and complete failures are really an issue where I live.
I just don't understand it. EVERY time we have a storm (hurricane) some part of our Power Distribution System goes down for a little or long while.
And every time, they patch it up, and we start the nasty scenario over and over again. How many times does a Tower have to be blown down, before thy figure out they should install a beefier one ! :doh:

I'm sick of going to the trouble, to maintain a Generator, store Fuel which is dangerous, plus, having the physical stress of dealing with the results of a power failure. My situation is not unique, but sitting in a house at 90+°, is not something a old guy like me (or anyone else) should have to endure in this date and age.

You mentioned Ham and FRS...
Tried and true technologies, and worthy of use given their respective designs.
Though it's not very popular any more, I still have CB equipment from that era, and have thought to set it up again. If fills (from a range point of view) that distance between Ham and FRS. Another project for consideration.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
We were having problems with power reliability at one of our transmitter sites, and I called the regulatory agency for our state, which here it is called the State Corporation Commission and complained about the poor conditions of the wiring on that circuit, and I even had surveillance camera video of the power lines touching together and arching during high wind conditions.

My Boss and I walked the entire 2 miles of the circuit and took pictures of every possible place where trees could or were currently touching the power lines. Wet trees, and high winds at 4, 000 feet altitude do not get along very well when power lines are near.

The State Corporation Commission summoned the records for that circuit and declared it to have three times the outage numbers of any other circuit in this area, and they demanded that the power company fix it ASAP, which they did.

I went to the transmitter site to meet the power company officials, and there were 5 of them there, and they were VERY INTERESTED in fixing the problem. They sent the regional engineer, the district power quality control officer, the foreman for the crew that maintains that circuit and two linemen to address our concerns. Needless to say that the frequency of outages went from almost one a month to one every three to 4 months.

In their defense, I must state that this is a very harsh environment at times with frequent lightning issues in summer, and high winds and heavy icing in the winter. I guess the message sometimes gets heard if it yells loud enough and often enough !!
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#17
Fox,

"In their defense"...
I agree, back when that happened to me, it was Houston Power and Light, who now are Reliant Energy.

Yes, seems like when one contacts them, they are very willing to at least investigate (several of them) coming out to look, AND, fix the problem.

Our points seeming to be, "squeak and ye shall receive" ! :D

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#18
Automotive DTV converter box!

I found this listed on Craigslist but the Manufacturer isn't named. Does anyone know the Brand Name of this converter box? Thanks in advance,
Jim

ATSC Digital TV Receiver for Cars DTV Converter Box
---------------------------------------------

Update: I shared the link above with a friend who asked me last Summer about a 12 volt converter box for his built-in (analog) Television in his 30+ foot long RV. He is going to call the seller and likely buy it and I'll probably be chosen to install it for him. So ... more details may be forthcoming.
 
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JoeM

DTVUSA Member
#19
I think as more and more tv shows/channels become readily available online, I think you'll be more apt to watch tv on your cell phone or blackberry during a power outage.
 

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