SitRep – 4/6/2020

I could make the statement, “Right now the world as we know it is falling completely apart.” Yes, the the prepper term TEOTWAWKI would apply.

And I would be right…and I’d be wrong. Let’s face it, you’ve been reading news articles and watching the news on TV and the Internet. You may have even read all the conspiracy theories running rampant recently. Or you may have watched one of many podcasts promoting the latest notions of the “why’s” of current events taking place. Some may be right, or at least partially so…most are full of half-truths or outright lies. But not everything is bad, not everything is lost, not all people are baked full of craziness…there are some bright spots out there…and they are growing.

One of the brightest of those areas is more and more folks recognizing reality. An area I have been very concerned about for the past nearly two months was the panic resulting from those promoting fear, panic, and hysteria over COVID-19. And clearly the hype-hustlers have won. However, more and more people are beginning to wake up and realize that this virus is not nearly as deadly as the “cure” we are seeing. I know I’ve been hinting at it, whispering it, for almost a month…and now I am telling you flat out the cure that America is implementing will kill our country. Period!

Now, I am not saying that the United States of America will cease to exist. The USA will still be here and so will most of its people, most of its industry, some of its retailers…and of course its many levels of government will flourish and grow. It’s the rest that will be gone…or is rapidly dying…or will be greatly diminished.

Let me explain…

One of the advantages of being a senior citizen is age…years of living, called experience. Those of us with some years under our belt have seen things come and go in our country throughout our lives. And what I see now makes me more concerned for America than I have ever been. And that is saying something.

Collectively America has turned into a country of sissies and cowards…frightened of our own shadows, fearful of being around others, terrified of another person’s cough or sneeze, and grateful for government intervention, even pleading for it.

During WWII our soldiers would storm beaches while machine gun bullets would drop them like flies. Marines would endure months of malaria, dysentery, and foot rot…then go root out fanatical Japanese soldiers charging them in human waves of suicidal killing machines.

After 9/11 the country came together in unity supporting our first responders and each other against a radical religion of terrorists sworn to destroy all but their own. But, that is the last show of unity I have seen in this country..then we rabidly turned on each other. But our problems started way before 9/11.

In the Korean War we lost to a third-rate country. In Vietnam we lost to an even smaller fourth-rate country. But through our experience in Vietnam, we learned that war was a purely manufactured war run by unscrupulous men who held no morals or ethics. We, as a nation, were no longer naïve, uninformed, or willing to accept the pabulum that a government was all too willing to serve us. As more and more clarity began to emerge through media, and eventually the Internet, we learned some of the darkest secrets of our government…and we demanded more and more truth. And through that questioning, came skepticism, finally came cynicism.

However, the government always has a plan to deal with uncooperative citizens. The government over the decades grew programs that cured problems…or at least we thought so. The Democrats, and to a similar degree the Republicans, became masters at manipulating the public. And what better way to manipulate people than dependency. Social Security checks, unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing assistance, disability assistance, college grants/loans, and the list goes on and on and on. But the bottom line was always the same…government was the cure. Why? Because their message was always the same…us lowly people couldn’t take care of ourselves, we had to depend on the government to save us…and it taught us to fear what might happen if that benevolent government didn’t come to our aid.

Obviously there are plenty of exceptions to the “people” I am referring to. There were and are plenty of strong folks out there who are rugged individualists, able to take care of themselves independent of government aid…and we use to call many of them preppers. But most US citizens have become people with weak Obama on Bike - Beta or Omegaback bones, sissies, whiners, and cowards…fearful of life without the government and fearful of taking responsibility for their own lives and families. That mentality flourished and grew under President Obama to the point it almost overwhelmed all of America.

In 2008 Obama said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” And he made good on that prediction. He oversaw the implementation of the metro-sexual, the wussification of America’s males and worse. His vision of making everyone dependent on the government almost became the winning overarching theme…but, by a very slim margin America rejected that concept and elected Trump as President.

Well, technically, more voters in the US supported the Progressive vision led by Hillary Clinton. Nearly three million more voters voted for Clinton than Trump (48% vs 46%). So the people, by a notable margin, embraced the Progressive/Obama/Clinton vision of America’s future rather than a stronger male vision of who America is. Only the Electoral College prevented Clinton from becoming President.

What does all of this do with the current virus situation?

Remember the yeas after 9/11? We, as a nation, embraced authoritarian legal concepts. We applauded every new move by the government to restrict travel, increase surveillance, use secret courts, and we expressed unfettered respect for America’s secret police agencies such as we are being lied to about the Patriot Actthe FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. We begged and pleaded for more safety and security…even at the expense of Constitutional rights. The liberals and conservatives worked together in support of their political leadership to pass law after law after law that continued to chip away at American freedoms, rights, and liberties. Remember that?

We are there once again…embracing the government as the solution to our collective weakness, our cowardliness, and begging the government to save us once again.

And “save us” they are…the same way they always do…taking our money and our rights/liberties/freedoms. And they are doing it quite well…and we are applauding them for it…and begging for more of their cure.

But let me digress just a bit…

Coup & the FBI

Remember back in March of 2017 when I laid out the information regarding the coup against Trump, named names, and specifically named the FBI as a primary player in the coup leadership? Well, well…the Washington Post on March 31st reported on the DOJ investigation results, and guess what? The DOJ report states there was widespread criminal and unconstitutional activity by the FBI.  And the FBI began its criminal activity against the Trump campaign and lasted well past his election into his presidency. And…that was only the tip of the iceberg of the criminal activity of the FBI.

But not to worry…not a single indictment, not a single criminal charge, not a single firing, not a single demotion for any FBI personnel resulted from the DOJ investigation. Deepstate protecting its own…the US government at its finest.

But, for those Americans who wish to have their eyes open to the reality in America…this latest report is only yet another confirmation that the FBI is a septic tank of morals and ethics that have been in-place since its inception. And it will never change…but it will get worse. The FBI is a primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the deepstate…the FBI is nothing more than America’s KGB. And this is the perfect example of what the US government is and what it is capable of.

Economy

Man, what can I possibly say that you don’t already know. The economy has been shredded, it is falling apart, it will get worse, and it will never ever be the same. And for the first time ever…I can see the probability over 50% of it crashing in the very near future…months at best, weeks at worse. And I mean crashing!

Auto industry reports are showing as much of a 30% reduction in vehicle sales in the last month. That is a horrifically bad number. That is a game changing, economy crushing, number. And there is another side of this…if the economy would turn around quickly…the auto sales numbers would lag by a substantial margin as people got caught back up on paying mortgages, rent, utilities, credit cards, etc. before buying new cars. And on top of that, auto workers tend to be better paid middle income folks. And the fewer vehicles sold, the more auto workers unemployed/laidoff, and the less money they spend into the economy. A vicious cycle.

And the experts are now predicting 33% of all mortgages will go into default in the next wave…within the year. 33%!!!  How will the lenders be able to deal with all of that? How will people deal with, react to, losing their homes?

And then there is the train wreck of people paying rent…and landlords unable to pay their mortgages and bills.

Jobless claims for the third week of March was just under 300,000. The fourth week of March it was 3.3 million. The last week of March was almost 6.7 million. That is staggering by any measure!! If it doubles again in the next report the crash could be just weeks away. But think about it… more than 10million people lost their jobs in just 3 weeks!!

But, you say that the unemployment checks may grow by $600 per week to those collecting unemployment. That’s good, right? Well, where is that money coming from? We don’t have any surplus money in the federal budget…the states certainly don’t. So all of this cash going out to folks to ease the pain is in the form of new debt…printed money with ZERO value behind. And we already know that the Federal Reserve (Fed) is buying US T-Bills because no one else is buying them. Sound desperate?

Many employment/financial experts are now saying that the next report will show “Depression Era” unemployment numbers. And all indications now point to them being right. I was hesitating to report what I was feeling until I saw the “trend line”…and no hesitation now. The trend line clearly shows unemployment headed towards depression.

The Fed as World Bank & The Fed Treasury Swap…weird wording, terrible implications. Bottom line…the US Treasury Department working with the Fed is pumping huge amounts of dollars into the world economies…we’re talking TRILLIONS!  They are creating dollars (I explained how that is done previously) and “lend” those dollars to the central banks (Fed equivalent) of other countries. They are doing so to ensure that the world has enough “liquidity” to prevent banks from “seizing up”…meaning that there is money in the banks’ cash drawers to give to people when they want to withdraw savings or write a check.

The other side of that liquidity methodology is the “swap” side. The US Treasury Department, through the Fed, is buying back US Treasury Bills that foreign countries are cashing in. The other countries need money to pay their bills so they are selling the T-Bills they own. No one wants to buy those T-Bills right now…so the Fed buys them to prevent that market from collapsing. But to buy them the Fed has to create new money -backed by new debt- to purchase the older T-Bills the other countries are selling. They are effectively swapping one T-Bill for another…paying off an older debt with a newer debt. If there was one advantage to this “swap”…the newer debt (i.e. T-Bill) is at a lower interest rate than the older one. But, it is still a debt…money we don’t have and no possibility to ever pay off.

Jim Cramer, well known Wall Street financial expert, said on 4/3, there is “…the potential for a brutal depression ahead.” While he acts a little bizarre sometimes and is as much an entertainer as a Wall Street expert…he is usually right about his predictions. He joins a lone list of other experts making that statement.

Glenn Beck, author and talk show host, is saying essentially the same thing. While Glenn Beck is another one that can at times sound silly, although entertaining, his research staff is second to none. And they are saying the same thing…with the stats and numbers to prove it as a very high probability.

So here is my bottom line concerning the economy…as of now I see it as a better than 50/50 probability the economy will crash within 4 – 12 weeks. Now remember, that means an almost equal probability that it won’t.

I’ve been maintaining for years that the economy is spiraling downward and it won’t/can’t change that trajectory. And, I’ve also maintained that we could wake up on any given morning and the economy has crashed due to some event. Well, that “event” appears to be developing right now with all the major data points indicating a crash.

Let’s say that the economy doesn’t crash. Hear this…it will be changed more that we can imagine. The economy will never be the same again. It will be more unstable, more government controlled, less opportunity, far more debt, and leaning far, far more towards big corporations vs. small businesses…and of course…government dependency.

Over the last two weeks I have been watching closely what is happening to small businesses…and it ain’t pretty! In the three towns close to where I live I am seeing more and more businesses with permanently shuttered doors. They simply can’t handle the drastic downturn in their income stream. And small business income is taking a hit primarily due to the actions of government intervention. Governments, at all levels, ordering their closure to prevent the spread of the virus. Also affecting them…customers staying away from businesses due to the “fear” that has been created by the government, media, and others who are promoting it.

Whether it is a crash or not, the economy and businesses will never, ever be the same. And what the economy and businesses become, if they survive…will not be what we know now. America is fundamentally changing…for the worse.

When asked yesterday what aspects of U.S. life he expects to see altered as a result of the pandemic, Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner said, “Everything!”

Something to remember…the federal government will do everything within its power (i.e. print money, send stimulus checks, bailout banks, pour money into the stock markets, etc.) to save the economy. The Fed has already stated there will be no limit to which they won’t go to save the economy. Why? If the economy goes the United States government will collapse. And along with the USA…the entire world’s economy will collapse as well. If that happens…a world war is inevitable.

Self-preservation will win…the US government will stop at nothing to save the US economy…even if it means fundamentally changing it. So expect change in…everything.

Coming Violence

Back on 3/13/202 I issued an Immediate Action Warning regarding coming violence. The violence is no longer coming…it is here. TX burglaries are up 20%, NY business burglaries up 75%, and there are now news articles and pictures all over the Internet of businesses boarding up because they are expecting more burglaries…and soon, looting and violence.

The governor of NY recently made the statement that if Trump tried a quarantine of New York it would be a “declaration of war”. We know that NY is a major center of the COVID-19 outbreak. NY is a natural epicenter due to the intense density of citizens into a small area…it inevitably would spread quickly. And Trump declaring a quarantine would be a highly likely and medically responsible thing to do to keep NY residents from spreading the virus. But, the Democrat governor (Progressive extremist) threatened “war” with a Republican president!!  The irresponsibility is easy to see…the potential ramifications could turn violent on a scale we’ve not seen since the Civil War.

Experts and government officials are also closely monitoring Michigan for the potential of widespread violence (i.e. rioting and looting). The state’s unemployment infrastructure has fallen apart and residents couldn’t file for unemployment. The 800 help line number broke down and was unusable. The computer system running the unemployment process failed because it was overloaded. And the Internet benefit filing site was overwhelmed and quit working. Several articles appeared reporting on the situation and it was ugly, the state government simply failed, and is failing to get people registered for unemployment benefits. That means no money for the people to pay bills, pay mortgages/rent, buy food, etc. And how do you think residents will react to that if it goes on for any real length of time? What happens when it spreads to other benefits and other states…or occurs on the federal level with the individual stimulus checks?

Another aspect of the COVID-19 panic, articles are now reporting an increase in domestic violence. Agencies that deal with domestic violence are seeing a notable increase as more family members are kept in close proximity to each other, the stress of job losses, financial crisis, the constant stream of hyped-news, etc.  As families break down…so goes the country.

War

In my previous SitReps (3/18 & 3/26) I spoke of war, specifically with China. And I am seeing that threat of war growing. There are now politicians in Washington speaking specifically that China is to blame for the pandemic…and should pay for it. But they are not speaking in theoretical terms…they are speaking to the “intention” and “responsibility”. There are even politicians talking about China literally paying the US government to deal with virus here in the US.  The payment would be the cancellation of over $1trillion that the US owes to China via voiding US T-Bills. Seriously!  How do you think China would respond to such an act of the US government? How do you think they are reacting now to the very idea it could be formally proposed in Congress?

Here is the real question…why would anyone in Washington even make that suggestion? Ponder that one.

We are also seeing a significant increase in China navy resources actively taking over fishing areas in the China Sea. China has specifically targeted Indonesia’s fishing fleets recently.  They have recently become more aggressive in dealing with other countries, including Europe, over control of not just fishing rights, but also  sovereign control of areas located in the South China Sea.

Finally, I read an article yesterday plus several more articles this past week that confirmed what I spoke about on March 18th and again on the 26th…we are growing increasingly closer to a potential war with China. If that happens…well, you know what that means.

The Government

One of the most disturbing initiatives that has come out of Washington in a long time is the “See Something, Say Something” program that the Department of Homeland Security started in 2010. That is clearly and unmistakably an authoritarian government program…urging citizens to report “suspicious activity” of one another to law enforcement. It is a tool widely used in Communist countries and previously in countries such as Nazi Germany under Hitler. It is nothing more than a tool straight out of the book 1984 to pit one citizen against another, to destroy trust in each other. It is another aspect of “divide and conquer” strategy…to create a compliant citizenry.

Now we see the governors of California and New York actively encouraging its citizens to “snitch” on each other for violations of stay-at-home orders or business closures. Some government leaders are even offering rewards for such snitching.

Just lately we’ve seen the Department of Justice seize privately owned medical supplies, unlawfully seized, from a private individual. That person was accused of “price gouging” and his privately owned property forcefully taken from him. Also, the governor of New York just signed an Executive Order that authorizes state troopers to seize medical supplies from hospitals and redistribute those supplies as the state sees fit. That is a page straight out of Communism.

Those moves should be of grave concern to you!

I have been stating for years that during times of emergency FEMA, and the government in general, has virtually unlimited power to do as it pleases. And we are now seeing that. What this means…no food storage, no water storage, no emergency preparations of any kind -public or private- is safe and out of the reach of the federal and state government. The government can, and now proves it will, seize whatever it wants as it deems necessary. Freedom and rights destroyed!

The fact that the government, regardless of level, would seize private property is unconscionable. But, much worse than that…most people are applauding it and supporting it! I read comments from some folks who claim to be Conservatives and patriotic…Christians and Constitution lovers…and they also support these totalitarian acts. That is the real scary part to this…making these authoritarian acts acceptable…even laudable by people, Conservatives/Patriots/Christians, who only thought they loved this country and our freedoms. But, it turns out…they love safety and security more than freedom and liberty.

What are the Democrats up to? In my previous SitReps I spoke of them using the current crisis to fundamentally change America. California Governor Newsom made it crystal clear recently what their intentions are, the crisis is an “opportunity reimaging a more progressive era.” And they are serious! Sadly…many Conservatives and preppers are right there with them helping them with that plan.

One of the saddest examples of government behavior, all too representative, I’ve witnessed so far during this COVID-19 panic…Captain Crozier of the USS Roosevelt was relieved of command. Background note: I served two years on a US Navy carrier and understand that life. Capt Crozier tried to tell his Navy superiors that their orders were not working to take care of the health of the ship’s sailors when his ship was struck with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Navy ignored his recommendations and requests to deal with the outbreak…sailors were getting sick, the outbreak spreading, and threatening death of his men from the virus was imminent.

Finally the Captain wrote a detailed letter to the Pentagon detailing his requests and reasoning, his pleading for the Navy to take care his men. The Pentagon ignored his letter and requests. The letter was then leaked to the press; some say it was the Captain himself who leaked the letter. It matters not who leaked it…he was relieved of command…effectively ending his Navy career on a charge of by-passing the chain of command. Although his original requests went directly to his superior whose stateroom was mere feet away…and those requests were rejected.

So we see the US government punishing a leader who was desperately concerned for the health of his men. Rather than help him, they fired him. Rather than admit that their actions were inadequate, they removed the man who pointed out their mistakes. A typical government move…yet another sad example of our pathetic federal government in action…the deepstate at work.

Martial Law

Let me make this clear…the rumors are not true. The federal government has no intention of implementing martial law in its plan to deal with COVID-19. However, should violence reach an intolerable level in reaction to Draconian state and federal government actions dealing with COVID-19, then martial law could/would be used. But honestly, don’t expect it on the federal level.

However, we are already seeing instances of parts of martial law being implemented at the state level. NY seizing private property, MA state troopers stopping out of state drives for no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime, Governors/Mayors/Sheriffs ordering businesses closed, ordering people to stay home, county roadblocks, etc. So to a certain degree we are already seeing instances of martial law.

State governors have much more flexibility to implement martial law than the President. And we are already seeing governors doing so. And we will see more of it…and in some cases…to the extreme. If state governors increase their use of martial law we will see a corresponding increase in violence. Violence not just directed at law enforcement trying to enforce those measures but against communities/business in general. The first person shot by law enforcement for martial law purposes could well start a violence spiral that would only stop after much bloodshed.

The first instance of complete martial law on the state level, and more so on the federal level, will cause an exponential spike in widespread violence, rioting, and looting.

Post Office

Remember back on 3/26 I wrote about the trouble the Post Office (USPS) was in? Well, finally someone else caught on. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) who heads Congressional oversight of the USPS, a couple of days ago put it bluntly about the USPS folding, “We need to start thinking in those apocalyptic terms because we are about to face the apocalypse.”

Did you hear him? He used the term “apocalypse”…how does that strike you?

What happens to the USPS? Who knows at this point. But, I bet there are some big corporations salivating at the thought. And many politicians and other Washington insiders right now are thinking about large deposits to their bank accounts and an increase in their power if the USPS folds.

If something happens to the USPS see it as a major mile post that something more dramatic is about to happen.

Black Swan Event

The question has been posed to me…Is this a Black Swan Event? Well, a Black Swan Event is an occurrence of an event that wasn’t predicted that is beyond the realm of normal expectations or the probability of occurrence was so low as to be at all realistically possible. It includes the reaction(s) to the event as well as the event itself. And the results from that event changes history in a major and significant way.

My answer to the question… is this, theCOVID-19 panic, a Black Swan Event? Yes, unquestionably so.

Now let me explain why. Not because of the pandemic itself. We’ve had far, far worse outbreaks of health concerns. We’ve had flu seasons in the US alone that killed 80,000 people (2017-2018 flu season). What is making this an unexpected event of such a magnitude is the actions that world governments, especially in the US, are taking as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is unparalleled in modern history…and undoubtedly a Black Swan event.

The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed 20,000,000 – 50,000,000 people worldwide, almost 700,000 in the United States. COVID-19 has killed 65,000 worldwide and 8,500 in the US…so far. So COVID-19 is .13% (that’s point one three percent) as deadly worldwide and 1.2% as deadly here in the US. But look at the extraordinary and extreme measures that the governments worldwide are taking.

The true aspect of a Black Swan Event is its impact and historical perspective. And we can barely see the true impact it will have on the US at this point. But I can assure you of this…it will be devastating in many ways.

Summary

This section could almost be as long as the entire first part of the SitRep…but I won’t punish you that way.

Here’s the bottom line:

  • A Black Swan Event has occurred
  • The economy is wrecked and getting worse…potentially could crash within weeks to months
  • Job loss and business closings are rampant and growing
  • US debt, private and public, is growing exponentially
  • All levels of government are growing more and more authoritarian and Draconian
  • People who we previously thought were patriots and Constitutionalists are turning out to be exactly the opposite
  • People believe the main stream media…and are more and more falling prey to their manipulation
  • Progressives are ramping up their plans, goals, visions…and actions
  • Our country is being destroyed from the inside…we are eating ourselves
  • Our country will probably not recover from this as a Constitutional Republic with a capitalist economy
  • We are probably watching the destruction of the United States

On the positive side:

  • This is not the Spanish Flu, tens of millions will not die from COVID-19
  • The US will come out of this…eventually
  • You can survive this, your family can survive this
  • We will see people for who they really are based on their actions during this crisis
  • For those who have the right outlook…faith will increase
  • For those who do the right thing…we will be better people individually when this is all over

But, you ask…What should you do about all of this? What can I do about all of this?

Same thing you have been doing, or should have been doing, for years. Just do more of it and much quicker. Fill in your prepper gaps. Acquire practical skills for use in an changed job market. And more!

Over the next days and weeks I will make more suggestions and more recommendations as the need makes itself known. I will only do so when I see a clear solution for a specifically identified problem. But, you probably already know what to do…just proceed!

More than anything though, I want to share one word of warning that I feel is imperative…DO NOT OVERREACT!

There are some unscrupulous people out there enjoying promoting fear…trying to cause panic. Don’t fall for it!!  Use a level head, use your common sense, your intuition, your training, your planning…and make wise thoughtful decisions.

Along with that I want to advise you to start eliminating the static in your life. Start weeding out that which is distracting you. Whether it is social media addiction, hours of news article reading, visiting radical prepper sites, or avoiding the constant stream of misinformation coming out of the media and the Internet…get rid of it. Focus on what is important and what is applicable to your situation and to your planning.

Please ignore the static…it will only make things more confusing.

Hang in there, do your best, help others, share with those around you, keep good security, stay Situationally Aware, increase your faith, love your family, stay positive, avoid all the negative you possibly can…and be the person you were meant to be.

Times are desperate right now, I dare say very desperate. But I say to you…do not despair, do not fear…do not take desperate actions. Remember this, there are only two important things in this life…God and family. Believe in, have faith in, trust in, and take care of those two things…and you will be fine.


A while back I made a request of you. Now might be the time to read that request again. (click here to read the request)

 

 

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Feedback & Comments: 4/5/2020

AH Trimble Feedback and CommentsPaul writes…

Freedom is NOT a non-essential. It was only a few months ago when Christians and conservatives would often use this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Hardly any of them are using that quote today. Instead, they are expressing enthusiastic endorsement for the assaults against their liberties—in the name of SAFETY from corona.

More than that: They are frothing venom and hatred against anyone who dares to stand up for our constitutional liberties. These conveniently confused Christians and conservatives are regurgitating the very words and ideas that the Tories expressed toward our American patriot forebears. Recall that the great champion of liberty, the Rev. James Caldwell of New Jersey, was assassinated by a fellow American loyal to the tyrannous British Crown. These modern Tories would be happy to do the same thing to those preachers standing for freedom right now.

I know, because I receive and hear their hate-filled threats almost daily. Do you not find it interesting that the same Trump-worshipping Christians and conservatives who for the last three years kept telling us that the mainstream media (MSM) was “fake news” are now aggressively attacking anyone who doesn’t buy what the MSM is saying about the coronavirus? Talk about blatant two-facedness!

Make no mistake about it: We are in the beginning of a war against our liberties that will not subside until the American people decide, AGAIN, that essential liberty is more valuable than temporary safety.

As loudly as I know how to say it: FREEDOM IS NOT A NON-ESSENTIAL!!

 

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without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
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AA Battery Evaluation : Eneloop vs. Tenergy

This article was first published in late 2017 and subsequently lost in the website crash. I was unable to retrieve it, I had to rebuild it from my notes and scattered bits and pieces. This article is the result.

Comparison/Evaluation of Rechargeable AA Batteries – Eneloop vs. Tenergy
Panasonic BK-3MCCA4BA Eneloop AA
  • Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
  • 2000mAh
  • 2100 cycles
  • $2.46 (Amazon 4/3/20)
Tenergy Premium AA
  • Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
  • 2500mAh
  • 1000 cycles
  • $1.25 (Amazon 4/3/20)
Basic Comparison from product specs and after opening the package:·
  • Eneloop claims more recharging cycles (2100 cycles vs. 1000 cycles)
  • Tenergy claims 25% more storage capacity (2500mAh vs. 2000mAh)
  • Enloop shows more out of the package charge (1.38v vs. 1.35v)
Charging:

I used the same smart charger for both brands. Same charging cycle at the same time. Alternated the batteries in the charger trays. Used “refresh” cycle to drain and charge the batteries equally. Allowed to sit 1-hour after charging cycle before testing:

  • Eneloop 1.38v
  • Tenergy 1.35v
Discharge:

I put them into brand new AA battery flashlights purchased at the same time, same brand & model. Turned em on and let them run. More than 48-hours later the results were startlingly significant.

    • The flashlight with the Eneloop batteries couldn’t keep the light on.
    • The flashlight with the Tenergy batteries was still very bright.

I was surprised to say the least…in practical testing the Tenergy blew away the Eneloop. But, I wanted to see how much more energy the Tenergy battery had left. I put the voltmeter to each battery:

    • The Tenergy batteries had 1.197v left (average).
    • The Eneloop batteries had .869v remaining (average).

Performance wise…the Tenergy batteries absolutely blew away the Eneloop batteries! It was even close! Not only did the Tenergy batteries have over 35% more energy left in them, the Eneloop couldn’t even keep the light on.

Overall conclusion…Tenergy is by far clearly the better priced battery and better performing battery.

 

2009 - 2020 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

AAA Battery Evaluation : Eneloop vs. Tenergy

This article was first published in late 2017 and subsequently lost in the website crash. I was unable to retrieve it, I had to rebuild it from my notes and scattered bits and pieces. This article is the result.

Comparison/Evaluation of Rechargeable AAA Batteries – Eneloop vs. Tenergy
Panasonic BK-4MCCA4BA Eneloop AAA
Tenergy Premium AAA
Basic Comparison from product specs and after opening the package:· 
  • Eneloop claims more recharging cycles (2100 cycles vs. 1000 cycles)
  • Tenergy claims 25% more storage capacity (1000mAh vs. 800mAh)
  • Enloop shows more out of the package charge (1.306v vs. 1.260v)
Charging:
  • I used the same smart charger for both brands. Same charging cycle at the same time. Alternated the batteries in the charger trays. Used “refresh” cycle to drain and charge the batteries equally. Allowed to sit 1-hour after charging cycle:
  • Eneloop 1.4695v (average)
  • Tenergy 1.4195v (average)
Discharge:
  • I used a 3-battery tactical flashlight. Each flashlight is the same brand/model. Each flashlight was purchased at the same time. Test lasted 11 hours. Every 2 hours brightness was checked (subjective based on my visual assessment) and then the battery pack was switched to the other flashlight.
  • Remaining voltage –
    • Eneloop .924v (average)
    • Tenergy 1.027v (average)

Outcome Narrative:

Total cost of purchase:

Tenergy is the clear winner by a 85% – 245% margin in price alone.
Tenergy is the clear winner is cost per mAh rating, over 2 to 3 times more cost effective.
Conclusion: The Tenergy battery is significantly less expensive than Eneloop in every purchase aspect.

Total cost of usage:

Tenergy is 6% – 35% more cost effective is actual usage. (total cost of ownership)
Conclusion: The Tenergy battery is more cost effective.

Performance:

Tenergy is 38% more efficient in actual usage.
Tenergy provides 11% more residual voltage.
Conclusion: The Tenergy battery is a better performing battery despite it lower initial and post-charge rating.

Overall Conclusion:

Tenergy is the clear winner in the head-to-head AAA battery category.
The only category where Eneloop is the clear winner is the number of charge cycles.

Assuming that Enelopp’s claim of 2100 charge cycles is correct, but factoring in Tenergy’s 25% better charge capacity, you can buy 2 Tenergy batteries for 1 Eneloop. And you get 19% more charge cycles from the Tengery batteries overall, and you save 20%!

Tenergy is clearly the better buy and the better battery in actual usage tests.

Added Note:

  • Yes, the batteries tested were brand new, purchased at the same time off of Amazon.
  • I also went back and checked my 21 AAA Tenergy batteries that I’ve had stored over 4 years. Results:
    • All still tested out at over 1.23v. Loss of approximately .02v over 4 years.
    • Not a single battery had any sign of “weepage”, leakage, etc.

 

2009 - 2020 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Petzl Tactika XP Headlamp (new model)

Article first appeared in March 2016Petzl Tactika XP New

I can’t tell you how much I really love my Petzl Tactika XP headlamp. No, not this Petzl Tactika XP…the old Petzl Tactika XP.

WHAT?

Yeah, there is an old model and a new model of the Petzl Tactika XP headlamp. But, the name is the only similarity…and that is it…period! But, before I go down that road too far let’s go over the basics of the review first.

As always…the mission –

“To provide personal lighting capability for night operations in a tactical or camping environment.”

Requirements & Restrictions –

  1. Must be water resistant.
  2. Must be rugged.
  3. Must provide foolproof for “red lens” operations.
  4. Must operate on AAA batteries.
  5. Should be camouflage or flat earth color.
  6. Must have headband operation capability.
  7. Should have helmet mount capability.
  8. Should contain the lamp and batteries in the same housing.

So, why am I even looking for a headlamp to begin with when I already have, and like, the old model Petzl Tactika XP headlamp? Well, because I believe in “two is one, one is none, three is a good start.” Roughly translated that means, have a back-up option to your primary piece of gear or equipment. Then, have another option as a back-up to all of that. Why? Because your gear and equipment will fail when you least expect it, and least want it to. You better have a couple of options and alternatives.Petzel Tactikka XP headlamp

As I mentioned earlier I live my original Petzl, it is everything I want in a headlamp. Solid, water resistant, perfect light pattern, and a failsafe red lens. The band or head strap is a quality piece of expandable material. The headlamp has lasted me two years of usage on a single set of three AAA Duracell copper top batteries. You simply can’t beat that headlamp. The problem is that Petzl decided to take a fantastic product, a true top quality, excellent product…and discontinue making it.

But, in true corporate mental midgetry they come out with a product that they name the same, claim even better performance, lower the price, and think that the consumer won’t notice the change. Well, maybe a bunch of uninformed consumers will never know the swap of products from a great product to a piece of junk. Yup…you read that right! I called the new Petxl Tactika XP a piece of junk!

Now, maybe you didn’t ever know about the original Tactika XP and hence have no basis of comparison. You might take a look at the new model and you might be perfectly happy with it. I am not! No, not one bit. No how, no way do I like this new model. And I am a little ticked off that they tried some sleazy sleight of hand trying to capitalize on the original model’s great reputation out in the marketplace. I am sorry, that just pisses me off.

Head to head, the two models aren’t even close to comparable. Well, no, that is a misstatement. The two models are comparable…it’s just the new model sucks!

Petzl Tactika XP reviewThe headband material doesn’t have the elasticity, the housing plastic is cheaper and thinner, there is no gasket to keep out moisture. The light pattern is much more diffused, far less focused than he original model. And while the brightest setting is 100% brighter (supposedly), it is not needed.

Original Model Petzl Tactica XP

Original Model Petzl Tactica XP

New Petzl Tactika XP

New Petzl Tactika XP

And, having to cycle through to get the red light to come on is a pain in the butt. The operation requires an idiotic combination of number of presses and length of press to get different light intensities and the red light to come on. It is one of the most cumbersome and absolutely asinine set-ups that I have ever seen.

And…another really annoying feature…the intensity of the red light. Remember, the red light is to preserve your night vision. But, the brightness, the intensity, of the light when red is being used is far, far too bright to maintain night vision. I don’t have the ability to measure it scientifically, but the new model appears to be 4 – 6 times brighter than the old model. And that is a serious flaw. When used tactically you want enough red light to see what you are doing but not enough to let everyone see where you are. It is obvious that Petzl had no clue in what they were doing with this red lens feature.

Petzl Tactika XP red lens comparisonFeatures

•  CONSTANT LIGHTING: brightness does not decrease gradually as the batteries are drained
•  Several lighting modes suitable for different situations, from proximity lighting to rapid movement
•  Boost mode for temporary access to maximum brightness
•  Red light combining visual comfort and discretion, red strobe light
•  Automatically switches to reserve mode when batteries are running low and then to red lighting when the batteries are nearly empty

Technical Information

•  Bulb: LED
•  Light Output: Ambient: 5 Lumens; Proximity: 40 Lumens; Rapid Movement: 110 Lumens; Boost: 160 Lumens
•  Run Time: Ambient: 100 Hours; Proximity: 8 Hours; Rapid Movement: 2 Hours; Boost: 10 Seconds
•  Lighting Modes: Ambient, Proximity, Rapid Movement and Boost
•  Switch Type: Push-button
•  Battery: 3AAA/LR03 batteries (included)
•  Headband Type: Adjustable
•  Material: Polymer body/elastic headband
•  Weight: 3 oz

Look, I could go on and on stating a feature or option that I don’t like. I could even make some more rude, maybe even crude, comments on how badly this headlamp sucks. It would be easy to keep saying this headlamp is junk and not even worth $4.99. Just trust me on this one…Do Not Buy!

 

2009 - 2020 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Evaluating Consumer Products: Facts, Fraud & Opinion

Article first appeared in May 2018. I had to do some editing for content, clarity, and grammar…and practically rebuild it from scratch when the site crashed..


WARNING!!! This article is written by a cranky, frustrated, crotchety old man that would rather be working on his cabin or house. Reading further is at your own risk.  And there is a lot to read…WAY too much. But, I think I am important and feel people want to know what I have to say. And yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur 🙂

I read some posts from other websites over the last few weeks that have really gotten under my skin. And that continued this morning. It just kept gnawing away at me till I had to say something. And rather than cause contention referring to any particular website or on any particular article/thread on any of those websites, I thought I would write my own article on my own website. That way I could focus on a positive subject that could be more generally applied to the aforementioned subject and more useful too. So here goes…

Background –

I spent over 30 years in emergency services as a firefighter; over 20 as a structure firefighter, over 10 as a wildland firefighter. Great experience! Through my career I’ve worked with some fantastic people, and some real idiots. I have had some incredibly memorable experiences like saving an infant that was only a few days old. I have had some terrible experiences…getting blown up one time in a house fire, and another having to pronounce a daughter dead. I’ve worked on-scene by myself in Florida, and on a team of nearly 5000 people in Oregon. I have fought fire in 20 or so states, onboard three different ships, and on two continents. All of that experience has helped me with a couple of things; 1) understand the difference between quality gear and junk, 2) given me a wide and deep frame of reference, 3) forced me to develop a keen “BS meter” when dealing with people, 4) learning the utmost lesson of “define the mission” when it comes to gear and equipment. Of course there are other aspects of life I’ve learned via my career but that is another conversation for another day…hopefully when I am less cranky.

While I wasn’t on-shift fighting fire I became a computer programmer and database administrator. I started back in the 80’s on the original Apple IIc and Intel 8086 platform…I even did some programming on an TRS-80 Model II. And of course we won’t talk about learning to program using IBM punch cards. All of that programming experience taught me to use logic, be extremely accurate and precise in my work when it was needed. One mistake and it didn’t run right. As that side of my career developed I learned “process engineering”. And that was an amazing set of skills to acquire that helped me in everything I did later in life.

For prepping…what this website is all about…I started prepping in the late 70’s, and really cranked it up to a whole new level about 15 years ago. How “cranked up”? Well, let’s just say my DW and I don’t have much to worry about for years and year and years if the grid falls apart.

Now, marry up all of the above and I feel confident in my ability to evaluate gear and equipment. Further, there is always an overarching principle to testing…valid and reliable. I won’t go into all of that but it just ensures that how you are testing/evaluating something is actually honest and true and accurate.

And yup…that is where the title of the thread came from. Too much, the majority actually, of evaluation of prepper gear comes from fraud and opinion and not enough from fact. So I figured I would write this article and maybe help some folks muddle through what gear to buy and what to avoid.

Why is that important? Because someday your decisions on what gear you bought might make the difference between life and death…your life or the lives of your family. So it is important to me…if I can help even in the smallest way.

And here comes the most valuable piece of information and fact of this whole article…all of this that I write today is MY OPINION. Yup…my opinion and my opinion completely and entirely. It is simply my viewpoint…worth exactly what you are paying me for it.

Facts –

Are facts actually “facts”? Ah, yes…and no. Sorry. Facts are fickle creatures. What can be true under one set of circumstances may not be true under another set of circumstances. Manufactures of products, including prepper gear, will only do testing, who’s results are released to the public, that shine well on their product. If their product doesn’t look good in one test environment, it is common for them to change the environment to show favorable results. So, that means I never, ever trust manufacture’s claims without independent, unbiased validation/verification. Doesn’t mean they lied as such, just means they have a vested interest (money) in placing their product in the best light possible.

Same goes for business owners who sell products. Actually, they have an even more vested interest in making sure the product sound good. If not, they and their families suffer financially…big time. So, any claims by a salesman or retailer I automatically dismiss.

Example: Years ago I wanted to buy life insurance. I bought a whole life policy from a reputable company and a really nice salesman. Happy! Well, some years later I wanted more life insurance. And found that it would be too expensive for me to afford at the time. A friend of ours talked to me about options other than whole life. He showed me a bunch of facts that made whole life look like nothing more than a scam. I did my independent research and he was right…whole life is a terrible, terrible product for life insurance. It only benefits the insurance company to any real degree and the salesmen financially…vs being in the best interests of the consumer. I bought a different product, term life insurance, cashed in my whole life policy, and was way ahead of the game financially and life protection wise for my family were I to die. Does that mean the salesman was dishonest (i.e. a criminal)? Not necessarily. But, the company surely was. And maybe the company sold the salesman a line of BS when they trained him and offered him a fat commission check to sell a vastly inferior and expensive product.

My point…while the company and salesman provided “facts”…they were only facts in the exact situation that they explained…when that was only about .000000001% of reality. So they weren’t true/honest facts in a way. They were very deceptive facts. But, yes…facts.

When you hear some folks talk about testing something, beware! I’ve done a lot of testing in my day. And depending on the test environment and the test process, they could be showing you only what they want you to hear.

I did some battery testing over the years. I took great pains to do “field testing” vs “laboratory” or “theoretical” testing. And there is a huge difference! I always dismiss theoretical testing. There is absolutely no relation to real life usage at all. Laboratory testing is often extremely accurate and very factual. But, to get those results, the testing only can be conducted in a laboratory. Those results can’t be replicated in the field. That leaves field testing, real-life testing. For me, that is the only true means of testing something…especially prepper gear/equipment.

Back when I was programming I learned quickly that I could get my code to work as required. But, the testing personnel would get a hold of it and it would fail. After this happened a few times I got together with them and had them show me how they tested the code/program/system. I was amazed! I remember saying “Why would you do that? That’s ridiculous!” And come to find out…that is how end-users would actually do something. Oooppppssss…my bad! Once I began testing my own code that way, real-life scenarios, did my code become top tier. So field testing as real-life end-users is the only way to really test something accurately and competently.

Misdirection is deception. This is a little more subtle…and yes, factual…although it can be very, very deceptive. Let me explain…let’s say you are looking to buy a widget. And you know what you want that widget to do. You find a widget that appears to be exactly what you want. But, then a salesman or company says…”Wait! Our widget will do XXXX! So it is a far better product.” That pitch might be enticing…might be, but probably just a slick sales pitch. To determine if it is actually a better product you have to decide if the so-called enhanced feature is actually something that makes a difference to you and to you defined mission for that equipment.

Example: Low self-discharge (LSD) batteries are the latest fad. If you are talking a non-rechargeable alkaline/lithium style battery you want a long shelf-life. Duracell is an excellent example of a 10year guaranteed shelf-life battery. But, LSD batteries refer to rechargeable batteries. You might be tempted to buy LSD batteries because it sounds cool. But, does the salesman or company explain that LSD batteries are inferior to a similar capacity non-LSD battery? Probably not. An LSD battery will not have the same capacity as a non-LSD battery that is rated the same mAh. Why? The same design that slows the discharge of the battery while it sits on the shelf also impedes the discharge of the battery when you are using it…thus, the battery is inferior. Is the company or salesman not telling the truth? Actually, they are probably telling you the truth but not telling you all of the facts. And then again, maybe they don’t always know all of the facts to tell you. So I look at this particular issue this way…I want the best performing battery when I am using it. I could care less about its performance while it sits on the shelf…that shelf-life thing means nothing to me. I want the battery to perform its best when it is in my tactical light or running my night vision. That is the priority…the mission. Not only does that mean LSD batteries have zero advantage to me…but are a huge disadvantage to me.

And here is the primary point in my case for “facts”…

You have to be able define the mission for the gear you are researching.

That means being able to clearly and competently say “I want this piece of gear to do X under conditions Y & Z.” If you can’t define the mission you can never identify the important facts that relate to the piece of gear you are considering purchasing.

Summary for this “fact” section:

  1. Clearly identify the equipment’s mission. Know exactly what you want it to do before you start to research it.
  2. Don’t believe anything a manufacturer, company, or salesman tells you until you can verify through an independent and unbiased source. A source that isn’t just repeating material that originates from the manufacturer, company, or salesman.
  3. Don’t trust anything but field testing by reliable, unbiased sources that you trust.
  4. Don’t be afraid to research something yourself and become educated.
Fraud –

I consider there to be two kinds of fraud…intentional and unintentional. The first comes from a scumbag, dirtbag, ne’er-do-well, criminal, piece of crap. They only care about their own interests…and that interest is almost always money. In my opinion these guys need quality time with a baseball bat…and I am not talking a softball game. The latter kind of fraud , unintentional, normally comes from someone who is well intentioned but uninformed. They have been taught, or learned, information that just isn’t true. They pass that along and they aren’t really concerned about what is best for the consumer (you). They are not willing to take the time to properly research what they are, talking about selling, or they may lack the intelligence to understand what they are saying is wrong, or at least not the whole truth.

Unintentional fraud normally comes in two flavors; outrageously false or not the entire truth. Both can be just as devastating to the consumer. Beware of both!

I won’t spend any time on the “outrageously false” scenario…you can figure that out. I will talk to the “not the entire truth” aspect of fraud and how it can be just a harmful.

Let’s say I want to buy a truck. I have defined the mission, rugged off-road use in rough terrain, under a load. I have a number of choices. Yup, the three major brands will claim they can operate in those environments. All of those claims are true. But, are they true to what you need to meet the mission for your truck? Having run a fleet of trucks for 20 years that require exactly the mission I stated there is only one logical choice. One brand has a great motor, probably the best, but the frame is light-weight and doesn’t hold up to rugged off-road. Undercarriage, including suspension, is very prone to failure in those kinds of conditions. Another is a fantastic road truck, smooth riding, comfortable, loaded with luxury options. And it falls apart under rugged off-road usage. The third option doesn’t have the best engine, but plenty good enough. Has a great transmission, but probably not the best, but good enough. It isn’t the most comfortable or the most luxurious vehicle, but good enough. Where this brand I am referring to excels is in its ability to hold up far, far better to hard rugged off-road use while hauling or towing a load. It meets the mission extremely well, far better than the other two.

So where is the fraud? No intentional fraud in my opinion. But, talk to a salesmen and their brand of truck is the best…always. Their job is to sell their trucks. They won’t focus on your mission needs…they focus on their paycheck and use their training to do so.

Another unintentional fraud example: let’s say you want to buy a water filter. You have clearly defined what you want. You are looking at several models. You decide between two for your final decision. Manufacturer “A” talks about all their testing and what it does and how great it is. It sounds really great! But, unknown to you, or the vendor you are thinking of using, the testing that “A” has done is all in the lab and not under real field conditions. Although they can produce lab results that speak glowingly of their product…the results come from the lab they paid to test it. However, manufacturer “B” has tested their unit in the muddy waters of Africa where it is used extensively…and they publish those results. And two independent competent testing organizations have tested it…unpaid…and prove the claims of the manufacturer. So which do you buy? Especially if “A” is the media-hyped and more popular brand of water filter! Is there fraud involved?

Summary of this “fraud” section:

  1. There are two types of fraud, intentional and unintentional. Both can ruin your purchase.
  2. Don’t believe manufacturers or vendors or salesmen…without quality, independent, unbiased verification of claims.
Opinion –

Dang!! This is the touchy part…but oh so important part.

Everything is opinion! There are no facts when it comes to evaluating prepper gear. Why? All testing is subjective. That means the person interpreting the results of the tests, or performing the tests, can sway all/any of it to meet whatever they want to promote. Not everyone nefarious of course, but many do, and all can.

The worst “opinion” is “group think”. That is where a whole group of folks feels the same way about something…and it isn’t necessarily true/accurate. You see it on prepper websites a whole lot. Someone starts it by saying “X is great!” Then someone else says, “yes, X is incredible!” then another and another and another…till everyone is saying “X is the best of the best and the only real option!” Than then some poor shmuck comes along and says, “Hey, I looked into it and X isn’t the best, Z is much better and less expensive”…Boom! …hammer time!

So, just because a whole group says something is the best or right, doesn’t mean that it is. I remember a saying somewhere that when you have truth on your side you are never outnumbered.

This “group think” hazard is particularly true in organizations such as the military and other hierarchical organizations. If the top of the organization says something is true, then everyone else normally wants to fall in line, be loved, not draw undue attention to themselves, not rock the boat, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked to firefighting peers and they feel “Y” about something. We go into a briefing and the boss promotes “X”. And my buddies never raise a question or objects or utter a voice of concern. Why? Human nature.

My dad told me more than once…If everyone is falling off the cliff, don’t follow them.

Here is the trap I fell into recently…

I wanted to buy a generator. I already own a Honda EU2000i. A fantastic machine, best on the market, everyone who owns one loves them…including me. So naturally I wanted to buy another Honda. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately to meet my other mission requirements I simply couldn’t afford the Honda unit that would meet those needs. And not afford it by a wide, very wide margin. So, I looked around, read reviews, researched according to sound principles. And found a unit. Ran it buy a few folks on another website. Many disagreed with my decision and urged me to buy a Honda regardless of the cost. However, one gave me a reality check. Dang him! Don’t you just hate it when someone bursts your bubble and talks sense? So, back to doing research…thankfully. I ended up buying a Champion meeting enough of my mission requirements and extremely well priced. Good thing or bad thing?

Well, it meets my wattage power needs. It meets my “clean power” needs. It is capable of running on propane although I have to add the kit to it. But, it didn’t have electric start…FAIL! But, I bought it anyway. Why was it a fail? Because my Honda is a one-pull engine…every time. And everyone knows that only Hondas are one-pull engines. Right!?!

So I get my Champion…for a fraction of the price of a Honda. I fill it will oil, add some Lucas zinc additive, put some TruFuel in it, set the choke…and I am ready to pull it 4 – 6 times to start it. I mean after all, it isn’t a Honda…right?

First pull, brand new, first time with gas in it, first time with oil in it…BINGO!!!! It fires right up. Amazing…a fluke to be sure…yeah, right.

This is the break-in period so I am following their protocol exactly. About an hour into the process it shuts down. Dang! It’s not a Honda and here come the problems. Ah, it ran out of gas. So I gas it back up expecting it to take a couple of pulls to get it going again but hoping for one pull. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. And I am now convinced I am a loser and bought a substandard piece of loser machine. I am kicking myself. And then I look down…oh, turn the on/off switch to the “on” position. Pull, start…purring along just fine. 5+ hours later the machine is running perfectly under load.

Oh, but the Honda freaks out there are…”Yeah, but the Honda will last 2 – 3 times longer than the Champion!” Maybe, probably, perhaps. But I can buy 6 Champion generators for the price of the equivalent Honda. So did I do OK buying a non-Honda? Or not buying an electric start?

Avoid “group think” like the plague in everything…but especially when it comes to prepper gear!

But, there is a responsibility that comes with that…you must be able to think on your own. Yeah, again, sorry. And it helps to be able to employ “critical thinking” skills as well.

Should you become a “non-group thinker” and have a mind of your own…that means become an independent thinker.  The only problem is…be prepared to suffer at the hands of the “group”…you may find yourself not being liked, appreciated, or loved. You may be subject to immediate shunning or worse. And heaven forbid you cross the leader of the group. Then hell-fire will rain down on your head…you challenged their precious opinion and position…whether you are right or not will make no difference. But one fringe benefit…you will discover there are other independent thinkers out there…and they can be some pretty cool people…and they won’t be sheeple.

But don’t despair at all…every once in a while someone might thank you for advice or information you gave them. It will make you all warm and fuzzy inside and let you know life is worth living…even though you have walked through hell-fire.

Summary of “opinion” section –

  1. All evaluation of prepper gear is ultimately only opinion. Because the tester can manipulate the testing environment and outcomes, or simply cherry pick facts to match the narrative they wish to deliver.
  2. Think for yourself, and that means do your own research.
  3. Avoid “group think” like it is Satan’s fan club.
Summary –

I’ve been truly blessed in my life in many ways. One of those ways is folks sending me cool gear to test. They hope that my review will be positive and they will sell more widgets. After having written three prepper novels they think that the accompanying, albeit very limited, notoriety will somehow make them money. How sad they think that way. I have no horse in any race (or dog in the fight) when it comes to doing reviews. I simply want quality real-life information out there for my fellow preppers. Unfortunately, not everyone comes from, or agrees with, that perspective.

Use your discernment…A number of years ago I was testing a certain type of equipment. I kept producing and posting my results, and someone kept throwing a different product out there, ranting on about how their product was so much better. I say “their product” because that is the line they sold. Not only didn’t any of my testing validate anything they were saying, it was just the opposite. I found their product to be very, very expensive compared to other options. And top if off, their product was at least 1 – 2 technology generations behind the much less expensive alternatives. But their brand was all the rage in popularity due to group think.

Shortening the story…they sent me the product for free. I tested it and the testing validated all my previous results…it was an inferior product. That isn’t the point really. They gave me the product free of charge to keep for personal use after testing. Now, did they think that giving me the product would “buy me” into promoting their product? I don’t know. But, as I was finishing up the article on it, I had this rush of feeling to pay them for the product. It was the weirdest feeling…and ugly…the only time I ever got that feeling in reviewing products that had been given to me. I knew that I couldn’t trust them, I knew they were putting out false and misleading information, I knew that…well, they were not someone I wanted to “owe”. I sent them the full asking price of the product the next day in cash…the dark feeling went away.

What the heck? What does that have to do with anything? It means this…1) listen to your instinct, 2) listen to that still small voice, 3) act on those feelings. But, remember…normally those kinds of feelings come only after you have researched and pondered on the issue for yourself.

The summary of the “summary” section –

  1. You can figure out stuff on your own if you are willing to do the work.
  2. Listen to your instinct.
  3. Be wary of others (manufacturers, vendors, salesmen), they may not have your interests as a priority.
  4. Don’t believe anything I just told you. Figure it out on your own.

And, now…two and a half hours later I want to go back to working on the blueprints of the extension of the cabin that I will be staying in while I build our house that we will retire in. Well, technically I am already retired…but my wife isn’t. And technically, the “cabin” is also our “bug-out property”. And technically, I love doing any of that kind of work vs writing articles like this. But, I felt this was important enough to write about…and well worth the loss of the time in my life.

And since I am such an amazing self-sacrificing individual to do such a humble ministering thing…I am now going to reward myself with a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk. Yum!!!!!

One final though…this is all my opinion on “Facts, Fraud, & Opinions” when it comes to evaluation and reviewing prepper gear. Take it with a grain of salt.

OKAY…one final, final thought…it is pure fact…100% fact…not opinion…that a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk absolutely rocks!!!

 

 

2009 - 2020 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Searching for a New Generator

This article appeared a couple of years ago but was lost in the “crash”, I am rebuilding it from notes with some editing.

So I am looking for a higher capacity generator than my Honda U2000i.

Here are some things I am looking for:

  1. Affordable
  2. 4,000 – 5,000 running watts.
  3. Dual fuel (gasoline & propane).
  4. Electric start.
  5. 30a RV plug.
  6. 2 x 110 – 120v household outlet (15a or greater).

Here are some things that I would like:

  1. Quiet run technology.
  2. Inverter power

Here are some things that would be icing on the cake:

  1. 240v outlet
  2. Remote start.

After the house is done the unit will probably sit in a corner of the shop somewhere gathering dust and not used much. Maybe a back-up to my solar system. Or rather, a back-up to my back-up. My Honda will be my first back-up.

I did think about a “companion” to my Honda EU2000i, effectively doubling my power capability. But I decided against it due to other considerations.

I also wasn’t real worried about noise…I have my Honda EU2000i for “stealth” running but I also don’t want to be heard in the next county over…or maybe even at the next property over.

So after a lot of searching and comparing and reading reviews I went with the Champion Model #100302 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter.

The good, bad, & ugly:

  1. Afford it at $565.
  2. 3500 running watts…500 – 1500 watts lower than I was looking for.
  3. Not factory ready for propane, but a conversion kit exists,
  4. Not electric start but all reviewers claim 1 – 2 easy pulls and it starts Evey time.
  5. 30a RV plug
  6. Two 15a 3-prong household style outlets
  7. Quiet run technology
  8. Inverter style
  9. No electric start
  10. No remote start

Here are the specs and info on the unit…

  • Advanced Open Frame Inverter Design – 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a traditional Champion 3500-watt generator, plus our Economy Mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life,
  • No GFCI Outlets
  • Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time – 64 dBA is great for RVs, tailgating, your next project or home backup, with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts for up to 17 hours run time on gasoline
    Clean electricity for sensitive electronics
  • RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean power (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
  • Parallel Ready – Increase your power output by connecting up to two 2800-watt or higher inverter or digital hybrid with the optional Parallel Kit
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts.
  • No Voltmeter.
  • Voltage: 120V AC and 12V DC
  • Start Type: Manual
  • Engine: 224cc Champion OHV
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Quick Touch Panel – all controls on one panel
  • Economy Mode – save fuel, extend engine life

I followed the break-in procedure to the letter. I used a hair dryer for the “load”, using the various wattage settings on the hair dryer to successively increase the load on the generator for each break-in phase. I also changed to the high altitude carburetor jet. The customer service folks were very helpful getting that to me for free.

With the initial addition of the crankcase oil I added a tablespoon of Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus. Most oil today has zinc processed out of it. But, zinc is a really good oil additive that helps lubricate an engine…especially helpful with small engines to extend their life.

After the initial break-in I used fully synthetic oil. I also use Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus with every engine oil change.


Update #1 – About a month after the generator purchase…

I wavered on buying the wheel kit or not. I’ve never been a big fan of those cheap, mostly useless, wheels on things like generators, etc. They never seem to be right for what I want to do. But, I had to be able to move the generator around easily since I will be using it at my house-building job site and later when I need to roll it out as a back-up power supply. So I had to do something.

Then I remembered being at a nursery and using a cool cart to move my plants around. So i researched it out and found this…

It cost $127 but I felt it would be worth it. I was right. When I was done mounting the generator to the cart my rig looks like this…

For the first two weeks I used the generator at the job site. It powered everything from air compressors to AC units. I used it from 6 – 12 hours per day, every day.

Here are my findings:

  1. The generator was worth every penny!
  2. It never failed to start on the first pull.
  3. It ran everything I plugged into it.
  4. It is better on gas than I thought.
  5. I would mount the generator in the middle of the cart next time. It is off-balance mounted so far to the rear of the cart.

I am immensely pleased with the generator! I think it is a fantastic unit and will hold up just fine if I do my part to change oil, etc.

Just for the record…I always had been a Honda Guy. I felt nothing was better or could even compete with a Honda. I have to admit…I was wrong. Well, at least so far.

Honda doesn’t make a 4kw inverter generator so I can’t make a comparison. But, I can tell you this…Honda’s 3kw (25% less power) costs about $2300…yup, over 4 times more than my Champion. So I can’t complain. Yes, that means I can own 4 Champions, have more power, and have paid less than a single Honda.

And now here is what I am thinking…I am considering buying a second Champion unit. Champion makes a parallel kit to hook them up and effectively double the output to 8kw of power. Not only would I have massive power generating capability I would have a back-up for my essential needs.

And yes…That means I would have about $1200 or so invested in 7kw of power. And yes…If I went Honda that means I would have spent over $4000.

Final thought…I am pleased with my Champion generator! I think it was a very good investment. It does everything I want it to. I think it was money very well spent. And I would do it again. Actually, I am thinking I will.

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