No power - no web?

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posted on May, 7 2007 @ 01:30 PM
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I plan on getting a couple solar panels so as to retain some creature comforts pending an unforeseen disaster, but if the power is out everywhere then how many servers will go down with the grid and will our provider’s infrastructure still function?

Does anyone know if there’s a way to get online sans provider (even if it’s just at 56k) or if there’s any survival site out there ready for such a scenario and able to serve as a hub for those with internet access to communicate and organize?

Maybe I'm better off getting one of those big ass radios and a shotgun.




posted on May, 7 2007 @ 01:36 PM
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Dude... if the infrastructure is sufficiently compromised as to force you to go solar I can promise that the net will be offline. In any major infrastructure failure all systems (electrical, telecommunications, etc) will be pared-back to just the essentials in order to support public safety and that's about it.



posted on May, 7 2007 @ 03:39 PM
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e-BOB

In case of SHTF and the interweb ceasing to exist it may be a good idea to collect a few Gb's of useful information of maps, how-to guides, etc to help survival. The server networks may go down, but if you can access a working terminal and preferably with working printer, then you can printout/trade information resources with others.

If you can copy that store of data to different storage formats (CD+DVD-ROM disks/3.5" floppys/USB memory stick/data-cassette) and in the most common file-types then you can be sure to stand a good chance of being able to access your data from most machines

Here are two e-books on solar technology to kickstart your e-BOB:
The Solar Cooking Archive
Power From The Sun



posted on May, 7 2007 @ 04:21 PM
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I work in Telecoms in the UK and I can say that if the grid goes offline, then the Telco network will be fine for at least 12 hours, unless of course it itself is damaged by "insert disaster here".

Every site, be it a switch site, datacentre, mobile mast etc, will have a back up generator for power purposes, but they rely on a supply of diesel that is finite.

Providing you keep the generators topped up with fuel, they should work ok. But you cannot do that indefinately for the entire network, as that is a huge amount of diesel you'll need.

One thing that would affect the network I work on particular, is that alot of our fibre traverses the UK over the grid itself. If you look at a Pylon, at the very top is a cable running between the peaks of the pylons. This is our fibre network. If the pylons should be brought down, our network would be FUBAR'd, power or no power. We have very little underground fibre, unless it is the "last mile".



posted on May, 7 2007 @ 08:31 PM
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It's good to know that if the pylons are still standing I may be able duck in here to find out whats going down before the web grinds to a halt.

I guess this vid is moot for the reasons I started this thread, but hopefully it'll prove useful to someone.
(how to get online for free with a cell)


btw great idea to download maps and such for trading.



posted on May, 7 2007 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by slowmovingwalrus
It's good to know that if the pylons are still standing I may be able duck in here to find out whats going down before the web grinds to a halt.



Hehe, good luck!

You'll need some sort of Multiplexer to separate out all the wavelengths to start with, then you'll need even more equipment to actually use them.

The fibre going over the pylons is part of the Higher Order transmission network, which deal in bandwidths measured in Gb/s which needs some very big, expensive pieces of kit, so not really usable for the layperson (I won't go into too much detail, as it all get's very complicated)

Your best bet would be to get yourself into a switch site (our's are located in Watford, Birmingham, Croydon, Manchester, Central London, Belfast and Dublin).

There, if you can get past security, you will be able to, at least, access the web via dialup, providing you have a modem to hand. The switches have test sockets on to plug a phone line into. You can make voice calls too.

Providing you have a Wanadoo, AOL or Pipex dial-up account (there are some other's, but i cannot remember), you should be able to dial into it from there.

But, thats an awful lot of effort to go too. In the case of a general power outage only (no physical infrastructure damage), you'd be better off staying at home and using a laptop.

As I said earlier, you should be good for telco services for at least 12 hours before the gennies start to run out of fuel. After that, well, I can't promise much....



posted on May, 7 2007 @ 11:19 PM
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This is all excellent information. I wondered if there was back ups on the telco system. Ime wonder if we have about the same amount of time here in the states? Looks like its time for a little more research. Lets not forget to tag this thread. it seems like it could be an important one.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by angryamerican
This is all excellent information. I wondered if there was back ups on the telco system. Ime wonder if we have about the same amount of time here in the states? Looks like its time for a little more research. Lets not forget to tag this thread. it seems like it could be an important one.


I would imagine you'd also have generator back-ups in the US also. Here, as the telecoms network is classed as "critical national infrastructure", I think it's law that they have such back-ups. Probably the case in the US also.

It has to be said though, that the gennie's aren't 100% reliable. We've had cases of power failures before where they just haven't kicked in. Rare, but it happens.

It usually happens at a site which is pretty critical too!

Only last week, we had to relocate to our disaster recovery site, as the node which we used to access the network from the NMC lost power, so we had no management to the whole network.

We had to up sticks and move from Bracknell to Watford (about 50 miles), so that we could again gain management directly from the switch site there. Sod's Law for you!

(Although, it has to be said, it says more about the network planning of my company more than the network's reliability. Only having one link into one site from our NMC means we had no redundancy in place in case of such a failure.....)



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 01:31 AM
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I worked for a rural teleco for a while and I would say that DSL service would be possible for about 6 or less hours with the remote DSLAMs running just on battery power and we didn't have enough portable generators to run them. At that point DSL would drop but the dialup network would remain up considerably longer as every dialup center has a dedicated diesel generator as well as massive battery banks. Those would probably be easy to keep running as there were only a handful of locations that powered the phone system for most of the service region. The main office was good to go naturally, however if the upstream provider were to crap out it would all mean precisely zip.

Scale that up about 10x and you probably have a very robust network for large providers. 9/11 taught everybody a lot of lessons, especially about disaster recovery plans and how to build a truly robust network so I would say that we are better prepared (or at least we should be) to deal with such large-scale problems which would threaten the network.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 11:11 AM
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The phones are usually still good for a long time after a blackout. I expect internet based on telephony to be the same and even if the backup power goes dead with the telephone providers (I guess the generators would have to run out of gas, I don't know if they're using solar or some alternative source), it would probably be possible to bootstrap a low bandwidth network that is only working between those who have their own power arrangements. In other words, if you're smart and still have power after the phone companies backups fail, you should be able to establish a low-bandwidth internet with those like you.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 11:17 AM
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I would like to add that if the internet fails due to widespread power failure, it should be the least of your worries. The only thing I can think of that would cause the scenario that you describe is a disaster that severely impacts the entire population at a national level or greater.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 01:03 PM
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I recommend saving any and all maps you come across. I save all that I can. I'd be able to trek america with no problems. And I'd also get a U.S. Armed Forces Survival Guide. I've got an old one from the 70's. Show's you how to live off plants and insects. Teaches you evasion tactics as well. And if you want to have any comforts at all when the U.S. infrastructure fails, I'd suggest you get a couple firearms as well. Preferrably a handgun and shotgun (with buckshot) for those moments when you have to defend your home at close quarters combat as well as a rifle for hunting wild game. I think these items will serve you better than solar panels and internet.

But, if you insist on having an alternate supply of power after all is said and done ... solar is probably not the best for a main source. It's be a great secondary source, but what if we're suffering a nuclear winter? It'll do you no good whatso ever. Even a windmill would supply much. As far as heat is concerned I'd recommend geothermal heat from the earth. It's a fairly practiced method of supplemental heat.

This is only a theory, but I've always had a fantasy of installing an underground watermill powered by freshwater springs. It'd be a real mess to design, but it'd be next to impossible to shut down, unless you stop the flow of freshwater flowing through the earth. This also would be your source for drinkable water. But, if someone were to design an underground watermill it probably wouldn't supply a great deal of hydropower, but enough to power a HAM radio, and if you had supplemental power such as a windmill or solar panels, you should be pretty well off. But, building such a self sufficient home would almost certainly draw would-be pillagers to your doorstep in a time of crisis. Be warned.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 01:41 PM
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Whenever we lose power we lose the internet and phone service down here. Just before Katrina went through it was either Wilma or Rita that caused us to lose power for about three weeks. This was not such a big deal because we have cell phones, 2 generators and gas stove/water heater at my place, but it did mean we had no internet or land lines working. No utility poles down that I could see, but I didn't exactly go exploring to find the "missing link."

I can only assume this is related phone service being digital now, but I have no expertise on the subject, just that experience to share. I remember in the past being able to make calls (before the days of cell phones) when the power was out and without running a generator.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 01:47 PM
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AlphaHumana, couldn't say why that was, as the network should still run on backup..

However....

If, like us over her, you have back-up generators at your network nodes, they are all placed outside (exhaust fumes and what have you).

With a hurricane whistling through, the generators at site could have been damaged. With the loss of mains and back-up, you only have a limited amount of battery power on site before that fails too. Could be why you lost telephony.

Or maybe the building itself was damaged?

Or more likely, part of your local network could have been carried over a pole or pylon that came down, but you didn't notice.

The only other reason I can think of is that your telco does not have back up power, which would be very odd and foolish.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 02:05 PM
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I started an e-BOB thread so we have a place to share useful e-books and technical downloads to be saved in the event of just such a situation


Edn

posted on May, 8 2007 @ 02:12 PM
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You could also consider using radio to connect servers and computers, that way you could completely bypass all those hurdles you have to go through today to connect to the internet. There no need for a ISP, lines or fiber etc.

I've been thinking about how to implement this type of system for a week or two (although its really just been thinking) i haven't had much time to research it.

Given you have sufficient power, be it solar or otherwise and a computer to act as a server for people to connect to the only other thing you need is for people to have the knowledge and resources to be able to connect to it.

Theres also the possibility of of eventually connecting the entire world back again, although hardly into one unified net it would most likely end up going in local groups but with the possible access to a satellite and the ability to bounce radio waves of the atmosphere there possibility or rebuilding or making a backup net is there.

All be i a slow net.


edit: I should mention im no expert on the matter. I only know that its possible to connect computers through radio.. thats about it.

[edit on 8-5-2007 by Edn]



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 02:51 PM
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You're probably right, that it was physical damage to one of the components, because of all areas I can't imagine why my area would be out-of-date/underprepared, especially because hunkering down for a couple of days due to hurricanes happens literally at least once a year down here.

I live in one of the older neighborhoods (for South Florida) so we still have utility poles strung around, I never thought to ask some of my friends who live in "newer" cookie-cutter neighborhoods (where there are no visible pylons, everything's underground) what their situation was.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 03:06 PM
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Edn... such a thing already exists and has for a long time. Most of us in amateur radio (HAM) are experienced with it and many of us are set-up to use it. We can send digital files radio-to-radio and can even bridge to the internet. We're talking much smaller bandwidth so forget downloading large files. Everyone seriously interested in survival owes it to themselves to get into radio. And the more onerous (morse code) requirements have just recently been eliminated.

Personally I have a broad range of comm equipment operating over multiple bands and multpile modes (including digital) both base and portable. All can be battery powered and in addition to the large generator I have a handcrank generator (from an old piece of military comm gear) than can recharge all the batteries. If Sit-X ever hits I want to know what is going on 'out there'. Without the ability to determine what's happening in the larger picture you have no way of knowing whether to stay, go or WHERE to go.



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by citizen smith
In case of SHTF and the interweb ceasing to exist it may be a good idea to collect a few Gb's of useful information of maps, how-to guides, etc to help survival.


what an excellent suggestion! i will start archving immediately!



posted on May, 8 2007 @ 05:06 PM
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I'll take a look into HAM as I had no idea files can be transfered peer to peer that way. My biggest concern is the cost ($ and wattage) for entering into amateur radio because I checked into wind turbines after tyranny22's post and damn, those puppies aren't cheap.

Found 900W wind turbines for $3000 while I could get 150W solar panels @ $699. I guess I'll wait and spring for a turbine or two and then get a couple solar panels for backup while keeping an eye out for a hand crank generator. Even if we never face a disaster I can use these down at the cabin.





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