How to Cope Without Battery-Powered Emergency TVs
September 5, 2008 12:39 PM
One of the things that has bothered me about the conversion to digital broadcasting is the elimination of the battery-powered emergency televisions that are used by thousands of people during severe weather, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes and other calamities as a useful information medium.
The hand-cranked and battery-powered televisions that were a staple of every emergency kit are becoming obsolete. If you have followed my thoughts on this subject, you know this has been one of my greatest concerns.
Living on the hurricane-prone upper Gulf Coast, I have many times relied on my battery-powered TV to get pertinent information and to be able to see, even if in black-and-white, the radar images of numerous tropical storms and hurricanes.
I found a functional solution to that dilemma this evening on the Solid Signal Web site.
Winegard has a digital-to-analog converter box that has analog pass-through powered by an AC adapter that powers the converter box with 9 volts DC. Winegard also has a battery pack adapter available for use with the converter box in which you can install six D batteries to power the converter box for up to 18 hours.
This, to me, is a viable option for those of us who are close enough to the digital television transmitters to receive the signals.
The pre-amp I have installed on the high-gain antenna that I use for distant stations will not allow signals to pass through when the electricity is off. However, I am close enough to the transmitters that if I were to install a smaller, fixed antenna aimed at the local stations, with a straight coax drop-down to the back room in the house, I would be able to receive the digital transmissions. I have stated before that this was something I had on my long list of things to do, but still, I was perplexed as to how I would power the converter box until I could get my generator going. Now I have a way to do that.
The battery pack is only compatible with the Winegard converter box, but this may be the answer for me. The converter box sells for $61.99 plus $9.95 for shipping, but is eligible for the $40 government coupon if you have one. The battery pack that plugs into the 9-volt jack on the back of the converter box sells for $14.99 plus $4.95 for shipping.
The converter box can be viewed here.
And the battery pack can be viewed here.
I am glad to find these products because this is something I have been pleading for.