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Living with Off-Grid Solar Power

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Considerations When Selecting Appliances
for Off-Grid Living:

Television, VCR, etc.

    Most televisions, VCRs, etc. will work fine with either a sine wave or modified sine wave inverter. In some cases a modified sine wave inverter can cause a buzzing noise through the TV speakers or on recordings.

    Televisons, VCRs, Satellite Receivers and the like are almost the classic definition of the phantom load. It is quite important that you keep these sorts of devices disconnected from your inverter except when you are actually using them. I use a power strip that acts both as central power control and surge suppressor. (Has connections for surge protecting phone line, satellite antenna, external antenna, etc.)

    Keeping your satellite receiver unpowered most of the time can lead to one unfortunate problem. It is easily remedied, but can be annoying. Your satellite is never really off so long as it is plugged into a live electrical outlet. The computer inside the receiver is constantly receiving information from the satellite.

    Periodically, the satellite service tells your receiver that it is stil authorized to decode signals from the satellite. If your receiver is unpowered most of the time it is very likely to miss this periodic update. When this happens your receiver will tell you that you are not subscribed to the channel you are trying to view. You will have to call your service's customer support center and ask them to reauthorize your receiver. (Assuming you have been paying your bill!) This takes only a few minutes, but can be kind of annoying.


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Last update: 5MAY2003

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