Solar system codes — Build it right!

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #154 • July/August, 2015 Here, multiple homemade solar modules have caught fire and burned. The further you go into the mountains or rural countryside, the more some people think building codes...

Design calculations for overshot waterwheels

By Rudy Behrens Issue #18 • November/December, 1992 (For good background information for this article, the reader should read "Waterpower for personal use" in Issue No. 16 and "Design calculations for overshot waterwheels" in Issue No....

How to select the right backup generator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #82 • July/August, 2003 Now that the threat of terrorist sabotage to our utility infrastructure has been added to our basic concerns about storm related power outages, this may be...

Our journey to modern off-grid living

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson Issue #177 • July/August/September, 2019 We’ve lived off the grid for decades. Throughout the years, we’ve traveled the path from living a very rustic lifestyle with few amenities to our current off-grid homestead...

Power Up

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P. E., C.E.M. Spring, 2019 During any emergency or related power outage, the most important electronic device you need to keep operating is your cell phone, at least as long as cellular...

Solar power trailer Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #109 • January/February, 2008 In Part I of this article in the November/December 2007 issue, I described the many uses for a solar power system that could be made totally...

Battery-Powered Tools are Changing

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., C.E.M. April/May/June, 2019 Battery-powered tool technology is now undergoing some rapid changes in both the power of the tool motors and the batteries supplying the added power. For many years most battery-powered...

Handy Keychain Mini-Gadgets

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Winter, 2017 I believe when most people think of being prepared, they immediately think in terms of bug-out bags, stored food and water, guns, and generators. However, there can be less...

Power Up Light, Water, Communications in Emergencies

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E., C.E.M. April/May/June, 2019 Preparing for any emergency or future disaster is never easy. What should you prepare against; what is the likelihood it will actually happen; how long will it take...

Prepper power! Part 2

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #137 • September/October, 2012 I discussed in Part 1 the many reasons why preppers need to think more long-term about providing reliable electric power. I also mentioned that while it's...

You could furnish an entire homestead at Lehman’s ‘Non-electric’ Hardware Store

By Don Fallick Issue #47 • September/October, 1997 Let me state my bias right at the beginning: Lehman’s Hardware has been advertising in Backwoods Home Magazine for a long time, but I made my first purchase...

Power your bug-out bag

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #160 • July/August, 2016 More and more people are starting to see the advantage of having a bug-out bag for each member of their family. Normally these bags are kept...

Walden Pond, the solar version: Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #99 • May/June, 2006 I have been writing solar power articles for many years on every possible application. This has included everything from simple solar chargers for cell phones to...

Build your own battery charging station

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #142 • July/August, 2013 Completed charging station after sanding and painting Let me guess — the reason many of you do not use rechargeable batteries is that every time you need...

Converting a Gasoline-Powered Rototiller to Electric

By Glenn Willis, Jr. Issue #87 • May/June, 2004 Several years ago my sister and her husband had an 8-horse gas-powered rototiller that went belly up. They fussed with it a bit, but couldn't get it...

What if the electricity GOES OFF?

By Michael Hackleman Issue #55 • January/February, 1999 Just as everyone was getting ready to throw the party of the century and millennium—out with the old and in with the new—someone springs Y2K on us. Power...