40 Vintage Life Hacks from 100 Years Ago “How to do it”

Hacks

Back in the 1900s, cigarette manufactures used to insert stiffening cards into their paper cigarette packs to add strength and help them last longer. Along the way, someone had the bright idea of printing trivia, artwork and even famous people and athletes (Honus Wagner anyone?) onto the stiffening cards.

In the early 20th Century, Gallaher’s Cigarettes printed a special series of 100 “How to do it” cards that included some truly useful and helpful tips for everyday situations and problems. The entire 100 card collection is part of the New York Public Library’s George Arents Collection and was recently digitized. [Read more…]

How To Survive The Apocalypse, Anything Can Happen In A Land Without Laws Or Organized Government – Your Survival Depends On Your Ability

Apocalypse

How To Survive The Apocalypse

So the apocalypse arrived and the world as we know it has come to an end. What to do next?

Assuming you’re one of a handful of survivors, do you have what it takes to make it more than a couple of winters and maybe even sow the seeds for the rebirth of humanity? [Read more…]

How to Make And Use Liquid Manure Compost

Compost

How to Make And Use Liquid Manure Compost

Manure tea – doesn’t that just sound like something you’d like to have some crumpets with? Well, no.

But your garden will most definitely enjoy a cup, so today we’re going to talk about how to make and use your very own manure tea to get the best out of your crops.

Don’t mistake manure tea with compost tea; they’re two completely different beasts. Compost tea is all about microorganisms that are beneficial to both soil and plants. Manure tea is all about the nutrients in manure. [Read more…]

How To Build A DIY Portable Solar Power Generator (For Under $200)

Generator

How To Build A DIY Portable Solar Power Generator (For Under $200)

Have you ever gone on a camping trip with non preppers?

 

This project was born from a camping with my better half and a group of friends. These friends are not of our prepper mindset and as such had no way to recharge their phones, batteries or run any kind of device that required power.

(Personally, I welcome the screen-free days.)

We were camping for 5 days so it wasn’t long before they started to come to me to use my inverter. I normally have a small 150w stashed in the trunk for emergencies, or times like these. [Read more…]

Homemade Water Wheel Electric Generator

Electric Generator

Homemade Water Wheel Electric Generator

A medium size water wheel electric generator can provide enough electricity for one house (3 bulbs, one TV and one radio all running at the same time). Not only you will no longer dependent on the power grid, but you’ll have electricity when SHTF and more important: absolutely FREE. Unlike solar panels, a water wheel electric generator can produce electricity 24/7.

Hydroelectricity is the world’s largest and cleanest source of renewable energy. But despite lively interest in renewables generally, there is an information vacuum about the smallest version of the technology dubbed “the simplest, most reliable and least expensive way to generate power off grid.” [Read more…]

12 Potentially Life-Threatening Errors You’re Making in Food Preparedness and Survival Strategies

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Although armed with good intentions, most preppers and survivalists are making critical errors — perhaps fatal errors — in their food preparedness strategies.

This article is designed to help you identify and correct those errors as quickly as possible so that you’re in good shape before the food collapse arrives. When will that be, exactly? It depends on whom you believe: geologists say the world’s primary irrigation aquifers have maybe 20 – 30 years of water remaining, after which the global food supply collapses. Some environmentalists say radical weather, droughts, floods and heat waves have already started wreaking havoc on the food supply (just look at California right now). People concerned about GMOs and genetic pollution point out that runaway crop diseases could strike at any time and devastate global crop production. Finally, those who are more concerned about government tyranny correctly point out that the federal government has already asserted executive order control over all food, farms and livestock.

Only the wildly ignorant don’t store extra food for emergency preparedness. Even the federal government’s Ready.gov program urges people to “have a plan” and make a disaster supplies kit which contains, “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food” — just enough to keep you alive until FEMA arrives and screws everything up.

[Read more…]

Build this open source DIY wind turbine for $30

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Getting started with home wind energy projects can set you back a pretty penny if you buy a finished product, but if you’re a little bit handy and don’t mind scrounging for materials and getting creative in the garage or backyard, you can try your hand at building one of these DIY wind turbines for about $30 in materials. After all, it is #iheartrenewables week!

We’ve previously covered Daniel Connell’s open source concentrated solar collector plans, but now he’s back with another great DIY renewable energy project, a vertical axis wind turbine based on the Lenz2 lift+drag design. Connell’s design calls for using aluminum lithographic offset printing plates to catch the wind, which he says can be obtained cheaply (or possibly even free) from an offset printing company, and a variety of hardware and a bicycle wheel.

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“The turbine uses the ~40% mechanically efficient Lenz2 lift+drag design. It is made entirely from scrap materials except for the bolts and pop rivets, and should cost about $15-$30 for the three vane version, which can be made by one person in six hours without much effort.

Other than basic tools, including a hand drill, you’ll need to buy or borrow a pop riveter and some assorted hardware (bolts, nuts, and washers) to construct this device. According to Connell’s notes, this DIY wind turbine, which can be built in either a three vane or six vane version, has successfully survived sustained winds of 80 km/h (three vane) and up to 105 km/h for the six vane version.

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Here’s a little clip of the vertical axis wind turbine being challenged by strong winds:

In order to harvest the energy from this wind turbine, it’s necessary to add an alternator to the rotor, as well as a method of storing the electricity, but it could also be used simply for the mechanical rotation, such as to pump water or spin a flywheel for other applications.

While there are a number of variables that can affect the output of this DIY wind turbine, including the efficiency of the alternator used (and obviously the speed of the wind where it’s located), according to Connell, using a “50% efficient car alternator (the simplest and cheapest option) should produce 158 watts of electricity in a 50 km/h wind, and 649 watts at 80 km/h” with this design.

[Update: In an email conversation with Connell, he stated that “a six vane version with an efficient alternator should produce at least 135 watts of electricity in a 30 km/h wind, and 1.05 kilowatts at 60 km/h.”]

This homebrewed wind turbine isn’t necessarily going to be powering your home (although a series of these could potentially be used to generate enough electricity to charge a battery bank for modest home use), it might be a great hands-on school project or homeschool activity about wind energy.

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Other useful resources:

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness)

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Derek Markham (@derekmarkham)
Technology / Wind Technology

How to make Ethanol Fuel Basics

images (1)Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from various plant materials collectively known as “biomass.” More than 95% of U.S. gasoline contains ethanol in a low-level blend to oxygenate the fuel and reduce air pollution.

Ethanol is also available as E85, or high-level ethanol blends. This fuel can be used in flexible fuel vehicles, which can run on high-level ethanol blends, gasoline, or any blend of these.

There are several steps involved in making ethanol available as a vehicle fuel:

  • Biomass feedstocks are grown, collected and transported to an ethanol production facility
  • Ethanol is produced from feedstocks at a production facility and then transported to a blender/fuel supplier
  • Ethanol is mixed with gasoline by the blender/fuel supplier and distributed to fueling stations.

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Ethanol as a vehicle fuel is not a new concept. Henry Ford and other early automakers suspected it would be the world’s primary fuel before gasoline became so readily available. Today, researchers agree ethanol could substantially offset our nation’s petroleum use. In fact, studies have estimated that ethanol and other biofuels could replace 30% or more of U.S. gasoline demand by 2030.

The use of ethanol is required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Fuel Properties

Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) is a clear, colorless liquid. It is also known as ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, and EtOH. (See Fuel Properties search.) Ethanol has the same chemical formula regardless of whether it is produced from starch- and sugar-based feedstocks, such as corn grain (as it primarily is in the United States), sugar cane (as it primarily is in Brazil), or from cellulosic feedstocks (such as wood chips or crop residues).

Ethanol has a higher octane number than gasoline, providing premium blending properties. Minimum octane number requirements prevent engine knocking and ensure drivability. Low-level ethanol blends generally have a higher octane rating than unleaded gasoline. Low-octane gasoline is blended with 10% ethanol to attain the standard 87 octane requirement. Ethanol is the main component in high-level ethanol blends. (See E85 Specification to learn more.)

Per unit volume, ethanol contains about 30% less energy than gasoline. E85 contains about 25% less energy than gasoline. High-level ethanol blends contain less energy per gallon than does gasoline, to varying degrees, depending on the volume percentage of ethanol in the high-level blend.

liberty

Ethanol Energy Balance

In the United States, ethanol is primarily produced from the starch in corn grain. Recent studies using updated data about corn production methods demonstrate a positive energy balance for corn ethanol, meaning that fuel production does not require more energy than the amount of energy contained in the fuel

Cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from non-food-based feedstocks, is expected to improve the energy balance of ethanol, because non-food-based feedstocks are anticipated to require less fossil fuel energy to produce ethanol. Biomass used to power the process of converting non-food-based feedstocks into cellulosic ethanol is also expected to reduce the amount of fossil fuel energy used in production. Another potential benefit of cellulosic ethanol is that it results in lower levels of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Other useful resources:

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness)ec_250x200_nf3-60ec08d

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)