Archive for October, 2011

Welding With Thermite

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Survival, Thoughts

My Grandfather told me,when I was young, of days when he worked on Electrifying the eastern cape.

The Company ,Eskom  , would use the railway to transport the transformers and so required that the engineers also extend the railway at the same time so they spent many years supervising the laying of rail and so on …

During his time he also spoke of how they would weld the track together using Thermite , a mixture of half red iron oxide ( used to colour concrete) and half aluminum powder,  and use a sparkler as a fuse,  as welding rail track is not a simple affair, and the welding machines of the day couldn’t have managed it.

They used clay to make a mold below the container for the thermite , there was a gap between the tracks and the clay is molded so that the gap forms a cavity  and then the container with the thermite is  placed above and lit ..

the hot Liquid Iron then falls into the gap and fills it then cools .. forming a good bond

i don’t know if this is useful , as i haven’t tried it but it might be if you have no power and need to Macro weld something large …

I’m sure you could also do some simple casting with this method , there is a lot of labor involved in making powdered aluminum or iron oxide .. but I’m sure knowing this might be useful to some, one day, post shtf .

on editing this post i found this wiki article


Field telephones are one of the best and simplest systems of communication in a base of operations.
communication is Key to early warning and defense strategy.

Field Telephones are best used as a point to point communication solution or a simple “jack plug” switch board can be made with a little skill and then a person to man the switch board – if you require a system with more then 2 points..

They were extensivly used during both world wars and in Vietnam for secure communication.

I am not going to detail exactly how one would create the field telephone — but lets just say its not exactly difficult, the detail i will give is that on microphone and one speaker must obviously be at each end ( plans for making these yourself below although store bought is probably better if you build these before you need them )

I have included a basic circut diagram above I just drew up quickly, this will be what a single phone looks like – that plugs into a switch board, to have a simple phone that only have 2 ends then replace the jack plug with another bell, switch, mic and speaker.

__The Switch Board__
a simple switch board can be made by a few jack plug sockets, low voltage bulbs or leds, and jack plugs , the concept is for each “extention” you need a socket to plug the long line that goes to the phone into – another socket to plug another phone into wired in parallel and an led to indicate that its active, a third socket can be added in parallel to allow an operator to “listen in”, and a Lead with a plug on, this lead will plug into to other sockets to connect phones to others , each phone needs each of these i mentioned, it is best to make the sockets for each in a numbered column
so that you can keep track of the cables.


Levels of Preparedness

Posted: October 25, 2011 in Survival, Thoughts

Levels of Preparedness
When looking at what skills and equipment I need to acquire I found it useful to categorize them in to various levels so that I may address them all equally well. when Preparing it is best to start with the first levels and get them down, and then progress to changing your whole way of life.

Level A
can get home from where I am.
On my person, I have:
food and water for the trip and means to obtain more.
Fire making tools
a route map with multiple routes for the possible walk should the roads be too chaotic to drive.
a tool for self defense and know how to use it.
basic sanitation.
the ability to heal minor aliment associated with walking long distances (sunblock).
portable shelter.


Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

Posted: October 24, 2011 in Survival, Thoughts

Cordless drills can be used for many applications in a SHTF scenario, they are cheap and can be converted to charge batteries with a little ingenuity..

Link to a PDF detailing the procedure to create a Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

here are a few other idea’s from popular mechanics

Drill Driver
Geniuses: Sebastian Auray, Ruben Faber, Nils ferber, Ludolf von Oldershausen
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Moving at 20 mph doesn’t sound so harrowing—but if you’re driving the EX—a tricycle designed by an obsessive team of students at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany—20 mph seems more than fast enough.

Perhaps that’s because the EX positions its driver so he’s sprawled out on his belly on top of the three-wheeled vehicle, with his face the first point of contact for any oncoming traffic. A specially designed, CNC-milled joint tilts the back wheel to let the rider lean into turns. Modified bicycle parts were used for most of the components—and the trike is powered by nothing but a pair of battery-operated Bosch drill drivers. The 18-volt power tools crank the chain ring in the same direction for maximum, if modest, power; to avoid one drill driver blocking the other, overrunning clutch gearwheels are used to transmit the torque. “The torque you get from a screwdriver is pretty small,” Nils Ferber says. “But we wanted the vehicle to look as aggressive and energetic as possible.”
link to popular mechanics — idea 8 of 10

The design team drew inspiration, he says, from the skeletal structure of a big cat ready to pounce, though he agrees that this is one skeleton perhaps best left in the closet—or at least the workshop. Fully charged drill drivers poop out after a few minutes, giving the rig a maximum range of about a mile and making it about the least practical electric vehicle ever. But for those few minutes? “It’s exciting and fun to drive,” Ferber says. “Being that close to the ground and lying on the vehicle headlong, I’m almost glad that I can’t go faster than 20 mph.”

Post Apocalyptic Refrigeration

There are many options to do refrigeration with simple technology
one option is a Hilsch vortex tube — you could use a water wheel to power a compressor to provide compressed air to the cooling system using a Hilsch vortex tube for cooling

Another option is a ice ball cooler — simply 2 containers under pressure with ammonia and water inside heat one container to boil off the ammonia – and cool the other with water … then when you take the heat away the water will freeze around the second container.

link to some info on the Ice ball cooler….. more info on the The Crosley ice ball cooler….link to plans to make one yourself….