The Hydra Light Product Review

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I got word a water powered Flashlight was heading my way for a product review & immediately pictured a contraption with a propeller to dip in a running stream, or some penlight hooked up to a water bottle. Instead, I got the Hydra Light, a foot long, rubber-coated, yellow & black plastic cylinder, looking every inch a serious lighting device. It sported some heft to it too, but strangely, no propeller or water tank.  Instead, inside it was a long white cylinder where a battery would be, with two metal ends and holes along the length of it’s sides.

End-cap with fold-out hook

 

 

 

The end-cap flares out forming a stable base with a recessed fold-out plastic hook to hang it upside down. (Although I doubt the hook will hold up long.)

At the business end, a clear plastic lamp bezel sports a mirrored concave top cover, and an aperture in the center. Around the single white LED inside the bezel, was more mirrored plastic.

The bezel does double duty. Slide the bezel fully extended, the light is configured as a lantern. With the bezel retracted, it becomes a directed flashlight, projecting the light out the end through the aperture.

So far, it LOOKS like a flashlight. But now what’s up with this white plastic can-like tube inside, where a proper battery would be? It looked intriguing.

The fuel cell of tomorrow?

I learned it’s the fuel cell that relies on a process of Ion Transfer involving oxygen as fuel. The Hydra-Light fuel cell has a generous heft to it. It rattles, which I assume is something that somehow reacts to moisture.

I began to figure out that this ISN’T a water POWERED flashlight as the advertising implies. Instead, water is used another way, as a CONDUCTOR.

A chemical reaction occurs when two dissimilar forms of metal interact with each other. It’s called ELECTROLYSIS. Simply put, molecular ions from one metal flows to another metal when a current path between the two is present. A common example of electrolysis is galvanic corrosion…how Iron becomes rusty when exposed to oxygen. All it takes is a conductor. It just so happens WATER is a conductor, and it’s conductivity is greatly increased when MINERALS are dissolved in it.

It clicked…(like a light bulb over my head). Inside this moistened fuel cell container, enough electrical current is generated when the contents of the fuel cell is moistened and exposed to oxygen, causing Ions to flow from one metal end-cap to the other .

Even though it only takes water to create electrical current, there’s not a whole lot of electrical current being produced. There’s another component in this that makes it work… a super efficient LED!

The star of the show is this LED

LED’s have revolutionized lighting. Light Emitting Diodes have become very efficient after years of development, all but replacing the incandescent light bulb. Being able to radiate bright white light from very little energy, modern LED’s are now the ideal low cost, low maintenance, long-life light source.

And it’s a single LED that makes everything happen.

Now…Something needs pointing out.

While this Ion transfer process results in electrical current being generated, there isn’t a LOT of electrical current. So while the LED is efficiently producing light, it’s not the brightest of lights. The Hydra Light isn’t meant to blind, it’s made to produce light, JUST using water!

 

Within these narrow constraints, the Hydra Light DOES IT’S JOB, LIKE NO OTHER!

The Hydra Light is ideally suited as a emergency light source, one that can provide light with just water, without ANY other technology.  I get that, and anyone who is desperately NEEDING light when ALL ELSE FAILS would get that too.

The Hydra-Light boasts up to 100 hours of continuous service. One short dunking of the fuel cell in water is all it takes.

THAT I put to the test.

I dipped the power cell in a glass of tap water, shook out the excess water, slipped it in the Hydra Light, and turned it on.  The LED immediately produced a bright blue-white light. As a flashlight it threw a very impressive beam. As a Lantern the single LED was able to light up a totally dark room to a respectable level, not super bright, but still bright enough.  Then I left the Hydra Light on and started the clock.

72 hours later (that’s THREE DAYS), the light was noticeably dimmer, and it went dark while I was away at work at day four. at least 90 hours total. That’s close enough for me.

Again, this is just dunking the fuel cell in water, shaking out the excess and turning the lamp on.

Pretty darn impressive IMHO.

For the Hydra-light, the duration test is more of showing how long the fuel cell will conduct current until the fuel cell dries out. Of course, normal battery powered flashlights can last 100 hours, (often brighter too.)  But after that, you just need to briefly re-moisten the fuel cell of the Hydra Light, & the light can stay on for 100 hours more. (Do that with other flashlights.)

After a few dips in water, the efficiency of the fuel cell diminishes. Still, that’s remedied by simply adding salt to the water. The saltier the water, the brighter the lamp will glow. According to the maker, more fuel cells are available. But generally speaking, the whole idea of a emergency light source that can be left on a shelf for decades, & still be able to produce light after just a dip in some water, is just the thing to have when all else fails.

And for that, I TOTALLY approve.

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UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Reviews

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A tarp tent is a wonderful addition to your bug out bag as it can be used in many different ways. A tarp tent is a tarpaulin, a plastic or nylon sheet, used in place of a tent. It is usually rigged with poles, tent pegs, and guy lines. Ultralight backpackers use tarp tents because they are easy to set up and lightweight compared to other backpacking shelters which makes for a more pleasant hike. Especially if you need a quick shelter when hit with a sudden downpour.

 

Recently I was looking for a good, reliable tarp/tent for my husband. We wanted something light, durable, and affordable. We decided, at the recommendation of others, on the UST Base Tube Tarp/tent 1.0. (Ultimate Survival Technologies) We have never been happier with a purchase.

UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Features and Specs:

• Ultra-light, compact, tubular tarp protects against foul weather
• Multi-use tube tarp can be used as a ground cloth or sleeping tent
• Reverses for reflective signaling surface
• Flame-retardant
• Sets up in minutes
• Compact and easy to transport
• Aluminized side provides thermal insulation and reflectivity for signaling
Hidden zipper transforms the tarp into a tube-shaped sleeping tent, providing protection from the damp ground below and the elements above
• Can be used as a sleeping tent or all-weather tarp
• Complete instructions are included and also conveniently located on the exterior of the stuff sack
• Includes stuff sack, guy lines, and steel stakes
• Erected HxWxD: 39” x 84” x 35” (99 x 213 x 89cm)
• Packed HxWxD: 15” x 4” x 4” (381 x 102 x 102mm)
• Weight: 1lb 12 oz. (794g)

We did a lot of shopping around and found the UST Tube Tarp to be one of the most affordable, reliable and used ones out there. Before this was shown to me the only recommended tarps I found were $80 or more. That can really hit your pocket if you have 4 bug out bags to supply for. that was a nice change from expensive basic gear. Below are some wonderful review videos for you to check out and decide for yourself if this will be an addition to your bug out or camping gear. A list of products in the videos will be posted at the end of the article.

 

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Guardline GS-5000 Motion Detection Security System / APN Product Review

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Imagine a line of pickets that can pick up the approach of anything heading your way. That’s exactly what you have with the Guardline GL-5000 Motion Detecting Alarm System. This is a security system that is well worth it.

This product review was a walk in the park… actually a walk around the yard, testing the effective range of this rugged & versatile motion detector & programmable alarm system. The radio transponder motion detecting sensors easily covered the furthest reaches of my property, sending notice when movement was detected.

https://www.guardlinesecurity.com/apn
BUY NOW & SAVE 10% with coupon “APN”

Guardline,  a major name in home security systems, has answered the call for a motion detector system with greater range & greater expandability, & has done so in a practical, affordable way.

Operating in the UHF 900 Mhz. radio band, Guardline’s sensors lie in wait to detect movement. Each censor able to be set up with different sensitivity, detected rate of movement, as well as scheduled time of operation. You can configure each one to match it’s location & need of coverage. With up to quarter mile range to the receiver, a sensor can alert you of movement, several minutes before anything could come close.

Made of high impact ABS Plastic in flat OD Green color, each sealed, battery powered sensor, blends into an outdoor setting & operates undetected day & night. The sensor comes with mounting screws for walls & fence posts, but I found it handy to use tie-straps for temporary mounting. The sensors weigh not much more than the 4 AA batteries it holds, so deploying these sensors tactically is a not a problem at all.

But here’s where the GL-5000 stands apart. The central receiver is programmable, with 4 monitoring zones, each able to monitor 4 separate sensors. That means you can deploy up to 16 sensors, & the receiver can keep track of each one.  You can assign each sensor it’s own unique alert tone, so just by the sound you hear, you can know in an instant exactly where movement has been detected.

I noted several “choke-points” where anyone coming onto my property would have to pass. It was easy to install a sensor at each spot & give full coverage of the area. The furthest sensor was deep in the woods150 yards away. It was picked up by the desktop receiver.  I even went all out and walked way out off my property, to the end of the road over a block away, it still was received.  The Guardline GL-5000 is ideal for long range motion detection capability. And with batteries supplying power to the sensors, the system makes for great temporary deployed perimeter security.

My one hitch in the review was all by my doing. The sensor’s case is held together by four small brass screws, and I of course promptly dropped one as soon as I went to put batteries in the unit. I quickly found the dropped screw, but word to the wise, be careful with opening the sensors.

The number of batteries you invest in may be a burden if you have as many sensors the GL-5000 can handle…(16 units x 4 AA batteries each = 64 batteries), but rechargeable batteries are available which can minimize the burden. And if you’re like me, a solar powered charging system can easily be put together which can keep things topped off indefinitely. The upside is how the sensors can be programmed to “sleep” for set periods of the day or night, cutting down on battery use. The GL-5000 doesn’t come with connections to a computer or internet, however that’s another thing a whiz-kid tinkerer could figure out.

That all said, if you’re looking for a reliable, expandable & affordable way to guard for intruders Guardline’s GL-5000 system is more than capable. For Home Security I give it a big Thumb’s Up!

UPDATE: We don’t often offer product specials, but Guardline is offering 10%OFF on purchasing their products through this review. Use Coupon code “APN”. 
Offer expires Feb. 28th. 2017.

https://www.guardlinesecurity.com/apn
Ordering Here  Supports further APN Reviews!

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Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator

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I’m a pretty jaded type. I don’t often get excited, but I was all “a-tingle” when I got word of what was heading my way for review.  Most of my reviews are of small items, handheld radios, machetes, hand axes, not 200 lbs. of high-end, high power solar generator.

Needless to say, I was as giddy as a little school girl.

You see, any serious prepping plan needs a foundation based on sustainability. You need to work from a sustainable supply of anything to hold your own, whether it’s a supply of beans, bullets or banjo strings. This applies especially for electricity.
The ultimate goal is to live comfortably “off grid”.  Unless a life of a wilderness mountain man with flint & tinder is your bag, if you want electric lights, air conditioning & internet, you’ll need a powerful electrical generator.

The HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Powered Generator.

Just like it’s name, this solar-powered electrical generator is made to supply a entire household with clean, continuous electricity, for totally off-grid living.

Four heavy boxes arrived from Point Zero Energy by ground freight, with two large deep cycle 12V DC batteries, the inverter/generator unit, unit base, cart wheels & handle. Plus two pairs of solar panels, with two 100 watt panel built into sturdy frames with hinged supports & carry handles. Total capacity of the included solar panels came to 400 watts. Also included, was an assortment of parts including a heavy duty battery charge controller, three heavy-gauge jumper cables & connecting cables for the solar panels, along with an illustrated manual & instructional DVD.

Assembly was straight forward… the generator  bolts to the flat metal base with welded axle for the two wheels. At each side of the generator sits the two 12VDC batteries, on top of the generator a heavy duty handle is bolted on. Everything can be pushed around like a hand truck. The two batteries get wired in series to the generator to supply 24 Volts DC. On the front face of the Inverter/Generator are four 110VAC outlets, two USB outlets & One 220VAC outlet. There’s also a power & standby toggle switch and an LED Display that shows battery status & output voltage.

With the large capacity deep cycle dry cells & heavy duty inverter, the Homegrid™ 5000HD is capable of 5000 watts of continuous 110 & 220 AC Power, and a whopping 22,000 watts of peak surge power. Read that again…TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND WATTS Surge power.  Meaning the generator can easily power multiple home appliances simultaneously including refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, and cooking appliances. It’s pure sine wave power output will safely run power tools, electronics, and medical equipment.

A “Mac-Daddy Cadillac” Solar Generator, perfect for off-grid living. Two things make it deliver… Massive Dry Cell Batteries with tremendous capacity & a robust DC/AC inverter, built to take tremendous demand. The 220 Volt output, wired to a household circuit breaker system can give household appliances clean dependable electrical power day & night.

For my test, I plugged into my house transfer switch circuit, specifically to isolate my home off the Utility Company power meter, (and avoiding back feeding). There was no noticeable difference to the house load. The TV worked fine, my computers booted up, lights came on through the house, the refrigerator & microwave ran without a hiccup. Even my water well, with it’s 220V AC motor did it’s job. Then I ran some power tools… my chop saw & band saw in the shop, they all cut wood with no telltale difference in performance.
Overall, the power draw on the generator was usually less than 2500 watts, most often less than a thousand watts. It was when the refrigerator compressor came on, or when the well pump kicked on that power surged. Throughout my test, the generator was loafing along, operating well under capacity all day & even all night. One exception though, my house AC unit wasn’t in the transfer circuit. When I wired up my transfer switch, I didn’t include it in the circuit so I couldn’t put it to test. Still, the AC is rated to draw 1500 to 3000 watts when operating, the HomeGrid™ 5000HD has the capacity to handle the load.  Through the night there wasn’t much demand, just the few lights I had on, my computer & TV, and the refrigerator… altogether, no more than 1000 watts. By next morning, the battery status indictor showed less than one quarter depletion, and within the first hours of daylight, the system had regained a full charge by the solar panels.

Using the 400 watt solar panel array, the generator’s batteries can easily be topped off throughout the day letting the system handle the heavy lifting alone only during the night. The generator can also accommodate a second 400 watt array as well.  Typically the deep cycle battery service life offers 7 to 8 years of reliable service.

Granted, my review was a weekend of use test, and in the long term, my energy demands would widely vary from day to day & seasonally. However, with some reasonable budgeting on the amount of power use, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD could give me a totally off grid existence right out of the box. Just by adding additional batteries & solar cells, the well of electrical power I’d have on tap would be far more than my modest needs. The great news is the HomeGrid™ 5000HD is easily expandable & PORTABLE.

My only gripe isn’t really a gripe at all.
I was staggered by the weight the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD.  Although designed & built to be portable, you’d be smart to have a couple of stout helpers to pitch in moving the generator & battery unit. By myself, it was a task. The solar panels are not a problem, but you certainly work up a sweat horsing the generator unit & batteries around. Imagine taking a hand truck and deadlifting a small refrigerator up some stairs.  Again, this isn’t really a gripe against the gear, more it’s against my own lack of strength. The weight is actually a good testament of the sheer ruggedness built into the unit. Point Zero Energy isn’t building wimpy gear here, it’s high quality, high capacity & highly reliable power generation equipment. It’s well worth the sizable investment to insure safe, reliable, & dependable electrical energy to live totally off-grid, yet still enjoy modern electrical appliances in your household.  Until Doc Brown & Marty McFly shows up with a Mr. Fusion home reactor, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD is anyone’s ticket to an off-grid lifestyle. Now that I’ve experienced life off-grid, I’m striving for more.
Pay a visit to Point Zero Energy’s website to learn more about the complete line of HomeGrid™ Solar Powered Electrical Generators.

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The Blackout Series by Bobby Akart

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~ by Bobby Akart, Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout Series,
The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

I have written about the importance of prepper fiction as a tool for convincing the non-prepper family member or friend to consider a self-reliant and preparedness lifestyle. A well-written story may be fabricated but it helps us comprehend the world nonetheless. As Stephen King once wrote – Fiction is the truth behind the lie.

After my success with The Boston Brahmin Series, readers and friends within the American Preppers Network encouraged me to tell the story of a non-prepping family. Those of us within the APN family become used to interacting with like-minded individuals. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that the vast majority of Americans are not only unprepared, but they have no idea of what prepping entails. I wrote The Blackout Series for this purpose.

Bobby Akart 36 Hours

 What would you do if a voice was screaming in your head – GET READY – for a catastrophic event of epic proportions, with no idea where to start, or how, or when.

This is a true story, it just hasn’t happened yet.

A catastrophic solar flare, an EMP – a threat from above to America’s soft underbelly below is hurtling toward our planet. In book one, the Ryman family has never heard of prepping. But they learn while they run out of time. An EMP, naturally generated from our sun in the form of a massive solar storm has happened before during the Carrington Event of 1859, and it will happen again.

The Blackout Series is a story of how our sun, the planet’s source of life, can also devastate our modern world. It’s a story of panic, societal collapse, and the final straws that shatter an already thin veneer of civility. It is a warning to us all – never underestimate the depravity of man.

What would you do when the clock strikes zero?

I’d be honored if you’d give my new post-apocalyptic fiction series a try. Here is a link:

The Blackout Series

Enjoy this video trailer produced for The Blackout Series.

Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.

Bobby Akart is a Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout
Series
, The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

For more information and social media contacts, visit FreedomPreppers.com and BobbyAkart.com

Follow Bobby Akart on Twitter: @FreedomPreppers and @BobbyAkart

Follow Bobby Akart on Facebook: FreedomPreppers and BobbyAkart

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2 Years with a WORX 14″ Electric Chain Saw

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There are times when “You get what you pay for“, doesn’t hold water.
In the case of a 14″ Electric Chainsaw by WORX, you get MORE.

Well into a 2nd. year of hard service, buying this wood cutting powerhouse was money well spent. I had my doubts on a electric chainsaw, surely it can’t hold up too long, but after several good-sized tree-falls, and yards of firewood, the saw is just as sure & efficient as the day I pulled it out of the box.
My yard is full of trees. That means I’m cutting up deadfalls, loping off branches, and harvesting firewood a lot. Over the years I’ve burned out two gas chainsaws, each time cussing them for the aggravation.  Unless I was using the gas chainsaw daily, (which I wasn’t) a year of use & storage was enough to turn a $100 investment into a crank pulling, blister-raising, pain in the butt. It got so I had to spend a whole day just getting the chainsaw running, to spend another full day using it.
When the second gas chainsaw died, I had had it. Worse, I had a big Bradford Pear split in half on me, leaving me a backyard FULL of fallen timber to cut up. I needed a chainsaw, & needed it right NOW!
That’s when I decided to take a chance on this WORX 14″ Electric Chain Saw. I figured at half the price of a gas chainsaw, even if I only got a year’s use out of it, at least I’m not out all the aggravation AND cost of a gas powered saw. Besides, with most of the work I needed to do… small branches with some thicker timber up to 20″ thick… I figured I could knock out the small stuff, and even if the saw puked on the bigger stuff, at least most of the cutting got done pretty cheap.

Surprisingly, that was TWO YEARS & more than three TREES AGO!

The WORX 14″ saw is just as powerful, just as sharp, just as instant-on reliable as it was when I brought it home. No mixing gas, no priming, no choke, no yanking on a starter rope over & over & over. Lay out an extension cord, plug in & GO.

The WORX has an easy chain adjustment too. A twist of a knob snugs up the chain to proper tension, and just a top off of chain lube is all that’s necessary for a full day of cutting.

It certainly doesn’t beat you up like a gas saw will. The motor is far quieter, the lighter weight of the saw is far less strain on your arms & back. I was totally surprised with the saw’s cutting performance.
If your needs for a chainsaw is for light to medium yard work, mostly small diameter branches with the occasional larger log, the WORX 14″ saw will do you very well, better than what you’d expect. Although tied to a electric power source via a plug in cord, you can kiss bye-bye all the starter rope pulling, spark plug fowling, gas mixture mess & smoky engine exhaust & ear ringing noise of a gas powered saw.
This has turned out to be one of my SMARTER investments.

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Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review

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It’s not often when worry is put to rest, especially when it comes from playing in water.

A prime reason I chose my home was because it had a Water Well, a key item in maintaining independence from outside resource. Without need of a municipal water supply, I can live on my property without worry of  water suddenly not being available. I only then needed to worry about it being drinkable.

Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit

That’s why I took on the task of doing a review of Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit with enthusiasm.  I knew I had good tasting well water at my taps, but all the same, I wanted to know chemically how well my well water really was. (Say that 5 times fast.) Most importantly, I wanted to put to rest worries that there could be something in it that could potentially make me sick.

If you can follow directions how to mix cake batter, you can do all of the tests without messy eggs, butter, milk & stuff. It’s simply fill a vial, dip in a test strip & compare colors from a chart. If I can do it, you can too.

The Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  is 10 tests in one.  Ten of the most common contaminants you need to be concerned about if you intend to use water to drink, cook or bathe.

Alkalinity: Water with low alkalinity can be corrosive and irritate eyes. Water with high alkalinity has a soda-like taste, dries out skin and causes scaling on fixtures and plumbing.

Hardness: The amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals. When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, or your laundry.

pH: An index of the amount of hydrogen ions (H-) in the water. When water has a pH that is too low, it can lead to corrosion and pitting of pipes in plumbing and distribution systems.

Chlorine: A highly efficient disinfectant added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing pathogens. But too much of a good thing is not necessarily good. Too much can burn & kill.

Copper: Reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. New copper pipes leech copper into water which can be harmful for babies. Older pipes not so much, because of the natural patina that develops on the metal surface.

Iron: Water high in iron may taste metallic, be discolored and appear brownish, Iron leaves red or orange rust stains in the sink, toilet, bathtub or shower.

Nitrates & Nitrites: Naturally occurring chemicals made of nitrogen and oxygen. The primary health hazard occurs when nitrate is transformed to nitrite in the digestive system. The nitrite oxidizes the iron in red blood cells to form methemoglobin, which lacks the oxygen-carrying ability of hemoglobin. Too much nitrate & nitrites in drinking water can cause serious health problems for young infants.

Lead: If you don’t already know how dangerous consuming lead is, go back to eating your paint chips. Lead poisoning is a real concern with older homes with leaded plumbing.

Pesticides: Commonly caused by ground water contamination. Just where do you think the bug spray your neighbor uses winds up?

Bacteria: The most worrisome fear,  pathogens in your water that can make you REALLY sick. This test requires 48 hours for results.

The testing was easy to do. The kit is packaged well & clear in it’s instructions. It makes me wonder if this is EXACTLY what is used by “Professional Water Testers” who charge $$$ for the convenience.

Is it worth it?

The results largely confirmed what I already knew… I have safe, clean well water.

Test results showed that my water is clear of Chlorine, Iron, Nitrates, Nitrites, Copper, Pesticides or Lead. Further, (and most importantly), my water is Bacteria Free.

The test kit did show that Alkalinity is right in the target range for drinking water at 80 to 120 ppm. (parts per million). Hardness, in the moderate to hard side, with approximately 100 to 200 ppm. And the pH right in the ideal range of 6.5 to 8, (7 being neutral).

The bottom line… A water softener could be a smart purchase, otherwise I should fill a tall glass & toast myself for having good water coming from my well.

I highly recommend getting the kit. Get several, since each kit is single use. It’s pretty smart to test your drinking water whenever large weather events occur, which can effect your regional water supply. Or if you travel, and want to be sure the water that’s available is safe.

I suppose I could get an independent lab do the same tests for comparative results. But unless folks buy a kit or two from this AMAZON LINK, I don’t see me shelling out the $$$ for that. However, just by testing regularly once a year, I can determine what may have changed. The kit makes doing that very affordable. (Way cheaper than hiring it done)

Add the Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  to your Prepper Needs List.  If you seek to know just the Lead content, Test Assured offers a separate test kit for that as well.
For more information about this product & other products by Test Assured, visit their website.

 

The post Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Alpha Bravo Creations: Tactical Hand Signals & Phonetic Alphabet Flash Cards

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I’m to review Flashcards teaching Army Hand signals & the Phonetic Alphabet?

When I received this assignment, I was skeptical. Certainly, communications modes are a specialty I’m familiar with, but I’m no Platoon Leader, and my days of playing Army Man is a bit behind me. Besides, this is a review of kids flashcards, my last dealing with was in learning math in grade school.

But I was surprised when I examined the deck of cards of the Phonetic Alphabet, I immediately got the concept & it’s potential. Then, when I tried out the deck of Army Hand signals & American Sign Language, it struck me that these flashcards are invaluable for not just kids, but for adults too.

Communication in it’s purest sense is simply transferring information from one place to another by any means necessary, either verbally, or non-verbally. So while from the standpoint of preparedness, the ability to convey information clearly & accurately is paramount, the ability to also do so silently can be vital.
So here’s where these flashcards come in handy, (pardon the pun).
Use of hand signals offers clear communication totally unspoken, as any misbehaving youngster frozen in mid-frolic by Mom & Dad pointing at them can attest. Message CLEARLY conveyed.

Each flashcard offers a term or statement with an illustration of it’s accompanying hand gesture. There’s also directions on how to do the gesture.  By learning to recognize the gestures and connect it to the word or statement, standard terms & gestures can be strung together to make whole sentences or concepts. By repetition of using these cards anyone can become proficient in using hand signals.
Like I said… very handy.
It didn’t take long at all for this old dog to learn some new tricks, not long at all.
Hand gestures are useful…(bet you thought I’d say HANDY again), if ever I’d be in a situation where I NEED to communicate without speaking a word. Serious stuff, like  HURRY! THIS WAY to the RALLY POINT.

While Alpha Bravo’s Hand Signals for Kids helps kids add realism to their playacting, what you can learn from them can be a vital aid for anyone in a disaster to emergency.

 
http://www.alphabravocreations.com/military-phonetic-alphabet-flashcards/

Next came the deck of flashcards teaching the Phonetic Alphabet.

If you’ve ever seen a Cop show on TV or a Hollywood Blockbuster War Movie, someone is always talking over a mic saying stuff like”Foxtrot Uniform Bravo Alpha Romeo“…or some sort of drivel. It’s not heatstroke that’s got the actor talking gibberish, it’s the PHONETIC ALPHABET, used to verbalize individual letters using spoken words. Tango is the letter “T”, India the letter “I”, Charlie the letter “C”, and so on.

Using phonetics is handy when noise conditions make it hard to discern single letters. Sounds like “Eee” & “Tee” &”Cee” can often be misheard in a noisy location. So by attributing a word starting with the letter, it’s easier to understand, because you’re more likely to hear parts of a word and mentally fill in the blanks.
With the Phonetic Alphabet Flashcards,  Alpha Delta Creations has presented each letter with a picture symbol depiction of the word, as well as it’s corresponding Morse Code symbol.


HUH! What? Morse Code? Hams do Morse code! Heck, even Rambo tapped out Morse code to send a message in one of his movies! Morse Code is HANDY!

While not a requirement any longer to know Morse Code, it’s still a widely popular mode of communication in Ham Radio, the dots & dashes able to be heard & deciphered, when signal conditions are so poor that vocal speech is “in the mud” & unrecognizable.

I know very well the phonetic alphabet, but I never acquired Morse Code. So now, armed with a set of flash cards depicting them, I’ll bet picking up the code could be just as easy as picking up these cards.

Dare say it… it’ll be CHILD’S PLAY.

My review started out skeptical, but I quickly came around. I seriously suggest getting your kids these flashcards & using them yourself. Who says kids get to do all the fun? In fact, make learning how to do Tactical Hand Signaling AND the Phonetic Alphabet & Morse Code a family fun project. One that may pay SERIOUS dividends later.
(I almost forgot… did anybody catch the reference of “Foxtrot, Uniform, Bravo, Alpha, Romeo”? Learn the Phonetic Alphabet & watch Saving Private Ryan till you do. )
LEARN MORE or ORDER a set of flashcards, visit Alpha Bravo Creations Website. www.alphabravocreations.com

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