So I have already expressed my love for the Germans and how much I loathe the beautiful Samba football of the Brazilians – may they crash out in the first round.
Whilst getting ready to watch the beautiful game I thought I had already covered every base and prepared for every contingency: Nice little 32″ flat screen TV check, Surround Sound Home theatre system (to drown my cheers and moans) check, remote control batteries check and finally reliable power from ZESA check ( it has been a while since I had a black out and besides these don’t happen at night) or so I thought.
Then it happened at the most inauspicious of all times, during the Germany vs Armenia friendly smack in the 65th moment of the game when the teams were 1-1.
As it turns out some thief stole some copper cables at the local transformer causing the blackout. No, said others, there was a blackout then the thieves stole the copper cables. At circa 1 am? Every house had to pay $5 “for replacement copper cables.” The replacements looked suspiciously similar to the original cables.
When power was finally restored the following evening I found out that the final score line was 6-1; 5 goals were scored in the last 25 minutes and I wasn’t there to see them. Just my luck. I however came up with a very informal fix for the problem. No way I am missing the most important moments of these games again. I have devised a dirty little trick to navigate and bridge those ZESA moments.
- 12V Car battery. A dry cell battery is preferable to the acid ones. I never really liked the practical aspects of chemistry preferring the theoretical side instead so if you have an acid battery lying around instead feel free to use it but you should know you are on your own. Don’t you dare ask me questions about them they give me the hibbie jibbies. You can of course buy one.
- Old universal laptop charger – make sure that the output matches your battery voltage. You are also free to buy a small battery charger.
- Solar inverter. Make sure that the rated wattage of the inverter exceeds the sum of your combined Hi-Fi devices’ wattage. While your big TV will allow you to enjoy more it is a disaster during blackouts. My reliable 32 inch device is rated 85 watts and the non-PVR decoder around 40 watts so I bought a 180 watts inverter for $15. Cue the smaller the inverter the longer your battery lasts also don’t buy an inverter whose rating is too high when compared to your devices that would just waste the battery.
- During the moments ZESA blesses you with power connect your laptop charger/battery charger to the battery and charge it.
- When the dark hour struck just switch to inverter power.
NB Beware the DStv boot up time. To avoid this you can connect your decoder to a UPS instead but that is a luxury I cannot afford.