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Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

DonExodus
August 04, 2014 10:47PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 301

Sorry, would have replied earlier but power has been off and on the past two days, despite it being perfectly sunny.

Oh, there's my answer.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

FL Barrier Islander
August 05, 2014 06:01AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 501

I'm a part time islander. Average stay 2 - 2.5 months in the late spring and then same in the fall. I work corporate job remotely. VI Broadband. Non-stop conference calls. I use VoIP with a headset. AT&T Cell phone. AT&T air card for internet connectivity backup. UPS system in case of power outage for small electronics including the VIBB modem and my laptop. My work location is East Coast and that's the time zone I work by - even when the VI is on Amer Std time. It's what my colleagues and customers expect/assume - the goal is to change my own habits.....not make my colleagues/customers change theirs. Have a generator though (knock the wood) not used it.

I am on Water Island.
I am not on island during high activity storm season (August / September).
I rarely, if ever, experience AT&T wireless service disruptions.
I have a good quality wireless and wired headset coupled with VoIP and rarely, if ever, has anyone on "the other end" experienced poor voice quality coming from me.
I respect that my employer has provided this "benefit" / flexibilty therefore I tend to overcompensate - start early, sometimes work late.
I have business clothes and ensure that I am prepared to travel for business meetings at any time.
I always compare airline prices to/from my normal work location to the destination versus to/from my part time work location and the destination - - - to reassure my boss that the company isn't paying more for business travel because of my choice work location.
If USVI to be permanent work location, your employer might need to do some paperwork. (Salaries/taxes/etc. are generally based on geographic region and the employee work location affects this.)

Good luck in your adventure. I wish you success!

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Alana33
August 05, 2014 08:21AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

WAPA generators do not need bad weather to go offline.This recent outage was not weather related.

2 (?) years ago, a car ran into a electrical pole on STT and took out total power to STJ & STT for 2 days. NO rotating power, just complete outages/darkness for both islands and Water Island as well. They have had other types of accidents at the plant itself as well that forces them to shut down for repairs.Sometimes, it takes longer than others.

If you plan on renting,be aware that not everywhere gets BBVI service so best to check prior to signing a lease. Also BBVI has to drill a hole thru an exterior wall to install wiring for service and not all landlords are willing to allow that, so again best to check prior to renting.Not all properties have generators, either.

After rotating power for 2 days and 6 outages during that period (not always as scheduled), it seems things are back to normal with WAPA. For now anyway!
[stthomassource.com]

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

OldTart
August 05, 2014 09:19AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Just for the record, my internet service and telephone through Innovative also stayed on throughout the outages. Without a generator, my back-up battery only allowed them to continue functioning for half an hour or so on that but they weren't affected by the outages. I have a simple back-up plug-in phone (no features requiring direct power) I can switch to for continued telephone service.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Alana33
August 05, 2014 10:27AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Spoke too soon about power being restored/things back to normal.
Outage 7 in 2 days now in progress.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

OldTart
August 05, 2014 11:07AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

And it lasted all of half an hour.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Alana33
August 05, 2014 11:09AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

For a change. Problem is that one never knows how long they will last.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

OldTart
August 05, 2014 11:25AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
Alana33
For a change. Problem is that one never knows how long they will last.

Since there were no outages last night it seems pretty clear that at least the one generator which was being fixed is now back on line. There was a 2 hour scheduled outage today for "our" feeders from 10-12 and the part for the other generator was supposed to reach late last night or early this morning so progress is being made. Until both generators are fully operational one should expect some glitches as tests are run.

I took the opportunity to clean a ceiling fan's blades and of course neglected to turn off the power while doing it (anticipating a longer outage) but fortunately got the job done five minutes before the current returned ...

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

fdr
August 05, 2014 12:28PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,170

Quote
STXBob

I think 99% up-time is more accurate for USVI, but the 1% down-time does make it feel like it's worse sometimes.

When I say 90% reliable at best, I am also taking speed into account. There are lots of times when I have access but not anywhere near the speed it should be for the provider I am using at the time.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Scubadoo
August 05, 2014 11:54PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Love my generator here in NC too. But all I have to do is plug in the natural gas hose for relatively cheap power and let it run until the power is back on. What do folks do with smaller generators on the island? Keep lots of gasoline stored for when needed, or run to the gas station and hope their power is on, or siphon it out of the car tank, or run off a mid sized propane tank? Diesel will run longer than petro but will still need to be stored and topped up. Wondering what works best for a small condo (with large gallery) with no on-site genny.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Alana33
August 06, 2014 12:20AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

I have a 55 gallon drum and several smaller 5 and 2.5 gallon containers for lugging extra fuel if needed. Everything is stored in generator building along with spares, filters, oil, etc. There is a fuel pump that runs thru fuel filter from hose which siphons the diesel from storage drum to refill gen tank.

The generator is a large diesel w/auto transfer switch and runs everything for main house and rental apt. on the property. I try to keep the tank topped off but can get diesel delivered to house if need be tho pricer for home delivery. Thinking I may just get additional 55 gal drum but it's been very good on fuel usage so really have only completely refilled twice in 11 yrs.

Diesel is costlier than gas here. Think $4.89 a gallon/diesel thereabouts. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower but not by much. Haven't refilled this yr, but thinking about it.

Some condos won't allow personal generators due to noise so need to check their associaton rules.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

East Ender
August 06, 2014 04:47PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 4,909

Quote
Scubadoo
Wondering what works best for a small condo (with large gallery) with no on-site genny.

Convincing the board of directors to install one? ;-)

As Alana said, look at the association rules and regs...

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Scubadoo
August 07, 2014 12:13AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Checking with the board on installing one is certainly on the table.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Alana33
August 07, 2014 09:41AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Many condo association do not even allow BBQ's on their units outdoor spaces so a loud, noisy generator in such close proximity to so many others might take some convincing!
Good Luck with that!

Some complexes have generators but for running the septic systems, security gates. etc. not necessarily for providing power to individual units.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Jim Dandy
August 07, 2014 06:12PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 1,057

If you have the money look at buying a generator set up to run on NG, propane or gasoline. Gasoline is dangerous to store in large quantities and you need to add stabilizers to fuel you are going to store over thirty days. Also if you run on gasoline you need to scrupulously maintain the generator to prevent the fuel from fouling your carburetor.

Run your generator using propane for shorter outages and during a major outages you can continue to use propane if you can get it or switch to gasoline. Some gas stations have standby generators so even during the ten day outage after Omar it wasn't a problem getting gasoline for a generator.

You can buy very nice tri fuel Inverter type generators made by Yamaha for around $3K. Cheap generators from many sources with cheap gasoline engines from China have an expected life of 500 hours run time. Do the math and you will see that is only 21 days of round the clock use. If you generator craps out during a major outage you probably aren't going to be able to replace it at any price so you need a good piece of equipment.

Both Yamaha and Honda make fully enclosed generators which are significantly quieter than open frame generators. The noise level for generators is quoted in Dbs which are measured on a logarithmic scale so the difference between 58 Db and 68 Db is significant. If you what to see what it is like to live with the noise of a generator park your lawnmower close to your house running at full throttle. Let it run all day and you will appreciate the value of a quieter generator.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

OldTart
August 07, 2014 06:16PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
Jim Dandy
Both Yamaha and Honda make fully enclosed generators which are significantly quieter than open frame generators.

They've changed drastically over the years. After both Hugo and Marilyn the hills were alive 24/7 with the incessant droning and echoing of generators but the newer ones are quiet as can be and barely make a whisper.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable
avatar

DenverSteve
August 07, 2014 07:08PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 15

Wow, thanks everyone for the posts, I have been off a few days, moving to Washington State from Denver so planning a visit maybe in January and go from there but it's great to have all this current info and not stuff from years ago to go by, things usually get better and you can't rely on how the service was in 2005.
Steve

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Scubadoo
August 07, 2014 08:05PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Yeah, I know all about the multi-fuel generators. After a hurricane and a few ice storms in NC i replaced my 5KW with a 15KW portable gas genny. I converted it myself to run on NG (hence the big flexible commercial gas appliance line which plugs into the gas quick connect on the side of the house) line which was the original intent so I can run NG or gasoline. It's only ever run for a few minutes on gasoline but it able if needed. Did not want an automatic standby genny at the time.

Good to know that folks do the same on STX with propane. I suppose with a smaller genny like 5KW a smaller propane tank (20G 100G?) will go for a while. Now need to see what those condo rules are or see about one for the building.

Re: Power & Internet, how reliable

Ericw
August 09, 2014 09:11PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 277

This week BBVI and AT&T have been horrible on STJ. I'm talking 0.25 MB download speeds. So bad I was looking at hughsnet as a backup system just now. If I did that my monthly internet bill for both services would be $200+ a month :-/

I wonder if Bertha blew the tin foil off the pole.

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