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Voice of Reason
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an interesting item for people who are off-grid, yet have a phone line, or for people who just want to save power. It's an 8 LED reading desk lamp powered by a phone line. They are priced at $5.69 with free shipping. I ordered two.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320314493144

They're coming from Hong Kong, so they will take 2-3 weeks to arrive in America, but at that price it's worth the wait.
 

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To each their own but my conscience wouldn't allow me to use one nor one of the phone line battery chargers I've read about. Seems to me a theft of something we're not paying for, i.e. electricity which are used to power the lines whereas we're paying for phone service. Sorry to disagree with you on this but I do.
 

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Voice of Reason
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To each their own but my conscience wouldn't allow me to use one nor one of the phone line battery chargers I've read about. Seems to me a theft of something we're not paying for, i.e. electricity which are used to power the lines whereas we're paying for phone service. Sorry to disagree with you on this but I do.
:stars:

These things only draw a few milliamps. We're only talking about maybe a nickel's worth of power a month -- if that. My phone bill (phone + DSL) is about $60/month. The phone company is doing fine.

Good grief, do you feel guilty using a telephone with a lighted dial?

By the way, if the phone line storage battery charger you mentioned is the one on Mike Sandman's web site, it's a spoof. I know Mike. I used to buy his phone line cleaning gear when I ran my own ISP. I can tell you for sure that the entire page is a spoof. There is no way that a phone line supplies enough amperage to charge a storage battery. You'll find the car battery charger about 1/3rd of the way down the page.

http://www.sandman.com/telco.html

Here's an interesting little clip that discusses the basic technology of tapping into phone line power.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/14/tap-into-the-phone-companys-current-if-you-dare/

A word of caution though, you don't want to run any more than one or two LED lamps off your phone line. If you draw to much power it may throw a fault warning in the central office. They maintain what's called a "high & wet" list (high resistance and wet terminals), indicating trouble in your vicinity, so when they get time they'll probably come looking to fix the problem. You may get a knock on your door by a phone installer some day, signalling a good time to put your appliances in a drawer.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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lol, i know where windy is coming from. i remember reading discussions of charging batteries using the telephone line current. i think i would have moral issues doing that. i'm not sure how i feel about the lighting. i guess it depends on how the phone company feels about it.

i also remember discussions about capturing stray energy from overhead powerlines and how that is supposed to be illegal. now that i wouldn't have issues with and i think it is wrong that it is illegal.
 

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there was a time that a person could only buy a phone from ma bell, that changed. there was a time that if you had more than one phone you paid extra, that changed.

i am not in the market for one of those lights, but i assume that i am paying for that service into my home and have a right to use that service as i please. of course that is within the rules of not destroying or tampering with the service as provided.

even my internet service, once on a wireless router, provides internet access to several computers. some use it for phone service.

i guess i am not understanding the point.
 

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Voice of Reason
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just called a friend who works in the telecommunications industry about this. He says that phone line voltage is normally 48 volts, but it bursts to perhaps twice that during ringing. The available amperage is normally about 70 milliamps (mA) but you don't want to exceed 30 mA (0.03 amps) to avoid tripping a trouble alarm inthe central office. Therefore, you can't expect much over 1 watt of usable power from a phone line.

48 volts * 0.03 amps = 1.44 watts

Since there are 720 hours in a 30-day month, you couldn't draw more than about 1 KWH/month, even if you were drawing the full amount available 24/7.

1.44 watts * 720 hours/month = 1037 watt-hours/month = 1.037 KWH/month

So, if you have the lamps on for 6 hours every day, and the lamps are drawing the full 30 milliamps available, you'll draw about 0.25 KWH each month. At 12 cents per KWH, that's only 3 cents per month worth of power. They spend 15 times that much on postage to send you your bill each month.

By the way, my phone guy friend said he was ordering a few of the telco-powered LED lamps for himself. LOL
 

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I ordered 3. Our electricity goes out and stays off for hours sometimes, but the phone usually still works. I can't read by the lamps we have, so I'm hoping I'll be able to read with one of these.
 

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Five Oaks Ranch-in SW AR
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Thanks for the link, I just ordered 2 of them myself. As for getting something I am not paying for, all I have to do is look at all the extra charges on my phone bill to put those thoughts to rest.

anette
 

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Voice of Reason
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, my telco powered lamps arrived from Hong Kong. The lamps work as promised. Just plug it into the phone line and press the on/off switch, and there's light. I would hardly call it a reading light, but the 8 LEDs seem to be burning at full power.
 

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Five Oaks Ranch-in SW AR
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Got mine also. Smaller than I had expected, but work just as promised.
 

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Pretty cool.. I've got two of those lamps that take 3 AAs. I just checked and there is a slot where a phone cord could be plugged in but no female connector is there.
I may have to buy a couple of these for Christmas gifts for family. [Ok so I'm cheap]
 

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Dallas
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I just called a friend who works in the telecommunications industry about this. He says that phone line voltage is normally 48 volts, but it bursts to perhaps twice that during ringing. The available amperage is normally about 70 milliamps (mA) but you don't want to exceed 30 mA (0.03 amps) to avoid tripping a trouble alarm inthe central office. Therefore, you can't expect much over 1 watt of usable power from a phone line.

48 volts * 0.03 amps = 1.44 watts

Since there are 720 hours in a 30-day month, you couldn't draw more than about 1 KWH/month, even if you were drawing the full amount available 24/7.

1.44 watts * 720 hours/month = 1037 watt-hours/month = 1.037 KWH/month

So, if you have the lamps on for 6 hours every day, and the lamps are drawing the full 30 milliamps available, you'll draw about 0.25 KWH each month. At 12 cents per KWH, that's only 3 cents per month worth of power. They spend 15 times that much on postage to send you your bill each month.
So, that $5.69 you paid for the device that uses 3 cents worth of electricity a month will pay for itself in only 190 months or not quite 16 years -- great use of your money --- not!
Buy yourself a reading light and stop being silly :banana02:
 

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well since your after power why not just grab whats in the air .
run a single copper wire like an antenna about 20ft off the ground for say 1000 ft and it will power you light quite well .
run such a wire under a powerline and it will give you a nasty shock
 
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well since your after power why not just grab whats in the air .
run a single copper wire like an antenna about 20ft off the ground for say 1000 ft and it will power you light quite well .
run such a wire under a powerline and it will give you a nasty shock
So, how much does 1000 ft of copper wire + 150 or so 20' poles cost? :p
 

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So, how much does 1000 ft of copper wire + 150 or so 20' poles cost? :p
well shoot I thought you were a homesteader :D
you get the wire off the back of an old TV picture tube ya scrounge at the dump
and for the poles ya grow 30ft bamboo .
since we dont grow coconuts this far north I suppose instead of the professors coconut batteries you could make some gourd batteries with a couple pennies ,aluminum foil and salt water .

darn being a smart ellic just gave me an idea for making my millions
I'll make a micro water turbine that fits between the tank and toilet that will charge a capacitor and light either a red (if the seats up ) or green (if the seats down ) LED to shine into the toilet bowl. and market it as a safety feature to prevent those late night screams caused when the guy leave the seat up .
 

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I'll make a micro water turbine that fits between the tank and toilet that will charge a capacitor and light either a red (if the seats up ) or green (if the seats down ) LED to shine into the toilet bowl. and market it as a safety feature to prevent those late night screams caused when the guy leave the seat up .
How about a piezoelectric shocking device combined with the flushing lever that only shocks IF the lid and seat are left up while flushing.
 

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How about a piezoelectric shocking device combined with the flushing lever that only shocks IF the lid and seat are left up while flushing.
wouldnt work in this house the females have been trained to leave the seat up other wise the dog slobbers all over it :D
If they didnt flush the dog will whine at them until they do
 

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Guess if it were me I'd train the dog to use a water bowl and leave the toilet alone. Never mind, if it were me the dog would be outside.
 
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