The Colony

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by my_honey, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. my_honey

    my_honey Monkey++

    Has anyone seen the show "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel? I saw it for the first time last night and was so intrigued. But come on, they say it's a cross section of 10 people who would be left after a disaster but if you find 10 people is your group really going to include a Aerospace Engineer, Doctor, a marine scientist, a solar tech, & a mechanical engineer. That's not reality to me.
    Would you do the show?
    Do you find yourself putting your friends/family/etc. into categories, (fish food, short-timer, survivor)? Unfortunately most of my husbands family would be in the fish food/short timer category. I'm preparing for my family (husband & adult son) but I'm doing it alone (they would think I'm crazy but I'd rather be prepared than get caught with my thumb up my a**). So if I have to go, I'll go (with or without them).
    Here's a link for the show if you want to take a look.........

    Love this site by the way.........
  2. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    yeah, i've watched the first 3 episodes, don't know if I can stomach watching it any more though.

    I will admit, I did learn more about water filtration watching the show (first episode), how to make a "wood gassifier system" (second episode). But I have found some problems with the show as well, namely the people they put in there - only for show to try to get ratings.

    How much of a reality is it when you have a camera crew around you? When you have room you can go into and talk to the camera, etc. They also have "experts" off camera "guiding" the survivors. That alone casts doubt on how they are "surviving" on their own for 10wks.
  3. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I figured I'd wait for the reviews, then decide...
    I heard it was bad, un-realistic, and pretty much staged for effect.
    I won't be watching it.
    It reminds me of so many "famous" novels about survival, that deals with things unlikely to take place, or incorrect information being passed from person to person....
    I actually had a person read to me from JWR's "Patriots" over the phone....
    It just dosen't work for me!
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    missed last night any thing worthwhile happen ? Or is it fading into mtv reality show land???
  5. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I caught most of it last night, missed a few pieces. The show is fast moving towards MTV reality show land.

    Michael was his usual self, full of charm and grace LOL. The "survivors" flipped a car over that was in the lot to scavenge another alternator for their generator. The "needed" more power since everyone was doing a project that seemed to require the use of power tools.

    A shower was built, some left the "sanctuary" to get more water and food (they got a bunch of oranges and ONE carp from the polluted river.
    I missed what the marauders did to them, but if they left the survivors alive they were not very good marauders.

    Oh, I have a question for someone that watched last weeks episode. When they got the pressure washer motor running, found the "brand new" alternator, got some pulleys and hooked it all together. They said the alternator was not spinning fast enough and they needed a smaller pulley on the motor. Isn't that backwards?
    I know the started off with a big pull from a fan, then went to a smaller pulley, wouldn't that make the alternator run slower?
    Maybe I missed something
  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer


    I caught that too; it bothered me until I figured I musta' missed something.
    He went through a big dramatic process of cobbling an adapter for a smaller pulley. which would a' turned the alternator closer to 1:1. That's when I figured it 's all bulsheit to make "good" t.v.
    Simple mechanics for every turn of the big pulley the alternater pulley would've turned 3 or 4 revolutions.
  7. my_honey

    my_honey Monkey++

    Yeah, what's up with the "contractor" not being able to finish the shower without power tools? My dad would have a fit, having been a general contractor his whole life and at 83, he could still do it without power tools.
    I was just curious about the "gasifier" trying to understand how that powers the pressure washer............ so many things to learn..... AAGGHH
    The "bad guys" got chased out with pieces of 2x4's..... lame.....
  8. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Mother earth news had an article in the70's about a pickup with a wood gassifier in the bed,worked,.

    The same combustible gases created during burning of wood are created in the abscence of oxygen ( no burning) these combustible gases were just fed into the intake of the engine mixed in with the correct ratio of oxygen ( trial and error) and they burn in the cylinder( like gasoline/air), expanding gases drives the piston down
    and the wheels of the bus go round and round...
  9. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I did some recent research into "gassifiers" interesting and found a lot of good information!
    There are some great samples on youtube.
    I think I will be building a couple of these units myself, as I have a vast amount of wood available....and they work!
    (problem: wood chippers are required/desired to make the smaller pieces needed!)
    About generating electricity with an alternator:
    You'd need to get that puppy turning at least at 1800-2400 rpms to make it viable..
    less if you were to have an old generator from a 50's vehicle, but then, it's a dfferent scenario too. Straight dc voltage, no a/c type with the diodes.
    I was told by a man that works here from "Elliot Electric" that builds and repairs alternators, that you can remove the diode pack from a late model alternator, and get 110 ac, but that it is low current.
    I figure if you get a good sized drive wheel of about 18-24 up to 30 inches in diameter and used the current pulley on the alternator, you'd get some decent output!
    I saw a drive system using belts on a windmill, using a car alternator doing this!
    It may be a good back-up system, that is cheap and easy to do.
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer


    tuck this.gif away:
    B+: battery positive
    g : ground (battery -)
    f: field:This is from older alternators, (The windings in the shell that create the magnetic field. a mechanical voltage regulator works by opening and closing this conection many times a second.). The article below says the field connection is limited to .15 A by the resistance of the dash warning light bulb and just hooking it directly to the battery +12vdc without the regulator,will draw enough current to damage the field coils.

    I always figured "post crash" there will be plenty of car batteries,wire, bulbs and sockets around for scavenging; welcome to 12vdc world. No; car batteries don't like to be drawn flat like a deep cycle marine battery but we are not talking about bringing struggling middleclass life into the stone age, (i.e.No hair dryers)Deep cycle Marine batteries are the best choice.

    more interesting info "kludge-ing" alternator and humans:

    Alternator Antics

    Having bought our first alternator from Swayambhu Shakya, we tried to figure out how an alternator works. After a few discussions with Swayambhu and a web search, we determined that there are four connections that must be made to an alternator: 1) ground (the case), 2) positive (a post coming out of the top of the alternator), 3) the alternator's field, and 4) the alternator's regulator. <table align="left" border="0" cellspacing="0" vspace="5" width="200" hspace="5"> <tbody><tr><td colspan="2" valign="middle"> [​IMG]
    </td> </tr> <tr><td valign="middle" width="68%"> <!--===========CAPTION==========--> [FONT=Verdana,times]Alternator for a Maruti 800<!--===========/CAPTION=========--> [/FONT]
    </td> <td valign="middle" width="33%">
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> During operation, charge flows from the alternator to the battery through the positive post. The field is connected to an indicator light or resistor and then to the battery's positive terminal. This supplies the initial charge that the rotor needs to produce electricity. It should only be connected during operation (to avoid running the battery down) and, in a car, is connected through the ignition switch. Once the alternator is running and producing electricity, the current to field is internally supplied, and no current flows from the battery to the field. The regulator connection is made to the battery's positive post as well. The regulator connection does not draw current, but acts as a kind of internal voltmeter. An internal circuit attempts to keep the voltage difference between the regulator connection and ground at 14.4V, the optimal charging voltage for a 12V battery. It does this by regulating the current flowing to the internal field connection. At first we wondered why a third and separate connection to the battery's positive terminal was needed for the regulator. However, we realized that this allows voltage-drawing components (such as diodes or other devices) to be placed in series with the battery without changing the 14.4V placed across the battery terminals. The real question was whether an alternator could successfully be run outside of a car at speeds lower than the typical car idle speed. We bought a new alternator from a Maruti Suzuki 800 (the ubiquitous Kathmandu taxi) for about 2500 Rs. It is run off the car engine with a gear ratio of about 3:1. The taxis apparently idle at a speed of 700 rpm, which means we needed 2100 rpm at the alternator to replicate slowest conditions. The alternator pulley has about a 2" diameter, giving us a 13:1 ratio between the bike wheel and pulley. With estimated ghatta speeds at 60-90 rpm, we would get about 1000 rpm at the alternator - well below its typical idle speed. We used the stationary bike in our "lab" to conduct tests on the alternator. Results were very much mixed, as there were a wide variety of variables we had to contend with in testing alternator performance. For one, we began by using the low quality wire that is readily available in Kathmandu to connect the battery to the alternator. Eventually we determined that the wire was interfering with current flow and our tests. We replaced it with cable from "Prakash Cable", which is used to electrically wire houses. <table align="right" border="0" cellspacing="0" vspace="5" width="200" hspace="5"> <tbody><tr><td colspan="2" valign="middle"> [​IMG]
    </td> </tr> <tr><td valign="middle" width="68%"> <!--===========CAPTION==========--> [FONT=Verdana,times]Testing in the Lab<!--===========/CAPTION=========--> [/FONT]
    </td> <td valign="middle" width="33%">
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> Secondly, the alternator regulates voltage only, not current. At a set voltage, the current is determined by the state of charge of the battery. We were using a very old, barely functional (only 300 Rs) used car battery. At a steady voltage, the current would vary by well over an amp, and it was difficult to determine how much power we could expect from the alternator at ghatta speeds. It took us a while, but eventually we convinced ourselves that the current variation was a product of the battery, and not the alternator being run at low speeds. If the alternator is generating 14.4V, increasing the rpm does not affect the output power. The real problem we encountered with running an alternator at low speeds was with the current flowing from the battery to the field connection.

    In a car, the field connection is wired from the positive terminal of the battery, then to the ignition switch, then to a small incandescent warning light, and then finally to the alternator. The ignition switch is easy to duplicate with a small mechanical switch. The incandescent warning light, however, is a bit more complicated. In addition to serving as a warning to the driver (current flowing to the field from the battery signifies that the alternator is not charging), this light also limits the amount of current that can flow to the field connection. In an alternator, electricity is produced by a combination of current flowing through the field and the rotation of the rotor's coil. Initially, more current or more rpms means more electricity. Initially, this electricity is entirely unregulated. The incandescent light fixes the current at 0.15A through the field. With this amount of current, a fairly high rpm is needed before enough electricity is generated to turn the alternator "on." It will not function in any way before a threshold speed. This threshold speed will be lowered if more current initially flows through the field. In this case, a lower rpm will produce the same amount of electricity and turn the alternator "on" at a lower speed. At first, we just shorted the field connection directly to the battery's positive terminal. There are two reasons this should not, in practice, be done. The first is that this results in a very large current flow. We measured 3A flowing through the field connection with the car battery connected. Although the current flows only for a brief period of time, it can be too great for a lesser quality alternator to handle, and can blow the field coil apart. Over the course of our experiments, we purchased 3 alternators: 2 good quality and one of poor quality. The lesser quality alternator was damaged beyond our ability to repair it after shorting the field coil to the car battery. The second problem with connecting the field directly to the battery is that it produces a very large electromotive force (emf), which acts counter to the motion of the rotor. It is very difficult to initially turn the alternator with such a large current flowing through the field. In the lab, this meant that we had to pedal the stationary bike very hard initially to overcome the emf. This was further complicated by having to increase the belt tension to prevent slippage. Once the alternator started, however, we were able to resume normal pedaling with normal belt tension. At the ghatta, this was even more problematic. While we could put charge into a very dead motorcycle battery (which could not source much current at all), we could not charge a car battery. There was not enough force to get over the initial "induction hump," as we called it, and the stone ground to a halt against the load of the alternator. (During this test, we again learned the importance of welding the bike rim directly to the piece connecting it to the shaft. We had drilled and threaded a hole into the metal. This was fine for a while, but eventually the strain was too much, and the threads failed.) The trick to charging a full car battery was to find the right combination of resistors to replace the light. Too low a resistance, and the ghatta would never be able to get over the induction hump of the electromotive force. Too high a resistance, and the alternator would never turn itself on at ghatta operation speeds. The resistors also had to be rated for the amount of current flowing through them, which - in reality - meant using several resistors in parallel to share the current flow. Key Lessons Learned from this Test:

    • Never use substandard wires when trying to do electrical work

    • The amount of power a battery draws during recharging is determined not only by the voltage placed across its terminals, but also the "state of charge" of the battery

    • Alternators can be operated at speeds lower than a car's idle speed (although efficiency probably decreases)

    • The amount of current flowing to the alternator's field coil determines when the alternator will turn itself "on" and begin producing current

    • The amount of current flowing to the alternator's field coil will equally determine how difficult it is to overcome the coil's electromotive force and begin turning the rotor

    <table border="0" cellspacing="0" width="350"><tbody><tr><td valign="middle" width="23%"> [​IMG]

    </td> <td valign="middle" width="23%">
    </td> <td valign="middle" width="23%">
    </td> </tr> <tr><td valign="middle" width="23%"> </td> <td valign="middle" width="23%"> </td> <td valign="middle" width="23%"> </td></tr></tbody></table>
  11. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    well i saw it for the first time last night, was intrested and looked it up online and caught myself up... IMHO it's to fake, plus where are the moody teenagers, really young(7yr.s and younger), the home maker soccer mom, McD's burger flipper, the 40 something cubicle bound person, or the couch potato? in one of the episodes they built a shower before securing there commpound. huh? then the night they finish there wonder-shower there compound gets broken into by MZB's and only 2 days of food were taken. they were lucky they just weren't just killed (or worse) how ever fake i have noticed it has gotten at least a handfull of people in my div. talking about survival and what if...
  12. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I have watched every episode so far. I wasn't too impressed at first. I thought it was going to be a "survivor" who's making out with who, who's backstabbing who type of crap.
    But the 2nd episode where they built the gassifier was interesting.
    I see a lot of mistakes and a lot of amping up the drama for the cameras.
    I have been thinking today on last nights show. I think that an after action review here might be enlightening and helpful for stirring conversation.

    For example, in the first episode other survivors show up and one of the originals starts telling them all of the things that they have. Very poor security. Rules should have been instituted for any future encounters.

    So for last nights show this is what I have been thinking about.

    They have some armed "traders" show up to barter. They are clearly armed but they invite them inside their compound. Then later they have several of the ( lets call them tribe) tribe come out to inspect the merchandise. They come out "armed" with their clubs.

    So here's my take on it. If the traders had of wanted to they could have just taken everything the tribe had. Letting armed men inside your compound was foolish. Letting them know you have no guns was stupid and could have been fatal.

    So what should have been done?

    My motto has always been "Power percieved, is power achieved."

    I would have had, after the first contact with outsiders, more lethal weapons constructed. Even homemade firearms if possible. But at the least I would never have let the traders know that we were armed with only clubs.
    Two or three broom handles or carved 2x4's could be painted black to resemble, from a distance, a gun barrel. I would have had some of the tribe "point" them out of the windows at the traders. Letting them know that they were "covered". Then I would have begun the bartering.
    They would have believed that the tribe had firearms also and they would not be tempted to use force to take what they wanted.

    The other fault I saw was they rushed to let the traders in.

    I would say that first they should have had a set protocol governing contact, with specific rules of engagement. Chain of command, etc. And secondly they should, if they have time which they did here, they should have the traders wait while they have a short pow wow about how to proceed. Ie; " 3 of you go upstairs and cover them with your painted broomsticks" etc.

    Any others watch it and have suggestions? Pretend that our "tribe" is there. How should we handle that situation. What protocols and rules of engagements should we implement?
  13. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Saw it
    they are dealing with pacifist in their group, ( Bread not bombs!)the "professor ( electrical engineer) builds his flame thrower to wave around over the heads of people , hopefully not use it on them. the guy with the .30 on the truck was #1 in my crosshairs, but they did get useful stuff, I would not let them inside either
    I would send one or two guys out to the truck. they have compressed air and propane they are not too far from building functional "bolt" shooting weapons (picture a potato canon with a piece of sharpened re-bar loaded in a small barrel.

    They traded for a 10kw generator they are really pining for electricity,I think thats a waste of effort.TSHTF get used to it. Personal issues got out of hand the security guy's yelling at everybody to hurry up during the trading was pointless(staged for t.v. drama?).

    Mike clearly has no use for the females( and vice versa), and the yoga room improvements would probably tick me off too...though everybody counts in such a small group.
    So whos coming and going into the elevated room?

    I want our rifle"men" on the roof tops on both sides of the street(if possible) with an agreed upon "trouble" signal(i.e. removing your cover) from the negotiator in case he sees something dangerous from his vantage. They couldn't even attempt anything.the guy on the heavy machine gun is #1, other magazine fed weapons next; Seacowboys gets to honcho the azz kickin ground level assault/rescue team if needed (unlikely)

    Though I don't have the natural inclination to just kill them coming down the street and just take their stuff. The traveling Barterman could concievebly pass on news from compound to compound, carry messages, or have made useful contacts you would lose access to by just taking their stuff.

    "our group here is "weapon heavy"(oriented) which is quite a bit of an advantage over sticks and knives.

    In their shoes (which I'm not; that's why I am armed) still send OUT one or two folks. The fake gun barrels might work at a distance.You could fake a mounted .30 with a 4x4 and some pipe.
  14. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    I catch myself yelling at the screen when they do the normal stupid stunts. It is frustrating, and these idiot/actors would not have lasted nearly this long in a real senario.

    If stuck with them, I'd make a pact with the handy man and the younger more aggressive guy and take over the group. No way would I tolerate Ms aerospace engineer and the other hippies putting in their .02 every time they felt like it. Sheep must be lead. Thank God I'm not stuck with morons like this.

    ditch witch likes this.
  15. Galactus

    Galactus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    It is strange how closely related the following spellings are: COLON, colony

  16. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Go you one better: COLONEL?
    jim2 likes this.
  17. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    More colony tonight missed most ... saw the ending where interloper woman asks to take a shower and uses ALL the water in the roof top "cistern"( how hard would it beto turn the water off after 10 minutes(i.e.10x the allotted)..and what's this "we have a righto all this stuff, its as much ours as yours B.S.???These pacifists are entirely too open to this kinda crap...The big interloper guy was lucky he didn't catcha full blooded swing and one of the blades from mikes' a 3bladed medievil weaponto the base of the skull. ( say "goodnight, nurse"..)
  18. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Agreed, and the guy that was "in charge of security" just taking them on the grand tour.
    "Here's where the food is, here's our water, here's our defense system...." Geesh how stupid.

    Oh, and I just loved the "if I only had some solar panels" "oh, funny you mention that cause I saw some like 2 weeks ago, but didn't say a word about them."

    I think the only thing "The Colony" is good for now is knowing what NOT to do.
  19. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    So how long will it take them to consolidate their food into a smaller easily secured locked pantry somewhere??( wouldn'tmakefor any more dramatic t.v, moments.)

    Notice the subtle one world gov environmental programming?" we have to be concerned about using our community resources ,water food, power...We have a (written) community code of conduct all must live by"(I.E.TREATY, sign here )(if you want to live in our society)
  20. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I only caught the last half of it. I agree it is a lesson in what not to do.
    We discussed this in depth on here in other threads. What do you do when strangers show up?
    My thoughts are that you should plan on that very possible scenario and decide on a set procedure in advance. Just like the traders last week. When people show up they just go into a frenzy and everyone is yelling and going this way and that. These people wouldn't last long in a real world survival situation.
    They have a disignated "head of security" but everyone questions and challenges his authority. And he was being way to open with the newcomers.
    I believe that a "tribe" cannot survive as a democracy. Many aspects of their life can be voted on and debated to a conclusion but when it comes to contact, security, battles etc. there has to be a recognised leader. One whose commands are obeyed and carried out without argument or dissention. If after the event he is judged to have been incompetent then remove him from that position. And there would be different people who would be in command in different situations. I think a funtioning group would have several "officers". One whose authority was the rationing of food and supplies. One who was in charge of security. One who was in charge of medical issues, etc.

    And a set of standard protocols would have to be adopted. Procedures for as many contingencies as can be anticipated. If contact is made with outsiders this happens,you go out to meet them, you go here and do this, you go to the pantry and defend it, you two stay out of sight and be ready to come to the aid of anyone attacked.
    Everyone should have a position and know where and what they are supposed to do in that situation. These morons are all just gathered together and milling around without a clue.
    They wouldn't last a week.
    jim2 likes this.
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