We’re Back From the One-Click Disaster.

      7 Comments on We’re Back From the One-Click Disaster.

What was supposed to be a minor one-click update late in the evening on February 15 ended up completely crashing Off Grid Ham. Not only was the entire website offline, I could not even log into the admin page to un-do the upgrade or figure out what happened. Everything was dark. Everything.

After three days of frantic phone calls & emails to my web hosting company, Go Daddy, Off Grid Ham came back on line early in the morning on February 19 and I again had full access to the administrative functions. It was a nerve-wracking experience but I did learn some valuable lessons.

Off Grid Ham is no longer an obscure low-traffic blog where I don’t have to be very concerned about website management & security. Although OGH was not hacked (this time), security vulnerabilities that I had known about but didn’t take seriously had to be addressed before Go Daddy could restore the website to a working state. That made the recovery process take longer.

I was also too casual about site backups. I was in the habit of backing up OGH to my laptop every few months. It turns out this is not adequate and probably would not have saved me in the event of a total loss of data.

It did not come cheap or easy, but both of these issues have been properly fixed. As an added bonus, pages should now load faster for readers outside the United States.

All of this is a testament to the success of Off Grid Ham. The bigger it gets, the more cognizant I need to be about website integrity.

The article I intended to post last weekend will be bumped out to this weekend February 23. I’m also thinking about expanding into social media as a secondary way to connect with readers. I don’t want to say too much about that right now because I haven’t made any final decisions yet.

A special thanks to the folks at Go Daddy. They are not the cheapest, but their responsiveness and commitment are the difference between them and the $1.99/month webhost places. You really do get what you pay for!

Most Off Grid Ham readers do not visit this site every day, so it’s likely very few of you noticed. For those who did, thanks for missing me! I hope the upgrades and enhanced security will keep us chugging along trouble free for a long time.

We’ll see you off the grid!

7 thoughts on “We’re Back From the One-Click Disaster.

  1. Michael Offutt

    Hi Chris, (Hopefully I have gotten your name right!)

    My name is Mike Offutt (AB6EW), i’m from Yuba City, Northern California Born Native almost 2 hours out from Paradise #Camp Fire #Butte Strong.

    QRP Battery

    I have been doing a lot of Research on the LifePo4 and have some questions, don’t know that you can be of some help, so here go nothing.

    Yaesu FT-818ND

    I have eyeing on this relatively new rig for quite some time now, but the challenge is this, what type of LifePo4 battery that is out there you might just recommend to use that will support connect the Voice (SSB), including data (Digital Modes) along with a Tablet or Laptop that easily fits into a backpack (medium or large backpack – don’t know about a small backpack one yet?) but this battery will allow you to remain INDEFINITELY & Totally Off the Electric Grid permanently?

    Yaesu FT-891 QRO Rig

    I have also carefully weighing in on this option due to the Solar Sunspot Cycle to which has and still horrifically bad and still not the best as of yet.

    Which one would you choose, in spite of the Solar Sunspot Cycle, the QRO or QRP Rig?

    Money Tight

    If you had to choose between the Yaesu FT-818ND QRP or the FT-891 QRO Rig and can only choose One, which one would you go for ?

    I’m trying not to carry to two separate go kits, which is my goal.

    Pilot G2

    I have been also leaning towards the https://www.portableuniversalpower.com/pilot-g2/ as my final backup.

    But again the goal is lightweight, completely off the grid.

    Pilot G2 weighs in about 13 pounds, but looks very promising, again on fallback onto Plan B.

    What is your opinion on the Pilot G2?

    Physical Disability

    I also have a Physical Disability due to caused by a accident several years ago.

    I have to walk around with a Cane, and a Specially Modified Right Shoe.

    This is why I am trying to make the Right and Best Decision for Disaster Preparedness / Survival Communications!


    My wife and I have been through and experienced Numerous Disasters, from a Severe Ice Storm out in Tennessee back in 2015, Blizzards in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Fires up here in Northern California.

    Your Articles

    I have been reading through a lot your articles, and do find them very informative.


    I was a former Civilian U.S. Coast Guard – Operations Duty Officer, had a team of 12 that I managed and supervised, while I was Activated for the 9-1-1 Incident.

    New Mexico Department of Transportation

    I am also a former Dispatcher based out of Santa Fe, NM had up to 6 different counties that included the 4 corners states – near Chama too, this involved dispatching up to 21 different maintenance patrol yards.

    So you can where I am going with this, I am in the planning phase, and hopefully will make this fully operational soon!

    Again keep up the good work with your Blogs, really do enjoy reading and analyzing my options!

    Best Regards & 73’s,

    Mike Offutt, AB6EW
    E-Mail: ab6ew@hotmail.com

    1. Chris Warren Post author

      Hi Michael, wow, you cover a lot of ground here. Let me give this a shot.

      The battery: It’s all about how much power you want to carry around. A larger battery gives you more options but you also must have a way to charge it in a reasonable amount if time. For QRP, a battery in the 6-10 amp-hour range is a good mix of size and power capacity.

      The FT-818: The FT-818 is not really a “new radio;” it’s an upgraded version of an old radio. I have an 817 and I love it. If money is an issue then look for a clean, used 817. There is not a lot of difference between it and the 818.

      The FT-891: Another great radio. If you are running portable QRO, then you’ll also need to lug along a way to power it. You can turn the transmit down and run QRP, but then you’re lugging along a radio that’s a lot bigger than it needs to be.

      As for which one I’d want…I place a premium on portability and low power consumption, so I go for the 818. If you will be operating primarily from a fixed location, then get the 891 for versatility. Weight/space are not a big consideration.

      The Pilot G2: I’m not personally familiar with this product so I can’t tell you if it’s any good. I will observe that it weighs 13 pounds. It has a 35 amp-hour battery, which is waaaayyy bigger than you need for QRP and just barely enough for QRO. You’d also need a 35-50 watt solar panel to charge it. Are you sure you want to lug all that stuff around?

      I don’t mean to give wishy-washy answers, but these are personal decisions that no one can make for you. If your goal is “lightweight, completely off grid” then you almost have to go with the 818 and QRP.

      There are previous Off Grid Ham articles that address all of your concerns. I suggest that you read through them before making your move and contact me if there are any further questions.

      Thanks for your comments, your public service, and for being an Off Grid Ham reader. I’m glad to hear that I’ve been helpful.

  2. randall krippner

    Very glad you’re back up and running! Had me worried there when the website disappeared for a few days.

    Just to pass something along to people with standby generators — 10W-30 oil can freeze, did you know that? When we had a power outage during the “polar vortex” when temps were down around -37 and our wind chill was around -50, we couldn’t even turn over the 8KW Generac generator. The electric starter wouldn’t turn it over at all, and we could just barely turn the engine over with the pull starter. The oil had basically turned into a kind of thick sludge. It’s probably a good thing it didn’t start because the engine probably would have been ruined before the oil warmed up enough to actually flow.

    And my little Yamaha 2KW inverter wouldn’t start either, although it did turn over easily. That turned out to be a problem with the rocker switch and we eventually got that started. That little Yamaha is a great little unit. Has enough power to run the furnace and sump pumps which is all we really need in the short term to keep the house from freezing and the basement from flooding.

    As soon as the weather improves enough that I can work outside I’m switching the Generac over to synthetic and hopefully that will make it easier to start in really cold weather.

    1. Chris Warren Post author

      Thanks for missing me!

      You are right. When the temp gets below zero any engine is going to have a hard time starting. The only remedy is a float charger on the battery (which you should have anyway) and an engine block heater.

  3. Mike

    Yes, Chris, I missed you too! Was hoping you’d return… welcome back! You’ve been a tremendous resource to me the past couple of years. Think warmer weather!

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