Testing an old CD player, affordable backup power for your home with Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Inverter Generator (Week 35, 2020)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 35, 2020

Q. I have a Sony CDP-302 CD player that has been unused for 25 years. It is not hooked up to anything so I do not know if it works. Is it worth having it looked at to see if it can be sold, or do you think it is too old?


A. Just put a CD in it and press play. The display will tell you if it is working or not. The CDP-302 is a good vintage player worth $150 to $200 if you can find a buyer for it.

Affordable emergency power for your home: As of late I have received many questions about battery-powered phone charging products, due to the storm-related power outages that occurred in different parts of the country. This is a good time to remind everyone that a generator system that can power a good part of your home may be less expensive than you might expect.

Years ago a huge winter storm left me without power for three days, and I will never forget shivering through that miserable, cold and dark weekend. Afterwards I pondered installing an automatic standby generator, but the big expense and complexity dissuaded me as power outages in my neighborhood are very infrequent. A few years ago I found a solution that made sense practically and financially. I had a manual transfer switch professionally installed into my home’s electrical panel, and paired it with a Briggs & Stratton QuietPower Q6500 Inverter Generator. The key here is the inverter technology, which provides clean power that is safe for use with electronics such as computers and televisions.

When I got my Q6500 generator they were $1,499, but now they are widely available in the $1,200-$1,300 price range. The transfer switch is about $400. So, for less than $2,000 and a few hours of an electrician’s time, you can have system that will make you forget the power is out at all.

Now when the power goes out I flip the transfer switch, wheel out my generator and connect it to the outdoor inlet box. The transfer switch sends power from the generator over the home’s electrical wiring, just as if the power was coming from the electric company. It is pretty neat the first time you try it, knowing that the power in your house is coming from the generator outside and you are completely disconnected from the power grid. It is pretty cool to be the only person on the street with the lights and TV on, too!

There are two caveats I must add here. The first is the Q6500 inverter generator is not CARB-compliant, so unfortunately my readers in California will have to look for a different option. The second is that running a large home A/C system may be beyond the abilities of the generator, so if you want to run your A/C in the summer you may need something more powerful. My biggest concern was wintertime and running the furnace, refrigerator and everything else necessary for living comfortably in cold weather, so I did not have my central air conditioner circuit connected to the transfer switch panel. If the power goes out in the summer (which it hasn’t yet) I will just open the window and run fans.

On the soundadvicenews.com website I have a review of my system with generator and transfer switch. I encourage you to check it out if you like the idea of whole-house power at an affordable price. You can use https://tinyurl.com/lindichgenerator to go directly to the page.