By Don Lindich
Week 52, 2021
Q. Is there an indoor non-generator option for CPAP that you recommend, to power my machine in the event of a power failure? I would like to be able to continue to use my CPAP machine when the power goes out.
-R.B., Minneapolis, MN
A. Given a CPAP is used when you are sleeping, it would be prudent to have an alarm to wake you in the event of a power outage so you can connect your CPAP to the backup power source. The Reliance Controls PowerOUT! Power Failure Alarm and Safety Light is a small device that plugs into a power outlet and sounds an audible alarm and turns on a bright light whenever the power goes out. It can also be used as a portable flashlight. It’s a handy little gadget that is useful to just about anyone, not just users of CPAP machines. I have several years’ experience with Reliance Controls products as I chose their manual transfer switch when I added a backup power system to my home. I have been thoroughly satisfied with the quality and performance of the switch, and my electrician spoke very highly of it as well, praising the ease of installation and solid construction. The PowerOUT! is readily available online, and I have seen Ace Hardware selling it as well.
The Anker 545 Portable Power Station (also called the PowerHouse 778Wh) is marketed as a backup power solution for CPAP machines, and Anker even features a picture of a 545 running a CPAP on their website. It can run a CPAP machine with a 40W power requirement for over 14 hours, which should be more than adequate for at least one night’s sleep. The 545 can also power many small appliances and recharge portable devices such as phones, tablets, Bluetooth speakers and headphones. Devices rated at over 500 watts are not supported.
The 545 PowerStation can provide illumination through 3 ambient light and 3 flashlight modes, making it especially useful when the power goes out. It has 10 power ports, comprised of 2 AC outlets, 4 USB ports, 2 USB-C ports, a vehicle-class outlet and a DC outlet. It can be charged via USB-C, a car connection, an AC adapter or optional solar panels. A comprehensive display shows operating status and remaining power. The 545 PowerStation sells for $699.99.
As I recommend when powering any medical device, check with the manufacturer or dealer before connecting it to external power source. They also may offer a dedicated backup power supply compatible with your CPAP.
Q. Sometimes our Samsung HDTV will turn itself on for no reason, and it can happen any time from during the day to the middle of the night. We have a Samsung Blu-ray player that seems to aggravate the problem. I’ll be watching TV, and the screen goes black with an “HDMI 2”notation at the top. (The player is connected to HDMI 2.) I have to shut off the disc player to get back to HDMI 1. Have you ever heard of this, any ideas?
-G.H., Orono, MN
A. I can’t say for sure without inspecting your setup myself, but it sounds like the Blu-ray player is somehow triggering the input. HDMI is a 2-way connection, and in my own system if I turn on my Blu-ray player the soundbar and TV pick up the signal and change inputs, assuming I want to use the player. If you turn off HDMI-CEC (called AnyNet+ by Samsung) in the TV menus it should solve the problem.