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Catch the wave
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am now in the tire-kicking mode for picking up a 5000 watt, or higher portable generator.

casual pricing via google showed me models ranging from $700 or so to $4,000 for honda "deluxe" branded ones, and I'm sure if I really wanted to could go higher (I don't)

I'm more interested in a big, contractor series type portable unit so I can take it with me easier when I sell this heap of a house, and so I can also use it at my parent's house in white lake when they have a much more frequent winter outage.
 

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I have a 10,000 watt generator from Nothern tool. Its their brand with a honda motor and warranty. I have the wheel kit. Works great and I got it shipped for free.
Check out their website
 

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hoo dat. wat.
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I am now in the tire-kicking mode for picking up a 5000 watt, or higher portable generator.

casual pricing via google showed me models ranging from $700 or so to $4,000 for honda "deluxe" branded ones, and I'm sure if I really wanted to could go higher (I don't)

I'm more interested in a big, contractor series type portable unit so I can take it with me easier when I sell this heap of a house, and so I can also use it at my parent's house in white lake when they have a much more frequent winter outage.
I've been looking too and in generators, price equals power and noise quality.

Newer generators will use an onboard inverter so they can produce "a clean sine" 120V at nearly any RPM (relative to electric load). Load goes down, generator can throttle down to produce less noise and use less fuel.

The basic cheapie generators run about 3600 rpm all the time to stay close to 60hz 120V, however the RPM control is usually done by a crappy mechanical governor, so the waveform of the 120V is noisy, i.e. electronics don't like it. These are fine for running saws and lights, but if you want to run a TV or radio, they may not work or might damage them.

I'm having a hell of a time decding between a generator or solar for my truck camper. For $1000, I can get a quiet (59 dB full load) genny or about 185W of solar panels and charge converter.
One is silent and might keep my batteries topped off when camping provided we have full sun, the other just needs fuel and offers noise when I'm usually trying to get away from it.

Good luck Rye, and BTW, with some of the luck you've had in the past, I'm happy you didn't get hit by the tornado. :d:
 

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Scooter, you should be able to get more than that out of solar if you look at making a kit yourself.
 
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The problem with manual governors, is how slow they respond.

4 pole generators (99% of them are) need to run at 3600rpms at ALL TIME in order to yield 60.00hz. You will find that the cheaper the generator, the crappier the design of the governor. Even though this is one of the most important pieces of the engine.

Cheap generators react VERY SLOW to changes in load. If you put a big draw (I didn't say load) on it, the rpms will of course change. If the engine dips to 3200 RPMS before the governor can comp, the generator is yielding 53HZ. The opposite can happen, if theres a very large draw on it, and it is shutoff (small ac/well pump/etc) the engine speed will sometimes go as high as 4000 rpms. That would yield 67HZ.

Normally the safe zone is 3% fluctuation or a range of 58-62hz. Anything outside of that zone will greatly effect sensitive electronics, battery backups, magnetic ballasts, etc.


If you want nice clean power, go with something with a digital controller, and variable speed idle. The higher end honda units will idle way down, but still yield 60HZ. With a digital controller, the engine speed can go up/down/sideways and the controller can compensate.

DO NOT PURCHASE A GENERATOR FROM HARBOR FREIGHT.

If you want a nice portable, pm me.
 

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hoo dat. wat.
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Scooter, you should be able to get more than that out of solar if you look at making a kit yourself.
But that take into consideration of Michigan's crappy sky, higher temps (solar is rated at 20 c) and permanent, non-tracking mounts. I'm thinking 300W of panels will NET 185W.

:(
 
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But that take into consideration of Michigan's crappy sky, higher temps (solar is rated at 20 c) and permanent, non-tracking mounts. I'm thinking 300W of panels will NET 185W.

:(
You'd be surprised how many people are off grid in michigan. Especially in the UP.

These people also purchase a nice auto-standby generator that is instructed to start by the inverter when power drops <X
 

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hoo dat. wat.
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You'd be surprised how many people are off grid in michigan. Especially in the UP.

These people also purchase a nice auto-standby generator that is instructed to start by the inverter when power drops <X
Sweet.

I'm figuring on spending $25k on our colorado property to solar power the cabin there; that's still wayyyy cheaper than having electric brought in.
 
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Sweet.

I'm figuring on spending $25k on our colorado property to solar power the cabin there; that's still wayyyy cheaper than having electric brought in.
I don't know anything about costs/wattage on those systems. I just know where I move product to for these, because we have to configure them for inverters.
 

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Catch the wave
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
*Snip*

If you want nice clean power, go with something with a digital controller, and variable speed idle. The higher end honda units will idle way down, but still yield 60HZ. With a digital controller, the engine speed can go up/down/sideways and the controller can compensate.

DO NOT PURCHASE A GENERATOR FROM HARBOR FREIGHT.

If you want a nice portable, pm me.

Thanks Kelly, you'll have a PM shortly.

I've been looking too and in generators, price equals power and noise quality.

Newer generators will use an onboard inverter so they can produce "a clean sine" 120V at nearly any RPM (relative to electric load). Load goes down, generator can throttle down to produce less noise and use less fuel.

The basic cheapie generators run about 3600 rpm all the time to stay close to 60hz 120V, however the RPM control is usually done by a crappy mechanical governor, so the waveform of the 120V is noisy, i.e. electronics don't like it. These are fine for running saws and lights, but if you want to run a TV or radio, they may not work or might damage them.

I'm having a hell of a time decding between a generator or solar for my truck camper. For $1000, I can get a quiet (59 dB full load) genny or about 185W of solar panels and charge converter.
One is silent and might keep my batteries topped off when camping provided we have full sun, the other just needs fuel and offers noise when I'm usually trying to get away from it.

Good luck Rye, and BTW, with some of the luck you've had in the past, I'm happy you didn't get hit by the tornado. :d:
yeah, it looks like I'll be spending $1,500 give or take depending on how much my parents wish to participate in this purchase. The 5000kw generac we borrowed worked fine for the TV/Fridge which is all we powered up.

When I rewired our load center, I never bothered to put in a sub-panel, or make a "double-male" 220 line to back feed the entire house through the Dryer connection (similar to some pals of mine that back-feed through their welder connection, and yes I know about shutting the main off)

I have a 10,000 watt generator from Nothern tool. Its their brand with a honda motor and warranty. I have the wheel kit. Works great and I got it shipped for free.
Check out their website

My very good friend has one, that I'm pretty sure he catalog ordered from them back in Y2K hysteria.

I will definitely explore that option as I look at the rest of the options.
 

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But that take into consideration of Michigan's crappy sky, higher temps (solar is rated at 20 c) and permanent, non-tracking mounts. I'm thinking 300W of panels will NET 185W.

:(
panels have gotten MUCH better int he last 3 years. 100% output possible with 60% cloud cover. Check out the units on Northern Tool.
 
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Not trying to be a dick, by why would anybody buy anything from northern tool? Not only are they more expensive, but theres ZERO customer service on the products you buy. :confused:
 

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Not trying to be a dick, by why would anybody buy anything from northern tool? Not only are they more expensive, but theres ZERO customer service on the products you buy. :confused:
I've personally never had an issue with stuff from them and the stuff I have gotten from there was cheaper than anywhere else. YMMV I guess.

FWIW, TSC has the same products as Northern Tool. So sale shop if you plan on buying.
 

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Catch the wave
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
*sigh*

wonder if he's gonna reply to my /pm...
 
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