Multitool.org
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


The Portable Generator thread 876

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,262 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
The Portable Generator thread
« on: September 25, 2018, 10:26:36 PM »
As I promised in the tornado thread, here is a closer look at my generator, a Honda EM500.



My father gave me this little generator a few years ago and told me that it likely needed a new air filter, so I called my local Honda dealer when I got home to see how difficult this would be, and I assumed it would be virtually impossible as this generator has got to be close to 40 years old.



I don't know if this little machine is older than me or not, but I do recall that it was there on the vast majority of camping trips we went on when I was a kid.  I actually don't recall a camping trip that this little generator wasn't on!  Needless to say, I was pretty excited when my father offered it to me.



The Honda dealer actually had no issues finding and ordering a replacement air filter for me, and that really surprised me.  Score one for Honda, especially since the old air filter just crumbled out of it when I opened the black filter cover.  There wasn't enough left of it to remain whole when I tried to remove it.  I guess that's not much of a surprise, considering my father hadn't used it in a number of years.



My father is perhaps the most fastidious person I have ever known when it comes to looking after and maintaining equipment, but even so, I assumed this little generator would need some coaxing to fire up.  I hadn't installed the new air filter when I got it, and I kept thinking "I really should have a look at that generator sometime, preferably before I need it" and yet I never did.



Unsurprisingly, knowing my father, the oil was actually really clean, despite being many years old, and a little bit of fresh gas got this machine fired up on maybe the third pull of the cord!  I don't know if that's a testament to how well my father looks after things, or how well Honda makes them, but I have to say that I was seriously impressed.



That first night I ran the generator for about two hours straight, absolutely without a hitch.  Neighbors came over and plugged in their phones and appreciated this little machine as much as I did.  The next morning I managed to find oil for it and changed the oil in it before running it again.  It ran beautifully the night before, but why take chances, especially on since a great little generator!



It's simple to run- gasoline goes in the top, oil goes in where the yellow cap is (got to love a 4 stroke and no mixing!) flip the switch into the on position and pull the cord.  Now that there's fresh gas and oil in it, the motor is running before you even manage to pull the cord all the way out... on the first pull.  I can't imagine how this generator could run any better when it rolled off the assembly line than it does today.



Once the motor is running, you simply adjust the throttle on the side until it is running at a stable 60hz, which you can see on the dial on the front.  The green light right above the dial is the pilot light to let you know it's running, which I don't think is necessary as this is nit the quietest generator out there.  It's not overly loud, but it is certainly noticeable.  It doesn't have any sound dampening insulation inside, so that's not really a surprise.  Of course, the thing already weighs 40-50lbs on it's own, so I can't imagine that you'd want to make it heavier with insulation!   :ahhh



Ok, so it's barely big enough to charge batteries and won't run a fridge, freezer, washer, dryer and home theater system- that's not what it's meant for.  It will do a great job of charging trailer or car batteries, phone, computer and tablet batteries and so on, which makes it very handy to have when power isn't available, be it a camping trip or the power outages resulting from a natural disaster.   :facepalm:

I figured that since we have a thread on drills and a thread on hand tools that a thread on generators was the next logical step, and I have been intending on starting this thread ever since getting this little generator years ago!

So let's see your generators, and/or the generators you work with!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 499
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 11:07:56 PM »
Awesome idea!! I’ve been thinking of getting one so definitely checking this thread!
No Life Club Posts: 1,010
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 11:10:19 PM »
Having owned several Honda cars and a Honda lawnmower, I'm not surprised with your experience with this machine.

- Steve
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,986 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 11:30:27 PM »
Good looking bit of kit  :tu:

I no longer own mine, but it was a real gem. 2600W with a quasi sine wave, which would run all but the most temperamental of electronic devices and appliances. It purred like a kitten on low power, but screamed like a Wookie that had stubbed it's toe at peak load. It ran chop saws, power drills, angle grinders, lighting rigs, you name it. It let me cut three 100mm diameter vents, and a (roughly) 375mm x 500mm hole for an escape hatch in 6mm steel plate on a single tank.

I got rid of it when I sold the boat, but to be honest I don't regret it. It was an excellent bit of kit, but I'd probably hospitalise myself trying to carry it or pull the starter these days  :rofl: I have no doubt that whoever has it now is still getting good use from it.



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,262 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 12:33:26 AM »
Having owned several Honda cars and a Honda lawnmower, I'm not surprised with your experience with this machine.

My experience with Honda cars (admittedly somewhat out of date now) is very different, and I doubt I'll ever drive one willingly. 

That having been said, motorcycles, generators and other small engine products are among the best IMHO.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 1,010
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 01:29:29 AM »
Having owned several Honda cars and a Honda lawnmower, I'm not surprised with your experience with this machine.
My experience with Honda cars (admittedly somewhat out of date now) is very different, and I doubt I'll ever drive one willingly. 

That having been said, motorcycles, generators and other small engine products are among the best IMHO.
I grew up a Chevy man, but one too many 70/80's POS and I tried Toyota and Honda.  Pretty much stuck on the Hondas now.
There is a racist sounding car expression: "Once you go Japanese, you'll never go back".
They are indisputably small engine experts.

- Steve
Sr. Member Posts: 452 The Spirit of Central Asia
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2018, 07:14:43 AM »
That's a really good piece of technology. Even after 40 years... How much output can you get from it?
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2018, 09:01:46 AM »
That's a really good piece of technology. Even after 40 years... How much output can you get from it?
I think 5000 watts? Because of the name. :tu:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Sr. Member Posts: 452 The Spirit of Central Asia
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2018, 10:08:21 AM »
That's a lot of power.

If it were Japanese it would run on nuclear power. Enough fuel for a lifetime and a Fukushima at your fingertips if the cooling system fails.

 :like:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2018, 11:18:17 AM »
That's a lot of power.

If it were Japanese it would run on nuclear power. Enough fuel for a lifetime and a Fukushima at your fingertips if the cooling system fails.

 :like:
Lol. That only applies to 70’s nuclear stuff. The modern stuff uses molten nuclear fuel that is it’s own coolant. Can’t meltdown if it’s already melted! :dd:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,262 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2018, 12:43:26 PM »
That's a really good piece of technology. Even after 40 years... How much output can you get from it?

When it comes to fancy electrical stuff, I have no idea.  I put gasoline in one end, electricity comes out the other.  :D

According to the Owner's Manual though, it spits out the following:

AC Power-
Rated Voltage 120V
Rated Frequency 60hz
Rated Amperes 3.3 A
Rated output 400 VA
Maximum output 500 VA

DC Power-
Maximum charging output 8.3 A

Also according to the manual, the dry weight of the unit is 18kg or 39.7 lbs, so my guess of 40-50 lbs above wasn't too far off.

And, I forgot to mention that, in total I probably ran the generator for 5-6 hours on three dollar's worth of gas (gas currently being about $1.25/L here, so just over two liters or just over half a US gallon, and I still have lots in the generator and more in the gas can.  I don't think I even burned through half of the fuel I got for it.  It's nice to know that I can run it that cheaply for an extended period of time and not break the bank.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 01:45:34 PM »
Based on that, my online calculator says anything from 0 to 400 (rated) 500 (maximum ) Watts, depending on the power factor, which I don’t know.  :dunno:
And I hereby issue an apology for saying earlier that its power was 5000 watts.  :facepalm:
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 01:46:38 PM by Don Pablo »

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,745
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 02:02:53 PM »
Rated output 400 VA
Maximum output 500 VA

This is data that can be converted by the common man to Watts without having to worry about anything.

However, the manufacturer doesn't know what you'll hook up to it.
Purely resistance equipment? (Electrical heater for example) Capacitive equipment? (Capacitors for example) inductive equipment? (coils for example)

Since these different loads alter the max output, the manufacturer always  displays the max amount of VoltAmpère. Which tells us more about the max load with these different loads.

For the common user: 400Watts in general, 500Watts in peak.

Buy now or regret later
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 02:09:00 PM »
Thanks Nick.  :tu: I was wary about saying the 400 VA = 400 Watts, despite knowing that Volts*Amps=Watts, because of the “power factor” thing that I don’t know much about.

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,262 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 02:34:06 PM »
I figured that much myself, but what I don't know is what can I do with 400 or 500 watts.  I don't imagine that is very much, but my father did say that he has run a drill off it in the past, and I know we used it to charge the trailer battery, but I really don't know much (anything) about electricity.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,745
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 02:42:36 PM »
An LED light is usualy around 4-6Watts.

So if your entire home has LED lights, you can power all lights. But not the heating/washer etc.

Buy now or regret later
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,986 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 02:44:09 PM »
I figured that much myself, but what I don't know is what can I do with 400 or 500 watts.  I don't imagine that is very much, but my father did say that he has run a drill off it in the past, and I know we used it to charge the trailer battery, but I really don't know much (anything) about electricity.

Def

Most plug in equipment will have it's wattage shown somewhere.

Alternatively, divide 400 by your domestic current (120V) and it will tell you the amps you can draw (3.33A). If whatever you're plugging in needs a fuse bigger than 3A, you're gonna struggle.

No heater elements (washing machine, kettle, iron...)
No microwave... a 500W genny can't run an 800W nukeing box  ;)
Some small motors will be OK, and your power tools will likely say what power they are/need.
Chargers, laptops, all fine... so long as you're not trying to charge everyone on the street's phone all at the same time.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 02:49:33 PM by 50ft-trad »



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2018, 03:26:34 PM »
My phone charger is 10w, and laptop chargers are around 20w.

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,745
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2018, 05:10:57 PM »


My phone charger is 10w, and laptop chargers are around 20w.

Wrong!

Your charger would be 10W at maximum load. It DELIVERS up to 10W.

P = U * I
So: Watts = 5V * 2A(which is the max output of the better chargers) = 10W IF you are using the full 2Amps. Phones rarely use all 2Amps.

Same for the laptop charger. It's the max output.

Buy now or regret later
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,824 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2018, 05:21:51 PM »


My phone charger is 10w, and laptop chargers are around 20w.

Wrong!

Your charger would be 10W at maximum load. It DELIVERS up to 10W.

P = U * I
So: Watts = 5V * 2A(which is the max output of the better chargers) = 10W IF you are using the full 2Amps. Phones rarely use all 2Amps.

Same for the laptop charger. It's the max output.
Just being conservative.  :D
If I had Defs generator, and a bunch of people wanted to charge their devices, I would not go over 400 Watts total, using the maximum rating on their chargers, to keep my generator healthy.  :think:
Too many variables at play when charging over ten phones. :ahhh

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,745
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 05:22:44 PM »
True. You don't know all their loads so you have to count every adapter at full Watts

Buy now or regret later
No Life Club Posts: 1,311
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2018, 12:35:45 AM »
I am truly in Love with my Honda 2000U and it is the real thing!
I can start and run the AC in my Egg with it and run almost anything I have tried that I need to live so far.

Also as mentioned it is so smooth running and easy starting that it is almost unbelievable!

I do have to do a Carb cleaning if I don't run it for a while and there is no simple way to drain the fuel to prevent this either but it is simple and quick and worth it regardless,truly one of the best tools that I own.

We run Ham Radio events with them all the time and they can be real lifesavers when needed.

I can't find a pic of mine right now too?
No Life Club Posts: 1,311
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2018, 12:37:38 AM »
Also I have found that you can pretty much tell how loaded they are by the tone of the motor under load.

So if running too much current you can usually tell right away in my experience.
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 3,371
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2018, 07:00:05 PM »
I have run my home for as long as 3 weeks on gen power.  I have a 5000 watt generator with 7500 surge that will run my computers, TVs, lights and fans, one refrigerator, and one room air conditioner but not the whole house air.  Fortunately I have the one room at the back of the house that is not under central air and has it's own window unit.  When I use the generator over an extended period I will run it from about 6 AM to midnight.  This requires 10 to 18 gallons of gas.  I bring the generator inside overnight so it won't be stolen.  The thieves would find a generator left running overnight and replace it with a running lawnmower.  The homeowners were never disturbed or alerted because the noise never stopped.  They'd just wake up in the morning and there's no power.  Oh, and the lawnmowers were usually stolen too.

I back feed my house through the dryer circuit rather than running extension cords all over the place.  It's much neater and safer that way without the cords to trip over.  You have to build a cable with 2 male plugs, one for the locking outlet on the generator and the other end with a dryer plug for the dryer outlet, and it is very important to ground your generator properly if you're back feeding the house.  The built in ground is not enough.  I drove 6 feet of rebar into the ground and run a grounding wire from the generator head grounding bolt to the rebar.  I also turn off the house main to disconnect me from municipal power before I run the generator, so I won't electrocute a lineman and so the generator won't get fried if the municipal power is restored.  Gasoline for the generators has to be stored with a preservative.  I use CRC Marine Fuel Stabilizer and my gas has lasted 2 years without any octane problems.  Using this gas in the generator and lawn equipment, everything was easy to start, didn't knock, hesitate, or smoke.  The experiment might have gone on even longer but I ran out of the stored gas.  :cheers:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,262 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2018, 12:20:03 AM »
Nice!

I have been thinking about a fuel stabilizer, but there's such a small amount in the generator that I don't think I could measure out a small enough amoj t of stabilizer for it, and the stuff left in the can will probably go and feed the Jeep.

I know, that's not very apocalyptic minded of me, but the reality is that I am not likely to need it often enough that I need to stockpile fuel.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 4,436 Geometry cuts but the steel determines how long.
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2018, 08:56:06 PM »
My odd generator set, one is a used old Allis-Chalmers 2250 watt. It didn't have wheels so some second hand lawn boy wheels were added. It's been a long time since Allis-Chalmers sold these but it still runs smooth and doesn't use a drop of oil.

The other is a is a Briggs & Stratton 900 watt. Between the two I have 3150 watts, enough to get by on for a few days. I used to use the Briggs as power in the shed of the old house. I found the carrier for it at the recycle yard, welded an axle on it and added the wheels. 
The little Briggs saved me in a ice storm one year. The down spouts froze and the gutters iced over, then backed up into the house. It kept lights on for 3 hours and ran a shop vac while I went out in the rain and drilled 1” holes in the gutter to relieve the water pressure.

Generators are one of those things you may not need but sometimes they can save your bacon.
Every fall I check them out, gas them up, then in the spring I'll run them dry. I'll keep 5 gallons of gas through the winter, then come spring put it in the cars. So it doesn't get old.




Global Moderator Point Of No Return Posts: 39,739
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2018, 09:42:54 PM »
 :like:
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 55,566
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2018, 12:39:32 PM »
A generator is a very great thing to have :salute: It is something a person doesn't think about having until they need one most of the time though :facepalm: I finally got one and had one of my friends who is an electrician make me a double ended cord and put a plug and separate breaker in for me so I can just go out turn the main off and plug the generator up :cheers: I always keep treatment in my cans of gas and have a few on hand most times just for mowing in the summer but with them treated I can keep them over winter :like:

Great thread :tu: and that old Honda is very cool Grant 8) :like:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,497 motionless wheel, nothing is real
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2018, 01:10:54 PM »
Honda 1000 watt. I had this in the camper back when I had a camper, and it has kept the fridge cold during power outages (and other stuff working). It's pretty small and limited, but it's also quiet and will run a whole day on one tank of gas. Luckily I don't need it much, so I use Sta-Bil to keep the gas from gumming up. It always starts on the second or third pull after sitting for months. Because it's a Honda.  :tu:   :salute:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,497 motionless wheel, nothing is real
Re: The Portable Generator thread
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2018, 01:14:02 PM »
It's good to change the oil and gas once a year even if you don't use them, even with stabilizers, the gas and oil will both absorb moisture. Just some friendly advice.  :salute:

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
August Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Aug 31
Total Receipts: $187.14
PayPal Fees: $11.90
Net Balance: $175.24
Below Goal: $124.76
Site Currency: USD
58% 
August Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.107 seconds with 35 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool