eHam

eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: WB4LCN on October 20, 2011, 03:56:24 PM



Title: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 20, 2011, 03:56:24 PM
I'm considering getting the Yaesu FT-857D or the Icom IC-7000, but I was wondering what is the best and most efficient small generator that will power the rig? I've been looking at these generators:

http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2GG&category=play (http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2GG&category=play)

Any thoughts?

Thanks much!

dave  ;)


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KG4RUL on October 20, 2011, 07:45:35 PM
Extremely Quiet, Fuel Efficient, Lightweight - What more is there to ask for: http://www.mayberrys.com/honda/generator/models/ex700c.htm (http://www.mayberrys.com/honda/generator/models/ex700c.htm)


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: K9KJM on October 20, 2011, 09:54:58 PM
Honda IS one of the very best small generators available.  (The biggest problem with them seems to be theft. Be sure to keep a close eye on it, And/or under lock and chain!)
You could get by spending a LOT less money on one of the little "cheapo" generators, I have seen the small ones that would run your radio on sales for about 89 bucks.......   But of course they are no where near the quality of the Honda.
Whatever generator you get, Also get some PRI-G to treat the gas. This stuff really works to maintain good fuel over a long period of time:
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|311|302335|531412&id=1120439


But I would never trust ANY generator to operate my radios directly.  I always have some type of deep cycle type battery to run the radio, And then use the generator to charge the battery.  This solves the problem of surges, Overvoltage, etc. Plus if the generator runs out of gas, etc, The radio keeps right on going for at least a few hours, And you can also use some solar panels to charge the battery if you have some sunlight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-90599.html
Check magazines for coupons to get that 45 watt panel for just 149 bucks....


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 21, 2011, 07:31:31 AM
Thanks RUL and KJM. The EX700 must be a discontinued Honda model. Seems that a few places have it in stock.

So, would you buy a battery charger and plug it into the generator and then charge a car battery with it that is running the rig? The next question would be what battery charger to use?

The solar panel is a good idea, but I have a big motorcycle that I was counting on riding up to the mountains and didn't want to haul a load with me - but that would be a good option.

dave  :)


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KG4RUL on October 21, 2011, 08:01:34 PM
Buy an AGM battery (size and weight are your determining factors here) and a West Mountain Radio, IsoPower module: http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=iso_pwr (http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=iso_pwr)  Place the battery in a saddle bag or other suitable mounting location and the IsoPower where it can get some airflow.

The IsoPower connects to the Motorcycle battery, and the AGM battery and the radio.  Whenever the engine is running both batteries will charge.

Power for the radio comes, through the IsoPower, from the engine electrical system, when the engine is running or from the AGM battery when it is not.  You can't run down the motorcycle battery with this setup.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 21, 2011, 11:14:14 PM
That's very interesting, but I do think leaving the motorcycle motor running would be annoying. It would be a lot louder than a small generator. Thanks, though.

dave :)


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 22, 2011, 06:04:42 AM

So, would you buy a battery charger and plug it into the generator and then charge a car battery with it that is running the rig? The next question would be what battery charger to use?


Actually this is pretty silly to do. Lug a generator, then a battery, then a charger to operate portable? All you need is a generator and a switching power supply and you are good to go. Unlike a old fashion, heavy and inefficient linear supply that many cling too that is also very sensitive to surges, a switching supply is small, light weight and can handle a very wide range of input voltages (usually 90 to 250v) transparently with no change in output. 


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: K9KJM on October 22, 2011, 10:41:54 PM
Most small generators have a direct 12VDC output to directly charge batteries.

If you buy a battery charger, One in the 10 amp range that is fully automatic is the type to get. (Around 30 bucks when on sale)
(You want a charger that will shut down the charge when the battery is fully charged)

An automotive type battery is a poor choice.  as mentioned, An AGM or SLA or marine deep cycle type is a much better choice.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 23, 2011, 06:38:21 AM
Most small generators have a direct 12VDC output to directly charge batteries.

If you buy a battery charger, One in the 10 amp range that is fully automatic is the type to get. (Around 30 bucks when on sale)
(You want a charger that will shut down the charge when the battery is fully charged)

An automotive type battery is a poor choice.  as mentioned, An AGM or SLA or marine deep cycle type is a much better choice.

Once again why do you need to lug a 40 lb plus battery, a generator and battery charger possibly too?????  If you go generator route you need no battery and no charger for it. A switching supply will only be 5 lbs give or take which means you could carry generator with one arm and radio and power supply with other. 


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 23, 2011, 08:42:00 PM
Hmmm...

I guess that the reasoning of having a battery between the generator and the rig is to eliminate the chance of a power surge. With, for example, the new Honda generators, is there danger of a surge? Could I damage the radio? Do I really need that extra weight?

I really appreciate each of you who have given me plenty of food for thought.

dave


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 23, 2011, 09:10:27 PM
Hmmm...

I guess that the reasoning of having a battery between the generator and the rig is to eliminate the chance of a power surge. With, for example, the new Honda generators, is there danger of a surge? Could I damage the radio? Do I really need that extra weight?


Did you miss part about how switching supply's (like a Astron SS 25 or 30) are NOT voltage sensitive. Most will take for 90 to 250 or so and input frequency changes with no adjustments and no change in output. I recently bought a smart 40 amp charger that is switching based that will charge up to 40 amps regardless or input voltage from 90 to 250v input


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: K9KJM on October 23, 2011, 10:02:20 PM
Why bother with the generator and power supply at all?    With a decent battery, Your little radio will run for DAYS depending on the T/R duty cycle and transmit power level used before a recharge is needed.   We run field days with no other charger but the solar panel mentioned.........
 ::)
Depends on just what you want to do.  Short term, Long term, Or what.



Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 23, 2011, 10:44:47 PM
Why bother with the generator and power supply at all?    With a decent battery, Your little radio will run for DAYS depending on the T/R duty cycle and transmit power level used before a recharge is needed.   We run field days with no other charger but the solar panel mentioned.........
 ::)
Depends on just what you want to do.  Short term, Long term, Or what.



What is the fascination with having to lug around a heavy lead acid battery and making it a must have? For about same weight I would choose small generator any day.  At night it can run lights and other goodies too not possible with a battery. 


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 24, 2011, 01:27:17 PM
I feel like I'm watching a Ham boxing match. lololol

To W8JX...

I do have a switching power supply. Would need to buy one.

To K9KJM...
I'm not sure that 100 watts transmitting power, with a battery of average car size, would last a long weekend of camping.

However, I would need at least a gallon of gas for the generator after the first day. There's a can of gas too. Hmmm...

Many thanks to you guys. I think I have the info that I need. You've been most helpful. Great food for thought.

dave
WB4LCN


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 24, 2011, 01:40:14 PM
I feel like I'm watching a Ham boxing match. lololol

To W8JX...

I do have a switching power supply. Would need to buy one.

Do you have one and not need one or need one and not have one?


To K9KJM...
I'm not sure that 100 watts transmitting power, with a battery of average car size, would last a long weekend of camping.

Trust me it will not last even a full day at 100 watts output unless you talk very little, QRP yes.


However, I would need at least a gallon of gas for the generator after the first day. There's a can of gas too. Hmmm...

That would depend on load on generator. Would likely be less unless it was a very long day. Even still gas is about 6.4 lbs per gallon minus container and you do not need to lug it back out.

Many thanks to you guys. I think I have the info that I need. You've been most helpful. Great food for thought.

In end it is your call but a small portable quiet generator will spoil you.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: WB4LCN on October 24, 2011, 04:06:14 PM
Thanks much! Sorry. Typo, I do have a switching power supply (30A) and would need to buy a generator.

So, your comment is that switching power supplies absorb a voltage surge? What's the theory behind that?

dave :)




I feel like I'm watching a Ham boxing match. lololol

To W8JX...

I do have a switching power supply. Would need to buy one.

Do you have one and not need one or need one and not have one?


To K9KJM...
I'm not sure that 100 watts transmitting power, with a battery of average car size, would last a long weekend of camping.

Trust me it will not last even a full day at 100 watts output unless you talk very little, QRP yes.


However, I would need at least a gallon of gas for the generator after the first day. There's a can of gas too. Hmmm...

That would depend on load on generator. Would likely be less unless it was a very long day. Even still gas is about 6.4 lbs per gallon minus container and you do not need to lug it back out.

Many thanks to you guys. I think I have the info that I need. You've been most helpful. Great food for thought.

In end it is your call but a small portable quiet generator will spoil you.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 24, 2011, 05:42:22 PM
If you can afford one, the Honda EU...i generators are *the* ones to have, IMHO.

Quiet, efficient, clean and dependable. Also small and light.

I do not understand the worry about "power surges". I've used all kinds of gensets and they're not a problem in my experience.

The only reason I would lug along a generator and battery is if it were essential to have uninterrupted power while the generator is being refueled. (There is NO WAY I would refuel a running generator!)

The only example I can think of would be a Field Day operation where we were going for maximum score and had to use a generator with a small tank.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 24, 2011, 06:47:54 PM
Thanks much! Sorry. Typo, I do have a switching power supply (30A) and would need to buy a generator. So, your comment is that switching power supplies absorb a voltage surge? What's the theory behind that?

Unlike a linear supply that has a transformer and a limited range of input, a switch does not use one and it will utilize a wide range of input voltages and still provide a constant output. They call the switches because they selectively conduct parts of sine wave needed to provide desired output and polarity and need no rectifiers. They use some capacitive filtering and choke to smooth out ripple.

On fueling generator, I have a 3000 watt one that I have used several times during power failures and I have fueled it running several times as I fire it up in morning and shut down when I go to bed. Sometimes it has been 16+ hours run time. Next morning I check oil top off tank and do it again. after 3 or 4 days of this I drain oil when I shut down and change it.  I have gotten 12 plus hours run time out of a 4 gallon tank of fuel. I do have a few cans that have a shut off valve in spout and it is very hard to spill. I recently picked up a 5500 watt unit with a brushless high efficiency alternator with a 9000 watt surge capacity and a commercial grade motor. I want to add 240 volt support and longer run abilty


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: AA4PB on October 25, 2011, 05:39:57 AM
I know someone locally who was badly burned when he spilt some gas while trying to refuel a running generator. I wouldn't do it unless you have a tank or fill tube that is located away from the hot engine far enough to prevent you from spilling gas on the engine. If you've got a typical portable generator where the tank is directly above the engine then you need to stop it and let it cool before refuling.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 25, 2011, 03:37:29 PM
I know someone locally who was badly burned when he spilt some gas while trying to refuel a running generator. I wouldn't do it unless you have a tank or fill tube that is located away from the hot engine far enough to prevent you from spilling gas on the engine. If you've got a typical portable generator where the tank is directly above the engine then you need to stop it and let it cool before refuling.


I always fill with a smaller can that cannot overfill it based on fuel level in tank when it is running and never top it off completely when running too. Only time I top it off completely is in morning before start of day with a cold generator. There will always be some people that cannot walk and chew bubble gum, safely use ladders or power equipment and spill fuel when refilling. Such people should not use a generator anyway.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 26, 2011, 04:57:01 PM
hi

I'll never ever fuel a running genset, the one I own has a removable fuel tank.
I fill it away from the genset and use a full sinewave UPS to power lights when
the genset is shutdown to refuel it.

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/Public%20Education/GeneratorSafety.pdf

http://www.wwmt.com/articles/generator-1387831-biggins-garage.html

73 james



Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 26, 2011, 07:02:19 PM

I'll never ever fuel a running genset, the one I own has a removable fuel tank.
I fill it away from the genset and use a full sinewave UPS to power lights when
the genset is shutdown to refuel it.


The LAST thing I am worried about is lights. I am worried about re-powering 3 fridges, water pump, electronic equipment and so on. If house is up and running I am not going to power it down until bedtime. Plus there is heat shock to generator when you shut it down to fuel because it actually gets hotter before it gets cooler when you shut it off unless you remove load for 5 minutes to 10 minutes and let it cool before shutting it down and increase down time. With some caution it can be safely done but if you are try to top off a 3 or 4 gallon tank with a full 5 gallon can you are playing with fire. But, refilling a 4 gallon tank nearly empty with a 2.5 gallon jug or a 7 gallon tank nearly empty with a 4 or 5 gallon can is not a problem unless you have a problem hitting the hole.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 26, 2011, 08:25:41 PM
hi,

Don't get me wrong, I'm saying what I do,
not what you or anyone else should or should not do.

It is not just the heat you have to worry about, there is
also static discharge that can cause a fire when filling
a running genset from any size fuel container.

the fuel tank is "nearly empty" of gasoline, however, the are
vapors inside of it and that is the real problem, not the liquid fuel.

Gasoline has a low flash point, minus 45 deg F,
the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize
to form an ignitable mixture in air.

You can't see the vapors, they are heavier then air and will
move down towards the ground and can travel a distance.

An open container will allow the gasoline vapors to escape.

73 james


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 27, 2011, 03:49:15 AM

the fuel tank is "nearly empty" of gasoline, however, the are
vapors inside of it and that is the real problem, not the liquid fuel.


If a tank full of vapors was so unstable, there would be a tens of thousands of explosions every day. You have to induce oxygen and a ignition source in tank for it to burn. (pure vapor in tank will not burn without both) In my time in military long long ago and many years of work in R&D around aircraft I have seen many massive fuel spills due to accidents, mistakes or deliberate acts (gas and jet fuel) and none of them burned unless deliberately light.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: K3GM on October 27, 2011, 09:10:54 AM
Hmmm...

I guess that the reasoning of having a battery between the generator and the rig is to eliminate the chance of a power surge. With, for example, the new Honda generators, is there danger of a surge? Could I damage the radio? Do I really need that extra weight?

I really appreciate each of you who have given me plenty of food for thought.

dave

The Honda EU1000i or the EU2000i both exhibit excellent AC waveform, and both have extremely tight regulation.  You won't have to worry about surge or transients of any kind.  I was so impressed with that generator, that I purchased their big brother, a 6.5kW model to power my house during outtages.  Despite their diminutive size, both generators are darn heavy, and aren't something that you can easily carry about.  I've used an EU1000i in conjunction with an Alinco DM-330 switcher to power an IC-7000 in the field.  The radio and supply both fit nicely in a Pelican case, and go with me when I travel.  A High Sierra HS1800 screwdriver comes off the back of my Tahoe and drops onto another mount attached to a flat plate.  Stretch out a dozen radials and I'm on the air.  If you've never heard the EU1000 or 2000 running, you'd be amazed at how quiet both are.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 27, 2011, 11:15:21 AM
Not personally familiar with Honda generators but they are first rate in reputation and are indeed very quiet. If they use a brush-less alternator design, this does add complexity and weight for same output but it also generates a cleaner output and is more efficient.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 27, 2011, 01:55:14 PM
hi,

We used the Honda EU1000i for field day a few years ago,
worked very well, ran quietly as advertised and used less fuel
compared to the larger non inverter gensets we used in the past.

I use the full sine wave UPS on both gensets, we never have to
shutdown the station during field day.

W8JX, when the tank is refueled, the vapors inside the tank will be
displaced by liquid fuel and vented out of the tank.

I wish you well in your generator fueling and hope you never
have an accident, if so, I hope you live to tell about it.

73 james


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 27, 2011, 02:26:36 PM
Despite their diminutive size, both generators are darn heavy, and aren't something that you can easily carry about.

I think that depends on what you consider "darn heavy". Having lugged around a 2.5 kW Coleman and larger, anything under 75 pounds seems light to me.

I looked up the EU1000i and EU2000i and was mighty impressed by these specs:

EU1000i: 1000 watts, 29 pounds, 3.8/8.3 hours run full/1/4 load, 0.6 gallon tank MSRP $950
EU2000i: 2000 watts, 47 pounds, 4.0/9.6 hours run full/1/4 load, 1.1 gallon tank MSRP $1150

Both also have 12 VDC 8 A outputs (not enough to run a 100 watt rig, but useful) and only 59 dbA sound level.

Of course the price is the big ouch. Seems odd that for just $200 bucks more (21%) you get twice the power. But if they're anything like other Honda products, they will last and last if cared for as recommended.

But if I read these numbers correctly, an EU1000i could run a single-transmitter 100-watt-class FD station for 24 hours on about 2 gallons of gas (assuming the station used less than 250 watts AC power). Only two refills would be needed during the FD period, and the thing weighs less than a car battery.

If you've never heard the EU1000 or 2000 running, you'd be amazed at how quiet both are.

That I can vouch for. You can stand right on top of one and have a conversation without yelling or even talking loud. Put it at the end of a 100 foot extension cord and you may not know it's running by the sound.

Don't have one, though. Wish I did.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 27, 2011, 03:27:53 PM

W8JX, when the tank is refueled, the vapors inside the tank will be
displaced by liquid fuel and vented out of the tank.


Which also happens hundreds of thousands of times a day when people refuel cars, trucks, boats, tractors, mowers, airplanes and so on. If this was anywhere near the major hazard you suggest (the venting of vapors) the news services would be full of explosions and fires daily from it. BTW, the last commercial grade unit I got actually has a recessed catch basin/well around filler cap that looks to close to a quart of fuel if you have a bad aim.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 27, 2011, 04:41:17 PM

W8JX, when the tank is refueled, the vapors inside the tank will be
displaced by liquid fuel and vented out of the tank.


Which also happens hundreds of thousands of times a day when people refuel cars, trucks, boats, tractors, mowers, airplanes and so on.

Except that most of those things don't have the filler near the engine. And even so, the standard practice is to shut off the engine(s) when fueling. In many places it is the law.

btw, jet fuel and diesel fuel are much less volatile than gasoline.

If this was anywhere near the major hazard you suggest (the venting of vapors) the news services would be full of explosions and fires daily from it.

No, they wouldn't.

Consider this:

In 2010, 32,788 people died on US highways in accidents. That's just under 90 per day, every single day. And it was the lowest total in 60 years.

Yet we don't hear about traffic fatalities in the news unless they are very unusual or very local. They're so common that it's not "news".

Gasoline can be very dangerous if mishandled. Filling a portable generator while it is running is just not a good idea.

Of course, you can do it and get away with it most of the time. But safety isn't about what you can get away with most of the time. It's about what you do the other times to prevent a bad thing happening.

Is the risk of a gasoline fire worth the few minutes saved?

73 de Jim, N2EY



Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 27, 2011, 05:10:13 PM
btw, jet fuel and diesel fuel are much less volatile than gasoline.

I can tell you have never been around JP4. Nasty stuff that light easier than you think and burns blue at times too. I have seen it easily lit many times for fire suppression training. 


Yet we don't hear about traffic fatalities in the news unless they are very unusual or very local. They're so common that it's not "news".

You would hear about gas fires of any magnitude. You do not because they are not.

Gasoline can be very dangerous if mishandled. Filling a portable generator while it is running is just not a good idea.

Guns are dangerous mishandled too. So are cars as well. With a few precautions it can be done safely with proper fillers and always using a fill jug that holds less fuel than tank will safely take so you cannot overfill it.


Of course, you can do it and get away with it most of the time. But safety isn't about what you can get away with most of the time. It's about what you do the other times to prevent a bad thing happening.

Only why you can mostly prevent accidents is remove human from equation. Short of that good judgement. If you cannot handle gas safely, you should not be messing with it at all.

Is the risk of a gasoline fire worth the few minutes saved?

The "risk" depends on you. I would not recommend refueling a small generator with a small tank using a large can when running but a big unit can safely be done if you use a little common sense. I can remember a few old farm tractor types that were known to boil gas in tank on a hot day from engine heat. The "solution" was a better pressure cap that vented vapors.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 27, 2011, 05:36:28 PM
hi,

Honda EU series are lighter then conventional gensets,
and run quieter then most 2 cycle weed trimmers.
You can also parallel two of the same models with an
optional cable.  

Below info from the Honda EU FAQ.

How does inverter technology work and what are the advantages of an inverter-type generator, like the Honda EU series?

A multiphase AC output is rectified into DC then inverted into AC. This removes the requirement of the engine to run at 3600 rpm to make 60 Hz AC power. It also dramatically reduces the size and weight of the generator. This reduction is possible since Honda inverter generators have the alternator built into the engine itself and eliminates the need for a bulky independent alternator.

As compared to standard generators, inverter-type generators put out more stable electricity in the form of a superior sine wave at 60Hz. This is very important for the operation of sensitive electronics. Also, inverter generators provide better fuel economy and quietness due to their ability to run at lower engine speeds at light loads

73 james


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 28, 2011, 04:21:56 AM
btw, jet fuel and diesel fuel are much less volatile than gasoline.

I can tell you have never been around JP4.

JP4 is a mixture of gasoline, kerosene and additives. Nasty stuff, yes, but not as volatile as regular gasoline. JP4 was phased out by 1996 (15 years ago!) and replaced by JP8, which has a higher flash point and is less volatile.

Regular automotive gas, meanwhile, is now up to 10% ethanol. 


Yet we don't hear about traffic fatalities in the news unless they are very unusual or very local. They're so common that it's not "news".
You would hear about gas fires of any magnitude. You do not because they are not.

That's just not logical. We don't hear about every highway death, yet we'd hear about gasoline fires? Why?

You may think your precautions are adequate, but they are not.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 28, 2011, 06:25:29 AM
Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836

JP4 is a mixture of gasoline, kerosene and additives. Nasty stuff, yes, but not as volatile as regular gasoline. JP4 was phased out by 1996 (15 years ago!) and replaced by JP8, which has a higher flash point and is less volatile.

Military still uses a LOT of JP4.

Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836
Regular automotive gas, meanwhile, is now up to 10% ethanol. 


And point is?  I avoid fuel with it. I use it only when I am forced to on road

Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836
That's just not logical. We don't hear about every highway death, yet we'd hear about gasoline fires? Why?

Very logical. News likes unusual and fiery events and if there was a gas explosions and it was happening a lot you would hear about it. 


Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836
You may think your precautions are adequate, but they are not.

Based on what?  Again most safety rules or guidelines are meant for users that cannot safely setup and use a step ladder or walk and chew gum and cannot think ahead and look at big picture. If you put some thought into and make sure you cannot possible over fill it it can be done safely. I am talking about bigger units too and not little "toy" generators.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: AA4PB on October 28, 2011, 08:39:12 AM
"most safety rules or guidelines are meant for users that cannot safely setup and use a step ladder or walk and chew gum"

Yup, safety rules are meant for everyone except me  ;D


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 28, 2011, 07:46:17 PM
hi,

Gasoline has a low flash point, minus 45 deg F,
the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize
to form an ignitable mixture in air.

You can't see the vapors, they are heavier then air and will
move down towards the ground and will travel a distance
where the vapors may find an ignition source.

An open container will allow the gasoline vapors to escape.

When a genset is running the fuel in the tank will be agitated,
this will increase the amount of vapors being released.

The vapors will be displaced from both the supply container
and the container that is being refueled.

Filling the tank past the recommended level is not the only problem,
it is the vapors that are being displaced.

Perform a google search on blitz gas fires and you will see 
plenty of accidents make the tv news headlines and lawsuits.
Tragic accidents that need not happen involving gasoline fires,
yes many are from using gas on open fires or as an accelerant.
No matter, the vapors found an ignition source and an accident happened.

Very important to follow safety instructions, wear appropriate safety gear
and have fire extinguisher handy.  Even better, have somebody watch you
during refueling operations should something go wrong.

You've got nothing to loose, except your life.

73 james




Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 28, 2011, 08:18:38 PM
"most safety rules or guidelines are meant for users that cannot safely setup and use a step ladder or walk and chew gum"

Yup, safety rules are meant for everyone except me  ;D


No because of liability laws and "sharks" they have to be as idiot proof as possible at times.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 28, 2011, 08:22:36 PM
Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836

JP4 is a mixture of gasoline, kerosene and additives. Nasty stuff, yes, but not as volatile as regular gasoline. JP4 was phased out by 1996 (15 years ago!) and replaced by JP8, which has a higher flash point and is less volatile.

Military still uses a LOT of JP4.

Whose military? The US Air Force phased it out 15 years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JP-4

Some quotes:

"JP-4, or JP4 (for "Jet Propellant") was a jet fuel....It was a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend. It has lower flash point than JP-1, but was preferred because of its greater availability. It was the primary U.S. Air Force jet fuel between 1951 and 1995. "
"Although it has a low flash point (0 °F (−18 °C)), if a lit match is dropped into JP-4, ignition does not occur."
"The desire for a less flammable, less hazardous fuel led the U.S. Air Force to phase out JP-4 in favor of JP-8; the transition was completed by the fall of 1996."
Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836
Regular automotive gas, meanwhile, is now up to 10% ethanol.


And point is?  I avoid fuel with it. I use it only when I am forced to on road

The point is that gasoline is much more volatile, and ethanol only makes it more so.

Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836
That's just not logical. We don't hear about every highway death, yet we'd hear about gasoline fires? Why?

Very logical. News likes unusual and fiery events and if there was a gas explosions and it was happening a lot you would hear about it.  

Except they're not such unusual events. That's why they don't make the news, just as most car accidents don't.

Again most safety rules or guidelines are meant for users that cannot safely setup and use a step ladder or walk and chew gum and cannot think ahead and look at big picture. If you put some thought into and make sure you cannot possible over fill it it can be done safely. I am talking about bigger units too and not little "toy" generators.

Safety rules are meant for everyone. The most dangerous person is the one who thinks they don't apply to him/her. The first rule of safety is that it applies 100% of the time.

Generators over a certain size usually run on diesel, which is much less dangerous than gasoline. You may consider generators under a certain size to be "toys" but it's the gasoline that's the danger.

I've been around rather large gensets, btw. 6000 HP units, for example. I guess they'd be considered "portable" because they're on wheels....



73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 28, 2011, 08:52:51 PM
Gasoline has a low flash point, minus 45 deg F,
the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize
to form an ignitable mixture in air.

this is misleading because that just means it is temperature that it starts making vapor not explosively  and this temp varies with blend as summer gas has a much higher temp for this. Self ignition point it will self ignite and that is a LOT higher than you think.


You can't see the vapors, they are heavier then air and will
move down towards the ground and will travel a distance
where the vapors may find an ignition source.

And further they travel more diluted they get and again if this was a big problem we would not be using gas to power cars.

An open container will allow the gasoline vapors to escape.

When a genset is running the fuel in the tank will be agitated,
this will increase the amount of vapors being released.

The vapors will be displaced from both the supply container
and the container that is being refueled.

Filling the tank past the recommended level is not the only problem,
it is the vapors that are being displaced.

And point is? When generator is running air is moving and displacing vapors when off and hot they pool around it.


Perform a google search on blitz gas fires and you will see 
plenty of accidents make the tv news headlines and lawsuits.
Tragic accidents that need not happen involving gasoline fires,
yes many are from using gas on open fires or as an accelerant.
No matter, the vapors found an ignition source and an accident happened.

and for guns, cars, fireplaces and many other things too


Very important to follow safety instructions, wear appropriate safety gear
and have fire extinguisher handy.  Even better, have somebody watch you
during refueling operations should something go wrong.

Seriously if you are that insecure and unsure about it you do not need to be handling any gas.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 29, 2011, 05:26:02 AM
Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836

JP4 is a mixture of gasoline, kerosene and additives. Nasty stuff, yes, but not as volatile as regular gasoline. JP4 was phased out by 1996 (15 years ago!) and replaced by JP8, which has a higher flash point and is less volatile.

Military still uses a LOT of JP4.

Whose military? The US Air Force phased it out 15 years ago.

I think you better read again because JP4 died only in name sake. As recently as 2004 U.S. Military Specification MIL-DTL-5624U Grade JP-4 was establish AND it and JP5 were merged under same specification so while they do not call it JP4 directly, they still use fuels of its specification. It is a must have in cold arctic climates. (they do not fly to Antarctic with JP8 in tanks)  So you could say they stopped using fuel under JP4 name but not under its spec.

Military rarely does away with things completely and often give the appearance of it for political reasons and still uses it (as does NATO under F40) but changes the name. JP4 is the best there is for extreme cold as again flash point is just were it starts to give off ignitable vapors and far from peak point as it increases with temperature and you will need a good ignition source to try to get it to burn at flash point and when it does it will be very tame until it is warmed up more.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 30, 2011, 10:11:20 AM
Quote from: N2EY link=topic=78301.msg549836#msg549836

JP4 is a mixture of gasoline, kerosene and additives. Nasty stuff, yes, but not as volatile as regular gasoline. JP4 was phased out by 1996 (15 years ago!) and replaced by JP8, which has a higher flash point and is less volatile.

Military still uses a LOT of JP4.

Whose military? The US Air Force phased it out 15 years ago.

I think you better read again because JP4 died only in name sake. As recently as 2004 U.S. Military Specification MIL-DTL-5624U Grade JP-4 was establish AND it and JP5 were merged under same specification so while they do not call it JP4 directly, they still use fuels of its specification. It is a must have in cold arctic climates. (they do not fly to Antarctic with JP8 in tanks)  So you could say they stopped using fuel under JP4 name but not under its spec.

Maybe. 2004 was 7 years ago.

Note that its use is limited to extreme-cold applications, too.

Military rarely does away with things completely and often give the appearance of it for political reasons and still uses it (as does NATO under F40) but changes the name. JP4 is the best there is for extreme cold as again flash point is just were it starts to give off ignitable vapors and far from peak point as it increases with temperature and you will need a good ignition source to try to get it to burn at flash point and when it does it will be very tame until it is warmed up more.


Thanks for proving my point: JP4 is less volatile and harder to ignite than gasoline. Yet "the military" reduced its use as much as practical due to the fire hazard.

Gasoline is pretty dangerous stuff unless handled properly. Filling a hot, running portable generator where the tank is above or right next to the engine isn't proper handling. In fact the cap on the tank should not be removed with the engine running.

You may think you are "safe" because you use a small filler can. But how do you know how empty the tank really is?

Every gas station I've been to in the past several years has automatic shutoff pumps, breakaway hoses, and other safety equipment. Many have a fire-suppression system built into the canopy over the pump area (that's what the hoses pointing down at the pumps are). Every car and light truck has the filler many feet from the engine. And yet the rule is that the engine is shut off when fueling.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 30, 2011, 11:46:44 AM

You may think you are "safe" because you use a small filler can. But how do you know how empty the tank really is?


It is called a fuel gauge. First time I fill it I make note of how much gas is needed for what reading. I never try to fill it to brim running.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on October 30, 2011, 06:10:45 PM
W8JX,

The flash point of fuels is a scientific fact, nothing misleading about it.

Exactly why you do not refuel a running or hot genset, you wait for it to cool down.
The exhaust manifold is less then 1' below the fuel tank compared to a car or boat.

>And point is? When generator is running air is moving and displacing vapors when off and hot they pool around it

The fuel cap is tight on a running genset, no vapors are released, fresh air is taken in
via the vent in the cap.  When you remove the cap, vapors are released, liquid gas may
also be released due to the vibration of the running genset.

Interesting video demonstration on gasoline vapors  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4O1AqmM-T4

Gas with 10% ethanol still has the same flash point, check the MSDS for E-10 fuels.

Again, I follow MSDS and standard safety procedures, I am very secure.

>Seriously if you are that insecure and unsure about it you do not need to be handling any gas.

Your comments about your military experience, jet fuels, firearms, cars, fireplaces, etc are irrelevant.

73 james



Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 30, 2011, 06:41:08 PM
The flash point of fuels is a scientific fact, nothing misleading about it.

And, if you really understood what flash point is, it is the point when internal vapor pressure in liquid barely over comes atmospheric pressure and some vapor escapes and vapor pressure is extremely very low. It is not a point of large amounts of explosive vapor. The higher the temperature, the higher that vapor pressure. The vapor pressure of gas is changed from summer to winter and there is a winter gas and summer gas.


Exactly why you do not refuel a running or hot genset, you wait for it to cool down.
The exhaust manifold is less then 1' below the fuel tank compared to a car or boat.

Well none of my generators have a exhaust manifold 1 inch from tank or even 2 inches from it. Also it is a lot hotter under the hood of a car in summer and carb days how many blew up and burned with vented carb bowls?

The fuel cap in tight on a running genset, no vapors are released, fresh air is taken in
via the vent in the cap.  When you remove the cap, vapors are released, liquid gas may
also be released due to the vibration of the running genset.

Trust me vapors are released as vent goes both ways. it may let 1 psi or so build up but it will vent. As far as gas vibrating out when running. None of mine do that and are very smooth too. Cannot speak for what you might have.

Your comments about your military experience, jet fuels, firearms, cars, fireplaces, etc are irrelevant.

Yes ignore it when you cannot find a defense to it. Good plan


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 31, 2011, 02:36:29 AM

Well none of my generators have a exhaust manifold 1 inch from tank or even 2 inches from it. Also it is a lot hotter under the hood of a car in summer and carb days how many blew up and burned with vented carb bowls?

Do you put gasoline into the tank of your car or truck with the engine running?

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: AC4RD on October 31, 2011, 04:24:08 AM
Seriously if you are that insecure and unsure about it you do not need to be handling any gas.

So you're suggesting that the two rational choices are either NEVER to handle gasoline, or to ignore safety guidelines if you DO handle it?

This thread is turning into farce.  :-/


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on October 31, 2011, 04:35:30 AM
Seriously if you are that insecure and unsure about it you do not need to be handling any gas.

So you're suggesting that the two rational choices are either NEVER to handle gasoline, or to ignore safety guidelines if you DO handle it?

No.

I think the message is that safety rules don't apply to everybody.


73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on October 31, 2011, 09:23:22 AM
Seriously if you are that insecure and unsure about it you do not need to be handling any gas.

So you're suggesting that the two rational choices are either NEVER to handle gasoline, or to ignore safety guidelines if you DO handle it?

No.

I think the message is that safety rules don't apply to everybody.


No it only applies to those that lack common sense and ability to walk and chew gum at same time and those that need instructions on how to even use a ladder or stool because some safety rules are for the incompetent to protect manufacture from litigation.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on November 01, 2011, 05:35:07 PM
W8JX,

Again, your posting about jet fuels, military experience, fireplaces, etc are irrelevant,
the fact that refueling a running genset it relevant and is a safety hazard.
Your military service, experience, education, etc are fact, as is MSDS and
safety procedures for refueling a generator.

I think you just described yourself!

>No it only applies to those that lack common sense and ability to walk and chew gum at
same time and those that need instructions on how to even use a ladder or stool because
some safety rules are for the incompetent to protect manufacture from litigation.

Do yourself a big favor, visit the burn unit at your local hospital and see what can happen when
thing go wrong very fast.

Be safe and I'm done here.

73 james


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 01, 2011, 06:01:02 PM

Do yourself a big favor, visit the burn unit at your local hospital and see what can happen when
thing go wrong very fast.


Been to Wilford Hall many years ago to visit (AirForce's burn unit in Texas)

It can be done safely if you know what you are doing. If you do not, stay away.

I have had some incredibly large bonfires over the last 26+ years burning brush and trees cleared a chain saw, a dozer or a loader (usually have a few a year and have had flames go 30+ ft in air )  Never had one even think about getting out of control because I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity) just like I control conditions when and how I refuel.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N2EY on November 02, 2011, 03:02:56 AM
I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity) just like I control conditions when and how I refuel.

What could possibly go wrong?

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 02, 2011, 05:26:53 AM
I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity) just like I control conditions when and how I refuel.

What could possibly go wrong?

73 de Jim, N2EY

Given that there is woods brush very nearby at time I always do it when there is zero wind as many of the fires have been piles greater than 15 feet in diameter and sometimes generate a lot of floating embers that I do not want blown into consumables and it can get so hot you cannot get within 20 feet or more at times. I also do it in evening as humidity is starting to rise which dampens grass and slows fire a bit. I also use a accelerant to get a a quick intense burn to consume everything so it is mostly coals and embers in a few hours or less and can be safely left. One time I had a pile 40 feet long and 20 feet wide and 15 feet high with trees and brush I took down with a dozer cutting a road through woods. It took 3 burns and re-piling with tractor over a few month to get it fully burned. I do not let piles get that big anymore. I like fires that will burn very hot and consume everything (except my woods and grass). I will not burn either if I feel vegetation is too dry due to lack of rainfall.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 03, 2011, 06:57:58 AM
BTW, for those not adverse to filling a generator while running, get one of more of containers listed below. I have a few of them in different sizes and like them a lot. They will not spill on a fill and require a button to be depressed to flow fuel and will stop instantly and not leak even under pressure. I do recommend you burp the pressure before if you suspect it has some in it or gas may briefly come out under a pressure. I use a small translucent white one with chain saw and leaf blower and such as I can see/confirm that it is premix fuel.

http://www.nospill.com/ (http://www.nospill.com/)


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on November 09, 2011, 04:11:24 PM
W8JX,

so you're telling us that you have control over
the weather in your area?

If you have this type of control ability you must
get a patent and license your technology!

73 james

It can be done safely if you know what you are doing. If you do not, stay away.

I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity)
just like I control conditions when and how I refuel.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 09, 2011, 04:45:10 PM

so you're telling us that you have control over
the weather in your area?


Since when is learning to"read" the weather and work with it on when you burn rather than fighting it and hoping for the best considered controlling it?????


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: KE4DRN on November 09, 2011, 08:13:52 PM
hi,

Your own words,

"I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity)"

We have no control over these conditions, things can change quickly,
on land, sea or in the air.

73 james


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 10, 2011, 04:45:27 AM
hi,

Your own words,

"I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity)"

We have no control over these conditions, things can change quickly,
on land, sea or in the air.

73 james

By choosing the conditions you perform a burn in you are controlling the conditions in which you burn not controlling weather but you can twist it anyway you want.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: K8IO on November 10, 2011, 07:32:06 AM
Your own words,

"I always control the conditions I burn in (temperature, wind, humidity)"

We have no control over these conditions, things can change quickly,
on land, sea or in the air.

73 james
[/quote]

By choosing the conditions you perform a burn in you are controlling the conditions in which you burn not controlling weather but you can twist it anyway you want.
[/quote]
 ::)
I think someone here is arguing because they like to.
That said, There are many risks one takes in life. If you accept the risk then it is YOUR business. I have on occasion refuled my generator "HOT". But it has been a critical situation. And my Honda EX 5500 generator is enclosed in a soundproof enclosure, it has a fuel catch basin is water cooled and has a USFS approved spark arresting muffler. SO I weigh the risk vs the reward. And as an enlightened individual I accept the good with the bad. Would I try a refuel on an open frame air cooled genny screaming away with the fuel tank a scant few inches from the motor exhaust and spark plug. Likely not. But I would not have one of those on a critical load either.
K8IO


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 10, 2011, 08:51:20 AM
I think someone here is arguing because they like to.
That said, There are many risks one takes in life. If you accept the risk then it is YOUR business. I have on occasion refuled my generator "HOT". But it has been a critical situation. And my Honda EFX 5500 generator is enclosed in a soundproof enclosure, it has a fuel catch basin is water cooled and has a USFS approved spark arresting muffler. SO I weigh the risk vs the reward. And as an enlightened individual I accept the good with the bad. Would I try a refuel on an open frame air cooled genny screaming away with the fuel tank a scant few inches from the fuel tank. Likely not. But I would not have one of those on a critical load either.
K8IO

Yes some do. If you have a sloppy fuel jug that you cannot control flow on or try to fill to full a running generator can have risks. You should check out nospill.com


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: N7NBB on November 11, 2011, 06:45:10 AM
BTW, for those not adverse to filling a generator while running, get one of more of containers listed below. I have a few of them in different sizes and like them a lot. They will not spill on a fill and require a button to be depressed to flow fuel and will stop instantly and not leak even under pressure. I do recommend you burp the pressure before if you suspect it has some in it or gas may briefly come out under a pressure. I use a small translucent white one with chain saw and leaf blower and such as I can see/confirm that it is premix fuel.

http://www.nospill.com/ (http://www.nospill.com/)

I tried to visit their website.... main page loads, but all other pages... INCLUDING A DEALER LISTING, only load a blank page with their logo and say "more details coming soon"...  kind of hard to buy one when they don't sell direct, and their website won't display where you can get one.


Title: RE: Portable Power???
Post by: W8JX on November 11, 2011, 07:09:42 AM
BTW, for those not adverse to filling a generator while running, get one of more of containers listed below. I have a few of them in different sizes and like them a lot. They will not spill on a fill and require a button to be depressed to flow fuel and will stop instantly and not leak even under pressure. I do recommend you burp the pressure before if you suspect it has some in it or gas may briefly come out under a pressure. I use a small translucent white one with chain saw and leaf blower and such as I can see/confirm that it is premix fuel.

http://www.nospill.com/ (http://www.nospill.com/)

I tried to visit their website.... main page loads, but all other pages... INCLUDING A DEALER LISTING, only load a blank page with their logo and say "more details coming soon"...  kind of hard to buy one when they don't sell direct, and their website won't display where you can get one.

Their site is not very browser friendly but if you do a Google or Yahoo search for NoSpill you will find several vendors including Ebay sellers. Amazon has a 5 gallon one for about 30 bucks.