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Author Topic: Portable Power???  (Read 7329 times)
WB4LCN
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« Reply #15 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 Smiley




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.
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
N2EY
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #16 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
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W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #17 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
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AA4PB
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« Reply #18 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.
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W8JX
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« Reply #19 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.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #20 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

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W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #21 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.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #22 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
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 06:24:42 PM by KE4DRN » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #23 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.
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K3GM
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Posts: 1766




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« Reply #24 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.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:15:56 AM by K3GM » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #25 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.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #26 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
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 01:58:26 PM by KE4DRN » Logged
N2EY
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #27 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
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W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #28 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.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #29 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

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