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Author Topic: Harbor Freight 800 watt generator  (Read 14406 times)
W8JX
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« on: November 27, 2011, 10:03:17 AM »

I picked up a refurbed 800 watt 2 stroke generator today on a sidewalk sale at store for 30 bucks. Could have bought a half dozen of them. Anyway got it home and fueled it up with 85 to 1 mix Amsoil syn 2 stroke oil and fired it up. Ran nicely after warming up a bit and surprisingly frequency was fairly stable. it was 60.1 hz no load and 58.3 at 725 watts.  Quiet, smooth running and no smoke or smell on the 85 to 1 mix. Voltage was 115 no load and 111 volts at 725 watts. Not bad for 30 bucks. When I get some time I will tweak RPM to get it to do 61hz no load and 59 to 60hz under load. May increase voltage slightly too. 
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K2OWK
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 01:57:30 PM »

This is a great emergency generator. Even new at Harbor freight it cost just $89.00 on sale. A great buy for portable power.

73s

K2OWK
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K8AXW
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 07:41:02 AM »

Yep.... tweak the speed up some and you're good to go!  Every once in a while, a guys finds one!  Congratulations!
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N2EY
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 01:14:26 PM »

I wonder what they do to refurb them?

At that price, get two - one for parts!

In any event, a handy tool for times when it's not worth dragging out one of the big gensets.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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K3AN
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 02:18:10 PM »

I have the version from Northern Tool. It looks identical to the Harbor Freight version. It has worked for three straight Field Days now, so that's about 75 hours of use. Only problem with mine is it's hard to start when you first gas it up or when you refuel it after it runs out of gas. So we learned not to let it run out of gas  Wink  I don't know if the Harbor Freight version has that same problem.

BTW, last year to get the generator downwind from our operating position we put it within 15 feet of the base of the Inverted L and almost directly under the tribander yagi that was up 35 feet. NO RFI whatsoever.
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KG4YMC
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 09:32:06 PM »

I don't have the harbor generator , bu have a debrills 5 thousand watts one . It also would be hard starting sometimes. Try getting some starter spray. two shots in the air  intake and it will crank right up . Also I go out and crank it up and run it once in awhile. here in FL with hurricane season and everytime someone sneezes the power goes out it seems sometimes. Mine is four stroke with Tecumseh's engine, but I also use am soil , it has never burned oil. OK brought it during y2, but works good. ON the harbor freight ones. seen them for 89 for the 900 watt one . Guy on eham reviewed using one one time, don't know what forum it was under but he did OK with his setup. Might be lightweight option to carrying batteries, and don't need a second mortgage to buy like Honda brands.  oh, they don't recommend running generator till it runs out of gas. govnor will have a fit trying to keep rpm and current right , that may be the hard starting  problem . mime could use new sparkplug and oil change, but after starting let it run for few minutes to settle on speed and OK , may be same for others. run radios and computer on mine , TV also . no problems with freq and current  wave. kg4ymc   
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K3WEC
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 05:35:53 PM »

IMO it is a really excellent value.   In fact, it's a great little generator period.   I don't see how they sell them for the normal $99 (yeah, I know they're made in China, but still).....yet alone the refurb you got for $30!
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 06:21:34 PM »

IMO it is a really excellent value.   In fact, it's a great little generator period.   I don't see how they sell them for the normal $99 (yeah, I know they're made in China, but still).....yet alone the refurb you got for $30!

I should have bought them all and resold them
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AE6ZW
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 11:38:45 AM »

I live 1/4 mile from one of the Harbour Freight in Westminster, CA store.   here, they sell them around $80 on sale, usual price is around $120.   may be I should get one also. thanks for review.
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K3WEC
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 05:41:46 PM »

Harbor Freight is definitely hit or miss.  Although their prices are super-cheap, you have to be picky.   A grinder I bought there was trashed within a couple hours' use.  I've heard their drill bits and such are bad.   Their MIG welding wire is not so hot in my experience.   

HOWEVER, there are some real gems to be had....to include this generator.  Other things I'd include - HVLP turbine paint system,  electric multi-tool, little bitty inverter welder, and cheap heat gun.  All work great!!!

I even bought a hammer drill from them for $20.  It did the job to drill 3/8" holes in very solid and thick concrete.  Even if it blows up next time I use it, it would have cost more to rent a "real" one than I paid for it.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 06:55:58 AM »

I have heard some say they are hard to start when you run carb dry. I did a test were I ran it dry and let it sit a few weeks and then try to start it. I turn gas on and waited well over a minute and then tried to start it. It started 2nd pull. I have a few 2 stroke snow blowers that I always run dry in spring but once a few years ago I failed to do it with one unit and had carb problems big time with it following winter.  2 strokes (I am guessing because of fuel/oil mix) it seems are more prone to gumming up carbs than 4 strokes if not run dry when stored.
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K3WEC
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 12:06:10 PM »

Agreed.  I always run all my 2-cycle stuff dry if it's going to be sitting around for long periods (like winter).  Never a problem....
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N2HBX
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 04:23:18 PM »

I inquired in my nearby Harbor Freight this past weekend. They're going on sale for $89 again in January

73,
Larry, N2HBX
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K3WEC
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 05:31:51 PM »

Make sure you print out a 20% off coupon.  They are out there all the time.   The store near me honors the coupon even on sale items. 
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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2011, 07:57:38 AM »

It is well worth even 80 bucks and it pretty quiet too. I do recommend using AmsOil Saber 100 to 1 oil in gas. It is rated 100 to 1 in a 50 to 1 motor and I have been using it at 85 to 1 mix for a few years now in all my 2 strokes. It is truly smokeless with it and they all run smoother too. Never going back to conventional 2 stroke oil.
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