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Author Topic: Field Day generator obsevations.  (Read 22588 times)
W8JX
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« on: June 24, 2012, 02:59:22 PM »

I just finished a field day event on my property with a fellow ham. We ran for about 13 hrs thru nite non stop on air and used a now 5+ year old $200 generic 3k generator located 50 feet away with separate 10ga feed for a amp and another 10/12ga feed for rigs and lighting.  It once again performed flawlessly and never missed a beat and caused no RFI problems that we could hear. (it is RFI quiet where I live so you would hear it if there was a problem) It powered a few laptops, several lights, a 20 year old RS 20, a TS 570 and a SB 200 running about 500 watts out with 55 watts of drive. Generator did not complain at all and only time you could really hear in on generator load was when tuning amp but it was not a big load. Used less than 4 gallons of gas in almost 15 hrs total run time.

Point is once again you do not need to spend 1500 to 2 grand for a "Honda" to get a reliable generator for emergency use. And while mine is not whisper quiet if is pretty quiet and not a issue noise wise. (my friend that has a few generators was impressed how quiet and reliable it was) Next few days I will drain oil out and put it back in storage as I always start a new use cycle with fresh oil so I know it can run 24 hrs without concern if need be.  If it blew up tomorrow (which it is very unlikely to do) I would buy another just like it next day.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 03:58:03 PM »

I think you mean Generac rather than Generic. I have a Generac with electric start and it does a good job. The inverter generators like Honda and Yamaha do have some advantages like small size, low weight, and the ability to idle the engine during low loads - but like most everything those features will cost you $$$. June QST had a review of inverter generators. As it turns out, the automatic idle may not be too useful for intermittent loads like SSB or CW due to the time delay in coming up to speed when the load is applied.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 05:12:31 PM »

Naw, I think he did mean "generic".  For $200 you ain't gonna get a Generac 3KW unit.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 05:18:32 PM »

Naw, I think he did mean "generic".  For $200 you ain't gonna get a Generac 3KW unit.

Yep Chinese with a Honda clone engine.
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K1DA
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 07:15:29 AM »

Those "Chonda" engins are prety good.  Just check the go kart racing sites.  Honda made a boo boo when they farmed out their castings to Chinese companies.  Now those companies are making the WHOLE engine.  BTW, I have a Honda mower, and my son rides a Honda bike.  Both very good products.  No bias here.
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K1DA
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 07:31:32 AM »

   My generator is a 5 KW Briggs "L" head about 25 years old.  I was able to find a much better muffler for it in the Briggs parts catalogs.   It's  a "splash lube", and I find that synthetic 10-50  oil stays in the  engine better than dino.  Also makes  cold starting easier.  The splash oil system is just a couple of "dippers" mounted on the crankshaft which throw oil all over the inside of the engine.  Makes them weep oil from casting seams when the oil thins out. 
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 08:17:43 AM »

   My generator is a 5 KW Briggs "L" head about 25 years old.  I was able to find a much better muffler for it in the Briggs parts catalogs.   It's  a "splash lube", and I find that synthetic 10-50  oil stays in the  engine better than dino.  Also makes  cold starting easier.  The splash oil system is just a couple of "dippers" mounted on the crankshaft which throw oil all over the inside of the engine.  Makes them weep oil from casting seams when the oil thins out. 

You have to be VERY careful with SYN in some splash lube motors. SYN oil splashes differently it seems than dino oil and require different dipper design. Unless engine maker approves SYN for engine in question it is best to stick with dino oil. I use 15w40 in my generic unit in warmer weather and 5w30 is winter. In my commercial unit I use 10w30 syn which is recommended by B&S for their Vanguard engines.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 05:51:34 PM »

Hi, I ran your splash comment by the techs at Mobil, Castrol and Valvoline.
Each reply stated that the oils are manufactured to SAE standards and
do not 'splash' differently.  It is all about viscosity.

73 james


You have to be VERY careful with SYN in some splash lube motors. SYN oil splashes differently it seems than dino oil and require different dipper design. Unless engine maker approves SYN for engine in question it is best to stick with dino oil. I use 15w40 in my generic unit in warmer weather and 5w30 is winter. In my commercial unit I use 10w30 syn which is recommended by B&S for their Vanguard engines.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 11:06:06 AM »

Hi, I ran your splash comment by the techs at Mobil, Castrol and Valvoline.
Each reply stated that the oils are manufactured to SAE standards and
do not 'splash' differently.  It is all about viscosity.

73 james

Not so. The above's focus is pressure lubed engines which likely accounts for over 98% their SYN oil sales. I know a guy that blew up a generator and its replacement using SYN oil. On third one he switched to conventional oil and had no more problems. B&S vanguard engines mention how the dipper design and baffling is optimized for SYN oil.  With pressure lubed air cooled engines it is not a issue. 
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 04:24:30 PM »

Hi, if synthetic oil were responsible for destroying small gas powered engines,
it would be all over the trade magazines, DIY forums as well as on the bottle of
the synthetic motor oils.  The reps called your splashing statement nonsense.

Oil has manufacturing standards, perhaps your friend got one of those knock off engines?

regards

[/quote]

Not so. The above's focus is pressure lubed engines which likely accounts for over 98% their SYN oil sales. I know a guy that blew up a generator and its replacement using SYN oil. On third one he switched to conventional oil and had no more problems. B&S vanguard engines mention how the dipper design and baffling is optimized for SYN oil.  With pressure lubed air cooled engines it is not a issue. 
[/quote]
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KH6DC
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 12:04:59 AM »

Those "Chonda" engins are prety good.  Just check the go kart racing sites.  Honda made a boo boo when they farmed out their castings to Chinese companies.  Now those companies are making the WHOLE engine.  BTW, I have a Honda mower, and my son rides a Honda bike.  Both very good products.  No bias here.

I was looking at a Honda EU2000i but at $1,049.  Are you saying that the Honda inverter generators are now made in CHina?  If so I'll save the bucks and go get a Chonda.

73 Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 07:34:25 AM »

He's saying that some of the parts are made in China, and that the Chinese illegally make copy products. The real Honda engines and generators are still made in the US.

I don't know how often it happens with generators, but failed production runs from a factory - which should be destroyed - tend to go out on the black market. I've seen it happen with clothing and plastic shopping bags for example.

You can get good stuff from China, but make sure it's a brand or store that can stand by its warranty, and has some degree of quality control.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 07:38:38 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5358




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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 10:58:17 AM »

Hi, if synthetic oil were responsible for destroying small gas powered engines,
it would be all over the trade magazines, DIY forums as well as on the bottle of
the synthetic motor oils.  The reps called your splashing statement nonsense.

Oil has manufacturing standards, perhaps your friend got one of those knock off engines?

regards


It is not so cut and dried. It seems that some SYN oil splashes differently than conventional oil and clings differently. Most modern engine have had their splash lube system modified but some have not and some older ones may have issues. When I tried 10w30 SYN oil in my china generator it blew some out breather and left a puddle after running for several hours. With conventional oil there is no problem.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 06:32:34 PM »

I would like to see some data on your splash claim,
the oil compainies don't see it that way.

If there was a 'splash' problem, they would make a lot
of money on a syn oil for that 'splash' application.

Poor tolerances in your China engine could be the source of the
excessive pressure in the crankcase that is blowing oil out the breather.

73 james


[/quote]

When I tried 10w30 SYN oil in my china generator it blew some out breather and left a puddle after running for several hours
[/quote]
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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 07:58:37 PM »

Poor tolerances in your China engine could be the source of the
excessive pressure in the crankcase that is blowing oil out the breather.


After 20 hrs run time (14hr + 6hr non stop stints)  it used no oil and leaked none either with conventional oil. Kinda blows your poor tolerance theory out of the water. Unit has close to 100 hrs on it now.
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