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Reviews Categories | Emergency/Portable Power: generators, solar, wind, thermal, etc | Chicago Electric 800W generator #66619 Help


Reviews Summary for Chicago Electric 800W generator #66619
Chicago Electric 800W generator #66619 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $149.99
Description: -2 HP two-stroke engine
-5 hour run time @ 50% load
-One NEMA 3 prong 120 volt household receptacle
-7 amp output
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.harborfreight.com/800-rated-watts-900-max-watts-portable-generator-66619.html
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KA4PNO Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2012 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Great little generator for the price!  Time owned: more than 12 months
If one understands its capabilities, and limitations, the 900-watt Harbor Freight 2-stroke generator can be an excellent tool for the money. Even a low end unit like this can feel priceless when the lights go out!
I bought my unit in early 2009, for $89.99 & tax, as I recall. This was also my very first generator, so I knew little about such devices.
In spring of 2008, there had been a couple of fairly serious storm related power failures in our neighborhood in North Knoxville, TN. I did not relish the experience of stumbling about the house with flashlights.
Thereafter, I experiment with emergency battery back-up power, so we could have household lighting, radio, TV, and, of course, ham gear on line. Except for the large AGM batteries, all parts of that system were obtained on the used market. (This system has since functioned flawlessly during multiple brief outages).
Back to the HF generator. My XYL asked me why I bought it. “Are you expecting the apocalypse, or WW-III? I told her it was for curiosity, and for the things I couldn’t anticipate. Later, in July & August, she borrowed it multiple times to power fans during outdoor fund raising yard sales. And, yes, I was rather smug with my inevitable “told you so”.
I actually bought the HF generator for fun, and to learn. I also wanted a minimal back-up power source for the lights, and fans, etc. should the battery system fail. It performed very well when tested with these. However, I used a Tripp Lite line conditioner with the laptop & rig.
I learned a great deal about generators, loads, gasoline engines, etc. using this little gem. I bought two additional used small generators from Craigslist (Coleman Pulse 1850, and Honda EX650), should I need them as back-ups, or loaners.
In June 2011, our area was hit with strong storm cells from the South. Trees downed on nearly every block. Power was out instantly to tens of thousands, internet down, telephone down.
Except for our house, and the flashlight beams bouncing here and there on the sidewalks, it was pitch dark. (Way to go, back-up system)!
We were lucky. Given our proximity to a substation & high tension transmission lines, our electrical service was restored in eight hours.
Others were without for days, to upward of two weeks. I loaned-out all 3 generators next day.
The lowly, cheap, crappy, shoddy quality 900-W Harbor Freight generator powered lights, TV, and a couple of fans for a young couple & two small children for 3 days. Immediately thereafter, for another fellow, it kept the lights, small TV, laptop, and fans going for another 8 days.
Thereafter, in late 2011, I purchased a 9 KW generator for our modest home. The battery system has since been upgraded a bit.
However, just this month, on July 5th, at about 5:45 PM, there was a less damaging storm, with less extensive power failures in the aftermath. In no time at all, I received several cellular calls asking to borrow my loaner generators.
The same little Harbor Freight generator completed a 3-day stint of near continual service, without missing a beat.
If treated well, and properly maintained, the HF generator is a useful, reliable tool for many low wattage applications. I have nothing but good regard for the unit. Thus, I plan to purchase two or three additional units for our neighborhood emergency response. 73s de KA4PNO
 
WA1TED Rating: 4/5 Oct 30, 2011 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding for the price!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
When this item went on sale for $79.99 at the Harbor Freight sidewalk sale, I picked up three to use for myself, gift to a brother, and spare parts.

The generator comes with a generally crummy sparkplug but I replaced it with an NGK BP5ES/7832 plug even before starting it up. While it asks for 50:1, I had a jerry can of 40:1 mixed up and it ran just fine. I broke it in for 30 hours while it was on a purely resistive 600W load of two halogen worklamps. The genset died after 15 minutes of running but after a quick start it only died when out of fuel.

The motor will hunt a bit without load, but immediately settles down to 110-112V and 59-61Hz once the load is applied. The governor was easy to manipulate with a screwdriver and adjustments to the above were easy. It should be noted though that when the generator runs out of fuel, the voltage and frequency experience very wide swings. You will not want this attached to any fine electronics if you are going to run the generator dry.

The air filter comes dry and some shavings were found in the gas tank. Further, the fuel line has no filter and needed to be placed fully onto the carb (small leak). A little due diligence when unboxing will pay off on this inexpensive generator.

After break-in, I've run many things off of it around the homestead, including an IC-725 (minimal interference), BC40EWB battery charger, angle grinders, drills, reciprocating saw, and work lights. I haven't tried running a fridge or compressor on it yet, but there is a YouTube video of this generator running a tiny in-window air conditioner.

Though stinky at start-up and a little noisy compared to an inverter unit, dropping 4 Jackson's for a generator that you can carry around on the back of a quad is amazing. While I have the spare generator for parts in case it goes TU, I haven't had any problems with my "gas powered extension cord".
 


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