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Red_Chili
12-26-2008, 08:58 AM
Last antelope hunt, we camped in the rancher's yard more or less, and plugged in the camper. Durn nice (especially so when the rancher fixed us all some sort of tasty Wyoming Rancher mixed drink of unknown ingredients, but that's another story). No fear of running the battery down, had as much heat as we wanted regardless of the weather, and it kinda got me thinking.

I kept teasing my wife about wanting a generator and a microwave for hunt camp (Yoder, keep it to yourself... :lmao:). Mostly about when we got back to camp after dark, dog tired, and didn't want to cook and didn't want to go to town either. Nuke the chili and yer dun, paper bowls, no dishes, nuttin'. Easy button.

That would be EGGSPESHULLY nice at 10K feet in a blizzard, elk hunting.

So you know what she did? Yep. After giving me all kinds of grief and teasing me about wanting to set up the Taj Mahal in the woods, she got me this for Christmas. (http://reviews.sears.com/2328/07132361000P/reviews.htm)

Thing is, that generator will power most of our house (at least the freezer and fridge and furnace most likely). Not a bad thing, losing power for a few days can be an expensive proposition (DAMHIK). But kinda overkill for recharging a camper battery and running a microwave. But then I thought, if I have a generator, shouldn't it be more capable for more potential uses, after all? It would come in handy for some trail projects too. The downside is, it is pretty big, pretty heavy, and is not (probably) all that quiet. The noise can be abated though. They make super mufflers for that.

On the other hand, the super quiet Honda generators are the schiz for hunt camp. They are more expensive, but REALLY quiet. They are true inverter generators so the power is clean (in case the Wyoming rain comes - making travel impossible - and movies and cards are the rule of the day). However, they are only 1,000 watts. Wouldn't power much in an emergency. You can get 2,000 watts with a second mortgage.

So I dunno what to do... :confused: Durn nice of her to indulge my silliness though!

Romer
12-26-2008, 09:32 AM
I have a 4000 watt generator of about the same size, less the wheels. I use it for my Camper, which you have a similar one. Mounted to the front deck when I will be away from power and yes it runs the microwave and anything else electric you need. It is heavy and bulky and sits in the garage most of the time.

To use it on your house, you should make a cable with a 220 plug on each end and plug it into your dryer slot. You need to shut the main breaker off so the power does not go back on the line potentially electrocuting someone. Of less importance, when the power does come on, there could be problems if the generator is running.

Red_Chili
12-26-2008, 09:37 AM
They make transfer switches for that too. Your method is a bunch cheaper though.

Hmmm, no issues with AC 'noise' vs. inverter waveforms? Movies are via laptop, so that kinda conditions the power anyway.

Do you have an extra silencer on that thing, or do you find it isn't a problem? Just shut it off at night? I was figuring running the generator at night while we were in camp, then shutting it down when we were in the field.

Air Randy
12-26-2008, 09:45 AM
I have the Honda 2000ex. You can lift it with 1 hand and we have a locking mount for it on the rear bumper of our Hallmark pop-up pickup camper. It rode there all the way to Alaska and up above the Arctic Circle to Prudhoe Bay and back. Worked like a dream.

We used it to run the microwave and coffee maker at the same time. It would also run the air conditioner and tv at the same time as long as you didn't use the MW at the same time.

I also bought the auxiliary fuel tank kit for it so it will automatically feed itself from a 5 gallon fuel can. It will run for something like 30 hours at full load with this setup. It also comes with a 12v charging cable in case you ever needed to charge your vehicle battery.

I bought mine new on the internet from a generator supply company in Chicago for just a little over $800.

Romer
12-26-2008, 09:56 AM
I haven't run it at night. Mine was one of the quieter in-expensive chinese models. Don't know how yours would compare. Guys on the RV net forum had a mthod the make the one I got more quiet. In a campground like situation where people are 5 feet from you, I wouldn't run it until they were up. In Camp Hale we were about 40 feet apart, Wes said he couldn't really hear it back in 2006.

Beater
12-26-2008, 10:35 AM
movies while in hunting camp? Did I read that right?

wow

Red_Chili
12-26-2008, 11:47 AM
Yep, it's a good time. Especially when the Wyoming glue they like to call mud happens with a steady rain. You ain't going ANYwhere. And if you tried you'd just piss off the ranchers. But we digress.

MtnTrucker, I'd sure like to know where you found that EU2000 for $800!! (is that the same one?)

Gerdo
12-26-2008, 12:15 PM
I have 2 of the Honda EU2000ia. They are great! I use them for work and beat them to death. I mount them on the front of my Polaris 6x6 to power camera equipment. Even bouncing offroad they don't miss a beat. I keep them at home for emergency power and have taken them camping to power my camper AC. Yeah they are a ~$1000 but are worth it. Buy a cable lock for it. We call them "a thousand dollar bill with a handle".

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i115/Gerdo_2006/DSC_0053-800.jpg

DaveInDenver
12-26-2008, 02:34 PM
They make transfer switches for that too. Your method is a bunch cheaper though.
FWIW, there is a diff in how you config the generator between using a transfer switch and just using extension cords according to the NEC. As a separately derived source hooked into a breaker panel you need to make sure you have bonded neutral and a solid ground electrode, otherwise your gnd or/and neutral will float significantly above earth. This is alright in a system that is completely isolated, bad otherwise. I have a 2005 NEC copy you are absolutely welcome to look over if you want to go the xfer sw route and want to be safe. I would stick with unbonded neutral & use cords. That will be safer and generally gens under about 5kw are factory configed right for safe op in the field, like for when it rains and you don't want to get lit up in your trailer or when you touch the the generator frame, rather than correct for back up home power use.

nakman
12-26-2008, 03:39 PM
I use them for work and beat them to death. I mount them on the front of my Polaris 6x6 to power camera equipment.


dude, that is so cool on so many levels... please expand! :D





Romer, so with the dryer method, if you leave the big switch on the outside of the panel OFF, there's no real danger when the power kicks back on, right? That's a sweet idea, we've been talking about doing this but I was hesitant about the connection.. . but heck this doesn't seem that hard.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/nakman/Gadget1.gif



and that's a sweet present, RCH, I'm sure you'll find a ton of uses for it. :beer:

Romer
12-26-2008, 03:51 PM
dude, that is so cool on so many levels... please expand! :D





Romer, so with the dryer method, if you leave the big switch on the outside of the panel OFF, there's no real danger when the power kicks back on, right? That's a sweet idea, we've been talking about doing this but I was hesitant about the connection.. . but heck this doesn't seem that hard.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/nakman/Gadget1.gif



and that's a sweet present, RCH, I'm sure you'll find a ton of uses for it. :beer:


If the main breaker is off, no power from the outside can get in, nor power from the inside out

You have to have a long enough cord to keep the gas engine outside or in the garage with the door open

nakman
12-26-2008, 04:07 PM
If the main breaker is off, no power from the outside can get in, nor power from the inside out

You have to have a long enough cord to keep the gas engine outside or in the garage with the door open
I was thinking I'd just wire it to the breaker box, which is outside. I'm not using the oven breaker, since we converted the oven to gas, that breaker has been switched off for a year in fact. So if a standard dryer cord was wired to the two hots of the oven breaker, ground to ground, wouldn't that do it? It would be the same connection as running it through the house, but leave out all the house wiring. Then I could leave the generator outside right under the box right: kill the big switch, flip on the oven breaker, fire up the generator and plug in.

Red_Chili
12-30-2008, 11:44 AM
It would only be as good as the oven breaker rated value. Maybe safer than running wild would be to wire an appropriate outlet to the oven breaker, then use a suicide cord to connect up.

BTW, I elected to go with this generator, makes more sense and waaaay more cost effective than the Honda (more peak starting VA too, Briggs and Craftsman - prolly the same thing - seem to be far more robust on that end of things):
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07132516000P
http://s.sears.com/is/image/Sears/07132516000?hei=180&wid=180&op_sharpen=1&qlt=75

Free shipping if you order from a kiosk within a Sears store (a well kept secret, apparently... because... :confused:). There was a special on 12/27 that saved more, or Amazon would have been the same price, free shipping.

Gerdo
12-30-2008, 11:57 AM
dude, that is so cool on so many levels... please expand! :D


Deffinitly of topic but... I work in the film industry. Here (http://cgerdo.wordpress.com/) is my website for my ATV camera rig.

DaveInDenver
12-31-2008, 08:09 AM
It would only be as good as the oven breaker rated value. Maybe safer than running wild would be to wire an appropriate outlet to the oven breaker, then use a suicide cord to connect up.
Make sure there is a GFI at the generator in this configuration, might be built-in or might require you to use a GFI extension. Which ever, please just be sure to have one at the source. This is vitally important, to have a GFI and that it works.

Powering your house with a back-up generator without a transfer switch or pulling the meter (if it disconnects the neutral) is dangerous and illegal.

Also, how the grounds and neutrals are handled between the existing grid, your generator and the house can easily create dangerous potentials both on the grid and inside your house. Not to mention this can be a bad situation for the linemen working on the fault and anyone else in the neighborhood on your side of the fault if you back feed current on the neutral by just opening the main breakers in your panel. You need a transfer switch or possible just pull the meter no matter how you put power into your panel, the neutral/ground is still connected to the power company with the main breakers open.

Yes, I'm beating this horse, but just 'cause it might work does not mean it's safe. You might get away with it, but I'm putting this out there so that someone else reading this thread doesn't think it's kosher. It's not and it's very easy to create a situation that can kill someone if done wrong.

The safest way is to use extension cords and leave the neutral not bonded to ground at the generator. That way its reference to earth and the grid is immaterial.

Here's an article talking about local generation, which talks about some of the things to be considered.

http://www.iaei.org/subscriber/magazine/99_d/johnson.htm

Azrael
12-31-2008, 08:33 AM
Deffinitly of topic but... I work in the film industry. Here (http://cgerdo.wordpress.com/) is my website for my ATV camera rig.

Your company hiring? I think the ship I'm currently on is sinking fast...

nakman
12-31-2008, 08:39 AM
Deffinitly of topic but... I work in the film industry. Here (http://cgerdo.wordpress.com/) is my website for my ATV camera rig.

That is some cool stuff! :thumb:


and Dave, don't worry, I won't rewire my house without you man. :D

DaveInDenver
12-31-2008, 08:56 AM
That is some cool stuff! :thumb:


and Dave, don't worry, I won't rewire my house without you man. :D
I know I'm being dorky, but it's not funny when an Xcel lineman gets hurt because someone has done something wrong. So they wont risk their lives and instead put the system into a safe mode, which means a longer outage for more people. Do it right and use a transfer switch. The code is written and accepted as law for a reason besides making your chores more difficult.