Quiet generators

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
jbelson
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Quiet generators

Post by jbelson » Mon May 23, 2005 3:51 pm

What "Silent" generators do people like? I know Honda and Coleman and another company have them. but I wanna know you think.
Tried one that you hated? Let us know.
Have one that you swear by, we'd be glad to hear it.
How about one that you like, but you'd buy different next time?
And how do you feel about the noise?

It'll help those of us looking into buying one make a decision from those that have used one.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer

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sputnik
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Post by sputnik » Mon May 23, 2005 6:43 pm

Doing a search with the search link above found a number of possible entries. The following link is recent and has some answers:

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=8445

BTW, please do try searching first, and don't post the same question in multiple forums....bad form.
It's going to be alright.

jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue May 24, 2005 1:04 pm

sputnik wrote:Doing a search with the search link above found a number of possible entries. The following link is recent and has some answers:

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=8445

BTW, please do try searching first, and don't post the same question in multiple forums....bad form.
Excuse me. Hello. Can you hear me way up there on your soapbox Sputnik? I'm down here on planet earth.
Now with that bit out of the way, I did a search. And if you actually read the link you posted, there is no info on Generators, just a bunch of cranky-pants complaining about loud ones along with most of the other threads. Also, I only posted this here, unless something weird happened and it did a multiple post.

Now, to possibly help others out: Any thoughts on the coleman 1850 or the yamaha type generators? The coleman seems very reasonably priced.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer

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sputnik
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Post by sputnik » Tue May 24, 2005 1:21 pm

Gee...I don't see a soapbox. Just trying to be helpful. I don't know anything about gennies. I hear honda has some quiet ones.
It's going to be alright.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue May 24, 2005 2:08 pm

Those Coleman are a bitch. Had two of them. The first was so heavy it was useless. Dumped it on my son in law. He has it for back up. The other one I spent $100.00 bucks trying to shut it up. That was a waste of money. Built my own. Honda water pump motor and a car gennie. Sweet, cost me 40 bucks
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue May 24, 2005 3:02 pm

maybe thats why they're so cheap.
Anyone know about the yamaha ones?
Or any others?
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zorro sings
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Post by zorro sings » Tue May 24, 2005 3:15 pm

We have a Honda eu-300 at our camp for the last 2 years.Can't imagine anything better.Super quiet,easy to use w/push button start and very durable.Only problem is that they are,due to the popularity of the machine,sometimes difficult to track down.The eu-200 easier to find and would probably take care of your needs almost as well as the 300.But I have an aversion to generator rope pulling at the Project and the 300 is,as far as I know, the only eu model with push button start.
Be careful. You can spend all your money in there..............................Oriental Visitor

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zorro sings
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Post by zorro sings » Tue May 24, 2005 3:20 pm

sorry that should read eu-3000 and eu-2000.
Be careful. You can spend all your money in there..............................Oriental Visitor

jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue May 24, 2005 6:43 pm

anyone have experience w/ kipor sinemaster?
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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu May 26, 2005 7:50 am

There's the old saying you get what you pay for....with generators it's something to keep in mind. I own a Coleman Powermate 1850 Sport and a Honda EU2000i. The Coleman was used in 2003 on the playa and retired for a couple of reasons, the biggest being sound, the second being fuel consumption and quality of power output. The Coleman looks like it has sound shielding but in 03 I had people around my camp come over and turn it off. That should say everything about how loud the unit was. And I had trouble running some chargers and other things off the power output.

About the Honda, yeah it's pricey but your paying for excellent engineering and soundproofing that really works. I love the fact that it has the eco-throttle and it can run at a lower RPM as your powerload drops which saves fuel and cuts noise. And when people say it's quiet, it's quiet enough that last year people in Kidsville didn't even notice I had one and that was without any external soundshielding.

One other thing about the Honda is they are tough. My unit got left out overnight and ended up riding out a severe hailstorm in the Missouri Ozarks. My car windshield was broken by the hail, but the Honda handled it without trouble. The unit ended up in over 1 inch of water before I could get out to move it, yet the thing never quit. And on the playa in the heaviest of dust storms the unit kept running without missing a beat. Again...you pay dearly for the Honda...but if you want a unit you can truly count on when you really need it, it's my unit of choice.
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Thu May 26, 2005 5:24 pm

i guess the coleman is out of the running.
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Lassen Forge
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu May 26, 2005 6:12 pm

After doing a lot of research I think the best bang for the buck is the eu-2000... even tho the 3000 is a bit quieter it's more expensive in the long run, if you include fuel, than getting a pair of 2000's an interconnecting them if you need more juice.

Plus... I'm guessing more people get the 2000's, so the chance for interconnecting with a neighbor is better... and if I end up in a camp somewhere (the way our planned family gig is *not* working, I may be looking for a camp to tie in with after all - long story...) it mght be easier to tie in.

So prolly after the holiday I'm going to pick one up... is there any place that is better to get one, or should I hie myself to the Honda dealer and get one at list price + markup? I don't want to subject myself and the neighbors to that noisy industrial thing I could bring... the real question is should I do the 2000 or go with the 3000? ANy ideas??

BBS...

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Kinetic IV
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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu May 26, 2005 6:33 pm

When I bought mine I found that my local resellers didn't have that high of a markup on the units. Online I've found one place that carried them for as low as $970 for the EU-2000i but by the time you added in shipping costs it came out pretty close to what the local people were selling it for including sales tax. YMMV.
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu May 26, 2005 6:53 pm

My choice was 2 Honda EU2000s because the cost is similar to one EU3000, but each EU2000 only weighs 50 pounds, versus about 140 for an EU3000. Also, the pair of "2's" make more power together than a "3". Sure, they are pull-cord start, but they're HONDAS! They start right up damn near effortlessly.

One "drawback" is the limited fuel capacity of the two smaller sets, but I have a solution that gives you however much capacity you want, and it only works on the "2" (and the EU1000, which I don't recommend buying. I have one that I use on my Mutant Vehicle, bought it before the "2" came out. It only costs slightly less, is only slightly smaller, makes not nearly the usable power.)

Here's how to set up a chaep, effective, no-moving-parts external fuel supply for your EU2000;http://ilynne.com/captaingoddammit/

Maybe I'll get around to publishing details on how to interconnect two Honda EU's... but super-short version, don't waste your money on Honda's pile of shit interconnecting setup, it's crap and it's like $250. You can make up a double-male extension cord and just plug any two together, or much better, set up a junction box with two male cords and whatever style outlets you want. Plug one male cord into each generator. And, BTW, you can link up as many sets as you want, I've done as many as 4. You can also link different-sized Honda EU's, the 1000, 2000, and 3000 all play well together, and yes, I've done that too.

Two very important cautions. If you use the system I do, and have one of the male cords unplugged, it will be live and shock whoever is adventurous enough to touch it. Don't do that.

Also, no matter what method of interconnecting Hondas you use, factory or not, always connect them together FIRST, THEN start them up. Don't hook them together already running, they haven't a chance to be synched up first if you do that.
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Lassen Forge
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu May 26, 2005 10:43 pm

You answerwed a couple of the burning questions I had, Cap'n... one being if you could IC 1000's, 2000's, and 3000's, and the other is if it were possible to sidestep that horribly outrageously expensiive couple #0 welding wires Honda sells as their interconnect system... Thanks a million for answering the ???'s, (and thanks for the links to your awesome fuel system).

Guess I'm a goin' Genny-shopping! >>grins<<

BBS

Tafkah
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Post by Tafkah » Sun May 29, 2005 8:33 am

I bought a Honda EU1000 and a EU2000 from this place in Ukiah.

http://www.motosportsofukiah.com/

You have to call them to get the prices, but they were the cheapest I could find anywhere.

Good Luck!

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gregori
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Genny pricing

Post by gregori » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:34 pm

Best buy I've found on the EU2000 is at www.alamia.com

$875, including delivery. Reportedly excellent customer service from them, as well.

They get $1660 for the EU3000, which has (as noted) electric push-button starting.
It's pretty bulky, however, and a pair of EU2000's hooked together are a little more flexible. (At about a hundred dollars more out of pocket, plus a homemade 'patch' cable if you need the high amperage.)

Captain: I love the extended runtime tank cap mod. Saw it when you posted last year and have sent the link on to several people I know...

G.

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Zulegoona
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Post by Zulegoona » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:02 pm

I got an eu2000 last year, and welded an aluminum box I bolted onto the back of my trailer. Along with the compartment for the generator there is an area for 4, 2 1/2 gal plastic gas cans. I had a hell of a time with them leaking gas both from the bouncing around while on the road and from heat expansion as the box was in the sun.
Does anyone know some trick other than just putting less gas in the cans to keep them from leaking?

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Post by fancy1 » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:22 pm

Bought a new Yamaha last year, and it sat beside a Honda on the playa. Couldn't tell the difference between them. Both were quiet and very fuel effecient. So, I'd vote to shop by price. But, stick to either a Yamaha or Honda.
"the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"

Kinetic IV
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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:48 pm

Leaking gas cans? I hauled 3 of those large red plastic gas cans in the back of the Ranger with the homemade camper shell on it in '04. The camper shell was painted black to match the truck which helped turn it into a massive heat sink. Still with all that and taking Jungo Road on 10 ply tires inflated to 80 psi (can you say rough ride?) I didn't have any leaks from my gas cans. I had my extra air tank pop off from the heat but that was it. I left about 1 maybe 1 1/2 inch of airspace at the top of the cans too.

Edit: I would take a look at the seals under the caps, make sure everything was seriously tightened down...I also had two kinds of spouts. The old style that retracted into the tank (messy) and the new hard style with the built in vent for pouring. Again no leaks.
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:33 am

fancy1 wrote:Bought a new Yamaha last year, and it sat beside a Honda on the playa. Couldn't tell the difference between them. Both were quiet and very fuel effecient. So, I'd vote to shop by price. But, stick to either a Yamaha or Honda.
Both are very nice, but only the Honda allows multiple sets to be connected together... which is extremely cool...

And a quick reminder, "Honda" doesn't automatically mean "quiet", it has to be an "EU series" set, and those are also the only ones you can link together. And, quiet is everything... worth every cent. Those Colemans, Generacs, whatever else aren't a bargain at all even though you can get them cheap, they make no electricity at all when you can't stand to turn them on and listen to them.
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Mr Magoo
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Post by Mr Magoo » Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:58 pm

Hats off to gregori!
Went to the link he referenced www.alamia.com and bought an EU2000i today for $870. Shipping included and no tax since I do not live in Colorado. They say they will ship today and receive w/in 4 to 6 working days via ground UPS.
Best we could do locally (at the stores Honda has on their webside) was the MSRP of $1,080 plus 8% California tax!
You da man- Gregori :D
So, what is the deal with the damn batteries anyway!

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gregori
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Post by gregori » Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:05 pm

MM - You're welcome, glad to share.

Personally, I'm still trying to decide if I want to lug around one big one or two little ones. ::sigh::
Decisions, decisions...

G

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:32 pm

I went with two little ones... they're only 50 pounds each, totalling less than the 140 pounds an EU3000 weighs. And they make more power, and give you more options. The electric start on the big one isn't much of anything but a gimmick, they're Hondas... they start right up with the cord, it's not like it's hard anyway.
Power-wise, the EU3000 is rated for 2800 watts continuous, 3000 momentary surge. The EU2000 is rated at 1600 continuous, 2000 surge. Two of 'em gives you 3200 continuous, 4000 surge.
You need a lot more on the Playa than normal because of the high altitude... the air is thinner, so engines ingest less of it... that in itself hurts power, but it also makes them run "rich", too much fuel for the amount of air, and that hurts power too. In my experience with generators at BM, electrical loads that tested "no sweat" at home are often barely manageable at BM.
I've used the 3000 and it's a great unit, but it IS heavy! It's really easy to grab a 2000, or even two of 'em, and set it into or out of your truck, or whatever. (I also keep a cable and lock on mine cuzza' how easy it is... )
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HepCat1A
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Dead KIPOR 3000

Post by HepCat1A » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:46 am

I just bought a KIPOR 3000, for a friend. Ran great for 10 minutes then stopped. Appears to have no spark. It was as quiet as my Honda while running, nearly identical in appearance, but not the same quality even if it hadn't died. Anyone else tried em?

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unjonharley
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Re: Dead KIPOR 3000

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:30 pm

HepCat1A wrote:I just bought a KIPOR 3000, for a friend. Ran great for 10 minutes then stopped. Appears to have no spark. It was as quiet as my Honda while running, nearly identical in appearance, but not the same quality even if it hadn't died. Anyone else tried em?
~
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HepCat1A
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KIPOR 3000

Post by HepCat1A » Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:34 am

Thanx unjohnharley, that was my first thought also. Oil was fine. The folks I bought it from are taking it back as well as all the rest they sold. There seems to be a problem with this particular model.

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:01 pm

I'm *still* thinking about what kind of generator to get so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents based on some research I've done so far.

My issue now is that I might be taking a travel trailer with AC (for my virgins and for sleeping late during the day) and a single EU2000 cannot handle the amperage load of a 13,500 BTU AC unit (the most common size AC on an RV or travel trailer). So I asked a few questions about that, in particular here: http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuse ... 886373.cfm and got a nice, long useful discussion. If you're trying to run an air conditioner off your generator, this is a good read.

I'm currently considering the Yamaha EF30iSEBC which is similar to the Honda EU3000 but includes a "burst" feature that puts out extra amps when necessary (such as when your air conditioner compressor kicks in). Another reason I like it is that while two smaller generators give you more flexibility, I figured there would be twice as much maintenance and repair.

Another option is renting a generator. I called a place in Dallas and found out it's about $100/day for an EU-2000.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:36 am

I'm gonna pipe up here and put up a reminder that you get less power from your generator at BM because of the high altitude. Quite a bit less.
So go conservative... if you have a generator that's just big enough to handle your load, you'll likely fall short on the Playa.

I still say go Honda EU, whether a pair of 2000s or a single 3000, because of the parallel hookup capability. It is kinda' cool how the Yamaha uses it's starting battery to help sustain short "surge" loads, but a pair of EU2000s or an EU3000 will handle A/C on the playa, no problem, and no other set can be linked together like the Hondas.
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Kinetic IV
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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:24 am

Rule of thumb: You lose 3% of your power for every 1000 ft above sea level you go. With the playa sitting at close to 4000 ft. elevation, you can expect to lose 12% of your power.

I've posted this before but thought I'd offer it as a reminder.
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