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.
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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:59 am

Kinetic IV wrote: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.
Yeah, thanks. Found a thread on rv.net where people were posting their generator model, what they were trying to power with it, and their elevation. Ugh. I wanted to buy a travel trailer so I could ammortize the cost over the rest of my trips to Burning Man (save money in the long run) but the idea of having to get a generator in addition to the TT cost is really making me think about just renting an RV again (which is a one-time cost I was trying to avoid).

keith
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Post by keith » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:33 pm

inm sacramento where i live there is a junk yard that sells used motorhome parts, u can get a onan 6500watt generator four around 500-700$ depending on how many hours are on it. the onan is the gold standard in generators 90% of rvs with generators have this brand . most generators run at between 3000-3500 rpms, the onan runs at 1800"start your car listen to it at 1800rpm and then take it to 3500rpms big difference in sound" also they are desighned for extended use they hold more oil they put out more peak power for getting things started, and they have a built in coolling fan. mym rv gennie can pull 2 13500 btu ac units along with tv fridge ect, and this is at tahoe with high elavation. with prper maintenance these things last 1000s of hours. a person would have 2 add a fuel tank because they usally get fuel from the rv tank, a battery 2 start it and run the fuel pump, and put a electrical connectin on output wires but u would have a long lasting quiet deppendable and powerful gennie, and it uses 3/4 a gallon of fuel at full load. keith

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HughMungus
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:57 pm

keith wrote:inm sacramento where i live there is a junk yard that sells used motorhome parts, u can get a onan 6500watt generator four around 500-700$ depending on how many hours are on it. the onan is the gold standard in generators 90% of rvs with generators have this brand . most generators run at between 3000-3500 rpms, the onan runs at 1800"start your car listen to it at 1800rpm and then take it to 3500rpms big difference in sound" also they are desighned for extended use they hold more oil they put out more peak power for getting things started, and they have a built in coolling fan. mym rv gennie can pull 2 13500 btu ac units along with tv fridge ect, and this is at tahoe with high elavation. with prper maintenance these things last 1000s of hours. a person would have 2 add a fuel tank because they usally get fuel from the rv tank, a battery 2 start it and run the fuel pump, and put a electrical connectin on output wires but u would have a long lasting quiet deppendable and powerful gennie, and it uses 3/4 a gallon of fuel at full load. keith
Interesting. I actually already own a POS RV with an Onan in it. I had kinda considered just taking that out and using it but now that you say all this, I'm thinking about it more. Hm...I could always put it back in, I suppose...

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:10 pm

And on top of that you upset your air/fuel ratio, and you lose more.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:21 pm

Just ordered the Honda EU2000 from alamia.com
They're cheaper than ebay, and shipping is included (ups).
They have plenty in stock too I was told.

No, I dont work there. Just happy with my purchace...for now.

Next, gott find capt. goddamnit's fuel can set-up.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
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Kinetic IV
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Post by Kinetic IV » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:43 pm

I keep CG's generator fuel can setup in my "Playa Essentials" folder...it worked so well for me that I give it out whenever I can. Thank you Captain Goddammit!

http://www.ilynne.com/captaingoddammit/

When the dust got really bad last year I was so happy to have that extended runtime. I didn't have to get out in it.

Edit: When planning what to bring for the playa don't forget to bring some kind of locking mechanism for the generator so it doesn't get a ride home....with someone else. I use a long Kryptonite cable and I wrap it around the generator handle and then to some place on my car, in my case a part of the frame or the trailer hitch. During the burn the generator got moved....but the cable lock kept it where it needed to be. Also the handles on the EU series are not plastic, there is metal under there so a thief will be hard pressed to cut through it. I thought I'd offer the reminder, a $30 lock system is better than coughing up the full replacement cost.
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shitmouse
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Post by shitmouse » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:58 pm

"What "Silent" generators do people like? "

without reading the above posts in detail, i just bought a Robin/Subaru R1700 silent gennie. (rated around 58db).
it's a good gennie and less than the honda UE's.

they are brand new, so you will have to do a bit of a hunt for air-cleaners for that puppy, if they are on the market yet as this unit is really new to the marketplace.

it flexes up past 2K on surge.
-b

p.s. always break in your motor with Mobile 1 oil. thanks.
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:23 pm

Never even heard of the Robin/suburu.
Kinda scary them being brand new and not really field tested. Thats why I went with the Honda, because A lot of people here gave it a good test under the exact conditions that I plan on using it in. To me, that is better than consumer reports.

But you raise a good question, what needs to be done to a new generator to break it in? I dont have mine yet, but wanna know what I gotta do.
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nostratomas
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thanks for the hookup

Post by nostratomas » Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:37 am

I just ordered the Honda eu2000i w/ a 12v battery charger cable for $881 out the door - no tax, free shipping. They ship same day. Good Hook-Up. whoever mentioned that webiste needs to come find Tomas @ PlayaGround for a Magic Carpet ride. Cheers
If you can't ride it, burn it.

jbelson
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Re: thanks for the hookup

Post by jbelson » Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:11 pm

nostratomas wrote:I just ordered the Honda eu2000i w/ a 12v battery charger cable for $881 out the door - no tax, free shipping. They ship same day. Good Hook-Up. whoever mentioned that webiste needs to come find Tomas @ PlayaGround for a Magic Carpet ride. Cheers
Did you tell alamia where you were taking it? I'm curious as to how many they've sold to burners in the last month or so, especially since this thread.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
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shitmouse
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Post by shitmouse » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:03 pm

robin/subaru 1700i - silent and 1700 watts, flexing up to 2000.
$800. shipped.

also yamaha is now making 4 stroke gennies. not a bad deal.

-b
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:33 am

shitmouse wrote:robin/subaru 1700i - silent and 1700 watts, flexing up to 2000.
$800. shipped.

also yamaha is now making 4 stroke gennies. not a bad deal.

-b
But they can't be hooked together like the Hondas can, which is an awesome feature. I've even used that ability when I only had one Honda, and a friend had another... we ran a cord between 'em and had way better capacity for starting loads like A/C compressors, short-time but high-power loads like microwaves, etc.

Price is similar, output is similar, you just lose the coolest feature of all with those others... I sound like a Honda salesman and I'm not... I just see a huge advantage with the EU-2000 and none with the others.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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shitmouse
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Post by shitmouse » Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:22 am

shit. double post. duh....

yeah you can't daisy chain them, but... it's silent, it's a 4 stroke, and it's cheaper. that won it for me in the fact that we have 3 gennies in camp which more than covers our power needs.

-b
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Kinetic IV
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Post by Kinetic IV » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:06 am

You get what you pay for too. Besides the initial cost I looked at a couple of other things. For example you're going to run that thing on the playa...it's going to get dusty so frequent maintenance is a must. Can you find replacement filters for it? What if it needs warranty service, where will you need to take it for service?

Another thing that sold me on the Honda was the engineering that goes into it. This is the same company that makes everything from generators to motorcycle engines, auto engines, hybrid engines, and even exotic formula one stuff. With that kind of pedigree behind it you know going in that the Honda will be designed to hold up. Also is the power output as clean on the cheap generators? The Honda has the built in inverter....the power is clean enough to run laser printers and satellite gear which are hypersensitive when it comes to power. I want something with practical use off playa (like during ice storms or power blackouts) so clean power is important. I know my needs may be different than yours but hopefully posting this will get people to thinking...the low priced unit might not suit your needs after all.
K-IV
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:29 am

Okay, I got my generator, the 2000, but I'm not sure of my power capabilities.
If I'm running lights, do I just add up the wattage of each bulb plus the wattage of whatever else? Are there more calculations I need to figure into it?
Do I lose power thru length of cord?
I know I'm gonna have at least 4 light bulbs, x-mas lights (a couple of strings), boom box, run a blender from time to time...cant think of what else. That sholdn't overload it should it?
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EvilDustBooger
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Post by EvilDustBooger » Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:52 am

The only QUIET generator

is a DEAD generator.
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geekster
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Post by geekster » Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:57 pm

For $300, I wouldn't care if it only lasted for two events.
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Wed Aug 17, 2005 2:48 pm

Answered my own question with the help of this site
http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/genwat.asp

good info on watts and what certain things will need. Found the info about start-up wattage very helpful.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer

jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:35 am

The Honda EU2000 worked great all week long, no complaints.
Well one: I didn't get a spare gas cap in time to rig the ting to an external tank, so I had to refuel it every night at dusk. But it ran all night with no complaints from neighbors (it's kind of a white noise).

Also, here in L.A., there was a power outage yesterday. My new wife called me and said "It's go time, lets fire the genny up". Powered the computers and let me watch the directv to check out the news.

Honda's rock!
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer

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dinosaurwilly
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Post by dinosaurwilly » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:14 pm

I am seriously considering the EU2000 for next year. Any other testimonials from this year? Did you guys like the honda?
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EB
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Post by EB » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:32 pm

Brought a 2000 to the playa this year and loved it. No muss, no fuss, it's a generator-for-poets.

It was very quiet. We had tents from other camps all around us so I tried to run it as little as possible (in the afternoons before happy hour) but one morning I ran it so I could run the Mr. Coffee (fuck 'em) and it wasn't bad at all, especially since I used my car as a half-assed baffle.

The genny was gassed up when I brought it (1.3 gal or so) and I used about three gallons from Tues through Sun. Ran it on average of two hours a day to freshen the deep cycles.

Two thumbs way up.
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safetythird
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Post by safetythird » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:51 pm

We had 2 EU2000s in our camp and I'll be buying and bringing a 3rd for next year. We had power drops all over camp and they were humming most of the week. Really quiet and dependable. The gennie owners used the gas tank as a timer. Filled it up after sunset and ran them until they ran out or someone was motivated and sober enough to refill it.

Just chain it to some staked rebar or a vehicle or something.

S3

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:11 pm

safetythird wrote:We had 2 EU2000s in our camp and I'll be buying and bringing a 3rd for next year. We had power drops all over camp and they were humming most of the week.
I'll repost my Honda external gas tank plans;http://ilynne.com/captaingoddammit/

FYI, you can plumb all three sets into same tank, I did in '04.
You can also make yourself a junction box and connect all three electrically (I did that too!). You can even simply use a few double-male cords to do it. Just connect them FIRST, THEN start the sets up.

That way you can pick whichever set you like at any time to run, and just start up more sets as your power needs increase.

I've also found that EU1000, EU2000, and EU3000 Hondas are happy connected together in any combination.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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safetythird
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Post by safetythird » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:34 pm

Thank you Cpt! I was already looking for your URL. I'm going to do the tank mod for both my campmate's EUs as a "thank you" for letting me use their juice.

S3
(who didn't see the playa cruiser this year)

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doc
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Yamaha ef2400

Post by doc » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:24 pm

Picked up one of these for my cheshire cat art car...I did the battery inverter thing last year and it sucked.

Very good deal at www.wisesales.com $1200 including shipping.

Yamaha stats show they run at 2000watts and peak at 2400...load test by another site has shown them to run at 2200 and peak at 2800.

I ran it the entire event at 1100 watts straped to the back of the cat and sitting 5 feet above it you were barley able to hear it....and it started the 10000btu window ac in the dog house fine....about 40 hours of usage and less than 10 gallons of gas.

And you can gang 2 together like the Hondas.

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geekster
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Post by geekster » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:47 pm

The cheap Champion generator powered Project X for exactly 16 hours before it died. The generator ran fine, just no electrical output. Not sure what the problem was with it, when the owner gets it fixed, I will pass along the info. Looks like it might just be a refund item, though.
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geekster
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Post by geekster » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:51 pm

Oh, and I bought the small Honda 1000i but never used it. The deep cycle on the camper trailer lasted all week to power the lights inside. The fridge and stove are gas. Never needed a charge.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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Mr Magoo
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Post by Mr Magoo » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:22 am

Cracked up the EU200i last weekend having not used it since last BM. It is still a sweet genny. Just remember to change the oil.
So, what is the deal with the damn batteries anyway!

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ibdave
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Post by ibdave » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:55 am

[quote="Mr Magoo"]Cracked up the EU200i last weekend having not used it since last BM. It is still a sweet genny. Just remember to change the oil.[/quote

Thanks for the reminder. Also when testing your gennie, be sure torun it with a load on it.. Use something like a drill, hairdryer, just something that will make the gennie work alittle..
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

ltcobretti
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Post by ltcobretti » Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:04 pm

You are definately not supposed to connect a Honda 2000i with anything but another one of the exact same... :shock:

Also, http://www.generatorfacts.com/honda.htm - Honda Generators are definately the best and the most $$$. The EU2000i is the best generator I have ever used. The next best brand for noise level that is main stream is the US is Yamaha. There is a rebate on two of their quiet models right now for about two more weeks:
http://www.yamahageneratorstore.com/blog/

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