Quiet generators

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
Post Reply
User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 12:28 pm

I've a question. I will be a first time burner this year, and will be coming in an rv. I see that most recommend the Honda or Yamaha generators. They are quiet, coming in at the 55 -60 db range which is less than typical room conversation which is 60db. However, there are other brands of generator/invertors (depending on the model), that also come in under 60 db, such as Porta source, Champion, Generac, and Westinghouse.

I read on another website that if someone's generator doesn't say Yamaha or Honda, people will sabotage the generator. Is this true? Are people like that? I just got my ticket, and being a musician, Ive a generator/invertor i use to power my roland fantom keyboard. Runs at 53db. Im not going to buy a whole different invertor just because a few individuals think that Honda and Yamaha are the only game in town. They're just the companies that market the best. Musicians gave been using low db generators for years, even making their own, long before Honda beefed up marketing.

Anyway...I just wont be able to come if this man is telling the truth as I don't want my invertor destroyed. Is he telling truth? Or lies? It wil be my first burn. I wanted it to be a good one. Please answer.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2743
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Quiet generators

Post by some seeing eye » Sun May 15, 2016 1:04 pm

We have plenty of generator experts and they will chime in, at exactly the right dB level.

I just took a quick look at the Champion 1200W/1500W GENERATOR, 80CC
Model #42436 vs the Honda EU2000i1A1.

The dB spec used to compare generators is dependent on the distance where it is measured from the generator, the dB measurement dBa, dBc are common, and the power output half, full, etc.

The Champion is speced at 65 dBA at 23 feet (no power output level stated) the Honda at 53dB(A) (No Load) - 59dB(A) (Rated Load) @ 3 Meters.

dB goes up by 6dB for every doubling of distance and down by 6dB for every halving of distance. So the Champion will be 71 dB at 11.5 feet which can be compared to the Honda 59dB at 9 feet. You can to the same check to compare generators.

For larger towable generators the WhisperWatt series are good and there are all manner of large towable quieter generator$$ for film production.

In no time you are going to be an ePlaya generator expert! (And I would always urge people playing music on the playa invest in a dB SPL meter with a washable foam windscreen, maybe paying a little more for Class 1, and find some friends with a calibrator to mate with it about yearly)
Last edited by some seeing eye on Sun May 15, 2016 1:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 1:07 pm

I do understand db and sound and distance and the formula to calculate all that,etc, so I get ya. :D

There is a smaller version of champion that runs 53 db. Wont run an rv AC, but will run a swamp cooler. Like i said it depends on the model. Even Honda, it depends on the model. My friends farm model honda is loud, so depends on the model. My biggest question is...if it doesnt say Honda, or Yamaha, will it be safe? Should I bring my db counter and tape it to the generator? LOL. I will if I need to.

I also want to say that i have only met WONDERFUL peple here, you included now, and so i find that persons blog a bit unbelievable, hence why i posted this question.

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14401
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Elderberry » Sun May 15, 2016 1:16 pm

We don't use what would be considered a "quiet" generator but we do build a baffle box to keep the noise down. You just have to be considerate of your neighbors.

Nobody is going to come over and sabotage your generator without asking you if you can move it or baffle it. And frankly it would only be an inconsiderate, law breaking asshole that would sabotage or destroy any of your property.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

maladroit
Posts: 2295
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Quiet generators

Post by maladroit » Sun May 15, 2016 2:12 pm

I run a Champion 2000 watt inverter, which compared side by side with an (older) Honda EU2000i, is just as quiet. I run it at the burn and it's not a problem.

No one will come over and sabotage a generator based on brand alone. For the most part, no one will even come over and sabotage a loud generator, though it's often discussed in (shouted) conversations while in bed.

Here is an example of one that should have been sabotaged. Our neighbors put a shitbox cheapest contractor 4000W or 6000W generator in this lovely "art" enclosure. They ran it all day. At least, until one of them tried to fuel it up while it was running, starting a fire. One of our camp virgins grabbed her fire extinguisher and put out the fire. Unfortunately that involved getting a lot of fire extinguisher powder into the generator's intake.
Image

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 2:59 pm

Elderberry wrote:We don't use what would be considered a "quiet" generator but we do build a baffle box to keep the noise down. You just have to be considerate of your neighbors.

Nobody is going to come over and sabotage your generator without asking you if you can move it or baffle it. And frankly it would only be an inconsiderate, law breaking asshole that would sabotage or destroy any of your property.
(Thats what i thought, and the website owner who said it probably one of them)

Would you be willing to send me the design of your baffe box? I dont want any problems on the playa, and i will be camping alone. I want people to think of me when they leave, "There goes one respectful person."

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29140
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Quiet generators

Post by ygmir » Sun May 15, 2016 3:20 pm

a good baffle box can be a pallet, with 4 half ish sheets of plywood around, lined inside with a soft material, maybe swamp cooler pad, foam rubber, styrofoam, etc.
If you can't reach over the side, make one side hinged.
if you can leave the soft material a little above the edges, and flopped inside, it also helps.
The pallet keeps the genny off the ground, and allows air flow for cooling.
the higher the sides, the more the sound that escapes is directed up.

Thanks, for caring, and asking, how to be a good neighbor.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 4:13 pm

ygmir wrote:a good baffle box can be a pallet, with 4 half ish sheets of plywood around, lined inside with a soft material, maybe swamp cooler pad, foam rubber, styrofoam, etc.
If you can't reach over the side, make one side hinged.
if you can leave the soft material a little above the edges, and flopped inside, it also helps.
The pallet keeps the genny off the ground, and allows air flow for cooling.
the higher the sides, the more the sound that escapes is directed up.

Thanks, for caring, and asking, how to be a good neighbor.
Thanks for your construction help! I am a musician, so theres a website ive used for industrial dampening materials that meet city codes. Plywood conducts too much sound, but dimple boards with floating floors are good db reducers. Drywall with dimple boards, and a floating floor is a near 50 db reducer, but not sure how to "put that all together" for a generator. I know what materials to use...just not how to put it together. Thanks so much!

Well....just checked the website i normally go to before posting this, and "all be" but what they have a page on dampening portable generators! Lol the smarter side of me should have looked there first. Doh!

http://www.soundproofing.org/infopages/generator.htm

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14401
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Elderberry » Sun May 15, 2016 4:54 pm

I checked out your link and I don't think that's the best solution for a baffle box in the desert. I would think if all sides and top were covered like that the generator would overheat.

Here's what we do. We bought 2 pieces of 1/2" plywood (4' x 8') and cut them in half so you have 4 pieces of 4' x 4' each. Then drilled matching holes on each vertical edge making sure they were all aligned. i.e. Top, middle & bottom about 1" in from the edge. Then glue carpet (or some of that insulation you can get at the website you linked to above to the inside of all four pieces.

When you get to the playa, you connect all the sides with zip-ties to form a box. Don't fasten one edge together so you can open it to get in and out to service the generator. You can also bring a palette to place inside for the bottom to raise the generator up off the ground if you like. And if we are running the generator later in the evening, we also have another 2' x 4' piece of plywood, also with carpet glued to one side, to set on top to cut out a little more noise. (Though we rarely run the generators much after dark.)

If you search here you'll find that this topic has been discussed pretty much in depth already.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 7:00 pm

maladroit wrote:I run a Champion 2000 watt inverter, which compared side by side with an (older) Honda EU2000i, is just as quiet. I run it at the burn and it's not a problem.

No one will come over and sabotage a generator based on brand alone. For the most part, no one will even come over and sabotage a loud generator, though it's often discussed in (shouted) conversations while in bed.

Here is an example of one that should have been sabotaged. Our neighbors put a shitbox cheapest contractor 4000W or 6000W generator in this lovely "art" enclosure. They ran it all day. At least, until one of them tried to fuel it up while it was running, starting a fire. One of our camp virgins grabbed her fire extinguisher and put out the fire. Unfortunately that involved getting a lot of fire extinguisher powder into the generator's intake.
Image
What was that supposed to be? Baffling? the black tarp would collect heat and overheat the generator, not to mention the reflective sheeting pointing IN toward the generator. I guess i dont understand what they were trying to do.

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Sun May 15, 2016 7:06 pm

Elderberry wrote:I checked out your link and I don't think that's the best solution for a baffle box in the desert. I would think if all sides and top were covered like that the generator would overheat.

Here's what we do. We bought 2 pieces of 1/2" plywood (4' x 8') and cut them in half so you have 4 pieces of 4' x 4' each. Then drilled matching holes on each vertical edge making sure they were all aligned. i.e. Top, middle & bottom about 1" in from the edge. Then glue carpet (or some of that insulation you can get at the website you linked to above to the inside of all four pieces.

When you get to the playa, you connect all the sides with zip-ties to form a box. Don't fasten one edge together so you can open it to get in and out to service the generator. You can also bring a palette to place inside for the bottom to raise the generator up off the ground if you like. And if we are running the generator later in the evening, we also have another 2' x 4' piece of plywood, also with carpet glued to one side, to set on top to cut out a little more noise. (Though we rarely run the generators much after dark.)

If you search here you'll find that this topic has been discussed pretty much in depth already.
Yea it had a suggestion for overheating: To install a fan to draw air. I thought i might cover it with reflective sheeting on all sides.

But....could you send me a diagram of yours? Im better with diagrams than worded descriptions.

I did read all the generator posts before I posted this one, and none addressed my sabotage issue. Now the topic has rather side stepped but I am glad nonetheless. I appreciate your help tremendously.

User avatar
mudpuppy000
Posts: 1551
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:54 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: THE BELLIGERENT GAP
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Quiet generators

Post by mudpuppy000 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:43 pm

If you're going to do a baffle box, do one that points up, or back in your own camp, and not across the street at your neighbors. Same with sound systems. If you can't handle the noise, then your neighbors don't want to deal with it either.

But anyway, nobody is going to sabotage a generator because of the brand. Usually if the generator is an inverter generator it's reasonably quiet. The giant 4000w ones that sound like a leaf blower are the ones that drive people nuts.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2743
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Quiet generators

Post by some seeing eye » Mon May 16, 2016 1:51 pm

Katajojo wrote: Yea it had a suggestion for overheating: To install a fan to draw air. I thought i might cover it with reflective sheeting on all sides.
Fans can fail on the playa, and thermal cutoffs too. Another idea to consider is the geni charges a battery only when needed, then run your sound system & loads off the battery through an inverter.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
Katajojo
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Katajojo » Mon May 16, 2016 4:56 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Katajojo wrote: Yea it had a suggestion for overheating: To install a fan to draw air. I thought i might cover it with reflective sheeting on all sides.
Fans can fail on the playa, and thermal cutoffs too. Another idea to consider is the geni charges a battery only when needed, then run your sound system & loads off the battery through an inverter.
I was wondering about that. Do you have a suggestion for a battery? Yes I know i need a deep cycle, but any brand over another? Any that will run my AC or will i need to hook a few up in series or direct current? (I forget...series connection for wattage, DC for amps?) Goodness i might have started sooner. Just got my ticket though.

Maybe ill just bring my truck, forget the RV, and just build a bed in the back with an ice cooler and a fan. Then bring 4, food grade, 5 gallon buckets of water, and a 10 gallon thermos of milk. (Simple easy good complete fluid nutrition) Im fairly low maintenance, and an RV is beginning to sound like a headache. Not to mention my RV is a 38' TT, and coming from NE, there's a few steep summits along I-80 I'll have to maneuver. Id just as soon not be worn out from white knuckling the grades before i even get there.

User avatar
EGAZ
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:44 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Camp2 -Doin' What We Do!!
Location: Arizona

Re: Quiet generators

Post by EGAZ » Mon May 16, 2016 6:09 pm

How much experience do you have driving the 38' RV? I ask ,having decades of experience, because while it will make things 'nicer' on the Playa. I would plan some close to home trips in it between now and the burn if you are a rookie.

People forget that driving a 38' anything is not like driving a car or truck. Lots of weight to take into consideration, higher center of gravity, easy starts n stops, wide corners, etc, etc. From the size of rigs I have seen, (in pics n vids) on the Playa, getting it there is not a big deal. Going over the peaks may be another thing all together. Especially if its under powered and under braked. (is that word?)
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

User avatar
GreyCoyote
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:24 am
Burning Since: 2000

Re: Quiet generators

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon May 16, 2016 10:28 pm

I want to address your concern about sabotage.

First, YES, it happens.
Second, NO, the brand has nothing to do with any lynch mob actions.
Third, you've got to be a real asswipe to get scrammed.

If you point your 90 db chinese noisemaker at someones tent, and tell them to fuck off and die when they ask you to move it, then yep, you're gonna find beer in your fuel. This is just, and right and expected behavior.

But you dont strike me as the type who would have a problem. You're sweating the details, doing the right thing, and by DOG that goes a long way toward keeping the peace!

Want to be bulletproof? Talk to your neighbors. Take 'em a six pack of cold beer. Make it clear you have a quiet genny, and tell them the hours you will be running, and assure them you have an open-door policy for resolving any issues. Offer them some power if they need it, reinforce your concern for their ears on a daily basis, and generally be a good human. Do this and you have no worries.

And good on ya for sweating these details! You're my kind of neighbor.
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
(A Beautiful Mind)

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Papa Bear » Mon May 16, 2016 10:48 pm

I've not found I-80 to be that bad, but I'm only towing a 10' cargo trailer, not a 38' beast like you're considering. That might get interesting in a few places, especially the descent from Evanston down into the Salt Lake area.

If you go the truck bed route, I'd suggest looking into a 10x20 Costco Carport to park it under. You'll want some kind of shade over whatever you're sleeping in, and it's nice to have some standing space in whatever you're calling home.

5-gallon buckets of water can get a little squirrelly to haul around and access. Definitely wait as long as you can before filling them up; you don't need to haul the weight cross-country. A simpler option might just be to pick up your water pre-packaged in Fernley - the Walmart there typically has tons of 2.5 gallon "suitcase" containers of water, packed 2 to a box, which makes for easy hauling. You can also fill water containers at Scolari's supermarket in Fernley, though their systems can get a bit slow under load.

In general, unless you've got a really good system of ice chest management down, I wouldn't advise relying on anything that needs refrigeration. There are just too many ways for it to fail. Feel free to bring it, but make sure you've got a fallback plan, and an idea of how to haul it back out if it spoils. 10 gallons of milk sounds like a recipe for an awkward, smelly mess to me, but YMMV.

User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 19782
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West

Re: Quiet generators

Post by AntiM » Tue May 17, 2016 6:06 am

Papa Bear wrote:I've not found I-80 to be that bad, but I'm only towing a 10' cargo trailer, not a 38' beast like you're considering. That might get interesting in a few places, especially the descent from Evanston down into the Salt Lake area.
That descent is called Parley's Canyon locally, and it does get hairy. Long sweeping curves make it look flat, and folks don't realize how fast they're dropping. Take it easy, take it slow. Be glad it isn't winter.

Pequop Pass on 80 in NV is also steep and the downhill side gets wicked too. We have a utility trailer, and before we got the pickup, it would push the vehicle around.

Feel free to use the truck lanes on the hills!

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7995
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue May 17, 2016 9:03 am

Katajojo wrote:
I was wondering about that. Do you have a suggestion for a battery? Yes I know i need a deep cycle, but any brand over another? Any that will run my AC or will i need to hook a few up in series or direct current? (I forget...series connection for wattage, DC for amps?) Goodness i might have started sooner. Just got my ticket though.

Maybe ill just bring my truck, forget the RV, and just build a bed in the back with an ice cooler and a fan. Then bring 4, food grade, 5 gallon buckets of water, and a 10 gallon thermos of milk. (Simple easy good complete fluid nutrition) Im fairly low maintenance, and an RV is beginning to sound like a headache. Not to mention my RV is a 38' TT, and coming from NE, there's a few steep summits along I-80 I'll have to maneuver. Id just as soon not be worn out from white knuckling the grades before i even get there.
There's no practical way to run your A/C on battery power, it draws too much power. (Of course it CAN be done but it would take way too many batteries and you'd run a generator just as much to charge them anyway).
I would definitely bring the trailer - depending on how stout your truck is.
Assuming you have a truck that's well suited for pulling it, it'll be an awesome brc home base. You can escape the dust storms, you have a refrigerator, etc.
Staying in the back of your pickup with an ice chest sucks.

I roll in at 22,000 pounds total between my truck & trailer, lots of people do.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

User avatar
SnowBlind
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Quiet generators

Post by SnowBlind » Tue May 17, 2016 5:42 pm

Katajojo wrote:Like i said it depends on the model. Even Honda, it depends on the model. My friends farm model honda is loud, so depends on the model.
I don't know who that original guy was that you were talking to, but certainly no one here says that any Honda is good and any other generator is bad. When people here talk about the Hondas, they talk specifically about the Honda EU series. The most popular one is the EU2000, but others from the EU series are quiet too.

People like them because they are quiet, they are playa proven and they are good quality. Not the cheapest watt/$, but good. Other brands might have quiet ones too, but the Honda EU are the most popular and their quality is proven.

No one will sabotage your generator because its the wrong brand. No one will usually sabotage your generator, period.

But do keep in mind that other people might want to rest or sleep, so if someone runs a loud generator for hours on end, maybe during night, they might not be the most popular with their neighbors.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3793
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Token » Tue May 17, 2016 10:34 pm

This is all much ado about nothing.

Bring what you got, do what you want. Use common sense and we already gather you have a handle on courtesy.

Wherever you read on the Internetz info that motivated you to come here and ask these questions, never go there again. They are full of shit.

And remember, never ever mellow my harsh.

BTW, isint playa background endless drone already at 65 dB no matter what?

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 1878
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Jackass » Tue May 17, 2016 10:42 pm

Token wrote:
BTW, isint playa background endless drone already at 65 dB no matter what?
Thereabouts, isn't it fucking awesome?!..Like a production plant that's running 24/7.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3793
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Quiet generators

Post by Token » Sun May 22, 2016 10:04 am

Jackass wrote:
Token wrote:
BTW, isint playa background endless drone already at 65 dB no matter what?
Thereabouts, isn't it fucking awesome?!..Like a production plant that's running 24/7.
The drone is wise, the drone is good.

And the smell too.

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29140
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Quiet generators

Post by ygmir » Sun May 22, 2016 10:28 am

Token wrote:
Jackass wrote:
Token wrote:
BTW, isint playa background endless drone already at 65 dB no matter what?
Thereabouts, isn't it fucking awesome?!..Like a production plant that's running 24/7.
The drone is wise, the drone is good.

And the smell too.
zardozhead.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

Post Reply

Return to “Keeping Cool”