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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 12-11-2006
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Generators - Which One?

Quick question for cruisers with laptops:

I am considering the purchase of a Honda EU1000 portable generator to use to power my laptop, power drill, and a few other tools while crusing.

I also want to use it to run the compressor to freeze the cold plates in my tiny, well-insulated freezer (I have no fridge) -- which is just large enough for 8 ice trays.

My laptop has a DVD recorder and a large screen. It also has one of those new, low-power-usage Pentium processors. Not sure about its actual amp consumption.

Will 1000 watts be enough; or do I need Honda's 2000 watt version? Or perhaps there is a better, more efficient brand out there?

Honda's 100-watter is relatively quiet, weighs just 29 pds, and runs from 4 to 8 hours on one .6 gallon tank. So I would like to use that one if at all possible.

Also, is a 1000 watt generator any use at all for charging a 400 amp AGM battery bank? Most boats I know with generators have built-in 4kw or 6kw versions. I would like to avoid this.

P.S. I promise not to use it when there are other boats nearby. Really. I swear. Trust me.
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Old 12-11-2006
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The little Honda generators are wonderful, by most accounts.

While the 1,000 watt model will do most of what you want, you will find that you ALWAYS can benefit from more power. Since the price differential isn't all that great, I'd certainly go for the 2,000 watt model.

Yes, it has plenty of power to charge your batteries, your laptop, run a coffeepot, curler, blender, etc. (though not necessarily at the same time). To charge the batteries, it would be good to have a separate smart charger with a good tolerance for voltage input fluctuations, like one of the Iota models.

With the laptop, a good strategy is to run it off the batteries most of the time, and recharge the batteries from the generator. Better still, if you have a good 12V source aboard, get a 12V power supply especially for the laptop (such as those from Lind Electronics) which will keep the laptop humming even when the generator isn't :-)

Bill
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Old 12-11-2006
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Ditto Bill's comments. The only thing I would add is that some of the big auto stores are now carrying off brand versions of the Honda concept at prices that are several hundred $$'s less. I've beentold that the engines in these units are all out of the same Chinese factory that the Honda is made in but I have no way to verify this.
If you want to charge your batteries.... I would absolutely suggest the 2000 watt unit to allow you to efficiently do this. 2KW's ain't bad if you're not running air conditioning!!
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Old 12-11-2006
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I use the EU2000 HONDA for every 120v on board: coffee for (cappuccinos and lattes), hair dryer, top off batteries and even a small portable a/c.

My bank is only 490 amps so charge it twice a day.
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I have both a 1000 and 2000, buy the 2000 for the extra power because after it has run for a while output will drop to about 60% of initial so the Honda dealer tells me. The suggestion to use an Iota is good because the built in charger is wimpy. I am in the battery/ charger business and find the Honda will operate switching chargers like the Iota at near capacity, most small genertators will not, typically the charger will put out about 60% of output when running offf a small generator. This is because most small generators need a constant load and switching chargers at 60-70 Khz do't give them that. be sure the Iota charger is properly voltage configured to charge your AGMs if not thermal runaway could be a problem. If you buy the IQ4 controller with the Iota you can let the generator run till the voltage drops to float and then shut it down, if you use the plug in high voltage option the voltage will be too high for AGMs, nothing is easy.
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Old 12-12-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawkahab
nothing is easy.
You said it. Thanks for the input, everyone.
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Old 12-12-2006
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Does anyone have the EU3000? I have an EU1000 and I'm curious what the noise differential is. According to their website, the EU3000 is the same volume. I'm thinking of doing the "cheap man's air conditioning" and getting an EU3000 + a Cruisair hatch mounted AC unit.
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