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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I am looking to buy a small cheap one as a backup.
The one I am looking at is rated 850W, 0.12G/h.

My electricals needs are low and covered by my solar panels, when there is sun. I am targetting less than 5ah.

The generator seems to be limited at 15a ouput on DC.

Anyone has experience with those ?
Should I try to plug it directly on my bank on DC, or just plug it on my AC 30W Charger ?
What would be my **real** daily consumption if that was my only source of energy and how much gaz should I take ?

All Power 1,000-Watt 2 Stroke Gasoline Powered Portable Generator-APG3004A at The Home Depot
 

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The Honda/Yamaha 2000 watt ones seem to have a good reputation for being quite reliable and quiet. But they are in the $800 to a thousand range.

Here is the one from Harbor freight:

900 Peak/700 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) 2 Cycle Gas Recreational Generator

It is listed as $129 but there is almost always a coupon for $89.

This one looks interesting:

Inverter Generator - 4.7HP, 2500W Inverter Generator

But have not heard any feedback on it other than they are hard to come by. Store near me said he has put them on there orders for months but have not gotten one into the store yet.

Yes the 12 volt is pretty dirty from any of these and if you have an on board charger it will likely charge better.
 

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bell ringer
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I have 1 of those 900W units from harbor Freight and it worked fine for battery charging and like use. It even powered some lights and the refrigerator at home once during a power outage. I plugged it right into my shorepower connection and ran my 100 amp charger off it. It was less than a day's stay at the marina just to run the battery charger and afterward I had it for other things

I also just got a Hyundai 2000si unit that is max rated at 2200W and 2000W continuous, so more power than the Hondas and Yamahas. Heavier at 73 lbs but it was only $525. If you are interested in something to use more often.
 

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If you will be using it more than for just crisis mode, I'd make sure you buy a 4 stroke one instead of a 2 stroke one. 2 stroke engines are lighter for a given power output but can not use a real muffler, which is a limitation of their overall design. That's why chainsaws and mini-bikes are so loud. Even a 4 stroke generator will make you fewer friends at an anchorage. A 2 stroke generator will likely have them carrying pitchforks or worse!

If it were me, I'd get the Honda 1000 or the Honda 2000. They both use 4 stroke engines and have a muffler. They are reasonably quiet. (Note that the Honda 2000 reportedly can run air conditioning for if your ever in the tropics and need a break from the heat. But it will take up more room and weigh more.) They both will lower the rpms when less power is needed.

Watch out for your shorepower charger drawing too much current from the generator and shutting it down as an overload. Suggest testing everything before heading out. I had this shutdown taking place, but eventually got it to run, maybe by plugging in the load after startgin the generator, don't remember. Maybe someone else can say more about that.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Brad
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I ran all stores around and it seems the only other one (except the one at Hartbor Freight, 2 strokes) will be this :

http://www.costco.com/Smarter-Tools...or-with-Yamaha®-Engine.product.100121916.html

Which is more expensive but seems way better. Thoughts ?

I am curious how much gaz I should take aboard...
it seems they don't use a lot of fuel, I am guessing with 5 gallons I should be covered for 3 weeks, with an average of 50ah / day (worst case scenario, engine fail and no sun). ?
 

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I ran all stores around and it seems the only other one (except the one at Hartbor Freight, 2 strokes) will be this :

http://www.costco.com/Smarter-Tools...or-with-Yamaha®-Engine.product.100121916.html

Which is more expensive but seems way better. Thoughts ?

I am curious how much gaz I should take aboard...
it seems they don't use a lot of fuel, I am guessing with 5 gallons I should be covered for 3 weeks, with an average of 50ah / day (worst case scenario, engine fail and no sun). ?
Looks like a Honda knockoff. I'd be concerned about how long it lasts. Knockoffs aren't as good as the real thing.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Honda 1000w or 2000w portable gens are the way to go. We don't use our 1k on the boat, but its incredibly quiet and bulletproof (so far). I'm sure many of these cheap versions are disposable. Sure, they economy may be there to buy a few of them before you break even, but I'll pass on the cruise where it dies and I have nothing.

Bene is right. Two strokes are loud and, even if you can bear it, anyone nearby is going to be plotting to board and pillage your boat.

btw, I get about 9 hr of runtime per gallon on the 1k.
 

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When you think about what you are getting for $1000, those Hondas are pretty amazing.
 

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Watch out for your shorepower charger drawing too much current from the generator and shutting it down as an overload. Suggest testing everything before heading out. I had this shutdown taking place, but eventually got it to run, maybe by plugging in the load after startgin the generator, don't remember. Maybe someone else can say more about that.
Unless your charger has the ability to dial down the initial rate of charge - such as the Xantrex "Power Share" adjustment - I think it's very unlikely most 1000 watt generators will not shut down immediately upon seeing the initial load most chargers will exert upon startup... Only way my Honda 1000 will not shut down when my Freedom 1000 charger comes online and starts bulk charging, is for me to reduce the Power Share to under 50%... Others' mileage may vary, as usual, not everyone running a 1000w appear to have this problem...

One work-around I've heard of, is to charge the batteries for a bit using the direct DC leads first, before switching on the charger...

Beth and Evans on HAWK are big fans of their Honda 1000, there's some helpful info on their site...
 

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It is a Costco branded Yamaha gen so I would think just as good as the Honda and the price did will buy lots of fuel for it
Depends on what you are doing, IMHO. Made in China is vastly different from Made in Japan. Even if it's just a backup, we tend to start relying on our tools and suffer a setback when they stop working.

If you are going for a long cruise, far away from the nearest hardware store, you'll likely want a generator that won't break. If you are doing more local sailing, it doesn't matter as much when it breaks. And yes, you can buy a lot of gas with the difference!

Regards,
Brad
 
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hell even my old Harbor Freight 900W generator had no problem running my battery charger
That doesn't really mean anything, without details. Totally depends on the state of charge and total ampacity of your battery bank. As Jon pointed out, bulk charging on even a moderately sized bank (~200ah) is going to overload any 1k genny.

And in case people aren't aware, best practice is to NEVER start a generator with the load connected. You should let the generator run for at least a few minutes to warm up before connecting, then turning on the electrical load. Ideally, you should also turn the load OFF before stopping the generator. More sophisticated units may have internal protection, and not connect to the output until up to speed, but most cheaper ones do not. Not sure if the newer inverter generators will allow that, haven't used one yet.

On conventional generators, the rpms don't actually vary with the load. Most small units are two pole (magnetic poles) and run at 3600 rpm to produce 120/240 vac @ 60Hz. Period. When the electrical load is increased, the engine has to work harder to maintain the rpms, so it's louder, but the speed is constant. If the speed increases or decrease, so does the frequency, and that can be bad for both the generator and any loads connected with it.
 

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We have a little Yamaha 1000 watt portable, that is really quiet, and sips fuel. It's price is $800ish new, purchased from CL for $350. Wife uses it at dog shows for powering her blow-dryer... it draws right up to 1000 watts, and the generator just cycles at full power, but keeps on chugging. Digital inverter technology is great no?

We use a Dometic (rebranded magna) 3000 watt we use for our LQ horse trailer (pronounced RV)... it's louder than a Honda, but was $900 new, not as loud as say a Champion 3000 watt (loudness between a Honda and a Champion)... But it was purchased to handle our 13,800 BTU A/C in the trailer.

Sorry can't compare for boat use, as I only ever use the tiny 1kw yummer, and that is typically to charge my 1 battery, or run some power tools (no power at the dock). I can tell you that thing is pretty quiet with no load (3 boats away you can't really hear it).
 

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bell ringer
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That doesn't really mean anything, without details. Totally depends on the state of charge and total ampacity of your battery bank. As Jon pointed out, bulk charging on even a moderately sized bank (~200ah) is going to overload any 1k genny.
460AH bank that was accepting 80 amps, which was right at the max of the generator but it did it just fine

If you can overload a 800-1000W generator charging a 200AH bank you have bigger problems of your boat
 

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460AH bank that was accepting 80 amps, which was right at the max of the generator but it did it just fine

If you can overload a 800-1000W generator charging a 200AH bank you have bigger problems of your boat
Depends on the state of the batteries and the charger size. A typical 40 amp charger (Xantrex) consumes 9 amps AC at max. That is over 1000 watts and it is doubtful a 900 watt gen could handle that load. If the charger is larger than 40 amps and the battery bank at a low state of charge a 900 watt gen definitely couldn't handle the load.
 
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