Hooking generator up to a power converter

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2171 Views:4593 Replies:44 FollowUps:7
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all.
As a new boy this is my first question that I hope someone will help me with.
Yesterday I bought a new Jayco Penguin Outbacker. This unit does not come with a battery as standard.

The power to the unit is 12 volts supplied by either the towing vehicle or the onboard Power converter which reduces power to 12 volts DC.

The power converter is built by Youngyear Electronics Co.LTD (overseas built) it is Model CS 2000 power converter switching model.

The literature that came with it is next to useless as it tells me nothing.

The Jayco handbook is a very generic one that covers all their rolling stock and it does not appear all that up to date, but it does go on to say in one place that a generator should not be connected directly to the power converter.

I have a Honda EM500 that is over 15 years old but still very reliable.

When I ask the staff at Jayco where I bought the camper to be specific as to what they base their advice on and/or does it apply to this particular power converter, all I get is the old hand over the mouth mumble talk and my question is not answered.

I sent an email the Jayco Home but their website seems more geared to answer questions about their vans rather than data. At the time of this post no response had been received

Now my question.

Has anyone any knowlege of how a generator on 240 volts plugged into the main 240 volt powerpoint on the caravan would go with the power converter, preferrable my brand of converter?

Regards
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Reply By: mudgutz - Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00
yeah dont know much about your type of converter but as an electrician i can tell you that your old generator wont be putting out a good enough regulated ac wave type to hook to a converter due to the electronics they like good even regulated power.........the dc convertor will cook from dirty input if you hook up your old girl......however you will be able to hook it up to a honda eu type genny they have a good regulated ac wave ...ive run my laptop on it .......actually the reason i bought it was to run a satellitte box and tv cause they like good clean power in the bush when i go away and the kids want there bloody nickelodeon ......an eu20 honda will supply 8 amps at 240 volts all day thats 2000 watts for the non electrical minded my honda runs the engel frigde two fluoros and the tv/sat no probs
AnswerID: 7541

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,I am an electronics and electrical engineer (come web designer and general IT nerd). What devices are in the van that require the 12 volts. There are a few methods to get around your problem. I would like to know a little more about the requirements of the van first.
David
AnswerID: 7546

Reply By: ken d - Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 17, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Janset-There may be a reason why you cannot run off a genset with the power supply as suggested.- You mention that it is a switching type converter. Trying not to be too technical, the 240V AC supply you recieve via the mains is a clean sine wave. If you can imagine it is very smooth.- The AC supply from a small generator is however more of a distorted sine wave. This can upset the conerter as it has trouble using the wave as a reference on which to trigger. A little hard to explain simply.- The same can happen with some domestic appliances running on a small genset.-This said a switch mode power supply seems a crazy choice for an outback camper, especially since it only has to charge a battery.- I suppose the only thing you can do is to risk it, and try it out.- To do this you will need a load. I suggest something like a 12v/100w spotlight connected where the battery would go. Turn of everything else in the camper. Start the generator and get it up to normal operation, then connect it to the Power Converter (if you want to look after your equipment this is how you should always use your genset, regards of what's connected to it)- Check the output of the converter is 13.8V. If it is, all should be sweet.- Be aware the converter may also die a smokey death. Perhaps thats what warranties are for. Just look sheepish and mutter the old "dunno it just stopped"- Cheers Ken.
AnswerID: 7550

Reply By: Member - Mal - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Janset, My two bob's worth and people like David can tell me if I am wrong! Forget about the converter and run generator to battery charger to battery to appliances. Mal T.
AnswerID: 7570

Follow Up By: Hoffy - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
That should cure the problem. Switch mode power supplies are very fussy as to the power they run on. The 240 volt mains have a clean sine wave pattern. Unless the 240 volt output from the generator is a near perfect sine wave I would be very hesitant using it direct on the converter. The generator will most likely have some spikes on its waveform. This is dead set certain to kill the 240 - 12 volt converter in the van. While the switched mode power supplies are light and efficient there are limitations. If it were mine I would build up (or buy) a 12 volt supply that has a standard 240 volt transformer in it. They are almost bullet proof. You just need to know what the laod requirement is in amps at 12 volts
0
FollowupID: 3477

Reply By: Janset - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Hi guys.
Wow, there certainly appears to a lot of interest. I will try to answer all the questions and connents.

The camper runs all 12 volts DC lighting only.

The fridge is a 3 way fridge.

The switching power converter has a charging rate of 13.4 volts.

A try-out and see what happens in this case may not be such a good idea as I have already asked Jayco a number of questions in this regards and I think I may be shooting myself in the foot if I made a claim.

The Genset AC settings 50~60 cycles are set via throttle adjustments and the vibration of the set triggers a vibrating ocilator thingy from side to side depending on which one on the 3 vibrating thingy is vibrating. This then determins the operating Cycle, 40, 50 or 60 Htz which inturn also increases the AC voltage output, 240 volts plus or minus (about) 10 volts...I think!

The suggestion that I run the Gen set to a battery charger and then to the 12 volt system and battery on board the van....I have used this system in the past on a small sail boat when I was younger and richer and it worked very well. The downside to that setup in this situation is that the power converter is fan cooled in a confined area venting into the isle from under the bed while the charger is not fan cooled and it does get quite warm. Secondly I would have to do a bit of 240 volt electrical plumbing to be able to use the battery charger and the 240ACV for the fridge at the same time, for example in a caravan park setup.

A point of interest. Jayco did suggest that a surge protector be used as power in country areas trends to be erractic.

Further suggestions and work arounds are still welcome.

Regards

AnswerID: 7583

Reply By: Member - Jim - Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2002 at 00:00
Funny how all these major caravan suppliers in this country fit out what they sell with appliances bearly adequate to do the job, and in many cases to get the van to do what it should have done in the first place means that you have to throw out and start again, all when it could have been done properly for a coupla hundred dollars in the first place.
And whats more they don't even care!!!!
Regards
AnswerID: 7591

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
how true - it would be easy to do it right in the first place, but a pain to fix once the van is fully built.

The things they do to day a few hundred dollars.
0
FollowupID: 3505

Reply By: mudgutz - Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 19, 2002 at 00:00
faaaaaaaaaark now ive heard it all 240 to charger to 12 volt......bull bleep .....the charger when down on power will draw heavy current the whole time your trying to charge it let alone trying to run your gear off it.........forget the battery charger ....these are good for 240 vac mains supply and not much bloody else due to the heavy current draw required to charge them..........hence ...good for 1 charge initially when you go away and its fully charged from the 240 at home but if your trying to be self sufficient forget the charger its 300 bucks poorly spent.........my advice for your fix up....get a 240 to 12 volt transformer with a dc rectifier on the ass end which has no fancy electronics and bleep the power converter right off alltogether....that way you can run your dirty old honda on it and run all your 12 volt stuff .....lights/fridge
no probs...cheaply available from most electrical wholesalers..
talk to an auto electrician ...the caravan salesmen wouldnt know how to get light from a bloody torch with two double d batteries let alone what you want to know
AnswerID: 7603

Reply By: Janset - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks guys for all the input......... I guess I am stuck with what I've got until I am ready (financially) to make improvements. In the interim, if I find that my battery is starting to get down, I will simply remove it, hook up my 15amp battery charger to the Gen set as I have done before on my boat and replace the battery again when full......A lot of unnecessary shagging around that could have been avoided........ I agree with the statements that caravan builders should be more in touch with reality and build units for the purpose and conditions under what they are intended to be used...... As for information from sales staff, to call it a joke is being very kind. They can't even tell you who the agents are for items or components that they put into their products..........I hope the builders of Jayco caravans read this article :-)

Regards
AnswerID: 7640

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7659

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7660

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7661

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7662

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7663

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7664

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7665

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7666

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7667

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7668

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7669

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7670

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7671

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7672

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7673

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7674

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7675

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7676

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7677

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7678

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7679

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7680

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7681

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7682

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7683

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7684

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7685

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7686

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7687

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7688

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7689

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7690

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7691

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7692

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 20, 2002 at 00:00
Janset,
Don't take a generator to the bush - please!! Run your fridge from gas and your lights from 12 volts. A good fluoro will run for days without flattening your battery. You don't need a PC, microwave, TV or any of the other toys already mentioned when you "get away from it all"
AnswerID: 7693

Follow Up By: Axel+karen - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
From reply no.9 to no.43,,,,,you have just convinced me to buy the biggest and noisiest generator that I can fit into my trailer,,,,,each to their own requirements when they get away from it all.
0
FollowupID: 3553

Follow Up By: Mick - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Axel and Karen - your reply doesn't surprise me a bit. Sad to say there are people like you around - happily the majority aren't like you.
0
FollowupID: 3560

Follow Up By: Axel+karen - Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002 at 00:00
Just goes to show that you would not know sarcasim if it bit you
0
FollowupID: 3574

Reply By: Emjay - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Right. Well, I think Mick has made his point here! Repeatedly.
AnswerID: 7723

Follow Up By: Janset - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Yep I think so. Mick I WIlL NOT take my generator to the bush!!! LOL

Regards
0
FollowupID: 3551

Follow Up By: Mick - Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 21, 2002 at 00:00
Good on you Janset! Sorry about all those replies!! I now know to click once and be patient!!
0
FollowupID: 3561

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