Portable Generator Query

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2808 Views:5533 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Has anyone had, heard, used or seen a Christie Eng. portable Generator. They are only a 12v set and they claim to charge up to 55amp on the alternator. They only weigh 12kg and therefore to my mind would be perfect for camping when all your set up is run off batteries and the only use for a conventional generator is to charge batteries. How much do they cost and are they reliable. They would also be ideal for boaties. They advertise in one of the 4wd magazines and are based in Sydney. I will ring them when they start work again but like us all I want answers now. Thanks for any response.
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Reply By: Tuco69 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Robert, put your hard earned cash into a solar setup instead.

The intrusive noise is the reason that generators are banned from National Parks and any area where people go to enjoy the quiet environment.

Solar will " be perfect for camping when all your set up is run off batteries " and without the ongoing fuel cost and noise.

AnswerID: 10602

Reply By: Member - ROBERT - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks for the response. I realise that they may be a bit noisy, but I heard a honda gen. set at the bris. show and it was extremely quiet. The Christie set runs off a 50cc honda motor, and if it delivers 55amp and is as quiet as the honda I heard, then it should only run for two/ three hours, and on a long extension lead it should be ok. This would only be done when there are not any other campers around obviously. If we are by ourselves it would be a good excuse for a two hour walk. I understand the problems with gen. sets re: noise, fuel, Nat. Parks etc, but I have also seen campers go flat because the sun won't shine for three days. Without getting into that argument I have decided on a gen. set and thought this might be the way to go as the noisy bloody thing will be running for the least time.
AnswerID: 10608

Reply By: paul - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Hey Robert

I have both solar panels and the les christie machine. I sold my EU10i to fund the cost of my purchase of two BP solar panels that i have hinged together (not as easy as some have said - where the f$#* do i get suitcase hinges from ? tried bunnings, hardwhere house, etc just had to do with these enormous f$#@ door hinges).

That said, the les christie machine is fantastic when the sun is not out. That said it is exactly the same engine as the can't hear HondaEU10i except that the quietness in the Honda is from the insulation not the engine so the les chrisite machine can be extremely noisy at 55 amps and almost jumps around. So definitely no go in a nat park. Ring les, he is the first to acknowledge that and is working on insulation, but the Honda only puts out a regulated 8 amps so maybe Les machine will never be that quiet, a compromise worth living with if you have decent solar panels. I know few people have the cashola to get both.

One thing i can suggest is that you can buy solar panels, the biggest you can afford with your budget, and if the sun is not out use decent jumper leads straight to your non-starting set up and just run the motor for half an hour or so. Keep of lights, air-con etc and the excess amps from the vehicle's alternator will serve to recharge the battery, just like Les christie's set up (though less the digital amps read out so you know when to disconnect - the worst thing you can do to a battery is to overcharge it).

How much ? uhm, can't remember, about $900 i recall. Reliable ? bullet proof. What can you do about noise ? I had braised onto the exhaust an extenstion set that i can turn into the ground, makes a big difference.

AnswerID: 10613

Reply By: Member - Cruiser1 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
There is also the Light Horse generator, delivers 350 watts of 240v. plus 12 volt battery charger.

It retails for $550, just over half the price of the Les Christie.

It weighs only 7kg - about half the weight of the Les Christie.

Am I missing something???????
AnswerID: 10614

Reply By: OziExplorer - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
With the charging charactristics of a car altnernator, the Christie generator screams it head off for very low charge after the first 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the battery and the state of charge.
If you buy the GX100 2.5hp Honda motor and connect it by direct coupled or belt drive to a Lucas C20 22 amp generator and 3 barrel regulator, you can run the motor at around a third throttle which is fairly quite, and it will charge your battery in a superior way and in the same amount of time. Why, well an alternator charge rate decreases very quickly from the max 55 amp as the voltage rises. The generator charges continuously at 22amps till the battery is fully charged. A GX100, Lucas C20 generator and three barrel regulator will cost you less than half of a Christie unit, and then you will need a coupling, base plate and few other bits and pieces. I have a Honda WX15 water pump that I use for gold mining which is fitted with the GX100 motor, and it is just great.
Honda have a new GX25 available and should just about be available in Australia:
Presently no idea of price, but you can see it on the their new model brush cutter. This GX25, should be sufficient to give you 20 amps from the C20 generator. It would make a very small and light package considering the motor only weighs 2.78 kgs.
Pesently I have a Honda G100 the previous model to the GX100 running a Lucas C20 generator, and on the same small frame, a high pressure water pump which allows me to pump water up to the camp and fill the tanks. I have not used it for ages, as I have 2 x SX75 solar panels and a Jabsco 12v impellor pump that I now use, but still carry my little Honda with us just in case.
AnswerID: 10623

Follow Up By: Sean - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

what pump rating can you get from you Jabsco pump. I am interested in a unit that can lift water 8 metres from a bore, and ,at a reasonable flow so we can fill a kiddies pool in dry season camping.

FollowupID: 5674

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 09:11

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 09:11
Sean 8 metres or 26' 4" is past the limit of the majority of pumps.

With this small Jabsco pump, you could always lower it half way down the bore if the bore casing is large enough. I should imagine it would fit down a 152mm/6" bore casing. You get a flow out of the Jabsco like a good 12mm/½" garden hose. It is a normal type Jabsco rubber impellor pump.
Just looking at the available 12v pumps. The specs on boat bilge pumps generally cut out at 5 metres head (height above pump) as they would have been ideal and would fit down a 152mm bore casing. Looking at the submersible pumps, they have a maximum head of 9.7metres and at 8 metres would not give you sufficient useful flow.
Interesting, in the Jabsco Puppy range specifications, they don't give you any graphs unfortunatly, but they class thei hig pressure pump at 900 litres per hour at 3 metre head. I think that may be a misprint, because of what they are claiming the pump is suitable to be used for eg: high pressure deck washing. The Jabsco part number is 22010-2653. This pump by the looks of things would fit down a 152mm bore casing. I would go to www.biasboating.com.au and ask them to send you a performance graph for that pump. It is also self priming up to 1.5metre.
FollowupID: 5781

Reply By: Member - Cruiser1 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

I have often thought of doing something similar and very basic: getting such a small motor and an old alternator with built-in regulator, securing them to a small frame or piece of solid board, joining them with a short belt. Perhaps something like the rubber belts used on washing machines.

Thought it would make a good little charger for fridge batteries, etc.
Just haven't got around to trying it out!
AnswerID: 10632

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
A Lucas C20 generator is a far superior charging device to an alternator. You can direct couple them, but you need to make sure the shafts are well aligned. If you belt drive them, you need a proper V belt and an M section will do.
FollowupID: 5611

Reply By: Darrin - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
you will find les chrities machine to be very reliable.
What some people dont seem to realise is that as the load drops off during charging you can reduce the revs of the engine to suit which then obviously reduces the noise. Have a talk to Les re an idea of reducing noise using an exhaust extension.
He is good to talk to and wont feed you any crap about his machine.
Depending on your load you will probably only need to run the machine for 1 hour a day.
AnswerID: 10647

Reply By: Member - ROBERT - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks for all the responses. I will speak to Les to-day but if they are as noisy as some say then it will be a no-go. I like the idea of making my own set up with the Honda motor and alt. thanks all.
AnswerID: 10649

Follow Up By: Member - Robert - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
I have just spoken to les and he admitted that they were extremely noisy, however he said that he had the next size up ( 100 amp) and it had the same insulation as the small Honda gen. set and was just as quiet. The motor is a Honda GX100 and uses 1.2lit per 3hours. At that power you would only have to run the set for 1/2 hour per day to keep the fridge topped up. the down side is they cost $1234. inc gst. The smaller ( noiser ) version cost $1000. The size is approx. 45cm x 30cm x 30cm. He has agents all over and I plan to have a look at one here in Sunny Bris.
FollowupID: 5622

Reply By: Phil P - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Whats wrong with just charging your fridge battery directly off your vehicle battery using jumper leads ? Obviously you would need to have your car started & running for a while !
AnswerID: 10684

Reply By: Mikef_Patrol - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00
Hi all

Have heard the Les Christie is noisy, so for the extra $3-400 would buy the EU10. We have an older Honda EX360 (360w 2 Stroke) unit that is relaay great. Can run 2 40L Engels and 2 4A battery chargers on the 180w setting, so the EU10 should be more than enough.

After reading so much about power systems on this and other forums, we are going to keep the EX360 and buy a 60W Solar panel and Regulator. Between these two sources, and a nice 80AH battery in the caravan/camper, I can't see that we, or any one else for that matter, would need any more. Both options are quiet.

Often wondered why they stopped making the EX360, great little unit. Probably the air pollution stuff I guess, but then 3hrs on the 180w setting using .8L of fuel has to be economical.

Anyway, my 2c

Have a great New Year all.

AnswerID: 10707

Follow Up By: Bruce - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 14:08

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 14:08
MikeF..isnt your little honda called an ex350 ?..why I ask is that I had one of those machines until a few months ago and sold it to buy the eu10..it sure was a great litle geny....honda also had an ex500 out at the same time but it did not have a dc outlet..my neighbor had one of those , it was same size as in dimensions as the 350 but put out 500w as to 350w or 300w...cheers
FollowupID: 5703

Follow Up By: Mikef_patrol - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 07:32

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 07:32
Hi Bruce, yep you're right, an EX350. Must have been brain-dead yesterday.

We bought it as it was relatively cheap at the time, very very very quiet (in reality I hate generators, but by putting this one behind a tree about 20m away, no-one even knows it's there.) and cheap to run and maintain. And it's small too.

Its inverter puts out very clean power too, It was recommended to me by a club member who is into Amateur Radio, and he said they were great because they didn't make any RF interference. I haven't heard any reports on the eu10 but being a Honda, and an inverter type, I would imagine it would be the same. A lot of the other genertators on the market are noisier and product dirtier power, I especialy don't like the noise, that's why I hate them.

We won't be selling the ex350 any time soon I can tell you!.

FollowupID: 5769

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 08:04

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 08:04
Bruce, I still have an EM300 the model before the EX500/EM500. Still going strong. I have thought a few times about selling it, and many have asked me if I want to sell it, but at times, it is just so useful and leave it in my other vehicle. Just don't overload your EU10i as the electronic inverter as a spare part is around $1,100.
FollowupID: 5775

Follow Up By: Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 11:23

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003 at 11:23
No the honda certainly wont get overloaded with litle bit of power that we need ..never was great on genys till we got sick of buying ice and a cousin showed us his ex350...only got the eu10i because our new van has 600w micro wave in it and we thought what the hell is the good of it if we cant use it ...so 1300 bucks later...all we run besides that is lights , battery charger and the water pump..the eu10i is just as quiet as the smaller one and has similar fuel consumption..top machine...cheers
FollowupID: 5790

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