Generators

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 13:32
ThreadID: 69946 Views:13353 Replies:13 FollowUps:16
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Hi All.
I am considering getting a new generator and would like to get any opinions from you.?????
1. Can anybody recommend Tomahawk generators?
2. I also get confused with the db. ratings on some gennys.
3. Is the Engel generator sine wave or not?

Thank you
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Reply By: Rod - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 13:59

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 13:59
Engel: have you read post 52380 ?
AnswerID: 370678

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:10

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:10
Never heard of Tomahawk do you have information on this?

I have a Honda and swear by it. It starts every time first or second pull. Easy to service and runs for 8 hours on 2 liters of fuel. Put it 20 meters away from camp and you can't hear it.

Do yourself a favor and get a well know brand
AnswerID: 370683

Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:32

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:32
Hey Troll 81,
What Model Honda is it and what do you run off it?
The reasons I ask,
1) We need a generator at home for when we have Blackouts to run the Freezer & Fridge, Sometimes we're without power for 12 hours or more.
2) and we what a one to take camping with us.
Just curious as to what size to get.

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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:37

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:37
we don't run aircons or anything off ours so a 10i does the trick for us but if you are going to be running very power hungry things you will have to get the 20i

check the power draw on the compressor for your fridge they have a pretty big start up current.
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Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:32

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:32
Cheers for that, no we wont want to run anything else off it.
Some laughed when we had gas lanterns installed with the gas line for the cooktop & stove. It's handy to have a backup system.
While camped we would need to charge the batteries every now & then for the 12v system.
I'm in town tomorrow so I check out some prices.

Cheers




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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:39

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:39
charging the batteries is really all I use it for. I will get a solar setup down the track but that's a discussion for another day. We moved away from gas lighting a long time ago. I run a 240 fluro off my inverter for light and it lights the place up like a stadium. I hate cooking and working in the dark. We normally don't camp in national parks and we always camp well away from people so firing up the gennie for 2-3 hours doesn't bother me and like I said if you put it 20m away you don't even know about it.
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Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:03

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:03
I found some info on theTomahawk

Looks like a Chinese import thingy.
Cheap enough. I think It would be best to stay clear of them. That's just my opinion.

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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:29

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:29
Ray,
If you dig deep enough on the Engel website it will tell you the output is square wave, it's there but buried very deep.

They make a big song and dance about Inverter Technology but they fail to mention their interpretation of an inverter output is actually square not sinusoidal wave form.

I've actually had one of the 1kva Engel's on an oscilloscope and I can tell you for a fact the output of it is square.

A lot of people will tell you the Engel and Honda both have Sawafuji electronics which is true. They'll also tell you if the brand of electronics is the same the output must be the same, this is far from true.

With one exception you pretty much get what you pay for with these inverter style generators which is AC power reasonably close to the mains at home.

Geoff
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AnswerID: 370692

Follow Up By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:46

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:46
I have to admit about 18 months ago I bought an Engel generator (2KW) thinking it was identical to the Honda jobbie, only painted green.

Fuunily enough I have yet to use it.

I have read that the Engel is not sine wave, not he same electronics, etc etc.

Can anyone tell me, from experience, that the Engel genarator I have is not good enough to power fridges, electronics, etc?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:01

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:01
Gary,
The definitive answer is, "suck it and see"

What I mean by that is the only true way to answer your question is to start the generator and plug in the appliance and see what happens.

In some really rare cases and the appliance that springs to mind is the Dometic inverter RV washing machine will not run on the Honda generators regardless of their capacity yet it will run on the Yamaha.

That is the only case I know of that the Honda wouldn't run an appliance. That may have changed now as Dometic were looking into their electronics to see if they could make a correction.

Make sure first off that the appliance actually starts then monitor the appliance very carefully for rapid rises in temperature of the electric motor etc.

Be prepared to pull the plug quickly if things just don't seam right.

I know that doesn't sound very scientific but without knowing a whole host of design and performance data on both the generator and the appliance that's the best available to us.

Our main aim in portable generators is to emulate as closely as possible the power that is supplied to our house. As I said above, from my tests with one exception you pretty much get what you pay for in portable generators.

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:08

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:08
Thanks Geoff, good comments.
Mind you, I still paid fairly stiff dollars for a Japanese generator ( Honda motor, Sawafuji electronics) and would expect reasonable performance, possibly better than from China I hope.
Cheers
By the way I'm originally a Novocastrian.
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:25

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 17:25
Hi Gary,
And that's what makes my blood boil over Engel.

They are advertising as if they are producing a Rolls Royce but they stopping just short.

That's why everytime this generator debate comes up I mention my actual testing of the Engel and the results I found.

It doesn't mean you won't get excellent results in most applications from the Engel it's just they aren't necessarily delivering what they are insinuating they are delivering.

Like I've said before, for the most part you get what you pay for in the electrical output of these portable generators.

Where abouts in Newcastle did you originally come from?

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 08:20

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 08:20
Hi Geoff,
Spent all my school years in Merewether. Moved to Sydney for uni at 18.

My parents moved after 50 years to Lake Macquarie.
cheers
Gary
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Reply By: Member - Tony & Julie (FNQ) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:35

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:35
I have the 1kva Yamaha Inverter Generator - Has been a great little quite generator & runs on the smell of an oily rag :-). Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 370693

Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:51

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:51
x2 for the Yammy . Economical ,quiet and starts 1st time.
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Follow Up By: Member - Porl - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:17

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:17
x3 for the yammy, and i like the colour better than the honda.
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Reply By: Member - Smiley Bill - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:46

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:46
Hi Ray,

1. My advice is to stick with well known brands for parts and servicing down the track.

2. The db rating is basically how loud they are, measured with an instrument at certain distances. Different countries have different standards though.

When checking them out start them and use your own ears, 60 db is not twice as loud as 30 db, 90 db is not 3 times as loud as 30 db etc.

3. The 240v output of a generator should be AC (alternating current). AC is always Sine Wave, the question is what sort of Sine Wave.

If you are only running lights this should not be a problem however modern electronic equipment does not like the output from a lot of the cheaper generators; you risk damaging them because of the "wrong sine wave" put out by them.

SB
AnswerID: 370708

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 18:43

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 18:43
Hi Bill

I'm with you in spirit , but need to add a couple of electronic engineering corrections.

I'll leave alone the term generator as it can mean AC or DC , AC does not mean sine wave , square wave is also Alternating current , and there cannot be sorts of sine wave , a sine wave is a sine wave by definition and because of this has the property that its shape cannot be modified by passive components.

Whereas a square can be constructed by adding sine wave of various frequencies together(called harmonics).

On the sound , the power in a sound wave doubles for every 3db i.e. 63 db is twice the power as 60db and 66db is 4 times the sound power of 60db etc.








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Reply By: RV Powerstream P/L - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:03

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:03
Honda Yamaha or Subaru all good.
Service outlets Australia wide.
Tomahawk Chinese unproven.
Service outlet Melbourne.
I think that sums it up.
Ian
AnswerID: 370724

Reply By: Kim and Damn Dog - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:23

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:23
Gidday Ray


Have a bit of a think about what you’re going to use a generator for. Not just now but in the future.

I’m not a proponent of buying cheap, because after many years of misfortune, reliability is on the top of the list when considering a purchase of this kind.

A top quality generator such as Honda or Yamaha will last you for 25 years if it’s serviced and looked after.

The size (output) will vary, depending on individual needs. In my case, I have a Honda 2KVA because I want to run power tools in the bush, and have backup when the power go’s off in the house.

For general camping (providing you don’t want to connect up every gadget known to mankind) a smaller generator will be fine.

I’d be staying away from the cheap stuff.

Regards

Kim
AnswerID: 370756

Reply By: Member - The Crow (QLD) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 06:33

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 06:33
Just to confuse you even more we have a Hyundai 3000 runs everything in the van including aircon. Weight is 29Kgs and is very quiet. It has about 50hrs on it so far no problems. Paid$1600 for it at last years Van show in Brisbane.
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AnswerID: 370815

Reply By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 09:20

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 09:20
IMHO,

Onan, Honda, Yamaha

In that order....

AnswerID: 370842

Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 10:13

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 10:13
I would buy one and you can be the first person to do a review on it!

Why would you want to spend thousands of dollars buying a brand name one when the cheaper ones for a couple of hundred dollars will work just as well.

The brand name ones are just making more money from you for no real advantage.
AnswerID: 370855

Reply By: ben_gv3 - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 10:20

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 10:20
What about Kipor? I've noticed the firies use it so it must be reliable enough.
AnswerID: 370857

Reply By: Isuzumu - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:02

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:02
Now I cannot remember the thread No where I put up the test results on my Chinese generator, but I think you guys have bashed the Chinese genersators enough, so with Sir Kevs permission, I think I shoud organise a competition in St George at the National Gathering with all you fellows with your Honda, Yamaha etcs and with non partial judges, they are not allowed to own a generator.
So the rules wil be:- the bet is "that dollar for dollar my C/G is better than all the rest" ( I paid $356 for a 2KVA) and if I win then you (who are game to put your name up lol) will owe me each a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine. And the last rule is that if you win I do not have to pay up anything, as I am a cheap skate thats why I own a C/G lol. Nearly forgot another rule, I pick the judges lol.
Now the rules for what we will test them on will come a little later, after I see how many of you are going to compete.
Cheers Bruce
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AnswerID: 370923

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 20:17

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 20:17
Gidday bruce

Let’s get serious with the bet. We’ll both toddle off to Siberia for 25 years and see who freezes their arse off first. Since you’re the instigator of the bet, it’s up to you to supply the fuel.

I’ll also require naming rights to the book entitled; ‘But for the lack of warmth, I lay in frozen solitude’.

Now it could be that your $300 Chinese generator may outlast my Honda, which would cause me considerable angst (particularly if the Latte gadget can’t be fired up in the morning).

However, if the Honda comes out on top, I reserve the right to expect your servitude until the cows come home.

LOL

Rregards

Kim
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 20:39

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 20:39
Now now Kim you have to read between the lines (could be like an insurance policy) I have all the say in the rules lol.
Thanks for the come back mate, hope this will get a few more of the other side to put up hahahahah
Cheers Bruce
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Reply By: Ron173 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:08

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:08
Go the Honda.

I have the 20i, runs ac in my van the lot, doesnt use a lot of fuel, quiet,

easy to oil change etc, runs anything in house on blackouts.

bit exy to buy but shop around good deals to be had, plus if looked after should last a lifetime.

I had a cheapie b4, sounded like a bikie gang anytime anything cut in.

Well pleased with Honda, wish i had bought in first place.

Ron
AnswerID: 371516

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:17

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:17
I was camped at Inskip Point a few weeks ago and there was a Honda 20i running around 50 meters away and it was on or near full throttle and it was bloody noisy a lot more than my CG at the same throttle. May have had a problem......
Cheers Bruce
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