Muffling Generator Noise.

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 22:41
ThreadID: 76620 Views:7332 Replies:14 FollowUps:32
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Like it or not the cheaper noisier generators are here to stay. The challenge is to find a cheap convenient and socially acceptable way of making them more tolerable. To kick off the suggestions, which I hope will remain sensible I am suggesting thick cardboard boxes like those used for shipping washing machines, fridges and stoves can be sculptured to make temporary multi purpose items which fold down to a flat pack. Happy Days.
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Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 22:52

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 22:52
A lot of the cheap Chinese generators are Honda & Yamaha knock offs.
I have wondered if it would quieten them if a genuine muffler was fitted.
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Follow Up By: Farmboywa - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:05

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:05
Shaker , that would make an interesting experiment, maybe someone will come up with an answer. The benefit in the cardboard flat pack is that it could also be used as temporary insulation over portable fridges and against the inside of car windows. Something for the pooch to sleep on. A creeper board to lay on while checking under your car. Happy Days.
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Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:37

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:37
Probably not because the quiet japanese models have plastic conrods and such which absorb the shock and muffle the sound beofre it gets to the muffler.

I think the best way to quieten the cheapies down would be to build an insulated box......or throw them in the river.
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Reply By: nomadoz - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:10

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:10
If you can find some asbestos rope like the one we use to wraparound the hot water pipes in the old days, and wrap it around muffler you are in business, LOL

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Follow Up By: Farmboywa - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:21

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:21
nomadoz, asbestos is understandably a dirty word these days. Happy Days.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 05:32

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 05:32
You can buy the rope, it is made of fibreglass now
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 12:22

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 12:22
Alternatively, go to your local motorbike shop and buy some muffler packing and you can make your own decent muffler for your genny with some tin.
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Reply By: nomadoz - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:44

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 23:44
That is what the LOL meant,
I used the stuff for years, including the old wood rasp on asbestos sheet, and still kicking around without any problems

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 01:16

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 01:16
Yeah!

So Far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Disco
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 18:47

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 18:47
My Dad, rest his sole, also used blue asbestos during the war.

In his early 80's a doctor asked if he had every come in contact with asbestos, his answer! YES.

The doctor said, don't worry about what I have to tell you, you will be long gone before this affects you, you have the beginning of asbestos.

Don't be to quick to judge

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Follow Up By: nomadoz - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:51

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:51
You are right about it Gorge,
I believe the unprocessed stuff use to be stored and transported in hashing bags, so it was very dusty environment for the workers

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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 01:08

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 01:08
Hi Farmboywa,

our club members have had some recent discussion on this same matter and for a number of applications.

FWIW .............

around the home ................. a large sized fridge or freezer. Fitted with cheap exhaust fans to keep everything at an acceptable heat level. It is easy to secure this fitment to the side of a building or in a carport or garage.

around a camp site .............. a smaller sized fridge or freezer compartment, in camo colours (of course) to hide in the hills when camping.

mounted on a camper trailer ............. The link is to the Camper trailer forum camper forum
may be worthwhile.

Hope these ideas are helpful.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 03:15

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 03:15
Back in the old days (yeah - here we go) we used to get a length of flexible metal hose and stick one end over the exhaust on the generator and the other in a hole with lots of rocks around it.

Why not now.

Better still, don't complain when we get up at 7AM and start the cars to warm them up. Turn the generators off earlier and it would not be a problem. We would not have to warm up the cars either.

But that quip aside. Try some pipe. But don't expect it to be cold straight away when packing up.

Phil
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Reply By: time waster - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 07:51

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 07:51
We use a peiece of corflute and bend it from the ground with a peg curving it over the top of the geny to the ground on the other side and hold it down with another peg, also we glued and cable tied a pink batt insulation square to the underside of the corflute, we have found this to work well and it also allows the geny to be used in the rain and still allows plenty of air flow.

Christian
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:30

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:30
Half a cup of sugar in the petrol tank!

There is NO socially acceptable way of silencing the intrusive mongrels.

The only time I want a "neighbour" at camp to run their bloody generator is when I'm not there.

Bill.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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Follow Up By: Jacob O - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:07

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:07
Don't you think if it was inaudible at 10 meters that would be socially acceptable. Perhaps if it made no more noise than an inverter?
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:46

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 21:46
Sandman,
I am with you, death to the poxy generators ( and I didn't even swear)
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:35

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 09:35
Gday,
Just fold up a collapse able sheet metal box with piano hinge corners and line it with SOUND/HEAT INSULATION. Wrap your exhaust in insulation and put in a few breather holes.....you could mount a fan in one side and an exhaust hole in the other pointing away from camp. Just have a baffle over the fan.

Cheers
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Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 10:00

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 10:00
I wonder how many of the anti-generator brigade have kids on mini bikes, play loud music, or ...... have under bonnet showers!

At least the object of this thread is to try to make these generators a little quieter.
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Follow Up By: keviny6 - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 10:30

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 10:30
before solar panels gennies were ok we used to share our power , this is a great thread --all for it
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 13:55

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 13:55
I agree Shaker - we all have our vices (some worse than others) but most of these can be tolerated if it includes some consideration. Boozy late nights by fellow campers are far worse - particularly if they are bikers and the bride wants YOU to go and tell them to keep it quite.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Mikee5 (Logan QLD) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:00

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:00
Wow,
For the sake of saving a few hundred dollars we have people taking thick cardboard, coreflute, old fridges, building boxes, digging holes for metal pipe, even pink batts and asbestos. Then the trailer to fit it all it. OK so we now have to take a trailer, lets put in another fridge, maybe a DVD and TV, and the boom box. Where will it end. -:)
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Follow Up By: Jacob O - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:21

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:21
Who wants to pay all that money for solar panels and batteries when you can buy a generator that will fulfill your needs for well under $500? Especially those who might only get out once a year, if that.
Add to that perhaps a $100 for materials to silence it, much less if you're thrifty.
You're looking at anywhere from $300 up for an 80w solar panel, and I'd personally want at least 2. Plus batteries, charge controllers, inverters etc. A good solar system will easily run in excess of $1000. If you camp a great deal then it would no doubt be worth while, but some people don't, and its better I think to have a cheap generator sitting in the shed most of the year, rather than expensive deep cycle batteries, which will no doubt deteriorate.

As the OP said, cheap gennies are here to stay. Instead of bringing the thread down, maybe you could contribute and one day, just maybe, you'll find yourself camped next to someone who has silenced their cheap generator so as not to annoy you, rather than have it blaring away disturbing the piece.
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Reply By: gonebush SA - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:08

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 11:08
hi, that reminds me of a holiday i once had years ago, we had our tents set up at Morgan and went over the ferry to the town to do some shopping and when we returned to our camp site, to our shock someone had made their campsite near us (why they would do that is a mistery as there is so much room to get away from people) anyway, dad wonders what's this extension lead for running through our camp and traced along it, yes they had put the generator behind our tents with the extension leads running across to their site, in a lot of shock dad marches over to get them to shift the genny and it nearly ended up with world war 3, they were adiment that their genny could go where ever they wanted and got very upset that we didn't want it on our little patch. it ended up with us packing up and shifting sites just to get some peace and quiet, as because they were that sort of people we couldn't trust them anyway.
back to the topic i have heard of people digging a hole and placing the genny in it to muffle the sound, never tried it or seen it so don't know if it does work.
chris.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 12:57

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 12:57
If your going to go to all the trouble to dig the hole and put the Genny in it then its worth finishing the job and filling the hole in with the Genny still in it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Vaughn (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 13:05

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 13:05
John has the right idea.

If you don't know where you'e going any road will get you there!

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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:02

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:02
I still do not understand why people cannot be without their generators. Everything we have runs off 12V. Why not just stay at home with the 240V.

What do we need 240V for? Begore answerin understand out setup. We have the standard 100 series double battery system for the TD and have added a third deep cycly battery as an accessory supply. Charged when the engine is running and able to be added to the twin system if needed for cranking. One 40Lt fridge, no computer, a battery shortwave radio and 12V flouro lights. No damned TV. Daily HF sched with HF at home 10-15 mins each dusk with engine running. Then sit back and watch stars and hit the sack early. Inverter if we need any 240V to charge batteries etc.

So! Name one thing that cannot be powered from your car that you absolutely need in the bush?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:04

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:04
OK, tell me about base camping!

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:46

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 14:46
Sorry No take the bait!

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:27

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:27
Phil

It's a circular argument. Because they carry so much stuff they need a trailer for it. Since they have it they may as well use it. You know the essentials of life like TV's, air conditioners, hair dryers and microwave ovens. Since they are so overloaded they need welders and angle grinders and spare bits of steel for patching the inevitable broken parts of suspension and chassis.

OK this is a bit overstated and a bit tongue in cheek but has a certain truth to it nonetheless.

There is no "Need" for this stuff. It is all optional extras. Nothing wrong with some optional extras but it can get overdone and then overloaded.

Personally I don't find the Honda and Yamaha generators loud. I have camped near them when they have been running and have not found it disturbing - during the day. What I don't understand is why some and only some of the owners of them "need" to run them in the evening to 10 pm or later. In the evening the background noise drops and I prefer to hear the birds and crickets than the steady albeit muffled noise of generators. I wonder at times why those sorts even leave home as they seem so reluctant to leave the trappings behind.

Like you, everything I take camping that is electrical can run off 12 volts. The Lion camera batteries were the last thing to be changed over to a 12 volt charger. Quite a bit can run off 24 volts too. I have been given a sine wave inverter. It stays home for blackouts. The only thing it could be good for camping is recharging my electric toothbrush but I leave that home so I don't "need" the inverter. I take a manual toothbrush. :)

There is no right or wrong on this stuff. The forum has several different sorts of travellers with different needs and different expectations.

People who tow a caravan.
People who tow a camper trailer
People who fit it all in one vehicle
I suspect there are even motor bike tourers and maybe backpackers who visit the site.

Now I would not have a right to complain if I rolled out my swag amongst a group of caravans and they were running generators and watching TV. You would expect them to do that. It is different if you are camped already in a nice quite spot no one around and someone comes in well after dark and parks close by and then runs a noisy generator to power one 240 volt light for several hours. That happened to me once.

If there was more consideration for others this generator thing would be a non issue. Unfortunately there is a shortage of consideration now and a little bit too much of "I will make as much noise as I want" attitude out there.

And I think that is the real problem.

Flynnie

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:41

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:41
It certainly is a diverse and great past time. I think to sum all this up we should be a little more tollerant of each others space. Don't run the extension cord near them. Dont make noise if you want to get up and leave early (we pack all but a cuppa before bed). If you don't really need the gene to then turn it off. Turn the radio downa tad. You may be deaf but we don't wan to be. You all know what I mean. Its a thing called respect and common sense.

As you say Flynnie its a circular argument.

But the one that really irks me are the open exhaust motor bikes. Use and enjoy the bike but has it got to be so damned loud. I just realised that I cannot recall any doof doof in the bush. You little ripper.

But for this particular thread for those who use generators try using a flexible metal hose to vent the exhaust into hole with rocks in it.

Enjoy

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:49

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 15:49
"But for this particular thread for those who use generators try using a flexible metal hose to vent the exhaust into hole with rocks in it."

Good one Phil

ROTFL

Flynnie
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 16:23

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 16:23
The base camping wasn't a bait ..... it was just asking how to keep a fridge running for 2 or 3 weeks, without driving every day.

Don't mention solar panels, because I don't want to spend day either staring at them, as I see people do, or running out & moving them every so often.

I have a generator, I camp remote, I never camp close to others either in the High Country, or the Outback, so basically if people can hear my generator then move on & find a nice isolated spot of your own as I did. I can assure you that the boogie man won't get you!



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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 16:46

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 16:46
We rarely stay in one place for more than two days. Each camp is just a stop on the way to the next adventure. We like to get out and look around. Go for drives. Travel light. No trailer or camper. Nothing on the roof. Just my wife, myself and the bush. Heaven. The only thing I miss is the walks. I cannot walk or climb much now. But there still is a lot to see. I only hope I have enough time to see it all.

Question: Who can spot the correct grammar that is so missed today that shows respect for the other person before ones self? Hmmm

Family trek to Cape York with the sons and their families later this year. One son with baby in tow has a gene and that's okay as we always stay away from others.

We don't use solar panels as we are mostly not camped during the day. Stopped to look around but not camped. Earliest set up is usually around 4PM. That's why the three batteries. Never yet got below 10.8 V on the accessory one. The main twins are only for cranking and what goes through the ignition switch and normal car accessories. Vary rarely shows less than 12.4V.

We used to use that flexible hose thing with the 2KVA VW powered generators in the Army. Its amazing how much it did quieten them down. I am sure any engineering place could provide a source of it.

Phil (its raining and no balloons up today)

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 18:53

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 18:53
That is how we camp when we are travelling, we do show respect for ourselves when base camping, by camping remote from other campers.


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:29

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:29
Shaker

Sorry if I gave you the impression I was having a go at you. Not intended. Okay.

I gather you don't need me to answer the first question you put to me as its in the above.

Neither did anyone pick the grammar question. Sows how bad it is. We just follow the yanks hey???

What I find strange is that not one person answered my question about what 240V item they thought was necessary. So what do they need a generator for. Yes I know. A bit of home comfort. For medical breathing etc equipment. And for the young ones comfort and therefore adult piece of mind.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:16

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:16
Sorry Phil

I thought I saw a humorous reference that was not there. My overactive imagination saw another meaning for a hole with rocks in it.

Flynnie
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:22

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:22
All fine. Thats the trouble with the written word.

Have a good day.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:27

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 22:27
OK, the 240v item that at times find I necessary is ...... a battery charger!


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 00:07

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 00:07
Sorry but for what batteries? Car or phone, light or games etc?

If you stay in one place for a while then I would agree. Or maybe a solar panel dedicated to the battery charging only.

But if its only a few days then you may want to put another battery in the car for those things that would flatten it. Or if one already then maybe examine the usage. Maybe its too small. Not sure as I don't know the whole story.

Thats why we have the three. And never touch the cranking ones. Fridge on accessory battery and lights run off rechargeable batteries that last for ages. They get recharged when the motor is running.

For our style not needed.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 09:11

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 09:11
Fridge batteries, you would need a big battery bank to power a fridge for a week or two.
As I already said, I have no interest in staring at solar panels & frequently realigning them as I have seen others do.

I also find it amazing, that when camped remotely, people still want to camp right on top of us, Australia is a big place, find your own spots!

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:45

Monday, Mar 08, 2010 at 10:45
I see what you mean about a week or two. I have run our 40L at home from the car for four days during the summer and everything went okay. But we move a lot and go for drives. Rarely does it sit still for more than one day.

And we agree again. I just can't stand it when they pull up next door set up the camp and come over with a bottle of shardy (city folk) and wanrt to talk. Wine YUKKY. Give me a good cuppa any day. Yes we will be sociable but not to the point of invading their space. We may be a bit over the top but thats how we like it.

I set up a couple of servo motors at home once coupled to a tube and a couple of uv sensors and a bit of a home made circuit board to track the sun. It worked okay but you had to point it at the sun each morning. Still it beats chasing it every whatever minutes. Dont have any panel as we move too much. Not worth it.

Better stop this soon as we are off topic. Nice sharing ideas.

Phil
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Reply By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:00

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:00
So if your cheap generator fries you TV, your battery charger, your laptop charger and or modem, you have had to quieten it to be socially acceptable. What is it?

Obviously expensive. There have been plenty of reports in EO in the past about them.

Great too, if you have to make the new enclosure fireproof and you are in a dry country area. Bit worse than whoops
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Reply By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:25

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 19:25
In all of our 25 years of camping, if the worst noise we had to put up with was the hum of a gennie, I'd be happy.

Now back to the original question. Would a flexible metal hose from the exhaust, into a bucket of water not work? Much like the silencing of an Outboard.

Jim.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:39

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:39
Hopefully not a plastic bucket. It may get damaged and there goes to washing machine. The operative word is "may".

It may but not as much as the rocks in a hole. The noise may still emanate from the sides of the bucket. Maybe if you place like chicken wire above the outlet to break up the size of the bubbles coming to the surface. That may help.

From a campers point of view who has to carry all provisions, I would prefer not to use valuable water.

Try it out in the back yard one day and let us know how you go. can't hurt anything hey!!!

Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:42

Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 at 20:42
Sorry Shocking english. You may still work it out. Ooops I should not rush.

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