Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:33 pm

No I've never checked them at the generator with the gene running. The 'box' it sits in very cramped, and to get the cables you either have to reach over the onan which is a pain in the... arms, as the generator gets very hot very fast. The other option is to reach up from underneath the generator, while lying down under the RV.
I have put a multi-meter on different locations around the RV. All outlets are 120ac and only working when on shore power or gene.
The Onan is putting out 120vac to the fuse box/breaker box that is located sort of above/back from the driver seat. There is one fuse in the panel that goes to the Chassis. This is where it is getting inverted to 12vdc to charge the chassis and house batteries.
There is the 12vdc chassis fuse box under the dash board.
Last summer I actually got my hands on the wiring schematics for the coach fuse box. It has built into it resistors, solenoids, and capacitors that switch on/off, closed/open, if the power surges or dips.

So I've never measured the stability and consistency of the current coming straight off the gene. In my mind, that power would be unsteady and unpredictable, and I would be afraid to connect any sort of electronics to it with out some how controlling/managing that power.
But from what your saying, it might be practical to pull power straight off an Onan into a surge protector and call it good/safe?
Though, I would never pull my Onan out of our Bounder, but there are old Onan's all over the place that could be picked up for way cheaper than a new or used 'portable gene'.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:43 pm

Well, I"m not sure of your questions, then.
It seems, you know it puts 120V into the panel, and, has a converter, to 12V.

I've run my a/c straight off my gennie. I've run my whole house, in a power outage off it.......I note the lights flicker some, but tv, computer, all seem to work just fine.

But, if you find one like I did (35 bucks on CL and it ran perfect, the PO just didn't know how to start it), you can test the leads for the voltage you want, and wire a simple outlet(s) into the wiring, and go from there.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:30 pm

ygmir wrote:Well, I"m not sure of your questions, then.

LOL!
Funny how that happens!But keep in mind that I have no intention of pulling my onan out of my RV, but possibly going and finding a nice big scrapped Onan someplace and using it for a cheap 6.5k generator.

My original questions was sort of "If you have the generator, and it runs, what do you do with the power that it creates?" or I guess my questions was sort of "With out anything controlling or monitoring the power coming off the generator, how would you plug things in?"
Our little 3.5k Watt "mobile" off the shelf generator could be plugged right into a house, or electrical appliance (ie fridge). It has a 120vac@30amp and a 220@15amp plugs. And it has a little built in power meter.
But all the onans I've seen have none of that sort of thing, they all rely on 'peripheral' (for lack of a better term) equipment to do all that.

But from what you saying, even if you cut the male end off an extension cord, then took the positive/negative conductors to the generator, and plugged a surge protector into the extension cord, that it would work?
The fuses/breakers and all that jazz aren't necessary?
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby EspressoDude » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:31 pm

illy dilly wrote:
ygmir wrote:Well, I"m not sure of your questions, then.

LOL!
Funny how that happens!But keep in mind that I have no intention of pulling my onan out of my RV, but possibly going and finding a nice big scrapped Onan someplace and using it for a cheap 6.5k generator.

My original questions was sort of "If you have the generator, and it runs, what do you do with the power that it creates?" or I guess my questions was sort of "With out anything controlling or monitoring the power coming off the generator, how would you plug things in?"
Our little 3.5k Watt "mobile" off the shelf generator could be plugged right into a house, or electrical appliance (ie fridge). It has a 120vac@30amp and a 220@15amp plugs. And it has a little built in power meter.
But all the onans I've seen have none of that sort of thing, they all rely on 'peripheral' (for lack of a better term) equipment to do all that.

But from what you saying, even if you cut the male end off an extension cord, then took the positive/negative conductors to the generator, and plugged a surge protector into the extension cord, that it would work?
The fuses/breakers and all that jazz aren't necessary?[/quote]

depends on whether or not you care about burning things up, having a shocking electrical fire...but wtf, it is BURNINGMAN afterall (how good is your insurance?)
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:49 pm

EspressoDude wrote:depends on whether or not you care about burning things up, having a shocking electrical fire...but wtf, it is BURNINGMAN afterall (how good is your insurance?)

Thats what I'm saying... Or rather asking.
If you pull a generator out of an old RV where these safety measures aren't built into the generator but instead the RV, what would be the solution?
Lets say I find a generator very similar to the one I have, 6500watt. I suppose you could pull a branch circuit off that to a small breaker box. Maybe break it out into (1) 120vac x 30amp and (1) 120vac x 15amp breakers?
Then run some duplex and quads off the breakers.... and shit power almost your whole camp.
But somehow ygmir made it sounds a hell of a lot easier than that.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:32 pm

Illy, I thought you were an electrician! :shock:

Find the power leads from the genny, wire them to a 40 amp service box with two 20amp breakers, wire in some outlets and mount all this on the genny! 8)

What am I missing? :?
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:33 pm

Propane has less BTU value per gallon than gasoline. It also carries an additional expense in commercial distribution: it must be compressed and stored under pressure. Because a gallon of propane isn't equal to a gallon of gasoline in terms of energy content, comparing price can be a little deceptive--if you find that propane is cheaper per gallon, that's because it has less energy value per gallon, just as E-85 has. If memory serves, it is more expensive per BTU than gasoline.

I have a propane 6.5KW Onan in a diesel RV, and a gasoline 4.5 Onan in a gasoline powered RV. The propane tank that comes in an RV is inadequate to run the big gennie all week at BM (24gallons, shared with the fridge, stove, water heater, etc.), so I had to add another 35 gallon tank. RV tanks are quite expensive. Because the propane contains less energy, the propane version of a generator puts out less power than the gas version and usually gets down-rated a bit. For these reasons, I prefer gasoline to propane. I prefer diesel to both propane and gasoline, however, and so I recently bought a 15KW diesel unit out of a carrier reefer unit from a wrecked semitrailer. I plan to use it rather than the propane gennie, and power the roof-air on all the trailers in the camp from my RV.

Regarding wiring, when mounted in a factory RV, the generator generally runs to a 30 or a 50 amp RV outlet and has one or two breakers built in to the generator itself. The main power cord for the RV plugs into the generator output plug or into the RV hookup at a campsite, but you can't hook it into both at once, which is what keeps you from back-feeding power out-of-phase from your generator into the power grid, causing big problems. Expensive motor coaches have automatic switches that disconnect the gennie when shore power is hooked up, but this isn't what you're likely to be dealing with in systems of less than 8.5Kw.

If you have no intention of plugging the vehicle into shore power, you can just slap a little load center up next to the gennie and run some breakers and outlets directly from the two output wires from the gennie.

Just my $.02 on what's turned into a pretty interesting discussion. I'm going to have to read up on the theory of operation on the newer style inverter-generators now, my curiosity has been piqued.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:52 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Illy, I thought you were an electrician! :shock:

Find the power leads from the genny, wire them to a 40 amp service box with two 20amp breakers, wire in some outlets and mount all this on the genny! 8)

What am I missing? :?

yeah, this.
Depending on if your gennie is 120V only (mine), or has 240V also, you just run the hot legs each, to a breaker, run your common, ground to the frame, (and you can have a spike to drive into the ground to ground that, if you want).
Then, you wire an outlet, or six from there.
I ran 3 outlets from my breakers, then, plugged a power strip(built in 15amp breaker) to split stuff.

and yeah, propane, is lower btu/gal. than gasoline, which is lower than diesel.
and yes, they de-rate, (unless your engine is made for propane, which mine is) for propane.
Also know that the elevation of the playa de-rates all engines (IIRC 10%).
I just like the propane, for no liquid fuel, no fuel pump, not as stinky, and you never have "old fuel" in your tank. propane does not degrade, or get water or algae, like gasoline and diesel.
I use regular BBQ type tanks, to fuel my gennie. They work fine, you just need to know if the gennie carb/regulator wants liquid or gaseous fuel. and orient the tank accordingly.


*takes deep breath and collapses*
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:08 pm


Between Kommissar Yg and Kommandant Elliot, am having serious case of Socialist Worker heart palpation. Thank you for reminder of Admiral GDamit - his was brilliance that we had to be looking for!

Ready for this, komrade?

Look for old hot tank "steam cleaner" unit for sale that has stand alone generator, that is not used for Burned out elements, rotted tank, etc... They are to run off small gas or diesel motor, generate 110 or 220 AC (for heating element et al), the genset from this unit will give you power. We had one at Workers Kollektive, when tank rotted got to scrap unit, drove 110 genset from old Capitalist Briggs 6 HP motor, did admirable service for what we used it for (power tools and lights).
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:56 pm

ygmir wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:Illy, I thought you were an electrician! :shock:

Find the power leads from the genny, wire them to a 40 amp service box with two 20amp breakers, wire in some outlets and mount all this on the genny! 8)

What am I missing? :?

yeah, this.
Depending on if your gennie is 120V only (mine), or has 240V also, you just run the hot legs each, to a breaker, run your common, ground to the frame, (and you can have a spike to drive into the ground to ground that, if you want).
Then, you wire an outlet, or six from there.
I ran 3 outlets from my breakers, then, plugged a power strip(built in 15amp breaker) to split stuff.

and yeah, propane, is lower btu/gal. than gasoline, which is lower than diesel.
and yes, they de-rate, (unless your engine is made for propane, which mine is) for propane.
Also know that the elevation of the playa de-rates all engines (IIRC 10%).
I just like the propane, for no liquid fuel, no fuel pump, not as stinky, and you never have "old fuel" in your tank. propane does not degrade, or get water or algae, like gasoline and diesel.
I use regular BBQ type tanks, to fuel my gennie. They work fine, you just need to know if the gennie carb/regulator wants liquid or gaseous fuel. and orient the tank accordingly.


*takes deep breath and collapses*


Agreed on not having a fuel pump, spills, and old fuel. Every propane motor I've ever seen wants liquid, and the "carburetor" vaporizes it into the incoming air-stream. Your strategy of using BBQ tanks makes it easy to turn them upside down and get liquid, all very true.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:51 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:
Between Kommissar Yg and Kommandant Elliot, am having serious case of Socialist Worker heart palpation. Thank you for reminder of Admiral GDamit - his was brilliance that we had to be looking for!

Ready for this, komrade?

Look for old hot tank "steam cleaner" unit for sale that has stand alone generator, that is not used for Burned out elements, rotted tank, etc... They are to run off small gas or diesel motor, generate 110 or 220 AC (for heating element et al), the genset from this unit will give you power. We had one at Workers Kollektive, when tank rotted got to scrap unit, drove 110 genset from old Capitalist Briggs 6 HP motor, did admirable service for what we used it for (power tools and lights).


With 6hp, you're probably looking at 3-3.5Kw. That's a very nice size for a smaller art car. If the same motor also ran the water pump then less would be available, maybe 2Kw. Does Komrade Sue know if it had a separate motor (perhaps electric) for the pump or perhaps the output rating of the gennie? I'd never have thought to look for a gennie on a pressure washer. Nice one.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby EspressoDude » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:30 am

please note that Briggs and Stratton are one of the noisiest motors out there, possibly exceeded by the dirt cheap imports like Horlot Fright, or a Harley Davidson with straight pipes
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:31 pm

EspressoDude wrote:please note that Briggs and Stratton are one of the noisiest motors out there, possibly exceeded by the dirt cheap imports like Horlot Fright, or a Harley Davidson with straight pipes


Right, gotta build a box on that one because the muffler is totally inadequate. I've tried plywood with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation, with baffled vents to let the heat out.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:00 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Illy, I thought you were an electrician! :shock:

LOL!!!
That would be scary wouldn't it!
Actually I'm a low voltage construction designer and builder. We mostly do large Audio/Video (think stadium bowl sound systems and broadcast systems) and large commercial/government teledata. So not really anything over 48 volts, except some Sound reinforcement systems, but even that is low power.

FIGJAM wrote:Find the power leads from the genny, wire them to a 40 amp service box with two 20amp breakers, wire in some outlets and mount all this on the genny! 8)

What am I missing? :?


ygmir wrote:yeah, this.
Depending on if your gennie is 120V only (mine), or has 240V also, you just run the hot legs each, to a breaker, run your common, ground to the frame, (and you can have a spike to drive into the ground to ground that, if you want).
Then, you wire an outlet, or six from there.
I ran 3 outlets from my breakers, then, plugged a power strip(built in 15amp breaker) to split stuff.

OK!
See, I had a feeling I might be over thinking the hell out of this.
I like the service box idea.
If you built the service box and breakers and distribution on it on a piece of ply wood, or something, you could even keep it closer to your camp, and leave the generator further out from the main living areas. Might help cut down on the noise a little bit.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:10 pm

illy please!!!!!!!!

Keep the "power unit" clean and compact, and just bring your 100ft. extention cord! 8)
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Canoe » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:19 pm

ygmir wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:... What am I missing? :?

...ground to the frame, (and you can have a spike to drive into the ground to ground...

Earth Ground: Reporting directions followed.
What's that? I might get a Darwin Award?

grounded-to-earth.jpg


Having a GFCI is good.
In addition to current found flowing on the ground, unequal current between live and common will also trigger the interrupt. Read as: they also provide protection for two-wire loads/appliances that don't have a safety ground, and for faults that don't make it onto the safety ground. They also react much faster than a circuit breaker.

For example, the Tower Shock Buster GFCI is rated for 15A (1875W @125VAC). That's 15A total for each GFCI device, regardless of how many outlets they have. I've used the single and the five-up plug-in versions. Inline versions with a 3-way, a single output and attach your own cord are available (photo not to scale). The single can be had on ebay for as little was $6 by times, or Lowe's for around $15 if you want it right away. Make sure they're GFCI, not the older GFI.

Tower Shock Buster GFCI.jpg


For GFCI protection, five singles provide more protection than five devices plugged into the five-up. With the five-up, one device plugged into it could go stray but the stray current returns on another device it found plugged into the same GFCI: if the current didn't find it's way onto the safety ground then everything could add up and the interrupt is NOT triggered. With each device on its own GFCI, with one going stray and a different one providing a return path, one or both should trigger off, depending on speed. Some people with elaborate multi-$1000 aquariums have not understood why they zapped their fish, their equipment or themselves when they thought they were protecting their entire setup with a single GFCI device. But people like that tend to have lots of money or lots of life insurance anyway. The ones were $15 would mean a kid would still have their Nemo, or their Dad, pisses me off.

So if you're running extension cords to different parts of a camp, having each protected by it's own GFCI is a good idea if the loads will be around water (rain?) or DIY devices, or just because they're cheap and people aren't. (Easy? Perhaps. Cheap? No.)

A box with an open bottom over top of your receptacle and plug-in area is a good idea for rain. Have an overhang if you'll have a door for opening and checking things during rain. Check online for suggested designs.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Canoe » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:20 pm

Canoe wrote:... the Tower Shock Buster GFCI is rated for 15A (1875W @125VAC). That's 15A total for each GFCI device, regardless of how many outlets they have. I've used the single and the five-up plug-in versions. Inline versions with a 3-way, a single output and attach your own cord are available (photo not to scale). The single can be had on ebay for as little was $6 by times, or Lowe's for around $15 if you want it right away. Make sure they're GFCI, not the older GFI...

Picked up a single at Lowe's today. Price down from $16 to $13.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Foxfur » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:41 am

Re ground:
I am hoping the dirt in a bucket is an example and not the actual ground.

Re compressed air:
The best compressor I've ever used in a mobile capacity was the one I made for my old GMC. I dumped the R-134 from the A/C system and slapped together an air filter on the intake port and a regulator on the output port. The regulated output was run to a remote accumulator tank on the form of an old but good condition propane tank (gas fittings removed, replaced with NPT ftgs). I was able to run impact guns from it. I made an oil injector for the input port of the compressor though I have heard it's not necessary.
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