Please share your generator baffle designs.

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Please share your generator baffle designs.

Postby gonephishing » Wed May 17, 2006 1:56 pm

Last year I was camped next to some people who decided to place there generator right next to our camp. Needless to say it was a little frustrating. This year will be my first year out with a generator, and I don't want to impose the same experience on someone else. Does anyone have any good baffle designs?

Thanks
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Postby Tiara » Wed May 17, 2006 3:00 pm

The very best thing you can do for the sanity of you and your neighbors is to buy an ultra-quiet generator. I've got a Honda 2000i that can't be heard over ambient noise from a distance of 10 yards, even without a baffle. Most of the ultra-quiet models are also ultra-efficient, and thus more environmentally friendly.

If at all possible, do NOT bring one of the Powermate generators that are ultra-noisy. No amount of baffling can completely muffle these.

A baffle need not be complicated. You could use two 4x8 sheets of wood. Cut them both in half and make a four-sided "pen". You might also line them with an old piece of carpet. Most noise will be directed upwards.
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Postby AntiM » Wed May 17, 2006 4:56 pm

We used our brand new baffle at Singularity. Larry designed it from scraps of this and that we had in the garage. It had two solid plywood sides, a solid plywood top, with 2x2s on the edges for stability and strength, a pegboard end and an open end with metal bars salvaged from a display shelf. The open end is for the exhaust, and the noise was pointed in whichever direction that end was facing. Everything is wingnutted or bolted together for quick disassembly. The top and sides are lined with eggcrate foam, and the pegboard end lifts off easily to reach the on/off switch. There's plenty of room inside for airflow.

I have pics, and will post them soon.

Simply couldn't afford an ultra-quiet!
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Postby AntiM » Thu May 18, 2006 7:21 am

Image

I can send you a larger picture if you'd like. I have a second shot from the other side too.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 18, 2006 9:31 am

As opposed to buying a brand-new 2000i for what? $700? and dumping the old one in a landfill.
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Postby MrMullen » Thu May 18, 2006 9:48 am

Get a eu2000 or eu3000, the world will thank you.

They are very quite.
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Postby Burp! » Thu May 18, 2006 10:55 am

I second the notion of getting an ultra quiet like the honda EU3000. or eu series in general. I have the EU3000 and from 15 feet away, under normal Burning Man day time levels(which include other peoples noisey genrators) you could barely tell there was a generator there.

but.. if you can't get one of those, the box thing up above looks like a good route, though the whole pointing your noise away, aka towards someone else kinda sucks.

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Postby AntiM » Thu May 18, 2006 11:15 am

Good point about the directionality of the sound: The thing about our genny is we don't take it to burning man (we're Hushvillians), and the baffle design works well here at the western regionals where the sound can be pointed out at empty desert. Well, there were folks at singularity well across the road, but their genny was unbaffled and louder than ours, when I stood next to the open end of our box I still could hear theirs more than mine. I could barely hear it in camp at all. Larry thought through the whole "pointing the sound" thing through and can modify the box anytime.

We use it here at home to run things like the welder outdoors; our house is older and the wiring to the garage is funky and shares the same breaker as our heavy household appliances. Better to use the genny now and again than to fritz out the breakers. That's why we went with an affordable genny with more power, the quiet ones are expensive when you start talking any kind of real output. A trade-off, but you have to budget somewhere.
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Postby Token » Thu May 18, 2006 12:30 pm

AntiM, was it our EU1000 that you heard or another unit? We were across the street of the South side of the Khaki lot, corner of Iconic and Sin City. I had my genny under the rear axle of our truck. We had the big white camo setup. I'm really curious since there are claims in the posts above that 15 feet is enough for the EU series to appear inaudible. I tend to disagree.

We ran our genny ~ 18 hours per day to keep the fridge running. Another experiment from the regional. The Fridge worked well even in the 100 degree heat.
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Postby Gravity Mike » Thu May 18, 2006 1:01 pm

Tiara wrote:If at all possible, do NOT bring one of the Powermate generators that are ultra-noisy. No amount of baffling can completely muffle these.

A baffle need not be complicated. You could use two 4x8 sheets of wood. Cut them both in half and make a four-sided "pen". You might also line them with an old piece of carpet. Most noise will be directed upwards.


This is exactly the style of baffling we built for last year with no top. We hinged on side so that access to the generator was easy. It was a fairly loud generator, similar to a Powermate, but not that exactly. The baffle worked pretty good - and we situated the generator in the middle of out camp so only we were annoyed. The baffling reduced the noise to that of a quiet honda once you were about 10 yards away.

Another tip - lining the inside of the baffling struction with old blankets stapled to the plywood really helps too!!

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Postby AntiM » Thu May 18, 2006 2:41 pm

AntiM, was it our EU1000 that you heard or another unit? We were across the street of the South side of the Khaki lot, corner of Iconic and Sin City. I had my genny under the rear axle of our truck. We had the big white camo setup. I'm really curious since there are claims in the posts above that 15 feet is enough for the EU series to appear inaudible. I tend to disagree.


No, I don't think it was yours, our genny sat behind and was pointed northwest, the loud one I could hear was somewhere to the north of us, one of the musicy camps perhaps. (I never did pinpoint it, I'm pretty spacy once I hit any sort of playa). You didn't hear ours did you? I tried to get the guys to just run it a few hours each evening since we weren't doing anything as critical as a fridge or AC.

Our baffle is lined with eggcrate foam, an ex-layer of camp bedding. The front side is detachable to reach in to turn it on and off. If it did disturb anyone, sorry, we tried, and I'll ask Larry to revamp design.
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Postby Token » Thu May 18, 2006 3:17 pm

OK, you heard the center camp genny which was very loud and un-baffeled.

The Vortex camp had a nasty loud 4KW genny in a 4 x 4 foot baffle that did much to lower the noise but nowhere near the level of a naked EU 1000. The 4KW with baffle was louder at 50 yards than the naked EU 1000 at 5 yards.

I would venture a guess that a 4 foot open top baffle is not enough to redirect the sound up. 6 or 8 feet would be needed for best results.
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Postby AntiM » Thu May 18, 2006 3:37 pm

We were in Khaki country in what was eventually dubbed "Rum Camp." I left Sunday morning and hear they (Genius and BoyToy) had a kick-ass potluck BBQ later that night.
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Postby Token » Thu May 18, 2006 4:07 pm

Yup, I know where you were camped. I was your greeter at the gate. We know everything... except maybe what the rangers were doing, different channel on the radio and all that top secret stuff ;) It was great meeting you and the lads.
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Postby AntiM » Thu May 18, 2006 4:16 pm

I thought I recognized that bird :)
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Postby Mr. Natural » Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:09 pm

so what's up here? are most folks using the much noisier (and cheaper) models? if i spring for the eu3000 and scrimping elsewhere, will i still be surrounded by other, noisier units?
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Postby AntiM » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:50 am

The other end lifts off to access the off switch, etc. We don't use this at Burning Man, only regionals where we have space enough to point the noisy end away from other camps. Couldn't use it in Hushville anyway.

Right now it is lined with eggcrate foam pads, but larry is thinking of upgrading to some thick blue insulation as the foam tears too easily during packing. The box is large enough he can store the gas cans in it while in transit; it disassembles flat if needed.

Image

Image
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Mufflers

Postby Zhust » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:54 am

Isn't the noisy hole the muffler? If so, can't one buy a better muffler? Would a Honda muffler bolt onto the PowerMate generator, for instance?

Maybe find one of those custom biker knobs and have him/her build custom headers or some such thing. Then again, the idea is to make it quiet.
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Postby AntiM » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:07 am

The open end is for exhaust. Actually, it isn't all that noisy. While it is no Honda, a powermate it ain't.

We were the only ones at Element 11 with a built baffle box and I only saw one other with wood around it for noise reduction. When a camp set up between us and the genny, which was out on a very long cord, they said they could barely hear it. Since we only ran it a few hours each evening, our neighbor camps claimed they had no problem with it at all. We asked. So, can I at least get points for frickin' TRYING!?

(being sensitive because I can't afford a Honda whisper and feel looked down upon by genny snobs. sniffle)
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Postby hunter S » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:14 am

We used 4 pallets with carpet stapled to them last year. A idea I think I read on this board, I was impressed with the sound suppression & when I asked our neighbors if it was creating issues most said things were fine.

I'm re working the exhaust on this old power-mate using an old exhaust from a motor cycle. with a few modifications I hope to reduce the sound even more.
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Re: Mufflers

Postby Tiahaar » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:46 pm

jaycerochester wrote:Isn't the noisy hole the muffler? If so, can't one buy a better muffler? Would a Honda muffler bolt onto the PowerMate generator, for instance?

Ah, if only it were that easy. Here's my story. I have a 4kw Briggs genset mounted under the bus. Its not a fully enclosed RV type, so I wanted to make it quieter by doing a custom exhaust. Bolted on a flex tube that went to a baffle chamber and then to a large "quiet-type" muffler and wrapped everything with that heat and sound reducing fiberglass tape. Yes the exhaust note is a nice low purr now but the engine head itself still bangs out lots of noise...nothing I can do about that except enclose it better and blow air through to cool it. I don't run it at BlackRock...fully solar and wind powered there but the genset is a "just-in-case" backup for welding/emergency power.

The quiet genny's are fully enclosed and designed not to radiate any sound energy from any engine surface...not just the muffler.
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Postby trilobyte » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:41 pm

The Powermate generator noise problems are more than just lack of a proper muffler. The Honda Super-Quiet (and Yamaha's new Super-Quiet line, which sells for around the same price) are literally designed from the ground up with dampening noise in mind.

Last year we ran two generators on the Space Wench - we had a Honda EU2000i and when the budget got tight and we were worried about having enough juice we got a Powermate to add to the mix. The difference in both noise and performance was huge (and we had a generator box with airflow/exhaust/noise dampener incorporated in the ship's design). At a couple points we actually decided not to power everything up just so we could safely run everything on the Honda and not run the Powermate that we had there with us.

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Postby dj_john69 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:34 am

Okay...so my rv generator just died and im not going to pay out my ass to get it fixed before BM...i have a noisy Coleman Powermate 5500 im going to bring out, any OUTSTANDING baffle ideas for me NOT to piss off my neighbors ?? Thanks.

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Postby phil » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:43 pm

dj_john69 wrote:i have a noisy Coleman Powermate 5500 im going to bring out, any OUTSTANDING baffle ideas for me NOT to piss off my neighbors ?? Thanks.


See the previous post. :->
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Postby Tiara » Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:06 pm

trilobyte, my experience with the noisier generators is similar.

My first year on the playa, our camp had a cheap-o generator. It was so loud, even with the big plywood baffle box, that we couldn't stand to run it. Nor did we think that making everyone around us put up with the racket was the rightthing to do. Luckily, some neighbors had a quieter generator with extra capacity, so in exchange for our gasoline, they let us plug into theirs.

I don't think we used the crappy generator more than two hours total.
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Postby Kiro » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:30 pm

I'm about to fire up my new generator for the first time, this old topic has come in handy for some sound dampening measures, but I'll take the time now to apologize for not being able to afford an ABSURDLY priced quiet generator. :?
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Postby bm_cricket » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:23 pm

AntiM wrote:Image

I can send you a larger picture if you'd like. I have a second shot from the other side too.


That's almost exactly like ours except we had ours going straight up! Worked like a charm!
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Postby sambojones » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:47 pm

nice design Antim i have a super quiet honda eu2000i that i got a fantastic deal on but i'm gonna be building a baffle box this year just as a fall back plan in case i do get stuck camping next to someone with a loud gennie who isn't considerate enough to baffle their own gennie... last year all the virtues of my honda were completely canceled out by my neighbors loud ass gennie and i'm determined to not let that happen again one way or another
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eu20001

Postby xhoosier » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:36 pm

hay sambojones,

can I ask how much you paid and is it really as quiet as the reviews say?

thanks
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Postby Risky » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:08 pm

This was the best price I found.
No tax, no shipping $879.

http://www.wisesales.com/EU2000.html
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