Let's play Hide the Generator

A place to discuss all things involving power and lighting. Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self and more.

Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:53 pm

oh hay guys,

This year I'm bringing a Honda EU2000i generator to help with a little light show and other creature comforts for ourselves and visitors.

My wife wants to put it under a table that is then covered with a cloth. She is mainly worried about it being stolen. I'm thinking that's what metal guards and chains and locks are for.

I'm worried that it's going to be too hot and dangerous to put under a table and you wouldn't want to sit near it because of the heat it will give off. But I'm getting the EU2000i because of its legendary quietness so maybe that's a fine way to stash it. Do you whisper generator owners agree?

And if not what's a better way to secure and conceal it?
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby jkisha » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:56 pm

Definitely don't want it totally covered--at least not when it's running. Though, if the cloth is just draped over like a tablecloth, there probably would be enough breeze. But then you would probably be able to see the generator when the wind blows. :shock: Go with your first instinct and chain it to something.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:11 pm

Thanks for replying. Also, I hear it's best to put something under it so it doesn't dig itself into the playa. Is a piece of plywood sufficient or also unsafe? Or could you suggest something that doesn't require a lot of DIY skills on my part?
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby jkisha » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:17 pm

DesmondDoomsday wrote:Thanks for replying. Also, I hear it's best to put something under it so it doesn't dig itself into the playa. Is a piece of plywood sufficient or also unsafe? Or could you suggest something that doesn't require a lot of DIY skills on my part?

We have never had that problem with our big gene or the small one. Though after the rain scare last year, putting it on a slightly raised platform might not be a bad idea. But your Honda is so small and light you could easily pick it up and carry it to shelter. Another guy in our camp had a Honda, and if I remember correctly he had it sitting on an overturned milk crate.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:06 pm

I think it was BB Sue that built a box with holes in the bottom to drive steaks into the playa to anchor, put the genny in the box and lock it.

Use a hole saw to drill vent holes in either end of the box.

We did something like that with my nieghbors genny.

He had a tote that he was struggleing with as a baffle.

I cut big square holes in either end and just dropped it over the genny.

Made it even quieter and no one new what it was.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:17 pm

Oh Figjam I'm a big fan of yours but completely unwilling and unable to be the DIY'er that you are at this time. :) I need ready made solutions or ones that require no skills with powertools!
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:34 pm

Then if your vehicle is tall enough, I would chain it to the bumper with enough slack to set it under the vehicle so it would be semi-consealed.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby TomServo » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:42 pm

Or, if possible, chain it to the leaf springs.
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Fufa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:51 pm

Coming from the girl who's uncle hides his rare coins collection in the clothes dryer...

To conceal it: I would take a large cardboard box or plastic tote (large enough to leave a good couple inch gap between generator and sides), cut the bottom out of it, and plop it right on top of the generator. Throw a piece of masking tape on the side and label it with something random like "kitchen supplies" or "tarps". It would be tall enough to hide the generator from a side view (no need for a closed lid), and it looks like a box of camping crap when the wind flaps your table cloth up. Test that set-up before though to check for overheating, this is all coming straight from my imagination and extremely limited generator experience.

To secure it: chain and lock that baby up to something secure (your car/truck/RV/float plane like everyone else has said).
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby gyre » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:47 am

Fufa's advice seems excellent to me, though I doubt hiding it will work while running, past screencloth or a very open container as Figjam mentioned.

When stopped, hiding it as random something should work, moreso if it is around other random stuff.


i think locks are still called for.
Be sure to use real security chain, abus, masterlock or equivalent.
There is a difference.

I used a 200 lb section of I beam and ran rods through the generator frame and the I beam and locked one end in place.
The frame became the weak point.
A cage would have been better.
I intended to chain the result down as well, but the weight proved adequate for over two months in a high crime area, though while running, it may have seemed too obvious to tamper with.
It was off for long periods and was never bothered.
The combination was about 350 pounds.

I should have thought of covering it when not running, but it was loud and obvious when in use.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby jkisha » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:18 am

I could be wrong here, but I think that theft at BM are more crimes of opportunity; meaning that if someone's out walking, sees something in plain sight that they like and no one is around and it isn't strapped down, they might decide to take it; and those people are a small minority. So for the most part, any simple securement or concealment system would suffice.

That being said, the Burn nights might attract more determined thieves, as they know lots of camps might be empty.

So I guess what I'm saying is do whatever makes you feel comfortable, understanding that shit sometimes happens.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:15 am

I once envisioned building a large space-age-looking machine that you would imagine is a fusion-powered warp-engine type contraption, while in dreary reality was just a bunch of sequenced lights and synthesized sounds, powered of course, by a genny deep within.

So, hide it in plain sight.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby gyre » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:38 am

jkisha wrote:I could be wrong here, but I think that theft at BM are more crimes of opportunity; meaning that if someone's out walking, sees something in plain sight that they like and no one is around and it isn't strapped down, they might decide to take it; and those people are a small minority. So for the most part, any simple securement or concealment system would suffice.

That being said, the Burn nights might attract more determined thieves, as they know lots of camps might be empty.

So I guess what I'm saying is do whatever makes you feel comfortable, understanding that shit sometimes happens.

There are organized, determined thieves going through dark camps, going through rvs, tents, luggage.

Honest people won't steal when there is opportunity anyway.
Cash still gets turned into lost and found.

In default, most thieves steal just enough to get by.
A small percentage steals non-stop.
They commit most crime for profit, though they make up a small percentage, 1-5% believed.

Stopping just one thief or group like this, prevents a staggering amount of crime.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby jkisha » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:43 am

Maybe I haven't experienced this as I have always camped with a theme camp and there is almost always someone at our camp and it is pretty well lit. Don't know how living on the outer roads might be--at least not from practical experience.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby gyre » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:51 am

jkisha wrote:Maybe I haven't experienced this as I have always camped with a theme camp and there is almost always someone at our camp and it is pretty well lit. Don't know how living on the outer roads might be--at least not from practical experience.

That is the best protection, having someone in camp.

It is much worse in the outer areas, or unlit camps.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby gyre » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:52 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:I once envisioned building a large space-age-looking machine that you would imagine is a fusion-powered warp-engine type contraption, while in dreary reality was just a bunch of sequenced lights and synthesized sounds, powered of course, by a genny deep within.

So, hide it in plain sight.

I have never had anything I hid stolen, including items I made to look broken, and in the open.

Another tactic is making things ugly, and highly identifiable.
Destroying all resale value is another variation.
Hide ID inside of items.
Very effective.

I use metal stamps to stamp identification into high value items.
Dremel or engraver, paint markers (nissen is the best so far, but a right pain in the ass to use.)
Spray paint and stencils, etc.
Mono epoxy will NOT come off with acetone.

Even when things fully marked get stolen, if they can't get much or anything for the stolen stuff, it can prevent return burglaries (in default), more the rule than a single.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:04 pm

I know Hondas are generally pretty quiet, but not when it's parked right next to my tent as some inconsiderate A-holes did one year to run their frickin' gray water evap device.

You might try building a 4-sided plywood box (top open) to help muffle sound...and park it next to someone else's tent!

Thank you.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Packoderm » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:31 pm

We had some of the same kind of inconsiderate types last year. They put their generator away from their camp, so they obviously knew the undesirability of such a thing, and they instead placed it bordering right by our camp. This year, I'm going to bring an extra sheet of plywood or two along with some 2x4s and some foam board to frame up a sound reflector shield if need be.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:09 pm

Fufa wrote:Coming from the girl who's uncle hides his rare coins collection in the clothes dryer...

To conceal it: I would take a large cardboard box or plastic tote (large enough to leave a good couple inch gap between generator and sides), cut the bottom out of it, and plop it right on top of the generator. Throw a piece of masking tape on the side and label it with something random like "kitchen supplies" or "tarps". It would be tall enough to hide the generator from a side view (no need for a closed lid), and it looks like a box of camping crap when the wind flaps your table cloth up. Test that set-up before though to check for overheating, this is all coming straight from my imagination and extremely limited generator experience.

To secure it: chain and lock that baby up to something secure (your car/truck/RV/float plane like everyone else has said).


LOL, "Hidden in plain sight" until some drunk stumbles over it!
My only thought here is that it has power cords running to it.

I'm with the 'Chain it to something huge' idea. Leave springs, bumper, hitch, etc. Even if you are driving a little car, there are probably tow rings either in the front or the back.
I don't know about the Honda EU series, but with most other generators you need to be conscious of where the exhaust has to vent. It will burn the shit out of a Nylon dome tent. Depending on the generator, the smoke might also color stuff black.
Another thought, the engine needs relatively fresh air. If the baffle box is too tight, it will choke out.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Foxfur » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:13 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:I once envisioned building a large space-age-looking machine that you would imagine is a fusion-powered warp-engine type contraption...

Must be common to purple blotter...
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Sic Pup » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:44 am

Foxfur wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:I once envisioned building a large space-age-looking machine that you would imagine is a fusion-powered warp-engine type contraption...

Must be common to purple blotter...


Speaking of which I had a dream last night that zombies were chasing me and my brother (we've been on the outs for years) through Gerlach. We finally made it to BM and were totally fucked not being able to tell which were them and which were us. Just as we were being cornered I woke up to take a leak. It's times like that one wishes for a resume button on their forehead, not that I have a deathwish or anything, it just gives me the feeling of having the book I was reading spontaneously combust as I hit the last chapter, I hate when that happens.

I hadn't been involved in anything so vivid since, well, BM last year thanks to the kind folks in an adjacent camp.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby TinkerMom » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:46 am

I built a box out of plywood. In the same fasion as "Playatech" and lined it with carpet for sound dampening.
I left an opening at the bottom and a gap at the top for air flow. This also allows for a chain to go through to lock to my
trailer. It lies flat for transporting. I've been running it in my yard over the last few days, it's been in the low 90's here
and a ugly fast and hard wind. So far so good.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby jkisha » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:06 pm

TinkerMom wrote:I built a box out of plywood. In the same fasion as "Playatech" and lined it with carpet for sound dampening.
I left an opening at the bottom and a gap at the top for air flow. This also allows for a chain to go through to lock to my
trailer. It lies flat for transporting. I've been running it in my yard over the last few days, it's been in the low 90's here
and a ugly fast and hard wind. So far so good.

The top is also covered?

We do a four sided box made out of two 4' x 8' pieces of plywood and lined with carpet. Noise seems to be absorbed and deflected up. Never had a complaint fam neighbors. But I'd be afraid to cover the top for fear of heat buildup.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby motskyroonmatick » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:07 pm

Keep it simple and buy a big chain and lock. Double wrap the chain where it is attached to the securing object and attach the lock in such a way that it is easy to open but hard to get at with bolt cutters. A large size chain and lock will deter someone with small bolt cutters.

Some very heavy high grade chain is available at metal scrap yards for scrap prices. Not good for lifting anymore but great for securing. In general the higher the number on the link the higher the strength. Some times 8, 80 and 800 = the same grade though.

There are hundreds of 2000i generators at the burn. A simple deterrent will go a long way. I would not worry about hiding it. Just lock it up like your going to do with your bike. :!:
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby TinkerMom » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:42 pm

jkisha wrote:
TinkerMom wrote:I built a box out of plywood. In the same fasion as "Playatech" and lined it with carpet for sound dampening.
I left an opening at the bottom and a gap at the top for air flow. This also allows for a chain to go through to lock to my
trailer. It lies flat for transporting. I've been running it in my yard over the last few days, it's been in the low 90's here
and a ugly fast and hard wind. So far so good.

The top is also covered?

We do a four sided box made out of two 4' x 8' pieces of plywood and lined with carpet. Noise seems to be absorbed and deflected up. Never had a complaint fam neighbors. But I'd be afraid to cover the top for fear of heat buildup.



The top just slides off, if needed. I've been watching for over heating, but we are a tad cooler up here, we are at 7,000 ft and just as dry if not drier.
And it's not like I'm going to be running it for hours on end. Just once in a while to juice up whatever is needed. And maybe the blender......
....the password is pineapple.........

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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby phil » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:44 pm

Unjon tells me sugar works as a sound damper.

(Note to the grammar/spelling nazis: dampening makes things moist. Damping is a decrease in amplitude and makes things quieter.)
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby TinkerMom » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:50 pm

phil wrote:Unjon tells me sugar works as a sound damper.

(Note to the grammar/spelling nazis: dampening makes things moist. Damping is a decrease in amplitude and makes things quieter.)



Hahahahaha!!! Sorry!!
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby unjonharley » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Just set the genny in a techno/trance camp and run a extension cord to your camp.

They will never notice/hear it..

You might have to wipe the hippie juice off after burning man.
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby Dr Jet Sinister » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:56 pm

Since we're talking generators here, I just wanted to add a reminder to change the oil and air filters. You don't want yours to go tits up during the event. I believe Honda calls for an oil change every 50-100hrs. Ours run almost 24/7 during the 2 weeks we're out there and we make sure to do at least one oil change during the event and that's at a bare minimum.
Then lock it to your vehicle, put it on a board or a couple of bricks, keep it in the shade, vent the exhaust away from everyone, and don't worry too much about theft. :)
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Re: Let's play Hide the Generator

Postby EspressoDude » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:40 pm

unjonharley wrote:Just set the genny in a techno/trance camp and run a extension cord to your camp.

They will never notice/hear it..

You might have to wipe the hippie juice off after burning man.



Hippies like techno / trance?? I thought we went for Grateful Dead, Doors, Jefferson Airplane...
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