Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

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Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Yellfire! » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:28 am

Wondering if anyone has suggestions for a quiet generator for an art car while out on the open playa? I was looking at dual Honda eu2000i and bridge them to run our dj equipment. What do you think? Any other Ideas?
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby The CO » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:34 am

Nope, no other ideas. EU series are the best.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Jackass » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:35 am

Honda generators are the BEST period
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Yellfire! » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:37 am

I thought I was on the right path. Just wanted to make sure. Thanks!
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:52 am

I've had good luck going with used generators out of RV's... you can get 4.5KW for maybe $400 instead of $2400 for a pair of new ones. No multiple generators. 6.5KW are a little harder to come by, but out there. The down side is that you need to be mechanically inclined to get an older generator ready for the playa, so if you're afraid to change the oil on your car, get a new Honda. Does your crew have a mechanic? That's the question. If no, go new. If yes, have him/her help select a used one off of CL for much less money and do the preventive maintenance required to make it survive the playa. Bring an extra set of brushes/slip rings with an old generator... the playa likes to eat them.

Also, see if anyone in the camp has a little air compressor that runs on a car battery. The playa dust coats the cooling fins and causes generators to heat up; you can blow that off with a little compressor and an air gun.

I've had bad experience with Yamaha... one of my campers had two in a daisychain and they were louder than hell under full load, and one seized up after 1 week of run-time. Hope others have had better experience with this brand.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Yellfire! » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:25 pm

mshaman wrote:I've had good luck going with used generators out of RV's... you can get 4.5KW for maybe $400 instead of $2400 for a pair of new ones. No multiple generators. 6.5KW are a little harder to come by, but out there. The down side is that you need to be mechanically inclined to get an older generator ready for the playa, so if you're afraid to change the oil on your car, get a new Honda. Does your crew have a mechanic? That's the question. If no, go new. If yes, have him/her help select a used one off of CL for much less money and do the preventive maintenance required to make it survive the playa. Bring an extra set of brushes/slip rings with an old generator... the playa likes to eat them.

Also, see if anyone in the camp has a little air compressor that runs on a car battery. The playa dust coats the cooling fins and causes generators to heat up; you can blow that off with a little compressor and an air gun.

I've had bad experience with Yamaha... one of my campers had two in a daisychain and they were louder than hell under full load, and one seized up after 1 week of run-time. Hope others have had better experience with this brand.


mshaman,

I own a metal fabrication shop and am capable. I thought of going the used RV genny way I just was concerned about the noise levels. Whats your experience with the noise? Add a muffler? I have had RVs and have been disappointed in the DB levels the generate. Thats why I was thinking Honda. That and for the dependability. Your thoughts?

Thanks for the input. Gets me thinking.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:46 pm

In past years we'd used a number of different generators, even in baffle boxes the noise was an issue. Never had a problem with a Honda. You may also want to consider looking at the extended run tank options. There's a great tutorial in the Power & Illumination section on how to build your own and save a bundle, or you can buy kits made for the Honda (or a pair of Hondas. The kits include the specialized gas cap(s), hoses, and 5 gallon marine tank. Run longer, and much easier for refueling IMO. Good luck!
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:16 pm

Yellfire! wrote: I thought of going the used RV genny way I just was concerned about the noise levels. Whats your experience with the noise? Add a muffler? I have had RVs and have been disappointed in the DB levels the generate.

Your thoughts?

Thanks for the input. Gets me thinking.

I would skip trying to use an RV generator out side of an RV. At least all the Onans I've ever seen mounted in an RV or on a tractor would be a pain in the ass as a stand alone unit, but I could be wrong.
Typically, the RV generator has a totally separate fuel tank and fuel pump, which might not be too big of pain if its mounted to MV.
Most importantly, the ones I've seen, have no power conditioners, fuses, or plugs on the generator. They require a totally separate electrical system. Where as a Honda or most mobile generators are a self contained unit.

Another idea, though possibly not what you're looking for, consider a smaller generator. But this completely depends on how much DJ equipment and sound amplification you plan to have. Our first year a couple of guys in our camp brought there most minimal gear. They had a lap top, a mixer, and a single CD-J, for sound they used 2 Powered Monitors. They ran the whole system off a single little 800 watt 2 stroke generator similar to the one below.
http://www.harborfreight.com/800-rated-watts-900-max-watts-portable-generator-66619.html
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:27 pm

mshaman wrote:
I've had bad experience with Yamaha... one of my campers had two in a daisychain and they were louder than hell under full load, and one seized up after 1 week of run-time. Hope others have had better experience with this brand.


I have, my Yamaha 1000eui has been running for 11 years now and is still quieter sitting side by side that the honda eu2000i honda that I use, and the gas tank got filled with piss once(long story) and stopped running, but after opening it up and replacing the float and needle it still runs like new and starts on first pull(unlike my Honda).
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Elliot » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:38 pm

For Dawg's sake, no two-strokes! Most are horribly noisy.
I love my Honda EU2000. I also love my Honda EU3000, which takes two people to lift but is even a little bit quieter and has a much larger fuel tank, with fuel gauge, and electric start.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby EspressoDude » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Harbor FRight stuff...buy it to use once...you are lucky if it lasts.. and noisy as hell.

don't bother spending $ until you get your MV approval in hand...
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:03 pm

illy dilly wrote:I would skip trying to use an RV generator out side of an RV. At least all the Onans I've ever seen mounted in an RV or on a tractor would be a pain in the ass as a stand alone unit, but I could be wrong.

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

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:15 pm

It's all about price. $400 vs. $2400. If you can afford a new setup, groovy. If not, you can fab something up with a big old genset that will clobber the little suitcase units. I've run big Onans that I salvaged out of old RV's. I used a big automobile muffler and built a box around it with sound insulation (foam rubber, 1/2" thick) and some baffles (had baffles obstructing sound path through the fresh-air/cooling vents in the box), and all was well. It was wonderfully quiet.

Take note that each generation of RV genset gets quieter. If you're dealing with a unit out of a 1980 Fleetwood RV, it will be loud unless you build a box. If you get it out of a 2000 model RV, it's going to be much quieter.

The big thing on an old gennie is new slip-rings and brushes, as the playa will eat them.

The other thing is the fuel tank. RV's use a second fuel feed for the generator; it draws from a location that is higher in the tank so that you don't run yourself out of fuel to get back to town by using the generator. You can do this on your art car if it is gasoline powered, or you can run a separate tank, say from a motorcycle, a tiller, whatever. I bought one for $5 off of a hay bailer. I think it was 10 gallons. On a 4.5KW generator, that's about 17 hours run-time at full load, if I recall.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:00 pm

Have you considered measuring your vehicle electrical power consumption and production? You may find that you can produce quite a bit of sound using a very small amount of power, entirely provided by the inbuilt vehicle electrical system, especially if the speakers are using digital amps, sometimes called "class D", and LED lighting. You can measure the power of the equipment with a current meter. You can also upgrade the alternator to a higher capacity one.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:31 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Have you considered measuring your vehicle electrical power consumption and production? You may find that you can produce quite a bit of sound using a very small amount of power, entirely provided by the inbuilt vehicle electrical system, especially if the speakers are using digital amps, sometimes called "class D", and LED lighting. You can measure the power of the equipment with a current meter. You can also upgrade the alternator to a higher capacity one.


Searching for the "Like" button... had a friend who ran an arc-welder this way... he installed a 2nd alternator.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Elliot » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:29 pm

Our very own Captain Goddammit is an expert on extra alternators and has explained a great deal about them over the years. Search, and I bet ye shall find.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 pm

some alternators, actually make A/C and it's rectified into D/C.

and yeah, welding is mostly about amps.....although standard is 28volts.

good call Elliot. I remember a long and informative thread with the Cap'n and extra alternators.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Elliot » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:32 pm

Actually, all alternators make Alternating Current. That's why they are called Alternat.... And then the AC is run thru a set of diodes which work like one-way valves (the rectifier), and only one direction current (Direct Current) comes out.

Used to be, you could buy a little wiring kit that let you draw 110 AC from a car, by bypassing the rectifier and 12 Volt regulator. Might still be on the market?
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:43 pm

Elliot wrote:Actually, all alternators make Alternating Current. That's why they are called Alternat.... And then the AC is run thru a set of diodes which work like one-way valves (the rectifier), and only one direction current (Direct Current) comes out.

Used to be, you could buy a little wiring kit that let you draw 110 AC from a car, by bypassing the rectifier and 12 Volt regulator. Might still be on the market?



good points, and info, Elliot!

I'd even bet, with a wiring diagram, one could tap ahead of the rectifier........

why, am I trying to make a joke: wreck da fire?......there's gotta be one there somewhere.

I know the 120 amp alternators on my duece's are huge.....I think the Frankencamper/firetruck has a 200 amp.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Elliot » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:51 pm

Wouldn't even need a diagram -- alternators are very simple inside. But would need to be up on the new hardware -- the 110 AC regulator -- to be connected. I think.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Canoe » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:00 am

ygmir wrote:
Elliot wrote:Actually, all alternators make Alternating Current. That's why they are called Alternat.... And then the AC is run thru a set of diodes which work like one-way valves (the rectifier), and only one direction current (Direct Current) comes out.
Used to be, you could buy a little wiring kit that let you draw 110 AC from a car, by bypassing the rectifier and 12 Volt regulator. Might still be on the market?

good points, and info, Elliot!
I'd even bet, with a wiring diagram, one could tap ahead of the rectifier........
why, am I trying to make a joke: wreck da fire?......there's gotta be one there somewhere.
I know the 120 amp alternators on my duece's are huge.....I think the Frankencamper/firetruck has a 200 amp.

But the VAC in a typical auto alternator is three-phase, with the frequency dependent on RPM.
And the voltage isn't that great. Something around 16 to 18 VDC after it's rectified but before regulation?

A lot of expensive parts to get it up to 110VAC, and then you've got to run it at a particular RPM, or have more parts to get 60hz. So the kits were still around a short while ago, and may still be. Very varied reports on success/failure.
Easier to run an inverter off of the alternator or battery, and you have a wide range of inverters to choose from, to get from 12VDC high current to the 110VAC you require. The true sine wave output ones cost a lot more, but some devices won't run on the cheaper "modified" sine wave output inverters. There's quite a range of current outputs for reasonably priced 10SI and 12SI alternators too.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby Elliot » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:24 am

That's it. Inverters put those iffy kits in the museum.

Oh, and about sine waves.... The Honda EU series has excellent quality power. There was some serious research about that a couple of years ago, and the Honda EUs scored top notch. (No, I don't sell them! )
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:00 pm

Darn. The other night I was driving and thought about this thread. And was thinking "I wonder what sort of base vehicle he is using and if he could pull power off of that"
But seems that ya'll beet me to it.

Also, didn't Figjam have luck with running his air compressor and blender off his existing vehicle alternator? I think he just took it to one of the battery minders/inverters. But I could be totally wrong and mixing two or more completely different threads.

some seeing eye wrote:Have you considered measuring your vehicle electrical power consumption and production? You may find that you can produce quite a bit of sound using a very small amount of power, entirely provided by the inbuilt vehicle electrical system, especially if the speakers are using digital amps, sometimes called "class D", and LED lighting. You can measure the power of the equipment with a current meter. You can also upgrade the alternator to a higher capacity one.

Elliot wrote:Our very own Captain Goddammit is an expert on extra alternators and has explained a great deal about them over the years. Search, and I bet ye shall find.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:05 pm

Elliot wrote:For Dawg's sake, no two-strokes! Most are horribly noisy.

I hear what your saying, but it works and its cheap. And depending on the base vehicle would it be a whole lot louder? I have no idea.

mshaman wrote: I've run big Onans that I salvaged out of old RV's. I used a big automobile muffler and built a box around it with sound insulation (foam rubber, 1/2" thick) and some baffles (had baffles obstructing sound path through the fresh-air/cooling vents in the box), and all was well. It was wonderfully quiet.

Take note that each generation of RV genset gets quieter. If you're dealing with a unit out of a 1980 Fleetwood RV, it will be loud unless you build a box. If you get it out of a 2000 model RV, it's going to be much quieter.

The big thing on an old gennie is new slip-rings and brushes, as the playa will eat them.

I totally agree that they get much quieter with each new year!
And they are mighty powerful and really don't suck a whole lot of fuel.

But how did you deal with the power management and control?
Did you take it a fuse box and some sort of surge suppression? I have no idea how you would go about this. I'd really like to know though, because there are tons of old and not so old Onan's all over.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby EspressoDude » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:10 pm

an alternator operted un-regulated at somewhere around 3600 alternator rpm, will produce close to 120vac. As mentioned earlier it is 3 phase, but as I recall the frequency is 400 - 500 hertz, not 60. Some universal motors will run on this.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:14 pm

illy dilly wrote:
Elliot wrote:For Dawg's sake, no two-strokes! Most are horribly noisy.

I hear what your saying, but it works and its cheap. And depending on the base vehicle would it be a whole lot louder? I have no idea.

mshaman wrote: I've run big Onans that I salvaged out of old RV's. I used a big automobile muffler and built a box around it with sound insulation (foam rubber, 1/2" thick) and some baffles (had baffles obstructing sound path through the fresh-air/cooling vents in the box), and all was well. It was wonderfully quiet.

Take note that each generation of RV genset gets quieter. If you're dealing with a unit out of a 1980 Fleetwood RV, it will be loud unless you build a box. If you get it out of a 2000 model RV, it's going to be much quieter.

The big thing on an old gennie is new slip-rings and brushes, as the playa will eat them.

I totally agree that they get much quieter with each new year!
And they are mighty powerful and really don't suck a whole lot of fuel.

But how did you deal with the power management and control?
Did you take it a fuse box and some sort of surge suppression? I have no idea how you would go about this. I'd really like to know though, because there are tons of old and not so old Onan's all over.


I have and have run it out there, an old Onan 4kw (120V only) RV genset, propane powered.
it is wonderfully quiet, sips fuel,electric start (via the generator) and very simple. The drawback, is, it's very big and heavy.
But, it runs at 1700 rpm, which I'm sure is part of the quiet. As above, I built a box around it. The old RV gennies, also have a pretty high volume fan built in, for cooling, which I'm sure helps a lot.
shrouded and with positive airflow across, it does well in the heat.

I replaced it at the burn, with a Honda EU2000. I got a smaller A/C unit for Frankencamper, and don't need 4 k to start, so, downsized.
I don't think the old Onan (in it's box) is any louder than my Honda.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:41 am

Thanks Ygmir!
I've never worked with a propane Onan. But that seems like it would be a great way to go. Especially because propane is so easy to manage, store, move, and comes compressed in liquid. I don't know how much propane a generator would burn, but it has always seemed to me that propane is much cheaper than gasoline. It could be that you buy it by the pound and not the gallon.

So I'm still not sure how you dealt with managing the electricity?
Did you just hook some sort of battery control unit to the positive and negative terminals on the generator?
Something like this maybe?
http://www.theinverterstore.com/the-inverter-store-product.php?model=pwr3axfer30
The Onan in my RV goes to a big fuse box and 'energy control' system.

All the ones I've seen bolted down to truck beds on job sites are tied into inverters of some type. Though not really inverters, because the generator is already creating AC current. I've never stopped to look close enough. And all the ones I've ever seen on the back of a tractors are sort of OEM tied into the tractor from what I can tell.

I'm no expert on all the finer points of different generators work, just know the basics on operation/maintenance and use/loading.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:22 pm

illy dilly wrote:Thanks Ygmir!
I've never worked with a propane Onan. But that seems like it would be a great way to go. Especially because propane is so easy to manage, store, move, and comes compressed in liquid. I don't know how much propane a generator would burn, but it has always seemed to me that propane is much cheaper than gasoline. It could be that you buy it by the pound and not the gallon.

So I'm still not sure how you dealt with managing the electricity?
Did you just hook some sort of battery control unit to the positive and negative terminals on the generator?
Something like this maybe?
http://www.theinverterstore.com/the-inverter-store-product.php?model=pwr3axfer30
The Onan in my RV goes to a big fuse box and 'energy control' system.

All the ones I've seen bolted down to truck beds on job sites are tied into inverters of some type. Though not really inverters, because the generator is already creating AC current. I've never stopped to look close enough. And all the ones I've ever seen on the back of a tractors are sort of OEM tied into the tractor from what I can tell.

I'm no expert on all the finer points of different generators work, just know the basics on operation/maintenance and use/loading.


My 4kw burns about .75 gal./hr. under moderate load.
yes, it's sold by the gallon (LIQUID).

I'm not sure what you mean by "managing the electricity".......it's got a governor, so increases throttle, with load, to maintain speed/wattage.
It makes 120V (you can adjust that up or down, too).

so, I just used a power strip, and plugged things into that.

another nice thing about propane, is the oil lasts substantially longer, and, the exhaust does not stink nearly as bad.
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:29 pm

HUM...
My Onan just has cables coming from the positive and negative terminals to a fuse box in the Cab of the RV, some cables going to a Battery Isolation Unit (for controlling chassis vs coach battery charging), and other much smaller gauge cables going to a lot of different places (fuel pump and others I haven't traced all the way).
There is no where to plug anything in, at the generator.
It could be that the old 6500 watt was made in 89.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
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Re: Generator suggestions for an art car. Honda EU2000i?

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:36 pm

have you checked the voltage, on these different cables, while running? It may be you have 12V DC out, and 120 and or 240 V AC out.

do you have 120V fixtures and appliances in the RV?
There should be two separate fuse panels, one with 12V fuses (if it's very old) and one with 120V breakers.
I'd not think, they'd run an inverter to power the 120V, with that genny, I'd bet you got 120V out.

be dang careful, you don't hook a 120V line to a 12V appliance.

it may not have "plugs" on the unit, but, if you fine the 120V wires, it's easy enough to attach them to a plug.
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