Geni and cord question.

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Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:03 pm

We are buying a powermate 1200 watt vx series geni.with our tax refund.
We will be using it for our 70watt sound system and for a 20watt light (used at night) then every so often use it to charge stuff. We want to have it a little bit away from camp with a baffle box. So are we able to just use a normal existention cords with it? I have read I think before not to. Just don't want to mess up my electronics or the geni.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:22 pm

That generator can put out up to about 12A. Therefore a #14 gauge extension cord would be your minimum. Get a light color, not black to avoid heating by the sun. If you use a more expensive extension cord, like a #12 or #10 you will have less voltage drop over distance. That is only relevant for motors that use the full power of the generator. A modern sound system that can run on 120-240 50-60Hz is relatively insensitive to voltage drop. Lights too.

Regular extension cord is fine, even 100'. Do not use less (higher number) than #14.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:38 pm

Ok so those numbers, are they the gauge?
This is the store we buy from. All I'm seeing is like 14-3 or 16-3
http://www.menards.com/main/search.html ... Hierarchy=

Also the geni has two plugs. One plug we will have a cord up to the light (20 watt) then the other plug will go to the sound system 70watt, and maybe a strand of Christmas lights. Will this be ok? I'm electrical stupid.

The light will be I would say 40 feet max and the other would. Be about 15 feet.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Zhust » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:48 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:We want to have it a little bit away from camp with a baffle box. So are we able to just use a normal existention cords with it? I have read I think before not to. Just don't want to mess up my electronics or the geni.


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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:02 pm

Yes, that first number is the gauge and the second is the number of wires. The bigger the number of gauge, the thinner the wire. So.. 16-3 is actually thinner gauge wire than 14-3.

I've had great luck with Harbor Freight extension cords over the years, too. Check prices there if you have one close by.

tattoogoddess wrote:Ok so those numbers, are they the gauge?
This is the store we buy from. All I'm seeing is like 14-3 or 16-3
http://www.menards.com/main/search.html ... Hierarchy=

Also the geni has two plugs. One plug we will have a cord up to the light (20 watt) then the other plug will go to the sound system 70watt, and maybe a strand of Christmas lights. Will this be ok? I'm electrical stupid.

The light will be I would say 40 feet max and the other would. Be about 15 feet.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:10 pm

Yes the 10,12,14,16 are gauge and the -3 is three wires for the 3 plug prongs. The lower the number the thicker, the more power it can carry and the more expensive.

A lighted cord is very useful, it has a very low power long life bulb at the socket end to show it is energized. You want outdoor rated. Marine and RV is deluxe, not necessary. Yellow, orange or white. I would get a little longer than you think, they are useful around the home.

I would just get 2 14-3's. You can plug together cords with different gauges, like a 12-3 and a 16-3, but the power capacity will be determined by the smaller wire.

For big generators, big distances and big power loads it is more complicated.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:36 pm

That's what I figured. I have my ears stretched so familiar with gauges but thanks. I'm sure some people don't

Now another question. On the end can you put a 3 socket adaptor? Like if I want to plug three things at once?

and yep we have a hf about an hour from us. We will be down there next sat.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BeachBum » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:48 pm

tatoogoddess, cool!

some recommendations:
- get a 50' 14-3 outdoor extension cable for $20, no need to think further about that
- the generator sounds like a very small mower, according to the reviews. If you put it outside of your camp, your neighbors ain't gonna be happy :-(
- use LED Christmas lights (5 Watts per string, ~$12 per string of 70 LED lights), NEVER use normal cheap Christmas lights (~40 Watts per string). You can use a few strings of LED lights then, even instead of your light. Looks great too!

A very easy way to only need to run the generator 30 mins or 60 mins per day, given your power usage:
* get a cheap car battery or deep cell (~$70 to $90). Or better, replace your car battery before the burn and keep the old one to use for the burn
* get a 400 Watt inverter (~$35, converts battery 12Vdc to house 120Vac), hook it to the battery, and plug your small stereo, light, and LED Christmas lights into the inverter
* you may need to get the 12Vdc battery charger cable for the generator, if it wasn't included with it.
* put the stereo amp and inverter in a 12+ gallon plastic crate, to protect them from the dust
* if you want to use any other electrical devices, plug them directly into the generator

Of course, check out the generator and setup prior to the playa. It ain't gonna work otherwise ;-)

Have fun!

(ps - others are gonna recommend a far more complicated setup, or try to do exacting calculations. No need to do so at all.)
( setup: generator -> 12Vdc charging cable -> battery -> inverter -> small stereo/LED lights )
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:53 pm

We are planning on a baffle box. I forgot I had solar lights so don't need to use it for that. But the light I'm using is a dj dance style light. Said it is 20 watts.

This is the one we are getting. It comes with cables.., are these what you are talking about? http://www.ebay.com/itm/110745033944?hlp=false

With the battery.. The geni will power it back up? Then I just plug the inverter on it? Plug in and use then use it till it dies? Then charge again am I understanding right?

Does it matter what car size battery? We want to run the sound system about 12-18 hours a day.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BeachBum » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:05 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:We are planning on a baffle box. I forgot I had solar lights so don't need to use it for that. But the light I'm using is a dj dance style light. Said it is 20 watts.

This is the one we are getting. It comes with cables.., are these what you are talking about? http://www.ebay.com/itm/110745033944?hlp=false

With the battery.. The geni will power it back up? Then I just plug the inverter on it? Plug in and use then use it till it dies? Then charge again am I understanding right?

Does it matter what car size battery? We want to run the sound system about 12-18 hours a day.


You got it!!!! Cool!!!!!

(note: the review may have overstated the generator noise a touch, i don't know.)
(20 Watt light cool! The stereo also only uses like 20 Watts normally also. For the battery, size doesn't matter too much, slightly bigger is better though. It will last a night or two on a full charge, depending on size and power useage with your plans)
Last edited by BeachBum on Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Jackass » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:06 pm


* put the stereo amp and inverter in a 12+ gallon plastic crate, to protect them from the dust


If you do this needless crap expect fire and or failure, bring less expensive equipment and just let it breathe. Blow it out when you get back to the default.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:11 pm

It is a speaker system - https://www.google.com/search?q=logitec ... CYX7-bM%3A

We are using an iPod hooked into it.

This is the light- https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&saf ... iGu2mpM%3A

Effect- https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&saf ... u7npQfM%3A


How do you know when the battery is fully charged?


Hope the links worked. I'm on my iPad. Should pop up to the one photo.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BeachBum » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:20 pm

Hi,

It's useful to bring a very cheap voltmeter, 13.2 or so volts is fully charged. The inverter will kick off and make noise at about 11 volts. Or, just run the generator for 30 or 60 minutes when the inverter makes noise, the generator manual explains charging on page 8. The setup can be left connected at all times if you like, or one can connect/disconnect if desired. Expect the inverter to short out if not protected from playa dust.

There were many photos that popped up from the links. Specifics don't matter though, it's a generic setup, should work, just test it out some beforehand :-)

Have fun!
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:37 pm

where's TS in this, TTG? he's a smart fellow, and knows all this stuff. I'd trust him with most anything mechanical and electrical.
but yeah, you can even google wire size for distance and load, and find out exactly what size you need.
http://buyextensioncord.com/info_voltage_drop.shtml
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:56 pm

God you're going to hate that SHITTY generator! Big Fucking Mistake.

Most of us, me included, threw away lots of money on shitty, loud generators...
The best thing you could do is keep saving up a little more money and buy a used Honda EU1000 or EU2000, but if you insist on learning the hard way...

Don't use the 12V output for charging your battery, instead use a decent car battery charger plugged into one of the 120VAC outlets. The generator's battery charging output requires babysitting or it will overcharge your battery, and won't charge as quickly as a good charger, if speed is an issue. And speed WILL be an issue - because you and everyone around is gonna hate listening to that thing!
The reason the cheapo sets are NOT a good deal is because they put out exactly zero watts... because you never want to turn them on.

That set runs it's engine at 3600 rpm ALL the time, regardless of load.

Generator discussion has been done to death on here. Read any or all of it, MAYBE someone will save you from throwing your $240 or so away on that pile of shit, money you could have put toward something you can listen to, that won't make you a hated neighbor.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:15 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:The best thing you could do is keep saving up a little more money and buy a used Honda EU1000 or EU2000, but if you insist on learning the hard way...


Yup, better to save up for what you really want to buy, than to buy some crappy stop-gap and then end up buying what you really want anyway after learning your lesson (or being stuck with that white elephant taking up space).

The reason the cheapo sets are NOT a good deal is because they put out exactly zero watts... because you never want to turn them on.


It's like buying an uncomfortable pair of safety goggles. They're no use if you don't want to and won't wear them!
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BeachBum » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:20 pm

No disagreement with anything Capt. Goddammit said, except in tone. Guess that the review that said it sounds like a small mower is accurate.

(setup he's referring to: quiet generator -> car battery charger -> battery -> inverter -> stereo/lights)
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:27 pm

ygmir wrote:where's TS in this, TTG? he's a smart fellow, and knows all this stuff. I'd trust him with most anything mechanical and electrical.
but yeah, you can even google wire size for distance and load, and find out exactly what size you need.
http://buyextensioncord.com/info_voltage_drop.shtml



Sleeping. Lazy bum lol. He works third shift not sure if he know electrical though.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:29 pm

Uggggg not what I wanted to hear. What is the best cheapest place to it them then?
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:34 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:
ygmir wrote:where's TS in this, TTG? he's a smart fellow, and knows all this stuff. I'd trust him with most anything mechanical and electrical.
but yeah, you can even google wire size for distance and load, and find out exactly what size you need.
http://buyextensioncord.com/info_voltage_drop.shtml



Sleeping. Lazy bum lol. He works third shift not sure if he know electrical though.


TS knows............and there's a genny thread here somewhere.
I got my Honda eu 2K for 899, IIRC.
some have said the Yamaha is a good one, I think OED maybe?

I"g google "Honda EU2000 for sale, and see", sometimes, you can find good used ones.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:13 pm

Ha, sorry about the tone, but it's that important... you really will hate that thing.
Yes, the Yamaha super-quiet inverter generators are also excellent units.

I know, the good ones are more money, kind of a lot more money; my pockets aren't super deep either, those things were a huge chunk of my investment in BM stuff.

I'll never forget my first time arriving on the playa. I had a 2500 watt set somewhat similar to the Powermate you're looking at. It was even a Honda - but not one of the super-quiet EU models. I turned it on, and within minutes, a neighbor came over and asked "How long are you gonna run that thing?"
I put it up for sale as soon as I got home!

In '07 a former prolific eplayan, Sensei, camped next to me. He was upset and about to move when he learned I was going to have power on 24/7... I fired up two Honda EU2000s... they hummed quietly... he couldn't even hear them over the general hum of Burning Man, and all was well!
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:20 pm

You can find great deals on used Honda EUs all over Ebay.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:37 pm

Only found 2 that are a deal. And all bids. So I'm watching them right now.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:28 pm

I've got some EU2000s and an EU1000... I'd heavily recommend the 2000. It's only marginally more expensive and weighs about 50 pounds vs. about 30 pounds for the 1000, but it runs a LOT of stuff the 1000-watt set won't quite run.
Something to remember about generators at Burning Man: it's nearly a mile high in altitude on the playa and engines get less air and produce less power - so generators make a bit less power there.

If you get one of these things, you'll love it. It's relatively light, it's quiet, it's easy on gas, it's reliable, parts are available... yeah you have to stretch the budget, but you can spend $800 or you can waste $300...
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:02 pm

I dream of Geni...
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby BeachBum » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:15 pm

tatoogoddess,

One potential idea is for you to maybe not get a generator:
- Spend like $95 on a Costco 105 Amp-hour deep cell. 105 Amp-hours times 12V = 1260 Watt-hours (W-h), of which about 700 Watt-hours are useable without running the battery down too low. Charge it up at home before the burn.
- This will run your stereo most of a week without recharge (it loudly ran my bigger system at home for two weeks without recharge)
- It will run your 20 Watt light thingamajiggy for about 4 nights (700W-h/20W/8 hrs per night = 4 nights)
- It would run two 5 Watt Christmas lights strings for 70 hours (700 W-h/5 W per string/2 strings = 70 hours)
- In combo, and with some minor power losses, it won't run things quite as long

With your setup, you'll probably only need your battery recharged a couple times during the week on the playa. Borrow a good car battery charger from a friend for the week, make a friend/neighbor on the playa with a generator, get him or her drunk, and leave the car charger & battery combo plugged into their generator for several hours. Just ask a guy friend for info on how to get someone drunk to get something that's desired ;-)

It's cheaper this way. Just test it out beforehand. And, just say NO to anyone who wants to plug anything into it. Something at which gals are very experienced ;-)

Have fun!

(setup: $95 deep cell -> $35 400W inverter -> stereo & lights. You might wanna get two inverters for a setup like this since playa dust blows them. And, it doesn't blow them in a good way :-( )

(my setup this year: three like 80 Watt used solar panels that i got off Craigslist for like $100 to $120 each, two 105 Amp-hour Costco batteries in parallel, running a custom lights display very similar to the "megatree" that was at 9:00 & C but in a different form factor. If life allows me to make the burn again this year, that is, hope so!)

(note to mods: sorry about my reference to a company, but the their item is so much cheaper than at others, and very reliable. Kinda like their iconic carports)
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:28 pm

Yeah talked to ts about these ideas ( I'm sure he will read this when he gets home) the battery with geni sounds like the best idea. Now the geni I found on ebay looks a bit old and kinda rough. But current bid is dirt cheap. If they need to be fixed... Were would you take it? Cause if it is easy I'm going to try to snag this one up.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:45 am

Walmart and Costco batteries are both the same battery made by the same company but with different stickers on them.. except that the Wally World version is a good $30 cheaper.
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby Token » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:19 am

I gotta second the beachbum on this.

For a 40W load nightly you need a 105 deep cycle battery, small inverter and a 50w solar panel.

You could even use a smaller panel and have power for the week+.

Those Logitech PC speakers don't draw anywhere near 70W. Anything above a few watts of sound and they start distorting crazy.

You could do this whole thing for $200 - $300 all solar and still have power to spare.

No dicking around with gas, changing oil, air filters and dealing with some box that won't work, will overheat the genny and cause it to fail on Thursday.

You do know you gotta change the oil every 50 hours, right?
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Re: Geni and cord question.

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:19 am

Just a guess that you want the generator for year around use.

They are for sale on Craigslist all the time and you can test them before buying.

If you go the battery route, suggest getting 2 and then alternate charging them for free at Snow Koan solar camp, no generator necessary. You might need a handcart or a wagon to get them there and back if they are heavy.
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