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Onan Generators

Building a "Mount" for the Onan Power Plant


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  #21  
Old 10-04-2017, 03:39:49 PM
JoeE. JoeE. is online now
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Now, why would I want to get down on my hands and knees to drain the oil, remove the oil filter, replace ignition parts or anything else I didn't have to?
I can stand right beside it and conveniently access everything.. and the machine footprint is just the same

Professional installation, right there! 😁.
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:27:49 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Sure, they also locate them on roof tops. The examples shown by our fellow Stakers have a high CG. They look top heavy and may topple over, especially if the ground shakes. And some on carts? No way unless it is one of those Chinese made screamers.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2017, 06:04:19 PM
JohnEvers JohnEvers is offline
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

That looks like a Verizon site to me
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:12:53 PM
Glenn Ayers Glenn Ayers is offline
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
Sure, they also locate them on roof tops. The examples shown by our fellow Stakers have a high CG. They look top heavy and may topple over, especially if the ground shakes. And some on carts? No way unless it is one of those Chinese made screamers.
Yeh ... mine's on a cart .. that I built ... & I respectfully invite you to come on by & try to "Topple Over" the "Top Heavy" thing by hand.
As for the "Ground Shaking" .... if the ground shakes bad enough to Topple Over my genset ... that's going to be the LEAST of my problems.
If you'll notice ... my wheelbase is considerably longer than the genset itself. You can't see from this picture .. but the wheel "Track" is about the same ratio wider than the genset.
I took the "Cart" & the genset to work on my trailer. Installed the gen onto the "Cart" with an articulated CAT 924 rubber tired loader & a chain.

Chained the assembled unit down & hauled it home ( on West Virginia roads )
Then control-rolled ( hand winch on the front of the trailer ) it off the trailer & into the shanty.
I have removed & reinstalled the genset into the shanty 2 more times after that .... without having any Topple Over issues.

When designing my "Cart" ... if I thought there was a possibility that it could Topple Over ... under normal earthly circumstances ... I would have designed it different.

Believe it or not ... there are OTHER people out here that are capable of building / fabricating things that aren't a catastrophe waiting to happen.

BTW ... my genset is a Japanese made "Screamer"

.

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  #25  
Old 10-04-2017, 08:31:54 PM
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That picture is down on the ground, not on a roof.

I am about two blocks from a bank that a big standby generator mounted up in the air about 4 foot. It's not in a flood zone, either.
It's a big unit, too... bigger than the one in that picture. I think this particular bank is a big data center for the banking chain, thus the standby genset.

John Evers, I'm not sure exactly who the cell site belongs too.. there are exactly no identifying marks anywhere around it, other than an emergency number on the door of the little prefab building behind the generator.

That picture is down on the ground, not on a roof.

I am about two blocks from a bank that a big standby generator mounted up in the air about 4 foot. It's not in a flood zone, either.
It's a big unit, too... bigger than the one in that picture. I think this particular bank is a big data center for the banking chain, thus the standby genset.

John Evers, I'm not sure exactly who the cell site belongs too.. there are exactly no identifying marks anywhere around it, other than an emergency number on the door of the little prefab building behind the generator.

So, anyway, what about that exhaust system?

It's part welded, part clamped together.

It doesn't weigh very much... and I plan on letting the thing just hang.. with the muffler resting against the upright leg of the stand the thing's built on. I'm putting some urethane "bumpers" on the leg for the muffler to rest against..
Nothing clamping the apparatus ridgid... it'll be free floating.
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  #26  
Old 10-04-2017, 08:41:48 PM
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

No flex pipe near the manifold? I wouldn't go that way myself. The engine vibrates and if there's no flex section, it puts undo stress on the manifold. Might be fine, might break the manifold...

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:54:01 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Obviously personal preference rules. That gen set shown in post 21 would never meet my approval. To me that is a hokie set up by some one who seems to be more interested in their convenience rather than a reliable solidly mounted unit- and sitting on top of a fuel tank! Come on, someone was sold a bill of goods. Just my opinion.
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  #28  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:07:38 AM
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Don't feel bad, Joe. I've had numerous accusations of 'Hokie' made regarding my work by Leon too...
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:33:12 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Come on Jim, now that is a stretch. You are the one who made the term anecdotal famous.
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  #30  
Old 10-06-2017, 04:09:16 PM
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Default Anecdotal evidence that this isn't "hokey" 😁

I wired a receptacle To the output leads of the generator today and started the engine.
I had not had a real good load on it before, so I connected it to my Lincoln stick welder... a big 250 amp machine...I strike an arc... it about killed the engine.
I didn't think the engine was running very well, so I did some investigating and pulled one of the plugs out and it was wet... No wonder I thought it was running rough.
Went across the alley to the Auto Parts place and got a pair of Autolite 216 plugs.
Put those in and it started right up... Turned the welder on and struck an arc and the governor sped the engine right up instantly and I welded there for about a minute and a half on 225 amps... burnt two big electrodes...
Sometimes engine has a hunting issue... But while it's running it doesn't do anything but roar right along.
I can tell already that there is not enough muffler on this thing!
I had the local muffler shop bring in a couple of mufflers designed for generators... This one Looks like a short glasspack... But it has some internal baffles, it's not straight through.
The other one would have mounted right on top of the generator itself if my manifold would have had a top exiting exhaust port. The one I have here exit straight out the back of the manifold.
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  #31  
Old 10-08-2017, 04:33:46 PM
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Default Well, looking here...😂

Right out of the operators manual.

"A permanent installation needs a sturdy, level, mounting base of concrete, heavy wood or structural steel at least 12 inches high to aid oil changing and operating."

I have been vindicated, LOL.
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  #32  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:38:17 AM
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Default Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

Things took a turn for the worse today. Prepare for long story.

I had the machine running fine, had a industrial sized resistance type electric heater connected across the line... 10 amps each leg. The battery was getting about 5 amps charge on the meter. This particular battery is not the one I was going to run the unit on... but one I had in the shop running something else.

So, with it behaving as it should, I got around to making a mount to hold the (different) battery I picked out to run the unit with. This is a threaded post battery. Got the mount finished and battery installed, then a nice, heavy duty battery disconnect switch... then made the needed battery cables and attached them to the starter, the aforementioned switch, and the battery.

Bad part was, I didn't notice I had the pos. and neg. cables on the wrong battery terminals. The disconnect switch was in the off position.

So, ready to see my handiwork, I twist the switch on and connect the battery to the system.

I noticed the amp meter needle immediately went to discharge. I thought "WTF" is going on here... didn't even occur to me that I had the battery hooked up backwards.

Anyhow, start the engine (start and ran perfectly) and the amp gauge needle immediately pegged out in the charge direction!!!

I shut the engine down. Thought maybe it would fix itself magically by me standing there staring at it for a second or two, and so I started it back up. It run fine, but the needle did the same thing. I thought, oh well, that old battery is probably really discharged and it takes a lot of charge to get it back up to par. I knew that these are set up to only charge a certain rate, but thought what the heck....

I have that big electric heater load connected to the system all this time... and it was making heat... the big cal-rod elements were turning red. I ran it for about 2 minutes, admiring my work....

All this time, the meter is pegged charging. I walked up behind the generator and noticed that the charging system resistor is glowing red on it's top 1/3rd... even with the fan blowing the heat away!

I ran around and shut the engine off.

I was still thinking that maybe this battery was really drained.... been setting for months in a machine... and that the system was just really working hard recharging it...

But, I thought I should probably test that theory by disconnecting the onboard battery and running off the other battery that everything acted right on.

Ok, hook it up to original battery, flipped disconnect switch back to "on"... needle on amp meter stays at "0".... great!!! Start engine... needle goes to a little below 5 amps charge!!! GREAT again. Everything works good.

I'm thinking... "hmm, wonder if something wrong with this new battery.... about the time I notice the barely visible + and - marks on the battery didn't match the red and black cables I was connecting to them!!! Oh, shit!!!

Got them connected correctly, started the engine back up and it ran and charged and made AC electricity like a champ.

Shut it down and went to work on mounting electrical disconnect switch and 240vac receptacles. It got late and I went in the house.

This morning, I finished the switch wiring, connected a load to see if that was going to work.

Engine starts right up... but the amp meter doesn't move. The load isn't getting any power, either... test it with a Simpson VM and nothing. It was working good when I shut it off the day before!

Get the book out.. thinking I may have fried something in the charging or generating wiring... and went to work troubleshooting.

Tested the previously red hot charging system resistor... 2 ohms... it's according to specs. The wire that's part of that circuit, from the terminal strip up in the control box, and everything connected to it that I could trace... OK.

Take the end bell of the generator... don't smell burnt wiring. No obvious burnt objects or connections, which I feel is a good sign.

I unbolt and swing out the magneciter apparatus to get to the slip rings and brushes.... get the brushes loose and check for shorts or opens in the rotor... it's all ok and the rotor windings are the correct resistance. Brushes and slip ring surfaces look good, too. I don't check the stator windings as of yet.

Start reading about what to do to check the magneciter itself, and my eyes start to glaze over .

I don't want to disconnect too much stuff and end up with bad connections later on.

I'm setting there wiggling wires and see nothing obvious wrong on the outside of the magneciter or the terminal strip, so I stick my fingers in the recess in the rear of the unit to wipe off some dust I see inside there... when lo and behold... I find a wire broken away from a diode!!!!! See attached photos....

I can't tell (as of now) by the schematic (drawing 625A631) for this 04SX1N3B exciter exactly what this diode does, but the broken wire left the diode and went to terminal "35", and the wire from the diode stud attaches to terminal "E2", if that tell you anything.

The numbers on the diode are 80015, and 7242. The diode symbol shows the stud to be the Anode, pin to be Cathode.
A search shows them for sale on ebay.. with not much description.
Can't get Mouser or Digikey to show me anything.. probably aren't doing something right on their search.

Anyhow, I hope this is what has the machine making absolutely NO electricity... and that I haven't damaged the Magneciter....
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  #33  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:46:14 AM
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Default Re: Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

Also, left out that I "flashed" the system according to instructions in the manual... with 6vdc to f1 and f2.... Simpson meter connected to E1 and E2... no deflection of the needle at all.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:05:39 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

Oh to read this is painful. I feel sorry for you. Mistakes do happen. Tomorrow Or later today, I will review the Magneciter diagrams to see what was damaged. Sounds like the exciter has been damaged. Terminal 35 is the automatic field flashing positive 12 volt line from the starting solenoid inside the control box. E1 & E2 are the AC power source from the stator to the exciter. F1 & F2 are the DC power from the exciter to the rotor via the slip rings, if I am not mistaken. How that diode terminal became disconnected is a ? Was it so hot it melted the soldered connection?

Did any magic smoke come out? What is the factory build spec letter of your machine? That way we can review the proper wiring diagram and trace out the circuits. Do you have the generator neutral tied to the chassis?

Too sleepy to go further. More later. Note, must confirm, but your Magneciter may have a separate stator winding that charges the battery via a 1/2 wave AC to DC diode in series with that charging resistor which sits in the generator hot air exhaust. Isthat the resistor that glowed red hot? Ouch this is painfull.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:05:31 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

I do not pretend to be an authority on the Magneciter. As an electrical engineer I am merely interested in then seeing I have one. I would say the Magneciter I think the owner has employs a separate stator winding to charge the battery. With the battery polarity reversed, the charging system is working into essentially a short circuit. This could have damaged th a stator winding which is separate from the normal 120/240 volts output windings.

There is no way that wire could become disconnected from the diode in question unless it was overheated due to perhaps a short circuit current flow. More analysis later today.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:39:41 PM
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Default Re: Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
...There is no way that wire could become disconnected from the diode in question unless it was overheated due to perhaps a short circuit current flow. More analysis later today.
It's even worse than a 'short' circuit as far as the fault current goes because the polarity of the battery was swapped, putting a huge total voltage across the current limiting resistor. So, yes it's pretty likely the diode also overheated, and self-destructed.

Why no AC though? Hopefully, it's all in the DC flash circuitry and the magneciter, field and stator are OK...
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Old 10-25-2017, 01:41:32 PM
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

Do we have a good magneciter schematic for this unit (?), because this is rather curious.. The diode might still be good, wouldn't surprise me one bit.. If it tests OK, I would solder that wire back on and give it a go. Most digital meters have a diode function that indicates the breakdown voltage, or use your old analog Simpson on X100 or x1k resistance range, across the diode (battery disconnected) - couple hundred Ohms forward biased (black probe on the cathode, red on the anode), infinite/open reverse-biased (red probe on the cathode).
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:09:56 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Possible magneciter issue? No AC and no battery charge.

Jim I agree. Not a huge total voltage but a huge total current back through the stator charging winding. Hopefully it did not damage either that charging stator winding or the resistor that glowed red hot.

As for the exciter I think by looking at 625A631 and knowing that terminal E2 is normally chassis ground but now has a positive 12 volts put on it WRT terminal 35 (the flashing terminal) just trace the path back. He applied positive battery voltage on E2 (normally at ground potential) back through, rectifier # 5, then to the slip rings (F1 to F2) up through the toroid to E1? Not sure, got to think about it a bit more, but I think rectifier item #5 is damaged due to + 12 volts being applied to terminal E2.

He will be very lucky if that is his only problem. I think his exciter may be toast.. More later.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:28:34 PM
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Default Re: Building a "mount" for the Onan Power Plant

I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around the fact the starter worked OK with the fact the battery was hooked up backwards?
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:43:42 PM
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Default Jb 3cr 8389 t

I did test the diode this morning... it still operates correctly.... needle deflection one way, none the other.

The pin is broke clean in half... the exposed surface of the pin isn't black, but shiny copper... it looks to have a hollow center, or maybe there was a defect, or the electrical problem burnt it in half, I don't know.

Going back to the action that caused all this, the plant DID run and produce AC and charge the battery AFTER I corrected the issue...
I ran it with a load then, and ran it without a load later.... nothing connected to the output...when I took it to the muffler shop to show the guy how loud it was. I don't know what the charging system was doing out at his shop.. didn't look at the meter.

I'm hoping that either A). vibrational stress caused it to break off, or B). The reversed battery fiasco caused some over current, which melted this piece in two and spared any other components.

I have a good friend in town who is quite the electronics technician, among a lot of other things... I'm going to his shop to see if he's got one of these diodes in stock.

I don't quite see on the schematic I indicated in the other post exactly where this diode is located, and I don't see anyting on the parts list on that schematic that calls out exactly the properties of the diode.

Maybe my buddy will know... it's not rocket science...
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