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Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel


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  #1  
Old 11-02-2017, 11:07:12 AM
mjd325is mjd325is is offline
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Default Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Hi everyone,
The power outages here in NH have prompted me to get my 7.5 JB connected and ready. Right now its sitting unconnected on a pallet in my basement. I am planning on building an small shed, or "doghouse" for the JB about 50' away from my house where it will be connected to propane. I want to monitor the load, voltage and frequency so I can manually manage the breakers. I was planning on putting together a little "monitoring panel" in my basement where I could do this. I'm looking at LCD meters on Amazon like this:
https://www.amazon.com/DROK-10-199-9...6N0DTP0YGQW564

My question is, are these accurate enough (for the price)? I'm thinking of getting one for frequency, one voltage, and one for amps. Mount them on a nice little enclosure box located in the basement, next to the main breaker panel for the house. I was also considering a 120V indicator light to show when utility power is available.

Anyone ever try to do a remote engine temperature (oil maybe?) or oil pressure gauge? Maybe I'm getting too fancy.

Curious to know thoughts on this.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:59:04 AM
dmeed dmeed is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

If you are running 120/240volts at 30 amps into the house instead of 120volts only at 60 amps - you will want to monitor _both_ power legs - so budget for two amp meters.

Do some searching - someone was trying to use a cheap multimeter and had issues with it not reading correctly on an onan with brushes - I think it was the frequency function - the meter was being fooled by the hash from the brushes on the power line.

That being said - I installed a pair of "volt/amp" meters on a westinghouse gen set so I can monitor voltage and amps on both lines.

Something like these https://www.amazon.com/GEREE-Multime...lt%2Famp+meter and they worked fine the couple of times I've needed the gen set since.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:44:29 PM
GMGuy GMGuy is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

JohnnyC has made several monitoring panels and I know there are posts of them somewhere on here. I am sure he would share his plans and schematics.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:49:04 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd325is View Post
Anyone ever try to do a remote engine temperature (oil maybe?) or oil pressure gauge? Maybe I'm getting too fancy.
I'm sure there are after market remote monitoring kits available, both wireless and hardwired

Most Onans have automatic low oil pressure shut down. Can add high temp shutdown switch to controls to automate that too. Better to have genset automatically shut down rather than relie on you to ALWAYS watch it 24/7 and eventually get around to intervening and manually shutting it off. Such as when you get preocupied by something else.....like sleep.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:42:12 PM
whiteblaze whiteblaze is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Most automotive gauges rely on electric senders and gauges. Should not be an issue for remote gauges.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:48:31 PM
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John Newman, Jr. John Newman, Jr. is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Don't know if it counts as remote, but I added mechanical oil temp and pressure gauges to my 10CW. Access plate on crankcase was thick enough to drill & tap for a NPT fitting that the temp sender screws to.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:33:46 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

For long distance hardwired monitoring, easy enough to find variable resistance oil pressure gauge and likely temp gauge too and rig up a 12VDC regulated supply to power them. Simple analog meter. If currents are low might have to run the wires separate from power leads so don't get cross talk between them. ( cap and transformer issues).

2ft separation is typical on long parelle signal and power wires. Think for cable TV/ phone/ utility buried lines code says 3 ft
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:36:50 PM
EICBob EICBob is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

After this round of NE wind storm power failures. It became apparent to me that even though I have a monitoring panel set up, reading total output voltage across each leg as well as amperage across each leg, I was having a brain cramp trying to balance my loads. (and not overload the unit)
So what I am wondering, as a general rule of thumb, when the data plate on your generator gives a value such as 20.8 AMPS @ 120/240 Volts, is that across each leg or the combined total across both legs?
Please forgive me if this has been discussed before.

Thank you kindly

-Bob
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:22:09 PM
jack0 jack0 is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

With those Chinesium meters. Analog is the way to go. At least you can adjust them to a known accurate meter.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:54:37 PM
Jack Hottel Jack Hottel is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by EICBob View Post
So what I am wondering, as a general rule of thumb, when the data plate on your generator gives a value such as 20.8 AMPS @ 120/240 Volts, is that across each leg or the combined total across both legs?

-Bob
You may draw up to 20.8 Amps from any leg. It may return to the Neutral (120 volt load) or to the other leg (240 volt load), or any combination of both. To exceed that current may over heat the windings and cause damage.
Jack Hottel
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Old 11-10-2017, 08:56:47 AM
EICBob EICBob is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Thank you Jack!


-Bob
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:22:26 AM
Handyhiker1 Handyhiker1 is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Don't know about the JB as I don't have one but my BFA can be wired so it will produce full out put at 120v. I plan on splitting this at the panel to feed both sides of the panel. That way both legs of the generator have eaual load. Just can't use any 220 stuff.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:56:26 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Hello Matt:

I did exactly what you are thinking when I installed my JB back in 1970. I built a 8 x 12 wood framed shed 125 feet behind my house. I build it on a poured concrete slab and faced the JB exhaust away from the house towards the woods. Over the years, this enclosure keep the JB dry, even when it was cold outside. Very little sweating or moisture getting into the enclosed shed. The concrete floor helps to stabilize the temperature, really! Took me a few years to figure out how to keep the mice out but I was successful in that also. I ran direct buried power, control and a 120 VAC battery charger line between the shed and my house distribution panel. I installed a JB monitoring home made panel as shown in the attached picture. All this has worked out just fine and the JB remains on standby today.

I found no need to monitor the JB temp, oil pressure etc. This 1966 designed unit is one hell of a machine. Very reliable and rugged, albeit noisy if standing next to it.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:07:38 PM
mjd325is mjd325is is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Leon,
Your setup is exactly what I'm envisioning. A couple questions: 1) How did you mouse-proof your unit? 2) I was planing a remote start/stop switch. I read the manual which calls for a "3 wire connection of a single pole, double throw, momentary contact, center off switch". I was wondering if I could use 2 Normally Open momentary switches instead and get the same result? Reason being I have these available, and I think they look cooler than the toggle switch. Attached is a photo of the switches I have in stock. I'd use one for start, one for stop.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:00:22 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Matt re your questions:

I finally mouse proofed my shed by installing a mouse condo outside and adjacent to the shed. A mouse condo consists of a bail of hay, you know the one's that are about 2x2x3 feet, kind of heavy. Sit it on the ground adjacent to the shed maybe a foot away from the external wall.. Cover it with a tarp or piece of plastic which is held down by a few stones or a couple of 2 x 4's. Never touch it again. Do not get curious and disturb it and I swear the field mice will be happy making tunnels and nests inside rather than come inside the shed through any opening as small as a nickel.

Your second question: I was wondering if I could use 2 Normally Open momentary switches ? The answer is no. Why? Because you must hold the switch in the on position until the centrifugal switch closes and kills the starter. You can tell when this occurs by monitoring the frequency meter. The stop switch operates just in the reverse, that is, you must hold the stop switch energized until the voltage/frequency drops low enough to open the centrifugal switch.

Yes, the JB start/stop is a 3-wire circuit.

BTW, you are not that far away, why not tool down route three, exit 34 and stop by. I can show you around.

Leon
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:09:54 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

I think the best mouse proofing is a tight shed or box around gen so mice can't physically get to it. I think this means no opening larger than 1/4 inch ( like 1/4 inch screens) , although for slots like under doors I'ld make it a lot tighter, like close to wind tight so it won't wear more open.

Found a little info on mice repellents , see my posts #, 3475 to 3478 in this link
https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...15080&page=174
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:14:42 PM
JT240Z JT240Z is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd325is View Post
2) I was planing a remote start/stop switch. I read the manual which calls for a "3 wire connection of a single pole, double throw, momentary contact, center off switch". I was wondering if I could use 2 Normally Open momentary switches instead and get the same result? Reason being I have these available, and I think they look cooler than the toggle switch. Attached is a photo of the switches I have in stock. I'd use one for start, one for stop.
Thanks,
Matt
Technically it would work but is not foolproof. The purpose of having a single double throw switch(on/off/on) is so you can never have both the start and stop switches closed at the same time. With your system, it could happen and would not be a good thing. The manual on my JC specifically calls that out.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:27:18 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Leon, with all due respect, I don't see why he can't use two separate N/O momentary devices. His photo shows a pushbutton operator with a N/O contact block. He could tie one side of each contact block together as the common ground, and use the other side of each as either the START or STOP signal. As long as both pushbuttons aren't pushed simultaneously, there shouldn't be a problem. If he has N/C contact blocks, he can wire them in series with the N/O contact on the
opposite pushbutton, as an safety interlock. This will prevent the generator from getting a start and stop signal together.

Last edited by Steve Dawkins; 11-10-2017 at 08:48:19 PM. Reason: correct grammar
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:53:21 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

Yes Steve one can use momentary switches but they must work through an additional set of contacts that hold the start signal on until the Centrifugal switch closes. Likewise on the shut down.

LenK I truged your approach but iI was not successful. From a practical standpoint it is nearly impossible to build a tight shed with absolutely no openings. Even if you could do that, those critters will knaw their way in be it at the base board or the roof rafters soffits or gable ends--- eventually. They go all over the structure and will find the tineyist crack, slit or even chew their way in.

Before I installed the mouse condo, I covered all the JB openings with 1/4 inch hardware cloth. Then only to have a no-start situation when a mouse was found wrapped around a spark plug. I to this day do not know how he got in after all I did.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:59:01 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan 7.5 JB Information Monitoring Panel

^ I think he would hold the START or STOP pushbutton for the same duration as a toggle switch. The N/O contact will remain closed as long as the button is pressed.
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