Generators and Electric Motors
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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion


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Old 08-22-2004, 06:13:06 AM
George G. Fries
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Default Generators

Having been "lightly" touched by hurricane "Charley", (compared to "Charley's" entry point into Florida), my study of portable generators have shown imense disparity in costs/quality, fact/fiction, junk/worse junk, domestic/foreign, etc., etc.

Am asking for suggestions or resources to aqcuire 6.5/7.5KW - affordably valued as a lifetime good investment. A more substantial 10/15KW would be ideal with a second lightweight 2.5/3.5KW for easier portability. Might someone mention a few Government Surplus Resources? The Tactical Quiet Generator sounds impressive. Where might I acquire one?

Anyone who might offer me help/knowledge, etc., towards me being better informed shall be appreciated. I'm not proficient with bulletin boards, however, I am learning here. Please contact me at, indentifying your response clearly on the subject line, (avoiding spam). Or 386 253 9098, Daytona Beach, FL.

George G. Fries 386 253 9098 DAB FL
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Old 08-22-2004, 06:45:25 AM
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Default Re: Generators

Surplus is fine to tinker with as a hobby but not very useful if down in a crisis like Charley. I suggest Mitsubishi, Honda, or Yamaha portables. Quiet and super reliable. Don't waste money on the Coleman from HD. Too noisy and it won't last.
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Old 08-22-2004, 12:34:20 PM
Lee Alessi
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Default Re: Generators

why do you think the surplus are not very good in a crisis???

im asking only as i have no experiance in them.
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:01:27 PM
Billy J Shafer
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Default Re: Generators

The problem with military gensets is that they are hard to find parts for.If you buy one get two one for parts.
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:58:06 PM
robert haus
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Default Re: Generators

The Honda units are good, but I have mixed feelings about the "inverter" models...these use an inverter to produce the ac current...they work great and are easy on fuel (as they drop to idle if only under light or no load)...BUT if you overload them and they trip off line, they require you to shut down and restart the engine to reset the system...why they didn't put a reset button on them I don't know...It can be annoying if you turn on a big power tool with a high starting surge current (I know from experience) so I'd probably stick with the bigger convetional units....If you can afford the higher cost and the size and weight, an 1800 rpm unit is always better than a 3600rpm unit...the slower speed units are quieter and last longer...if you can afford a diesel, so much the better...a slow speed liquid cooled diesel set would be great...the main trade-offs being the size, weight, and cost to a general rule, any generator can theorhetically support any load if the duration is short enough, heat being the primary limiting factor...again, bigger is better--the heavier windings will serve you for many more years...a lightweight 5kw unit will quickly wear out if you load it to 5kw all the time...a heavy duty one will easily outlast it, and if you run at less than full capacity you may "never" wear it out.

Ultimately, it comes down to your intended purpose and projected loads....and then, of course, your wallet!

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Old 08-22-2004, 10:18:38 PM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: Generators

Goverment surplus set are great, if you don't mind working on them yourself - as there's generally no place to take them for service, and yes, parts can be a challenge. If you're not electrically and mechanically inclided, I'd stay away from them. If money's no object, stop in at your local Kubota dealer and get a liquid-cooled diesel set. If you want American, got to Cummins/Onan and get the same thing (it'll probably have a Japanese engine.) If you don't want diesel, or don't want to spend that much, check out the air-cooled gasoline Hondas. But recognize that storing a lot of fuel for a gasoline unit is a problem. Got propane? Take a look at the packaged gensets from genrac and others.
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