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Just Bought an 800 Watt Harbor Freight Generator

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by velvetfoot, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I found the screw that enables one to tweak the governed rpm (bump up volt (and hz) to 120 v. under partial load.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Ooooh, I don't know about that, I have an adjustment for voltage on the Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) and then I adjust for Hz with the engine governor. Both are screws but they are independent adjustments. Directions for the genset had me adjust the AVR before the Hz.
  3. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    how many volts does it run at under partial load? 110?
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm trying it again with the insert fan and oil boiler on.

    It's about 120 Volts now at 3 Amps. Freq. is about 63 hz.

    I didn't think it would be possible to adjust the volts and keep the freq. constant.

    I don't like the weird sound the circulator makes - I think a complaint of the pellet stove people too, and hence their desire for the inverter generators.
    When I had the TV on too, the oil burner wouldn't start.

    Any more generators would be a hard sell. :)
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    We still have power, but I tried it running the refrigerator yesterday. It was on for about an hour and a half and it seemed to run fine. Amazing how little fuel it used, and it was much quieter than the other gennies we have. Thing is, can only run one thing at at time, but can cycle the fridge, and use the big genny for water pumping.
  6. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

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    My 800W genny has the fridge, tv, wii, and wireless up and running at the moment... $90 well spent at this point.

    Kill-o-watt has it at 110 volts - if anyone has the location to adjust the voltage that would be great if you could post it.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    There's an indent in the sheet metal on the starter side with a visible screw.
    I'd be careful though.
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    careful with adjusting. you don't want to change the frequency. and before i'd change any setting i would run a second meter across it to double check the voltage. i've had 4 meters on a circuit and all read different voltage. if you have 110 volts while the fridge is running i'd say your ok.
  9. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    After our expirance with irene this weekend, where we needed the generator I am thinking of getting this one. The big honeywell i have is great, but it hard to move and hard to start, certainly not something my wife can do. I am thinking of getting this little harborfreight one as a backup, to the backup. If we loose power the thought would be for her to run this generator until i got home. Just powering the sump pump or fireplace blower, then the honeywell can run everything else.

    What do you think? Is this "wife-capable" for carying and especially starting?
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've heard it say it weighs 42#. Two hands for a woman, probably. Easy to pull.
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I think if you tugged it with 2 hands the generator would leap off the ground and attack you. I have to hold mine down with one hand and pull with the other. If your wife had somebody hold the generator down the 2 handed approach would work. I had mine going from cabin to cabin cooling down people's fridges. I figure if I could restart the melting clock all their food would last longer. I popped the breaker once, but overall I'm proud of the little bugger. I don't think I'd recommend it to anybody though. It will work for an emergency, but puts out enough pollution I wouldn't want to be downwind of it for long.

    Matt
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    What I was driving at was that she could pick it up and haul it outside. Pulling the cord would probably require one hand, but it's a pretty easy pull. I guess if you put a foot on it somewhere or other you could maybe use two hands.

    I honestly haven't noticed it being overly stinky for a 2 stroke. There isn't much smoke at all. Are you using a 50-1 mix.
  13. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    40 to 1. I run all my 2 strokes at that for convenience and as a little bit of protection. I think the sticker on my generator actually says 40:1 on it. I use a quality oil so it probably wouldn't hurt to run it at 50:1.

    A lady should be able to pick it up without any problems. I just notice it jump when I give the cord a firm pull.

    Matt
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I think my dream generator would be something like this:

    http://www.mechron.com/pdf/2kW Military Generator.pdf


    With that size I could run my house comfortably for months. The wife would miss turning on every light in the house but would eventually get over it. If the sucker could be liquid cooled it could be plumbed into the baseboard and probably heat the house too. I'd love to know what the realized efficiency of a small genset like the linked one would be if you could harness the waste heat for the house. When the house wasn't drawing all of the power produced, selling it to the grid would bring down the cost further...
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  16. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    interesting find. Thats about what I would expect, a relatively noisy sine wave. Its probably unloaded based on the symmetry. I have heard that after the breakin it will smooth out (which makes sense as you break in the generator, if it is a brushed generator, and the engine)... cool
  17. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

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    How much is from the dinosaurs running around the inside of that scope????

    I'll have to fire mine up and at take a look at it with the LeCroy

    Aaron
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That would be truly awesome.
  19. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Hehe...Took me a re-read (or 2) to get that joke.
    Given the era in which I first used a scope; and the already old age of the equipment at my school, I guess that thing looked reasonably modern.
    (I suppose nowadays oscilloscopes are on phone apps.)
  20. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well....I just got a Honda EU2000i, on sale. :)
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That was a sweet sale. Good deal.
  23. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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  24. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I already had a 180W/360W (surge) pure sine inverter: http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EL2200-Elite-Watt-Inverter/dp/B003INJ3VI
    (it is a cheapo model, but has worked like a champ over the last year)

    Soooo, I also picked up a 'dumb' 500W 12VDC supply for $20: http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-Amp-12V-Power-Adapter/dp/B000P7O5DG

    The two things should work ok in combination (with some loss in eff) to give me up to 180W of pure sine inverter power out of my new genny!

    Edit: D'oh! The description is unclear....its 5.8ADC (~70W). Oh well, perhaps I can charge a laptop or run my wifi...
    Edit Deux: Cancelled the little guy and got this 200W one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XESDFO

    seems like cheap insurance for running small electronics.
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I ordered one of the lil HF dudes yesterday morning. Gonna start using more electric stuff like string trimmers, pole saw etc. Maintain one little two stoke instead of a half dozen and let most of the weight sit in the garden tractor trailer.

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