Generator Thoughts

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Dear Pete, That is a concern. I do have a Coleman generator, and curious what problems you've found. I bought it used, about 1998 or 99. Would have to check the paper work, see what was the manufacture date. It is a 2200 watt, with 5 HP Briggs. Pleased for any information you have.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Recall short brush life (buy a few extra pairs) and issues with loss of field and needing to be "repolarized" with a car battery.
At the time the Coleman's were all green and I recall him saying if he sees someone bringing a green one towards the front door he'd retreat out the back door.
Pete C.
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I'm too tired to go check, but I think mine is black. Doubt it will get enough use to go through a set of field brushes. But lost field in the armature is possible. I really oughta run the beast more often.
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Christopher A. Young
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During the great ice storm, a number of colemans caught fire.
A variety of issues. One of them was that US Colemans (they imported thousands in a big rush) didn't meet CSA specs, and had to be modified before resale, and sometimes they got it wrong.
Apparently, the instructions said that they already had oil, but they didn't, or people simply weren't used to handling 4 stroke engines.
Mostly, however, it was simply a matter of trying to run a light duty generator for too many days at a time.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Can't remember, but I think mine may have a low oil shutdown. I know my sisters did, and that gave them trouble. Ran for a full second, and then died. It had oil the dipstick, but they didn't know why it was dying. So, they went and bought another one. Gave me the old one. I added four ounces oil, and it ran fine. Of course, I did change the oil, and some other maint.
Traded the generator to my Dad, who left the gas in. A "helpful" neighbor sprayed ether into the spark hole. Which dried the cylinder walls. It set up and threw a piston rod through the side of the engine.
It's OK to spray ether on the air filter, I've done that enough times. When my carb gaskets are all dried out.
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Christopher A. Young
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Extremely occasional use at an airport location without electricity. I need to run a 250w engine pre-heater 10 times a year for a couple of hours. Concurrent with that, I'd probaby run a battery tender which would have a very low draw.
I figure spending a few hundred bucks on a generator will be cheaper (but less convenient) in the long run than running power to the hangar and paying an electricity bill (and meter charge) every month.
KB

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Kyle Boatright wrote:

Sounds well within the capability of a $60 inverter. Run it off your car / truck and never worry about getting a generator started, carrying a gas can, noise, etc.
Pete C.
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Yes, but... Parking a car at the airport and waiting around for a couple of hours while the aircraft engine heater runs off of the car invertor isn't a viable option...
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Kyle Boatright wrote:

So buy a standard deep cycle battery and the inverter. Charge the battery at home and drop it of at the airport to heat the engine while you go get breakfast.
Pete C.
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You own a plane, but can't afford a grand for a good generator?!?!?
Kyle Boatright wrote:

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Kyle Boatright wrote:

are using this primarily in cold weather? How cold? That could certainly affect generator performance and reliability. You may not even be able to start a generator (especially an el-cheapo) in really cold weather.
I think that your best bet is to buy a deep-cycle marine battery (about $80) and an inverter. Sounds like you already have a charger, which you can use at home to charge the marine battery in between uses. Just remember, most inverters (the cheaper ones) do not provide sine-wave AC and may damage sensitive electronics, including battery chargers for power tools, so be careful what you use it for. I fried a laser printer once, in an attempt to have a mobile office. Sine-wave inverters are much more expensive and are usually found in RVs for Tvs, etc.
I hope your car doesn't decide to become unreliable halfway to your hangar on a cold day!
Good Luck!
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Yeah, and he center posts.
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Christopher A. Young
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Can you preheat your engine with propane, or some other means? Sounds like a LOT of work to heat a motor. As the other fine person suggested, an inverter and run off the vehicle motor while the vehicle is running. Filament heaters should run just fine off an inverter.
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Christopher A. Young
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Kyle Boatright wrote:

Buy a genuine GI surplus unit for about four hundred dollars. Coleman's surplus is one vender that has them all the time.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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On Thu, 10 Aug 2006 21:08:09 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"

I've no doubt Honda units are very quiet, long lasting etc.
I've brought a couple of the el-cheapo generators. I don't have a requirement of regular use, just for emergency use. Nor am I looking for 1000's of hours of use. I've always got them to start quite easily once I kept their fuel tanks dry until I wanted to use them. Keep the fuel in a sealed container until needed.
It is a good idea to start them every now and again just to check them (and also you too), otherwise you can forget silly things like fuel cock positions, motor kill switches, etc. :)
It is important to note, that like all small engines/small fuel tanks, fresh fuel is a real _must_ for good starting.
Fuel in small tanks seems to go bad quite easily and fairly quickly too. Fuel in 16-20 gallon tanks seems to be fine even after years of not being used, just not in tiny tanks like for unused outboards or unused small generators or unused chainsaws.
Me, I'd try a cheapy and see if it will do the job for you. You can only lose just a few dollars doing this.
I've got the inverters that run off a 12V car battery too. These are fine for emergencies too. If you use them too regularly on a car battery and deep cycle the battery, then car batteries don't cope well with regular deep cycling and will fail fairly quickly under such use.
Ross
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One thing to think about is fuel storage - if it's a gas powered generator, you need to run the carb and fuel lines dry , put stabilizer in the gas, and even then you should occasionally swap out the gas.
Since most people don't do this, seldom-run gas generators are unlikely to start reliably for more than a year or two.
If you really need reliable intermittent generator power, look at nat gas or propane powered units.
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"MDT at Paragon Home Inspections, LLC" wrote:

Nat. gas or propane for a 1 kW *portable* generator????? On what planet is that practical?
Pete C.
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you can buy natural gas and propane small generators, pricey because theres little demand, the regulator and mixing valves arent a big deal.
derate gasoline generators about 20% when run on natural gas or propane since they have less energy than gasoline
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

I'm well aware that you can get small generators in multi fuel though I've never seen it on one below about 5kW.
The point is that the small multi fuel generator might be portable, but the nat. gas or propane are not. Sure you could drag along and manifold a couple 20# BBQ propane tanks, but that doesn't fit my definition of portable. Certainly not compared to the ~55# complete Honda EU1000i for about $700.
Pete C.
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