Northstar 8000 W Honda generator, feedback

Hello:
I've been trying to do some research on generators, and Honda has been highly recommended. I was curious how the Northstar 8000 Watt Honda 13 HP generator rates (item #165914-1501). I was curious how clean its power is (would it be safe for sensative equipment like computers; the description at Northern mentions using it for computers). I've seen some talk about the models that have inverters & voltage regulators, and wasn't sure if this Northstar model has either. Personally, I would be using it for emergency purposes to run a couple computers, well, furnace fan, etc.
I would appreciate all feedback on this generator, good or bad.
Thank you very much for all responses! -- Chris
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My personal unprofessional opinion is that you'd be OK powering computers with the Honda generator. Even if the voltage is a little 'dirty'. Reason being, every computor has a power supply a.k.a. power converter that filers and regulates incoming AC voltage. It will 'condition' the power to meet the requirements of the computer. BTW, your computer works mostly on low DC voltages like 3.3, & 5 volts. And maybe 12 or 24 volts to drive the fans. The power supply 'derives' these voltages from the AC line.

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Are looking at a Northstar generator with Honda motor or a Honda generator sold by Northstar. The Honda EU series is computer safe the Northstar is probably not. Notrhstar will have the specs and ck out Hondas site. Hondas cost 2.5 times more, but also last alot longer
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

I'm looking at the Northstar 8000 generator with the Honda 13 HP motor (sold by Northern Tool & Equipment Co., item # 165914 in their catalog), not the Honda EU series generator. I have seen mutiple posts recommending Honda generators, as well as posts saying that the Northstar generators are also OK, so I was curious as to how this Northstar 8000 generator stacks up to the actual Honda generators. I understand the Northstar is cheaper than an actual Honda, yet it uses Honda engines... so is it a decent generator??? I guess that's what I'm trying to find out. The specs in the catalog and website are limited.
I'd appreciate any additional feedback on the Northstar 8000 or the equivalent Hondas... thanks much!! -- Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@groupinfo.com (Chris Szilagyi) wrote in message + Northern you'll find some posts I made about it.
I'm happy with it.. we've had to use it twice for outages, as well as using it around the house for when we needed power without an outlet nearby. We do try to run it at least every other month (with load) and drain the old gas out and refill with fresh gas every 6 months. This unit has a tank drain on the fuel tank.. at least my unit does.
With load managing, it will run the well pump, water heater, electric stove, lights, TVs, computers, etc. The only things we don't ask of it are the central AC and electric heat.
Evem though it's a 13 hp, pull starting isn't a problem..
Any other questions.. just ask.
Regards,
Jim
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On 3 Nov 2004 18:25:12 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@groupinfo.com (Chris Szilagyi) wrote:

We have performed some tests for powering our small data center with honda generator(s). I do not know the model number but honda has a unit that generates DC power which is put through an inverter and yields power clean enough to power our computer systems flawlessly. You might want to check out honda's site.
BTW - I have a honda 6500 generate that has performed flawlessly since 1985 with little maintenance other than oil changes and fluid changes every couple of years. It also outputs 220V which is needed for my well pump and some other devices.
Good luck.
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Sure the Northern is cheaper , get their specs on voltage swing % and sign wave and voltage stabilation, if any. Honda EU can last 4 times as long since motor operation Rpm is voltage dependant. You will get superior electronics with probably any honda. Honda EU are also much lighter as the gen is part of the motor. Also Honda sells 2 grades of motors. Northern will help as they sell both. But if you have the $ look into Onan, Kohler, Yamaha. And dont forget DB ratings, sound level. Many are loud, EU series you may not even hear at 30ft. My Generac can be heard 3000 ft away. There are many other online dealers that just specialise in generators, Northern is very limited in what they offer. If I were to do it again Id go Honda EU. Unregulated units can swing 35% in V and HZ, regulated apx 6-7% , Honda EU 1% = grid power. You really get what you pay for. I personaly would not even run a TV on unregulated gens. My friend blew out 3
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

According to the catalog specs for the Northstar 8000, it has "6% total harmonic distortion for use with voltage-sensitive equipment like computers...". I am assuming this means the voltage swing is around 6% as you mentioned for regulated units. However when I asked one of their sales people if it has a regulator, she said no. I'd say the way to go with the non-genuine Honda would be to use a UPS (with built in voltage regulation) with any computer or TV, etc. That would also guard damage if the generator runs out of gas, etc.
I appreciate the suggestions, I will post any further information that I gather on this.
Thank you, -- Chris
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To get 6% it must have a regulator, so someone is giving you wrong info. 6% isnt bad but you will need to do your own test upon purchase. I used electric space heaters to easily and acuratly load it to full load. And set it to 120v 60Hz at my normal loading. Look at other units, Yamaha is worth a look. But a Honda EU can outlast anything at 50% load because it will be turning 1800 rpm. 10000- 14000 hrs you could get running it easy. Compare that to 2-3000 hrs for 3600 rpm units. Again Honda costs 2.5x more but can outlast all small units if run at low load because amps are rpm dependant.
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www.southwestfastener.com has about every make model and size
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If you use it alot consider NG or a Tri fuel unit. Conversions are offered. A unit on Ng will last even longer.
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snipped-for-privacy@groupinfo.com (Chris Szilagyi) says...

No, THD is a measure of harmonics distorting the mathematically pure sine wave. Through Fourier transforms, you can describe any wave form as the sum of a perfect sine wave and its odd and even harmonics. Getting within 6% of a perfect sine wave is pretty common for any rotating field brushless generator. No regulation required. The THD says nothing about the stability of frequency or voltage.
--
http://home.teleport.com/~larryc

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OK larryc, his gen may be CRAP - for home electronics, if I understand you.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) says...

It depends on the electronics. A computer, for instance, uses a solid state switching power supply that is good for almost any wave form, anywhere between 90 and 230 volts, anywhere between 50 and 100 Hz. An APC UPS puts out what they euphemistically refer to as a "modified sine wave", which is actually a square wave with rounded edges, about 50% THD.
With a generator, as with commercial line power, the electronics killer is a high voltage transient. Any high power switch opening, like a pump switch or water heater switch, can create transients large enough to fry solid state power supplies. Your little $9.95 Wal-Mart surge protector will not do the job, assuming the generator is even grounded.
Buying an expensive generator buys you nothing for protection. If you want to run sensitive electronics, buy one of the solutions available for conditioning dirty power in an industrial installation, or keep your heavy loads off the generator while you are using your electronics. Continuous loads are fine. It's the switch opening that creates the transients.
--
http://home.teleport.com/~larryc

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Honda does make a genset with a built in inverter .... I don't know about the "Nortstar 8000W" unit. The inverter puts out pure sine wave and is supposed to be very well regulated. BTW, I just replace a traditional genset in a TV production truck with an Auragen unit. This generator belts off the truck engine and puts out some high voltage which runs an inverter. Wow, what a great unit. Power is very, very clean, even when the AC is starting. The problem is that the Auragen is pretty pricey, about $5K wor a 5.5KW unit and the vehicle must be modified. Auragen people did the install included in the above price.
Larry Caldwell wrote:

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Use a small UPS.
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snipped-for-privacy@groupinfo.com (Chris Szilagyi) wrote in message

Thank you for all feedback. I decided to purchase this generator. It seems to be a good value and fits well with what I will be using it for. I like the fact it has a Honda GX390 engine, built-in voltage regulation (with claimed "6% total harmonic distortion"). The product description does not mention voltage regulation but I did call to confirm it does have it.
It was delivered by truck and the small grounding post was snapped off the front panel (due to rough handling during shipping probably). A quick call to the Northstar customer service got right through and they are sending out the new piece.
I would also like to mention that the wheel kit for this is highly recommended.
So far so good. If I run across any problems I will definitely post them.
Thanks!! -- Chris
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Chris Szilagyi wrote:

Up here in Alberta, NWT, Honda is choice. Always starts good in extreme cold. And reliable. Tony
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