seeking recommendations for what brand and size generator to get.
Would be used for a running a light or two, maybe a PC, TV etc if power
goes out, as well as misc workshop tools when working in the yard.
Seems like if not used a lot, when needed it would not start (Murphy's
law) I suppose adding gasoline stabilizer to the fuel and starting it
every month or two is critical. Still, some engine brands seem to start
more easily than others, handle old gas better than others, etc.
I hesitate to just go and buy whatever home depot or sears has for sale
without some 'user feedback"
I prefer to go with a car battery or two and an inverter. This way, if
worse came to worse, I could charge the batteries or run the invert off the
In my opinion, a couple batteries are much more reliable than a small
engine. They're also quieter, can be used (though not charged) inside if
need be, and are cheaper.
You may not want to try running a fridge or heater with one, but I did
manage to run my 52" TV off one with a 300 watt inverter.
Yes, in my opinion, the inverter is
probably more reliable. And, as
you stated, you can run the car to
charge .... but the average car
alternator probably can't keep up with
real heavy usage. I designed
and us a mobile TV studio. We
originally put in a 7KW Onan genset.
It was VERY unreliable, noisy and
smelly. We finally had to put a
large UPS on the video equipment to
cover for when the Onan decided
to go nuts. After about 5 years of very
poor service, we replaced the
Onan with an 5KW AuraGen, which is
belted off the truck engine and uses
an inverter. This thing is unbelievably
stable. You can run all the video
gear and lights simultaneously, and then
start the roof mounted AC .....
hardly any glitch in the power. Two
slight problems; it does use
more gas than the Onan and while the
truck engine is quieter,
and cleaner, it does vibrate a bit
"differently" to the point that a camera
on top the truck, does "see" the
No, and I wouldn't recommend running an inverter off the alternator for any
significant length of time, unless a high output alternator is installed on
a diesel engine, and the vehicle is secured against joyriders.
Sounds like a very good setup. New motor mounts might reduce some of the
vibration, and outriggers can reduce it even more.
What do news crews use to solve the vibration problem? My guess is very
expensive cameras that can compensate, although I think I've seen one or two
news vans with outriggers.
I just bought a Generac 5550 "Wheelhouse" portable generator from HD. I
did a bunch of research before deciding on this one and the three
factors that contributed the most (after wattage) were that the
ancestor of this generator was Consumer Report's Top Pick in 2003,
availability, and noise level.
Noise was a BIG factor for me, and I'd heard that the Generac ran at a
confortable 60-70 dB; low enough to hold a normal conversation within a
few feet of the running unit.
In fact, the noise level is closer to 80-90 dB, meaning you have to
yell rather loudly to be heard over the noise of the running unit. It
isn't pleasant, and you wouldn't want to use a generator like this on a
But I bought mine for use during catastrophic emergencies only, not
camping, and not even during short brownouts (which are becoming more
common). In my area of California, that means a 7.5 earthquake or fire,
which may never happen in my lifetime. So I plan to keep the unit. It
does everything else as advertised.
Here\'s some of my work:
Don't forget your refrigerator, DSL or Cable router, etc. No recomendations
except to maybe run the unit dry and have fresh gas on hand to fill if you
expect you may need it. Each manufacturer will have recomendations for how
to store it. Don't buy Craftsman.
Here are some brands that I remember seeing used sucessfully in LA and MS
The Winco I saw was a tri fuel - I don't know much about it except it can
run on LP, natural or regular gasoline!! That is pretty cool if you ask me.
This is Turtle.
Well I have a Generac brand 5.5KW and does a good job running a bunch of the
home appliances in a power outages. i have had it 3 years and 3 few day useages
and cranks like a charm. I thibk it was around $400.00 3 years ago but if i had
to do it again , i would sure look at the Honda generators for i have been told
by a bunch of people who work on small engines that Honda made very good even
running Generator & engine. So here is all i Know.
I have an old Honda 2200 that has given good service for 15+ years.
It's been over in Collins MS nearly 3 weeks now doing a good job. If it
does not come back, I will probably replace it with a Yamaha EF2800i
inverter unit. Weighs 64 pounds (the Honda is 104 pounds) and idles
back under reduced load rather than 3600 rpm all the time.
Running the refrigerator is the primary task in summer when the power
Reguardless of brands (yes honda make EXCELLENT engines) make sure
to look for brushless generators. They are MUCH more reliable over the
haul. Cheaper units use brushes that wear out when you need them
P.S. I have a honda Dayton generator... uses a honda gx160 and a
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