Aldi 59 petrol generator and television

On just buying a 800 watt 'two' stroke petrol generator from Aldi, we have heard from someone who says that he has got one; and that his is running very roughly, and is really noisy.
Also it says in the instructions that it is *not* suitable for connecting to televisions or other sensitive electronic equipment.
Has anybody any experience with one of these very cheap generators ? (Only 59 ).
Also saying they are not suitable for sensitive electronic equipment; would that just be the manufacturers covering themselves? Would buying something like a *surge- protector* make it possible to use the generator with a portable television?
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On 11/07/2012 7:37 PM, D. T. Green wrote:

The generator probably has poor stability in both voltage and frequency. Equipment that's senstitive to those may indeed break.
Sylvia.
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Blimey, if even the manufacturer is telling you its crap, it must be REALLY crap.
No way I'd connect one to anything of mine.
Gareth.
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On 11/07/2012 10:37, D. T. Green wrote:

Likely it is not just acoustically noisy but electronically noisy too and the ignition system radio emissions will cause snow on a portable TV. It might be so rough and ready electrically either voltage or frequency wise that it could fail or wreck some old sets completely. I'd expect most modern switched mode PSUs to cope with almost anything but then you are taking a risk since the maker says it is unsuitable.

I suspect your problem will be mainly electrical interference. Charging up a battery to use with your TV would get around this and be quieter.
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I would have said the exact opposite of that. Linear supplies with a nice big chunk of L in the way, are pretty much unconcerned about such nasties as spikes, whereas switchers will fail if you just look at them wrongly on a day with a Y in it ...
However, that said, I would agree with everyone else that using this with modern electronic equipment would not be a good idea. OK to run a few lights (but not CFLs or electronically ballasted linear flourescents), and maybe power tools, which is probably what Aldi had in mind for it. I've actually found Aldi to be pretty honest in this respect. It's cheap, and they know it, hence the warnings.
Arfa
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Arfa Daily wrote:

No. they just rectify teh peaks.
But iron transformers dont like odd waveforms.
Having said that, ive used a genny to power a laptop for watching TV on in a camper.

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Like hell they do.

That's just plain wrong with modern switch mode power supplys.

But it may well be fine if the device has a switch mode power supply that's happy with an input voltage of 80-26V and couldn't care less about the frequency because it rectifys the mains.
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I repair hundreds of the things, and irrespective of the topology of any individual design, most work by the skin of their teeth. Left alone, in general, today's generation are fairly reliable, but in my experience, subject them to the slightest abuse, and they fail - often catastrophically
Arfa
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But clearly don't understand the basics with well designed switch mode power supplys.

That's just plain wrong.

Switch mode power supplys, particularly the ones designed to work on a voltage range of 80-260V don't, and they don't give a damn about the frequency of the mains from a generator, because they rectify the mains.
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wrote

Oh, how silly of me not to know that ...
Where did I ever dispute that such designs don't care about frequency or input voltage ? I merely stated that if you abuse them, they have a predisposition towards catastrophic failure - and I base that on many years of repairing the things every week for a living. Even if they do have a PFC front end, that in itself is just another SMPS, and the control IC and switching FET are just as prone to failure as in any other design.
Arfa
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On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:21:51 +0100, "Arfa Daily"

Switchers fail gracefully. The output voltage goes to zero. Analog power supplies are not so graceful when they fail. The output usually goes to the maximum of whatever the unregulated part of the power supply will deliver, which destroys everything connected to it. I like switchers.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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Not always.

Yes.

Not necessarily.

Me too, particularly when used on that sort of cheap generator.
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wrote

No.
Both of these are an extraordinarily rare ocurrence in the real world.
Gareth.
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On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 19:54:09 +1000, "Rod Speed"

(...)
I've read a fair quantity of your messages on this topic. All of them are much like this one. It states your opinion, position, or pontification. There is no corroborating information, no examples, and no useful information. While you are certainly entitled to an opinion, I believe that you will be more effective if you kindly explain your position.
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# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558
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I've read all of yours.

Yours in spades.

Everyone can see for themselves that that is a lie.

And you aren't, particularly with that absolute claim you made at the top.

I did that with the basics on whether SMPSs give a damn about the voltage within limits and the frequency in spades.
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On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:19:01 +1000, "Rod Speed"

Yep. Too bad it was incomplete. Generators have an irritating habit of producing distorted waveforms when loaded unevenly between phases. This is fairly common with generators that have two phases, 180 degrees apart, for outputs. Load one at 400VA and look at the waveform. It's fairly ugly.
The problem is that all switching supplies that actually comply with some governments conducted radiation standard has a 50/60 Hz low pass filter on the AC input. That's great for keeping the high frequency hash from radiating out the power line, but not so great when presented with an input waveform full of harmonics. It's not too horrible, but it is a consideration. For example, if the input to the switcher were a square wave, 1/3 of the power would be in the harmonics. That power has to go somewhere. Some is reflected, but most of it is dissipated in the input filter. At 400 VA, that's about 133 watts of smog.
With an unbalance load, most generators will have up to 5% of the power in harmonics. It's worse for small generators because the cores like to saturate at rated power output. At 400 VA (one phase), that's about 20 watts dissipated. Some switchers can handle it, others prefer to blow the input fuse, if there is an input fuse or breaker.
--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558
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Just like yours on how SMPSs fail was.

Irrelevant to the generator being discussed which can't do that.

But the generator being discussed doesn't.

And you don't get that with the generator being discussed.

You don't get that with the generator being discussed.

Not with the generator being discussed it isnt.

It isnt with the generator being discussed.

It isnt with the generator being discussed.

Not with the generator being discussed it doesn't.

Not with the generator being discussed it isnt.

Not with the generator being discussed it isnt.

Can't happen with the generator being discussed.

Not with the generator being discussed it doesn't.

Not with the generator being discussed it isnt.

Doesn't happen with the generator being discussed driving the TV being discussed.
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On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:08:36 +1000, "Rod Speed"

An unbalanced load isn't required, which only creates even order (asymmetric) distortion. A single phase generator will happily create odd order (symmetrical) distortion without an unbalanced generator load. For example: <http://www2.electronicproducts.com/Generators_UPSs_match_or_bridge_to_nowhere-article-fapo_Falcon_mar2009-html.aspx Scroll down to the oscilloscope photograph. Note the noise and distortion. This is fairly typical of cheapo small geneators with mechanical regulators. I've seen worse.
Speaking of worse, not the oscilloscope photos: <http://www.screenlightandgrip.com/html/emailnewsletter_generators.html <http://www.jkovach.net/projects/powerquality/ <http://www.bwpowertools.com/channels/246_v.aspx
It's this garbage waveform that causes switching power supplies to complain and UPS power supplies to refuse to run on generator power.
Incidentally, if you plan to look at the waveforms produced by a gasoline generator with an oscillosope, use two scope probes and differential inputs. One probe connects to each side of the power line. The two probe grounds go to the generator frame ground. The scope input selector is set to A-B. That will remove any common mode noise on the display, and provide some protection against accidentally getting the oscilloscope case at line potential.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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But you don't get anything like the amount of distortion you were going on about, so it isnt a problem with an SMPS being powered from that particular generator being discussed.

<http://www2.electronicproducts.com/Generators_UPSs_match_or_bridge_to_nowhere-article-fapo_Falcon_mar2009-html.aspx
No SMPS will have a problem with that.

You don't know that the generator being discussed is anything like that.

You don't know that the generator being discussed will produce that result.

One of those wasn't even being discussed.

No news to me.
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[not much]
Why are your posts so content-free?
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Tim

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