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Old Oct 26, 2012, 12:10 PM
You're killin' me Smalls
BrownEyedFool's Avatar
United States, NJ, Hillsborough Township
Joined Sep 2011
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PL6 w/ HF Generator, Multi4 w/Beast lipos

Two questions on wildly disparate but still FMA based topics.

Love my PL6. I have it mounted in a Harbor Freight case with two feathermerchant power supplies. Have it configured so the 24V taps supply the PL6 and a set of bullets and a splitter from progressive supply power to one or two smaller chargers, mainly a Multi4.

Currently I just charge at home and off to the field I go. Have thought about getting a big battery from Sam's or Costco for field charging, just haven't done it. Long term I want me one of those beautiful Honda 2000 watt inverter generators, but those are pricy.

A friend of mine hit Harbor Freight for their little 800W generator and asked me if I wanted one. For $80 it's worth a shot. Any tips or advice on running my charging station on this generator once I get it broken in a bit (several hours running no load and swapping a better spark plug in)? Or is it just a "don't do it you'll screw up your charger?" I know the HF generator doesn't kick out the cleanest power, but how much will the Dell power supplies clean that up? I saw several people using these at NEAT.

I had also been independently looking at a jobsite radio from Bosch to use in my garage and backyard at Lowe's recently, I believe the box said it could run on standard generator power, which says to me it must have some filtering or conditioning hardware inside to handle that level of power quality. I had thoughts of plugging my charge station into the outlets on that unit as a filter for the HF power, until I downloaded the manual and learned those outlets are capped at 10 amps total output, making it not as worth it.

The other question:
I have the FMA power supply for my Multi4, though it usually lives in the bigger case with the PL6. Sometimes I like to just throw a micro or two and my transmitter case in the car. Currently when I want to fly the Beast I have to take my big charger case (equipped with the progressive RC 6 parallel beast charge board) along to be able to charge those batteries. Would love to throw my multi4 and power supply in my transmitter case and go.

I'd like to use the Multi4 to charge multiple Beast packs, but the Multi4 is balance port only, and my adapter has banana plugs. I contemplated insulating those two plugs with plastic bags but don't know if that would be safe. Is there anywhere I can get a parallel board that will work with a Multi4 and charge multiple Beast packs? Or perhaps get another one of the progressive boards and mod it?

Pity da' Foo'
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Seattle
Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
A friend of mine hit Harbor Freight for their little 800W generator and asked me if I wanted one. For $80 it's worth a shot. Any tips or advice on running my charging station on this generator
Yes, its not clean power and its only 800 watts. The power supplies will clean up the power and will most likely be that part that gets stressed by the generator, too a point. If the power is bad enough the supplies may not be able compensate and you might to see power related safety codes triggered on your Powerlab.

I'm not sure if this applies to all cheap generators. But we noticed something distributing on a club member's. To diagnose the issue I put my Kill-A-Watt inline between the generator and the supply. When the generator was heavily loaded the frequency of the AC would drop. The heavier the load the more it would drop. When it got below 50 hz, the power supply shut off. This happened well before we even got close to the generators max rating.

We have a few of these inexpensive generators at our club and I am not fond of them. They are loud and smelly. They drone on all day long. Nitros make a lot of noise as well, but they don't run non stop. Most of the guys are good about putting them away from the pit area and running an extension cord. Some even at a small sound wall that directs the sound away from the pits. Regardless, its a relief when they are powered off.

Quote:
Is there anywhere I can get a parallel board that will work with a Multi4 and charge multiple Beast packs
I make my own. Its not hard. Lots of places sell ends and parts. Solder in your desired config. I currently have my Cellpro4s setup to charge my mCPX 1s packs as well as my 130x packs.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 01:47 PM
You're killin' me Smalls
BrownEyedFool's Avatar
United States, NJ, Hillsborough Township
Joined Sep 2011
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Yeah I've already test run this unit at my field, our field is set up that you pull onto the runway and then park nose in to the outside edge of the field, the pits are basically behind your parked vehicle between the vehicle and runway. Setting the generator at the nose of my car it was barely audible to other club members working on their planes. An extension cord is a must, when I get some foam insulation board soon to make plane cradles I might make a 2 foot high 3 section screen to stake down around the unit to directionally screen the sound.

I top out at 3S packs right now and likely won't go above 4s for a while, unless I blunder into something cheap that pushes me to 6s. What sort of amp load do you think I could put on this sort of setup without unduly stressing the power supplies or the generator itself?

And you know from past discussions my level of experience with soldering and connectors, I'm willing to give it a go but may have to enter into a PM discussion for guidance, this is new territory for me.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Seattle
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OK, sounds like you are in semi-decent shape with the smaller packs. If you had 6s packs you might be wanting a new generator sooner rather than later. As to what you will be able pump out, that is hard to say. There was a thread recently (can't remeber which forum) where a guy was unable to get 50% of the generator's output before it started groaning and stumbling.

To max out the Powerlab 6 on 4s you'll be drawing about 750 watts from the power supply, likely 850 from the generator. So with your setup you should be able push the generator into shutdown. If it were me, I would get a Kill-A-Watt and monitor the generator's output (volts amps and frequency) as you increase the load. Listen to it as well. Find the sweet spot that does not push it over the edge or cause to make horrible sounds. My guess is that will be far less than 800 watts.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 10:33 PM
You're killin' me Smalls
BrownEyedFool's Avatar
United States, NJ, Hillsborough Township
Joined Sep 2011
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Sitting here in the dark it's now a guarantee that we buy a Honda eu2000i in the near future for big backup to run the sump or a refrigerator and for me to use for my chargers.

So I can thank sandy if we get through this without flooding in the basement. Of course I will debate whether to go for one 2000, the next size up or 2 of them in parallel to maintain their handy size so wife can handle them.
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 11:41 PM
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My EU2000i has been non-stop, with the exception of 5-10 minute breaks every 8-9 hours for refueling since Monday at ~8:30PM when the power went out. Plan to change oil tomorrow just short of the 100 hour mark and then it's back into action until the next refueling/oil change. Hopefully my extended run tank comes tomorrow and then I'll be good for 60+ hours straight.

Was thinking of adding another eu2000i to use in parallel, but current thinking is an EU3000i may be a better option.
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