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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:08 AM
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United States, WI, Slinger
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Generator question

Anyone know anything about the Generac iX1600. I've pretty much decided I'm going to need to use a generator to charge at the field . I really want a Honda but even the 1000W Honda is around $800. I saw the Generac iX1600 for under $500 but I don't know anything about it, quality, performance etc. And they won't say what the sound level is. I know from experience that the Honda generators are very quiet. Any thoughts? Any other suggestions for a generator?


Mike
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:20 AM
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United States, NC, Garner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCr View Post
Anyone know anything about the Generac iX1600. I've pretty much decided I'm going to need to use a generator to charge at the field . I really want a Honda but even the 1000W Honda is around $800. I saw the Generac iX1600 for under $500 but I don't know anything about it, quality, performance etc. And they won't say what the sound level is. I know from experience that the Honda generators are very quiet. Any thoughts? Any other suggestions for a generator?


Mike
I have the Harbor Freight 800W generator. It's not an inverter-type generator but in my experience it provids clean enough power for chargers. I do have a server power supply between the genny and the charger so that might make a difference. Anyway, they are relatively quiet for a 2-stroke generator. And for $100 - sometimes less if you can catch them on sale - it's a bargain. Lightweight and portable. They don't like charging high-capacity 6s batteries but I've had no issues charging 3s packs on them.

For the larger packs, I got a Honda 2000W generator. I caught it on sale from our local motorsports dealer. It will charge 2 x 6s packs at the same time and not even blink.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:23 AM
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United States, TX
Joined May 2009
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One of the most important things to consider with a generator at the field is noise. You dont want a generator that will drown out conversation or annoy your fellow fliers. That is where a Honda or similar generator shines. I personally do not like generators with Briggs engines they are far too loud. Before you buy one listen to it run. If you nannot carry on a normal conversation without shouting pass on it.

Just my 2
Vince
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:36 AM
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United States, TX, Killeen
Joined Jun 2011
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I've tried a few generators and I'll have to plug for the Honda eu1000. Try and find a used one of those or the Yamaha ef1000 somewhere. I found my Honda at a pawn shop one day with ~290 hours on it with all the paperwork and maintenance records for $75. It was a completely random find but they can be had for around $400-600 if you're patient. I bring an extension cord with me and put the generator around the front of my car and it can hardly even be heard when I'm at the field. I'd recommend a cable lock for it though. They can grow legs if left unattended with spectators about. Had that happen to a guy at a fly-in recently. They're so quiet nobody notices when it gets shut off and isn't there anymore.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:40 AM
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That's what I like about that Harbor Freight generator. It's really not that loud for a small 2-stroke engine. What I do is run a 50 ft. drop cord from the generator to my spot at the field. I face the muffler/exhaust of the generator away from the field so you can really just barely hear it. And of course I only run it when charging. Those are what I consider to be Page 1 of the generator etiquette book.

The Honda, on the other hand, can be running right next to us and you barely have to speak up to be heard over it. That one I keep close by and lash it to the fence or something with a heavy-duty bicycle lock.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:49 AM
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The Netherlands
Joined Nov 2009
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Try Kipor....

Chinese 4-stroke generators, with low noise and low fuel consumption.
Not as good as a Honda, but close enough, and new price is approx half that of a Honda.

Mine is a 1000W inverter type with load dependent RPM control. Very fuel efficient, acceptable noise levels, and super stable sinus shaped 50 Hz 220V.

I have tested the stability, when consumer A is drawing half nominal load of generator, and consumer B is loading the genny for the remaining capacity, switching on and off consumer B will not provoke any instability in either generator operation, or the operation of consumer A.
The generator also delivers what it promises: it can handle my 1200W vacuum cleaner, it can handle my 1000W coffeemaker or my 1100W Microwave, even though they are nominated higher than the max capacity of the generator. (separately of course, not simultaneaously).

Very nice generators for the money

Brgds, Bert
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:05 AM
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I own a Eu1000 Honda and will second what most say it's a very nice piece of equipment,I would think the Yamaha is just as good.The downside is price baby,cheaper ones are noisy and not inverters with clean power,however the price difference is quite a bit.With all portable gasoline tools you need to drain the carb of fuel if you are going to store it for any length of time or it will gum up like varnish, i would be hesitant to buy a cheap one if not close to after sales service,some people seem to have been sucessful though.Hit or miss in my opinion.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys. What I will need to charge when flying season gets here is packs up to 6S 5000mAH. I have a 24V/57A server supply setup so I could just charge a bunch of packs at home and only have to charge smaller 3S packs at the field. Noise is definitely a consideration, especially at my field. Cars are not allowed on the field so there isn't anyting to use as a noise blocker. I could of course use a long cord but it'd need to be heavy enough gauge to handle 10 amps or so.

I'm really leaning towards the Honda since I've used them at my previous job and just love them. I've pretty much given up on the Generac. I found a site that had about 25 reviews and at least 30-35% of them said it was junk. Strange, 35% said junk and 1 star, the rest said 5 stars and great! At any rate I'm not willing to take a chance. You know what they say, buy quality or buy twice!

I had a chance to pick up a small non inverter Honda, 800W I believe, for about $300 but I waited too long to go take a look. It was on Craigslist and was only 5 miles away.

I've thought about the little HF 800W unit, there was a guy at our E-Funfly last year who had one and it didn't seem to be just too loud. Maybe it would be worth a shot since they are very inexpensive (notice I didn't say cheap). I've also wondered if there is a way to put a better muffler one them. HF also has had some small four stroke gens on sale that they claimed were quiet.



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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by The Tug View Post
I own a Eu1000 Honda and will second what most say it's a very nice piece of equipment,I would think the Yamaha is just as good.The downside is price baby,cheaper ones are noisy and not inverters with clean power,however the price difference is quite a bit.With all portable gasoline tools you need to drain the carb of fuel if you are going to store it for any length of time or it will gum up like varnish, i would be hesitant to buy a cheap one if not close to after sales service,some people seem to have been sucessful though.Hit or miss in my opinion.
That's definitely the problem with the cheap stuff as evidenced buy the reviews of the Generac. They were all over the map. Probably a quality control thing. Some had good luck and some didn't. I may just say to heck with it, bite the bullet and buy a Honda. I just saw the EU1000 on sale for $849 with free shipping.


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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:47 AM
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I don't know what you're charging, but if you're charging big packs the EU2000i isn't much more and is certainly worthwhile.

www.wisesales.com consistently has the best mail order price on the Hondas. Go to their website and you can have a quote emailed to you.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Yup i read those reviews too,as i own one i'd say well it was expensive but now i'd say this thing just works.If i had to do it again i'd buy the same,the 2000 is doubble the power but not twice the price see if you can get one second hand there's not alot to go wrong if it runs.Another point of intrest it has a float switch in the sump so when oil is low it will shut itself down,i did'nt read the manual that one had me stumped for a while to get it restarted lol.But it means you can't really run it out of oil.Do it and don't tell the wife.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 11:07 AM
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I would say biggest thing is just take care of it. Many of the bad reviews will be from people who left gas sit in it too long or didn't change the oil, etc.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 11:13 AM
BVH
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United States, CA, Pismo Beach
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I've been looking into buying one of these Ramsonds. Very cheap and low noise levels. They try to fool you by calling it a 1500 but that is max engine power. When all is said and done, it's a 1000 Watt CONTINUOUS genny - 100 more Watts than the Honda and Yamaha with comparable noise levels.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...a#.USeYjlc2Fgg
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Another thing to consider when investing in a generator is resale value. The resale value on the Honda/Yamaha unit is excellent.

I always use STA-BIL Marine in my generator and all my other small engines and never had a problem. I also try and run it every so often when it's not being used regularly.

It powered my house (not everything on at once obviously) for 8 days straight (24x7) during Sandy. The only time I stopped it was for refueling and to change the oil. It's worth every penny I spent on it.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 12:15 PM
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The Ramsonds at home depot looks cheap and sweet according to the few reviews they don't seem to be giving trouble,unlike the Generac based on the reviews there seems like you should just put it in the garbage and save the gas.
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