Inverter on generator – Honda 2000i? - RC Groups
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Jan 18, 2008, 02:30 PM
jrb's Avatar

Inverter on generator – Honda 2000i?

Ok guys this must not be an Inverter as I think of it—DC to AC?

Went to Northern Tool today to look around during lunch and saw one of the generators that was kind of interesting 2KVA w/5HP Honda -- $500: .

A attractive sales lady walked up and asked if I had any questions; I said yes, “how well does this maintain 60hz?”, she said she’d find out.

Came back a couple minutes later and said that if you need “clean” power, like to run a computer, you need a generator with an Inverter – like the Honda’s: 2000i ($1000) & 1000i ($700):

Not real sure but I’m guessing the Honda Inverter must be a control systems that maintains constant 60Hz????

They also had a McCulluch Inverter Digital Generator — 1800 Watt, Model# FDD210M0 on special for $500: .

Here’s there stuff to BYO: $370 --

$220 --

Their package looks good based on that.
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Jan 18, 2008, 04:25 PM
Registered User
pilotpete2's Avatar
As I understand it, those Honda generators are DC generators with an inverter that does maintain close tolerance as to AC output frequency, not something that can be said for the normal emergency generators
We live in an area where power loss is frequent and sometimes prolonged. The frequency output on our 6800 Watt generatoris very inaccurate (one of these times it's running I have to read the frequency with my optical tach), any AC clock will gain time very rapidly, so the freq. is higher than 60Hz average. We run our computers, HD TV, DVD and audio equipment with no problems, I don't see where frequency (within a reasonable range) is an issue today where very little stuff we use is frequency dependent, we've come a long way since the days when a TV (50's) used the line frequency for timing purposes. Most electronic devices are purely DC devices today, no AC anywhere after the power supply and most power supplies while rated for 50/60Hz will be fine outside those ranges.
Last edited by pilotpete2; Jan 18, 2008 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Posted before completeing post
Jan 18, 2008, 04:39 PM
Registered User
The Honda produces clean AC. I use a 2000i to power computers and high dollar test equipment at cell phone sites that do not have commercial AC yet. They are great! Very quiet and very fuel efficient. You can stand next to one and carry on a normal conversation. They are used in "no generator" camp grounds. The 2000i can be found for about $900 including shipping.
Jan 18, 2008, 05:49 PM
jrb's Avatar
I hear you but I just don’t think they put a full blown Inverter in it – Marketese!

A 2000W 12VDC to 120VAC is better than $200.
Jan 18, 2008, 05:59 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
To the best of my knowledge all generators / power plants are indeed alternators. Generators have brushes which run on a commutator just like a brushed motor and they wear fairly fast(high maintenance) whereas an alternator has only a single brush which carries only a very small amount of current to excite the field and has extremely low wear. This is what automobiles now have alternators not generators or atleast that is what I think..

Alternators produce AC current not DC like a generator however as the RPMs vary so does the AC cycles. My guess is that Honda's' inverter technology is much the same as the working of a computer backup UPS unit.

Jan 18, 2008, 06:56 PM
jrb's Avatar
Why bother going to DC?

I doubt the out put from the rotating part is DC .

A UPS for a PC doesn't need to start it.
Jan 18, 2008, 07:03 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Like I said rotating part is alternator and produces AC.

My UPS unit will indeed start my computer as it produces the same amount of watts from the battery as it does from line AC.

Why go DC? Why did the turkey cross the road?
My guess is to be able to eliminate any fluctuations and to be able to produce a true sine wave.

Jan 18, 2008, 11:27 PM
Registered User
icrashrc's Avatar
I would be surprised if they were generating DC with the Honda. It's much more efficient to generate AC to feed the inverter. Want proof? Go look at an AC locomotive. :-)
Jan 19, 2008, 02:46 AM
Bombs away! Err...landing
Ira NZ's Avatar
Huh...Odd that it wouldn't given that my $70 500 watt generator has outputs for 240v and 12v.
Jan 19, 2008, 07:35 AM
Will fly for food
Because when you use the raw alternator output the frequency is set by the engine speed, which changes as the load changes.

By going DC to an inverter, the frequency is generated by the inverter so it will be steady.

This is only required for devices that need a steady proper frequency.
Jan 19, 2008, 10:06 AM
jrb's Avatar
Geeze guys does anybody got a manual for a Honda that shows whether it has an alternator or a generator?

And, lots small engines put out 12V -- may snow blowers have head lights!

My recent experince tryimg to run my MasTech power supply via an Inverter off my Explorer reaal make me doubt that the 2000i has a simalar inverter making its AC: .
Jan 19, 2008, 11:07 AM
jrb's Avatar
To get good AC power from an alternator you need voltage and rpm control.

RPM for Frequency.

And, the field voltage regulation for out put voltage.

The portable units rely on the engine governor to maintain rpm – not too stable.

Look at the this site ( ) for the fixed back up units for a home they specially list Hz & Volts along with Watts in a manner not duplicated on the portable pages.

Still wonder whatts really done in the Honda?

Sure can get a lot of watts from generator heads!
Jan 19, 2008, 02:46 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar

The inverter you are using to power your Mastech has to not only change DC to AC but also has to step it up by a factor of 10X from 12v to 120 volts.

A power plant alternator is wound to produce 120 / 240 Volts and 60 cycles at 3600 RPM full load (most of them.) Most are able to produce 60cyles at less than 3600 RPMs and my guess is that an electronic device(invertor(?) is involved.

12 V DC output was mentioned and yes most provide this in very limited qyanity. My 7000 watt cont./12250 watt surge power plant has all of 10amps. 12 volts avaialble for battery charging.

We are having a bit of winter weather here, snowed Wed. and is snowing again today so mine is at the ready just in case. All of my batteries are charged ,inverter posed , Coleman laterns and stove, as well as a couple of small propane camping heaters are all at the ready.

Last edited by everydayflyer; Jan 19, 2008 at 03:02 PM.
Jan 19, 2008, 05:47 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Typical portable generator schematic-

Honda schematic -
Jan 19, 2008, 06:48 PM
Registered User
flypaper 2's Avatar
Used to work on these when I ran a small motor shop and they are an alternator and governed at 3600 rpm a multiple of the 60 cycles. I still have a little Quadra 35 powered 300 watt generator. generator is about the size of a car alternator. Seeings as it's a 2 stroke and fairly old it's noisier than H. I'd put a car batt. on the 12 v output as it's very dirty and your charger may not like it. Mine didn't. Had to send it into FMA to get it fixed.


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