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Field Charging

Old 04-05-2013, 04:33 AM
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david hancock
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Default Field Charging

Good day all. I am new to pattern and electric set-ups. I have the chance to pick up a Honda 1000 W portable generator and I was wondering if this is the correct size for charging my 5 cell packs at the field, or do I require the next size up which is the 2000 W version.

Dave
Old 04-05-2013, 04:53 AM
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rgreen24
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Default RE: Field Charging

Hey Dave the 1000 will work just fine. I have friends using it and they love it. The 2000 is a little heavier, and obviously,twice as powerful. You can run two chargers off the 1000 at 1c without any trouble. Good luck
Old 04-05-2013, 04:54 AM
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danamania
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Default RE: Field Charging


ORIGINAL: david hancock

Good day all. I am new to pattern and electric set-ups. I have the chance to pick up a Honda 1000 W portable generator and I was wondering if this is the correct size for charging my 5 cell packs at the field, or do I require the next size up which is the 2000 W version.

Dave
welcome Dave. I have both and use the 1000W at contests where there is no AC. My two 2000 W Hondas stay home where their main purpose is bridging power outages. You will likely get a few points of view on how much charger, generator and power supply (hint) wattage needed, or desired, and so I would suggest thinking through also what other uses you have for the generator. 1000 is a bit small when the lights go out!
Old 04-05-2013, 05:37 AM
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smcharg
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Default RE: Field Charging

Dana makes the best points there are. You simply cannot go wrong with a Honda generator or Yamaha. If your only purpose for the generator is field charging, 1000W will be plenty. I used to have one of those Harbor Frieght $100 2-stroke generators which did very well by the way. It was able to run 2 Cellpro 10's charging 2 10S packs at 1C no issue. That's about all it could handle. This year, I stepped up and bought the Yamaha 2000i which is incredible. I can power a lot of stuff with that. Anyway, if that Honda1000 is a good price and it offers enough for what you want to do, you should do it. Otherwise, look at a 2000W Honda or Yamaha. I got mine for $970 and have been nothing but pleased with it.
Old 04-05-2013, 06:09 AM
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rcpattern
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Default RE: Field Charging

I did exactly what Scott did last year. I had the Honda 1000 and upgraded to the Yamaha 2000. I love the new Yamaha. It is listed as lighter and slightly quieter than the Honda 2000. It also has a gas gauge, which is a nice feature. I'm sure Honda will come out with something new in a year or two that will be slightly lighter and quieter than the Yamaha, but I am very happy with my Yamaha.

Arch
Old 04-05-2013, 06:16 AM
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Default RE: Field Charging

Hey Guys,

The 2000k Gen-set is to big, unless you can put at least a 50-60% load on the generator motor and the output circuit, if you don't the generator will "Wet stack" and that will ruin the generator (does damage over time). The out come; It will just quit and never start again. I'm not going to get to deep in the woods on what "wet stacking is (Google it or use your prefered search engine).

Champion makes a nice 1200K for about $300.00 and you can purchase them at Gander Mountian and most large retailers online. The Honda is awesome, if you can afford one,..


Regards,

bholsten
Old 04-05-2013, 06:54 AM
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smcharg
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Default RE: Field Charging

Agree with Mr. Holsten but...if you're running two chargers and charging even at 1C per charger, you are running easily 40-50% I believe. One has to remember that 2000W is peak, not standard. The Yamaha is rated at 1600W continuous so there is no issue reaching 50% nominal. Plus, when you're wife is out there with you, you better have your box fan on and a charger for the iPad.

I guess the important thing to remember here is the question was about purchasing a Honda 1000W. This is a great generator for field charging purposes even with 2 chargers.
Old 04-05-2013, 07:02 AM
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Default RE: Field Charging

Thanks,....

My input was more about being aware of loading the generator regardless of what you use.

Happy flying everyone...
Old 04-05-2013, 07:14 AM
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smcharg
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Default RE: Field Charging

Actually, I appreciated your input greatly.  I did not know about wet stacking and was a little concerned (thank you extended warranty).  I was just relieved when I realized the above
Old 04-05-2013, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: Field Charging

I just wanted to put that out there, so people didn't start ruining generators. Your quite welcome ,..

Bholsten

Old 04-05-2013, 07:54 AM
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plaurence
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Default RE: Field Charging

what is wet stacking?
Old 04-05-2013, 07:58 AM
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cygnet
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Default RE: Field Charging

You better get one with a inverter or your asking for big trouble just my .02
Old 04-05-2013, 08:32 AM
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smcharg
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Default RE: Field Charging

I went and read about wet stacking because Mr. Holsten brought up a good point about the loads that we put on the "bigger" generators not being enough. What I found was about the engine on the generator but could not find anything about gasoline generators and wet stacking. It seemed to apply to diesel, propane, and natural gas engines. It talks about how unburned fuel builds up in the exhaust system and also causes cylinder glazing if the loads are low and the engine is allowed to function at this level for a long time. I'm sure it still happens in our gasoline generators but I think we are in good shape.
Old 04-05-2013, 08:47 AM
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danamania
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Default RE: Field Charging

ORIGINAL: cygnet

You better get one with a inverter or your asking for big trouble just my .02
The Honda generators we are discussing above are of the inverter type, safe for electronics and the kind of large power supplies we feed our chargers with.

What no opinions on best charger or power supplies LOL? Just kidding. Me likes Meanwells and iChargers!

Old 04-05-2013, 09:00 AM
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Default RE: Field Charging


ORIGINAL: danamania
What no opinions on best charger or power supplies LOL? Just kidding. Me likes Meanwells and iChargers!


I'm, a Iota and Hyperion man myself [8D]
Old 04-05-2013, 09:25 AM
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AmericanSpectre505
 
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Default RE: Field Charging

Guys wet stacking has nothing to do with built in inverters, etc. Most common use generators run at about 10-15 load on average, because we don't know any better. Most people think the opposite, not to put a heavy load on the generator is better, not in this case. It can happen to any motor type...


I put it out for education and awareness ....

Glad you went and looked it up.... :-)

Bholsten
Old 04-05-2013, 10:00 AM
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cygnet
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Default RE: Field Charging

icharger all the way can't be beat for field charging
Old 04-05-2013, 10:00 AM
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TonyF
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Default RE: Field Charging

For those on a budget, I have to recommend the Harbor Freight 800/900 watt generator. No, it doesn't have an inverter, but for the majority of power supplies that's not a problem. I can charge two 5S 5000 packs at 10 amps with no problem. And that's really as fast as you need, if there is time in between your flights for someone else to get a flight or two. I'm pretty sure it would do 12 or 15 amps but the chargers I take to the field will only do 10.

Now, here are some lessons learned with my HF. I bought it in 2009 for the Nats, but I really didn't start using it a lot until about a year ago. At first, it could handle a good load. But it seemed to slowly lose the ability to charge at higher rates. Also, it would oscillate a lot. Well, I tried a number of things electrical, but it just continued to get worse. One day I decided to take it all apart. Keep in mind, the engine is just a 2-stroke, so it is really simple to disassemble. The first thing I found was the spark plug had corroded. About 1/2 of the tip was gone. So I got a replacement plug from an Ace Hardware store. Then I found the real culprit. The engine had so much carbon deposits on it that the exhaust port was almost fully closed over. You couldn't have stuck a pencil through the hole that was left. It was a simple job to remove the carbon build-up. On the head and the top of the piston I used a dremel wire wheel. Run the tool at about 1/2 speed and the carbon comes off easily. You may need 2 or 3 of the wheels to get everything done. On the exhaust port I just picked away with a x-acto knife being careful to not scratch the liner. On the side of the piston I used a knife to get the big deposits, then used some 800 paper to get the rest off. The rings come off the piston pretty easily, so take them out when you do the work. Make sure you put them back the same way, the top ring on top.

Also, the alternator had accumulated a lot of dust. I blew out as much as I could and it was quite a lot. When I had been using it it was in front of my van on our dirt parking lot. You may not have the same issue. But I am going to get a stool or a small table to get the generator off the ground.

There is also some adjustments that are not outlined in the manual. There is an adjustment screw on the side the fuel valve is on that adjusts the governor action. I found that adjusting this helped the engine to run steady. There is also an idle adjustment that can keep the engine from getting too slow when the load reduces.

With this maintenance it is now running like a champ. And seeing as how you can sometimes find these for sale at HF for $80, it's hard to argue with it. When I took it apart I was pretty impressed with the quality of the parts. The engine is not built cheaply, it is actually pretty good.

One other thing. Since I had a lot of it I was using Amsoil for the fuel mixture. I wasn't running it at 100 to 1, I was doing the recommended 50-1. So that may have been the cause of the excessive carbon build up. I am now using the amsoil at 100-1 so we'll see how that works.

It is not a super quiet generator like the Honda, so I have a 50-foot extension cord and I put it in front of my vehicle to block some. I've been thinking of making an after muffler just for grins to see how that would work. Heck, it's a 2-stroke! Maybe I'll make a tuned pipe! Who says I'm through with IC engines for pattern?

Hope this helps!
Old 04-05-2013, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: Field Charging

Right on Tony,...I have the same generator from Harbor freight. I keep that one in my camper now as a back up, just in case.

Very nice post, well said! I was going to post something more in depth later, trying to get my Nuance finished up. Now I don't need to.


Bholsten.
Old 04-05-2013, 12:34 PM
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david hancock
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Default RE: Field Charging

Thanks everyone, this is exactly the info I was looking for, very helpful and very much appreciate the fast replies. Take care

Dave
Old 04-05-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: Field Charging

If there are several of you using the site look into a solar system.our largo club ultizes one and its fantastic.I really understand wanting a generator and the little honda is so quiet.I used a marine battery instead of my car in the beginning.my other club had access to electric being run from a nearby ploe to the pit area.
Old 04-05-2013, 01:02 PM
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danamania
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Default RE: Field Charging

Hate to let a good thread go, LOL, so I'll throw in there to remember to use a heavy gauge extension cord if going long so as to not ruin the generator.  Heck, I have short heavy guage cords for when the lights go out.  But not really needed at the airfield as the Honda is quiet to run.
Old 04-06-2013, 05:08 AM
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Bob Pastorello
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Default RE: Field Charging

Tony F wrote -  "For those on a budget, I have to recommend the Harbor Freight 800/900 watt generator. No, it doesn't have an inverter, but for the majority of power supplies that's not a problem. I can charge two 5S 5000 packs at 10 amps with no problem. And that's really as fast as you need, if there is time in between your flights for someone else to get a flight or two. I'm pretty sure it would do 12 or 15 amps but the chargers I take to the field will only do 10." -

Tony (or anyone else, please) - I have yet to haul my HF 800/900 to the field, but been "yard testing".  Seems to work very well, but I'm using my AC power supply driven by the generators' 115v outlet.  Should I skip that part and run the DC output from the gen direct to my chargers?  (I've not done that, as it seems the DC isn't very well-regulated on this model, and varies a bit for my taste)

Not to hijack the thread - but there's lots of good info in hear for me for this new season and most don't use the HF generators, so Tony's post got my attention a bit....any comments appreciated.
Old 04-06-2013, 05:27 AM
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TonyF
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Default RE: Field Charging

MY HF generator does not have a DC output. I use just the AC outlet.

Here's a site that has some good tips on the HF generator,

http://utahlepidoptera.com/2011/12/23/hello-world/
Old 04-06-2013, 06:35 AM
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Bob Pastorello
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Default RE: Field Charging

Thanks, Tony. Handy link, there, and probably good ideas for anyone with any 2 stroke generator. You never know where you'll frind info to support RC

ORIGINAL: TonyF

MY HF generator does not have a DC output. I use just the AC outlet.

Here's a site that has some good tips on the HF generator,

http://utahlepidoptera.com/2011/12/23/hello-world/

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