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cheap small generator

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by kellory, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    a cheap generator from Harbor Freight called Storm Cat.
    I stopped in and checked. it is 800wt CONT. 900wt surge. 1.1 gal mixed fuel tank. 5 hours at %50.120VAC/60hz/7A 63cc air-cooled with circuit breaker 50:1 mix ratio, two stroke engine.
    Current price $129.99US weighs 38.9 lbs
    However, there is a coupon in the back of the Reader's Digest, that has an advertised super coupon price of $89.99 good until 6/12/13 one coupon per customer per day, limit 3.
    Price good for stores, website, and phone. I have one of the coupons, should you need it.
    They had at least 30, that I saw.
  2. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Think , Stop, Think when a deal was A waste !! Buy smart !!!
    Myself , 3000kw Honda Invert on Propane !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stores till needed , plus has VALUE !!

    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    nice machine, but only one. for the cost of that machine, you could have a dozen of these. I don't recommend them for your main unit, but each one could run a pump, or a string of lights, or a power tool. at any distance needed from your base, like manning pumps when dealing with a flood, or small jobs, that don't warrant wear on your main unit. these are basically throw away units, at this price, though you would have spare parts from each unit.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  4. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Apples and Oranges.
    That Honda can run a house and will not fry sensitive electronics, like a computer or an amature (ham) radio. The HF might run a big refridgerator. There is a BIG difference in quality and reliability.

    The little HF gennys are good for just barter & borrowing.
  5. Donldson

    Donldson Monkey+

    I just got the HF unit last week. It's great as long as you remember it's only a hundred dollars. Change out the plug and fuel line, add a fuel filter and it runs fine. Don't trust your life with it but, like kellory said, it is great for small jobs and can be easily carried.

    As for running electronics, there are only a few things I wouldn't trust to it. A laptop power supply is designed to run from 100-240 volts so it should handle the occasional spike. I ran the generator through the 25 hour break in and then tested it. Voltage and frequency are fairly stable when there is a load on it, but if you go past 800 watts the voltage drops quickly. The sine wave is surprisingly not too bad. It's no inverter but it is cleaner than most 4-stroke generators I have seen.

    Overall I think it's worth the $89 price. It has it's place in my garage at any rate.
    kellory likes this.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    sneaky, I'm not suggesting these for sensitive jobs. In fact, I'm suggesting them for working small tools, pumps, maybe recharge a battery bank. I am not suggesting these as your main unit. if I was looking into ideal units, I would be looking at a guardian system on natural gas. backed up with a matched pair of tri-fuel in the 8000wt range.
  7. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Oh they have their uses all right. It's not bad for less than 90 bucks.

    I was thinking more along the lines of what Crusin Sloth had posted.
    That Honda is a quantum leap away from a 89 dollah HF.

    Personally I wouldn't run any sensitive electronics off it, but for a pump or some power tools it might be OK.
  8. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    My Honda 2k inverter gives me 14 hours on 1.1 gallons of gas. There is a $800 dollar price difference. With the price of gas at $4, roughly 160 hours is the break even point. For me, gas is $5-$6. That puts the break even at closer to 130 hours. Are you going to get 130 hours out of it?

    Not worth it IMO
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I'm thinking of a small gennie for operating a radio rig away from the house. That unit is the right size, BUT it's a two stroke. Two stroke engines HATE me, they always self destruct, no matter how diligent I am with fuel mix and maintenance. I've had one chain saw, two outboards, and a snow thrower puke on me. So HF isn't selling me one. Honda might with the 1KW unit down the road a bit. (I don't know how clean the sine wave on the HF thing is, either. I've a friend that put a Honda on an O-scope, and the waveform was really clean. Very nice to feed power supplies and radio gear with clean waves.)

    You don't need to pay attention to me, that's JMHO with a bit of experience tossed in.
    NotSoSneaky and BTPost like this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    @Cruisin Sloth, that is a nice machine, and converted for propane is at least $3000. 00. without conversion, they are between 2200-2800. You think I'd leave that out of sight for ten minutes? even chained down? No, keep that for your house supply, and keep the hours off it. Why run that for a few hours of pumping, or charging? You think someone will risk their life to steal a hundred dollar generator? Think I'd loan that out even to a friend? (maybe) why put wear and tear on your great machine for a small job? If that were chained off to a tree, while pumping water into a holding tank of pond, it would be stolen, even if they had to cut down the tree to take it. Thieves have done just that for a stupid bicycle. I doubt they would try for a cheap generator (that will do the same job, just as well with less weight, and less risk).
    besides, sometimes, power is needed in more than one location at once. Have at least two generators.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    @ghrit, I don't like small engines much myself, I have a snowblower right now that wants to move to Florida. However, Honda does make some fine, but pricey generators. if you want something cheaper, but reliable, try PowerMax. I have the 4400wt and it has done well for about 5 years now. oil changes only, and it is an RV version, which means quieter, and built for long life. It is a Honda clone.
    As to your radios, if run off batteries, any generator should do well to recharge the batteries. direct power, You will need a pretty good machine.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not really, if one uses batteries, LIKE I DO, to run all the Radios in the Comms Shack, Then old reliable Briggs 3 Hp Lawnmower Engine turning a 100 Amp 12 Vdc HD Car Alternator, will be sufficient. Figure even a 100 watt HF Radio only draws 20 Amps at 12 Vdc, at full Tx, so 240 Watts, and a bunch of other Radios in Rx Mode add another say 10 Amps on the outside. Say 400 Watts, if you include an LED Operating Light. If you use a Pair of L16HDs in series, that gives one 240 AmpHours, or more than 24 Hours of Operating time, using an 10/10/80 Tx/Rx/StB ratio. Then figue that your 100 Amp Alt can, with a three State Charger, pump 80Amps into those Batteries and have them back in Float in a couple of hours.... So two hours out of 24 you need to run the recharge cycle, that isn't a big deal...
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
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