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ghwrenchit

Generator Head ?

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ghwrenchit
I'm considering building a rear mount generator attachment for my 7117 (Sovereign). I really need it rarely, but it's another excuse to weld something.sm01 There is another member here asking for the same setup for more frequent use with a different head. Do any of you have experience or know somebody that is using this generator head? http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=45416 No offense, but please don't turn this into a China Import vs US made debate. I'm a made in USA tool kind of guy, but there are some times that price vs need takes it's toll on all of us. I'm just looking for actual knowledge of this unit, or if it is complete, unreliable, crap.:Y any actual user experience is appreciated. Thanks Greg

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joshuaareed
I don't know if you saw it but there is a guy in the Classified ads on this site selling a 5kw Allis unit for $500. Just thought I would put that out there. I have had very bad luck with anything electrical or battery operated from Harbor Freight. I.E. pressure washer, dremel, drills.

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joshuaareed
I tried to use the dremel my company bought from there with the same result, it couldn't cut plastic. Also if you haven't already, spend the $10 and join the club, you won't be sorry. It is indeed the best $10 you will ever spend. Just the knowledge alone and the responses are worth it.

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D-17_Dave
I have looked several times at these units and for the price they are not bad. This is one item I think that matters less how often you use it or how well it's built since your usage will be limited. I will comment on the type of power your likely to get from such a unit. When making electricity there are a lot of parameters that are often overlooked. Input power verses applied load is one issue. To me the main issue is what will you be doing with the unit. Since it has the meters on the front it should be easy to monitor the output range and keeping the output inside the required parameters is VERY important. Often the gauges on these gen heads are not calibrated correctly so it might be a good idea to keep a digital volt meter handy to read true Hz and voltage before and after applying any load. These units will likely not make as clean a true sing wave as better quality generators so operating on the fringe or outside the standard parameters will likely result in problems with starting motors like your fridge and freezer and effecting crucial electronics like your computer.

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BLT
Motors will handle frequency cycle swings pretty good for starting purposes. Computers and the like almost need zero droop frequency regulation or they have a hissy fit. So if you are going to start anything, do motors first and then the lighter load equipment like electronics last. Also for real tight frequency regulation, you should have stepper motors controlling engine speed. Any air cooled engine has about 7% speed regulation whereas stepper motors will bring that down to 1-3% speed regulation.

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JohnFornaro
I'm the guy Greg was talking about. I have a Northstar 5KW generator head that i bought in 1999, and haven't used! There is no identification as to the country of origin on the generator, but I think it's USA made. On the other hadnd, the castings sort of have that "chinese" look, and you'd think someone would be proud to note their country of manufacture, unless they weren't proud of it after all. Be that as it may, yesterday I searched the web, and found very little. I'm aggravated that Google plays the advertising pitch so hard that the first "x" number of listings are mostly the same company. You'd think Northstar was the only game in town! Anyhow, SML Industries makes a generator head which photograph exactly like my unit, plus has exactly the same specs. Also, Voltmaster offers something very much along the same lines, also with exactly the same specs. There is a company, Winco, which makes generator heads right here in the US of A. I'm giving them some consideration.

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JohnFornaro
Plus, a generator-motor combo has a built-in regulator which adjusts engine speed based on the load. You can hear my regular generator speed up when the refriderator comes on. So how do you accomodate this requirement with a tractor rig like this?

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D-17_Dave
Nothing I've seen late model including Onan and Kohler diesel have any connection to the throttle from the electronics. This is controlled solely by the sensitivity of the governor of the engine and the gain sensitivity of the regulator. If the governor. on the engine cannot maintain required output when a certain sized load is applied the regulator is set to temporarily drop the output from the gen. so the engine can recover then reapply the load. This is all done in tenths of seconds though. Any continued overload will burn something out or on the larger generators simply shut the engine down due to not being able to maintain the required parameters of cycle/voltage.

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JohnFornaro
Here's some Pictures: First, the pages from the 7100 Attachments manual.




Then, the Hitch Drawing that I think Maynard drew and posted on the site somewhere.


And finally, the Winco Generator that I'm considering:


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JohnFornaro
I noticed that the Harbor Freight generator has a volt/ammeter, and the Winco doesen't. The original Simplicity/Generac alternator also had a meter. Meters don't seem to come with the unit anymore, so one would have to add one somehow, not sure how, or just hope for the best?

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DMedal
That's a 10KW gen head (if I understand right) and the OEM generator was something like a 5KW. Of course you can always run it at 5KW max, it will have better motor starting characteristics. I'm wondering if the PTO belt isn't going to be the weak link in the power train when the alternator and engine both lug down. IOW, does this head require two belts?

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Dark
I have to ask what are you going to power with the generator?? in most cases lights, small appliances, Right why go through the trouble of a generator when you can use an inverter?




clean power and will fit under the hood of most tractors

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B.Ikard
A lot of the newer >10 kW portable generators are going to an inverter technology. The engine speed is variable and it develops a DC voltage fed thru an inverter device to produce 120/240 VAC. The frequency is held at a constant 50/60hz by electronics(SCR's) in the inverter no matter the engine RPM's. A lot of the Hondas are using this technology as well as the latest batch of mil spec 3kw units-this might account for the up down speeds you notice Prior to this technology engines were governed to a single speed, usually 1800 or 3600 for 60 hz output. The 1800 rpm machines are a lot easier on the ears and run a lot longer. On the generator head, count on 2hp per KW. This would be an 8-9Kw load rating running the tractor engine @ 3600. However,I would be tempted to engineer a way to run the 17 hp engine @ 1800 and the gen head @3600 thru a 1:2 ratio pulley combination. Figure out the hp @ 1800-say 10hp. This works out to a 5kW load rating. You couldn't power your house with a 5kw head but would be handy as a moible power source. Brent

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JohnFornaro
In my case, I will be using the generator to run a well pump for irrigation, not for the house. There are also 1800rpm generator heads out there. but they are nearly twice as expensive as 3600rpm units. why is that?

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D-17_Dave
To make 60 cycles they must turn the "poles" of the armature past the stator so many times per second. A 2 pole armature must turn at 3600 rpm's to get 60 cycles. A 4 pole armature 1800 to do the same thing. Twice as much stuff= twice the cost. But IMO the 4 pole units are much better and with the slower engine speeds they don't wear the engine and other components as bad.

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JohnFornaro
The smallest 1800 rpm unit that Voltmaster offers is 7Kw, requiring 14HP. It's 1420 delivered. I don't think 14 HP is available at the back of a 7116. Mayube an 18HP Sovereign? Then there's the question of over $1400. So from a sizing standpoint, 4, 5, or 6KS seems all that's practicle for this application.

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ghwrenchit
quote:
Originally posted by Dark
I have to ask what are you going to power with the generator?? in most cases lights, small appliances, Right why go through the trouble of a generator when you can use an inverter?
Dark, No offense, but when the power goes out, I'm not looking to make popcorn.:D I want to run motor's. Furnace, well pump, sump, a few lights, and alternate the needs based on capacity of the generator. Here is the plan I e-mailed john. "I went and bought the 10k unit from Harbor Freight today as it was in store. Did a little more research and the unit seems to be over rated but may run cooler because of it. If I pull more than 5k at any one time, I would be surprised. At the local store here in GR they matched the $299.99 internet price, plus they let me use a 20% coupon I had!! For that price if I use it 5 times within three years I'll be happy! I'm designing the hitch tonight. I would like to incorporate your need into this as well, even if you have / are going to use the generator you already have. Am planning the following design criteria: 1. Easy on and off mounting 2. Spring Lock lever belt tensioner 3. Self contained ground rod stab when stationary 3. Design will allow seat pan / fenders to still tilt back 4. ~ 40% drive reduction for 3600 rpm gen rotation at 2160 engine RPM 5. Belt guard and weather shielding 6. Addition of 30 amp GFI for safety 7. Fold out stabilizer stand for easier removal and storage tip over safety 8. 6" 60 cfm 115v ac cooling fan ducted thru weather cover 9. pin hitch extension tab for trailer hauling without generator removal" Thanks for all the input guy's, the mother of invention requires testing, failure or some combo there of... My main goal in this plan is to provide a usable product for my 79 year old father. he lives in the county, loves his Sovereign, and would just gleam at seeing the new toy attached!! He lives in a mobile home and with the right adapter cord he can shut his breakers off, fire up the tractor, literally unplug from the pole, and re-power from the generator when needed. Thanks again, all input appreciated. Greg - Time to Weld!!!

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ghwrenchit
quote:
Originally posted by Dark
instead of a generator I think a welder would be more practical
when the power goes out, playing with steel is not a high priority.sm06 Thanks again.. Greg

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D-17_Dave
I think what Dark was referring to is the fact that most engine driven welders can provide 5 to 8 K worth of aux power output. Just another note, when you use gear reduction you increase the load applied to the engine and increase the lag time for the gen. and engine to recover when you apply a load. I'd stick with the engine recommended speed of 3600 or very close to this.

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ghwrenchit
Dave, Good point on the recovery time, I had not considered that. I'm only going to test the reduction at the cost of the dual pulley's and belts. Dark didn't mention the welder / generator combo, and I'm not sure what the cost implications for the setup would be. I only took in what I read. Sorry if I offended you Dark, that was not the intention.|) Again, thanks for your support in the project. Greg

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