Lowering the voltage of a Honda 2000i inverter generator

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  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭✭
    I built one of these for a small portable Onan 400W generator out of an old UPS.  With it I can run a vacuum or miter saw. You do need to give the saw a quick bump though and cut a little slower.  From my calculations the 330/550W inverter transformer is easily good for 20A.  With the two voltage output it can control many heater appliances at reduced power that wouldn't run on a generator or inverter.   This would save some gas.



  • garynappigarynappi Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭


    I don't blame you not wanting to 86 the inverter, I think an inexpensive solution would be an autotransformer. You may have other uses for it someday also. I use mine to power up old tube guitar amps that have sat disused for a long time. 
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Since the extension cord works famously, with no moving parts, no points of failure and no cost...that is what I’m going to live with unless I can lower the voltage natively or raise the Magnum threshold. Thanks to all,

    Tony
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just got another email on this Tony. It says the control PCB is bad on the Magnum. Easy to fix and pretty cheap. He said it should take more vac and work as they are mainly used in the rv industry.

     You might use your amazing immense power here as an old moderator and get it gratis ;) The long phone call to magnum might do you in though.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Dave.

    when I get a rainy day and an unlimited amount of patience I will try to phone Magnum.  Tony
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    So...I finally got a response from Magnum.  The first was that there must be something “wrong” with the Honda’s wave form”.   Followed by this, after I mentioned that the extension cord did the trick just fine.

    ”The resistance is causing some noise reduction because the voltage should not matter.  We accept from 80-145 vac on input sense transformer.  You may not be happy to know that some of those generators will connect just fine when others do not.  We had many customers with same issue so we rented that generator to test with our units.  The only problem was the one we rented worked just fine so nothing could be determined when testing.”

    So, if this is the case, 1:  absent an Oscope, how do I test the wave form of an inverter genny? 2: how can I simulate what the cord is doing, absent a cord? 3: Is magnum tech support right, or are they blowing smoke?  I tend to think they are right, but I have no way of testing or modifying the genny that I know of.

    T
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know you are remote. I have neighbor who will loan you a 2000i. ;)
     Is there not a way to borrow one? The other way with winter coming (equinox is ticking) is to buy something else and sell the old one. Costco has yammies for $600 or so. Where did you get the 5% spec on the magnum?    Good luck
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #39
    It's possible that there are some noise spikes in the generator output and that these cause the Magnum to reject it.   You could add some inductance (eg, a line reactor) to the line to filter it.   This isn't inconsistent with the extension cord working (it has inductance).    You might also find that a very short extension cord with some loops around metal works.  Or even some small ferrite clamp on cores.   It's all interesting (one would think especially to Magnum engineers), but perhaps not to you (since you have a solution).

    This post talks about ignition noise:
    https://www.n6cc.com/honda-ex-1000-generator-problems

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Seems to me there's probably both right, and blowing smoke.

    Right, because if I "had many customers with the same issues", it's clearly a real and somewhat common issue.

    Blowing smoke because if I knew my gear was not working right with one of the most common gennies out there in a major application for my gear, I wouldn't stop at renting a sample of N=1.  I'd borrow at least one problem one from among the "many" to nail the issue down.  Maybe they did, and aren't saying because it isn't easily/cheaply fixed, or they fixed in new production but want to keep it quiet?


    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #41
    I know you are remote. I have neighbor who will loan you a 2000i. ;)
     Is there not a way to borrow one? The other way with winter coming (equinox is ticking) is to buy something else and sell the old one. Costco has yammies for $600 or so. Where did you get the 5% spec on the magnum?    Good luck
    Dave..thanks for the offer.  This is, in fact a solution in search of a problem.  This genny/motor load config is only used in the summer, and only occasionally by people who use that cabin system only occasionally.  It has evolved since I electrified my Maytag wringer washing machine, which came with a B&S engine, that I had modified to run on a honda GX engine, and finally, converted it to OEM electric mount with a modern motor.  It runs just fine on 1 Eu1000i, but only when wired direct.  I went one step further, wired a dedicated outlet and switch for it form the main line, and it wouldn’t run through the inverter with the genny running.Hence the installation of the 2000i since I had it.  I am trying to create a seamless, one size fits all solution to this place when I am not here by KISS.  Using the 2000i allows the charger to charge at full amps, just right for the battery bank, all while powering any likely load.  I have guests run the genny once a week just to make sure the batteries get through bulk at least once a week.

    So no, winter is not a problem,

    Tony

    PS.  The spec comes from the book, also on line, not just for this inverter, but for others as well, 120 VAC +-5%

    T
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Estro, and Jonr.  I agree that they (Magnum Engineers) must be an incurious bunch.  I would have rented/borrowed/stolen enough examples so I could replicate the customer’s problem, and then addressed it.  I am no where near enough of an electrical engineer to understand, much less solve the problem, as evidenced by my naive questions here.  

    Thanks all,

    T
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    The plot continues to thicken.  So I tired a pair of ferrite that I lying about.  I clamped then around a short feet cord to a outlet strip.  No charge.  I then wrapped 5’ of cord from the above outlet strip around an iron core.  No charge.  

    Then things get interesting...again!  I plugged 50’ cord back into the genny and the line, with it coiled up in ~16” loose coil, and...it didn’t charge.  When I released the coil, and ran the cord out on the ground, it began to charge once again.  Then I hung it up in a 24” coil on the back wall of the lean to shed and once again it charged.

    I’m guessing that as Magnum suggests it is a “noise issue”.  Keep those suggestions coming, I’ll try all of them to see if I can come up with a KISS solution that is “better” than my cord.

    Thanks once again,

    Tony
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭✭✭
    I have had the same issues with my Magnum MS4024AE when run on small generators, which often have less than “perfect sinewave” but no issues whatsoever when using my Onan wound rotor generators, both the Emerald 4.0 4 kw 120 volt only unit and its big brother the NH-3 6.8 kw 120/240 volt unit. These generators have massively huge generators with huge windings which always have a very clean sine wave. The issues come up with big box store portable generators which have windings 1/6 the size of the Onan.  The Cummins Onan generators are rated 24/7. 

    David.......I’m back my old iPad died and has been replaced with a new one, iOS 12.9 so no issues....
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭✭
    @icarus:   quite interesting.  Does distance between any of the elements make a difference?

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Physical distance?  Can’t really say as I haven’t tried the genny anywhere but it’s “home” because of the line wire from the genny shed to the inverter “power house”.  The only thing I can change is the distance, but limited by the length of the #14 cord.

    Tony
  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    This might seem really dumb but when brushes in a new genny are long there is more resistance in the brush. As it wears out the resistance will be less and change voltage to a higher point. How much ? I don't know but even the brush itself is made from different metals ( carbon or whatever ). Just a thought.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    I don’t believe that inverter generators have conventional brushes.

    T
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,667 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    This link http://www.jkovach.net/projects/powerquality/ shows the output waveform of the EU 2000i along with other inverters, understandably it's not your particular unit, but it would appear that in general the Honda waveform is very clean.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭✭✭
    Inverter generators are three phase variable frequency AC which is directly related to the engine RPM,s , variable frequency is in the range of 10 hz to 60 hz which is rectified to DC then fed to the inverter to be converted back to AC. The AC frequency of the generator is not reflected back to the frequency of the inverter output, that is controlled by the inverter so no adjusting of the AC frequency of the generator will affect  the AC frequency of the inverter.  The inverter in the variable frequency/speed generator is quite similar to a battery powered inverter in that it is DC input to AC output, also the waveform of the 3 phase generator is not reflected to the AC waveform of the inverter output as this is filtered out in the AC to DC converter which feeds clean DC to the output inverter
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Looks like a pretty clean wave form to me...T
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭✭
    I have a couple caps out of washing machines and dishwashers. The one I'm looking at is 8uF and they put it across the line to remove noise from motor VFD. I'd try some metal can oil type across the line, 4uF are common and maybe pit one of you ferrites in just one line.  Many appliances have these caps and it shouldn't bother the generator.  Sine wave inverters have these built in along with an inductor to filter the HF inverter output.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,336 admin
    I would avoid simply using capacitors across the power line. Usually, they just simply reduce the power factor of any loads (draw more current without doing any work). And can cause "issues" with induction motors (resonate with the "inductive" motor).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Back when the old SW was king of the inverters I compared it's waveform with an eu2000i. The Honda was much better. I can dig it up from somewhere. Have to think about where.....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,336 admin
    If you can find an old large computer system, ups, rack power supply, etc. And her an input line filter to clean up voltage spikes (high frequency spikes).



    Not sure it would do anything, but if you can find a few cheap to try... Why not.

    Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lots ;) of spare time on an island offgrid
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    If you can find an old large computer system, ups, rack power supply, etc. And her an input line filter to clean up voltage spikes (high frequency spikes).



    Not sure it would do anything, but if you can find a few cheap to try... Why not.

    Bill

    You know, I’ve turned up all manner of things searching around in the bush, from washing machines, (that find profiled here a number of years ago), to old Outboard motors (including one signed by Ole Evenrude!).to tractors, dump trucks, saw mill parts, steam driven pumps and winches.  I have always said that if you really needed it you could find it on this lake, but I am pretty confident that an old large computer system, or rack power supply is likely not to be had!


    A bit of background might be in order.  This lake was logged in that 1880’s when the Canadian Pacific Railway touched the adjacent lake.  There was a steam donkey built on the portage between the two lakes to drag logs from our side, down to the other lake, then steam tugged them to the railhead. After the loggers left, the place was virtually abandoned until the 1920’s when a selection of fur trappers, hunting and fishing guides occupied outpost cabins on the lake, now accessible by the Canadian National Railway over a short portage on the opposite end.  A number of smaller logging and sawmill operations ran int he 1930’s and 40’s on a single track bush road that ran from the track about 20 km into the bush.

    The only other private property of on the lake was a canoe tripping outpost camp that ran from ~1920-1975.  The RR stopped running so access was nearly impossible.  It wasn’t until ~1985 that a bush road connect our shore to the Hwy.  That property has been through a number of incarnations, and has gone back to being an outpost canoe tripping not for profit.  I have worked for most of those operations over the years.

    Because non of these operations (camps/guides/loggers/sawmillers etc) ever had a road out, everything that ever came in, stayed!  Nothing ever left. This has been an on gong blessing and a curse.  I rarely lack for something to make something out of, but paring down the collection of junk has been a 30 year process...a bit at a time.

    All that said, it wouldn’t REALLY surprise me to find an old computer or UPS system around here some where.

    Tony

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