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Old 01-01-2016, 19:02   #16
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my air x has no internal regulator but we rigged it to work anyway--did gud. love it... the chinese knockoff i got --each was under 200 usd so experimenting was and is a good thing-- worked great until patirica befouled it as only a cane can.i LOVE the free electrickery noises. they are awesome.
The noise is the only reason we keep ours.

I can tell how big the gusts are when sailing without looking at anything.

I am tuned to the sound when asleep, and immediately wake when the old thing changes its song the least bit. Less than 5 knots change will wake me easily. I am almost always on deck before the shift occurs.

Useless for power compared to our panels, but wouldn't part with it for the noise!

OK, it can get a little annoying when the bank is topped and it turns on and off.





'
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Old 01-01-2016, 19:16   #17
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Re: Air-X noise

Had an older model Air-x for years on a 45' catamaran. Noise was not bad on our particular unit, but we still enjoyed being woken up by it when the wind picked up in the middle of the night, since the big cat didn't heel when a squall came through.
At one point we replaced the blades with Spreco blades for some reason I can't recall (broken blade?). They were definitely quieter, and also seemed to start generating at slightly lower wind speeds.
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Old 01-01-2016, 19:18   #18
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Re: Air-X noise

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Yesterday I helped a friend change the blades on his unit to the blue version. It has reduced the noise significantly. Highly recommend making the investment to install the blue blades
Thanks for that information...the video I watched was impressive in the amount of noise reduction. To hear of firsthand experience is what I am looking for. Good news!
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:07   #19
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Re: Air-X noise

Well, we have an old AirX, with the old black blades. When we first got one, on our previous boat, Jim taught me to think of its noise as the sound of cold beer happening, and I learned to live with it. I am now informed, though, that he is considering changing to the blue blades. I am so used to it, it doesn't matter to me now. However, reading the above posts makes me wonder if I would be willing to go back once we've tried the blue blades.....

Cheers, guys,

Ann
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:20   #20
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Had an older model Air-x for years on a 45' catamaran. Noise was not bad on our particular unit, but we still enjoyed being woken up by it when the wind picked up in the middle of the night, since the big cat didn't heel when a squall came through.
At one point we replaced the blades with Spreco blades for some reason I can't recall (broken blade?). They were definitely quieter, and also seemed to start generating at slightly lower wind speeds.
From what I understand the older 400w version didn't put out much power at lower wind velocities, so the later marine versions were detuned to 200w. Or so I have been told...maybe the blades you replaced the originals with are more efficient?
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:24   #21
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Well, we have an old AirX, with the old black blades. When we first got one, on our previous boat, Jim taught me to think of its noise as the sound of cold beer happening, and I learned to live with it. I am now informed, though, that he is considering changing to the blue blades. I am so used to it, it doesn't matter to me now. However, reading the above posts makes me wonder if I would be willing to go back once we've tried the blue blades.....

Cheers, guys,

Ann
"cold beer happening"...gotta love it! I am so used to the sound of my refrigerator compressor that I don't even notice it anymore...unless I suddenly realize that I haven't heard it in a while!
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:53   #22
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Re: Air-X noise

g'day Morven,

Let me add a bit to Ann's observations: The noise of our ~13 y.o. Air-X 400 watt windgen is noticable, but definitely not "banshee" in normal operation. The "banshee" sound only occurs in very high winds (35+knots), in the period between when it over revs and the blades start to flutter, and when the regulator kicks in and reduces the speed. This period is on the order of one second! It is a good sign that things are getting a bit out of hand and engaging the manual stop switch is a good idea. In lower speed winds, the sound is a sort of "whishing", not a scream at all. It bothers some folks inordinately, but isn't all that bloody loud. I dunno why it becomes such an emotional thing, but there have been some pretty passionate posts on the subject. If the "banshee" persists longer, it is a sign that the regulator is not working correctly (and the earlier model 403 lacked the regulator, relying upon blade flutter to keep from over speeding... this feature is what earned them their horrible reputation).

If one cares to, the blades can be smoothed out from the rather rough surface that the factory supplies. We used wet/dry paper in 240,320, and 600 grit and found some reduction in the "whishing" sound resulted. Carefully setting the blades to be exactly 120 degrees apart helps too, with both noise and vibration.

Finally, we have friends with blue blades, and they are indeed quieter. Deciding if they are worth the considerable cost is a personal matter... only you can tell if it's a good deal! All in all, we appreciate the Air-X's contribution to our electrical budget. Solar does the heavy lifting, but the windy sure is better when it is dark!

Jim
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Old 01-01-2016, 22:11   #23
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Re: Air-X noise

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g'day Morven,

Let me add a bit to Ann's observations: The noise of our ~13 y.o. Air-X 400 watt windgen is noticable, but definitely not "banshee" in normal operation. The "banshee" sound only occurs in very high winds (35+knots), in the period between when it over revs and the blades start to flutter, and when the regulator kicks in and reduces the speed. This period is on the order of one second! It is a good sign that things are getting a bit out of hand and engaging the manual stop switch is a good idea. In lower speed winds, the sound is a sort of "whishing", not a scream at all. It bothers some folks inordinately, but isn't all that bloody loud. I dunno why it becomes such an emotional thing, but there have been some pretty passionate posts on the subject. If the "banshee" persists longer, it is a sign that the regulator is not working correctly (and the earlier model 403 lacked the regulator, relying upon blade flutter to keep from over speeding... this feature is what earned them their horrible reputation).

If one cares to, the blades can be smoothed out from the rather rough surface that the factory supplies. We used wet/dry paper in 240,320, and 600 grit and found some reduction in the "whishing" sound resulted. Carefully setting the blades to be exactly 120 degrees apart helps too, with both noise and vibration.

Finally, we have friends with blue blades, and they are indeed quieter. Deciding if they are worth the considerable cost is a personal matter... only you can tell if it's a good deal! All in all, we appreciate the Air-X's contribution to our electrical budget. Solar does the heavy lifting, but the windy sure is better when it is dark!

Jim
This is exactly the kind of personal observation I am looking for. Mine is an '05 400W with the internal "brake" or regulator and black blades. Unless I am mistaken I believe that there were "improved" blades in the later models, but I could be confusing that with the regulator upgrade. At any rate since the original manufacturer is no longer in business it is difficult to get any information about the earlier models.

Watching the video on YouTube I am convinced that the blades were "fluttering" just at the time it really started howling. And your observation that it is reasonably quiet until the wind really kicks up basically validates what I was thinking as I watched that video several times.

I would be perfectly content for it to perform as a supplemental power source for my modest power requirements, and in my location there is plenty of wind and plenty of dark during the winter. And as you mention, the "stop" switch is always an option.

I am new to this forum but have a lot of experience with boatyard opinions, and I must say you folks are turning out to be a great resource!
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:30   #24
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Re: Air-X noise

Thanks for the reminder. I was planning to junk the old Air X that came with the boat, and maybe replace it with something new. "Maybe" being the operative word. The Air X wasn't outputting anything and shorting the wires did nothing. SO, with nothing to lose I took it apart, and found the little pigtail wire from one of the brushes in the slip ring assembly was broken. If I short the winding wires before the circuit board, I can definitely feel the resistance to spinning the rotor, so I am guessing the problem might just be the broken brush.

The Air X people say they can sell me a set of brushes for $ 25. It will be good to get this project back together. This thread reminded me to do that. I have way too many disassembled unassemblies to reassemble, it seems.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:19   #25
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Re: Air-X noise

We have an Airx unit and the blades were upgraded black units around 2005. There is noise that increases above 10 knots more like a volume increasing hiss. We changed out the shaft bearings last spring and eliminated a background rumble so now all is good. We remove the hub and blades while laid up each winter. Still a good unit.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:36   #26
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Re: Air-X noise

PLEASE!!!! junking yer old air x--please consider sending it to me...
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:00   #27
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Re: Air-X noise

I bought the blue blades, worth every penny (ouch), would never look back, astounding difference on my old 300 watt air-x. Spins up and produces with significantly less wind...let's go silent!
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:36   #28
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Re: Air-X noise

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Thanks for the reminder. I was planning to junk the old Air X that came with the boat, and maybe replace it with something new. "Maybe" being the operative word. The Air X wasn't outputting anything and shorting the wires did nothing. SO, with nothing to lose I took it apart, and found the little pigtail wire from one of the brushes in the slip ring assembly was broken. If I short the winding wires before the circuit board, I can definitely feel the resistance to spinning the rotor, so I am guessing the problem might just be the broken brush.

The Air X people say they can sell me a set of brushes for $ 25. It will be good to get this project back together. This thread reminded me to do that. I have way too many disassembled unassemblies to reassemble, it seems.
Consider this: if all the unfinished projects were finished what would you do?
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:43   #29
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Re: Air-X noise

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We have an Airx unit and the blades were upgraded black units around 2005. There is noise that increases above 10 knots more like a volume increasing hiss. We changed out the shaft bearings last spring and eliminated a background rumble so now all is good. We remove the hub and blades while laid up each winter. Still a good unit.
Mine is a 2005 and I seem to remember that there was an upgrade on the blades at some point...which blades are on mine I have no idea. I only tested it for a minute or so when I got it and it was producing power at low RPM so I was impressed.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:46   #30
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Re: Air-X noise

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PLEASE!!!! junking yer old air x--please consider sending it to me...
So it is safe to assume that you really like the unit? :]

You guys have convinced me to install mine, if for no other reason than to see what happens!
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