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Old 26-11-2009, 21:08   #16
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Thanks fellas for offering all your experienced insight into these matters. Bill, I very much appreciate your vote of confidence on this set up . . . and appreciate you taking a break from the fam . . . and the football to give your response. I'm catching some time here and there today in much the same way. Dave, thanks for your words on the Honda generators. I have not heard the 1000s and 2000s in action, but just last weekend I had the opportunity to hear a 3000 in action at the cook's tent at a big Cub Scout campout. Everyone commented on how quiet it was - sort of a low purr. If the smaller ones are more modest than the 3000, I can't imagine that anyone would be bothered.

Dave, I remain intrigued about the description you have offered for your setup on your Corsair F-31. You say that you use your two solar panels above the cockpit as a hard bimini top. Do you have a picture of this? I hear what you are saying about the absorption and float time. You're saying that in your experience the solar panels, with the multi-hour, slow-charging approach, do a good job of bringing your battery up to 100% (or somewhere near this), and that a generator would have a tougher time doing this. Am I getting that right?

Thanks again,
Roscoe
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Old 27-11-2009, 04:31   #17
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Roscoe, we have the Honda 2000, though the UK version is acutally 1600 watts. Runs our 40 amp charger, the hot water heater and occasionally a 700 watt oil filled boat heater, although we tend not to run all three at the same time. We bought the more expensive Honda because I just want something to start firs time, run and be reliable. I do not want to be faffing around with a cheap genny that won't start or run properly.

It is just light enough to lift out of the cockpit locker with one hand thanks to the big handle on top. We average about 7 hours on a tank full. So topping up just before bedtime will run the heater through the night and stop at dawn. Viv says its my job to get out of bed then and top it up, but the dog need walking at that time anyway to not too much of a problem.

It is comparatively quiet. At anchor onthe side decks a slight drone can be heard below but not a problem going to sleep,. In the cockpit a little loader but not the end of the world. On the bow with exhaust pointing out the side, fine to sit in the cockpit. We move it around the deck depending on wind direction and were we are sitting.

It also gives us mains voltage for tools, pressure washer etc.

Pete
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Old 27-11-2009, 06:58   #18
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Thank Morgans and Pete for your input on the Honda generators. That's amazing that you are able to get so much out of so little fuel (around 1/2 a gallon) - Morgans, 10 hours on the Honda 1000, Pete, 7 hours on the Honda 2000.

I have a follow-up question . . . when you power up your charger and/or use the other appliances that you have mentioned . . . how do make the connection? I have read on other threads that many will make a direct connection between the AC receptacle on the Honda and the shore power inlet on the boat via a pigtail. Thus, a circuit breaker protects the system and GFCI receptacles on the boat protect people who plug appliances into them. Does this sound correct?

Many thanks for your valuable advice,
Roscoe
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:46   #19
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Roscoe, Boom placement dictated design. I have some standing headroom and some sitting headroom.
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Old 27-11-2009, 11:28   #20
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Roscoe hi, Can't remember how much the Honda 2000 holds and the manual is on board the boat. Also we have to be careful because US and UK gallons aren't the same quantity but I guess just under a UK gallon.

We run a lead from the genny to the ships 3 pin marine socket so everything goes via the RCD on the boat. This leaves the question of what to do with the honda earth point which is on the front of the panel. Ashore you would stick this to an earth ground, but our mains system doesn't touch the yachts earth system at the moment.

The only down side I can think off is the rubber feet can mark the rough surface of a none slip deck which is a bugger to clean off so we now put the genny on a piece of carpet mat with a rubber backing.

Pete
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:02   #21
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Originally Posted by Morganministry View Post
Here is where I might be able to lend some advise. First of all ohms law says amps x volts=watts. So 55amps x 12volts=660 watts. That is what the battery charger will put out.

20amps X 110 volts=2200 watts. That is the most that the charger will need.

You are probably safe useing the 2000 watt generator, if that is all you are using it for. I would not use a smaller one as you might damage the charger.

Now for the difference in costs. The Honda Eu generators are safe to use around electronics. The cheaper ones may not be. A cheaper generator may put out surges of power wich will damage sensitive electronics. If you are only useing it for power tools, this is not an issue, but if you are powering the TV, Computer, CD, or DVD it will damage it. So don't for get to include the costs of replacing your electronics when you are pricing generators.
One way around this is to run your electronics off of a quality inverter and then use "cheaper" equipment to charge the batteries.

Noise Factor- I've used a Honda Eu 1000 for several years now. We could stand next to it and carry on a conversation with out raising our voices.

Fuel efficiency- I think the brochure for the EU 1000 states that it will run 6 hours (not sure) on a tank of gas.(about 1/2 gallon) My experience is that it can run a TV and a 60 watt bulb (about 300 watts total) for 10 hours on a tank of fuel.

One more thing about Generators. To little power can cause as much damage as to much power. Make sure you are not overloading the generator it is the appliances that will suffer. And before you turn off your generator, unplug the cable or turn off the breaker that is between it and the load. As a generator winds down it is still producing power but at a lower level.

Hope that helps
The 20A was just a guess. It doesn't actually say on that charger what the actual continuous amp output is. It skirts around giving that number and is noticeable silent on what the actual duty output amperage is, choosing instead to hem and haw about 'surge' and vague 'output' language. Furthermore, the specs state that the 'Maximum AC Current @ 96VAC: 15A', while the 'Max Inrush Current, Single Cycle: 20A'. It lists the maximum single surge output at 55A, and lists the 'DC Output Amps: 55 A' which is same as the surge rating, so we know that the 55A output number is horsesh*t. Now that I'm looking at it it wouldn't surprise me if the continuous duty amperage output was even lower than 20A, around 15A or so. Whatever.

I fail to see why the sine wave of the generator itself is even an issue, since the aforementioned 'recommendation' calls for running the Honda generator output through the Iota 55, which cleans the output up for the 2nd time before putting it into the T-105 battery. Why anyone feels that the output from a generator needs to be cleaned up 1 time, let alone 2 times, before going into the Trojan batteries gives new meaning to 'waste of money'. Most folks clean up the output as it comes out of the battery bank, not before it goes into it, which is why the pure sine wave inverter is put after the battery and before the sensitive electronic(s), not before the battery bank (what's the sense of that?)

Also, I'd be interested in hearing exactly how the 'undersized' 1000w generator and $75 charger can 'harm' 2 Trojan T-105 batteries while charging.

Ship'n Shore 12 Volt 2/10/15A Charger | BatteryStuff.com

Either a person runs the generator to charge the Trojan T-105 onboard battery bank, which the onboard systems/electronics are connected to, or they run the generator to run standalone appliances separate from the battery bank. Not both. It seems, again, that the 'recommendation' for the Honda 2000i and Iota 55A, at around $1300, is more than twice the $500 needed for a simple and decent 1000w/1200w 4 cycle generator and marine battery charger that it needs to be. Cheaper for 2-cycle.

Finally, if you look at the specs for the Honda generators, those decibel numbers of 53db-59db are 20 feet away and facing away from the exhaust port. Facing toward the exhaust port the numbers are more like 63db-68db, same as the 2 cycle models.

Quiet Thunder

In the example above, neither a water heater nor an oil boat heater needs pure sine wave output, in fact...it's a waste of clean power In fact, I'd probably use a dedicated separate generator for the hot water heater and oil boat heater (and a inexpensive 2-cycle one at that), since I'd rather not waste the expensive Honda 2000i's output on dirty devices like a water heater and oil heater. Running the Honda 2000i every night for heat puts a lot of wear and tear on the expensive Honda so that when you need it to power the battery bank the oil is long overdue for changing and the expensive Honda is being treated like a cheap 2 cycle generator anyways. That doesn't seem fiscally prudent to me. I guess my point, again, is that for a 25' sailboat one doesn't need to spend $1500 on a generator to charge two Trojan batteries and/or run a few dirty appliances.
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:29   #22
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Hey, here's a Homelite 1800W 4 cycle generator for $429. Combine that with the $75 marine battery charger and for $504 you've got a decent charging system that doesn't break the bank. Smaller pure sine wave inverters would be used onboard between the battery bank and sensitive 110v electronics.

Homelite 1800W Generator - HG1800 at The Home Depot

Ship'n Shore 12 Volt 2/10/15A Charger | BatteryStuff.com

I'd also probably attach this little $30 battery charge monitor to let me know the state of charge on the battery bank if there already wasn't one on the boat for a grand total of $534 for the entire system.
Volt Minder 12 Volt | BatteryStuff.com
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:36   #23
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Good Setup for What you Want

DavisR,
I have a Zantrex 40 amp charger and I regularly use the Honda 2000 for charging purposes. I can charge my batteries and heat my hot water tank at the same time with no problem!!! As long as the battery bank is down a fair bit, the 40 amp charger puts out 38 to 42 amps as read on my Link 10 battery monitor, so this is accurate. My battery bank is 4 Trojan 120's, so I am looking at installing an Iota 90 amp charger to reduce my generator run time.
As you are aware, your batteries will only accept the full output of your charger (properly sized charger that is) up to about the 85% full range. From then on, the BATTERIES will only accept a continuously lowering amount of charge, hence the last 10% seems to take forever. Because of this, when using a generator (and not shore power), most people stop at the 85 to 90% mark as to go further is a waste of time, gas, and creates unneeded noise! If you only use 40 AH per day, from a full battery, you will still have a battery at about 82% capacity, and without recharging you would be at about 65% (still OK) after day 2. With your proposed setup with the 55 amp charger and the 2000 generator you would be able to get to the 85 to 90% mark in about an hour of charge time after 2 days!! After this, because you are starting at a "not full battery" you would probably run the generator everyday for less than an hour. Not bad in my opinion, as these generators are really quite quiet (and fuel efficient).

Notsure,
I am not professing to be an electrical expert, but I can tell you that a good friend of mine that I go cruising with uses his Honda 2000 generator to run a 90 amp charger to recharge his 6 battery bank (Trojans) and it works well, although his generator runs harder than mine does and is therefore louder.

Good luck DavisR and I think you are on the right track, just do your best to protect your generator from theft. Also, be well aware of the issues of Carbon Monoxide poisoning (it is a real threat so take it seriously), and the safe storage of gasoline.

Tom
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:51   #24
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I would be interested in knowing how to properly ground the Honda 2000i on the boat. Also, Is it safe to use it in wet weather? My Honda was new this past summer, and, so far, it's done everything I've expected.
Marc
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Old 27-11-2009, 13:17   #25
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Marc,
I just connect my generator (using a pig tail at the AC output) to the shore power connector on my boat. It does not show any reverse polarity and I am relying on the boats ground. I too worry about using it in the rain, so I either don't or a rig a cover.
I am not an electrical expert, just mentioning what I have done with no issues so far.

Hope this helps,
Tom
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Old 27-11-2009, 16:00   #26
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Originally Posted by Firehoser75 View Post
DavisR,
Notsure,
I am not professing to be an electrical expert, but I can tell you that a good friend of mine that I go cruising with uses his Honda 2000 generator to run a 90 amp charger to recharge his 6 battery bank (Trojans) and it works well, although his generator runs harder than mine does and is therefore louder.


Tom
I would hope it would 'work well' for the $1500 that it cost. Besides the fact that the original poster had 2 T-105's (not 6), and that essentially the same system recommended for 2 T-105's is also being recommended for 6 t-105's now, which means that clearly the 2000i and 55A charger is way overkill for a dual battery bank system.

The pertinent question here is what can be used to charge the 2 Trojan T-105's in a similar manner without needing to sell one's firstborn child in the process.

Here's what I'm looking at:
1000w/1200w, 2 cycle, 2 hp, 62db, CARB Compliant, EPA Approved generator for $125
PROHOISTS - 1000/1250 watt Portable Gas Generator camping,gasoline,2 hp,2 stroke,FUELN
Schumacher SS-210A Microprocessor Controlled 20A Automatic Charger, (2 bank @ 10A or 1 bank @ 20A) for $120
Schumacher SS-210A Microprocessor Controlled Automatic Charger

So that's essentially less than $250 for a complete system that will charge the same dual Trojan T-105 battery bank in ..... something close to double what your $1500 system will do, or around 2 hours vs your 1 hour charge time, at 1/6th the cost and essentially the same level of quietness (59db vs 62db).

That's a huge cost difference for not much of a performance difference, not to mention the fact that the cheaper system is easily and painlessly replaced if stolen or damaged.
It's easy to spend a bunch of money and come up with something that 'works well'. That's a no brainer. It is, however, somewhat more challenging to design a system that doesn't cost a small fortune but does an equally competent job without causing heartache if it inadvertently got plugged into a 50A, 220V shore power outlet.
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Old 27-11-2009, 16:21   #27
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I would be interested in knowing how to properly ground the Honda 2000i on the boat. Also, Is it safe to use it in wet weather? My Honda was new this past summer, and, so far, it's done everything I've expected.
Marc
'Safe', 'wet', and 'electricity' don't mix well from what I understand. I tend to shy away from that particular combination myself, especially since electricity does funny stuff around wet objects....like jump from Point A to Point B searching for a more direct route to 'ground'.
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Old 27-11-2009, 16:55   #28
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Hey, here's a Homelite 1800W 4 cycle generator for $429. Combine that with the $75 marine battery charger and for $504 you've got a decent charging system that doesn't break the bank. Smaller pure sine wave inverters would be used onboard between the battery bank and sensitive 110v electronics.

Homelite 1800W Generator - HG1800 at The Home Depot

Ship'n Shore 12 Volt 2/10/15A Charger | BatteryStuff.com

I'd also probably attach this little $30 battery charge monitor to let me know the state of charge on the battery bank if there already wasn't one on the boat for a grand total of $534 for the entire system.
Volt Minder 12 Volt | BatteryStuff.com
At the risk of prolonging the beating of a dead horse, you're suggesting that a 15 amp battery charger is sufficient for a 225 AH battery bank? Three hours minimum of run time to put 45 amps into it? That doesn't make much sense to me. Plus that charger is a freakin' portable unit, I wouldn't want that banging around on my boat.

If the guy wants to buy a Honda gen and 55 amp IOTA then what's the problem, it's his bucks. If he goes to a bigger battery bank, he's already set up for it. And we all know that as often as not you end up going bigger, never seen anybody go smaller.

There's overkill and there's also underkill, and I think what you're suggesting is the latter. Overkill may be wasting money if you ignore the fact that good equipment will likely last longer, but underkill most definitely is wasting money because cheap stuff dies young from overwork.

I'm puttin' my money in solar and wind, but if I was going to buy a small gen, I'd buy the Honda. I am buying the IOTA as well, a 55 amp for a 460 amp bank, at $210 plus $35 for the IQ4, it's a bargain.
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Old 27-11-2009, 16:58   #29
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Look at this New Portable Digital Inverter Generator - 2200 Watt - eBay (item 180428037322 end time Dec-03-09 09:49:02 PST)
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Old 27-11-2009, 17:04   #30
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Many thanks Dave, Pete, and Tom for getting in touch.

Dave, I like your solar panel set-up over the cockpit. Looks nice. It appears that you had your stainless (or aluminum) rack custom-made for those panels. I guess that is something I would need to factor into the cost of going that route.

Pete, in placing the carpet strip underneath your generator . . . is it ever the case that your Honda moves across the deck when the weather is up in an anchorage. You mentioned putting it on the foredeck. Do you secure it with a line in situations like that?

Tom, I really appreciate your calculations. I was really wanting to hear what you said. Great to know that I would be able to go two days on a single charge and that when it came around to charging the time would it would take would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 hour.

Not Sure, I hear what you're saying about trying to cut costs and I am very grateful for your advice. I really am quite concerned about keeping down costs, since there are other upgrades that I am facing with this boat. I'm going to look more closely at the monitor you suggested. Here is somewhere I think I could save quite a few bucks. I am, though, very hesitant to go with any other generator than the Honda. I've heard to many great things about it from the members of this forum. I did follow your Home Depot link for the Homelite 1800w generator. It's attractive at half the price of the Honda 2000, but it is bigger and at least 40 pounds heavier. I googled around and found that campers generally had good things to say about it. Quite a few people added, though, that it was loud. No one has ever said this about the Hondas. Thanks again for your advice on this, but I think this is an instance where I will be glad that I spent the extra money.

Best,
Roscoe
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