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Old 24-04-2015, 18:45   #1
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Square waves killed our charger!

Yesterday we charged our batteries as we usually do while at anchor at La Paz: we fired up the Honda 2000 and ran it through our Charles 40 amp charger. Not only was it not charging as much as we expected, after a short while I smelled a bad garbage smell and then...smoke.

We burned out the innards of the charger.

Our local electrical guru advised us that he can't fix it. He's seen other chargers "fried" by the Hondas.

In La Cruz, several boaters described things they did to their Hondas to ad in trickle charging, but those conversations were many seas ago.

A lot of boaters swear by the Honda 2000. What am I missing in getting it to charge without frying the charger?
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Old 24-04-2015, 19:22   #2
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Doesn't seem to be a common issue. Some battery chargers are made with running of generators like the Honda in mind. I purchased a Sterling charger for that very reason. Having said that, a cordless tool battery charger that was plugged into my Honda genset fried and let out the magic smoke last week, which did cause me a little concern as it happened just after a stall and restart (I forgot to open the vent on the fuel cap). I thought maybe it could have been caused by unstabilised output whilst the generator developed regulation. I pulled the charger apart this morning and it looks like maybe a corrosion issue with a lot of small surface mount components covered in fuzz, but I've made a mental note to always have the power switched off during start or stop of the genset.

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Old 24-04-2015, 19:46   #3
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

The Honda 2000 AC output is a sine wave, not a square wave or modified sine wave.

Mark
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Old 24-04-2015, 19:56   #4
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Charles is not necessarily one of the better chargers. How old, what model? How long had it and the Honda had a good handshake?
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Old 24-04-2015, 19:59   #5
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The Honda 2000 AC output is a sine wave, not a square wave or modified sine wave.

Mark
That's what I understood as well. Also I can confirm from personal experience that my charger and a few other AC powered devices run much better on my Honda than a standard IE non-inverter generator.
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Old 24-04-2015, 20:06   #6
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Is the honda an EU2000 ?

If so it doesn't sound right somehow. I've never heard of any problems with them and have been using a 1000 to run sterling charger for years.

This came up from google, under a 8a boat blower inductive load.. from here..Power quality from various backup devices

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Old 24-04-2015, 20:22   #7
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Video of a Honda EU2000i putting out its sinewave at all load levels:



The deformations you see are the analog CRT, not the actual wave. They expand it later in the video to show how amazingly pure it is for a synthetically generated power wave.
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Old 24-04-2015, 20:47   #8
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

I have seen the output of my Honda eu10i on
an oscilloscope & compared it to 240 mains
The Honda had a far better wave form than
240 mains
Saw this with my own eyes
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Old 24-04-2015, 22:41   #9
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Just because some thing fails when it was powered by a generator doesn't mean the generator caused the failure. Nothing lasts forever.
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Old 25-04-2015, 00:43   #10
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Square waves are killer. Makes the boat slam pretty badly, and this is tough on electronics. I imagine it is getting hot already in LaPaz, heat is the really killer of electronics.
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Old 25-04-2015, 09:06   #11
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Don't forget to check the output voltage of the Honda. Electrical devices generally do not like over voltage at all. What voltage does the charger require?
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Old 25-04-2015, 09:20   #12
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

If the Honda electronically synthesizes the output waveform, a failure in IT's circuit is possible.


Maybe check That generator on an O-scope?
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Old 25-04-2015, 10:18   #13
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Is the honda an EU2000 ?

If so it doesn't sound right somehow. I've never heard of any problems with them and have been using a 1000 to run sterling charger for years.

This came up from google, under a 8a boat blower inductive load.. from here..Power quality from various backup devices

That is an interesting link. The Honda sine looked extremely clean other than a very slight degree of a higher freq. ripple. I guess most anything can be called a modified sine wave.
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Old 25-04-2015, 14:18   #14
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Sounds like the voltage regulator went bad in your honda gen and the voltage spiked then frying your charger.Put a voltmeter on the gen and see what its putting out before your hook anything back up to it.
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Old 25-04-2015, 15:24   #15
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Re: Square waves killed our charger!

Oscilloscope analysis of the Honda 1000 and 2000 has been on the web for years now. Assuming (rashly) that the genset is in good working order, they put out OUTSTANDING quality AC and can't be blamed for damaging anything, any more than "evil spirits" could.


OTOH, even Honda states that their 12VDC output from the same gensets is intended to be used for battery charging only, it is a really ugly (impure) DC output that can and will damage electronics. They're honest about it.


So perhaps your expert has gotten the AC and DC facets of the Hondas confused. Or perhaps he wants to sell you something else.


But the objective and repeated results, from O'scope tests, say that Honda's AC output is simply not capable of doing that kind of damage. Unless, of course, there was a gross failure. Your local Honda shop--or ham radio club, or tv repair ship, etc.-- can easily confirm that by hooking up to your Honda and seeing just what it is putting out.


You CAN easily get an objective and certain answer to this. Apparently your repairman is simply incapable or unwilling to use the right equipment to do so.
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