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Old 02-02-2014, 10:48   #31
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by Habana Vieja View Post
Thank You Sailmonkey,
Seems like in addition to the Honda we need a battery charger but, Honda claims
the genertor, with the correct cables, will function as a battery charger. I am sure there are many of us who believe the claim. But if untrue, and it will fire a battery charger, then that takes care of the issue.We need a battery charger to plug into the honda. However, we have found that on our vessel, even if the batteries are dead and we plug into 30 amp shore power, things fire up. What's up?
The Honda comes with a pair of alligator clips on a rather basic and small gauge cable, like this (Well, mine did):



These can in fact go directly onto battery posts. As far as I know, however, the output is pretty weak (8 amps) and, I would suspect, pretty variable in voltage, along with too low for decent charging if it's just 12 volts. It would be fine to run a string of LEDs, of course.

I would prefer to run the AC side to a proper charger that has the correct bulk and float setpoints. You would find it horribly "lossy" with all the converting, but it would be slow but doable, like putting a trickle charger on a house bank is slow but doable.

Me, I have opted for keeping a fully charged house bank "overspilling" excess charge capacity into two Echo Chargers, one for the standalone windlass battery up forward, and the other to the start battery. This means that when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining, or the alternator's turning, I get full charge to the house bank, which has to be at a high SOC before it starts kicking current to the windlass and the start batteries.

If all is well, everything stays fully charged, and if the house bank faults, I've got two fully charged batteries available to run things (if only minimally) until I fix the issue. The Honda 2000 I carry is primarily to avoid using the inverter to run power tools: if it's under a 10 amp load for 10 minutes, the Honda is more efficient than inverting AC off the house bank. It can also be taken ashore to trade electrons for roast pig!
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:55   #32
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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This thread is going in a lot of interesting directions. But back to the core issues:

1) The 12V output of the Honda eu2000i is there to keep a small battery topped off. It has no where near enough capacity to turn over the starter on even a small diesel engine.

2) If you were able to connect your boat to shore power and start the diesel, then you'll be able to do the same thing with the Honda. Power from your boat's built-in charger, together with whatever was left in the batteries, was enough to turn over your engine.

You'll need a 30A to 15A pigtail so you can plug your 30A shore power cord into the 15A outlet on the Honda.

Now, some math. Let's assume you have a 100A charger for your 12V batteries.

Watts = Amps times Volts. Remember "WAVe".

100 Amps times 12 Volts = 1,200 Watts. Your Honda 2000W unit will have no trouble powering it. You can even run other 120V appliances at the same time. I happen to have a 100A charger and a Honda 2000i, and I've tried this exact scenario.

Every circuit in your 120V AC system should have a fuse or a circuit breaker. Since your whole boat takes 30A, it's likely the charger circuit needs a fraction of that.

Remember that a 100A charger at 12V needs about 10A at 120V. That circuit breaker or fuse shouldn't be any larger than 15A.

And if your charger is only 30A or 40A (more likely), then it's only going to use 3A or 4A at 120V, and maybe have a 5A or 10A breaker.

Your Honda is rated at 2000W. That's over 16A at 120V.

In other words, your charger circuit by itself couldn't possibly overload the Honda.
Clearly, you haven't tried to kick off a March pump for the A/C.

But yes, if you're careful, you can get your fridge and some minor stuff to work.

The DC side would come in handy, however, if your charger/inverter and batteries went kaput. You could rig up a 7 amp inline fuse and go from the Honda's DC side to the board or to a sub-panel and run nav lights. Possibly a base VHF radio as they are tolerant of low DC voltages to a point, but I don't know how "dirty" the DC output is of the Honda.

So it remains a handy "parachute on your belt and suspenders" if you have a huge failure at night. Like, for instance, after a lightning strike which might nuke your electrical system selectively...you'd probably want nav lights if you could have them if you had to sail into a busy port.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:26   #33
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Thank you Sailmonkey. The Honda AC function has an auto shutoff if too much is required of it. However, if it does overload, then, I suppose our alternative is to forget the shorepower insert and use
the Honda's DC receptacle and charger cables to charge our starter battery ( a 4D AGM lifeline - not sure how unlike this is from a standard auto battery ) On the Honda unlike the AC function, this is not protected by an auto shut off

However, the boat's charger (not the inverter) is a Newmar PT 40CE -

Here are its specs:
Power factor .98@115V .95@230V
input at full load is 6.8/3.4
Max amp outputs 40
Battery capacity ( A/H) 80-400

Still not sure why the Honda will not work - plugged into the boat's shorepower insert - to charge the batteries or start the engine?

Many people are buying the Honda 2000i these days ( boaters and RV campers) for
a variety of purposes and I doubt that most showrooms have gone into the detail that is reached in this discussion so perhaps it is safe to assume some
knowledge will be gained by it from - if not many - at least a few!
Sorry,
HV
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:53   #34
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

There are spring type clamps - as used on auto jumper cables - available for the Honda
and offered by Honda. But that does not address the other issues. Perhaps another way to phrase the issue is:

If the batteries are dead how long will it take the Honda to supply enough power to the batteries to start the engine if we:

A. plug the AC from the Honda into the boat's shore power insert ( using of course, a 30 A to 125 V adapter)? We have 1 Lifeline 4D AGM (start)
and 4 x 8D AGM house batteries.

or

B
Using the DC option, connect the Honda to the start battery using the Honda's charger cables?

Thanks,
RV
Nota Bene: the idea of a privately powered windlass is a really good thought.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:16   #35
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Well with A. You get lots of charge from a built in charger so you get a full charge quickly or B. 8 amps direct from honda that will need to run for days.

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Old 02-02-2014, 12:17   #36
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Habana Vieja View Post
the boat's charger (not the inverter) is a Newmar PT 40CE -

Here are its specs:
Power factor .98@115V .95@230V
input at full load is 6.8/3.4
Max amp outputs 40
Battery capacity ( A/H) 80-400

Still not sure why the Honda will not work - plugged into the boat's shorepower insert - to charge the batteries or start the engine?
Of course it will work to charge the batteries.

You only need (per the specs) 3.4 Amps at 120V to put out 40A at 12V to the batteries.

3.4A at 120V is 408 Watts.

Understand that the starter on a diesel draws a very high amperage for a very short time. Probably more than your charger can produce by itself. But what's left in the batteries may help start it turning. If it's worked like this before, it should work again. And if not, leave the charger on the Honda for a while to build up enough charge that it will. Could take 10 minutes, could be 2 hours, it all depends.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:27   #37
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Ok, if you have both an inverter/charger and a charger, then turn off the charge feature of the inverter charger, and let the Newmar charger charge the batteries.

Lets your start battery (the 4D) is down to 10 volts......really dead. Let's assume it's a 200 amp hour battery. To get a full charge from the 40 amp charger(Newmar) will take roughly 6 hours, though you could probably start the engine in two.

This all boils down to power management and understanding the different AC/DC systems.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:30   #38
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
But you need to be aware that a Honda EU2000i will only supply enough continuous current to run a 50-75 amp charger- about 13 amps. If you have a 100 amp inverter/charger for example it will overload the Honda.
Not sure I'm following this. A 100A 12V charger can put up to 1,200 Watts into the batteries.

In a perfect world, a 100A 12V charger is using 10A at 120V.

In the real world, there is some loss in the conversion, but also realize that a 100A charger will probably max out at 90 or 95A in real life.

The specs on the Honda say 13.3A (1,600W) continuous, 16.6A (2,000W) peak.

By my math, I have 3+ Amps, almost 400W, to spare even if my charger is maxed out.
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Old 02-02-2014, 13:44   #39
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Whats wrong with your batteries and charging system that you have to use a generator? Ok for the emergency but I dont understand why more than once. I think your batteries are shot or your alternater is. Pull that battery out and take it to a battery shop for overnight charge and testing. Maybe you dont have enough. Do you have a separate start battery? That way if you discharge your house bank you can still start. If you dont know how much battery power you are using and if you discharge the battery more that 50% you need to know. If you dont understand what any of this means you need a good boat electric book. No insult intended. I've been there too.

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Old 02-02-2014, 13:50   #40
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Thanks again Don, thanks very much.
When we bought oour Honda a few days ago, we had to make a decision as to whether we wanted the model with two AC outlets or the model with one AC outlet and a 30 amp insert ( in this case, no 15/30 companion would be required and we could use our
standard shore power cable.) We opted for the two AC outlet model since it is much easier to haul a standard electric extension chord around the boat as opposed to the
shore power cable. Also, it would be a little easier to use two AC devices at once
( e.g. a fan or air conditioning unit and a computer ). The salesman claimed the model
with the 30 amp outlet was popular with RV folks and the double AC insert model more popular with the maritime crowd.
Best Wishes,
HV
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Old 02-02-2014, 14:20   #41
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Just use the 15-30 amp adapter and plug the shore power into the Honda. The Freedom inverter/charger will take upwards of 23 amps at 110v, which will probably pop the breaker of the Honda. If you have a remote control on the Freedom, you can adjust the charger to reduce the maximum power to 5, 10, or 15 amps--read the manual.

If the other battery charger is on a circuit breaker, I would turn it off and use the Freedom at 15 amps. If you can't turn off the other charger, then turn off the charging function of the Freedom.

BTW, the longer the batteries sit while they are discharged, the more likely they have been murdered, and the less likely you will be able to start the engine without a new battery.
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Old 02-02-2014, 14:30   #42
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Our boat systems are all in good shape and the batteries are pretty good considering they were completely drained once. Its not that we are using the Honda frequently, we have yet to use it. However, not long ago we were headed North in the Gulf Stream and a stiff Northerly was blowing, due to an earlier problem that we thought our electrician had addressed, we were unaware the batteries were nearly drained.
We rather suddenly ran out of all electric power and the engine died due to a clogged fuel line. Since the batteries were dead, there was no capacity to restart the engine even if we did clear the fuel line. Had we the Honda at that time, it looks from all comments here that the Honda would have allowed us to start the engine ( given a little time). As all recognize, there is a
myriad of new products emerging and it has been enlightening to see, just within this
discussion, how many different perspectives exist regarding the Honda EU2000i. No?
However, it looks like if there are others who are considering purchasing a Honda for the same purpose we did, they will not be off base in doing so....no matter how many solar panels or wind generators are aboard. It is a "sweet" little product and some web sites offer then for less than $1000.
Cheers,
HV
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Old 02-02-2014, 16:39   #43
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

If you "have yet to use it", I hope the gas is drained and the carb run dry OR you've got the correct amount of gas stabilizer in a full (one litre) tank, with the vent closed and cap dogged down.

Modern gasoline seems to go stale/varnishy quite quickly, and I need to dissemble my Honda 2 outboard because I didn't start it for a couple of months. The Honda 2000 I start every six weeks or so and let it run for ten minutes to cycle the oil. So far, it's never failed to fire in seven years.
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Old 02-02-2014, 16:53   #44
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Thanks S/V Alchemy. All of the features you mention were taken care of and we have a
supply of "marine" grade gasoline which, as you know, allows us to avoid ethenol issues. However, had we not bought the Honda from a dealer with knowledgeable staff, these issues could have been missed but the charger/diesel start capacity questions led to
some ambiguity which has been worked through in this thread. Even though it is in print, will be very good for those considering buying one of these units to mark what you said about prep.
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Old 02-02-2014, 18:21   #45
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Get a battery monitor

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