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Old 09-08-2020, 16:48   #1
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Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

Say youíre at sea and your generator lost its governor setting.

You can adjust the engine RPM but you donít have any rpm gauge.

How would you determine the frequency from the power coming out alone?

You donít have a scope.
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Old 09-08-2020, 16:54   #2
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

One of those killawatt tools is how I look at my generator output for voltage and frequency
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Old 09-08-2020, 17:02   #3
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

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Originally Posted by AKA-None View Post
One of those killawatt tools is how I look at my generator output for voltage and frequency
I saw that online. I donít have one, unfortunately. :/

I was hoping there was some magic trick someone knew.
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Old 09-08-2020, 17:03   #4
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

An old school plug in clock. I carry one on the boat specifically for generator tuning, as it averages frequency over time. Run a stopwatch for 60 seconds. If the clock counts 61 seconds, you're at 61 hz.
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Old 09-08-2020, 17:05   #5
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

If you had a guitar or other musical tuner you could have it play the B 2 octaves below middle C which is about a hz or two above 60hz.

Or if you are like me who has worked as a commercial electrician around transformers and other equipment for decades, all humming at 60hz, and also did a few installations for medical equipment manufacturers like GE for diagnostic/testing of equipment being sent to countries that use 50hz. so I am pretty good at knowing what each "should" sound like by ear.

Or if you had an old fashioned mechanical electric 120v plug-in clock you could do it the way old-school generator guys did it back in the day and used the sweep of the second hand matched to a battery-operated clock or wound watch side-by-side. When the second hands are in synch you are pretty damn close to 60hz. If you watched for a few minutes you could get nearly exact.

The issue is every time the electrical load changed it would change the RPM of the engine since it would bog down a bit at higher loads and run faster when lightly loaded.
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Old 09-08-2020, 17:11   #6
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

If you can check the docs on the generator, it most likely runs at 1800rpm (or 3600).

If you run your propulsion engine at the correct rpm you can 'tune' the gererator to the same pitch

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Old 09-08-2020, 17:31   #7
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

So why not use your multimeter? My amp meter also displays it, and a Kill-A-Watt meter does as well.
Also itís really not all that important, most anything will operate just fine off of 50ish Hz power, everything we took to Germany operated just fine off 50Hz once ran through a transformer to correct voltage.
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Old 09-08-2020, 17:59   #8
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Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

Or old school this:


https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=...QsEMIQw&adurl=

Vibrating reed frequency meter.

I really like the clock idea though.
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Old 09-08-2020, 18:36   #9
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

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Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
Or old school this:


https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=...QsEMIQw&adurl=

Vibrating reed frequency meter.

I really like the clock idea though.
My original Honda 1000 generator about 1990 had a vibrating reed, one for 50 Hz and one for 60 hz

Not mine, a pic from the internet Honda EX 1000
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Old 09-08-2020, 18:53   #10
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

These are some great ideas!!!

Amazing!

I’ll try the musical tuner first, since I don’t have that sort of clock.
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Old 09-08-2020, 19:00   #11
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
An old school plug in clock. I carry one on the boat specifically for generator tuning, as it averages frequency over time. Run a stopwatch for 60 seconds. If the clock counts 61 seconds, you're at 61 hz.
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Old 09-08-2020, 19:08   #12
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

Going to or staying at sea in a mere storm is one thing, but to put to sea in the face of a cyclone/hurricane/typhoon is madness. You may loose your boat in either case, but at sea your life is at severe risk.

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Old 09-08-2020, 19:26   #13
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Say youíre at sea and your generator lost its governor setting.

You can adjust the engine RPM but you donít have any rpm gauge.

How would you determine the frequency from the power coming out alone?

You donít have a scope.

FWIW, if not familiar, at least for RPM you can find free apps for your phone/tablet that uses the device's microphone as a spectrum analyzer.

ex:



Probably not what you're looking for, but a free tool to add to the box that may offer utility elsewhere.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:26   #14
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

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Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
FWIW, if not familiar, at least for RPM you can find free apps for your phone/tablet that uses the device's microphone as a spectrum analyzer.

ex:



Probably not what you're looking for, but a free tool to add to the box that may offer utility elsewhere.
Absolutely another great idea!!

To set it from the auditory output is good.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:50   #15
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Re: Who Can Figure Out the Frequency of a Generator Creatively?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Say youíre at sea and your generator lost its governor setting.

You can adjust the engine RPM but you donít have any rpm gauge.

How would you determine the frequency from the power coming out alone?

You donít have a scope.
Just whack a LP onto your turntable and listen or look at the stroboscope on the side of the turntable. Vinyl rocks!
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