Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




28 posts

Geek


#215310 21-Jun-2017 15:08
Send private message

Afternoon All,

 

 

 

I need a generator for a couple of large fish tanks and what not in case we lose power. Does anyone have any experience with Titan branded generators? Or can you recommend me a decent generator? Looking around 3.5Kw, electric start would be nice.

 

 

 

Cheers


Create new topic
2798 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #1804703 21-Jun-2017 15:50
Send private message

I've no experience with the Titan brand, but they look like a run of the mill inexpensive Chinese manufactured item to me.  

 

I have had a couple of generators in the last 4 years, all falling into the above category.  The first one was a basic 3kva electric start model in a frame.  I mounted wheels to the bottom of the frame to make it easy to move around.  I ran it for half an hour per month, every month, and it never missed a beat.  Ultimately it was replaced as I needed to run a larger volume of sensitive equipment, including a server UPS that did not like the 'low quality' power output from this generator.I donated it to my inlaws for their rural property a year ago.  I'm a little concerned it won't go when they need it, as the battery will be flat and it will have old fuel.  This has been mentioned a couple of times, but I don't want to nag.

 

The second one is a little 800w quiet digital inverted generator sourced from The Warehouse for about $400 on special.  It looks pretty much identical to this one http://www.trademe.co.nz/business-farming-industry/industrial/generators-power-supply/petrol/auction-1353310225.htm but is red in colour.  This was to run a small server that needed high quality power output.  I start it every fortnight and it always starts after the third or fourth pull.

 

The third one was a 4kva digital inverter generator from Trade Tested, with electric start and remote start.  I bought it about 22 months ago.  It worked beautifully for a few months (running it for half an hour once per month) and then wouldn't start due to a flat battery.  Feedback from their support team was that the battery may be weak and they replaced it.  Several months later the same thing happened.  With a dead lat battery you could not pull-start the generator, as the flat battery was 'dragging down' the voltage in the device to a point where it wasn't sparking enough to fire up.  Disconnecting the battery for a minute, pull starting the generator, and reconnecting the battery worked around this.  After charging the battery, I changed my routine to running it for 20 minutes every fortnight and this knocked the issue on the head.  Until the inverter board failed about a month ago and it would only output 230v if you held your tongue the right way when starting the generator.  It was uneconomic to replace under the 2 year warranty, so they replaced the generator.

 

My 4th generator is the Trade Tested 3.2kva digital inverter model.  We've fired it up twice and had no issues, as you would expect.

 

Suggestions:

 

  • The quieter digital inverter models are nice to have, unless you are rural and can put a cheaper basic generator away from the house a bit.
  • The fish tank pump and heater will likely be quite happy with low quality power from a basic generator.
  • Longer warranty is better.  I deliberately bought some somewhere with a longer warranty.  I'd have been brassed off when my 3rd one died if there had only been a 12 month warranty.
  • Trade Tested have impressed me every time with their warranty process.  YMMV.
  • Have a couple of decent quality long extension cords ready.  The only time I used a generator in a power cut, I had enough cords to power the essential equipment, but not the TV or desktop PC.
  • Plan on running the generator at half its rated capacity or lower.  You need plenty of 'head room' in the generator's capacity for the startup current on a fridge motor, for example.
  • If the generator does not have an output display, consider a cheap plug in power meter like this one http://www.trademe.co.nz/building-renovation/electrical-lighting/other/auction-1349340417.htm to measure your load.




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

23404 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  #1804726 21-Jun-2017 16:08
Send private message

A few months back when vector wanted to turn the power off for over 6 hours to replace a neighbours pole, I bought a 3000va ozito from bunnings. It worked fine, but the UPS's were a bit grumpy off it, and would switch back and forth often. Its an inverter so it revs up and down as loads go on and off. What I did find was putting a coffee maker on it, whenever the heating kicked in the revs dropped, and it briefly cut the output to have them come back up again as it incresed the throttle. This blip in the power made the controller in the coffee machine cranky and it reset itself. Put more load on it and it didnt drop out to the same degree when the elements turned on and all was happy and I was caffinated.

 

 

 

edit: it was $500 which I thought was a bargain for the power. Were in a pile by the door so I suspect they were a one off item not an ongoing supply of them.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


2798 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #1804756 21-Jun-2017 16:54
Send private message

richms: I bought a 3000va ozito from bunnings. It worked fine, but the UPS's were a bit grumpy off it, and would switch back and forth often. Its an inverter so it revs up and down as loads go on and off.

 

That was my experience with the basic generator, and moving to a larger inverter model stabilised the UPS.  I've not had any issues with loads connected so far.  With my latest one, the UPS and home server was the sole load at about 500w, and to give the generator a workout I added a vacuum cleaner.  I didn't notice any temporary drop in output, but will try it again and pay more attention

 

I'm astonished you got a 3kva inverter model for that price.  I see they are not listed any more, so it is possible they were on run-out as you mention.  I've also not seen an inverter model in a frame like that before....  all of the inverter models I've seen so far are covered in plastic with some noise dampening on the inside.





"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

5751 posts

Uber Geek


  #1804761 21-Jun-2017 17:02
Send private message

When I lived somewhere I needed electricty to supply water to the house, I had a genny wired into the main fuseboard by a registered electrician.  We had three phase power so it was easy to find a unit that would power the whole house.





Mike



28 posts

Geek


  #1807069 26-Jun-2017 16:07
Send private message

Thank you everyone for the responses. Going to sit on the generator for a bit till I find one that is right. Would love to be able to find one that takes remote signal to start up automatically.


2798 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #1807104 26-Jun-2017 17:27
Send private message

A number of the Trade Tested ones have a small remote control, including my failed and new model, though I've never tested the range beyond 5m.

 

I tend to think that unless you are 'off grid', the remote is just a gimmick.  The generator's key would need to be switched on for the remote to work and the remote-start circuitry would be chewing a little bit of battery power, so you'd have to be running the generator regularly (daily?) to prevent the generator's battery going flat.

 

I've never seen a 'cabled' remote start, but it would be relatively simple for someone electrically minded to hook one up.





"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #1807299 27-Jun-2017 00:50

Dynamic:

 

A number of the Trade Tested ones have a small remote control, including my failed and new model, though I've never tested the range beyond 5m.

 

I tend to think that unless you are 'off grid', the remote is just a gimmick.  The generator's key would need to be switched on for the remote to work and the remote-start circuitry would be chewing a little bit of battery power, so you'd have to be running the generator regularly (daily?) to prevent the generator's battery going flat.

 

I've never seen a 'cabled' remote start, but it would be relatively simple for someone electrically minded to hook one up.

 

 

Here you go http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1355441685 a wired remote startable generator. The connection on the front panel marked ATS will be Automatic transfer switch. So it could also be auto starting if you want that. Of course you will still need a UPS if you want to run things that must have 100% uptime.

 

Any decent remote starting generator should have or at least have the ability to have fitted - a mains powered battery charger for the starting battery. And if unattended starting is important, consider getting a diesel generator instead of a petrol one. Problem with petrol is a little moisture on the spark plugs or ignition system, or the engine "flooding" is enough to prevent it from starting. Also diesel is easier to store for long periods, and large amounts of stored diesel are a much lower fire hazard than the same amount of stored petrol.

 

Another important thing to check before buying a generator - check that it actually puts out "real 230V". As there are lots of generators that were originally designed for the USA market, that output 110V - 0 - 110V These are then "converted" to NZ voltages simply by wiring each of the 110V outputs to the phase and neutral terminals of an NZ power socket. You can usually get away with using such a generator as long as you only directly plug things into it. But if you connect such a generator to a generator input socket of a building, or to a caravan that is wired up to the older wiring rules. 1 of the 110V windings will get shorted out by the N-E link in the switchboard. And even worse, some of these generators only have their power output switches and overload protection in just 1 of the 110V windings, instead of both. So you have the added risk that if the "wrong" winding gets overloaded or short circuited, there will be nothing to stop the short circuit.

 

Please don't buy 1 of these type generators.

 

[edited to add]

 

There are also some appliances out there which need the Phase and Neutral wired as per NZ standards for them to work properly. Mostly gas appliances that use electronic flame sensing, although I also have a UPS that would think that a major brownout is occurring if I tried using it with a 110-0-110 output generator. As that UPS measures the incoming voltage between the phase pin and earth pin.






Create new topic





Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Soul Machines joins forces with the World Health Organization
Posted 13-Jul-2020 18:00


Chorus completes the build and commissioning of two new core Ethernet switches
Posted 8-Jul-2020 09:48


National Institute for Health Innovation develops treatment app for gambling
Posted 6-Jul-2020 16:25


Nokia 2.3 to be available in New Zealand
Posted 6-Jul-2020 12:30


Menulog change colours as parent company merges with Dutch food delivery service
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:53


Techweek2020 goes digital to make it easier for Kiwis to connect and learn
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:48


Catalyst Cloud launches new Solutions Hub to support their kiwi Partners and Customers
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:44


Microsoft to help New Zealand job seekers acquire new digital skills needed for the COVID-19 economy
Posted 2-Jul-2020 07:41


Hewlett Packard Enterprise introduces new HPE GreenLake cloud services
Posted 24-Jun-2020 08:07


New cloud data protection services from Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Posted 24-Jun-2020 07:58


Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveils HPE Ezmeral, new software portfolio and brand
Posted 24-Jun-2020 07:10


Apple reveals new developer technologies to foster the next generation of apps
Posted 23-Jun-2020 15:30


Poly introduces solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms
Posted 23-Jun-2020 15:14


Lenovo launches new ThinkPad P Series mobile workstations
Posted 23-Jun-2020 09:17


Lenovo brings Linux certification to ThinkPad and ThinkStation Workstation portfolio
Posted 23-Jun-2020 08:56



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.