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#48398 - 09/12/05 01:23 AM Re: Katrina AAR
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
Thanks for the info. I will look into it.

The generator I got was 100% Generac. It came straight from the factory in Wisconsin to my home in Kentucky. As a matter of fact I ordered it one day and the next morning it was in my driveway. The driver said I just got lucky as the generator made all the right connections.

One more thing. You keep referring to "B&G". Do you mean B&S or do you know something I don't? <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
"The more I carry, the less I need."

#48400 - 09/12/05 02:56 AM Re: Katrina AAR

You didn't really respond to my post. Are the bigger Tecumseh engines good for generators or not?

I've had a 16 horse that sat out in the weather on a spray rig for over 10 years. They don't exactly start on the first pull, but on a 16, the first pull is a little tough. But it always runs.

#48401 - 09/12/05 03:17 AM Re: Katrina AAR
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
OK. Now I understand B&G.

On the subject of wiring for a standby generator when the house is being built always brings to mind an idea that I have had for some time. If I had had it in 1976 when I built my house, I would have done it. My idea is to wire a new house with low voltage wiring (12V) and install an appropriate number of decent looking light fixtures throughout. In addition of course to your regular wiring. What I am saying is essentially to wire the house the same as a modern travel trailer is wired with a couple of deep cycle batteries and a 12V charger, about 50 amps I would say. Older trailers had what they called a power converter. When 110V was disconnected, a relay closed and the batteries kicked in to supply 12V lighting, radio, etc. Restore the 110V and the converter switched off the batteries and supplied 12V converted from 110V. The converter did have a trickle charge going to the batterys when on 110V. What it boils down to is if the power fails in your house, the 12V kicks in and you have lights and whatever else you have that runs on 12V. Like small fans, etc. There are a number of TV's that operate on 12V also. Add a propane cook stove and you pretty well have all you need to be reasonably comfortable. The system doesn't replace a standby generator but it gives you reasonable comfort during a power failure without the generator. You would need a generator of course to keep the batteries charged if the power failure lasted for an extended period, that is, several days. The size of the generator would depend on whether you wanted to power your air conditioner and microwave. If you want hot water, get a propane water heater when you build the house. (Please don't call it a "hot water heater". There is no such thing. It is a COLD water heater.) Remember, you can get a good sized RV refrigerator and mount it in your house. It runs off 110V or propane. Even on propane though, it still requires 12V though for the circuit board. Just an idea but with some thought and planning, especially when building a new house, it doesn't seem all that expensive to consider.

Anybody else want to weigh in make suggestions on this idea? Maybe this is the subject for a new post as this one has gotten completely off subject. In rereading the post, I don't think I made everything quite clear. It is clear in my mind but that doesn't help the reader does it? As I have said before, I just CANNOT be brief as hard as I try. Just one of my flaws I guess. <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
"The more I carry, the less I need."

#48402 - 09/12/05 03:34 AM Re: Katrina AAR
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
Randjack, let me butt in here. I have a large Tecumseh I got at a steal. It has a side pulley which "could" run certain generators but the rig would be belt driven. Most generators that I have seen are shaft driven. I don't think the Tecumseh would develop the RPM's to power a generator. Most generators I have seen have to run about 3650 RPMs to provide voltage in the 110-120 volt range. The voltage is in direct proportion to the RPMs of the motor. There is also the matter of adjusting it to run on 60 cycles but I am not going to wade into that. Short answer, in my opinion, unless your engine is shaft driven and you can get it up to about 3650 RPMS, it won't work as a generator motor. And then there is the matter of shaft diameter, is it tapered or straight. It will have to be compatible with the shaft hole in the generator you intend to power. And if you overcome all this, consider that the generator is going to have to be supported and aligned with the motor so you will have to make your own brackets or rubber supports or whatever to make the generator line up with the motor. Sounds like a nightmare to me. Just my opinion though. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
"The more I carry, the less I need."

#48404 - 09/12/05 11:48 AM Re: Katrina AAR
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2822
Been looking at doing the same thing myself. 12v automotive wire is inexpensive in bulk from someplace such as waytek wire, I've been meaning to drop a pair or two down through the wall in each room. I intend of taking the transformer and rectifier from an alarm clock and powering it straight from 12v as well as things such as my cell phone charger, just replace the wall wart with a regulator for whatever voltage the charger requires and eventually placing a solar cell on the house roof to charge the 12v battery. There are plenty of LED automotive replacement lamps as well. I bought some but founf them too dim and blue for dahs lights so I'm going to make some small lamps form them.

#48405 - 09/12/05 11:54 AM Re: Katrina AAR
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2822
Don't bother trying to generate 120v from it. Pick up a GM alternator from a local parts store or junk yead and use the Engine and alternator combo to charge your low voltage battery for your backup system.
Its pretty easy to drop new wires though the walls, espically low voltage 12v wires, crawl in the attic and find the top of a wall, drill a hole and poke a stiff wire in then cut a hole near the bottom for a box and usually you can reach in the hole and grab the wire you have fed in. I use an old 8' cb antenna since it will bend enough to go through the hole but spring back straight inside the wall. You do the same thing to run phone or network wires.

#48406 - 09/12/05 12:46 PM Re: Katrina AAR
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
It's been done. Some folks kind of went the other route, doing primary wiring for 12v with some supplemental mains wiring for appliances that were hard/impossible to get in 12v. See old issues of Mother Earth News and similar alternative lifestyle publications.

There are some things to consider, the first of which is proper sizing of conductors - at 12v DC (more like 14.5 or so from lead-acid batteries), the amperage needed for a given amount of power (or light) is huge compared to 120v AC. Amperage, more than anything, drives conductor size. Look at the gauge of your starter motor cable. But while a 12 ga wire might safely carry a 20 amp AC circuit in your house, it may be undersized for a 20 amp 12v DC load because: In addition to the ampacity considerations, factor in voltage drop - long runs of 12v DC have to be up-sized to prevent voltage drop. And that 20 amp 12v DC load is only 240 watts.

12v will start a fire just as readily as any other voltage, so if you run wires for 12v power, I suggest that you put properly-sized over-current protection at the source - automotive fuses would be the simplest and cheapest way to do this.

Secondary batteries, particularly lead-acid, require maintenance and eventually need to be replaced. A whole topic on its own, but it can be a significant cost and PITA, which is why the current trend in PV and Wind home power is to use the grid as your "battery" instead of how Izzy's friend does it with a battery bank. Grid banking does us no good in an outage, of course.

In a bank that is wired in series to give higher voltages, one bad cell (or battery) cripples or takes out your whole system, depending on the exact failure. In systems wired in parallel for more ampacity, a bad cell or battery drains the good ones - one reason dual battery vehicles (like my trucks with Warn winches) use a battery isolator to keep the two (or three) batteries invisible to each other - I suspect that RVs with an on-board deep-cycle battery have a battery isolator wired in, regardless of whether or not one can readily see it.

There's the whole topic of venting gas, acid fumes, etc etc - best to not just stick some LA batteries in a closet or garage somewhere. These and other considerations are why almost no battery-backed emergency lighting is powered from a central battery bank - the batteries (and individual chargers) are located right at the fixture.

I don't think it is a bad idea, mind you. Just cautioning that there are few things to research before jumping in and doing it.



Edited by AyersTG (09/12/05 03:23 PM)

#48407 - 09/12/05 03:56 PM Re: Katrina AAR

I do something similar.
I have all my gear in one location, mostly packed in small boxes and bags. I use mostly Pelican Micro cases and some boxes from Ultimate Survival. (which I think are made by Otterbox but I have only just found where I can get the Otterboxes here in Australia)
Ive label the contents on all of them using a little brother labeling machine.
I have 4 different size backpacks. I keep my medium large sized pack stocked but open so can quickly zip it and run, but I keep spares and extra stuff organised arround it.
Depending on what I am doing day to day, I move gear backwards and forwards between the 4 packs.
I have forced myself to always leave 1 pack ready to go, for emergencies, and if I take thing out of the boxes for an activity I always put it back in its place before going to bed.
I can walk up and say I need this box, this box, etc and know I have everything I need and I have a couple of boxes spare so I can chop and change as I need.
Its hard to explain exactly what I mean, but It works for me.
One way it does work well is with Batteries. I have 3 different size boxes setup for different situations.
Day to day I use mostly rechargable batteries but the lithiums are there for backup. So I grab the lithium box for the bottom of the bag, then 1 of the other boxes with different amount and sizes ready to go.
Most of my spares and extras are organised into different size fishing tackle type boxes, but the grab and go stuff works better for me in the micro case type boxes.
I figure in an evac type situation, the 4wd backs up the the window next to where its all located and everything gets thrown in the back, (theres a box of clothes ready too) then the rest of my gear in the shed goes in next then lastminute grabs from about the house. I figure about 15+ minutes and Im on the road if pushed.

#48408 - 09/12/05 04:24 PM Re: Katrina AAR
Nomad Offline

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 463
Loc: Just wandering around.
RE 12vdc wiring of building
I suggest you subscribe (or read onlne) home power magazine. The subject is very complex and requires a lot of planning and $$$$$. Most places use 48vdc battery banks with a large inverter to 120. Line losses are the big killer. do some research on the wire sizes needed and then cost them out. Big bucks.

...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

#48409 - 09/12/05 04:57 PM Re: Katrina AAR
JimJr Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 133
Loc: Central Mississippi
The agency I have been working with was with out power for 5 days. We were using a surplus military 8 KW diesel generator. At 25% load, it ran 18 hours on 10 gallons of fuel. Because of who we are and more importantly, who we knew, we were able to obtain Jet A to keep the generator fueled. Note: Do Not go down to your local airport and ask to buy Jet fuel or aviation gasoliine. They can't sell it to you (it's primarily a tax thing).


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