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Author Topic: Generator question  (Read 30300 times)

John Roll

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Generator question
« on: September 15, 2015, 11:54:57 AM »

When im in a club, i can run my rig,lighting backline and foh all on 1 20 amp circuit. I did an outdoor show which used a generator to provide power. I was leary but willing to do the best I could. When power up my furman voltage regulator at foh measured 115. So far, so good. As soon as the first note dropped the meter on the regulator dropped as low as it could go. I went into damage control mode and proceeded to tailoring the bass to eliminate the loading. Eventually, I got things stabilized and the show was a success. My questions to the forum are; could the generator have been undersized? I dont remember what it was rated at,but I remember thinking that it would be ok. Could I have used heavier gauge cable from the generator to the stage. I used 14/3. It was a 25' run. Should the genny have had a regulator in line or built in? This was first show using power from a generator. I wAs lucky this time, but I want to be.prepared for the future so I know exactly what to ask for. Thanks.









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John Roll
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 11:57:22 AM »

What generator was it?
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John Roll

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 12:02:29 PM »

What generator was it?

I wasn't paying attention. It was "industrial" size. It came on it's own trailer. It came from Taylor rental here in Vestal NY
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John Roll
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 12:04:03 PM »

When im in a club, i can run my rig,lighting backline and foh all on 1 20 amp circuit. I did an outdoor show which used a generator to provide power. I was leary but willing to do the best I could. When power up my furman voltage regulator at foh measured 115. So far, so good. As soon as the first note dropped the meter on the regulator dropped as low as it could go. I went into damage control mode and proceeded to tailoring the bass to eliminate the loading. Eventually, I got things stabilized and the show was a success. My questions to the forum are; could the generator have been undersized? I dont remember what it was rated at,but I remember thinking that it would be ok. Could I have used heavier gauge cable from the generator to the stage. I used 14/3. It was a 25' run. Should the genny have had a regulator in line or built in? This was first show using power from a generator. I wAs lucky this time, but I want to be.prepared for the future so I know exactly what to ask for. Thanks.
Your generator was too small, and probably the wrong type - i.e. construction-grade rather than an inverter generator such as the Honda EU series.  A sudden power draw causes the generator to lug, dropping the voltage and affecting frequency stability. 

To use a generator, you need to know your draw.  A Honda EU3000 would supply a 20A circuit.  I prefer the EU6500 which gives a bit of headroom.  They may be more expensive to rent or buy, but they are worth it.


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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 12:07:45 PM »

I wasn't paying attention. It was "industrial" size. It came on it's own trailer. It came from Taylor rental here in Vestal NY
That's not a lot to go on.  There are trailer mounted air compressors or light towers that may still be a small generator in a large package.  If the only cord in question was 25' long, the issue is still the generator's limited capacity or poor regulation.
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John Roll

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 12:12:45 PM »

That's not a lot to go on.  There are trailer mounted air compressors or light towers that may still be a small generator in a large package.  If the only cord in question was 25' long, the issue is still the generator's limited capacity or poor regulation.

I've got a small club rig with 2-JBL PRX 635s over 2/4 QSC HPR 181s along with 4 JBL PRX 612s plus 12 LED PAr64 along with FOH. How do you recommend to calculate the needs of that system?
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John Roll
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Kemper Watson

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 12:56:45 PM »

I've got a small club rig with 2-JBL PRX 635s over 2/4 QSC HPR 181s along with 4 JBL PRX 612s plus 12 LED PAr64 along with FOH. How do you recommend to calculate the needs of that system?

Did they provide a spider box? For an outdoor show I'd ask for an Multi-Quip 45 or better. Get them to provide the spider box with 8- 20 amp breakers. And get rid of the 14 gauge extension cords .
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 01:05:34 PM »

The outdoor show we just did always provides 2x Honda EU3000's and 2x 10 AWG cables at my request. They work like a charm. I use one for PA only and the other for everything else. Never a stutter,  or a drop and 125 v steady from 12.00pm through to 10.45pm. I can even manage to move them on my own ( not far mind but it just goes to show how small they are)
I would love to own a couple.
The bigger beastly looking generators might look like they are more capable but not necessarily so.
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A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Art Hays

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2015, 01:28:39 PM »

Your generator was too small, and probably the wrong type - i.e. construction-grade rather than an inverter generator such as the Honda EU series.  A sudden power draw causes the generator to lug, dropping the voltage and affecting frequency stability. 

As mentioned above inverter generators are clever- they generate the sine wave output via semiconductors.  The output is somewhat independent of the RPM of the engine (which is why they can be quieter at low load).  Non-inverter generators have to try keep RPM constant over all loads to maintain 60Hz.

I second the post above and would think an inverter generator would have superior output regulation.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 05:00:13 PM by Art Hays »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Generator question
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2015, 01:30:01 PM »

Did they provide a spider box? For an outdoor show I'd ask for an Multi-Quip 45 or better. Get them to provide the spider box with 8- 20 amp breakers. And get rid of the 14 gauge extension cords .
This is totally out of the league of the OP's system, and likely represents the difference between getting the gig or the entire event being cancelled.

In my part of the country, an EU6500 rents for $135/day, which provides 30A 240V, with 2 20A 120V circuits on the front panel.  It is also under the 10KW limit where a permit and an inspection are required.  The generator you mention would be closer to $800-$1000 with delivery, permitting, inspection, and monkey business.

I run significantly more gear than the OP, and have had no issues on the EU6500. 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 01:33:51 PM by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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Re: Generator question
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2015, 01:30:01 PM »


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