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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => AC Power and Grounding => Topic started by: David Allred on March 14, 2017, 12:08:33 pm

Title: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 14, 2017, 12:08:33 pm
How much, if any, would this double run and combiner scenario help?

Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 14, 2017, 12:16:25 pm
How much, if any, would this double run and combiner scenario help?

That's at least two code violations off the top of my head. #1) You can't parallel conductors that small. and #2) The Y-Cable doing the combine function will have an energized male plug if one of them pulled out while the other is connected. There's not an inspector on the planet that would allow this to fly. (At least I hope not).
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Erik Jerde on March 14, 2017, 12:16:34 pm
How much, if any, would this double run and combiner scenario help?

So you're proposing to use a death adapter?  Just use higher gauge cable and do it right.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on March 14, 2017, 12:21:25 pm
Hey bubba watch this.... :-)

JR
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Erik Jerde on March 14, 2017, 12:23:37 pm
I just ran the voltage drop calculation using the max rating of 16 awg copper (10A).  Over this distance you're looking at 14.05v drop or 11.71%.  If you use 12 awg then you'll drop 4.36%.  10 awg puts you under 3%.  If you're pulling more than 10A then with 16 awg you're doing it wrong to begin with.  Like I said above, get the right tool for the job.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on March 14, 2017, 12:28:25 pm
How much, if any, would this double run and combiner scenario help?

If by chance you plugged that into an outlet that was split into two circuits with one of those circuits on a different phase that could get interesting till the moment the circuit breakers trip or the cord burst into flames.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on March 14, 2017, 12:33:08 pm
That's at least two code violations off the top of my head. #1) You can't parallel conductors that small. and #2) The Y-Cable doing the combine function will have an energized male plug if one of them pulled out while the other is connected. There's not an inspector on the planet that would allow this to fly. (At least I hope not).

And if you happen to plug in to opposite poles or different phases, then the light show starts. (Well, the breaker should trip. But there will be a nice, healthy arc, burned contacts, and a damaged plug and receptacle.)

(EDIT: I was writing this as Mike Caldwell was writing his post. He beat me to the post.)

If I was told I could plug in to this setup, I would refuse. I might even mercilessly yank out the death adapter and cut it into tiny little pieces. Or I might just walk away and refuse to be a part of a show where safety is of no concern.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on March 14, 2017, 12:44:54 pm
How much, if any, would this double run and combiner scenario help?

If you only have 16AWG cable available, rather than trying to parallel and combine them, just split your equipment so half of it is connected to the first cord and the other half is connected to the second cord. Much, much safer.

If you're using a power sequencer, you'll have to manually sequence your equipment.

The scenario of having only 16AWG cable to run that distance is a symptom of poor planning. If, for example, this was a wedding and you DID advance the show with an onsite visit, and by the day of the event the coordinator decided to have the ceremony in a different location without informing you, and suddenly you need more extension cords and the only ones available are the orange cords they scrounged from the barn, that is THEIR problem, not YOURS.

"But the show must go on!" Not at the expense of safety. Either you move to a location closer to power, you reduce your load to meet the capacity of the cabling, or you delay the event until you can get proper power.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 14, 2017, 01:08:25 pm
That's at least two code violations off the top of my head. #1) You can't parallel conductors that small. and #2) The Y-Cable doing the combine function will have an energized male plug if one of them pulled out while the other is connected. There's not an inspector on the planet that would allow this to fly. (At least I hope not).

Please explain #1.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 14, 2017, 01:10:18 pm
If by chance you plugged that into an outlet that was split into two circuits with one of those circuits on a different phase that could get interesting till the moment the circuit breakers trip or the cord burst into flames.
That of course, would have been checked, but the image shows 120v only.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 14, 2017, 01:12:10 pm
Thank you Eric & Jonathan for adding safe alternate solutions.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on March 14, 2017, 01:18:53 pm
Please explain #1.
Running parallel conductors - wire with the same termination point on both ends- (or a parallel set of 3 conductors in your example) is not allowed other than in very high-current situations (several hundred amps), and is definitely not allowable with two extension cords.

10 demerits to you for using #16 extension cords; 5 more if they're orange.

The best you can do with your current equipment is to divide the load between your two cords, as mentioned, but even that's putting lipstick on a pig.  175' is too long of a run even with real #12 cords - you need a generator.

NEC reference for parallel conductors:  NEC 310.10(H)(1) Conductors in parallel, General "Aluminum, copper-clad aluminum, or copper conductors, for each phase, polarity, neutral, or grounded circuit shall be permitted to be connected in parallel (electrically joined at both ends) only in sizes 1/0AWG and larger where installed in accordance with 310.10(H)(2) through (H)(6)."
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 14, 2017, 02:30:11 pm
Running parallel conductors - wire with the same termination point on both ends- (or a parallel set of 3 conductors in your example) is not allowed other than in very high-current situations (several hundred amps), and is definitely not allowable with two extension cords.

10 demerits to you for using #16 extension cords; 5 more if they're orange.

The best you can do with your current equipment is to divide the load between your two cords, as mentioned, but even that's putting lipstick on a pig.  175' is too long of a run even with real #12 cords - you need a generator.

NEC reference for parallel conductors:  NEC 310.10(H)(1) Conductors in parallel, General "Aluminum, copper-clad aluminum, or copper conductors, for each phase, polarity, neutral, or grounded circuit shall be permitted to be connected in parallel (electrically joined at both ends) only in sizes 1/0AWG and larger where installed in accordance with 310.10(H)(2) through (H)(6)."

If this is being used as a "feeder" to anything that could be construed as as "switchboard" it also fails in 520 where minimum feeder sizing and parallel conductors are addressed.

David, just buy or build cords with larger conductors.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 14, 2017, 03:04:50 pm
Please explain #1.

OK everyone... Let's not beat up on someone who's trying to learn safety.

Code only allows parallel wiring when they're single conductors (not bundled extension cords) and with large diameter single conductor over 1/0 that would be too cumbersome if a single larger conductor was used. See here for a pretty good explanation of when it's allowed: http://www.ecmag.com/section/systems/conductors-connected-parallel

Remember the NEC is a century long document created by a lot of engineers who want to prevent loss of life and equipment. While you "might" be able to get away with your wiring scenario and have nothing bad happen, if someone less knowledgeable were to do something silly (like use different length extension cords or plug into different phases, etc...) it could become very dangerous and possibly cause a fire, damaged equipment or even loss of life. Plus you have to consider your own liability. If you were to do something like this and a fire or death occur, then you would be on the hook for potentially millions of dollars. I assume you don't have a business and insurance, so they would come for your house, properties, car, boat, etc... It's just not worth the risk to save a few bucks. As others have noted, a heavier extension cord will reduce the voltage drop considerably. And many times I'll run a long 10 gauge extension cord 100 feet just to reduce the voltage drop, even on a 15 ampere load.

So you're not going to find anyone here on this forum who will tell you this is OK to do. It's a code violation. It's dangerous if anything goes wrong. And the personal liability could cost you your home and business.

There's also one more thing to consider that I think about a lot. If I did some sub-standard trick and someone was injured or killed, I would have to live with that guilt for the rest of my life. That's why I insist that everything is done as safely as possible, and many times we go beyond the basic code requirement since it can't account for EVERY crazy thing we have to do. The National Electrical Code is a MINIMUM requirement, and it's up to the installer and inspector to judge if it's adequate as written or you need to be even tougher on yourself. I always try to error on the side of safety. 
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on March 14, 2017, 10:32:14 pm
Keep in mind, with regards to the "death adapter" comment.  You might say, "Duh, we'd always unplug both connectors for safety."  This may or may not be reasonable-but 175' away where the cords are plugged into the receptacle it might not be obvious that the 2 cords are "Y'd" together-so unsuspecting person unplugs one cord-seeing nothing bad happen, they plug in their personal electronic device to recharge it, leaving a hot prong laying there for an unsuspecting person to grab onto.

When dealing with safety, it is easy to defend against reasonable things you expect to happen.  Unfortunately, to be effective you have to defend against the things that no one would ever do because it defies reason to do so-but someone will eventually dream up some reason they should be the ones to defy common sense.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 15, 2017, 01:31:50 pm
If the offending unit is a PXL3102, will a UPS resolve momentary interruptions from voltage sag?
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 15, 2017, 01:47:53 pm
If the offending unit is a PXL3102, will a UPS resolve momentary interruptions from voltage sag?

Until it dies, it's possible.  The 3102 draws 9.5 amps at 1/8 power.  If this happens even 15 seconds out of each minute you'll run out of battery sooner or later.  Think about this:  if the circuit can't run the amp, how will it recharge the battery as you're running at a net loss?

Seriously, David.  FATTER WIRE.  I learned the hard way back when I was 'the guy with a van load of PA' and I've tried to not repeat those mistakes; it is not necessary for you to repeat MY mistakes, either. ;)  Oh, and for what you'd spend on a UPS that could actually do what you propose, you could buy a whole lot of larger gauge cable.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 15, 2017, 02:37:19 pm
Until it dies, it's possible.  The 3102 draws 9.5 amps at 1/8 power.  If this happens even 15 seconds out of each minute you'll run out of battery sooner or later.  Think about this:  if the circuit can't run the amp, how will it recharge the battery as you're running at a net loss?

Seriously, David.  FATTER WIRE.  I learned the hard way back when I was 'the guy with a van load of PA' and I've tried to not repeat those mistakes; it is not necessary for you to repeat MY mistakes, either. ;)  Oh, and for what you'd spend on a UPS that could actually do what you propose, you could buy a whole lot of larger gauge cable.
It is a simple repeat gig.  Middle school graduation at a football field.  1 mic and music during their walk up the track and into the stands.  I had one reboot of the amp during music only when I pushed a bit.  If I can get through the first 5 mins, the rest is cake.  The school is running cords.  They are heavier than 16 awg (that I listed).  I can have them (or do myself) run a 2nd line from the end zone scoreboard.  I am also going to see if anyone has a small Honda genny, or one that maybe a parent can loan to the school.  If I can get the amp on a separate run (or genny) I shouldn't have any problems.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 15, 2017, 03:10:14 pm
It is a simple repeat gig.  Middle school graduation at a football field.  1 mic and music during their walk up the track and into the stands.  I had one reboot of the amp during music only when I pushed a bit.  If I can get through the first 5 mins, the rest is cake.  The school is running cords.  They are heavier than 16 awg (that I listed).  I can have them (or do myself) run a 2nd line from the end zone scoreboard.  I am also going to see if anyone has a small Honda genny, or one that maybe a parent can loan to the school.  If I can get the amp on a separate run (or genny) I shouldn't have any problems.

I have a few of the little Honda Inverter generators, and they're perfect for this sort of gig. You can run several amplifiers from an EU2000i, and we've even run small outside stages from an EU3000i.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on March 15, 2017, 11:31:01 pm
It is a simple repeat gig. 

It's simple with the right equipment-and proper power is just as important as the right amps or speakers.  If you rely on others to help out you will almost always have to work harder.  As a contractor, people always want to save money by providing materials or helping-but they simply don't understand what it takes to do it right.

Perhaps you could talk the school into buying a cord(or a genny)-but where will it be next year?  OTOH, if you buy a heavy cord (or genny) then you are THE provider with the right gear to do this simple gig.  You know what you are doing and it  is an easy call for the administrator to call David and check that box for the graduation.  Make it easy for them to hire you and make it easy for yourself to do the job and in the long run you'll come out ahead.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 16, 2017, 01:02:37 am
Perhaps you could talk the school into buying a cord(or a genny)-but where will it be next year?  OTOH, if you buy a heavy cord (or genny) then you are THE provider with the right gear to do this simple gig.  You know what you are doing and it  is an easy call for the administrator to call David and check that box for the graduation.  Make it easy for them to hire you and make it easy for yourself to do the job and in the long run you'll come out ahead.

You'll also find that once you have the proper gear for THIS particular gig, your ability to do other gigs will increase. For instance, if you purchase an inverter generator or power distro system (fatter cable ;D), that will enable you to do other outside gig that need remote power. For many small sound companies that's a lot of their profitable work for the summer. In my own case we've been building up power distribution systems which allows us to do even more festival gigs this summer than before, as well as cross-rent to other sound companies in the area. So we have a 3-phase, 400-amp distro with cam-locks and 30-amp stage stringers, a 100-amp 120/240-volt distro with 20-amp quad drops, a 30-amp/120-volt distro system that works with our EU3000i genny, a pair of EU2000i generators for some of our picnic gigs that need a few mics with canned music, and a Honda 1000 watt genny that's great for field weddings or the car dealership tent gigs that are out in the middle of a parking lot where we would need 100 feet of cable ramps just to reach the nearest power outlet. We started small, then kept adding more power distro systems as our summer customer base has grown. Perhaps next year we'll add a trailer mounted genny with 25 to 40 kW. In the meantime we'll rent in the big generators when we need them until we're doing enough gigs of that size that it makes sense. If you build it they will come.. And until you build or purchase your own gear, you can alway rent a genny from an RV dealership or rental house in your area.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 16, 2017, 08:01:30 am
I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 16, 2017, 08:23:58 am
I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson

The Honda inverter generators are really quiet, but I also bring along a Clearsonic drum absorber and set it in front of the genny facing the stage and audience. Plus I have a 50-ft 10-gauge extension cable which I run from the twist lock receptacle on my EU3000i to the stage distro. This moves the genny back 50 feet from the stage. Of course, a direct connection to the power grid is silent, but sometimes you don't have that option. 
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on March 16, 2017, 08:50:22 am
I know that the Hondas are quiet, but how quiet?  If I run a 50 ft cord to the genny, it will be 70 ft from the audience, with the audience facing the genny dead ahead on the middle of the football field.  If I move it off axis (direction of sight) and to the side, it will be within 30 ft of the nearest seat.  The setting in super quiet, the only road is 250 yards away, and a heavy tree line and school buildings in between.
Genny sound > Jimmy Johnson > genny sound > Tammy Thompson > genny sound > Willie Williamson
Not all Hondas are created equal.  You want a EU series model - they sound like someone a block away is mowing their lawn.  Mike gets all fancy with a drum shield to direct the sound away.  A piece of plywood works equally well, if you can put the generator somewhere a piece of plywood isn't a visual abomination.  I've done a number of weddings in secluded locations with no other human made noise and it's not a problem.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 16, 2017, 09:00:04 am
You can take the EU info to the bank.  Quiet enough without a shield, more so with.  There are quieter  alternatives, but they're either much more expensive (battery bank/inverter) or visually obtrusive involving a vehicle or vehicle-sized component.

The first time I used my EU2000 set behind an 18 inch high wall i was asked when I was going to start it up.  It was already running...
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on March 16, 2017, 01:53:38 pm
It is a simple repeat gig.  Middle school graduation at a football field.  1 mic and music during their walk up the track and into the stands.  I had one reboot of the amp during music only when I pushed a bit.  If I can get through the first 5 mins, the rest is cake.  The school is running cords.  They are heavier than 16 awg (that I listed).  I can have them (or do myself) run a 2nd line from the end zone scoreboard.  I am also going to see if anyone has a small Honda genny, or one that maybe a parent can loan to the school.  If I can get the amp on a separate run (or genny) I shouldn't have any problems.

You're lucky you were invited back. You need to make doubly sure that you won't have this problem the next time, and explain to the school exactly WHY the problem occurred and how you plan to prevent it. It really doesn't matter WHEN during the gig your peak load is, you need to be prepared for the peak load ANY time during the gig.

The right equipment is the right equipment every time. Being a "small" gig is no excuse for having inadequate equipment or power.

I have learned to NEVER trust someone else's power cords. I always bring my own. Most people abuse their cords horribly. Don't be surprised if the supplied cord is missing a ground pin, is missing the jacket, has gobs of tape around it, or is horribly twisted -- all indications of possibly damaged conductors. Don't be surprised if the female end doesn't grip the male end of your cord/distro securely. Besides, their cords will probably be some hideous color like orange, yellow, or fluorescent green accented with dirt. The visual obtrusion will be more distracting than the sound of a Honda EU genny humming away in the background. (At least the sound of the genny won't show up in photographs.) A spool of black SOOW of appropriate gauge and industrial-duty connectors will be your friend.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 16, 2017, 03:07:47 pm
You're lucky you were invited back. You need to make doubly sure that you won't have this problem the next time, and explain to the school exactly WHY the problem occurred and how you plan to prevent it. It really doesn't matter WHEN during the gig your peak load is, you need to be prepared for the peak load ANY time during the gig.

The right equipment is the right equipment every time. Being a "small" gig is no excuse for having inadequate equipment or power.


They provided power, and are again this year.  They knew up front that power was a potential issue.  They were not concerned.  In discussing the problem and offering solutions, I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.  They begged me back immediately at the conclusion.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 16, 2017, 04:43:37 pm
They provided power, and are again this year.  They knew up front that power was a potential issue.  They were not concerned.  In discussing the problem and offering solutions, I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.  They begged me back immediately at the conclusion.

No, no and no.

If they're providing power for your use you should spec a real generator provided by a professional power outfit and certified by a licensed master electrician.  Never mind the event:  the issues are safety and liability.  I won't bother to make a detailed list of the faults and potential pitfalls but cut straight to the chase.

Do not work in situations like this.  If they can't pony up enough money to pay you to do it right (bring your own power), then just walk away.  Losing a "job" like this is no loss at all.  That's the plain, unvarnished truth.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 16, 2017, 06:57:20 pm
If I were doing this gig, I would find someone to rent me a Honda EU2000i to verify it can run your sound system and that it was quiet enough. Then you can have it as a value adder for any outside gig. I regularly charge an extra $100 to $200 per gig to "bring the genny", depending on the size. Since you can buy an EU2000i for under $1,000 https://www.amazon.com/Honda-EU2000I-2000-Inverter-Generator/dp/B005ND19AE then once you rent it out 10 times you own it and it's a money maker for you.

Note that the subject of the correct power for a gig is so important that this particular forum was created. I didn't ask for it... PSW asked me to start and moderate it since power is needed for EVERY gig. Don't believe it? Shut off the power sometime and try to do a show. 
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on March 17, 2017, 01:54:49 am
I just asked and the principal just bought a predator invertor recently.

For those following along: reading between the lines, I believe this "predator invertor" is a generator sold by Harbor Freight Tools.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 17, 2017, 07:03:44 am
For those following along: reading between the lines, I believe this "predator invertor" is a generator sold by Harbor Freight Tools.

Ding Ding Ding.  I figured that everyone here would know that it is a clone of the Honda EU2000. 
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 17, 2017, 07:21:23 am
For those following along: reading between the lines, I believe this "predator invertor" is a generator sold by Harbor Freight Tools.

Here it is.... Looks like a Honda clone at half the price. While this might work for your gig, I've tested a similar clone that one of the guys in my shop bought for his RV. It worked, but was way louder than my EU2000i and didn't do nearly as well on peak loads. That is, the clone would reset itself on a shout through the PA system, which would cause the speakers to mute for a second. But the Honda never muted with the same amplifiers. So those are "optimistic" watts... If you want to invest in something to do outside gigs, just get a Honda Inverter. You'll be able to cross rent the Honda as well.

Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 17, 2017, 09:45:31 am
Here it is.... Looks like a Honda clone at half the price. While this might work for your gig, I've tested a similar clone that one of the guys in my shop bought for his RV. It worked, but was way louder than my EU2000i and didn't do nearly as well on peak loads. That is, the clone would reset itself on a shout through the PA system, which would cause the speakers to mute for a second. But the Honda never muted with the same amplifiers. So those are "optimistic" watts... If you want to invest in something to do outside gigs, just get a Honda Inverter. You'll be able to cross rent the Honda as well.

The comparison spec that he sent me showed the Predator being 2db louder 61 vs 59.  The Predator rates itself as 15-ish amps continuous, I only need 11A at peek draw. 
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 17, 2017, 10:08:24 am
The comparison spec that he sent me showed the Predator being 2db louder 61 vs 59.  The Predator rates itself as 15-ish amps continuous, I only need 11A at peek draw.

It could very well work for your application. So if they're providing one see if you can do an experiment with it before the actual gig. I hate first-time experiments in front of the client and the crowd.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on March 17, 2017, 01:05:54 pm
I have been looking hard at getting on of these for myself-mainly because I am set up as a servicing dealer and the specs look pretty good.  These are made by Briggs & Stratton.

 https://s3.amazonaws.com/cesco-content/unilog/Batch10/784572/64826-AttachmentURL.pdf
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on March 17, 2017, 01:26:13 pm
Here it is.... Looks like a Honda clone at half the price. While this might work for your gig, I've tested a similar clone that one of the guys in my shop bought for his RV. It worked, but was way louder than my EU2000i and didn't do nearly as well on peak loads. That is, the clone would reset itself on a shout through the PA system, which would cause the speakers to mute for a second. But the Honda never muted with the same amplifiers. So those are "optimistic" watts... If you want to invest in something to do outside gigs, just get a Honda Inverter. You'll be able to cross rent the Honda as well.

FWIW, I've seen other off brands of this particular generator sold on Amazon and other places. (The plastic and configuration is identical; only the color and the name on the side differs.) Of course, these aren't MADE by Harbor Freight, they're made by a foreign manufacturer (probably Asian).

Several years ago, Cummins tried to get into the weekend-warrior generator market with a ~6000W peak generator. They negotiated a manufacturing agreement with an Asian manufacturer, and labeled them with the Onan name. (This is not the same as the Onan generators placed in RVs.) I don't remember what the US retail price was. They proved to be so unreliable that they ended up taking the remaining inventory off the market and selling them to employees for cost because they feared paying out more in warranty claims than what they gained in profits. Their cost from the Asian manufacturer was somewhere around $50. (I have an acquaintance I consider authoritative who told me this.)

I wouldn't be surprised if the Predator generator is a similar "value." It has only a 90 day warranty.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 17, 2017, 02:09:13 pm
I wouldn't be surprised if the Predator generator is a similar "value." It has only a 90 day warranty.

My dad has a Honda EX1000 generator (non-inverter) which he's used for maybe 30 years with his camper to recharge the batteries. In all that time I've only had the clean the carburetor out ONE TIME. Every fall we run the gas out of it and change the oil. In the spring we would put gas back in it, and it would start on the second or third pull with a little choke. We change the air filter every few years since he maybe puts a few dozen hours on it per camping season. I've now inherited it, but it's a Honda and will probably last another 30 years with regular maintenance.   
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 17, 2017, 02:23:29 pm
The comparison spec that he sent me showed the Predator being 2db louder 61 vs 59.  The Predator rates itself as 15-ish amps continuous, I only need 11A at peek draw.

Specs, schmecs.  Don't be a schmuck.  These things are lower quality knock-offs.

IME, the cheaper copies post an SPL close enough to suggest near parity with the Honda, but further investigation rells you they were taking their measurements at a greater distance.

Likewise, the 15 amps continuous is debatable, albeit more likely than the claimed SPL.

Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on March 17, 2017, 05:03:41 pm
Keep in mind, with regards to the "death adapter" comment.  You might say, "Duh, we'd always unplug both connectors for safety."  This may or may not be reasonable-but 175' away where the cords are plugged into the receptacle it might not be obvious that the 2 cords are "Y'd" together-so unsuspecting person unplugs one cord-seeing nothing bad happen, they plug in their personal electronic device to recharge it, leaving a hot prong laying there for an unsuspecting person to grab onto.

When dealing with safety, it is easy to defend against reasonable things you expect to happen.  Unfortunately, to be effective you have to defend against the things that no one would ever do because it defies reason to do so-but someone will eventually dream up some reason they should be the ones to defy common sense.

This is why I say there is no such thing as 'Idiot-proof' only 'Idiot resistant'!
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on March 17, 2017, 09:25:44 pm
The comparison spec that he sent me showed the Predator being 2db louder 61 vs 59.
Is there a "standard" for noise levels for generators?

Such as -at what distance?

Under what load?

What weighting?

All of these can make a HUGE difference in the "simple numbers".

Just like loudspeakers.  If you want "loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw------

If you want "watts"-then plug in a toaster
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on March 17, 2017, 11:17:54 pm
I threw out the Milbank option as just that another option.  I spent a couple days at Milbank's facility in Kansas City and was impressed at their desire to offer a solid value solution.  They didn't really want to be the cheapest solution-rather be the the best value.  Their transfer switches are using PC boards made in the USA.  They are better know in the electrical industry-metering and service equipment are their mainstay, generators/transfer switches an obvious extension.  I have to admit I was surprised to see a rack of Mackie amps apparently being used to power heaters in the "hot room" of their UL certified testing lab.

I'm not selling them (unless you live within 30 miles of my zip!)-just wanted to give a nod to a US manufacturer that appears to be trying to do the right thing by its customers.

Someone has to keep Honda on their toes :)!
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: David Allred on March 20, 2017, 03:48:46 pm
QSC has 3 amp draw ratings for the PLX series.  240v, 120v, & 100v.  Does that mean that the same amp can be wired for any of the 3 voltages?. If so, does that mean that if wired for 120v that is will operate down to 100v?  Is there some country that has 100v as their normal (nominal) voltage?

Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Mike Sokol on March 20, 2017, 04:13:39 pm
QSC has 3 amp draw ratings for the PLX series.  240v, 120v, & 100v.  Does that mean that the same amp can be wired for any of the 3 voltages?. If so, does that mean that if wired for 120v that is will operate down to 100v?  Is there some country that has 100v as their normal (nominal) voltage?

I just talked to QSC about their PLX series, and their applications guy Chris confirmed that its input voltage is internally auto-switching, so it should work with anything from 100 to 240 volts automatically. However, be aware that as the supplied power voltage goes down, the current draw will go up proportionately (There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TNSTAAFL) which will create even more of a voltage sag. A race to the bottom, as it were...  As long as you don't have anything else voltage dependent on the line (guitar amps, keyboards, desktop computers, etc...) it shouldn't hurt anything, except for your reputation when the system mutes.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Jean-Pierre Coetzee on March 20, 2017, 05:39:06 pm
If you want "loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw------

If you want "watts"-then plug in a toaster

I've now stolen this for my sig, thanks Ivan.

As far as I know it is better to get a VA rating for your generator than trusting the pure A output since one shows power(which is more important to us that current) and the other purely shows current at the set voltage.

Also something to consider is that the PLX likely has a switch mode power supply with no conditioning so it is drawing more power at the genny then it is using due to harmonics generated by the power supply, although this is probably negligible it is important to consider if you are operating at close to max power. Maybe just limit that amps a bit harder preventing them from drawing as much power should you believe you are close to running out of juice.
Title: Re: Voltage sag solution?
Post by: Lee Buckalew on March 21, 2017, 12:46:08 am
Is there some country that has 100v as their normal (nominal) voltage?

Japan.

Lee