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professor95

Mechanicsville, VA

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Posted: 09/23/10 08:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PrivatePilot wrote:

Wowzers. Never had that issue with mine and I have the stock converter in our Cougar. I would have figured given the pitifully low amp output of most converters (is the WFCO model in question high amp output?) that it would be unlikely to overload a genny.

Is it just the initial surge when the trailer is plugged into the generator that is causing the trip..and once the converter is powered up and the charge cycle is started it can be safely reduced to econo mode again?


Over on the 3,000 Watt Chinese Generator Info thread Toprudder ran his WFCO converter/charger through a test on a Power Analyzer. The results showed current peaks of 25 Amps+ on the 120 volt AC input side. The results are here.(you may need to scroll a little to find it.)

Other converter/chargers "may" show different characteristics. My limited testing suggests that the PD converter/chargers do not draw nearly as much current (but they cost more therefore many campers come standard with the WFCO). It seems to go against the conventional wisdom that if you are charging at 45 amps your 120 VAC current draw will be 4.5 to 5 amps. But, this is a switching converter, not a brute force transformer, so conventional wisdom does not always apply.

So, in summary, yea.... the WFCO is hard on generators - especially 2,000 watt class inverters.


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johnjces

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Posted: 09/25/10 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Initial and Real World Review of Two (2) CPE 73531i gensets and 73500i parallel kit.

MODS. Please feel free to move this to a different or separate thread.

I am new to this forum, but have been a pretty avid RVer since our first travel trailer back in 1993. Currently I own a 2011 Skyline Aljo 2640B with a 15K BTU AC, (not the standard 13.5). I live at 6500 feet in elevation and thought I would write up a quick review of my purchase of two (2) CPE 2000 watt inverter generators today. Since we want to do more dry "camping" at the lower elevation AZ lakes, I needed a light weight generator that in my mid 50's and later life, I can fairly easily lug around. Anyway... This forum helped me to decide as well as other research on the Champion products. I am not affiliated with CPE in anyway and am a retired COP, not that it matters, but my initial review and impressions are most favorable.

I have been penny wise and pound foolish too many times in my life and more often than not I get what I paid for. So I lamented over a couple of Honda EU2000i gensets and having a neighbor with one, have some hands-on with the Honda inverter generator. I initially tried out one Honeywell 2000i but it was hard to start, noisy, heavy at almost 65 pounds and no parallel kit. It went back to Costco and so my lamenting over spending a couple of grand for a pair of Honda's continued.

I then stumbled upon some info on the CPE product. Looked at a couple of youtube videos and read all I could for this newly released low cost (HALF the cost of a Honda) and finally figured oh... what the heck. I ordered the parallel kit from CPE on Wednesday after finding out where in AZ I could get my hands on a couple of these generators. Received the parallel kit yesterday (Friday) and today, (Saturday) headed to Sam's Club in Flagstaff, AZ and picked up two of them and brought them home after ensuring I could bring them back if they didn't work out for me.

After adding the requisite oil and fuel, the first one started after two pulls and the second started on the first pull. Go figure! A far cry from the Honeywell unit I returned earlier in the week!

I have a Kill A Watt which on house AC shows a value of 121 - 122 volts (other meters I own show 119-120 volts), and 59.9 Hz. Each generator, after warming up a bit in either Econ mode on or off, showed 122 VAC and 59.9 Hz. I then Plugged in a resistive load of 1850 watts (a high power hair dryer)in one and then the other. VAC dipped a bit but recovered well on each. Time for the real check... my AC unit and Microwave!

Paralleled the two with the proper kit, (by the way, AC in parallel just as a Honda and the signal cable is a cross over four pin cable, pin 1 to 3 and pin 2 to 4, clockwise from the tab at 12 o'clock. By the way, ergonomics of these untis is really very nice! They stack on top of each other and the parallel kit nestles between them. They are as easy to lug around as a Honda... but again.. HALF the price!

Started them up, one pull each, turned Econ mode off and checked out the microwave. Perfect. Then the 15K BTU AC. The gensets lugged but the AC came right on! I am in business. With the AC on I tried the Microwave. Voltage dropped to about 95 volts and came back to 105 but I did get hot water in a cup inside the microwave and the AC was still cooling away. Didn't notice any slowing of the AC fans, but the microwave sure was affected by the change in voltage.

With the AC running, I turned both units Econ mode to ON and the generators slowed a bit and of course quieter. Cycling of the AC compressor REALLY lugs the gensets engines, and the "AC Present" LEDs (lights) start blinking and no AC was present but the engines didn't die. I figured they would but that didn't happen, but no voltage. A restart fixes this. So... keep Econ mode off with an Air Conditioner running.

I let them run about an hour with AC cooling the trailer and saw voltage with just the AC and 12 volt trailer converter running as 122 volts and again rock solid at 59.9 Hz.

In parallel mode I found them very quiet even under a pretty full load. Inside the trailer, the air conditioner is louder than the generators and I had both stacked right by the trailer door.

So... being light weight, a bit over 50 lbs with a full gallon of gasoline, quiet, from my non scientific listening tests with the Honda, the CPE's are about at the same noise level one on one with the Honda. Half the price and now, only time will tell If these are solid little gensets.

Maybe, just maybe, I got more than my money's worth.

John J

* This post was last edited 09/25/10 09:03pm by johnjces *   View edit history

Old & Slow

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Posted: 09/26/10 03:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice post. Real professional. Shows lot's of back ground in generator threads and experience.

PrivatePilot

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Posted: 09/26/10 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting...thanks for the write up.

I'm really interested in hearing from someone who has a hard-start kit on the AC attempting to start/run on a single Champion 2000. I was able to run my 13.5 roof air on the Honeywell 2000 so I'm curious if the same would be possible with the Champion.

I do *not* personally want to have to buy two of these - the A/C is about the biggest load I *ever* put on my generator, and while I do it running other things (like the Microwave at the same time, for example) isn't necessary for me - I even have a manual shutoff for my converter to shed all load *except* the AC.


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Dan2009

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Posted: 09/26/10 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

professor95 wrote:

Dan2009 wrote:



Can anyone comment on the possible effect of the voltage drop I'm seeing, and what the impact on my electronics might be after repeated usage of the 2000W inverter to run the microwave?


First, nice job on the video!

I need to know something about your test set-up.

I see a yellow extension cord plugged into the generator - not the expected black #10 RV service cord with an adapter. I cannot tell if the cord is running directly to the Kill-A-Watt then the microwave for the test or if it is perhaps going to the RV supply cord via an adapter at the end of the extension cord. If the latter is true, again the gauge and length of wire from the microwave outlet to the Kill-A-Watt meter will be helpful in giving you an answer.

Anyway - what is the gauge of wire in the extension cord and how long is it? The response is important to answering your question.

And, have you tried putting the Kill-A-Watt in the inverter outlet and conducting the same experiment at that point in the circuit? If so, were the readings the same?

On your last question - "and what the impact on my electronics might be after repeated usage of the 2000W inverter to run the microwave?"

Are the electrons you are asking about those in the inverter, the microwave or other devices in your camper like TV, converter, fridge, etc.?

Just need to know a little more in order to give you an accurate answer.


Hello Professor,

My apologies for the delayed response.
The yellow cable is an 8' 12 gauge extension cord. Based on your questions, I retried the microwave tests with the 30 amp RV cable plugged directly into the inverter, using only an adapter plug. I experienced the same voltage drop when the microwave started.

However, I did have another longer, smaller gauge extension code that the microwave/Kill-a-watt was plugged into, which in turn ran into the microwave outlet in the cabinet above the microwave. This might explain the lower voltage reading, but the microwave bulb still dims even when it is plugged directly into the wall outlet. I'll try to remember to get some new numbers with the more direct set up next time I go down to the storage yard to check on the camper.

As far as which electronics are affected, I'm mostly concerned with the converter, fridge, microwave, and the furnace.

As for the generator itself, it's holding up well, although I'm not pushing it. I've been exercising it weekly and it still performs as advertised.

Thanks!
-Dan


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2005 Keystone Laredo 28GR
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2000W Champion Inverter 73531i


johnjces

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Posted: 09/26/10 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One note regarding the Honeywell 2000 and the CPE is I believe the Honeywell product will produce 2000 watts continuously with a max of 2100 watt while the CPE genset will produce 1600 watts continuous duty with up to 2000 watts intermittently.

I saw a youtube video (I think I saw a couple different ones) of a guy running his 13.5K BTU AC on the 2000 watt Honeywell, but he (they) didn't state anything about whether it had the stock cap installed or whether he added a hard start cap.

John

greenrvgreen

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Posted: 09/26/10 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm a little bit troubled by the initial reports of the Champion 2000 Inverter struggling when loads are added. Not clear to me if it's doing this only when 1600 W is exceeded, or if it just has to catch up with sudden loads. Either way, surge recovery would be of primary interest to me. My little Champion 1200 does a great job of delivering 1200 watts, but only if you ease up to it. 1200 watts at once and it will struggle to catch up, and the brief dip in voltage and frequency will cause the Prosine to reject the input. Not a problem if I use it directly, but I'm hoping to power the TT from a small gennie.

I believe that Honda uses a larger engine for the same rated load. I would love to see these two units compared side-by-side, but I suppose that is a long way off.

VERY frustrating the way the reports are only trickling in, but I blame the Honeywell for that--no one wants to be the Guinea Pig!

johnjces

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Posted: 09/26/10 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Honeywell 2000i that I tried struggled just as much if not more and did just die! Engine just stalled... dead, instead of tripping the breaker or shutting down the inverter. I thought that kind of bad.

My friend's Honda 'struggles' as well, albeit not quite as much, but it does. Elevation (6500') may cause more 'struggling' but the voltage still seems at or above 100 volts even under pretty severe loads.

I am going to do more tests today and I will see if I can borrow my friends Honda. Wish they were fuel injected instead of carbureted since new jets are required above and below 5000 feet as I recall. Don't have jets or the time to change things as I travel about!

John

professor95

Mechanicsville, VA

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Posted: 09/26/10 05:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dan2009 wrote:

As far as which electronics are affected, I'm mostly concerned with the converter, fridge, microwave, and the furnace.


When all of the above items are running off of the generator:

The generator will power the converter. I do not know the brand of converter you have but it is most likely a "switching" converter. As such a voltage range of 105 to 130 should provide the requisite 13 or so volts to the battery(s) and appliances.

The fridge has a 12.6 volt DC control board. It will work OK all the way down to 11 volts or as high as 14.4 before it starts acting funny. When on a generator it is best to switch from automatic power source to LP for the heater.

The furnace needs at least 11 volts for the igniter and sail switch to work. If voltage falls below 11 volts the fan does not run fast enough to keep the sail switch up and the furnace just cuts off.

In short - a lower voltage from the generator to the converter for 12.6 VDC appliances is not going to damage anything. If the voltage is too low, they just shut down!

The microwave is straight AC. It does not perform well with a low voltage. I doubt that you will harm the micro but performance will suffer greatly.

I am still puzzled as to why you are getting the low AC voltages you report. At first I thought you might be using a 100 foot long 16 gauge extension cord. But apparently you are not.

There could very well be a problem with the generator.

The items that may show a risk from low voltage are inductive motors (AC). These will slow down but still run. They must work harder and thus get hot. Other than the A/C I doubt that you have many/any inductive AC motors.

DrBaker

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Posted: 09/27/10 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just picked up my Champion inverter today. I also have the common 4000/3500 open frame model too. I have been very happy with my Champ 4000 that I got for $299 a bit over a year ago.

I wanted an inverter for all of the usual reasons. When I found out about a Champion inverter I was interested from the beginning. The Sams down the street from work had several in stock for $499. Since it is Fall I will have little to no need for using 2 paralleled gens until next Spring. This works great so I can spend $500 now on one and then get the other for $500 in 6 months.

I oiled and fueled it up earlier. It is a really slick looking little unit. I'm really pleased at how light and easy it is to move this compared to my bigger model. I first fired it up with Eco off. I was impressed at how much quieter it was than my other gen. After a few minutes warm up, I flipped the switch to Eco. For a brief second I thought it was turning off, but it was actually the engine idling down to Eco mode. I was very happy with that and think it sounds similar to an expensive generator.

I have a dual spot light that has 250w and 500w setting on each side. This allows me to create a load of 250, 500, 750, and then 1000watts. I used this for my testing tonight. I assumed it would really ramp up the noise with a load on it. 250 and 500 were hardly noticeable. Once I got to 750w in Eco it was enough that you could hear some difference, but much less than I expected. Then at 1000w it wasn't much different than the 750.

It's too soon to tell how this thing will do in the long run, but my initial impression is positive. It looks nice, carries easy, sounds good, and didn't break the bank.


I called the Johnstone Supply here in town and they have the SPP6 hard start capacitor for $12. I'm thinking about getting one of these and giving it whirl just for the heck of it.

* This post was edited 09/27/10 07:46pm by DrBaker *


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