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Messages - twombo

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General Discussion / Re: real time energy monitor
« on: August 06, 2008, 11:21:48 PM »
I have a Tri-Metric.  No datalogging,  but simple and accurate.


Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Changfa 170 or kubota EL300?
« on: February 29, 2008, 03:55:59 PM »
I have an EB300 Kubota setup with a Prestoline alternator and a Balmar Charge controller. Works super!!!!

$200  for an EL300 is GREAT! I'll take 2 of those myself!!

I burn about a pint an hour and usually run at 1800-2000 RPM. I am supremely happy with the Kub. I paid $499 for mine and plan to  buy  more for other stationary power jobs like domestic water transfer,  a firefighting pump, and running a chipper for brush. Maybe another for a spare.

I wouldn't fret about the aluminum.  My impression is that it is a very well designed unit, regardless the metal used!

OBTW, I wouldn't EVEN turn my nose up at a Yanmar TF.  My guess is that they are real all stars. Big heavy brutes like the Changfas but really precision made as the Japanese are noted for!



I have a Balmar ARS-4 and the Xantrex XAR-12.  I SWEAR they are EXACTLY the same unit with different silkscreening on the module.  The documents even look nearly identical.  THe ARS-5 with the three character display looks a mite easier to program though. I just haven't found one a the right price (cheap!) yet.

The Amplepower stuff I have not seen,  they look to have a very comprehensive  suite of power management equipment. A bit pricey but it looks real well thought out stuff. I guess their main focus is marine applications, but that applies equally well for off grid in most cases.  Their Amplepower Genies are the inspiration for my own dc charger.  Am also building a Genie 250 clone with my buddy from a Yanmar 49E twin that I got out of the scrap heap!

Stumbled across a Deutz air cooled single  cyl diesel  that my prove to be motive power for another charger for the old folks up the hill, unless I can scarf up the last Yanmar 49e that is headed for the scrap heap. One man's junk is another man's treasure, eh??

Asta Luigi!!
( "see ya later luigi" in the local brogue).


Hi Bob
Hey Bob

Your insight is VERY much valued! Fuel cost is a very important factor as you point out.  My fuel consumption is remarkably low on my Kubota.  The Balmar seems to be a very efficent charge controller. I rarely have to run more than 2 hours to get a full charge on my bank. My charger pushes, as I said, 120 amps initial rate of charge, even in the "small engine"mode. It's really rare that I am not seeing full charge voltage  of 14.6 in longer than 10 minutes or so from startup.

The fact that I have a substantial (1kw) PV array  and an Outback MX60 charge controller just makes things even "mo bettah".

I guess it all gets down eventually to balance which is, made easier in my case by the fact my electrical consumption is rarely above 1.5 kw in a day.

Darn sure ... I appreciate your assistance in getting my DC charger  set in action.  It has reduced my fuel costs immensely, roughly one tenth of what  I was using before!!!!


Another consideration, is life cycle care of your batteries.  Minimizing your deep discharges of the battery bank is, ideally, the way to go. As I posted above, I go no lower than 20% Depth of Discharge on my bank. Even so, I only have to finish charge charge about every 4 to 5 days, even this time of year with the limited solar collection I get.  I NEVER go longer than 4 days without a finish charge and I equalize each month on the 1st. My daily recovery this time of year, if I get 1 hour of sun, is to about 95% charge.

By limiting your Depth of Discharge you prolong the the life of your batteries immensely AND reduce the the amount of work your charger has to do.  Even though you CAN put out 280 amps, it is neither necessary, nor advisable. 

I actually start the charging cycle at 2350 RPM but by the time i get an absorbtion indication, I can start rolling the rpms back and by the the end of the cycle iIcan be turning 1800 RPM which is in a very fuel efficient  range.

I suspect that you will be very happy with your little charger,  I'm tickled pink with mine!



My little Kubota eb300 tied to a Prestolite 2500 JB (160 amp) is controlled with a ARS-4 Balmar and will show 120 amps of charge at 12 volts, to my 840 AH bank when it is first lit off. This at 80% charge and in small engine mode on the Balmar. As soon as the voltage reaches about 14.2 or so, the charge rate starts going down pretty steadily.

I'm in "Float" at full charge in about 2 hours with about 6 amps total charging.

My guess is your changfa will give similar performance.

It's a great set up. Started with 7 gallons of fuel 3 and a half months ago and still have fuel left.

Have Fun!


Generators / Re: 3 phase generator to single phase conversion?
« on: October 05, 2007, 04:43:13 AM »
Thanks Doug

That pretty much clinches it for me then.  When I get manuals in hand, I'll reconnect it for 120 volt, 2 wire, since I have no Eddison requirements. That way each winding gets equal treatment.

Like I said, just because I got a great deal, I don't have to abuse it. It has electronic regulation, so no sense killing a pricy regulator  board.

There is another unit like this up the hill in a lighting  cart one I can get for a song and it is 120/240 (Eddison?).  I can always take this one back to three phase if I get a high frequency spindle.


Generators / Re: 3 phase generator to single phase conversion?
« on: October 05, 2007, 03:54:09 AM »

That's how I have wired it in so far (utilizing the three phases to a distributed set of loads in the power room and the shop), but what about unbalanced loads? The  Operators manual specifies balanced loads within 10 percent.

In my case,70% of the time it has 20 amps or less on A phase, (decreasing as  the inverter charger tops off the batteries) and 0 amps on B and C. Periodically I'll have 10 or 15 on B and C and a light load on A.

I've laid things out so that I don't exceed the max on any phase or the total placarded rating under any circumstance. Full load on all legs run should be in the mid 80% range. The load usage is pretty solidly in the "Standby" category rather than a Prime type load.

At some point, I may get a 3 phase VFD spindle for the CNC and then I am golden withe little Onan genny. I agree, It can be very handy!

I might just be being too conservative.

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!



Generators / Re: 3 phase generator to single phase conversion?
« on: October 05, 2007, 02:52:19 AM »
Good sign, Doug,  It has 12 wires (T1 thru T12) coming out of the head!! It must be what Onan/Cummins calls a "broad range".

I'm waiting (sorta) patiently.

I got the wiring diagram numbers off the control box so I will press ahead with getting copies of those and... waiting! There is a reconnection diagram inside the control box lid.

I'm not doing anything till the manuals arrive but a couple quick questions:

1. On a standard reconnection diagram, the electronic symbols depicted as coils are the alternator windings themselves.

2. Wired as a 2 wire output, (L1 and L2), the the output would be 120 only  or if wired as a 3 wire output (L0, L2, and L2) there would be a 120/240 capability.

I did another search in the archives and found another discussion on three phase. I feel like a real dink not researching better. DUHH!

How is the little QA dude?


Generators / 3 phase generator to single phase conversion?
« on: October 04, 2007, 11:43:24 PM »
Got a really good deal on an ONAN genset, a 7.5 kw  model DKD.  It's three phase though, instead of single phase.  I'm awaiting service and maintenance manuals.

My main question is, is it possible to reconnect the three phase alternator to put out straight single phase power?

I have wired it in to three separate load centers, all sharing a common neutral, but the loads (my small woodshop)  are intermittent (although fairly well balanced when all are running).

Problem is, the loads are very intermittent and the operator manual for the gen set specifies a balanced load (phase to phase) within 10 %.  Obviously if I have 15 amps on a phase and on B and C,  it ain't balanced.

The genny is placarded  at 23 amps for a single phase or a maximum of 26 amps/phase in 3 phase operation.  ( I will double check the numbers).

Thoughts?  The three phase just happened and it would be hard to turn down free genset.  Single phase would be be more flexible for me. I also don't want to break the genny by running it in a completely unsuitable manner! No sense being stupid in the face of good fortune!



Other Fuels / Re: Olive Oil
« on: September 27, 2007, 07:23:35 PM »
Jet A runs fine ....BUT.... It destroys close tolerance stuff like injector pumps very quickly because  the lubricity of Jet A is so low.

Killed two 3208 Cat injection pumps in less than 3000 hours of operation on a pair of gensets at a location I worked at some years ago. Caused me a lot of really big headaches along the way. For many years, use of Jet A on standby power in USAF operated standby power equipment has been very much discouraged.


Actually, more like a cult of Steve (Jobs)!! Heh!!

Come to think of it, slow speed diesels are a bit like that, eh?

Interestingly, Apple pricing has become a lot more attractive in the last few year , very comparable to other premium lines of equipment in the Windows world... and no virus/spyware issues!




My Titanium Powerbook is almost years old and is still plodding along without a fault! Bought my niece an iBook 2 years ago and it survived her undergrad studies at UNL (Go Huskers!). Just upgraded it to a new MacBook for dental school. # 2 niece will take on ownership of the iBook. I hope she make it to grad school too!! Smart young ladies and purty as  pictures, both!!

Admittedly, the Apples cost a bit more, but the new ones run windows AND the Mac OS (at the same time)!!.

I had a Dell,  a Toshiba, and an an HP and, without exception, they were all pigs!

Once you go Mac, you will never go back!!


Do I get get a choice of any of the above??

I guess it could be worse... nude pix of John Kerry!!


Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Kubota engine on Epay
« on: March 20, 2007, 02:29:20 AM »

I got one of these:


Good buy, runs great. 7hp at 2400 rpm.

Progress to date is here:


Got the last QD hub and sheave today and am finishing up the charge controller wiring. With luck it will charging batteries this weekend. Pretty quiet and runs really smooth with the dual balance shafts. Hope to have the bux this week to buy another.

Might painter 'er pink call 'er Miss Piggy. Cute as a bug's ear methinks!


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