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SuperUser
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Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

I know I'm not the only one out there with a ton of square pegs and a variety of round holes to try to fit.

My current challenge is mountaintop sites that almost but don't fit small standby generators like this

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WNGL2M4/?coliid=I2YCRLPWHAVB02&colid=2VONKU1VBKVLB&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig...

At 8000 watts it is overkill on the 100 or 200 watt loads that I run, at 5 pounds of fuel per hour at (near) idle you get almost a day out of a 100 pound tank.  Is wasting a bit of fuel a huge problem ?  No, but delivering it would be painful or expensive or both.

Plan B is to have a good battery bank and heavy charger(s) to bank power from the generator.  By pushing its duty cycle down to 1 hour in 10 I could get 8 (!) days of runtime out of a single 100 pound tank.

But now I need some way to trick it into running when I want it to.  The Champion unit above has no network connectivity and apparently tightly integrated control modules which would make much harder to replace a switch with something remote operable.

Another nice one is this
https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Kohler-8RESVL-Standby-Generator/p14719.html

which has some network (LAN !) control but still is outside its "normal" operation to start/stop on demand, I think.

I do not want to butcher up a portable generator, I have done this, it works, and if there is ever a fire the insurance companies would howl with laughter, its picture would appear on bulletin boards and be circulated as a cautionary tale.

 

So I ask, what have you got that is :

  1. reliable
  2. safe
  3. affordable
I LIKE BIG DISH AND I WILL NOT LIE !
Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

https://github.com/jgyates/genmon

 

Genmon will work with the newer-generation Generac units, at least. We have an 8kw at at tower site. I don't deal with it as much as others, but he's got it where it's sending alert emails on status chagnes and I can remote start/stop the unit via HTTPS.

SuperUser
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

@ryanmsweeeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeet no need to reinvent the wheel Icon Biggrin  I'd mark your answer as the solution, but I'm hoping for even more feedback.

I LIKE BIG DISH AND I WILL NOT LIE !
Veteran Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

[ Edited ]

Genmon will talk to the proprietary Generac autostart?  Cool.

 

Last time I looked into this (January 2017), the small Kohler home backup model still had two-wire autostart.  That makes it really simple -- just close a contact and let 'er rip.

 

If you want to add autostart to a basic electric-start genny, this will get the job done for under $200.

Established Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

I am a big Honda generator fan. If only they would make the 1000 and 2000-Watt models electric start they would be perfect. For safety of not storing (or aged) gas I have converted to propane 2 Honda 2000s that can be paralleled. I could have sourced out all the individual parts, but or a little extra I just got 2 of this kit. https://www.ebay.com/itm/IMPCO-TRI-FUEL-CONVERSION-KIT-HONDA-GENERATOR-HONDA-EU2000IS-INVERTER-NATUR...  

After some fine tuning the generator after sitting for 6 months will start on 1 pull!

 

Find an electric start kit for either the 1000s or 2000s for the perfect size generator for a WISP and we will beat path to that door.

 

Jack

Clear Line of Sight and Freznel Zone isn’t everything; It’s the only thing.
Adapted quote from Vince Lombardi

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Regular Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

I agree!

We're in dire need of a generator that only needs to supply about 100 watts for just a few days in the winter.

And it needs remote start capability and it needs to run off a portable propane tank.

About 32 volt DC out would be nice instead of 110 VAC - no need for regulation , a charge controller would handle that.

Even more than that we'd like reasonably priced fuel cells that would preferable run off a propane tank and provide even just 50 watts to charge a 24 volt battery bank.

This is just to handle the load over a few times during the winter at remote solar powered relay sites.
Please do not respond to my threads if you're going to be rude or condescending. We're all learning here... Icon Razz

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Veteran Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)


@JWW wrote:
we'd like reasonably priced fuel cells that would preferable run off a propane tank and provide even just 50 watts to charge a 24 volt battery bank.

I'd love to see a small (probably more like 200-500W) fuel cell option.  An adjustable DC output capable of charging both 24V and 48V battery packs (20-60VDC?) would broaden the market quite a bit.  I could live with LPG, methanol, or even hydrogen as a fuel source as long as the price & performance were right.

SuperUser
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

Something like this?   https://www.ultra-fuelcells.com/D350  or   http://www.redhawkenergy.net/fuelcells.html  or http://ballard.com/fuel-cell-solutions/fuel-cell-power-products

 

Problem is they are very expensive - and not at all a mature technology - there's a place online called the Fuel Cell Store which is full of components and test cells for doing R&D, but nothing commercial to buy that I see.   Great tech, but you're just a bit to early unless you want to be on the bleeding edge with it...

 

If you do find something that makes sense let us know

Jim

 

 

 

" How can anyone trust Scientists? If new evidence comes along, they change their minds! " Politician's joke (sort of...)
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Veteran Member
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Re: Gacking (generator hacking pronounced jacking)

More like https://www.ultra-fuelcells.com/P250i

 

I've been watching the space for about two decades now.  Getting closer and closer (and closer and closer)...

http://www.safcell.com/

https://www.redoxenergy.com/

 

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