So, I used Lil Red On Sunday (June 09th) as the power supply for my portable radio station. I was Net Control for the 2013 Edge-To-Edge Marathon held that day (race goes from Tofino to Ucluelet). The total load on the genny was 2 laptop power bricks, 1 LCD monitor, 1 MobiCool (powered cooler) power brick, and 1 intelligent 30Amp battery charger. Lil Red ran from just after 0700hrs to about 1530hrs without refueling (I had fueled her up prior to departing for my station's location). I had no issues at all with the Eco-Throttle - Lil Red held a constant RPM the whole day.
So, I don't know what the issue was originally with Lil Red constantly changing RPMs on the Eco-Throttle, but whatever it was, it appears to have cleared itself. I still think it was water getting somewhere it shouldn't be.
Cheers to all!!
It's more than just cable capacitive coupling. The converter has emi capacitors from neutral to ground and from hot to ground. Not sure, the microwave may also contain emi capacitors. Cable capacitive coupling is a minor component.
The 60V is created from a capacitor voltage divider from hot to ground and then from ground to neutral. If the capacitors are not equal in magnitude, you will see something other than 60V. Perhaps 65V on one leg and 55V on the other leg.
Placing an analog meter on one of the legs will reduce that leg's impedance, resulting in a lower measured voltage.
The point to all this is that the 60V is created by a capacitor voltage divider. It has little punch, just a little tingle when you touch it.
But that is only for non-bonded inverters, right? In my case, the inverter's neutral and ground WERE bonded, and I still got the tingle when I touched the case and the battery negative.
Huh, sometimes I look at these devices and shake my head in wonderment that they actually work - kinda tough to wrap my head around some of the theories.
Sorry, wrong answer, but my fault. I didn't formulate question correctly. Why do you see 60Vac from ground to neutral, or from ground to hot when measured with a digital volt meter? And why does an analog meter measure perhaps only 6V? The inverter is not bonded.
wa8yam comes close to correct answer.
Hmm, good question then. Unless, the inverter is using a center-tapped transformer with the hot and neutral as the secondary's ends and the ground as the secondary's center-tap. But wouldn't make sense WRT safety. I would think then due to the lack of bonding you've got induction between the lines, like WA8YAM said.
Now, is this a PSW or MSW inverter? If PSW, then both meters should read correctly. IF MSW, most multi-meters, at least digital, don't read the correct voltage, UNLESS they can read RMS voltage. Not sure about the analog.
Was this a 2000i genny? Some on here will tell you it will never run a 75amp+ converter but we know they are wrong.
Yes, it's a eu2000i. I've been told the 2000 can't handle a PD9280 (which is what I have in the trailer), but it not only handles it, it can also take on the fridge, and it's massive starting loads. And once the fridge settles down, there's still room on the genny for more load. And that's with the PD9280 pumping out its full 80Amps.
As an aside: Yes, I know that.
Now to the point. What I'm trying to say is this.
If you are holding a metal cased device (Did I mention a Skill hand grinder.. I actually held it) that shorts hot to case (It did) on mains power, which is earth grounded YOU become a "Return path".
In a standard system, yes. And you definitely DON'T want to be that return path!
But since the inverter has no ground.. Even if you grabbed the hot wire with your bare hand (Assuming nobody put in a ground when you are not looking) THERE IS NO PATH it is an open circuit, SWITCH OFF, no flow. (Still I do not recommend it)
Neither do I. I've felt the upside of 120VAC up my arm a couple times. IT definitely don't tingle! It hurts like h3ll!
As to the 60 volts on the ground lead (I do see that and it does tingle a bit)
This is because the ground wire is sandwiched between the black and white in standard ROMEX and in other types they also lay side by side.
Two conductors sepererated by a non-conductor (Dielectric) form what is called a capacitor or condenser (Two names, same device). Given time to do the research and a bit of math I could tell you the capatience per foot of say 14ga.
Well in this case you have two capacitors in the same can forming an AC voltage divider.. In most RV's there is not enough wire for this to pass enough current to do much in the way of damage (Why it only tingles) but that is where it comes from....
Basically a very tiny current flows right through the insulation wire to wire.. A sensitive voltmeter will show 60 volts (1/2 the voltage) a el-cheapo might show less and if you put a load on it (Say a 10 watt lamp) It goes by by fast.
You're talking inductance, right? The 2 current carrying conductors are INDUCING a voltage in the ground wire. And since, in some systems, it's not connected to anything, you measure a voltage, but its with respect to the hot or neutral.
Now, I have an older Xantex MSW unit I recently retired, but just after I installed it many years ago I was working around it with it on (it was providing power for one of my tools). I happened to lean my arm on the case of the inverter (metal casing) and my hand came to rest on the 12VDC negative terminal. There was most definitely a tingle there! I read the manual and it stated the chassis was connected to the ground, and the ground was bonded to the neutral, as per code for an installed power source (which it was). I verified this with my multimeter. I also saw the 12V negative was bonded to the chassis.
Having said that, I don't know if the replacement ProWatt SW unit would do the same. I'd have to meter it.
A couple of test questions.
1. Why 60Vac?
2. Why does the analog voltmeter read about 6V (from gnd to neutral or gnd to hot)?
Sal, it all has to do with how inverters work, particularly the cheaper ones. A bit tough to explain, but in a nutshell, when producing the AC power is creates a positive and negative voltage (think sine wave) using different parts of the circuit. Instead of trying to invert the one side to increase voltage, it's easier to connect 1 output to the hot and the other output to the neutral. Run each at 60VAC, and you get 120VAC across the outlet. Most devices won't care either, so long as what they get is 120VAC. Clear as mud? Anyway, read Inverters By Wikipedia; that could probably explain it far better than me.
For your second question, is the inverter loaded or idling? If loaded, then the meter might have an issue. If idling, the inverter may have gone into search mode (or power saving mode). This is where it puts out a small voltage so that loads can operate, yet it draws almost no power (or very little). Once a load turns on, the inverter "wakes up" and provides full voltage to the load. Your analog meter might not produce enough load to wake the inverter up.
At least, that's how I see it.
My yamaha generator and PSW inverter (which I plug my shore power cable into) both show open ground with the little tester. Any interior outlet will show the same open ground result when the TT is plugged into the gen or inverter. When the TT is plugged into true shore power, tester shows all systems good
Sounds about right. Your genset probably has a floating neutral. It should say right on it. I know my Honda does. I'd have to meter the outlets to see if the ground is even connected to anything. It might not be. As for the inverter, if it's a portable one it might be using the same connections.
That is the problem with eco mode on generators. My Yamaha will do that too at times. Be sure to either run it at full power or turn off everything except the battery charger.
Funny thing is, this the first time Lil Red did this. Usually, she just purrs along powering the trailer. I also have the fridge on the shorepower so that the inverter isn't taking up power that could potentially be used to charge the battery.
I'm thinking the unit got soaked when the dealer washed the truck, and water got somewhere it shouldn't have. Maybe a couple good runs will clean it out.
So we're camping at Rathtrevor Provincial Park this past weekend and Saturday afternoon I notice on the XBM that the battery bank is getting down, and should be given a boosting charge. So, at 6pm I fire up Lil Red, hook up the trailer, and energize the charger (PD9280) in BOOST mode. I also switch the fridge over to the shorepower and kill the inverter. Generator is happily spewing out 110VAC to the trailer, running at around 50% RPM.
A few minutes later, the unit starts revving up and down. I had heard the fridge kick in (made the genny really work hard for a moment), but the main load is the charger. Looking at the XBM I see the current flow into the battery bank matching the genny's RPM's. RPM's go up and current flow increases. RPM's go down, current flow decreases. Average current at this point is around 65Amps. That's a little low.:?
So, I go flip off the Eco Throttle. Lil Red quickly spins up to full RPM. A further check of the XBM shows the current flow now at 78Amps.
I turn the Eco back on, genny slows to 50%, give or take. Couple minutes later, she starts revving up and down again. :h:h Charge current again follows the RPMs. I tried a space heater on LOW to give a constant load, thinking the charger may have been having an issue, but that added load was a bit much for the genset (didn't pop the breaker, but I could tell from the sound she wasn't happy).:E
I ended up the running Lil Red the entire hour with the Eco Throttle turned off. Made for a somewhat noisy hour. I've never seen this behaviour before in this unit; she's always purred along at a constant RPM with the charger working.
The only change I am aware of is I plugged into the right side outlet rather than the left side outlet. When I had the truck at the dealer in the morning, they washed the truck with the genset still in the back. So I'm wondering if either using the right side outlet caused the ET system to have issues tracking the load or if water got somewhere it shouldn't have.:S
Also wondering if anyone else has seen this issue.
Question: (Answer to follow) Why is the safety ground wire there in the first place.. I mean the house I grew up in was wired in the early 1950's and did not have safety grounds?
Answer: Well, the key is in the name, SAFETY ground.. At one time (And still today in some places) in order to save wire,,, (Needed at one time by the military) they used the EARTH as the neutral, if you had 120 volt service there was only a single wire from pole to house, (Well it was 110 back then) if you had 220 volt, there were two wires, the NEUTRAL was the earth itself.
Since there still is an earth ground at the pole in many places.. What happens if you are holding a tool, say a Skill hand grinder (like a Dremel) and it has a hot to case short (Well when that happened to me, being a bit odd, the tool went flying without permission.. thus protecting me... Kind of hard on grinding points though..> A genuine dremel quickly replaced it)
NOTE: I am not making that up.. It really happened.
The reason is that though for most things you can think of electricity a lot like water.. Where as Water takes the path of LEAST resistance, electricity takes all possible paths And when that puppy shorted out I became a "Return path" via ground.
The safety ground thus takes the hit and trips the breaker, Protecting me (Had it had a 3 wire cord).
So why is it not needed with a small generator or inverter?
Well. if the generator or inverter is NOT GROUNDED, then should you grab the hot wire in your bare hand.. Were is the current path? It is still an open circuit, you are safe.
That said. I do not recommend it. Usually you will get quite a tingle due to capacitive coupling which is a whole nuther bucket of .. Stuff. I do not wish to go into.
(I have gotten that nibble many times however, IT's annoying, not dangerous)
You have some good points there. However, even with an isolated power supply (which a portable inverter or generator would be) a ground wire can and will still do its job if you are using a metal cased device. Also, a GFCI outlet (which many mid-size inverters now have) can be used to enhance your protection.
BTW, as an aside, did you know that if you are in a house that has an older 2-wire electrical system (And not a 3-wire grounded system), you can put GFCI outlets in as a substitute? I read somewhere that if you have a house with older wiring and it is not practical to replace/upgrade that wiring, use of GFCI outlets is permitted instead.
One of my junk inverters collecting dust in basement actually has voltage at the ground prong at the output. This voltage is about half of the voltage between the two power prongs. So if you are connected to shore power and you plug any three wire appliance into the inverter, you could get shock by touching the appliance with one hand and touching any other appliance like fridge for example that is grounded thru shore power cord. This clearly is a safety issue and I don't want inverter like that in my RV.
You might find 2 things with that inverter:
1) The hot and neutral wires will each carry about 60VAC. You will see 120VAC hot to neutral and hot to ground, though.
2) Sounds like the ground and neutral wires are bonded within the unit. This is normal as the unit (when permanently installed) is intended to be a power source. See #1 as to why you have voltage on the ground line.
Your inverter would be better served connected to a transfer switch OR wired to outlets that are fully isolated from the rest of the ground/bond system.
Now, to complicate matters more, if you check your electrical code books you might find a requirement for power sources to have the neutral and ground wires bonded. I discovered this the "Hard" way one day when I got zapped with about 60VAC coming from the 12VDC -ve connection of my old Xantrex 1KW MSW unit. A check of its manual reveal that the neutral and ground were bonded as the unit was intended to be permanently installed (which it was). This is also why transfer switches control BOTH the hot and neutral lines. So bonding is usually as follows (WRT R/V's):
1) Shorepower: no bonding as that should be done at the primary panel (and ONLY there) whereever you plug in.
2) Mounted inverter or generator: bonded inside the unit, as they are considered power sources.
3) Portable inverter or generator: not usually bonded, not required to be either. Also, if you look at how most of these units are set up you don't actually have a hot and neutral wire; those lines each carry about 1/2 of the voltage. This is where GCFI outlets come in handy.
The best way to tell if a generator or inverter has its neutral and ground bonded is to do a continuity check between those pins.
Also, this is code for Canada (specifically British Columbia), but it might also apply to the US as well; READ OR YOU CODE BOOKS OR LOOK IT UP OR ASK!!!!!
Goldstream Provincial Park is a lovely campground and day use area less than half an hour north of Victoria on highway 1. The day use is by a lake a mile north of the campsite and it has very limited parking. The campsite has big trees, nice walks, $5 dump site, showers. It is hard to find - stop and ask for directions unless your GPS has it.
Unless you have reservations in the summer, don't bother. Goldstream is one of the 3 most popular PP's on this rock. The other 2 are Miracle Beach and Rathtrevor. In the summer (July-August), if you do not have a reservation, you will NOT get a spot to camp. Day use areas will be busy as well, so finding a parking spot might be tough.
?Number of satellites visible - The more satellites a GPS receiver can "see," the better the accuracy. Buildings, terrain, electronic interference, or sometimes even dense foliage can block signal reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all. GPS units typically will not work indoors, underwater or underground.
You might give Garmin a call and see what they have to say:
U.S. toll-free: 1-800-800-1020
By the way, we were talking about weather (clouds and such) not canyons or thick foliage like your discussion was drifting into.
And the engineers at Garmin would agree with me. But, my point was that GPS signals can be affected by many things, whether those things are weather (clouds, heavy rain or snow, fog, etc), foliage, canyon walls, or whatever. I see it quite often, and my GPS plotter resides on my headache rack on my truck. Nature of the beast.
My other point was to use common sense when using a GPS system to navigate your vehicle (be that a car, RV, plane, boat, bike, whatever). If you're following the directions of a GPS system and you have a gut feeling something just doesn't look or feel right, it probably isn't, and it's time to stop and evaluate your situation.
Used properly, a GPS system can be your best friend. But, as shown above, it can also be your worst enemy.
I have no idea what happened, other than it was a very rainy day.Yes, Heavy rain means thick clouds which will interfere with the siganls from the satellites.
GPS signals are NOT effected by rain, snow, clouds ect.
It's a good thing too. A lot of planes depend on this signal in the worst of weather conditions. :)
WRONG!!!! And I don't care what those websites say! GPS signals CAN be interfered with by weather! It is not a common occurrence, but it does happen. Even thick foliage can interfere with the signal, but again it is not all that common.
I've been in the situation several times where my truck system has lost the fix due to driving through a sudden, heavy rainstorm. And this is with the GPS receiver mounted outside the cab on a post that places it above the cab roof. I've even had snowstorms affect the receiver.
Now, that's with the receiver outside the vehicle. Ones that are located inside the vehicle (ie - TomToms, Nuvi's, etc) will be far more susceptible to loss of signal as they are already disadvantaged from the vehicle cab. Older units are for more likely to lose the signals in poor weather since as time marches on, the technology is constantly improved and the receivers get more and more sensitive.
Also, and this is far more common, is loss of position fix due to poor placement of the satellites with respect to the receiver's location. Get into a deep canyon, and you'll lose the fix, or at best get a poor fix that could plot you several miles from your actual location. And sometimes, just the way the satellites zoom overhead can put enough of them in bad spots WRT your location that the receiver can't get a good fix. Seen this many, many times.
All in all, though, the GPS system has greatly improved from when I first started using it in the late 90's. Just use common sense when using a GPS system, though.
There is also one at Stettler AB , "prairie steam train" It is suppose to be pretty neat, like the train would come to a halt and is being robbed, murder mysteries etc.
Been there, done that, twice. The train runs both directions from Stettler, alternating the direction each day. I did each run as a young teen. The first run we had the steam engine, and I think we stopped in Big Valley and reversed direction. I even got to ride in the engine cab while they were swapping ends.
The second trip was the other direction (name of town escapes me), but we didn't have the steam engine as it was in the shop for repairs/maintenance. Instead, the train was yanked by a diesel switch engine. Again, I got to ride in the cab while the engine swapped ends when we stopped.
I don't know about the murder mystery stuff, but when we did the Big Valley run we were treated to the train robbery routine. Not to mention the huge lunch put on by the town of Big Valley. Speaking of that town, my in-laws live there now, and they are a part of that whole gig. Apparently it's a lot of fun and they meet lots of people.
Just to warn you, both Crystal Cove and Bella Pacifica can be VERY expensive in the summer time. Yes, they are nice places, and Crystal Cove now has a Starbucks franchise for those who need their daily Starbucks fix.
And yes, there's lots to do out here. Enjoy your stay!
I wish these systems would offer the option of user defined routings like aircraft systems.They do.. it's called Waypoints (or favorites)
Even the most expensive, sophisticated ones can not be trusted.
My friends new yacht had auto pilot. We took it out to go up North. Set it on auto pilot and it kept running us off course.
Long story short, the reason it was malfunctioning?
The GPS was installed to close to the Bose sound system.:S
That was a case of installer error then.
I have a GPS and plotter in my truck, and have had one since long before GPS units in cars became fashionable. In my case, it is a Lowrance HDS-5 plotter with the LGC-4000 puck on the headache rack. It does the 2 most important things I want it to do: Show me where I am and show where I want to go. How I get there is my choice: the GPS has no say in that. It shows the information on a satellite image provided by Navionics. If I am somewhere the imagery isn't available (inland for example) then the plotter is sending GPS position data to my netbook, which runs a custom written GPS plotting program and Google Earth. In Google Earth I run the BC Back Roads Map Books overlay so my position is plotted directly on the map. And I carry an actual map book as well.
This thing does not talk to me, it only beeps when I arrive at a waypoint, an alarm that I must acknowledge. It does not give directions, merely displays navigational/positional information as well a plotting me over an image.
This is not the first incident I've heard of where someone blindly followed a GPS into distress. Shame on them.
Interesting side note: my wife has a smaller handheld unit she uses in her van on occasion. She decided, one day, just for giggles, to program in a destination of Port Alberni from Ucluelet. Now, the actual route is to leave town on the only road out and stay on it until the Junction (between highway 4 and Pac Rim highway) where you turn right and follow that road until Port Alberni.
Now, the GPS, for whatever stupid reason, decided that wasn't the correct route. After taking her on a tour all over town (maybe 5 minutes of driving!) it finally gets her on the highway. But instead of taking her to the Junction, it has her turn right onto Albion Road, then left onto West Main (a friggin' logging road!!!:S), then left onto highway 4, turn around at the Junction and continue on Highway 4 to Port Alberni!:h And all this with the Canadian street maps database loaded in too!
And people wonder why I prefer my MARINE plotter!
Had my Edge Insight CTS decide to not boot up properly. I tried updating it, as there were a couple updates there. No Joy. I phoned Edge Products the next day, and all the guy needed was my email address that I use when I update. He told me he'd put some commands in and the next time I updated it should reset. Sure enough, I updated the CTS again, and it reset the display. Been working great ever since.
I also used to have the original Insight. I tried in the DW's 1998 Plymouth Voyager SE, but while it would power up, it couldn't read any sensor data. Turns out the mini-van's data bus wasn't one that the Insight supported. I phoned in, and they said send it back for 20% off the price of a new CS. The CS is working just dandy in the DW's van, and saves her bacon whenever the dashboard fails (common issue with Voyagers of that era).
Either you have a small battery bank--or you are charging via generator too soon for the bank to be "hungry".
Nope. Between 50% and 70% on the XBM and the genset gets run. Initial charge current is about 82Amps, which tapers off over 15 minutes to around 70Amps. Upon throwing the charger breaker to ON, the Honda revs up 4-500RPM and takes on a slightly sharper note in the exhaust. When the fridge is switched to genset power, it will make the Honda work harder when starting.
BTW, my battery bank is 4 T-105's in a series-parallel configuration. 450aH total, 225aH usable following the 50% rule. And the charger is connected using 2AWG cables.