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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > My $500.00 almost silent generator with pic.&db readings

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blkfe

Nebraska

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Posted: 11/18/07 06:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FLOYD'S PROJECT PICTURES START ON PAGE 22 OF THIS THREAD.
BOBANDCAT'S PPROJECT PICTURES START ON PAGE 31.


My project is finally completed and I must say it turned out better than I expected. I do not own a db meter but am planning on purchasing one this week to verify what I already believe to be true. It is quiet, I would not be surprised to see sub 50 db readings at 21 feet on the outside with noise and vibration inside almost nonexistent. I must give a big thanks to Professor 95, Mr. Wizard, Old and Slow, as well as all the other people who hang out on the Chinese generator thread for all the ideas and advice. I used bits and pieces of a lot of different posts and added a few ideas of my own.
My goal was to install a generator into my already existing generator compartment on my 1995 Westport. I was lucky in that this rig already had a fuel tank and AC wiring installed. I wanted reliable, inexpensive, and quiet. I did end up a little over my $500.00 budget, but it kind of took on a life of it’s own. As you will see, I LIKE switches and lights! While it is not currently electric start, it will be as soon as I save enough $ to purchase the new Champion electric start model. I did wire it to accept the electric start unit. The best part is it is very quiet, runs my AC and microwave, and I can replace the WHOLE unit for around $300.00.
The biggest challenge proved to be isolating noise and vibration from the INSIDE of the camper. Initial tests with the generator sitting on the generator compartment floor were very discouraging. Whole front of RV (bedroom) vibrated badly (stirred up quite the conversation between my wife and I). The problem was resolved by following Prefessor95’s advice and isolating the generator using automotive valve springs. I used intake valve springs from a 1995 Mazda Protégé. Original rubber mounts from the bottom of the generator frame were removed and replaced with the springs.
Expandable freeze plugs (3/4”) were used to hold the springs in place. Four holes were cut out in the compartment floor for the springs to set in. Gum rubber pads were manufactured and bolted to the bottom of the holes for the springs to set on.
The generator compartment was already lined with metal to reduce fire hazard. I added a material called Dynamat to the back and top before installing 2’ foam, ½” carpet mat and black carpet to finish it off.
I would like to note that my testing gives me the impression the most vibration is caused by the generator head (not engine) while under load. This seems to be low frequency; I’m guessing around 60-120 Hz. By using a DC generator, or high frequency AC, and inverter it seems this low frequency problem could be eliminated. KUDOS to Honda!
I set it up so a 12 VDC contactor controls the generator output. By doing this I eliminated possible damage due to starting and stopping under load. My goal is to start and stop this thing from inside the RV. Both generator and engine temperatures can be monitored from inside the RV. A high temperature limit switch (180 degree N.O. snap type) was implemented as well just in case. The diagnostic systems keep me informed of the status of the relays, as well as satisfy my desire to have as many lights as possible. I could have built it for less but wanted matching switches and such for a professional look.
Once again thanks to everyone who has posted ideas and information.
Please feel free to comment. Negative or positive. The more input the better!


Here is the font view of the generator compartment (center). On the right is the wiring and hydraulic slide valve assembly compartment. The left compartment contains the gas tank; I will have to block this up around 8 inches to get gravity feed. I did contemplate switching to LPG or a dual fuel setup and still might in the future. For now it’s 100% unleaded 87-octane gas.

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New Champion generator being tore apart and re-designed. Gas tank, exhaust, and upper frame assembly removed.

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Temperature sensor mounted at the air outlet of generator head. After much testing I found this exact location exhausts the warmest air.


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Head temperature sensor location

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Construction Pictures

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The marking for airflow is wrong..I turned the fan around so it blows into the end of the generator

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Choke Wire installed. This will not be needed when I go to electric start

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Following through on Professor95's advice and mounting on springs.

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Exhaust: Ended up using a material called Tempmat to wrap the exhaust. It is good to 1200 degrees. Must work cause I can hold the pipe while running with my hand. Burned material is from an unsuccessfull test.

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Finished generator compartment floor

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Generator compartment in various stages of work

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Homemade control pannel. Still needs painted and labled. It will be mounted inside the RV. Here it is showing the generator temp while under a 20 amp load after 45 minutes. 65 degrees outside.

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Final Pictures.

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OK...here are the sound levels as promised. I did notice most of the noise is coming from the intake shroud. I have plans to muffle this as well. All reading were taken with a 18-20 amp load. Strange but the only location which gets louder by adding a load is location "F" (exhaust side). Going to get cold and snow so work on this project will stop for awhile. Need to cut wood anyway....

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Here is the engine fan intake which is producing the unwanted noise. Weather permitting, I will install a silencer in the next week or two.
Please, no comments about the cut brace. I have a bolt in replacement made, just not installed yet.

[image]

* This post was last edited 10/05/08 09:04am by blkfe *   View edit history

CREATO

Beautiful Harvey N.D.

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Posted: 11/18/07 06:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You sir are a Genius very well done excellent pics (loud applause in the back ground)


I dont rent out space in my brain


Tom N

Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA

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Posted: 11/18/07 06:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice job but I would never sleep in that RV.


Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA · W3TLN · FMCA 335149 · Mystic Knights of the Sea
2005 Suncruiser 38R · W24 chassis, no chassis mods needed · 2013 Honda Accord EX-L · 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L



blkfe

Nebraska

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Posted: 11/18/07 06:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom N wrote:

Nice job but I would never sleep in that RV.


Please explain

Corkey05

Washington State

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Posted: 11/18/07 07:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great effort, ... !! It's most obvious you have spent considerable time thinking you way through the design.

Question: - Do have an air flow sensor (ie sail switch) in the path of the circulation fan? If the circulation fan should seize up would the generator shut down?

I know you have temp sensors, but how long would the generator run without circulation before the temp sensors shut it down.

Again, impressive, great photos.


2008 HR Endeavor PDQ - Ford Edge 4 Down
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threedogtrip

Colorado @ 9500 ft and lovin it

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Posted: 11/18/07 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I admire your ingenuity and craftsmanship!


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
--- Philip K. Dick


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swebber

Bluemont

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Posted: 11/18/07 07:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

blkfe wrote:

Tom N wrote:

Nice job but I would never sleep in that RV.


Please explain


Possibly worried about Carbon Monoxide buildup ? That was my first thought as I looked at your installation, of which I think you did a great job in both he install as well of documenting it in photos.


Steve Webber
2013 RAM 3500 Dually, 6.7 Cummins and all the bells and whistles
2009 Jayco Eagle 324BHDS "CramalotInn III",Reese DCHP, Atwood 3500, BAL Deluxe Chocks, Weber Baby Q & Q200, Champion 2000W Inverter & 4000W gennie's
My Camping Pic's

familyof3

Fort Worth, TX

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Posted: 11/18/07 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great job, there is alway's more than one way to skin a cat, lol

Maintcpo

Central California

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Posted: 11/18/07 07:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Okay, I have a champion, and am interested. But how are you currently starting it? It appears to be ducted where the pull cord should be? Why are you not using the 30 Amp plug? What is the ducting on both sides for? Any gain with a larger exhaust pipe? Sorry so many questions.


Dan, Ret Navy CPO
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blkfe

Nebraska

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Posted: 11/18/07 08:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maintcpo wrote:

Okay, I have a champion, and am interested. But how are you currently starting it? It appears to be ducted where the pull cord should be? Why are you not using the 30 Amp plug? What is the ducting on both sides for? Any gain with a larger exhaust pipe? Sorry so many questions.


The starter rope is there, you just can't see it in the pictures.
There is a slot in the engine duct for it.
Both the engine and the generator need cool incoming air. The ducts provide the coolest air while keeping them from ingesting heated compartment air.
A larger exhaust pipe would work but I used 1 inch conduit.
Seems to work fine.

I just have not installed the 30 amp plug yet. On the right side of the compartment you can see the electrical box for it.
Brad

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