Generac QuietPack 55g
Generac Impact 36G
Cordless Battery Charger
Honda GX 31 Mini-engine
Propane Conversion
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Last update 12/09/2010



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Electrons shuffled since 05/10/07
I've always been fascinated with the generation and transmission of electrical power.  That's probably why I spent most of my career in the utility business.

I own several factory-made generators and I've designed and built several other rather specialized generators.  These pages document my experiences.  Major items get their own pages while random photos and short notes go on this page
Be sure to REFRESH each page on this site as I'm adding content on a daily basis.    

The generator pictured above is a cute little 2-stroke inverter generator that I found at a flea market.  It was apparently sold at some point by Harbor Freight using their Chicago Electric brand name.  It makes 350 watts and weighs only about 8 lbs.  It is quiet and just sips fuel.

A three phase permanent magnet alternator feeds the 60 hz inverter.  One sets the engine speed manually via the thumb nut on the carburetor according to the load.  If the load lightens and the engine over-speeds, a spark cut rev limiter cuts in.

Mini-FAQ No, I don't know where to find another one.  No, I don't have any spare parts.  No, I don't have a manual.


  Pictured right is a Hoof brand of self-contained mechanical governor.  This is an excellent governor for generator control, as it achieves tight RPM regulation without hunting.  These are used on large gas powered welders and other devices that use multi-cylinder industrial engines.

I bought half a dozen of these several years ago from a surplus house.  A bit of looking around the web should turn up more modern sources.

10/01/06 Pictured at right is an example of something new in the trucking industry - the APU or Aux Power Unit.  These units are being installed so that the truck engine doesn't have to be idled to keep the sleeper cool or warm during the driver's down-time.  In fact some states are making it illegal to idle for more than a few minutes.

This is an example of an APU mounted to a Kenworth chassis.  Inside is a small low speed diesel engine, an air conditioning compressor, a 12 volt alternator and optionally, a 120vac alternator.  The engine is water-cooled and so can supply comfort and engine block heat in the winter.  The fan in the photo is used to cool the engine in the summer when the heat isn't needed elsewhere.

Though primarily aimed at the trucking industry, this sort of APU would be ideal for larger RVs.  It could supply all the RV's energy needs from one fuel supply.  It would also eliminate the roof-mounted ACs since the APU supplies air conditioning directly.  The relatively small condenser can be mounted anywhere.  Typically on a large truck it is mounted to the rear wall of the sleeper.

The engine is low speed I'd estimate from 1000 to 1200 RPM and is very quiet.  While not as silent as, say, a Generac Quietpack, it is quieter than say, an Onan Emerald and the low frequency chuffing sound is much less annoying than the higher speed generators.  This truck was parked on the campus of a community college and was practically inaudible among the normal sounds of a campus on a Saturday afternoon.

This is my home-made 10kw diesel generator built around a Deutz Riggorini twin cylinder air cooled diesel engine and a 10 kW harmonic excited generator head.  This generator is designed to be man-portable and easily transportable to the job site.  It is fairly easily rolled around by one man.  
These are prototype photos.  Since then, I have added a much larger and quieter air filter and a large external muffler.