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Monday, May 16, 2011

Diesel Generator/Battery Charger, Part 2

Original Article

Here is another video of my cobbled-together generator, taken a few hours after the first one. In this video you can see the setup a bit better, because I rigged up an overhead light. I know it's a mess in there, but I had to move stuff around in the dark and drag the generator out from where it had been residing under a workbench, then haywire it all together.
You will notice in the last clip that the inverter is complaining. That is because I had just turned on a 900 watt coffee-maker in addition to the fridge, lights and other stuff that was already operating. This is only a 1500 watt inverter, but that is not why it was complaining. It was complaining because the input voltage was getting low due to a combination of insufficient battery capacity, insufficient wire size and connection quality both from the alternator to the battery and battery to inverter, and not enough output from the alternator to make up the difference. But a bigger inverter, higher capacity battery, and proper wire sizing and connections would allow much larger short-term loads, such as my coffeemaker, without increasing the size of the alternator.
This video is from the power outage following the Alabama tornadoes, which I wrote about here.

Here is a link to the store I bought this engine from, back in 2007: small diesel and gas engines
This one is 10 hp, but they have other sizes as well as gas engines.

For those who have seen the Harbor Freight coupon for a 2000 watt inverter for $130, this one is a better deal:

At 2000 watts for $130, the HF inverter costs $65 per KW. At 2500 watts for $160, this one is $64 per KW. Plus you get free shipping on this one, but you have to pay either shipping, sales tax, or both on the HF.

Home-built Diesel Generator/Battery Charger

Original Article

Here is a video of my cobbled-together generator, powering the refrigerator and a few other things during the recent power outage following the tornadoes.
The generator consists of a Chinese clone of the Yanmar L100 10 horsepower air-cooled diesel engine, powering a Delco automotive alternator. When I put this thing together a couple of years ago, I found that the internal regulator had failed. So I bypassed the regulator and used power resistors to manually control the field current and hence output voltage/current.
Sorry for the low quality of the video; at this early stage in the game I was relying on my 2-cell Maglite to light my way to the generator.
The inverter is an old 1500 watt Statpower. This particular inverter is no longer available, but I have added a link to a 2500 watt inverter that has gotten good ratings.

Audio Podcast: Episode-656- Storm Prepping and Aftermath Survival

podcast_subscribeImage by derrickkwa via Flickr

Original Article

I often say on the show we don’t “prep for events” we instead prepare to deal with out systems of support.  Yet at times we do need to analyze specific threats to our survival and formulate more specific plans based on our individual risk, specifically our geographic risks. Note – The photo above was taken [...]


Transportation by dog: great video/instructions

Original Article

I found a great video of a guy in Norway with two large, energetic dogs who needed more exercise than his human legs could easily provide. His solution was a bicycle, and then "dog triking". I've seen a few threads about what kind of dogs could pull carts, etc., but this guy's invention is fantastic. Probably most of you guys could replicate it from watching the video.

In case the link doesn't work, go to Youtube and type in "Introduction into dog triking (English version)