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Generator for field charging

IMPAX 700w from Screwfix

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Charles Smitheman14/04/2015 11:32:45
226 forum posts
18 photos

Hi folks,

I am being tempted by this, offered at £141.66.

It is certainly more affordable than the market leading Honda EU10i!

The reviews seem positive, provided you do put oil in the engine!

So a four stroke inverter generator for a bargain price.

The question is, have any of you tried one of these, and is it any good?

Cheers,

Charles

john stones 114/04/2015 11:41:53
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11640 forum posts
1517 photos

I haven't Charles, but I have been using a cheap NuTool 2 stroke genny for years and it's never let me downwink

John

Gordon Tarling14/04/2015 12:57:38
237 forum posts
4 photos

It's £169.99 today on the Screwfix website. There's several on'The Bay' either more capable or at a lower price.

Charles Smitheman14/04/2015 13:50:53
226 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Gordon, they posted me a flyer with the quoted price 7th April to 4th May.

I was attracted by it being light, and a four stroke. I have not been able to find a better priced four stroke....

Charles

Gordon Tarling15/04/2015 13:16:06
237 forum posts
4 photos

Charles - If you can get it for the £141.66 you quoted, it's a bit of a bargain. Just be sure that 700 Watts is sufficient output for your needs.

Cuban815/04/2015 14:26:07
3029 forum posts
1 photos

Don't forget that all of these budget priced generators, both 2 & 4 stroke are noisy in operation. I see that the Screwfix one is quoted at 93db so no good if you want remain popular on a campsite! The Clarke 1000W generator is a bit better, although £100 dearer is quoted as being 64db.

Just for comparison the mega expensive Honda suitcase generators are around 56db (they really are whisper quiet) IIRC an increase of 3db in sound level equates to a doubling of the perceived volume, so compared to the Honda, the cheapies should really come with ear plugs. Would they pass your club's noise test ?wink

Edited By Cuban8 on 15/04/2015 14:28:02

John Privett15/04/2015 19:27:58
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6077 forum posts
243 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 15/04/2015 14:26:07:

Don't forget that all of these budget priced generators, both 2 & 4 stroke are noisy in operation.

...the Screwfix one is quoted at 93db ...

The Clarke 1000W generator ... is quoted as being 64db.

... Honda suitcase generators are around 56db (they really are whisper quiet)

Are all those figures measured at the same distance? There's a huge difference between 56db and 93db. If they're not at the same distance it's somewhat meaningless.

Morgan Goule15/04/2015 19:53:45
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132 forum posts
21 photos

**LINK** im going to order this one from machine mart sometime next month its only £110 , should cover field charging. it will be used mostly at fly ins to charge my batteries

Paul Marsh15/04/2015 19:58:10
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4088 forum posts
1231 photos

I wouldn't bother with these cheap n' nasty 2 stroke generators. The electronics on them are appalling. The reason why I'm saying that, the regulator can't cope with very small loads and the result is that you get voltage spikes that range from 80v to 400v, causing damage.

I plugged a decent thermostat controlled soldering iron into one, and it burnt out the power supply - also we had them on site, and if using a 700w drill, when pressing the trigger takes ages to get to speed and makes power tools hard and clumsy to control.

They are cheap for a reason, I had two and took both to the scrap metal man, when he came round.

I had/have a old Honda/Generac generator, I bought for £90 years ago. 4 stroke, very quiet and reliable, the bulb in the light doesn't flicker at all and have had a 900w kettle on it for it's 650 rated output.

Have a vid of the scrapped 2stroke one running (after that I burnt out my soldering iron...)

john stones 115/04/2015 20:26:27
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11640 forum posts
1517 photos

My nu tool cheap n nasty one runs drills grinders etc and has done so for ten years, club has one as well that's never failed either, that reminds me I need something from Hobby King.smiley

John

Cuban816/04/2015 09:47:55
3029 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by John Privett on 15/04/2015 19:27:58:
Posted by Cuban8 on 15/04/2015 14:26:07:

Don't forget that all of these budget priced generators, both 2 & 4 stroke are noisy in operation.

...the Screwfix one is quoted at 93db ...

The Clarke 1000W generator ... is quoted as being 64db.

... Honda suitcase generators are around 56db (they really are whisper quiet)

Are all those figures measured at the same distance? There's a huge difference between 56db and 93db. If they're not at the same distance it's somewhat meaningless.

The Honda and Clarke generator's noise figures are quoted at 7 Metres and at 1/4 load. The cheapy Screwfix one claims to conform to various European standards including noise emissions, in its manual, so one can only assume that the 93db is also at 7M .

I'm in the market for a small generator for our caravan, so have taken an interest in how the cheaper ones perform  over the Hondas. The Hondas are really quiet but are way beyond anything I'd be prepared to pay for something that's only going to get occasional use. I've heard the cheapy ones run by inconsiderate people at the Nats and the racket  is terrible. The two stroke ones stink as well. The Clarke one IMO, is acceptable to use on a campsite and at 25% of the price of a 1000W Honda is the one to go for.  The cheap ones are OK to use where disturbance to others is not a problem , but could still be a nuisance when used at a club field.

 

Edited By Cuban8 on 16/04/2015 10:09:08

avtur16/04/2015 14:04:17
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883 forum posts
20 photos

A few years ago I used to run a model car racing club (along side flying), I used a Honda EU10 to power to my race control computer when I ran outdoor events; there's no doubt that the Honda was the RR of generators. Using it quite regularly I was able to justify the cost.

If I was doing the same again today I'd probably go for the Clarke Clarke IG1000 as it comes a good second to the Honda and at around 1/3 of the price £270 vs.£750.

Moving in caravan circles I've come across a handful of people using the Clarke IG1000 and it seems like a good compromise, though not quite as whisper quiet as the Honda.

I understand that 7 metres is the standard distance used by generator manufacturers for noise measurement, however EU rules require noise measurement on something called the LWA scale which is different, although I don't in what way .

Edited By avtur on 16/04/2015 14:06:00

Charles Smitheman17/04/2015 08:00:20
226 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks everyone for your valued input. It does seem that there are a lot of options out there.

Avtur, I really fancy the Clarke IG1000, it seems to tick all of the boxes. At 15kg it is also easy to lug about, and seems like excellent value for money. It is great to hear your first hand experience.

Regards,

Charles

Sparks17/04/2015 08:38:00
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271 forum posts
55 photos

Some generators are very picky about what load they are presented with. Our club bought a cheapo 1kW 4-stroke generator from Toolstation. It was fine driving resistive loads, such as kettles and electric fires, but would only produce an erratic 300W when presented with switched-mode power supplies and chargers.

Look for one that specifically says it is suitable for use with 'electronic' loads such as TV's and PC's.

Sparks

 

 

Edited By Sparks on 17/04/2015 08:40:27

Robert Armstrong 217/04/2015 09:38:20
234 forum posts
23 photos

If you are just using it for field charging (presumably lipos), have you considered a high capacity leisure battery? You can get 12v batteries up to about 100Ah. I have a deep cycle (marine) battery that is 110 Ah. Not light of coursesurprise Should recharge even large lipos a few times. Completely quiet and rechargeable from the mains at home, which should be cheaper than a petrol genny.

Of course, if you need to run power tools that won't work and if you need to operate over several days it would depend on access to charging overnight.

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