Inverter Generator - anyone try one of these for portable hamming?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K7JOE, Jun 13, 2018.

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  1. K7JOE

    K7JOE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi, Looking to see if anyone has used one of these "tailgate" inverter-generators for field / portable HF use. The price is hard to beat, and seems like the output (peak 1000W, 500W avg) would be more than adequate to run a 100W HF radio and related small gear. The size, the clean digital AC sine-wave output and the low noise aspect seem very appealing. I'm picking one up tomorrow, but curious if others have used this item with HF radio.... If nothing, I'll use it as a battery charger, but I could see other applications. For $200 it sure seems handy. Thoughts ?

  2. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Biggest issue is the intended use. Other issues like starting current for appliances. But the direct answer to your question is another questions: how much draw on your batteries will it have VS simply using 12v appliances?

    I had a 1000W inverter and it barfed on using a leaf blower. Newer units are pure sine wave and reduce this.
  3. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    In most cases, you ''get what you pay for...'

    Another cliche might equally apply - cheap isn't synonymous with value.

    There are many cheaper clones for which parts and service are unavailable, reliability is poor and they are comprised of poor quality parts. The Honda 2000 series units are generally considered the standard, are better built and are famous for reliability. They are also low noise, both electrically and in terms of ambient noise and the newer version can handle a modest start load.

    Your wallet; your choice.
    K2HAT likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like inverter generators for powering most of our usual ham stuff, and have a Honda EU2000i which is an inverter type 2kW model. Works well, quiet, pretty lightweight, long run time on a tank of regular unleaded, starts easy and I've had zero problems with it powering ham gear including rotators and stuff.

    The Sportsman looks like an amazing deal, but I've never used one.

    One thing that bothers me about its "specifications" is they state not recommended for use above 3,000 feet elevation (above sea level). That would make it completely useless for most of my portable operations, which are in the mountains way above that elevation.

    Sportsman generator.PNG
    KA4DPO likes this.
  5. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a 100Ah deepcycle and 120w solar panel, when camping to run everything from lights to the radios.
  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds a bit scary.

    California Proposition 65 Warning: WARNING: This product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  7. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You want to invert 12VDC to 120VAC, and connect a 120VAC to 13.8VDC @ ≈20A regulated power supply. Rube Goldberg would like it but, it's not the best idea.

    Instead, use a DC-DC boost regulator to get from 12VDC to 13.8VDC. MFJ produces the MFJ-4416C (link). A friend homebrewed a similar unit many years ago. It's DEAD quiet from MF-HF, and VERY efficient. :)
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think my generator says it cannot even be sold in Calfornia.
  9. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page


    Where do you get that this cheap unit is clean ?
    Then do you think you'l get 1,000 or even 500 watts from the 12v DC side ?
    Most generators , even the quality units , Honda / Yamaha , also do not give you more than a few amps of 12vdc - the newest Honda EU2200 only 100 watts / 8.3 amps .
    Like mention earlier , pay little - get little - chineeze junk .
    I've tried to repair a bunch of these no-name , and the ones that got ahold of brands names - that use to mean something .
    They copied Honda / Yamaha so badly , you can not get repairs or parts - as an example a 3500 watt chineeze petcock turned off on brand new unit when not in use - the petcock broke off at the tank , it was a 1/3rd the size of the Honda they copied - made it weaker , smaller diameter hole in tank - could not use a Honda part , and could not buy a new one .
    Not really sorry , just pissed off at cheap junk coming into country in exchange for good jobs / manufacturing leaving country - and were stuck with filling our landfills with chineeze junk .
    N0TZU, WZ7U and NL7W like this.
  10. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Anything with a gasoline engine will have that warning, if it is sold in California. There are plenty of other types of devices that carry it, as well. The prop 65 warning has become so common that it fails to be very scary anymore.
    AL4Y and NL7W like this.

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