Anyone have experience in this area? Any sensitivities?
I plan on using either a 900 watt gas generator or a 3500 watt one. I'll be using a UPS for surge protection and of course, it will be nice to have the battery backup when refueling. I'll also have a light bulb for steadying the load.
Any thoughts if this is a good plan or any pitfalls I might have?
I run solar. A simple PWM charge controller, two 140 watt panels and a couple 6v golf cart batteries is all you need. No noise at all.
For field day we use 2 100 amp hour batteries (VMAX SLR100), a 30 amp MPPT charge controller and a 280 watt solar panel.. this is bigger then what you need but it makes a great backup for power outages at home as well.
If you do use a generator I would an inverting type generator, like a Honda or Yamaha inverter generator.. much more stable power output.. keep in mind, you will still have to use a power supply.
Good luck, Winston VK7WH
The new Inverter type generator are more then likely to have noise in the receiver on the radio.
QST magazine did some test on the inverter type generators a couple years ago, the Higher tear generators like the Honda I2000 and Yamaha are much quieter RF wise but cost more.
What happens is, no matter if you ground the generator or not the Power Cable you plug into the generator is a GREAT antenna and really radiates the RF put off by the inverters.
I would recommend no matter which way you go picking up a AC Line filter large enough to handle your generator or future generator and install it as close to the generator as you can get it.
For those who care, here is the Filters I use on my pair of Honda Inverter Generators to block the RF Hash, these filters give you 25dB attenuation on the HF band, You would want to put this as close to the Generator as possible and get the Current size that is higher then your generators capable of.
I installed mine into a box with outlets on it to match my Trailer Plug and a 1.5' pig tail to plug into the Generators 30Amp outlet and a ground lug for a very short ground cable to a ground rod.
I have also installed one of these on a 6KW Honda 240V Inverter genset and work great there as well.
Toroids will also work to help filter out MPPT Solar Charge controller noise, The better quality MPPT charge controllers have filtering built in if you read the Specs before you buy and the only kind I use on my Radio sites I own and maintain because they have a much higher (up to 30%) performance from the solar panels then standard charge controllers.
Your mileage will vary but this has worked for me in a LOT of RV-ing running HF and Remote Mountain top communication sites.
My comment is on the delivery of the power. Every few years I give a talk to our Radio Club on using a generator safely.
Generators are not required to have a Ground Rod for operation out in the "Field". The MFG will say you need it, and this is to protect their ass.
To many issues if you are relying on this ground rod, like soil conditions, bedrock, wet, dry...... Also, "Locates" are required by law in Ontario (every ware). How deep do you drive the rod? How do you take the rod out of the ground? Maybe aiding to RF Noise as well !!
And if you are using a generator as a back-up to your home or cottage, you must connect a separate ground wire from the Generator frame ground lug to the building ground system. (That's Law every ware).
So because of these issues, your best solution is to use a GFCI-A Portable cord (`14" long). Home Depot sells Husky, and there are many others on the market you can buy. Using this GFCI-A cord now means you no longer need a hammer, ground rod, ground cable, and no "Locates".
Our Radio Club has being using GFCI-A and no ground rods for many years now at all of our outdoor events, rain or shine, and no one has ever complained about generator noise either. Hmmmm!
Hope this added info is helpful.
Have a safe day.
Kevin Smith, CET, ME, Va3KGS