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Old 12-07-2009, 07:37 AM   #11
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Wasnt anything I learned in HS. I learned it about two years ago from that book series. I just happen to remember glancing over "ice house" and "filled with straw". I put it together when I read the books.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

This has been tormenting me, Elliot. Rest assured I've been trying to come up with a circuit using cheap off the shelf parts that will work, but I just can't seem to make it happen without an expensive little black box of some type. I think your plan of manually starting the generator a few times per day with the remote is the best solution you're goign to get short of spending as much as you paid for the bus itself.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:49 PM   #13
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?



Thanks for your efforts, Andrew!

But the silly thing is, the LAST thing I want is a remote control. I can walk 40 feet and turn the key just fine. What I had in mind, was to automate the process so the ice cream would not melt while I am away from camp for an undetermined length of time.

Sounds like the solution is to insulate the box so well that it will stay safely frozen something like eight hours between start-ups. To encase a chest freezer this well, may require the compressor-and-condensor to be located outside the unit, like a house central A/C system. I think I need to go to a store and look at how chest freezers are actually built.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Perhaps the easiest solution will be to install a 150dB temperature alarm on Millicient's roof. A temperature sensitive circuit to ignite some pyrotechnics certainly would be much easier to do.

*edit* Now if we could install fuel injection on the generator the whole thing would be far, far different. Do some reading on Megasquirt, specifically the Microsuirt variant and let me know what you think.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:10 PM   #15
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?


Temperature alarm... Oh yes -- one of those Cold War air raid sirens powered by a Chrysler Hemi!

"Whooooooooaaaaaaaaaa...."

"Pardon me fellas, I need to run by my camp and start the generator before the ice cream melts. Back in an hour."


Now, waittaminitt.... If a temperature reading can start the Hemi Siren, then it could surely start the genny!
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:16 PM   #16
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

I was just thinking but not sure if this helps. What about the home thermostat idea. all a home thermostat is, is a power switch that turns the furnace or ac on or off. then again any thermostat does this (except the one installed in your chest freezer it needs a source of power to operate) but what I was more interested in was when my furnace turns on, the blower fan doesn't turn on right away it waits about 30 seconds then turns on. I wonder if this type of system could work in your case. I don't have much experience with furnaces and not sure what turns the blower fan on. temp senser or time delay. (probably temp) but any 110v time delay switch should work.
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external battery powered thermostat sends signal to auto starter which starts generator
time delay waits 30 seconds or so then connects power from generator to chest freezer (what you would have to rewire to not use its own thermostat but to kick the compressor on when power is turned on) .
after set temp is reached thermostat shuts off generator.
In theory this should work. Electrically I'm not sure, you would want to consult an electrician prior to the build for proper and safe installation and if it would work.
I'll keep looking around for more info.
hope some of this helps
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #17
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

chest freezers are built just like uprights, the advantage is that when you open the door all of the cold air doesn't spill out and let the box fill up with ambient temp air

some of the older upright freezers had the evaporater coils built into the shelfs, 3 or 4 shelfs inside a well insulated and weather sealed box with a modern high efficiency compressor and condenser would be the hot ticket.
disect a wrecked reefer trailer for insulated panels and build a doublewall box sealing all the joints with greatstuff and caulk the interior joints with food grade silicone. a good appliance repair shop should be able to get you door gaskets made to fit your application
talk to your favorite thermo king mechanic, he has all the answers for icecream, you just need to convince him to share them with you
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:36 PM   #18
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesaltydog24
I was just thinking but not sure if this helps. What about the home thermostat idea. all a home thermostat is, is a power switch that turns the furnace or ac on or off. then again any thermostat does this (except the one installed in your chest freezer it needs a source of power to operate) but what I was more interested in was when my furnace turns on, the blower fan doesn't turn on right away it waits about 30 seconds then turns on. I wonder if this type of system could work in your case. I don't have much experience with furnaces and not sure what turns the blower fan on. temp senser or time delay. (probably temp) but any 110v time delay switch should work.
SO
external battery powered thermostat sends signal to auto starter which starts generator
time delay waits 30 seconds or so then connects power from generator to chest freezer (what you would have to rewire to not use its own thermostat but to kick the compressor on when power is turned on) .
after set temp is reached thermostat shuts off generator.
In theory this should work. Electrically I'm not sure, you would want to consult an electrician prior to the build for proper and safe installation and if it would work.
I'll keep looking around for more info.
hope some of this helps
Chris
You are correct thus far and arrived at roughly the same solution I did. The problem comes with actually starting the generator. The signal to trigger the remote starter is easy enough to generate, but one that uses a tach signal or crank timer to start the engine will not have the capability of operating the choke. The ones we found on google have the capability of running the choke remotely, but require the operator to determine when the choke is necessary and conduct the appropriate keystrokes. This is why I jokingly suggested Microsquirt to Elliot. Microsquirt will eliminate the choke and automatically enrich the mixture as necessary so a $40 remote car starter with a simple momentary signal could be utilized. Of course fuel injecting a Honda EU3000 isn't really practical.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:44 AM   #19
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

It just struck me that we have missed the most important question. How often do people open the door to the fridge/freezer while the power is out. Fridges are made to maintain frozen icecream for 12-24 hours with minimal loss (about 5 degrees per 12hrs or longer)...as long as nobody opens the door.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:55 AM   #20
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

I could think that it was a remote control or the timer for an automatic generator. However, it was a great featured to the generator. It was easy to use and can give real benefits to the user.
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