Power Equipment Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
All,

I figured I would compile a bit of an unboxing/first impressions post/thread here for reference. Hopefully this helps others down the road if they come across this in a search or if any of you in current times are interested.

I did not do an exact "unboxing" photo set - I sort of did the pictures in reverse order. I already had everything out of the box when I decided to do the pictures.

Here is a quick "high points" likes/dislikes:

Likes:
  • LED light that flips out to illuminate the tank opening. It is well designed in that it really works. I tried it out this evening after it started getting dark enough to use it and I was genuinely impressed with it.
  • Internal frame - a lot of the frame members are welded. Welded joints aren't bolted joints that can vibrate loose, although there are a lot of bolts too.
  • Oil jug it came with was pre-measured to the right amount. I did check the oil level as I filled to ensure I wasn't over-filling. It would be easy for the manufacturer to throw a quart of oil in and people not measuring, just dumping the whole thing in. So the jug having the exact amount of oil is a really good thing.
  • Overall good quality and design. Plastic and rubber parts fit very precisely and neat.
  • Oil drain hose already there and ready to go for easy/clean oil changes.
  • Fuel drain hose off carb bowl
  • Easy access to maintenance areas
  • Quiet in operation at low draw/eco mode.
  • Powerful
  • Meter/display - has all the metrics you would want to see without a separate plug-in meter.

Dislikes:
  • No fuel pump for gas. It is a gravity fed/carburetor float fuel metering system. I will have to change this as I intend to run remote tanks. The OHV cover is easy to access inside the access hatch. That is where I tapped for a pressure sense line to control the fuel pump on my small open frame rotary. I believe I can do the same modification with this gen.
  • The generator is a proverbial "tank". Of course the dimensions are published. However, it is another thing to actually work with it in real life. It takes up more space than I anticipated and the weight is significant. It isn't a good idea to single-hand it in and out of the truck, but I did it this evening. With little to no fuel in the tank it is a lot easier for me. I made the mistake of topping off the tank when it was on the ground. That made it a lot harder to get in the truck.
  • 120v only
  • Metal gas tank - I assume it is carbon steel, I will verify. If so - that can rust out over time.
  • SLA battery. This isn't a huge draw back, however I did see a listing online that said an electric start Champion inverter came with a Lithium battery. That listing could very well be off, but a lithium battery would be a nice upgrade. However, it may not be OK to do that upgrade if the charging circuitry is not compatible with a lithium algorithm. That I will have to dig through to get an answer before attempting it. I am not sure how long the SLA will last, but if I can get a year out of it that would be OK in my book based on prior experience with SLA and AGM batteries.

When I first tried to get the unit to run I tried pull starting with no luck. Then I tried the electric start. Still no luck. The battery showed 12.7 volts on it before I started messing with it, so for having sat for a while that is decent voltage. I thought it was bad fuel so I got some fresh fuel in it. I did not put very much in up front, however I did drain what I did have in there earlier. I drained from 2 places - I pulled the hose off the carb from the shut off valve (rotary dial on the front panel) and drained the fuel that was in the tank/line through this. Then I opened the screw drain on the carb bowl. There is a small drain hose already there for the purpose. I flushed the same way with a bit of fresh fuel. Then I reconnected things and tried to get it going.

Having the same issue with fresh fuel I moved on to the spark plug. I pulled it and ran the starter with the spark plug connected to the wire and grounded. There was intermittent spark. It was there for the first second then stopped. That seemed consistent in several rounds of trying it. I thought that was pretty odd. I have my EU2200 easy to get to so I pulled the spark plug from it to try. The plug is different so it won't fit in the Champion, however I could still put it in the circuit to test spark. This plug worked fine. So that tells me the OEM spark plug is suspect. I put it back in since it is the only one I have that fits this engine at the moment. This time I was able to get it to fire, but briefly. So I pulled the plug again and re-seated the connection another time. This time I got it to run. I shut it off then went to setting up my welder (test load). After I set everything up - same problem of the quick firing, but no run. So I pulled the plug and put it back in yet another time. This time I was able to get it to run.

Some background here is I have worked on a lot of engines. I won't proclaim to know everything, however I do know a thing or two and certainly a few tricks. For me - the trouble I am having is able to be worked through. It is irritating, yes, but I have enough skill I am comfortable doing it. Why I bring this up is because someone that doesn't have that skill would be in for a very bad day - and if this generator was acquired as a necessity on a camping trip, or home back up during an emergency - that would take "bad day" to the extreme. I don't want to be doom and gloom, but I want to be very honest in my post here that I ran in to some snags. For me and at this time the snags aren't a problem. My acquiring the generator now is to fill a significant void in portable power. I did not acquire it out of necessity to use it immediately. Therefore I have the luxury of time to fiddle with it. I would venture a guess that most people purchasing one of these that run in to snags as I am would get very frustrated and spend some irritating time on the phone with technical support. Just beware and if you are reading this as you are looking to purchase this, or a similar generator - give yourself the luxury of time to work through any snags you may hit to gain confidence in the unit before you are pressed to needing it.

Quick initial conclusion:
This is a powerful portable generator, but may take some know-how to get to operating. So far, for the price, I don't think it is a bad generator.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Plant Bumper Tire


Test load - Everlast PowerArc 210STL welder. It is dual voltage - 120/240. The pigtail adapter you see takes the 6-50P to a 5-15P for a conventional 15/20a plug. When the unit powers up it auto-detects the input voltage and limits the selectable welding amperage to 120a max (on 240v it will go to 200a max).

I didn't have time to try various settings/configurations. I used a 1/8" 6011 rod with the machine set to 80 amps - lower end of its range. The catch to this is I don't know the settings on this machine at 120v input so I can't correlate that welding amperage very well to how the machine runs on 240v. I haven't ever tried to weld on 120v with this machine, other than a quick test a long time ago, so this is a new experience...


Wood Automotive tire Bumper Gas Asphalt


The dot was where I tried a lower amperage, but was too low to get the rod to run. I couldn't find my 3/32" 6011's (smaller than 1/8" - runs on lower amps) fast so I just used a 1/8". I tried to run lower amperage but it was too low to get the rod to run, hence the dot.

My intent is to only run 3/32" rods when running off this generator - 6011 and 7018 (where 7018 takes significantly more power for the same size rod - figure another 30-50 amps over 6011).

At the end of the day - this set up with the gen and welder WORKS. Score. Now I don't need my 15kw gen unless I am doing heavy welding - rare. And if I am doing heavy welding I probably won't be running this little green machine, either.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Bumper Rolling Gas
Motor vehicle Gas Automotive design Auto part Electronic device
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle Automotive exterior
Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper


More detail pictures to follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Fuel fill detail. Flip up LED light on the right. It comes on when you open it from the stowed position. There is a button that is normally closed that is held open when the light is stowed, when you open it the button goes back to closed to turn the light on. This light runs on a separate battery than starter battery. I am not sure I like that, but it is one less "forget to turn off and drain the battery dead" load.

Watch Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire



Starter cable connections.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive exterior



Starter battery detail - 9Ah SLA

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper Gas Automotive exterior




Being a bit of an electronics nut, I did find this control board very interesting. It is a partially potted board without a full enclosure. I find it strange to have open components sticking out like that. However, I still think it is decent quality from what I can tell.

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior Vehicle



The heat sink you see behind the access panel here is the back of the potted control board seen earlier.

Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Audio equipment Gas



Clear labeling on the top

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Gas Automotive exterior



Starter cable connectors have caps. I would disconnect the battery when not in use (these connectors make that a piece of cake - no disconnecting terminals from the battery itself - bonus as the battery is not accessible through this access panel).

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Auto part Automotive exterior Gas



Spec/data sticker. Note that running wattage is all that is listed - not starting wattage, as the generator is advertised with.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Font Bumper Material property
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can see the flip up LED light a bit better here. It flips up and hangs over the fill area well enough to see the tank level as you are filling it. I will have to get another picture showing it in action - it does work pretty well.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Gas Automotive exterior

Watch Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire


Spec/data sticker. Note the wattage listed only shows running wattage, not starting wattage - which is what the generator is advertised as providing.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Font Bumper Material property



All of the contents here is exactly as described on the box and in the online product listings.

Helmet Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Hood Hat
Light Bag Luggage and bags Grass Automotive tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got a replacement spark plug today - a cheapo from O'Rileys. It is an Autolite copper plug, # 63. It showed as an equivalent to NGK etc. I set the gap at the bottom of spec - .028" - and tested the spark before screwing it in. I did not get a chance to fire it up, but the spark was a ton better than the OEM.

I will dig in to iridium plugs. I remember that mentioned a while back in relation to the NG conversions I did on my rotary gens back a couple years ago. Sounds like they have stronger/hotter arcs which would assist on starting on NG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
I will dig in to iridium plugs. I remember that mentioned a while back in relation to the NG conversions I did on my rotary gens back a couple years ago. Sounds like they have stronger/hotter arcs which would assist on starting on NG.
Yes and no. Copper is the better conductor, actually. Iridium has 3x the electrical resistance of copper.

What's going for iridium is that it is twice as hard and having over twice the melting point of copper, so they tend to last longer in the harsh environment of a combustion chamber.

Faster-wearing copper plugs trumps iridium in terms of spark production while new, but they wear down relatively fast and so they become worse over time while the slow-wearing iridium plug tends to perform more consistently over most of its operational life.

That said, I changed to iridium after converting to propane. This fuel tends to burn hotter so I think the iridium should fare better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Faster-wearing copper plugs trumps iridium in terms of spark production while new, but they wear down relatively fast and so they become worse over time while the slow-wearing iridium plug tends to perform more consistently over most of its operational life.
Yup. Iridium and Ruthenium tend to keep their sharp edges longer. The sharp edges help the spark jump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Interesting comment about standard plugs working better when new than iridium plugs. I have a Briggs & Stratton 5500W generator which came with a Champion RC12YC standard plug. No complaints about performance when running. From brand new it took about 10 pulls on the starter cord to fire her and the engine is 342cc, not small, especially hooked up to the generator head. I replaced it with a NGK BKR5EIX-11 and it started in 2 pulls, even using the same tank of fuel. The Champ plug looks great, not worn and the gap is .030, proper gap, when I removed it. This is strictly a gasoline engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Interesting comment about standard plugs working better when new than iridium plugs.
The standard "copper" plug nearly always outperforms any other plug type when new. Hang around a drag strip and see what they are running. The problem with them has always been short life. In a car they have to be changed at about 20K miles maximum. The Iridium plugs can go for 100K+ miles. The fuel type makes a huge difference too. The standard plugs don't hold up well to propane or natural gas, but that's not applicable to you since you are running gasoline.

I don't know why you were experiencing fewer pulls to start the engine with an Iridium plug. Seems like there should have been no difference since your Champion plug was new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Ironically, I also see many unflattering comments about Champion plugs. You would think that Champion generators would have Champion plugs... I wonder what they actually use?
Many years ago I worked at a tune-up shop. One day the asst mgr/lead tech showed us a brand new Champion plug that had just been installed and was causing a miss. He held it up with electrode pointed up and it looked normal, then he rotated it so the electrode was down and the center electrode slide down against the ground strap! He said that was the second one he found with that defect. We stopped sell Champion plugs shortly after that.

NGK has been my favorite brand since I was a teenager racing 2-stroke dirt bikes in the 70's and 80's. IMHO, they are a much better plug. Back then, the small dia electrode types were called palladium. I used them exclusively and they performed well especially when the course elevation varied by thousands of feet and re-jetting in the middle of a race wasn't an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More detail pictures.

In another thread - links below to some for cross reference - there was some discussion about the breaker sequence (first thread below) and how the circuitry was. That is a subject for a later time to dig more in to, however I wanted to put some reality to the schematic so I opened it up and took some pictures.





You can't open the electrical panel very far from the front easily. The propane line is what holds it back.

Electrical wiring Yellow Electronic engineering Audio equipment Cable



When I went to shut the electrical panel again I had trouble closing it. I jiggled it a bit trying to see what was holding it from closing all the way. I heard a clicking like a switch closing and opening, then this little metal piece fell out.


Wood Road surface Automotive tire Automotive exterior Font


I went back to the parts/schematics document trying to identify the part, with no luck at all. So I decided to try to put things together less the part and see what happens. Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't. Of course, parts have reasons for being there so it is best to get things back the way they should be.

Well I fired up the generator - first time since the new spark plug went in. I put a heater on as a load to test a couple things. Then I went to shut off the generator to test the ease of starting again. The generator would NOT turn off. There was my answer to the part. It had something to do with shutting off the generator.

I let the fuel run dry (with the dial in the engine off position it also cuts fuel from the tank - just as if you were to store it). Then I went digging now that I had an idea of what that part was now.

To get the electrical panel open further I took the 4 nuts (7mm, they are real hard to get to) off the mount for the propane hose port. That freed up the panel from the limited movement of the propane hose.

I could get a better shot in to see the wiring also. Below is that result.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Electrical wiring Computer hardware


Note that the wiring to the outlets looks like no larger than 12 gauge. It is marked with "3.5mm".

Going back to the question of the breaker sequence and if the generator can push, on start up, over 40 amps - this wiring seems to be a little bit under-size. Something to keep in mind.

All the wiring is bundled and exits to the left of the electrical panel where it goes to the control board. You can find the details of that pinning/connections/wires in the schematic so I won't trace that - everything you need for that, if you should need it, is in the published documents from Champion.

Electrical wiring Cable Wire Electrical supply Electronic engineering


Now for that pesky little metal blade part and what to do with it...

The part is the pressure contact for the kill switch. There is a bump on the plastic dial, behind the panel face, that is what presses against the metal blade.

What I made the mistake of when trying to put things together the first time is that I had the dial in the OFF position (both engine off and fuel off, top dead center). The blade was interfering with the bump - as it should, but I didn't know that and I went jiggling it trying to figure out what was holding back the panel. Thats what knocked the blade off the switch - the jiggling.

The way to get the panel back on without interfering with the blade is to put the dial all the way clockwise to the choke position on gasoline. This gets the bump out of the way and gives you clearance around the blade without interfering with it while you are positioning the panel.

On the kill switch are 2 slots next to each other. These are marked with the white oval and 2 white arrows in the picture below. The slots are where the tabs on the blade go. It is a real PITA to get the blade on here with the limited access behind the panel, but it is doable.

Coil Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Automotive tire Engineering



And the blade installed again:

Motor vehicle Vehicle Electrical wiring Cable Auto part


I tried to get a picture describing the bump on the dial but none of my pictures came out showing it with the lighting/shading. It is between the 1:00 and 2:00 position, on a portion of the dial that is hidden behind the panel face. It is obvious when you have the panel open what I am referring to. The point here is when reassembling the panel you need the dial in the choke position on gas so that the bump is rotated out of the way of interfering with the switch blade, otherwise you might end up where I was - trying to figure out where that pesky little metal blade goes.

While I was at it today - I dug in to the overhead valve cover. This is the location where I want to tap to get a pressure line to a vacuum style fuel pump. On my 2600w rotary I did the same mod. In that valve cover is a baffle. At first I tried using the breather tube line but it didn't work. The breather was post-baffle. The pressure tap for the fuel pump needs to be from inside of the baffle.

When I opened this one up there is a baffle in there as well. So that tells me I need to tap the case somewhere where I can get inside of the baffle so I get the right pressure signal to the pump. That is a subject for a later time.

The two possible places to tap would be the bottom right corner (on the corner.... ) or bottom center between the lifters. You have to be very careful that the fitting you use for the tap does not protrude through the cover far enough to interfere with the lifters. And you want to ensure that you clean the chips well so you don't introduce metal, however small, in to the engine after drilling and tapping.

I think what I will do is order a new cover assembly for that mod - that way I have a stock one also.

Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive design Automotive exterior Auto part
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I ran the generator a bit more today.
Question -

What are some causes for the inverter to trip out before the amperage draw pops a circuit breaker?

The load I was running was my little welder. On 120v it "should" be able to run 120 amps (dial setting) welding current. When I got to 110 amps (see pic of the labeled weld beads) the generator faulted and kicked out. For reference - the welder was running on a 20 amp outlet, not the 30 amp. In theory - the generator should have more than enough power to drive through either the 20a or 30a breaker popping - but instead the inverter faulted before it got there. That concerns me.

In any event, the welder and generator ran happy at 100 amps weld current. The generator did pulse a bit, which I thought was odd. I am not sure why it did that other than it was seeing a variable load - which could be. I will have to put a meter on the draw and see what the amperage/wattage draw of the welder is under load.

When the generator faulted the top right reset button with the outlet and the circle arrow was on. The power was already off, but I turned the welder off (switch) and pushed and held the fault button and it reset. I didn't push it anymore, I don't think shutting off like that under load is good for the welder.

The plates are some scrap bullet proof steel, about 3/8" thick. I laminated 2 to make a backing plate for a wheel puller to use as a bolt-style press.

Road surface Automotive tire Asphalt Floor Flooring


Tire Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Bumper


Automotive tire Guitar accessory Synthetic rubber Sports equipment Asphalt


Automotive tire Bumper Road surface Flooring Asphalt


Black Textile Musical instrument Grey Wood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
The inverter can react much quicker to an overload than the thermal breakers on the front panel. Tripping the thermal breakers is a function of how much load is applied and how long it is applied.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
This is an example of a push button thermal breaker (in this case a 40A). Notice that the breaker may or may not trip between 101% and 144%. It must trip at 145%+ loading. Temperature also has a big role to play because thermal breakers quickly derate as the temperature rises. The inverter is not subject to those parameters.
Font Rectangle Number Paper Paper product
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
^ Yeah, this is where digital trumps analog. But the mechanical breakers are still important as they function as a fail-safe device, in case the inverter goes into a runaway condition due to an internal fault it can't recover from.

The real question is, how much current were you pulling from the 120V 20A outlet when the inverter tripped?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On commercial power I can run the full 120a welding current @ 120v on a regular 5-15 outlet.

That doesn't answer the draw, but the same principal question applies - in theory the welder should be able to run on a fairly "low" rated circuit.

That gets in to the detail of the philosophy of "when" a circuit breaker breaks.

If the gen is rated to 4000w running load - that comes out to 33.333 amps, or 66% over the breaker rating, or 166% of the breaker rating.

By that math - it would counter your theory that a breaker should break at 145% - the gen's running wattage would be 21% beyond that 145% number.

So if that is the case - again, the breaker should be the weak point. Instead, the inverter faulted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
I just found this: How to Easily Connect an Inverter Welder to a Portable Generator

Water Font Circle Number Rectangle


If I key in 110A into the formula above, along with the welding inverter 85% efficiency and 25% margin, the power required comes out as 4,044W. I'm sure you have enough surplus capacity (5500W peak) and that the formula is a little conservative.

I have another theory however. I'm thinking that the current demand of the welder is too transient/instantaneous or spiky. The engine may not be fast enough to jump up to full throttle to supply the generator inverter's power demands. And so, the bulk capacitors runs out of reserve and the inverter just stalls and gives out an overload condition.

You can validate the generator's true capability by using a more traditional resistive load like a bunch of space heaters to find its upper limit. If it still falls short of the 4000W continuous or 5500W peak, then you'll have something to complain about.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top