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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
a good wide band spectrum unit will show all of the inverter trash...

it could be an internal filter bad!
they use an LC ckt in the inverters to hold down the trash...

I am working on a set of school videos for 2021 / 2022 honda school that shows the trash for engineering class.
subtle differences in the inverter internals specs will show up as hash or signal trash...

all that stuff like time shift etc play in to the fq deviation.
and then power factor as well...

if you small electronics has real good power supplies and good filtering on the ac to dc converters
you will not notice the bad power...
but over time the filters will fail if they are feed a steady diet of super trash!
I had posted this issue on another forum and there was speculation that my inverter might be defective. But, I told them that the problem I was running into was that I could not get technical support at Wen to understand what I was talking about. Even Tier 2 didn't seem to know what I was trying to tell them about the signal noise. They were mostly trained on how to get the engines up and running again. The electricals were not really part of their knowledge base. I don't know how I would explain to them any possible defects. The engine runs great. The inverter makes 124 volts steady at 60 Hz steady. For all I know, all of them do this and I'd have trouble with any inverter with my DMM. I simply don't know enough about inverters to make that determination.

I'm probably being really nit-picky about it given that any items running on it would only run on it for a few days at a time, and rarely at that. I think OMH is right, that's it's probably not something to really worry about. If there's actually some defect, it's not affecting VAC or Hz in any way for some reason. Seems a defect would cause other issues as well, but I can't say for sure. I was thinking that other people may have seen something like this before and knew if it really meant there was an actual problem, and if so, where the smoking gun is. But no one seems to have seen anything like this, or maybe they've just never tested their inverters before so they don't know. I'd love to put the signal through a scope, but I've had no luck in finding someone with one. I really didn't want to have to buy one given a nice one is expensive and it's a tool I'd use exactly once. This has really been a complete head-scratcher for me since I had assumed that the DMM would not have any issues with getting readings on the signal, yet it did. I didn't want to return it only to get another one that does the exact same thing.
 

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I had posted this issue on another forum and there was speculation that my inverter might be defective. But, I told them that the problem I was running into was that I could not get technical support at Wen to understand what I was talking about. Even Tier 2 didn't seem to know what I was trying to tell them about the signal noise. They were mostly trained on how to get the engines up and running again. The electricals were not really part of their knowledge base. I don't know how I would explain to them any possible defects. The engine runs great. The inverter makes 124 volts steady at 60 Hz steady. For all I know, all of them do this and I'd have trouble with any inverter with my DMM. I simply don't know enough about inverters to make that determination.

I'm probably being really nit-picky about it given that any items running on it would only run on it for a few days at a time, and rarely at that. I think OMH is right, that's it's probably not something to really worry about. If there's actually some defect, it's not affecting VAC or Hz in any way for some reason. Seems a defect would cause other issues as well, but I can't say for sure. I was thinking that other people may have seen something like this before and knew if it really meant there was an actual problem, and if so, where the smoking gun is. But no one seems to have seen anything like this, or maybe they've just never tested their inverters before so they don't know. I'd love to put the signal through a scope, but I've had no luck in finding someone with one. I really didn't want to have to buy one given a nice one is expensive and it's a tool I'd use exactly once. This has really been a complete head-scratcher for me since I had assumed that the DMM would not have any issues with getting readings on the signal, yet it did. I didn't want to return it only to get another one that does the exact same thing.
I am not a Ham Radio user, but I was searching the web for inverter generator power quality, and came across a forum where a guy was discussing inverter generators that created noise on certain frequency channels on his ham radio. Probably picking up some of the high frequency output you may be seeing on your DMM. That guy was not concerned about the power quality, only irritated that it was happening.
The important issue here is that your generator is rated for 3% THD output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I am not a Ham Radio user, but I was searching the web for inverter generator power quality, and came across a forum where a guy was discussing inverter generators that created noise on certain frequency channels on his ham radio. Probably picking up some of the high frequency output you may be seeing on your DMM. That guy was not concerned about the power quality, only irritated that it was happening.
The important issue here is that your generator is rated for 3% THD output.
That raises an interesting point, and one that I've been turning over in my head since trying to figure this out. The noise might not be anything harmful. It's annoying that it could be there, but is it going to cause any actual problems? One of the selling points for me when I bought it is the rated 3% THD as well as a very good price. I'm starting to wonder that even if there is some kind of noise that's messing with my DMM readings... it's not anything that will make any practical difference in normal operation. And, the signal passed through the Isobar seems to clean up very nicely. At this point, I would not run anything straight from the inverter anyway, so all of this may be a phantom menace. Admittedly, it does make me feel better to know that this issue may be more common than you'd think since most inverter owners don't test their signal like we would.
 

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That raises an interesting point, and one that I've been turning over in my head since trying to figure this out. The noise might not be anything harmful. It's annoying that it could be there, but is it going to cause any actual problems? One of the selling points for me when I bought it is the rated 3% THD as well as a very good price. I'm starting to wonder that even if there is some kind of noise that's messing with my DMM readings... it's not anything that will make any practical difference in normal operation. And, the signal passed through the Isobar seems to clean up very nicely. At this point, I would not run anything straight from the inverter anyway, so all of this may be a phantom menace. Admittedly, it does make me feel better to know that this issue may be more common than you'd think since most inverter owners don't test their signal like we would.
I'm going to go back to my first point. It's more of a DMM issue, not a generator issue.
Go forth young man, go forth.;)
Don't know where that came from. You're good to go.
 

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yea you are on the right track on the ham guys.
also any rf service guys should have the $ 60k worth of lab spectrum gear (new price)
I had one but it got legs and walked out of storage!
still waiting on another job contract that requires one to replace it.

knowing what you are looking at is the key when you do get the read out!!
make sure to shoot video as well as get the snap shot screen shots of the wave forms.

way above most tech line pay grade.
most will not know what you are talking about as they are scripted at the call centers.

most of the tier 5 tech guys are in locked labs.
(engineers)
lol
they do not let us out most of the time!!
GRIN!!
all that pointy head talk makes common folks heads explode!
we are a lethal group!
LMAO!
a real womd (weapon of mass destruction)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
It's just a relief to have a clean power option just in case we have another active storm season in my neck of the woods. I had been trying to figure out how to clean up the signal on my other gensets so I didn't stress about damaging electronics in the event I had to use them for several days. I realized I really needed to just get an inverter. I appreciate your help in getting it sorted.
 

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yup spending the bucks in the right places is the trick to all of this!
plan the system.
over kill it!
and buy the good stuff the first time!
all good things to keep in mind!
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Someone on the other board suggested that one or more of the diodes in the rectifier could be bad. Such a condition would cause lots of jitter with the voltage. However, voltage is stable at the outlet. Using an Isobar, Hz is stable as well. It seem to me that anything defective like that would show up across the board, not just for Hz and only from the outlet. That's what's thrown me off and suggested to me that the inverter doesn't have anything defective with any of the electrical components. It's simply how it is from the factory. I'm fine with that, it's just been frustrating not really knowing.
 

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yup hard to tell on a sealed item...
if it was not sealed or potted boards you could test each part in an inverter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I had a chance to run the inverter for about four hours yesterday. We hooked up an LED TV, Firestick, and a sound bar to inverter power. Burned about a half a tank of gas. It went well. No issues at all. I started the engine and let it warm up. I switched to eco mode, connected everything, and we watched Mr. Robot for several hours. Several times, I forgot we were using the inverter. I'm trying to get a little time on the break in oil so I can change it out for the upcoming season.

I also fired up the Coleman Powermate. I bought an 8' copper coated grounding stake. I was only able to get it about 3' in the ground before I hit a really hard layer of soil. I connected the ground wire to the Coleman ground bolt and the other end to the stake. I'm still getting the wiring fault on the Isobar, however. Could the stake need to be deeper to correct the wiring fault or will it not matter? I can get a sledge hammer to see if I can drive the stake further into the ground if that might help. I was hoping a proper grounding would remove the wiring fault. What are your thoughts?
 

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take the garden hose and a soak er nozzle and let it water the ground for a day or so at super small stream..
then drive the stake.
they make drivers for sds hammer drills as well as they make attachments for concrete breakers to drive the stakes...

we made an attachment for the skid loader bucket to push them in fast for larger jobs were we use 4-6 ground stakes for the ground array.

make sure to get the utility locates before driving any stakes.

depending on the soil.. and how damp the area where the ground stake is located.
for good black dirt Iowa soil
we figure 50 amps per ground stake nom.
so for a 200 amp service we use 4 stakes.
and space the stakes 1 foot apart min.
and use good solid copper wire to connect them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
It had rained for about five days prior to my trying to drive the stake in the ground, so it was about as soft as it gets. I didn't know if 3 feet was deep enough for the ground to read on the Isobar. It may not be deep enough, but I don't know enough about grounding to say for sure. We have a very high water table in my area. I would presume that would help, but I'm not sure.
 

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they like at least 6 foot deep or more on ground

what were you hitting at 3 feet??
rock or something else???

jimmy hoffa found? lol!
that is a standing joke here when digging or driving stakes and you hit something...

try moving the stake a few inches and drive again.
make sure to do the locates first!
just in case!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
they like at least 6 foot deep or more on ground

what were you hitting at 3 feet??
rock or something else???

jimmy hoffa found? lol!
that is a standing joke here when digging or driving stakes and you hit something...

try moving the stake a few inches and drive again.
make sure to do the locates first!
just in case!
I'm not sure what I was hitting at around the 3' depth. I suspect that the lot was built up prior to the building of the home. The soil is likely a bit looser for the first few feet before you hit the harder bedding layer of clay. I noted in several areas around the house where I tried to drive the stake in, I could not get any further than around 3'. It's probably not rocks but simply a hard base layer of clay I'm hitting. I didn't have a big enough hammer to get it any deeper. Insert Michael Scott comment here.

I don't think I'm hitting anything related to the house. The rod is now at the back of the house, near a fence line. Plus, I don't know that there is anything that would be running at that depth. No drain pipes, gas lines, or anything like that, which I presume enter the home from the street side. There is a septic system, but it's on the other side of the structure. I think it's that hard clay I mentioned.

With only three feet in the soil, I didn't know if that was enough. I suspected it might not be and that is why I am continuing to get the wiring fault despite having the grounding properly connected. I've read stories about people trying to use tent stakes as grounding rods but it not working all that well.
 

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click here for a 101 on grounding
and
click here for another basic grounding
and
click here for still another basic grounding

and this one for a bit more like class room
click here for tech info grounding

yea i like 4 stakes in a row 1 to 3 feet apart for most 200 amp service
and run fat solid ground wire at least 4 gauge or larger if you can find it.
and run up to a ground black from each stake.
and super heavy to the meter and disconnect box.

ground stake over kill is nice for lightning areas of the country to help hold back a hit at the outside of the house.

some where here i have grounding for rf tx stations...
aarl has some good books on that as well...
a good read for lock down days!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I ordered a sledge hammer. I will try to drive the rod in to about seven feet if I can. If that doesn't cure the wiring fault, I'm not sure what else to do at that point.
 

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I also fired up the Coleman Powermate. I bought an 8' copper coated grounding stake. I was only able to get it about 3' in the ground before I hit a really hard layer of soil. I connected the ground wire to the Coleman ground bolt and the other end to the stake. I'm still getting the wiring fault on the Isobar, however. Could the stake need to be deeper to correct the wiring fault or will it not matter? I can get a sledge hammer to see if I can drive the stake further into the ground if that might help. I was hoping a proper grounding would remove the wiring fault. What are your thoughts?
Are you using extension cords to connect your Coleman to the Isobar? If so, your Coleman may have a "Floating Neutral". If so, that is what may be causing the wiring fault on your Isobar.
You can check by doing a continuity check on your generator with your multimeter. Test the Common to the Ground to see if there is continuity.
You could also use one of these:
Klein Tools RT210 Outlet Tester, Receptacle Tester for GFCI / Standard North American AC Electrical Outlets, Detects Common Wiring Problems - - Amazon.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
No, I'm connecting the Isobar directly to the outlet. I haven't tried to connect using an extension cord. I suspect the Coleman does have a floating neutral since it was connected to a breaker box during Gustav back in 2008. That's why I was trying to find a way to effectively ground it. I don't know for sure that the wiring fault is being caused by bad or no grounding, but I presume that is what is causing the fault to appear. I can try to drive the grounding rod deeper into the ground, but I didn't know if that is what is casing the issue.
 

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If you have a "floating neutral" the Isobar fault is likely an open ground. A ground rod will NOT solve that problem. You need to bond the neutral and ground together.

In your home the ground and neutral are bonded at the first service panel.

The easy fix is to take a spare plug and run a jumper from the neutral (wide) terminal or silver screw to the ground green terminal. Plug it into a spare receptacle.
 

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If you have a "floating neutral" the Isobar fault is likely an open ground. A ground rod will NOT solve that problem. You need to bond the neutral and ground together.

In your home the ground and neutral are bonded at the first service panel.

The easy fix is to take a spare plug and run a jumper from the neutral (wide) terminal or silver screw to the ground green terminal. Plug it into a spare receptacle.
If you plug that adaptor ground plug into a GFIC receptacle, it will trip the GFIC. Ask me how I know.;)
 
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