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  • Chief741A commented on More Cowbell's instructable Easy Generator to Home Hook Up5 months ago
    Easy Generator to Home Hook Up

    Roger, how did you NOT see the "NEVER DO THIS" caption on the picture of the double male connector cable? Please READ before belittling somebody's honest effort.

    Actually, your generator MAY be capable of 220 power. Or 230, or 240, depends on the generator... I'll call it 220. It all depends on how the generator is wired internally. Your generator MAY have a single 120 volt winding - in which case you probably have a single "double" outlet. However... if you have 2 double outlets, it is likely that you have a unit capable of 220 volts. Generator components are commodity items - that means that a very few actual manufacturers provide components to every outfit that wants to sell generators. Show me 10 different brands of 5kw generator, and I will show you 2 or maybe 3 different alternators driven by maybe 5 different motors. There are outfits selling generators that think they can save a buck or 10 by leaving out the twist-lock 22...

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    Actually, your generator MAY be capable of 220 power. Or 230, or 240, depends on the generator... I'll call it 220. It all depends on how the generator is wired internally. Your generator MAY have a single 120 volt winding - in which case you probably have a single "double" outlet. However... if you have 2 double outlets, it is likely that you have a unit capable of 220 volts. Generator components are commodity items - that means that a very few actual manufacturers provide components to every outfit that wants to sell generators. Show me 10 different brands of 5kw generator, and I will show you 2 or maybe 3 different alternators driven by maybe 5 different motors. There are outfits selling generators that think they can save a buck or 10 by leaving out the twist-lock 220 connector and it's associated wiring because they believe the average American is too stupid to tell the difference. Most small generators have 2 windings, each producing 120 volts. In virtually all of them, the 2 windings are "center" connected so that if you measure from the output to center on either winding, you get 120 volts, and if you measure from output to output, you get 220. It ridiculous to NOT connect the windings that way because you get the 2 voltages at no additional cost. I have seen MILSPEC gensets that allow you to select the output voltage with toggle switches, but you will rarely see that in the civilian worldIt's easy to test. If you have 2 double outlets, each socket in a double outlet will be connected to the same winding. If you have a 220-capable generator, each double outlet will be connected to a separate winding. Set your voltmeter to the proper range and insert the probes into the smaller of the vertical slots - the larger slot is connected to neutral or center - of the upper sockets of the 2 double outlets.Assuming that you remembered to start the generator, you will either get a reading of 220 volts or nothing. If your generator has 2 windings, you will get 220 volts. If it has a single winding, both hot wires will be at the same potential and you will get no reading. Just to be sure, insert your probes in the 2 slots of any socket - you should get 120, +/-.If you get a chance, buy a surplus MILSPEC generator. They are very conservatively rated - if the specs say 5kw, that means the thing was designed to deliver 5kw for it's entire service life. A civilian 5kw generator will beat it'self to death in short order if you try to pull 5kw out of it consistently. I know people who get 20 reliable hp out of the motors that drive a 3kw MILSPEC genset - they use them to power experimental aircraft.

    Please go back and read Craig's post a couple more times. It will come to you. The connection described is safe as long as he remembers to trip the main breaker before connecting the generator - and plugging the "transfer" cord into the dryer socket before connecting the other end to the generator.Oh, and leaving the garage door open.Won't work for me, my dryer is in the house, but it works for Craig.

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  • Chief741A commented on More Cowbell's instructable Easy Generator to Home Hook Up5 months ago
    Easy Generator to Home Hook Up

    I had a similar setup when I bought my place here in the Florida swamp - a 60 amp fused switch at the service pole, which fed the main panel in the mobile home. Except for the main breaker in the MH, the setup was the same. The switch was a kluge - ALL power (including outbuildings) hookup was made in the switch and it was "busy" and it wasn't exactly safe. What you have is not exactly safe, either. You really, Really, REALLY should have a main breaker in the house panel... or do what I'm going to suggest below.What I did was hang a GE panel beneath the switch, replaced the fuses with slugs and feed the panel through a 100 amp double main breaker. The outbuilding branch circuits have their own breakers, and it provides branch circuits to a pair of travel trailers parked n...

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    I had a similar setup when I bought my place here in the Florida swamp - a 60 amp fused switch at the service pole, which fed the main panel in the mobile home. Except for the main breaker in the MH, the setup was the same. The switch was a kluge - ALL power (including outbuildings) hookup was made in the switch and it was "busy" and it wasn't exactly safe. What you have is not exactly safe, either. You really, Really, REALLY should have a main breaker in the house panel... or do what I'm going to suggest below.What I did was hang a GE panel beneath the switch, replaced the fuses with slugs and feed the panel through a 100 amp double main breaker. The outbuilding branch circuits have their own breakers, and it provides branch circuits to a pair of travel trailers parked near the pole. Every circuit leaving the main panel went through 2 breakers - the main panel breaker and the branch circuit breaker.Eventually, the switch died, and I simply removed it. Had to cut the seal on the meter so I could hook the main panel directly to the meter. Thought the power company would give me some grief - but a couple months later, the meter reader noticed the cut seal, checked the panel wiring, checked my usage, noticed that my usage hadn't dropped - and left me a new seal! Ok, this is "below". I would suggest that you install a small panel "upstream" from the main panel, and do the generator hookup in the new panel. It would be best to call the power company and explain what you did if you have to cut the seal and pull the meter to safely rewire... you do NOT want to work with live main cables. It would be a simple matter to reroute the circuits you want on your emergency power - or not, if your generator is big enough to carry the whole house. But the new panel would allow you to install the interlock.Actually, a different manner of interlock would work here. You could feed the panel buss from the upper right double breaker for main power and the upper left double breaker for generator power - and physically connect the breaker toggles so that tripping one connects the other, and vice versa. Drill vertical holes through the toggles and use a small piece of channel stock to connect the toggles together. Think "parallelogram". It's easier to visualize than explain. I have seen manufactured setups that do this, but not lately. The key here is that this set up physically blocks you from connecting to main AND generator power at the same time. No power company linemen to worry about - and no small generator killing itself trying to pull the entire neighborhood. But it does require you to install a separate panel between the the hole in the wall where the wires come through and the main panel.And thinking about your problem reminded me about how to hook up the new sub panel I'm already installing so that I can toggle between generator and main power... but I haven't figured out how to power the well pump that way...

    Alfie, We are all very happy that you live in "most of Canada, and particularly in the province of Quebec", where it seems that everybody can afford to pay a licensed (and frequently Union) electrician to change their light bulbs and hook up their Christmas trees, hot plates, and ceiling fans.Many of us, however, don't live in "most of Canada, and particularly in the province of Quebec", and sometimes have to choose between paying the electrician or eating, or maybe making the insurance payment on the car, or filling any of a number of demands on our income. I don't know about you, but my income forces me to prioritize and plan months out. Actually, I am currently working on my CY2018 budget. But I digress...The bloody state didn't come out here and replace the o...

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    Alfie, We are all very happy that you live in "most of Canada, and particularly in the province of Quebec", where it seems that everybody can afford to pay a licensed (and frequently Union) electrician to change their light bulbs and hook up their Christmas trees, hot plates, and ceiling fans.Many of us, however, don't live in "most of Canada, and particularly in the province of Quebec", and sometimes have to choose between paying the electrician or eating, or maybe making the insurance payment on the car, or filling any of a number of demands on our income. I don't know about you, but my income forces me to prioritize and plan months out. Actually, I am currently working on my CY2018 budget. But I digress...The bloody state didn't come out here and replace the outbuilding wiring when brushfires took everything but my home back in 1999 - I had to do it myself or do without such frivolities as my well pump. I was fortunate to have been a generator mechanic in a former (Army) life, and while I may not know all the niceties of whatever electrical code is in vogue this week, I do know about as much about electricity as the union electrician, who was probably born about the time I retired from my first career. I wired the shed that replaced the barn I lost, ran power (and water) out to 2 lots I own, and ran 3 strands of #4 copper to the new trailer I bought after the 2004 hurricanes took out the one I had been living in. No fires, nobody hurt, not even a burned out toaster. I just resurrected a 8Kw generator (it's hurricane season, y'know) and was looking for a SAFE and simple way to connect it to my particular situation. That is why I am here.I don't know why you are here, but most of us are here to LEARN how do do things safely FOR OURSELVES. I guess that may not be allowed in "most of Canada and particularly in the province of Quebec" - but very, very few of us live there and Big Brother doesn't have such control over our lives.

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  • Rusty Junk to Useful Stuff EASY With Chemistry!

    I have used this technique for years, but in a slightly different fashion...I use lye in the water to form the electrolyte, and a large (approximately 40 gallon) plastic barrel, and a 36 volt golf cart battery charger. Same process, just on a larger scale. Any water soluble substance that allows the electricity to flow can be used to form the electrolyte, but some can be quite toxic. The washing soda idea is something I am going to try. Lye can be hard to find these days.Care needs to be taken with the lye, but the solution is not strong and I have had no problems with chemical burns. Of course, whenever I come in contact with the electrolyte I wash my hands immediately. And don't wear any clothes doing this that you are fond of. And take off any metal you wear, rings, watches, e...

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    I have used this technique for years, but in a slightly different fashion...I use lye in the water to form the electrolyte, and a large (approximately 40 gallon) plastic barrel, and a 36 volt golf cart battery charger. Same process, just on a larger scale. Any water soluble substance that allows the electricity to flow can be used to form the electrolyte, but some can be quite toxic. The washing soda idea is something I am going to try. Lye can be hard to find these days.Care needs to be taken with the lye, but the solution is not strong and I have had no problems with chemical burns. Of course, whenever I come in contact with the electrolyte I wash my hands immediately. And don't wear any clothes doing this that you are fond of. And take off any metal you wear, rings, watches, etc.Rebar works great as an anode, but the rust flakes soon coat the bar and reduce the effectiveness of the process. Depending on the size of the project - say, like the cargo rack from a 4-wheeler - you may need to replace the anode more than once. I keep a few pieces of rebar handy, so I can replace one and clean up the other. I hose the crusty used anode off thoroughly - rubber gloves help, remember the lye - and let it dry. Once dry, a wire wheel on a bench grinder (or drill) makes short work of producing a clean "new" anode. You will be generating a significant cloud of red dust, I wear a simple face mask. My shed isn't exactly "tight" - more like a small pole barn - so I do this indoors, but it's best done outside.You will be surprised at how fast the rebar will erode. Apparently, the iron rust being dissolved by the electrolysis process takes iron from the anode to form the rusty fuzz on the rebar. I'm sure a chemist out there will have something to say about that. Of course, I'm using about 40 volts and several amps... The reason for hooking the red positive clamp from the battery charger to the anode stems from the fact that electricity actually flows from the negative terminal to the positive. Hook this up backwards and you will end up with a shiny piece of rebar and granny's dutch oven will be coated with rusty flakes!By the way, protect the cleaned metal surface asap. This electrolysis process leaves elemental iron exposed to the air and it will start to rust faster than you might believe. Also, this process does NOT remove paint. Anywhere that the paint has separated from the metal surface will bubble up and is easily removed, but you need to plan on removing paint if you are going after that "new" look. Speaking of looking "new"... this process does not remove or fill in rust pits in the metal. It only removes the actual rust. A final note: I drain the old electrolyte solution on the ground. It's a weak base, further weakened by the water used to rinse the tub. The weeds behind my shed seem to thrive on the stuff. And I only do this a few times a year - once you get past the experimental stage where you want to "derust" everything in sight, you find that you get interested in other stuff!

    Frankly, I never bothered to measure it. A small container of lye - 6 or 8 fluid ounce size in the 40 gallon tank works for me. Remember, the purpose of the lye is not to do any actual cleaning, it is there to create the electrolyte solution that allows the current to flow in the water. The lye functions as a catalyst and is not "used up:" by the process, so a weak mix works fine and is safer, too. Think of the lye, or washing soda - you could probably use table salt! - think of whatever you use as a virtual "wire" carrying the current from cathode (piece being cleaned) to the anode (that piece of rebar), carrying those pesky little rust flakes with it. A stronger solution works faster but the weak solution is a LOT safer. And that golf cart charger puts out 36...

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    Frankly, I never bothered to measure it. A small container of lye - 6 or 8 fluid ounce size in the 40 gallon tank works for me. Remember, the purpose of the lye is not to do any actual cleaning, it is there to create the electrolyte solution that allows the current to flow in the water. The lye functions as a catalyst and is not "used up:" by the process, so a weak mix works fine and is safer, too. Think of the lye, or washing soda - you could probably use table salt! - think of whatever you use as a virtual "wire" carrying the current from cathode (piece being cleaned) to the anode (that piece of rebar), carrying those pesky little rust flakes with it. A stronger solution works faster but the weak solution is a LOT safer. And that golf cart charger puts out 36-40 volts and enough amperage to charge 6 deep cycle golf cart batteries, so there is no need to use a stronger mix.Come to think of it, I wouldn't try table salt. Sounds innocuous, but table salt is made of sodium and chlorine and those are not exactly "user friendly" in any form. Well, except table salt!The source I got this from suggested lye and it works. I suspect that the same mix used with the washing soda would work.

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  • Chief741A commented on tgdula's instructable A knife from a shot out M1 rifle10 months ago
    A knife from a shot out M1 rifle

    Can't tell without seeing the receiver - I'm not exactly a gunsmith - but that sure looks like an M1 Carbine stock, not an M1 Rifle. I am a retired soldier, and I am old enough to have handled a couple dozen M1 Rifles, and I have never seen one with with a sling relief cut into the stock like this one did. I suspect that you sacrificed a Carbine, not a Rifle, to make this knife.I know, picky picky, they are both rifles - but there is a difference. If you had cut up an M1 Rifle barrel I might have had to say prayers for you at my shrine to the prophet Garrand... and it was painful enough to see that beautiful walnut stock sacrificed, but I guess that sin was committed by the owner of the carbine...Please tell me that was an M1 Carbine and not an M1 Garrand Rifle.

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