OT: Generac Generator Issue?

We had a lot of storms in Michigan this past weekend and my generator got a lot of use as well as moving around between homes. Now that is
back, I notice the built in volt meter's needle is bouncing all around the 120V reading with no load. The ground is fine and there are no odd smells plus everything appears dry with no indication it was wet but it may have gotten wet in the storms.
In hooking up my digital voltmeter, after about 30 seconds, the voltage climbs up from 126 volts and levels off 129-130V with occasional bounces from 127 to 132 - I don't have a min/max setting on my digital meter so it's hard to see the spread for sure. When I switch the generator load off via a breaker on the generator and my digital voltmeter confirms the feed is off, the needle on the built in meter does go to zero but bounces all over around zero until I turn off the generator.
Is it just my built in voltmeter that is shot - probably from all the moving around? I use this generator to run tools all the time when I'm at remote sites and am a tad nervous about what's up. I've never had to check it with my meter before, so I don't know what the "normal" reading looks like.
Thanks,
--George
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My immediate reaction is you have a bad voltmeter. Check it with a handheld unit.
Grant
George wrote:

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||My immediate reaction is you have a bad voltmeter. Check it with a ||handheld unit.
...an analog multimeter Texas Parts Guy
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Hmmmm..... I'll see if I can find my old one. I had one for years until I got a digital unit. I do miss it from time to time to gauge the swing.
Any thoughts about the amount of deviation?
On Wed, 26 May 2004 20:33:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@REMOVEtxol.net (Rex B) wrote:

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Simpson meters are the *best*. Mine gets more use than the DVM at home.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
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I have an old but trusty Radio Shack unit that is probably 15+ years old. I really like the Fluke multimeter models with the min/max/avg features. However, I agree, it's really easy to watch an analog needle swing to see what's going on. I'm just so used to using the digital meter that was what I used the first time. Duh. At least I know where my analog is now.
wrote:

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jim rozen wrote:

ABSOLUTELY ! Can you say 260? :-) ...lew...
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Hartswick says...

I have two, a good one, and one that I let out of the house to do vehicle stuff. It's been dropped and re-built a few times over the years. I've actually gotten pretty good at repairing those dArsonval movements. And cutting new glass, and re-winding the shunts, and swapping out cracked cases, and wiring up new pinjack leads, etc etc etc...
Jim
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Jim sez: "I've actually gotten pretty good at repairing those

OK. Now here's a test question: Have you gotten good enough to rebalance the Simpson movement via the little weights on the "cross" without ruining the bearings in the process? If your "success/ruin" ratio is better than 2:1 you may advance to the head of Robert's distinguished meter repairman class.
Bob (analog is great if you ignore the parallax of the mind) Swinney
Lewis

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I've done that with the needle bearing types, but not with the taut-band movements. My favorite trick allows me to remove magnetic trash from inside the movement: simply unbolt the magnet, blow out the junk, and bolt the magnet back on.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com =================================================
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Yeah. It'd be pretty tough to do on a taut band.
Bob Swinney
Robert Swinney says...

rebalance
ruining
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wrote:

I just snagged one of the late model 260s with the nylon shell at a Goodwill for....$5 <G>
Gunner
"A vote for Kerry is a de facto vote for bin Laden." Strider
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Now *that*s a gloat. The nylon cases are a lot stronger and stand up to terrific abuse. Also the ones of that vintage typically have the larger cartridge fuse in them which makes them a bit safer if you use the meter to measure powerline voltages.
And by the way, don't use those meters to measure powerline voltages....
Jim
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.

Jim, can you explain this further? I don't understand this part of your post. Thanks
Jim Kovar Vulcan, Mi
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OK, the deal is that simpson meters (and the like, such as triplett, etc) are poor devices for testing live circuits especially in panel boards.
The older ones are especially bad.
The failure mode involves accidentally measuring a live circuit with the meter in ohms or mA range. Large fault currents can then flow inside the meter with explosive results. The oldest simpson meters had no fuse in any of the test lead connections, and the second generation ones had only a small 3AG buss fuse.
The smaller fuses were unable to interrupt the large fault currents and would continue conducting when the interior of the fuse became filled with plasma. The third generation of Simpson meter put a large energy limiting cartridge fuse in series with the smaller buss fuse.
However given the availability of wiggler type voltage testers which are purpose built for testing power line voltages, I have stopped my former practice of checking in panelboards with my analog meters. I went and bought an inexpensive wiggler tester.
The trouble becomes less and less when the fault currents that can flow are small. So testing inside an electronics chassis presents no trouble, but probing the incoming service for a house inside the panel is a bad idea.
Jim
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Ah Yes! The venerable Simpson 260, now in its umteenth version. It is really too bad the digital VM (A to D) was ever perfected. Oh, well, "Progress" I suppose. A digital VM gives the uniniated another chance to prove to himself how smart he is because he uses all the latest "stuff".
Bob (not a geek) Swinney
Rex B says...

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    My own favorite purely passive multimeter was the Tripplett which added a slide-switch below the rotary which would double the sensitivity on each range, thus increasing the odds for the reading to be somewhere above mid-scale (and thus usually more accurate).
    The one which I still have (and don't use anymore, because of the number of batteries required, and because the reference part really is better with mercury cells (now made of unobtanium), was the FETVM.
    For almost everything I use the Fluke DVM, either the 27 (bright yellow handheld with o-ring gaskets to keep water out), or the work-alike which is a bench-top type, with a compartment in it for the test leads, and a nice handle for carrying it all at once.
    For tuning things for peaks or nulls, it has a bar-graph simulation of the needle. It is auto-ranging, so I don't have to take the probe off of the test point to switch the range,and then re-find it. It will trap min and max readings, it will beep when it has acquired a new reading, so you can take the probe clear and turn your head to read it. The autoranging is a problem when checking capacitors, so you can lock it to a given range, if you so desire. The continuity mode puts a known current through the device under test, displays the voltage across it (nice for identifying silicon vs germanium semiconductor devices. It beeps steadily for a low-resistance connection, or issues a short beep for a single junction forward drop, so you often don't have to look at it at all. (The beep is why I move to the 27 from the 77, as the 77 had too high a frequency beep, and I had to ask my wife to repeat the beep so I could test continuity.
    Also -- both of these DVMs have an amazingly long operation from a single 9V alkaline battery.
    The only place where a real needle is nice is when tuning to a really precise peak -- or when monitoring something which is frequently changing -- e.g. a VU meter, though the bargraph LEDs work quite well for this as well.
    Of course, when I want a lot more resolution, there is the rack-mount HP 3455A, which includes four-wire measurement of resistance, the only way to measure it and to be sure that the test lead resistance and contact resistance are not contributing to the measurement's errors.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
    
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Don, I respectfully remove the bar graph digital meter from my digi-bashing comments. Notwithstanding, I still contend much of the digital meter's popularity is dependent on the users' need to appear chic. Thanks for your commentary, Don. I had completely forgotten about the bar graph on some digital meters.
Bob Swinney
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    If I were intent on appearing "chic", I would have something a *lot* newer than what I have. All of mine are well out of production by now, and only one was bought new (discounting the Fluke 77, which I could not hear, and which I re-sold to a co-worker when I got the 37.)
    Another benefit of a good digital is that you have higher resolution (e.g. 5V can be measured to within 0.001V) if that happens to be important to you. For many things, it is not important, but there can be things where it will be. (Just like having a micrometer which reads to tenths -- you usually don't need that kind of resolution, but it is nice to have when you do need it.
    And in general, I've found the Flukes, at least, to be a lot more rugged than any *good* analog meter. (And easier to read without glasses than equally portable analogs, such as the Triplett 310.) I've not owned any other portable digitals, so I don't know how well they hold up, but the Flukes are quite rugged.

    They are quite useful.
    I won't be around to continue this discussion for a few days.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

I have a 4 1/2 digit Fluke which is very useful for precision power supplies, voltage references and small variations about the nominal but for trying to eyeball average a fluctuating value it's hard to beat my old AVO.
Ted
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