Welder/Generator Units

Been reading a lot about emergency generators not being safe to use with new style electronically controlled appliances like refridgerators microwaves
etc. I may not be explaining it properly but from what I have read it's all about low end and medium quality consumer style generators not having the ability to supply a constant 60HZ and protection from power surges. Apparently installing a household surge bar like we all use with our computers just doesn't work properly and won't protect appliances.
I would lie to know if Lincoln and Miller welder/genertors are able to supply the quality of electricity that wouldn't damage sensitive electronic controls. I'm not interested in running super sensitive things like computers just general everyday household an shop equipment in an emergency or work related situation. I would much rather buy a combination unit than a single use generator and from what I have seen they are really not that far out of line consider the price of a new Honda Generator with the necessary voltage and sine wave controllers.
I have already sent E-mails to Lincoln and Miller asking the same question but I would really appreciate input from all the experts on this newsgroup. Hope I have explained myself properly.
Thanks in advance
Zack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Surge suppressors do nothing to protect against lower than normal frequency or lower than normal voltage. Both things can damage motors and transformers. Surge suppressors do clamp voltage spikes, which can damage solid state devices.

Computers *aren't* very sensitive to variations in power frequency or variations in line voltage. They use switching power supplies which basically don't care what the line frequency is, and which do a good job of regulating equipment voltage despite fairly large variations in line voltage. They are sensitive to spikes, which an ordinary surge suppressor will suppress.
What you need to worry about are things with AC motors or transformers which are dependent on the reactance of 60 Hz power, and which tend to draw excess current when fed with lower than normal frequency or line voltage. (Higher than normal line frequency generally isn't a problem, *slightly* higher than normal line voltage typically isn't a problem either.)

A *good* genset tends to run at a lower RPM than welder/generators. I posted the URL to one that runs at 1200 RPM, for example. Almost all welder/generators run at 3600 RPM when being used for auxillary power (that's because they all use 2 pole alternators for auxillary power). This translates to much more noise, more wear on engine components, and in general, poorer fuel economy than is the case for a good purpose designed stationary genset.
So if you're buying a welder/generator primarily to act as a generator, then you'll be better off buying a well designed genset instead (diesel or LP gas powered). If you're buying the welder/generator primarily as a portable welder, with the generator function just an ancillary use at jobsites with no shore power, then the welder/generator machines make sense.
Just be sure that if you need to power things which are voltage or frequency sensitive, you adjust the governor of the welder/generator to run on frequency (or slightly higher) and on voltage (or slightly higher).
In power outage situations, I have powered my house from a Miller Bobcat. I've run computers, TVs, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, etc from the Bobcat. I've set it up so both the frequency and line voltage are slightly on the high side, and I've had no problems. It is noisy and thirsty, though.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary:
Thanks for explaining it so well, I'll print out your post for future reference.
I have a couple of good quality professional digital VOM meter at the shop but if I'm not mistaken neither of them can read Hz. I'd rather not have to buy another expensive meter just to read Hz do you have any suggestions on where I can purchase a cheap Hz meter?
Zack
wrote:

new
electronic
emergency
power).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Digital frequency meters that can rapidly and accurately read 60 Hz are fairly expensive. Better for our purposes here would be a vibrating reed meter. This is the sort of meter you'll find on better generators. If you haunt some of the surplus sites, or a hamfest, you'll find one fairly inexpensively.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The price of multiMeters has really dropped over the last few years.
Both Fluke and Extech sell good quality low cost MultiMeters which can measure frequencies. These meters measure voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance as well as frequency. The lowest cost meters require a direct connection, Clamp-on meters are slightly more. The clamp on meters can just clamp over a single hot conductor.
The Fluke 110 can measure from 5 Hz to 50 kHz.The Fluke 110 datasheet is: (http://www.fluke.com/Download/DigitalMultimeters/2156a.pdf )
The Extech 430 can also measure temperature with a thermocouple. The Extech 470 adds a non-contact thermometer with a range -4 degree F to 518 degree F (IR with laser aiming) See http://www.extech.com/newsite/instrument/products/400_450/datasheets/400series.pdf
The Fluke model 110 sells for $110 or the Extech 430 for $79.
After seeing the specs of the Extech 470 for $125 I think I may need a new meter soon. A non-contact thermometer would be useful.
An inexpensive clamp on meter is the Extech 38394. It measures frequency, current, voltage and resistance for $99. http://www.extech.com/newsite/instrument/products/310_399/datasheets/38394.pdf
Lab Safety Supply and Contact East both offer Internet sales. (www.labsafety.com and www.contacteast.com)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The problem with these digital meters as frequency counters is that they update very slowly when set for the resolution needed here. In other words, although the display updates 4 times a second, on the 99.9 range the *count* only updates once every 10 seconds. That makes them a major pain to use to adjust the genset's governor.
To all intents and purposes, a vibrating reed meter responds in realtime (it is basically an analog instrument), so it is a much better instrument to use while setting up a genset. In other words, the reeds will appear to vary in sync with the turning of the screwdriver doing the speed adjustment.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary:
I have a 500 watt Coleman generator and I just used my small engine reed style RPM and Hertz test to check it out as per your instructions..
The reed test says it at about 60+ Hz at 115 volts and another automotive multi tester I have says about 60 -Hz at the same voltage.
For safety sake and when running sensitive electronically controlled appliances like my new refrigerator should I speed the motor up a bit to supply a higher voltage and Hz reading?
Jimbo
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you took the readings with the generator loaded, leave it alone.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

new
electronic
emergency
power).
Maybe the little homeowner and intermittant use types, but every large engine driven welding machine I've ever seen has run in the 1600 and 1800 rpm range.
JTMcC

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Miller does make one engine welder/generator which uses a 4 pole auxillary alternator. But the bulk of their line uses 2 pole auxillary alternators, even those machines which use 4 pole welding alternators. In other words, you can weld with them at 1800 RPM, but you have to spin them at 3600 RPM if you need 60 Hz auxillary power.
Lincoln's Ranger series also uses a 2 pole auxillary alternator. Some of their bigger machines actually output DC, and fairly low watts too, for auxillary power. That'll run universal motors, lights, etc, but is no good for things that actually require 60 Hz.
I'm not as familiar with Lincoln's whole line as I am with Miller's, though, so there may be some others I don't know about which do use 4 pole or 6 pole auxillary alternators.
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Been doing lots research and came up with the following welder but it's out of my price range. Miller Legend 301G, it's generator/welder that produces 5000 Watts at 1800 RPM. Welds up tto 220 amps at 3000RPM and 300 Amps at 3600 RPM. The Bobcat and Trailer blazers with gas engines all run at 3600 RPM.
I sent E-mails to both Lincoln and Miller and got back responses that told me I have nothing to worry about with anything in their portable welders lines damaging my new style appliancess.
From all the info I have collected about portable generators I'm still not sure they are right but having their written assurance in writing will give me some clout if I buy a welder/generator from either of the companies and have problems.
Jimbo

1800
even
their
auxillary
things that

though,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, the current models with electronic regulation really are quite good - but 3600 RPM units, especially air-cooled 3600 RPM units are a real drag to be around. I have an extra muffler on mine and it's still both so annoying, and such a gas hog, that I'm looking at getting a liquid-cooled diesel for serious power production (not only does the power company want too much money to connect, at the current price of off-road diesel I can make power cheaper with diesel than I can buy it from them, if the diesel genset sec sheets are to be believed WRT fuel consumption at rated output).
Some of the better dedicated genertors are making use of a built in inverter (as far as I can tell) so slight variations in motor speed don't matter - the genset makes either DC or random AC (not clear from the literature), and the electronics reprocess that into nifty clean AC. If you were in a "roll your own" mood, you could do the same thing with separate boxes.
--
Cats, Coffee, Chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

1800
even
So you are saying that Miller makes welding machines that weld at 1800 rpm but run at 3600 rpm for auxilary power? Maybe I'm not quite following you. If so, what model? I've been welding in the field for about 20 years, I just came off a job with around 100 welding machines of both brands and I've never seen a large engine drive welding machine that runs at 2 different speeds. Much of the time these machines are being used for aux power while welding.

their
auxillary
What specific models? I haven't seen a new Lincoln that put out DC aux power for years. I can't find any in the Lincoln catalog either.
JTMcC.
That'll run universal motors, lights, etc, but is no good for things that

though,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 05 Nov 2003 15:58:33 GMT, "JTMcC"

Actually the Miller Legend generates at 1800 rpm and welds at 2400 rpm. They also make a version called the Blue Charger I think which is made to provide 24 volt jump start capability which runs at these rpms as well. Both are (or where) about one step up from the Bobcat. The Legend only produces 5000 watts AC generating power compared to the 8000 or 10000 watts for the Bobcat. But they're much nicer to be around since the Bobcat runs at 3600 rpm for welding or generating and idles at 2400 rpm.
Miller also used to make a series of welders that actually had 3 different speeds they operated on. The idle was lower then there was a generating speed and another speed for welding. I've had to work on a few of these and in all cases they had manual throttle.
The old Miller 200LE welders actually had two different aux power outputs on them. One for use while welding at 2400 rpm. It was DC only and limited mainly to use for grinding while someone else was welding. Then there was the actual 5000 watt AC generator section that had to be used at the 1800 rpm range. These welders are little odd ball in that there's two different field windings in them as well as more than one winding per set of field windings. They actually got the charging for the battery from the welder section instead of a alternator on the engine.
I've not looked at the specs but from my one time trying a Ranger 250 I believe it's also in this category. It seems to weld in the 2400 rpm range and generate in the 1800 rpm idle range.
But none of these are large welders and I'd be ultra surprised if you ever run across one being use for pipelining. You and Gary are talking about two different worlds here. These machines are meant more for the farmer or homeowner who wants large generating capability with welding capability being a bonus. In the case of the Blue Charger it's aimed at the heavy equipment maintenance market. Both the Legend and Blue Charger are common on the heavy equipment repair trucks used by road construction crews.
As for pipeline welding I've not seen a welder made for that work which puts out anything other than DC for using a grinder. But then I've not been around anything but Lincoln SA200 and equivalents. I've only glanced at a very rare Miller large sized welder. No pipeliner I know around here would have anything but a SA200. In fact there's many places around here where they wouldn't let you in the gate to do the job with anything else.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://www.pan-tex.net/usr/c/cook
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No pipeliner I

HERE HERE
-- "Pay peanuts.....expect monkeys."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

auxillary
alternators,
you
rpm
you.
just
while
My comments, from the start, as I said, were specifically aimed at "large welding machines".
and I'd be ultra surprised if you

Classic II's and Classic 3 Diesels are slowly but surely taking over the pipeline market, this will accelerate, IMO, when the new Lincoln version of 70+ hits the street, it's a metric rod and slightly larger than 3/16" 70+, meaning that at the end of a hot day some of those old pipeliners will be wishing for a couple more amps. Diesels progress is aided by the immense increase in fuel economy, and lot's of pipeliners buy their own fuel. Every year that goes by, you see more diesel Classics, and fewer SA 200's.
JTMcC.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 00:55:29 GMT, "JTMcC"

But the thread you was replying to was all about smaller welders.

Sounds likely. I know of a few diesel versions around here though many complain that they're to heavy.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://www.pan-tex.net/usr/c/cook
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Wayne I was replying to the comment that " Almost all welder generators run at 3600 rpm when being used for aux power"

of
70+,
Every
Less than 150 lbs, on a 10,000 lbs welding rig with a Classic II, almost dead even with a Classic 300.
JTMcC.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'll apologize if I hijacked the thread, but even after rereading the OP I didn't see him reference "small" in his question about Lincoln and Miller welder/generators. Of course, I miss things sometimes <g>.
JTMcC.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 17:06:50 GMT, "JTMcC"

Well it started with them talking about Bobcats and other small welders. I didn't see any mention of big welders other than wishing for a diesel unit which pretty much is only in the bigger units (which are out of the price range in this case I believe).
Personally I feel that when you talk about welder/generators you're pretty much talking about the small units. The big welders are just that welders with aux power primarily being meant for running a grinder or the like. But then I freely admit that I've not looked at any of the new big welders. I've not got any need for them in my work and they're all well out of my price range. Not to mention that they take up to much space and weight on my truck which is already overloaded. I just wish I could justify a new Legend or the like but I don't do enough portable work to make it pay. About 99% or more of my welding is shop welding and may call of any of the common processes from MIG,TIG, to SMAW. As you may of noticed in my earlier post I feel there's more than enough welders to take care of the portable work and I focus on the other things that they don't want or are not setup to do. Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX http://www.pan-tex.net/usr/c/cook
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.