Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

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Highlander
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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Highlander » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:18 am

OK I see silly me was lookin @ the wrong one :?

J 8)

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:29 am

RussMT wrote:Is it really electric start?

How much does the thing weigh?
A. Yeah, it's really an electric start, and it starts just fine with the key, just like your Dad's Oldsmobile. You will have to hook up the little starter battery when you get the unit, as well as add the proper amount of engine oil with the handy little filler bottle included. Takes about two minutes total. The first start will need to be done with the pull cord, to charge up the little battery within. Mine fired up first pull with 10 pumps of the primer bulb.

A. Here are the specs from the above link. To cut to the chase, it weighs in at 70 lbs. Not exactly a big marshmallow, but handy enough to move around if you're not fresh out of the Intensive Care Ward trailing IVs. Still, I wouldn't want to haul it to the top of the Washington Monument:

Technical Data Sheet
Ramsond Sinemate 2500
Digital Inverter Power Generator


SPECIFICATIONS
Make Model Ramsond Sinemate 2500
Type Digital Inverter Generator
Fuel Unleaded Gasoline
Engine Type 4 Stroke, OHV, 1 Cylinder
Displacement 133 CC
Cooling Forced Air
Ignition Recoil and Electric Start(Battery and Keys Included)
Noise Level 59 db
AC Voltage 120 V
Frequency 60 Hz
Max Engine Power 3000 W
Rated Engine Power 2800 W
Max Generator Power 2200 W
Rated Generator Power 2000 W
Fuel Capacity 1.9 Gallons (7 Liters)
Dimensions (LxWxH) 20.5 x 10.7 x 20 inches
Net Weight 70 lbs
Max. Run Time 16 Hours at Idle
9 Hours at 50% Load

CONTROL PANEL
• One standard NEMA 15 Amp AC 120V Socket
• One 30 Amp 120V RV Socket (New Feature)
• One 12V DC "\ /" Socket (For Battery Charging)
• Economy Mode ON/OFF Switch
• Electric Ignition ON/OFF Switch (two keys included)
• DC Circuit Breaker
• LED Indicators (Oil Alert, Output, Overload)
INCLUDED ACCESSORIES
• Integrated Retractable Trolley
• Double Headed Screwdriver
• Auto Battery Charging Cables with Clamps
• Oil Bottle and Drain Pipe
• Two Keys and Battery for Electric Start
• Spark Plug Tool
SAFETY CERTIFICATION
• EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
WARRANTY
• 1 Year Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty (Parts & Labor)

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Bilgemaster
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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:22 am

RobertB wrote:Is it a modified sine wave or true sine wave AC? Modified sine wave can play havoc with any device using the AC wave for timing. Also, what is the efficiency rating? Are repair parts available easily if it breaks down?
I am led to understand from its literature and online descriptions that it is "true sine wave". They seem to make a big deal of this. I seem to have left my oscilloscope in my other shorts, so cannot confirm. All I can tell you is that the shore power volt meter in the party barge reads dead steady at 120 volts, whereas it would dance around a little bit with the little Harbor Freight 2-stroker, and everything I've been running off the Ramsond seems happy enough.

As for its "efficiency rating", I'm not even sure what that might be, so you might do well to contact the Ramsond folks directly about that. As for parts availability and warranty stuff, what few reviews I'd found online that mention such things seem pretty decent. The only critical one I found had to do with some fellow in the Rockies not being able to get a special carb jet for better running at high elevations. Being by very definition a "sea levelly" kind of user not eagerly seeking to commune with Yetis, but rather Selkies, I felt I could disregard this issue. It comes with a one year warranty, which they appear to honor. Hoping never to need to avail myself of the warranty, I can only tell you that I contacted the vendor after they already had my money to make sure that they sent the model 2500 with the 30 Amp shore outlet (models vary), and they got right back to me within a couple of hours. So, I guess that's a good sign.
Last edited by Bilgemaster on Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:29 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:31 am

FlyboyTR wrote:I have the harbor freight Predator suitcase style generator. It really is hard to call it portable when you consider its weight. From day one it started on the 20th pull (per the instructions). I have used it a total of 1.8 hours. I used it last about 3 weeks ago. Turned the fuel off (non-ethanol) and let it run till it died. I have not been able to get it restarted since. Ended up hurting my arm from pulling on the cord. Not real happy with this.

I may have to watch Craigslist for a $600 Honda suitcase model. OH...thanks for the sparkplug tip. When I get it up on the bench and open it up, I will check the plug.
Just make sure you cross-reference the correct plug for your Predator! The types given in my earlier posting suit the little 2-stroker 900 Watt Storm Cat.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:43 am

Catigale wrote:The electrical engineer In me cringes at the thought of running an internal combustion engine to power a resistive heat load, even a coffe maker.

Gotta go scram the reactor to charge my IPod......
Righto then! One order of warm juice with the fuzz on top and two raw eggs coming right up for Catigale!

(Actually, I expect most of our onboard coffee making will be done with a big old espresso pot on a century-old Universal No. 0 alcohol stove like this one, so all you kids with your tweeterings and your LOLs that no longer mean "Lots of Luck!" as the Good Lord intended, can all just get the hull off my lawn!)

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by kmclemore » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:32 am

You know, I got to thinking... a generator with key-start is a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, it would be nice to just hit a key, though having said that, my Honda starts nearly every time on the first pull, and certainly on the second. But the drawback to me is the key itself... you can't run it without the key, so if you misplace it, leave it at home or - God forbid - drop it in the drink, you're basically screwed. Now if it was just a push-button start, that would be an improvement. Can't really see a need for a key.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:05 pm

kmclemore wrote:You know, I got to thinking... a generator with key-start is a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, it would be nice to just hit a key, though having said that, my Honda starts nearly every time on the first pull, and certainly on the second. But the drawback to me is the key itself... you can't run it without the key, so if you misplace it, leave it at home or - God forbid - drop it in the drink, you're basically screwed. Now if it was just a push-button start, that would be an improvement. Can't really see a need for a key.
Your point is well taken, but then as you can see, it's not really much of a key:

Image

My hunch is that a stubby flathead screwdriver could get her cranked up in a pinch. As for me, I just hung one on a lanyard from the unit's big handle and put the other on my keychain. I'd just leave the key in the slot, but I'd be concerned that sticking out as it does, that it might break off while I'm hoisting the beast into the rear passenger footwell of my Durango tow beast or wherever. By the way, its good thick handle feels nice and solid and sort of "rubbery" and "grippy", which really helps with hoisting her around. I can haul her single-handed handily across the yard, but the big grippy handle allows for real Charles Atlas style curls and other two-handed lifting and maneuvering into tight spots.

Just eyeballing its size, it looks like it might be a pretty good fit right under the flip-up skipper's seat of the 26X: clear of all the steering linkage and motor control gear aft, yet out of the way most of the time, though easy enough to step over when entering the boat. It should also have pretty decent ventilation there away from the cabin. I've got an old '80s clear plastic monitor cover that just happens to fit over the whole thing so reasonably snugly that you'd guess it was tailored for it. This should help keep rain, spray and whatnot at bay...certainly well enough to keep her dry and comfy enough for the occasional week or so outings we plan on the Chesapeake.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by RussMT » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:45 pm

I wonder what kind of battery and starter it uses. Not that pull starting is a big deal (except my cheapo genset that I hardly use takes a dozen pulls), that electric start is a cool feature. If I didn't already have one, I'd pick one up if I could for that price. Not to use on the boat, but around the boat like you are. In the yard, etc.

--Russ

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by My Mistress » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:52 pm

FlyboyTR wrote:I have the harbor freight Predator suitcase style generator. It really is hard to call it portable when you consider its weight. From day one it started on the 20th pull (per the instructions). I have used it a total of 1.8 hours. I used it last about 3 weeks ago. Turned the fuel off (non-ethanol) and let it run till it died. I have not been able to get it restarted since. Ended up hurting my arm from pulling on the cord. Not real happy with this.

I may have to watch Craigslist for a $600 Honda suitcase model. OH...thanks for the sparkplug tip. When I get it up on the bench and open it up, I will check the plug.

Try dumping about a cap full of Coleman fuel (white gas; camping gas) directly into in the carb. I know that the octane is real low, but it works every time on all my small gas engines.
Once they start, they continue to run. If they are sluggish for an extended period, you may have an obstruction in your fuel system or the carb is gummed up.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by DaveB » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:23 pm

I have the 1200 watt 2cycle and loud (they came out with the 900 watt later). I now have the 2000 watt powerhorse and is same as Honda 2000 with copper wound. DBA is 52-58. cost me $499 18 mo. ago.(think it's $550 now)
Has 30 amp and twin 15 amp plugs, with duel gen hookup wires.
Weighs 48 lbs and super quite next to my trailer.
I use it in remote campsites were no elect. runs my 5000 btu air condition and 900 watt microwave same time. I do have twin trojen golf batteries to run all elect. if needed.
Trailer is 7 ft x16 Ft 6.5 ft. ht interior.
Haul two full size Motorcycles and has refig., icemaker, double sinks , double gas stove and much more.
We haul it with a Dodge Ram Hemi single cab.
I originally bought it to put on my MacX in the well to run my 5000 btu and all other elect. needs.
I sold my boat but same concept for my camper.
Dave

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:33 pm

DaveB wrote:I have the 1200 watt 2cycle and loud (they came out with the 900 watt later). I now have the 2000 watt powerhorse and is same as Honda 2000 with copper wound. DBA is 52-58. cost me $499 18 mo. ago.(think it's $550 now)
Has 30 amp and twin 15 amp plugs, with duel gen hookup wires.
Weighs 48 lbs and super quite next to my trailer.
I use it in remote campsites were no elect. runs my 5000 btu air condition and 900 watt microwave same time. I do have twin trojen golf batteries to run all elect. if needed.
Trailer is 7 ft x16 Ft 6.5 ft. ht interior.
Haul two full size Motorcycles and has refig., icemaker, double sinks , double gas stove and much more.
We haul it with a Dodge Ram Hemi single cab.
I originally bought it to put on my MacX in the well to run my 5000 btu and all other elect. needs.
I sold my boat but same concept for my camper.
Dave
Assuming you are referring to the Northern Tool Powerhorse Portable Inverter Generator — 2000 Surge Watts, 1600 Rated Watts unit, that is indeed a fine-looking piece of bargain gear and has the 30 Amp shore power outlet, which is the real "must-have" feature, as far as I'm now concerned. Its 1,600 watts (2,000 peak surge) would have probably handled my little power washer, which was an immediate needful concern what with my grubby new "foundling" Com-Pac 16 sailboat to bathe and powder after a decade's utter neglect (see before and after pics), and your Powerhorse is 15 lbs. lighter than the Ramsond Sinemate 2500 and has that extra regular 120 household style outlet to boot.

I do wish there were a Northern Tools nearby, since I keep reading good things about it, but the closest one's about an hour away in Fredericksburg. Still, now that I have the Ramsond, I'm pretty happy with that electric start...and I also suspect that my still rather "old world" Admiral probably wouldn't consider so much as touching a pull start cord--even if it were connected to a diamond tennis bracelet...though she might just warm up to something that basically worked just like our Honda Accord. You see, hailing from about eight time zones yonder, where such power tools or anything requiring the repeated yanking of cords and shouted imprecations to the netherworld to function are considered to be in a class of filthy stinking dangerous "man stuff" better left to us vaguely baboon-like buttocks-scratching beer-burping hominids, she'd simply generally and rather wisely prefer not to have anything to do with them. Conversely, I am expected not to display over much interest in ointments in general, nor in depilatory preparations nor as to whatever the hull might be in that purple box on the bureau. Accordingly, while I expect we could have got by very happily indeed with one of those Powerhorse units, if the Admiral's ever likely to fire it up on her own, it should work delightfully "just like the Honda." It's just a cultural tide I need to swim in y'all. At least she doesn't sort of stare at me in the kitchen making fried chicken or whatever like her village-born mother did when she first visited, as if I were like a seal about to play the cello or something...

Speaking of delightful and useful gear, as I get older and pickier about my comforts, If I had a spot to put it, I really wouldn't mind having a dual-axle toy hauler like you describe: one that could handle a 14 foot Amphicar and then double as a make-do camper, with maybe a small kitchenette and toilet...I guess AC would be swell too (There's that comfort bit!). Still, on the other hand there's no denying that there's something about bouncing along down secondary "blue highways" and country lanes top down in the Amphicar to Ohio or Maine or up through the Adirondacks, lake to river, motel to campground, cabin to B&B or wherever in no particular hurry, that's a rare pleasure in its own right...a lot like hardcore trailer sailing, I imagine, just without the trailer or the sails. I'd love to see a couple of pix of your rig, just to see what you've come up with.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Catigale » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:03 am

I went upscale with the 2kW Honda, which comes on long cruises, winter backup at the house, and down to the shed for remote electrical needs. I haven't regretted the price tag for the quiet and one pull starts for 3-4 years now.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:55 am

Catigale wrote:I went upscale with the 2kW Honda, which comes on long cruises, winter backup at the house, and down to the shed for remote electrical needs. I haven't regretted the price tag for the quiet and one pull starts for 3-4 years now.
They may lack electric start and a 30 Amp shore power outlet, but certainly the Honda EU2000i or EU1000i have got to be the gold standard for whisper-quiet and drama-free generators. If you can easily afford the very best, that's clearly your play. Impeccable quality and reliability is a good thing.

Thing is, for a single-earner-household working-stiff schlub like me, being basically a sort of solidly middle class Joe 6-Pack sub-species of librarian-archivist, really needing to bring it all home on the cheap, making do with something about a third of the price of a Honda is the way to go. The fact that the Ramsond has a couple of swell "blingy" features the Honda lacks is just a nice poor man's practical bonus. By the same token, I'll likely never have a gold Rolex, but then my workaday $11 Walmart clearance stainless steel watch looks and has worked just fine for years and tells me date AND day of the week, which the Rolex just can't. That $40,000 Rolex Yachtmaster will cut quite a figure at the yacht club, but then my $100 Timex will also tell me the compass bearing, tide and even temperature...and do all that in the dark. My little premium cordless Makita drill is a lovely bit of kit: light, solid and handy as hull...but then that old 20-something buck Harbor Freight 18V cordless tools set (sadly now discontinued) has been super useful too, and includes THE greatest and handiest little hand sander for furniture refinishing I've ever used, bar none. That little thing did all our kitchen's oak cabinetry and half the furniture in our modest hovel, and is still kicking. Economy can have its virtues too.

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by chuck » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:36 pm

Don't sale the "Portable Yamaha EF2000iS 2000 Watt Inverter Generator" short. It is very quiet, and the exhaust system is better. However, I would not turn my nose up on eather the Honda or Yamaha.
Chuck

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Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by kmclemore » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:24 pm

Bilgemaster wrote:Thing is, for a single-earner-household working-stiff schlub like me, being basically a sort of solidly middle class Joe 6-Pack sub-species of librarian-archivist, really needing to bring it all home on the cheap, making do with something about a third of the price of a Honda is the way to go.
Why not buy a used Honda? There's plenty to be had on Craigslist and eBay for way cheaper than new. Given the little buggers last forever it's unlikely you'll get a lemon.

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