Generators... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 5th, 2003, 03:15 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 116
Generators...

I am looking into purchasing a generator, but I'm on a budget. The noise of the generator isn't too big of a factor unless it will distract me while I'm shooting. My budget is around 500 dollars. I will mostly be using it with cheap 400 watt Home Depot lights. I know there is the Honda generator, but that is a little too pricey for me. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Ryan Krga
__________________
Ryan Krga
ryankrga773@hotmail.com
Ryan Krga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2003, 05:48 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 336
Here is a cheap, quiet, portable setup

Coleman Powermate Premium Series Recreational Pulse 1850 Generator

Manufacturer: Coleman Powermate
Manufacturer's P/N: PM0401850*
Universal Product Code (UPC): 0-10163-40185-9

You can get them at Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

They are not the best out there, but they are in your price range.
If you are going to take it on shoots every day, then I would save up and go Honda. Honda is king of the gas engines in AK for starting in the cold. Also, you can go to your local equipment rental shop and rent one for a day/week/etc.

FYI, make sure you use a surge supressor to protect your equipment. I have plenty of dead hand tools to make it a point <;~)

I've also found that your gen set last longer and needs less maintence if you only plug in "stuff" that equals 50% of max load output. (not 70% like most reccomend).
__________________
Dan Holly
Anchorage, Alaska
Dan Holly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2003, 05:50 PM   #3
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
And what generator might be whisper quiet? If there is such a critter...
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2003, 06:10 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
I hear those generators the CIA uses to power their hovercars are pretty quiet, but they run on pixie dust which is hard to come by. ;)

In other words, nothing in your price range would be considered quiet by film production standards. Generators are loud. It's basically just a gas motor, like a lawnmower. Loud is part of the package. Remember, your microphones will pick up noise your ears won't hear until it's on tape. Film productions use big-ass generators on trailers that are enclosed in a sound dampening shell and then park them two blocks away. If they can't do that, I've seen them use banks of car batteries to power lights.

Maybe you can build a sound dampening shell around the one you get. My vote is for Honda as well. If anyone has come close to perfecting the gas motor, it's them. I had one with a Briggs & Straton motor once, and it wasn't very reliable.

And I second the rest of what Dan Holly says.
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2003, 08:18 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 336
Also......

Spend the extra money and get yourself a power cord that is a *least* a 10 gauge rated extension cord.

Don't get the cheap household orange extension cords. The power loss over 25 feet is too great.

The one's I use are rated "10/3" & are 100 foot cords.

I've powered a hot tub with one of these cords during a "party emergency" on a 25KW diesel generator setup......but that's another story....heh
__________________
Dan Holly
Anchorage, Alaska
Dan Holly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bemidji, MN
Posts: 276
Depending on the distances involved, consider using a power converter, and running it from a nearby vehicle.
__________________
"DOH"!!!
Harry Settle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 01:10 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 116
Thanks everyone for the responses. How much does a power converter run for? Does it run through the lighter input?
__________________
Ryan Krga
ryankrga773@hotmail.com
Ryan Krga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 02:28 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 730
For my instance i havn't even used a power converter yet, i just got someone to hack some lighting and remove the transformer, and i was able to run them directly off 12v DC. My car (vw golf) has a direct 12v jack in it's boot. But you must leave the car running during use.

Zac
Zac Stein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 07:36 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
NOTE
Film companies run CRYSTAL SYNC generators. This maintains a constant rate for the HMI's Not likely you are going to go this high a rate, but pulsing power can show up as flickering.pulsing light sources even in tungsten or halogen.

Just FYI.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 07:48 AM   #10
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
I did a google search for CRYSTAL SYNC generators, and found a bunch of places that rent them. Prices started at around $150 per day, for a 150 amp generator. It went up to almost $750 for a 1500 amp. And there were bigger, more expensive options...
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 08:49 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
During a power outage a number of years back I bought one of those Coleman 2kw generators. I kept my lights on and furnace running, but MAN was that thing loud! Now at the time we were living way out in the country in upstate NY with 56 acres, but I could walk way down the road a couple hundred yards away and still hear that thing.

I mean it was loud enough that you would pretty much need to wear hearing protection if within a 50' radius. I suggest you try renting various generators from Taylor Rental or someplace and "audition" them before buying. For that matter, why not just rent as needed instead of buying? That way you might get a better Honda or something. They really are much quiter, but far from silent.

Regarding putting it inside a baffle, be careful with that since you need exhaust and fresh air, and they're air cooled and could overheat. Eventually I mounted my Coleman inside a shed about 100' from the house. With all the doors closed you could still clearly hear it inside the main house.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 09:09 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Remember the "West Virginia Law"? W=VA, or Watts = Volts x Amps. So figuring a nominal 120v output, that 150 amp generator could drive 18,000 watts of light (for that matter, they may be spec'ing 240 volts which would be twice that). If you're running that sort of rig then you probably won't be scared by the rental cost ;-) That's gonna be a big, heavy, gas guzzling generator. You're probably looking for something in the 10 to 20 amp range I suspect.

Awhile ago we did an event here with Bash Lighting (which has since been bought by PRG and absorbed into Fourth Phase Lighting, Cinema Services or some other part of their empire) where they demo'ed their grip truck and location lighting setups. They didn't really like the power we had available at our shop, so they also brought their generator truck and ran everything off that.

I was really impressed; it looked like a regular 14' box truck with a little chimney on top and the generator inside. You could stand right next to it and hardly hear anymore than a soft purring sound. But you've got to play with the big boys to afford that sort of rig... :-)
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 09:24 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Posts: 366
This is not the question you asked, but why not rent what you need?
Rick Spilman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 01:25 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bloomington, IL
Posts: 636
Ryan, the small Hondas are pretty quite as well as reliable.

Also, watch the power converter route and check your amps on the lights. I have a 200 watt converter and my laptop can blow the fuse like it's nothing if I run it on full system speed. If you can get a 500 watt converter then you might be in there but probably just for one light.

Ben Lynn
Ben Lynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2003, 08:53 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 116
I have a Mitsubishi 2kw genarator and its probably the most quite 2kw I have ever heard however they tend to be one of the most pricey small genarators out there. But it does deliever clean power..I run it through a conditioner even still. I think the motor is a honda that was relabeled though as it is strikingly similar to my 12 hp hoda motor. Check a local builder supply shop for pricing I bought mine for $3k but I got a special deal from a freind of mine. Oh another nice thing about it is that it has a 12v Dc out that is regulated...I have never seen it spike....
__________________
Scott Osborne
Infinite Video Productions
Scott Osborne is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:43 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network