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Old January 18th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,101
Thanks for all of that Guy. I own two of the Eu2000i myself and think that they are amazing little generators. Its good to read about how all of the various features on the whole line work from a gaffer.


Dan Brockett

Last edited by Dan Brockett; January 18th, 2009 at 04:38 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #17
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,417
Dear Guy,

Thank you for the very informative post.

We have been using the EU2000i very successfully.

It does work well with 1200 watt HMI's.

But, just today, we were discussing getting another generator, so you post was very timely.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old May 1st, 2009, 07:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
From the first it appears that an electronic ballast is best to use with a generator in order to avoid flicker, however, the electronic ballasts draw more current.
Electronic square wave ballasts are best to use only if you are using a conventional AVR generator because they eliminate the flicker problem. However, if the ballasts are non power factor corrected (PFC) you will have other problems. The primary factors limiting the use of HMIs on portable generators has been their inefficient use of power and the harmonic noise they throw back into the power stream. The adverse effects of the harmonic distortion generated by non-PFC HMI ballasts (see the left power waveform of two 1200W HMIs with non-PFC ballasts operating on a conventional generator attached), can take the form of overheating and failing production equipment, circuit breaker trips, overheating of the neutral wire, and instability of the generator voltage and frequency. Severe harmonic noise can also damage HD digital cinema production equipment, create ground loops, and create radio frequency (RF) interference.

The only way to avoid these problems with non-PFC electronic ballasts and conventional generators is to de-rate the generator by a factor of 3 to 1. For instance do not try to run more than a 1200W HMI on a 3500W generator of this type. While the generator does not need automatic voltage regulation and speed regulation when using electronic square wave HMI ballasts. Given the problems associated with the harmonic noise these ballasts generate, a more important feature these days is the quality of the generated power waveform and how well it interacts with your light sources. For this reason, I have compiled a comprehensive survey of the prevalent lighting and portable power generation equipment. Tested how well they work together and made the results available in our newsletter which you can access online at :

Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
From the second reference, it appears that generator condition and state of tune up is most important if you are living on the edge, such as using a 4k with 6500 watt Honda generator.
Based upon the results of my tests, we have put together a production system we are calling the HD Plug & Play Pkg. (HD P&P Pkg.) that takes advantage of recent technological advances in HMI and Fluorescent ballast design and power generation to create clean stable set power (like that of the power waveform on the right of the same two 1200W HMI heads) that is capable of reliably operating larger lights (HMIs up to 6kw or Quartz lights up to 5kw).

Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
One thing is not really clear, as the posters referred to the Honda generators by actual wattage output. However a Honda ES6500 does not actually put out 6500 watts continously, only 6000 watts rated.
One of the benefits of inverter technology that I found is that inverter generators can in fact put out 20% more power than conventional AVR generators using the same engines. To take advantage of that fact, we have developed a transformer that doubles as a distro box that can be used to step down the 240V output from an the Honda EU6500is generator to provide 7500 Watts in a single 120V circuit that is capable of powering bigger lights (like a 5k Quartz light or 4kw HMI Day Lite Par), or more smaller lights than has ever been possible off of portable generators before.

For example, on a recent independent short shot on the Red, I used our modified Honda EU6500is Generator to power a lighting package that consisted of the 2.5kw, 1200, & 800 HMI Pars of our HD P&P Pkg, a couple of Kino Flo ParaBeam 400s, a couple of ParaBeam 200s, and a Flat Head 80. Given the light sensitivity of the Red Camera, this was all the light we needed to light a large night exterior.

While our HD P&P Pkg. is very new (introduced Jan 09), the power generation issues it addresses have been vexing set electricians for years. In my newsletter article I attempt a detailed explanation of the electrical engineering principles behind these issues and how our HD P&P Pkg. resolves them. The article answers many of the questions being kicked around in this forum.
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