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  • generator field flash

    Any of you fellers ever flash the field on a portable generator with a drill motor?

    I have a champion model 46595 portable genset that runs like a champ after I cleaned the carb but only spits out a little over 2 bolts after the AVR, 4 volts at the brushes.

    I've heard of people using a drill motor and spinning it backwards to energize the magnetic field inside the machine and bring it back to life.

    And since you guys are knowers of all things, figured I'd seek some experienced guidance on such a problem.

  • #2
    You'll need plenty of Gorilla tape to get them 2 2½s hooked to the Steamer so you can move water with it.

    I've heard of guys having luck with it though.

    Since you mention brushes I can presume you already made forcible entry to the tail end of the ma chine.
    Locate the capacitor and gaze at it admiringly.
    It's the problem 90% of the time.
    Prove it using a 12 volt headlight the filament hasn't cooked out of yet in series with a 12 volt battery across the brushes for a second.

    YOU failed to properly maintain the genset by providing it with quarterly exercise into a electric frying pan and hair dryer load bank.
    You better check the oil in the engine too.


    • #3
      I got it from a guy who got it a few years ago, reported to me that it ran fine just didn't make power, right out of the box. I told him to take it forward to yesterday, it lands on my bench. Drained 2 gallons of old gas out, tore the carb down and cleaned it, rinsed out the fuel tank and she runs perfect again.

      So, on to the flashing part....probably 30 years ago or so, I watched my uncle make two "mechanics" look like dummies. Had a big army surplus genset, started and ran fine. They couldn't get it to make power though. He walked out there with a 1/2" drill, plugged it in, spun the chuck by hand a few magic. I just didn't think I was remembering that moment correctly. Surely he did something else.


      I just did it. Fired it up, plugged in a 1/2" drill motor, grabbed the chuck and spun it backwards three cranks by hand and she drew breath. Took literally five seconds.

      But yes, I did pop the end open and look in there before I started looking for something obvious.

      So, for anyone that's curious, here is the procedure:

      1. Fire up the genset
      2. Make sure the breakers are closed
      3. Plug in your drill motor paying attention to polarity
      4. Set the drill to run forward
      5. Squeeze and hold the trigger
      6. Spin the chuck by hand in the BACKWARDS direction
      7. Be ready to let go because she's about to twist your hand off when the genset lights off

      Done and done.

      Now go forth, search craigslist for people selling generators that will run but not make power and cash in.

      Jones out.


      • #4
        ...He should get another bar for being a generator wizard now!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
          ...He should get another bar for being a generator wizard now!
          NOT unless and until he can explain the physics of what happened in that genhead when he gave it a dirty shot of DC and how the electric drill generated DC being series wound and all, and why it don't work with a variable speed tool, and why a 7" grinder works even better, and how long the minimal stored magnetism he installed will hang around, and why the genhead crapped out to begin with.

          Ryan has slid too far employing his bugle pretzel pins and slipshod explanations.
          Personally I think some of his bars are fraudulent.

          Dern hose hauler can't even paint a box post the right color [colour for Wilvis]


          • #6
            Let's not fuss about the withertos and whyfors, let's just relish in the victory of making a broken machine chooch once more....and that there is this little trick that I've set the example for others to follow.


            • #7
              Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
              Let's not fuss about the withertos and whyfors, let's just relish in the victory of making a broken machine chooch once more....and that there is this little trick that I've set the example for others to follow.
              In other terms, you prefer to go thru life remaining clueless and hopefully lucky rather than knowing what you're doing.

              I like watching people try that drill trick, particularly when they use a variable speed drill.
              Sometimes I suggest chucking up an allen wrench, or even better connecting chuck to chuck with a battery driven drill for more spin. Add that to your Command Lexicon of Might Work Ryan.


              • #8
                So you would need a drill as old as the machine

                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


                • #9
                  I knew I kept a corded drill around for something....

                  I understand the basics of how the field loses its magnetism and why flashing it with even the smallest charge can revive it. I really don't have the time to invest in the molecular physics of how the magic little pixies interact outside of making it chooch. Maybe one day, I'll pick back up where I left off before I went in the army and can tinker with things more. But for now, I just fix things and they work. The person that needed it fixed gives less than two diddly squats how, doesn't make him an idiot, heck, he's probably an expert in another field that most of us are dreadfully deficient of knowledge in. I wonder if there is a forum somewhere that he flexes his intellectual muscle on, maybe it makes him feel better about not knowing the weight of a wet 120.


                  • #10
                    Ummmm- he's gonna be back with the same problem next time he trys to use it. Then you got some splainin to do.

                    Back in ancient times we had Primitive Pete movies in school- real Kodak film shown on screens on the wall by Kodak projectors. Pete was a real mechanic, he could fix anything so nobody else could make it work.
                    Have you considered setting up your own Utoob4boobs site?

                    Shoulda changed the capacitor before you used the sledge to put the cover back on.


                    • #11
                      I plan to teach the grasshopper how to put the chooch back in his seeberdeeber here. I have no doubt he'll put it right back in the same place in his garage until the next hurricane and not take it out and run it every month at the very least. I put some ethanol free gas in it, so hopefully that'll help keep the carb from clogging with schmoo for a while yet.


                      • #12
                        I always found a line of Best Friends in the driveway about 12 hours into a power failure. Most were sure I could get their machine making electrons from gasoline. Some were sure I'd loan them one of my machines I was dumb enough to own so many of if theirs didn't make electrons. Naturally they were also sure I'd do this for free, from the goodness of my heart and all that crapola.

                        Many left disappointed.

                        Such is life among those who don't prepare.


                        • #13
                          This really was as easy as I said. I was thinking about it this morning again and wondered if it would work on these engine drive welders. We have so many people posting up that their engine drives will weld but won't produce power to the outlets, vice versa or both.

                          I dang sure don't know enough about them to say one way or the other. Maybe some of the guys that do can chime in and give me a clue.


                          • #14
                            A lot of people are buying the military surplus gensets. I got a trailer mounted US. Army MEP003A air cooled diesel genset at auction for $1500.00 a few years back, fresh from Iraq. To flash my military genset, and many other military gensets, you simply keep the start switch in the start position for about 10 - 15 seconds after the engine starts. I simply return the start switch to the on position after I see the oil pressure come up. When the engine starts, the starter is automatically disengaged, even though the switch is still in the start position. I suffer a lot of power outages and that genset is big enough to power my whole house and provides both single and three phase power.


                            • #15
                              Truth is there ain't a whole lot to alternators, often misidentified as generators. Of course if Ryan wants to make me a deal on some 50s vintage 110 volt SAFE DC firetruck generators I might work with him. One is a genuine ALFCO. Back 70 years everybody in the fire business was sure DC was safe for a man wearing rubber boots in a pond as long as the - side of the machine was connected to the puddle. Hobart Bros manufactured a few boatloads of DC generators for lighting too, we used to light a football stadium here with 10 of them 4 cylinder machines and racks of PAR lamps since the stadium had neither lights or power.

                              Kohler made a few thousand 4 cylinder DC machines as well, electric start with a timer that started and stopped them to run beacons for Air Mail pilots to follow across the country. They were massive 1500 watt plants.

                              "Portable" alternators came to market in the late 50s- early 60s, following in the tire tracks of cars. Hey, 3Ø coming from a magnet spinning under the hood delivered constant voltage regardless of rpm, and didn't put as much noise on the AM radio in the dash.

                              The corner garages that understood the system swore it was complex and not to be messed with, and people bought the story. Those Motorola components were expensive and hard to come by, sort of a forerunner of PC cards in welding machines. Don't even look at the 200 pounds of Leese Neville cast iron on the fire truck or ambulance, and DON'T ask what the gray box with 3 transformers are about in the ambulance. Them's BIG money.
                              They were also entertaining if you knew the system.

                              The current crop of crap called residential generators are as close to worthless piles of crap as engineers can make them. That includes most motor driven welders. Machines that were virtual tanks in the 70s have been redesigned and downvalued by engineering. Kohler was one of the first to prove they could produce crap and would put their name on it, along with a Briggs engine spinning itself to death at 3600 rpm. They even painted it gold, and discontinued the production when the problem of dead in the garage machines came to light, or is that came to dark? Kohler at least had enough class to admit they floated a turd and retro the machines with a capacitor and a push to activate button. They'd cheated too much on the lamination iron and it didn't retain sufficient magnetism over time to charge the electrolytic that fed the rotating field and got the show going. They even leached a few electrons from the engine magneto to charge the cheap capacitor.

                              Kohler didn't invent that system, they swiped it fair and square from the military who specified a wire from the starter solenoid of the machine to the field to pump some magnetism into the rotor from the battery. Of course that system sort of cooked some field coils if the jeep engine started slow.

                              There is only so much quality lamination iron milled every year, and it's expensive. Cheap iron works if the machines are maintained, so manufacturers use cheap iron. 3600 rpm machines are throw aways anyhow in 2019, can't be fixed for what a new one costs, and mower shops don't want to touch them, especially when the lights are off. Parts are a PITA too, and with manufacturers like Coleman and GeneCRAP in the market you just get a good spot in line at the Big Box Store when the lights go out.

                              Ain't much to em until some lowlife engineer sticks a PC board in where it don't need to be and renders what could have been good into price point CRAP.

                              Generator/welders are the worst possible configuration of 2 imitation machines. They sell though because Ryan's neighbors who can't survive without AC gotta have one so they can find out the machine only powers the AC for half an hour on a gallon of gas. How did Texas ever defeat Mexico and become a Republic before they had AC?