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Old 07-28-2020, 06:50 PM   #1
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EMS shows high generator voltage

Hi All! We recently returned from a week long camping trip with favorable weather but we were in pretty deep shade. As a result we were slowly loosing battery charge, it bottomed out at 57% the last morning. My wife was getting nervous. So, I decided to resuscitate an old Yamaha EF600 generator that's been hiding in the garage to take along for such a situation in the future. After a full can of carb cleaner and some new experience with the fuel pump system it's running well again. Not a very powerful generator but small and fairly light and will allow me to keep my Honda 2000i safe at home (I haven't taken this one on the road before). I tested the EF600 with two different volt meters and they show 120V +- 2V. But, when I hook it up the the trailer the Progressive EMS shows 148V +-. Which readings should I believe? The EMS also shows another error as the neutral and ground are not bonded but the generator only has one outlet so I can't put a grounded plug in to cure this. I could bypass the EMS but if its reading is correct do I risk harming some components with the high voltage if indeed that is correct? Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by garyjohn1 View Post
Hi All! We recently returned from a week long camping trip with favorable weather but we were in pretty deep shade. As a result we were slowly loosing battery charge, it bottomed out at 57% the last morning. My wife was getting nervous. So, I decided to resuscitate an old Yamaha EF600 generator that's been hiding in the garage to take along for such a situation in the future. After a full can of carb cleaner and some new experience with the fuel pump system it's running well again. Not a very powerful generator but small and fairly light and will allow me to keep my Honda 2000i safe at home (I haven't taken this one on the road before). I tested the EF600 with two different volt meters and they show 120V +- 2V. But, when I hook it up the the trailer the Progressive EMS shows 148V +-. Which readings should I believe? The EMS also shows another error as the neutral and ground are not bonded but the generator only has one outlet so I can't put a grounded plug in to cure this. I could bypass the EMS but if its reading is correct do I risk harming some components with the high voltage if indeed that is correct? Thanks.
A 600w generator isn't able to run any of your 120v devices so charging your battery is about all it can do.

That being the case, just plug a battery charger into the generator and clip the charger to your battery(s). Safe for your trailer and you'll get quicker charging times that way as well.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:06 PM   #3
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If you only have one outlet can’t you use one of the $2 adapters that turn 1 outlet into three and use a bonding plug in one outlet and plug the trailer into one of the others. It sounds like your intent is only to keep the battery charged. I would expect two separate meters are not lying. On the other hand, you could rig a battery charger and power it directly off the generator, bypassing the EMS altogether.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:06 PM   #4
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Our EMS was reading between 132 and 134 volts and tripping on over voltage.
The actual supply voltage was between 119 and 120 VAC - (Tested with 3 different meters )
I tried several times unsuccessfully to adjust the display voltage so it matched the actual supply voltage
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:07 PM   #5
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Thanks TDF! Yes, charging the batteries was all that I had in mind, we do not run anything on 120V. So, going straight to the batteries and bypassing the onboard systems might be a good way to go. GJ.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:43 PM   #6
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Thanks TDF! Yes, charging the batteries was all that I had in mind, we do not run anything on 120V. So, going straight to the batteries and bypassing the onboard systems might be a good way to go. GJ.
Gary, I agree with Tom, just don't use the EMS then. If you want to use a generator to actually power the trailer or run the AC, then obviously you'd need the Honda, and use a bonding plug on the spare generator receptacle if you want to use the EMS.

And regardless of the generator size, don't expect the EMS to display anywhere close to accurate voltage with a floating neutral.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:57 PM   #7
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Iím confused as to why you wouldnít just carry the Honda EU2000. Doesnít seem much bigger or heavier and will give you much greater flexibility to do more than just charge the batteries. Try the Honda and see if you get the same result of having high voltage. Honda can easily accept the neutral bonding plug in the second receptacle.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:55 PM   #8
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And regardless of the generator size, don't expect the EMS to display anywhere close to accurate voltage with a floating neutral.
The EMS may have a crappy internal voltmeter, but I don't see how that has anything to do with a floating neutral. The voltage measurement should be between line and neutral; where either are relative to the case or protective ground is irrelevant.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:12 PM   #9
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The EMS may have a crappy internal voltmeter, but I don't see how that has anything to do with a floating neutral. The voltage measurement should be between line and neutral; where either are relative to the case or protective ground is irrelevant.
I would think so too, but there's something else going on with the PI EMS, at least with mine. On one generator, neutral is floating, but it doesn't sense it and it works without a bonding plug. But, the voltage reading is quite a bit off. On another generator with a floating neutral, it does sense it and shuts down. Then when a bonding plug is used in the unused receptacle, and the EMS works again, the voltage is relatively accurate. Not sure what's going on, but I've seen it with more than one generator.
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