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Ryan_V

What size generator do I need??

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I'm looking to get a generator for my shack on mille lacs. all I would be running are a few light bulbs, some fans to move air and a tv/dvd player. Do I want to go with the bigger is better, or try to go as small as I can?? any brand better, or anything to stay away from??? never owned or ran a generator, so any help and advice will be heeded!!! Thanks guys.

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Typically, bigger will be more noisy and use more gas, but will cover you as you find more stuff to plug in.

The Honda generators are premium, but very quiet and work very well.

To figure the size, just add up all the watts of the stuff you want to run and make sure the generator has more than that.

If truly all you are going to run is as described, I'd think the Honda 1000 watt would take care of it. But, for future needs, the 2000 watt would give you some extra capacity to run a bit more diverse range of goodies.

The only thing that gets a little tricky is if you are wanting to run something with a larger motor. Once you start getting into 1/3HP motors and up, they have a pretty high initial current draw that often necessitates a larger generator than merely the sum of the watts.

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I also have been looking at a few different generators. Sportsmans Guide has some similar units (as far a noise & power) at a much lower price. If I remember right a 2000 watt was around 600.00 and a 1050 watt, 950 continuous ( 65dB) output for around 300.

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I have the 950 watt that wallabee mentioned. Got it on ebay for $166 new including shipping. Runs nice and is quiet. It is a 2 stroke and uses the same mix as my auger. I just checked and there is on on ebay now new for $135 including shipping.

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I was in the same boat as you a few months ago. Did lots of research on brands and came to the same conclusion on the Honda's. Quiet, efficient, light weight, run forever, very low customer complaints.

As for the watts, a 1000 will easily power your fish house. You can run just about anything you want off 1000 watts on the ice.

Something else you should consider is if you'd use it at all off the ice. If you should have a power outage to run a freezer and sump pump in the summer time, sad to say a 1000 watt will not cut the juice. That will take around 1500 watts to run both simultaneously.

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If you value the opinion of Consumer Reports, they just tested some generators (albeit a bit larger than we are talking here).

Several common brands didn't meet their advertised spec. Honda met and or exceeded it by a small amount depending on the model and had excellent quality of power (stable voltage). Yamaha fared well too for meeting it's rating and quality of power.

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What issue of c/r were the generators listed?

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October 06.

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sounds like I'd want about at least a 1500 watt unit, maybe more. I'd use it other times as well, but on the ice will be by far and away the most use. Am I also correct in assuming that the bigger the wattage/engine, the more it will cost to operate?? thanks so far, keep the advice coming!!

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coldone/wallabee,

what is the brand of generator you were talking about on ebay??

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I don't remember what brand it was. I took a quick look after I read your post. I think there are several brands that are made by the same manufacturer and are made in China. Sportsmans Guide sells the same thing. The one I have starts and runs good. I bought the 2 stroke because I have mixed gas along for my auger already and I didn't want to mess around with oil changes if I'm on the ice for several days. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money as I already have a Generac 6,000 in the garage. Moost people on here will recomend Honda, but they are about $700. Too much for me.

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Can't make out the name in Sportsmans Guide catalog. Go to S/G web site and you will see it. I haven't purchased one yet, but the research that I have done checking out other sites looks like these will perform just fine. Plus, you could just about buy two for the price of a Honda.

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Based on the short review in Consumer reports, if you are buying models other than Honda or Yamaha (they certainly did not review "all" models) and want a solid 1500 watts, you need to buy something that is rated on the order of 2500 watts to be safe.

I'm saying that because most of those tested fell fairly well short of their rated power output - like 1000 watts and more short which is a pretty high percentage when you are talking 3000 to 6000 watt units.

Maybe that's why Brand X 2000 watt generator is much cheaper, because it's really only a 1000 watt generator when you get down to it.

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I have 9 twelve volt batteries im my ice house and these generators come with the cord for charging batteries. I like drip coffee in the morning when on the ice and I have a 4 cup coffee maker that takes 600 watts. I crank the generator and have hot coffee in 6 minutes. grin.gif I have never used the generator to charge my batteries on the ice because I haven't been out longer than about three days yet. Maybe this year. They have some 1,250w and 1,500w generators on ebay also that are 4 stroke and only weigh about 50 lbs. The Hondas run about $700 for a 1,000w.

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