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Old 11-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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testing generator hertz

little help please. i need to test my generator to see what hertz it's putting out. my meters don't have hertz. what are you using and where did you get it ??
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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About the cheapest and most useful suggestion is to buy a Kill a Watt monitor.

P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor - Amazon.com

I suppose you could hook up an old electric clock that moves in time with the 60 cycles per second and measure how fast or slow it is, but my first suggestion is better, I believe.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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You need a meter that measures frequency. There is no way to derive frequency from Volts, Amps or Ohms or any combination thereof. They are all independent of frequency in this instance



Thinking you would need a Oscilloscope or a meter that measures frequency.
What are you trying to do or check? What kind of problems are you having?
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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The answer is a frequency meter Excellent Voltage and Frequency meter | eBay The only way to see the wave form is with an Oscilloscope and there are some small digital ones such as the ARM NANO.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
You need a meter that measures frequency. There is no way to derive frequency from Volts, Amps or Ohms or any combination thereof. They are all independent of frequency in this instance
The Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor not only measures volts, amps and wattage, but also line frequency. I suggested this $20 monitor to another RVer that was trying to adjust his generator and it worked like a charm, gave him all the information he needed.

The cheapest 'pocket' oscilloscope I've seen is more than $100 for the very cheapest, a modest table top oscilloscope is over $300.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Most any mid price multimeter will have a "frequency/duty cycle" setting, just went out and looked at my $35 Craftsman meter and it had one, tried it in an outlet and it read 59.9 on my garage circuit.

A multimeter is an invaluable addition to any tool box.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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since i run my genny through my progressive industries EMS unit, i just read the volts, freq, and current on the remote readout.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
About the cheapest and most useful suggestion is to buy a Kill a Watt monitor.

P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor - Amazon.com

I suppose you could hook up an old electric clock that moves in time with the 60 cycles per second and measure how fast or slow it is, but my first suggestion is better, I believe.
X2. I use mine a lot. Handy device at a reasonable price.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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I too use the kill-a-watt, I have other meters (more expensive) but... Why, when the K-A-W is right there in the outlet, Just press the Hz button.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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Also a big for the Kill-A-Watt. One of the best $20-25 I've spent for our generator/Southwind.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #11
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Why not look at the plate on the generator as it should state the output of the unit. If not go to the manual for the generator. If it powers a TV then the Hertz is correct.

Much more of a concern is the sine wave output of the generator as a square wave while OK for power tools and motors will kill electronic devices like a computer.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:27 PM   #12
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If you have a Progressive Industries EMS hard wired before the Auto Transfer Switch, with the generator running, connect the shore power cord with necessary adapters to any 120 volt outlet served by the generator and it will display all the information you need.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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On a typical Onan type alternator genset, the ratings for frequency are usually spec'd at the nominal voltage output - about 120 volts. Fact is, the voltage itself has to be pretty far off to the high/low side before the voltage frequency changes appreciably - in fact, the VOLTAGE delivered will probably be a critical issue LONG before the frequency is!

Folks often get unnecessarily paranoid about power frequency, because MOST electrical/electronic devices will continue to operate satisfactorily with rather significant deviations from the 60 cps range...
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
You need a meter that measures frequency. There is no way to derive frequency from Volts, Amps or Ohms or any combination thereof. They are all independent of frequency in this instance
This is one of those things they teach you when you go to college and study electronics,,,, as I did.

But there IS, in fact, a way to determine frequency from Volts, Amps Resistance and one other (Capatience or indutcance).

However that said. It is not how I'd do it since it involves a lot of things like multiplication and division and even a square root as I recall... Not for the math minor.

Kill-a-watt all it takes is the touch of one button (Hz) and read the number off the screen.



How to do it...

Set up a voltage divider consisting of a resistor and capicator in series... Try to avoid resonace

Measure the voltage across the resistor, and across the capacitor.. Now you plug the voltages, the resistance (of the resistor) and the capatience of the capacitor (NOTE: if you use an inductor instead of a capacitor sup all the proper terms) into the formula and out pops frequecy. Hopefully you have a very good scientific calculator to do it with.

The Kill-a-watt does it much easier

it just goes 1,2,3,4,5 ....60
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