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Old 03-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Not charging with Honda Generator

Last trip I tried to use the honda 2000 to recharge batteries. Plugged in the RV power cord into the honda and got absolutely nothing.

Not sure what is up with this. I will first try bypassing the progresive industries surge/voltage controller and see if that helps.

Generator is putting out volts.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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Hi ctcamper,
Before you make hardware changes it might be easier and quicker to get the meter out and trace the VAC until it is lost.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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It's the progressive industries surge and voltage protector.
Gen is showing 127 to 129 volts on meter.
Progressive surge shows 60Hz and 127 and open ground code. So it's the surge protector not allowing the current to pass because of the open ground.


I just unplugged the surge protector and everything is good after I plug the transfer switch directly into the generator.

Edit to add: Found the cause. The generator is not bonded which makes the ems see the open ground.
Maybe I'll make a plug connection going into the converter/charger ( bypass the coach wiring temporarily ) as that is all I want the generator for anyway ..charge batteries when boondocking

or I'll rig up an adapter to jump the ground with the neutral.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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That is correct - your portable generator does not have an earth ground so the PI shows an open ground and shuts off power. You can get a ground kit for a portable generator, but you probably aren't going to pound in a ground rod at every stop, so bypassing the PI is the right answer.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
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The Honda generator, like many inverter generators does not bond the neutral to the ground. It uses the frame of the generator as ground, but floats the hot & neutral.

Since the EMS can't really tell whether or not there is a ground, it looks for the bond between neutral & ground that is made at the house or campground service entrance. If it doesn't find it, it assumes that there is no ground & shuts down.

The easiest way to fix the problem is to make up a plug with a jumper between the Neutral (silver, wide blade) and the ground (green, round pin). If you are not sure of the proper terminals, find a electrician. Plug it into the other side of the receptacle on the Honda.

This will fake the EMS into thinking there is a ground - It is the same connection that takes place in the campground service entrance that the EMS uses to identify a ground connection.

By the way, although this works with the Honda & Yamaha generators, don't try it with inverters or an unknown inverter generator. Some will let out their "smoke" if a ground/neutral bond is made.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:08 PM   #6
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As an electrician in a previous life, I can handle the cord cap mod

I certainly am not going to sink ground rods as , for me, that would entail lugging along the rods plus a hilti hammer drill to make life easy... and getting them back out of the ground would be harder ....
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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I am not an electrician so I ask would a jumper cable from the ground point on the Honda generator to the frame of the motor home complete the ground circuit?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctcamper View Post
As an electrician in a previous life, I can handle the cord cap mod

I certainly am not going to sink ground rods as , for me, that would entail lugging along the rods plus a hilti hammer drill to make life easy... and getting them back out of the ground would be harder ....
And even if you did, adding a ground rod would not fix the problem. Again, the problem is the EMS looking for the tie between the neutral & ground.

A jumper from the Honda ground to the frame would tie the two together, but your EMS is still not going to see a neutral/ground connection, so it is still going to shut down the input. Some EMS have a bypass switch, however if you use that you lose the high/low voltage protection...
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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IT would be nice if they made it with a "Generator" setting (The Power Guarde thing) but alas they do not. You can modify the plug but I **DO NOT** suggest doing that.

Fact: With the Honda EU series, there is no need for the Progressive Dynamics surge guard, ALL of it's functions are duplicated by the control systems on the generator.

An EMS on the other hand, is a different device entierly. (The OP said Surge Guard, not EMS)
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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It is an ems.
Yes you are correct , the ground rod would be useless at least in the case of the ems..


Since it is not connected or bonded to frame/ground , connecting the MH frame to generator frame ground screw will do nothing. It is still "isolated" from the neutral

You have to either bypass the ems completely or bond the plug ground with the neutral ground. ..
In my case I will bond the neutral to plug ground to fool the ems or rig a plug for the converter/charger. I did set the ems up so I can unplug it ( hard wired unit I added cord caps and receptacle to ) but I am not sure I want to pull out the coil of 6ga cord every time I want to use the honda. I have the 5K onboard genset which is way too noisy in some situations so I got the honda for the sole purpose of running the battery charger during long boondocking spells.
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