Originally Posted by Skater
So, if theirs is wired the same way, since the alt wasn't working, as the batteries depleted, eventually the voltage would get low enough that the gen would think it was being shut down, and shut down. Then it wouldn't start again because the voltage was low.
Hadn't considered that. If the generator isn't actually generating
power, it can't self-power either, and so will draw power from the batteries to keep the spark plug sparking. Once the batteries get too low, the spark plug quits sparking, and the generator shuts down. By the time the batteries are too low to power the ignition coil, they're too low to power the electric starter motor, too.
But for the same thing to happen to a properly-working generator, that almost has
to be keyed to the throttle control. A generator throttles up to increase RPMs as the load on the electrical system increases. Whatever mechanism controls the throttle probably relies upon battery power, so if there's not enough battery power, you can bog down the engine by overloading it; RPMs don't increase as they're supposed to with added load, which causes the generator to shut down.
Still grasping at straws here, but haven't reached the last straw yet.