View Poll Results: What would you pay to make your generator near silent?
I think honda and yamaha's are quiet enough - I have no issue running them all night in a campground 5 19.23%
I would pay up to $200 to reduce noise to near silent levels (35db) 12 46.15%
I would pay up to $500 to reduce noise to near silent 5 19.23%
I would pay more than $500 to reduce noise to near silent 4 15.38%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #21
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Sound is a function of transmission and reflection.
1. Oversize the radiator and place it outside the enclosure
2. Box in box enclosure with no contact between boxes.
3. High mass material on inside of outer box.
4. Any pass throughs between boxes must face up
5. Exhaust needs to exit up And higher than head height
6. Exhaust needs to be double walled.
7. Low durometer mounts from operettas to inner box
8. Low durometer mounts from inner box to outer box
All noise you can't convert to heat needs to reflect up ( not in plane with ears)
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:23 PM   #22
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Also - solar/batteries will not power a microwave or AC. People will run these, and will fire up their generators to do so.
We did all of Alumapalooza on solar. Did fine without microwave or AC. Do understand that AC is necessary in some parts of the country. And in a forest have found sunny spots to park.

Have a friend with solar who did run his microwave. Worked fine.

Don't much mind the Hondas or Yamahas. Do mind the construction generators.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:29 PM   #23
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I don't really understand the post about the tent. A tent would do little to nothing to silence a generator. If out of site, out of mind is true - then campgrounds wouldn't ban generators. You could just tuck it away behind the rig and you'd be set. I realize this was tongue in cheeck though. I don't doubt you haven't had complaints - but I am certain at least some people were annoyed by the noise. Often people don't speak up, as that in itself creates tension that people are trying to escape when they go camping. Just my opinion of course...
It rains some in the Adirondacks, better to keep it dry while running.

If I do have a neighbor the first thing I offer is power if they need it.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:38 PM   #24
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What if.......the generator was sitting in a dish or box, attached to the top of the trailer (or TV) and the dish or box was sound insulated so that very little sound radiated to the sides, but was all reflected straight up. This would also allow heat to dissipate, and exhaust. But it should be feasible to make a baffle for the entire lower hemisphere of space below the generator so that people standing under it couldn't hear it.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:58 PM   #25
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Exactly - no campgrounds allow generators to be run all night. Which is exactly why I would like a whisper quiet generator. Campgrounds would allow them if they were silent.
Not quite, remember the rule is on the books. sort of like no alcohol in parks with a recycle bin full of beer cans.
First complaint would demand shut down and worse yet being booted out in the middle of the night or vacation.
With enough batteries anything can be run with an inverter for a short amount of time even if it uses a lot of power.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:26 PM   #26
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Exactly - no campgrounds allow generators to be run all night. Which is exactly why I would like a whisper quiet generator. Campgrounds would allow them if they were silent.
Then they would complain about your AC unit on top of your camper making noise.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:52 PM   #27
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[QUOTE=DaveFL;1005863]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwatch View Post
Exactly - no campgrounds allow generators to be run all night. Which is exactly why I would like a whisper quiet generator. Campgrounds would allow them if they were silent.

QUOTE]
Not quite, remember the rule is on the books. sort of like no alcohol in parks with a recycle bin full of beer cans.
First complaint would demand shut down and worse yet being booted out in the middle of the night or vacation.
So when was the last time you complained that someone was using a flashlight in their tent? The answer is, you didn't complain because it didn't bother you. If it's silent, then you aren't going to care or complain and the rangers will have no reason to boot you out.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:53 PM   #28
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Then they would complain about your AC unit on top of your camper making noise.
I agree - AC units do make a lot of noise, so I don't really condone their use in campgrounds. No clear answers here.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo
What if.......the generator was sitting in a dish or box, attached to the top of the trailer (or TV) and the dish or box was sound insulated so that very little sound radiated to the sides, but was all reflected straight up. This would also allow heat to dissipate, and exhaust. But it should be feasible to make a baffle for the entire lower hemisphere of space below the generator so that people standing under it couldn't hear it.
Yes it would work as long as there were no overhead structures to reflect the sound. The real goal is convert sound waves to heat and then dissipate said heat. Shhhh....
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:03 PM   #30
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If I do have a neighbor the first thing I offer is power if they need it.
The first rule of a successful party: Invite the neighbors.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #31
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I don't particularly relish using the AC while camping, but in our neck o' the woods sometimes we get surprised by hot spells, so we need to be prepared ... It's either that or go home.

If it's so warm that we need to run the AC at night, most everyone else is running thiers as well. We have never been disturbed by someone running a genny or an AC all night. Hondas and Yamahas are so quiet that I don't think we'd even notice if they did. It's the construction generators that makes us crazy...they're like a chain saw in heat, even in the daytime!
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:13 PM   #32
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A bucket of ice and a fan is pretty quiet. I think you can even run a countertop ice maker on solar! :-)
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:39 PM   #33
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The last place I would be on a hot weekend would be a crowded campground with no elect and generator policy.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:15 PM   #34
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Generator noise topic, beat to death!

Hi, this topic is so confusing. Silence the generators, as if that is the only noise you will ever hear in a campground. Dogs barking, kids yelling, diesels running, doors slamming, alarms blaring, fans spinning, air conditioners running, beer bottles clanging, cigars stinking, coyotes howling, cats meowing, televisions glaring, radios blasting, trains rolling, and trucks hauling. [I'm sure I forgot a few] Get over it or buy some @%$#& ear plugs.

A simple proven way to make generators quieter, heavier, and more costly, is to have liquid cooled engines; Air cooled engines are inherently louder. I.E. Honda permanently mounted, water cooled, RV generators. A muffler can only do so much.

One last thing; If you want to appreciate silence, spend a night or two in a hospital. That will make an automotive repair shop seem quiet.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwatch

What it comes down to is this - I was tent camping with my dad and he has to have oxygen at night. He built a box to try to silence his honda generator, but it wasn't nearly quiet enough for the campground even with the box, and heat built up even with the computer fans he was running causing performance and noise issues. He ended up suffering through the night as the rangers wouldn't allow him to run the generator. I also have to run oxygen myself when I am at altitude (altitude enduced sleep apnea). Many concentrators pull a lot of amps - which would drain a large bank of batteries quickly. I have researched options for concentrators, and there are a few which run on low power, but they are very expensive and often not covered by insurance if you already have a home unit.

Besides that - I have gone camping numerous times where RV'er are running their generators until 10pm. Even when they are running them during reasonable hours or during the day, they are still distracting and annoying - and they ruin the outdoor experience. These are not isolated incidents of people being occasionally rude or unprepared. It's just a simple fact that people like to "take it with them" without compromise - and they want to run their AC, their LCD, and their microwave. Batteries wont cut it for these obviously. I myself have never purchased a generator, because even if I am boondocking I don't want to listen to my own generator.

With that said - good point on the AC being louder than 35db. I run fans myself, but it would obviously be a moot point to silence a generator down to 35db if other equipment is running louder.

35db is probably unrealistic. But 40db might be attainable, and I am considering designing something that could reduce sound levels to this amount. Just curious how important this is to others besides myself.
I would buy one. Most important features to me would be weight and noise, not price.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:52 PM   #36
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What I'd like to see is a more modern quiet Yamaha or Honda. The current models have been out nearly a decade or more.

One 3-4 kw model I'd like would be roughly a third to half as much perceived loudness as the current models. I would want fuel injection with MAP sensor, possibly oxygen sensor to adjust for altitude, I'd want a catalytic converter to knock down the CO and exhaust odor. And noise reduction either through better insulation and isolation, and adding water cooling if that would help the noise issue. I would be willing to have the unit weigh an additional 25 pounds (as long as its on casters), be 20% larger (longer, not taller) than equivalent current wattage, and be willing to pay extra $200 or $300.

If the perceived loudness can be reduced to a third to half, there would be many more settings where the unit would blend in to background noise. A nearby highway, wind in the trees, kids playing, etc. Of course if the air is dead quiet, the sound level of the generator could be cut 90 percent and it would still be audible.

I think the unit I'm proposing would be within the realm of possibility. In fact I think the size and weight limitations could be bettered.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:22 PM   #37
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I am also curious about the source of the noise. Is it from inadequate mufflers or is there also significant mechanical noise escaping from the engines.

.
My decible meter showed my cheap Chinese generator has more sound coming from the block than the muffler. 82 db I think. An open box of half inch "sound proofing" cellotex type board, 6 foot tall got it to 72 db, tiny bit better than plywood. But you had to take the box apart to start and stop the engine, and gets real hot inside the box. Making a open waffle sound course lost the deadening gain. Then you start to worry about the box catching fire. So after about 3 sheets of 3/8s plywood, then 1/2 plywood, then cellotex, I come up with just leaving the generator in the bed of the truck at the end of a 50 foot 10 gauge extension and use the thing as seldom as possible.
This year I'm going for a commercial 12V swamp cooler, my trials of building one around the center ceiling vent actually seemed to suck in hotter air from between the skins instead of pulling air through the swamp cooler fabric, and it wanted to use up my fresh water supply in a few hours. A small portable 110AC swamp cooler actually worked with the solar panels, but the 110 inverter heat looses a lot of the cooling. Anybody got a cheaper source for a 12V swamp cooler. (I know they won't work for you'all down in swamp, er humid land. My humidity frequently reads 0, or less than 10% up here.)
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:25 AM   #38
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What it comes down to is this - I was tent camping with my dad and he has to have oxygen at night.
Leave the concentrator at home and use tanks. Sure you'll have to pay for them but it's cheaper, lighter, and less hassle than a generator. The insurance isn't going to pay for the generator either. Or consider staying in a campsite with electricity -- there are many places that cater to tent campers but offer electrical power at the campsite.

Quote:
Besides that - I have gone camping numerous times where RV'er are running their generators until 10pm. Even when they are running them during reasonable hours or during the day, they are still distracting and annoying - and they ruin the outdoor experience. These are not isolated incidents of people being occasionally rude or unprepared. It's just a simple fact that people like to "take it with them" without compromise - and they want to run their AC, their LCD, and their microwave.
Those people aren't going to pay extra for a 35 dB(A) generator. I would imagine that in nearly all cases they're not running the quietest generators readily available today, because if they were, I doubt if you would find it annoying.

I think it's important to realize that there are a variety of "camping experiences" available, and if your thing is solitude and quiet, you can get that. Find a place that's lower density or that enforces sound limits. Or go the other way and camp somewhere that has electricity at each campsite -- then nobody will run their generator.

Quote:
Batteries wont cut it for these obviously. I myself have never purchased a generator, because even if I am boondocking I don't want to listen to my own generator.
Batteries won't run the air conditioner but people do run TVs and microwaves from them.


Quote:
With that said - good point on the AC being louder than 35db. I run fans myself, but it would obviously be a moot point to silence a generator down to 35db if other equipment is running louder.

35db is probably unrealistic. But 40db might be attainable, and I am considering designing something that could reduce sound levels to this amount. Just curious how important this is to others besides myself.
The quietest generator now on the market (at least according to manufacturer's ratings) is the Yamaha EF1000iS which emits 47 dB(A) at 125 watts. There are larger generators with only slightly higher noise ratings. Except on an unusually still night at an unusually quiet location, a 47 dB(A) noise source will blend into the outdoor background noise (wind, nearby highways, frogs, insects) from more than 20 or 30 feet away.

I'm not sure that a 40 db(A) generator solves any problem that we actually have.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #39
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I am also curious about the source of the noise. Is it from inadequate mufflers or is there also significant mechanical noise escaping from the engines.
There are multiple sources. In addition to the exhaust there is also significant noise emitted as a result of the vibration of the engine block itself. There is also some noise from the engine cooling fan. To make a quiet design, the manufacturers try to drop the RPM as low as possible, add a good muffler, put the engine in an enclosure, and isolate the engine from the enclosure. Most designs put the electrical side in the enclosure too because it's lighter and smaller than adding isolation to the shaft.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:42 AM   #40
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Well, as I'm not willing to compromise on power but want quiet I have decided to go with 6 of these instead:

http://www.rollsbattery.com/pdf/AGM/...3DHgV8TGvpSCF6.


So my next question: How hard is it to purchase a Tank on the open market for hauling these around?
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