View Full Version here: : Bunnings $400 'sine wave' generator
10-05-2011, 05:59 PM
Just wondering if anyone knows much about this generator that I saw in Bunnings today - Kipor GS 770
The box claims a true sine output and max 770watt.
I figured that 770watt would be plenty for my single laptop and a few low voltage peripheral items, and at $400 bucks, it seems like a bit of a bargain.
Is anybody using this genny in their own setup, can I really go wrong if it offers true sine?
Here is a link to its bigger 1000 watt brother (couldnt find the 770 easily)
http://www.kulkyne.com/au/GS1000-Kipor-Generator.html - this one is $800, but seems that the only variable is max OP.
10-05-2011, 07:17 PM
If you don't mind paying $400 for something that will likely last less than a year. I avoid McBunnings like the plague, they only sell cheap Chinese ****. Sorry, **** is the only word for it.
The bonus with shopping there though, is that you get to be 'helped' by people who need assistance to tie their slip-ons in the morning.
10-05-2011, 09:11 PM
That looks like a honda, in fact it is exactly the same as mine but blue? Hmmmm see link below.
Quite a bit more expensive in red but if it is exactly the same it would be an absolute bargin at that price. Mine (the 1kVa honda version) definately supplies very clean electricity and I have had no problems with any of my computers I have run off of it.
10-05-2011, 09:39 PM
This has certainly been my Bunnings experience. And from the folk who service our generator (back up for our solar remote power system) I understand that a cheap generator is indeed a very short-term item. Our Honda has lasted many years beyond what would be expected. Chinese copies as Jason said can be expected to last a year - again this is not from personal experience, but from very trusted and experienced sources.
11-05-2011, 06:55 AM
We bought a honda powered preasure cleaner a while back and have had a bit of trouble with the engine since new and its always little stuff breaking or jamming .
While the name does still hold a good reputation, the idea you can slap it on a outsourced power head and flog it off as professional quality is a bit of an ask imo.
Maybe worth a punt Sam , they are cheap , I've had some positive experiances from the cheaper knockoffs.
11-05-2011, 07:26 AM
Some 4WDrivers in our Landrover Club have been using Kipor gennies for years. They're generally good and they work pretty reliably. They're probably not quite as well regarded as Honda or Yamaha generators, but aren't all that far behind. $400 is a bargain for a sine wave generator in anyone's book - and it isn't a "Bunnings" Chinese special import - the brand has been around for a fair while here in Oz now although it IS made in China. THis must be a new model because I couldn't see it on Kipor's website. I personally have a Honda, but would look at this as a second unit for the caravan.
Back in February 2004, I purchased a cheap (NZ$800) 3,500 kVA Chinese Honda knock-off genset.
My friends laughed and said I was mad for buying "junk".
It's now 2011 and that wee genset is still going strong and has barely missed a beat. (I did once have to replace the Chinese sparkplug with a Japanese sparkplug, but that's it.)
If you try to run them 24/7, these Chinese models will probably fall apart, but for occasional use such as topping-up battery banks and running power tools, etc, they can be excellent.
(Oh, and one difference between the Chinese model and the equivalent Honda genset? Around 10-20 kg! More steel and copper in the Honda is my assumption.)
11-05-2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback.
Seems to be 50:50 either way, so I am gonna take a punt and grab one.
Here's hoping that gennys aren't something you can get wrong anymore.
11-05-2011, 09:41 PM
as someone who works casually at Bunnings just 'cos I love hardware (and I have a PHD!) I do resent people making insulting comments about people who are just trying to do a half decent job under a great deal of pressure from low staffing levels. If you've ever been insulted, treated like crap, and subject to the moods of unpleasant customers who abuse you because they know you'll lose your job if you answer back, perhaps you would understand why sometimes they do lack a little enthusiasm. In addition half the time you're asked to cover an area that you have no expertise in, and are still expected to know everything about everything by customers with unreasonable expectations....Perhaps if you were paid $16 an hour you would be full of enthusiasm at assisting someone who doesn't even have the courtesy to say "please" when asking for help. The people I work with are genuinely nice, many have trade qualifications, most are semi retired and have a genuine desire to help. Never assume that just because someone is in plumbing they are a plumber- the plumber has probably been put in timber, and the paint guy is probably rostered in tools - not their fault.....
You may think your comment amusing, but thousands of nice people work there, and do try to help. You should never assume that just because people work in menial jobs they have no intelligence.....I have known lots of people who are graduates and who have graduate degrees who've worked there as a change of pace....as I do....a day dealing with "customers" at Bunnings can have stressful results:
"You suppose me a very old man - but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves, so that I tremble at the least exertion, and am frightened at a shadow" E A Poe
The bonus with shopping there though, is that you get to be 'helped' by people who need assistance to tie their slip-ons in the morning.
11-05-2011, 10:04 PM
Gary,Thankyou for your post:thanx:
I have had nothing but GOOD service from my visits to Bunnings and good humor from it's staff:thumbsup:
Isn't it amazing that millions of people use products from Bunnings every
day and I would say that the biggest majority are happy with their purchases as I have over the years:)
There are bound to be some people who will experience some disappointments:rolleyes:
12-05-2011, 07:08 AM
Thats been my experiance Ron , customer service is always really good i've found.
Some people will fault in a lot of whats in front of them unfortunately
the guy at the checkout the other day wailing on the checkout chick
because the coffee had been put on the wrong shelf.:shrug:
I hope the bitter and twisted types are a minority in your day Gary:thumbsup:
12-05-2011, 07:30 AM
I have a Mobicooler which draws 45w at 240 volt 46w at 12volt,would this be ok to run on this generator?:question:
12-05-2011, 08:39 AM
Fair enough Gary, it was a bit of an unthinking generalisation. At our Bunnings there are indeed a few decent people. I too would find it difficult (impossible) being nice to the public all day!
12-05-2011, 12:39 PM
Hey Mark, what's with the Hopskinville Goblin as your avatar :)
How much was your gen??
12-05-2011, 07:21 PM
Carl a change is as good as a holiday:P. From memory the genset cost about $1300, money very well spent IMO. Its small light quiet and runs for 8 hours on a single tank. Been very reliable and is much better than lugging batteries around (it can charge those to :)). That knock off is a dead ringer from the outside, wonder what the internal bits look like?
13-05-2011, 09:54 PM
I am behind you on this one Gary. The degree of help at Bunnings is inversely proportional to the busyness of the store. Go in there at 10am on Satruday or Sunday and you will find it hard to get any help. Go in there at 7pm on a weeknight and they are lining up to talk to you:lol:
If you want advice pick a quite time to visit.
On the genny side, we picked up 2 chinese ones from ebay, the first lasted 6months, the 2nd is still going great at 18months. It gets run for 24hrs every month. Jsut keep the oil topped up and clean. (I think that was why the first one carked it:question:)
21-09-2011, 08:28 AM
We all know the Hondas and Yamahas are quality units, last a long time; but cost lots $$.
For our occasional camping & Astro requirements these knock-offs are quiet (59Dba 7M) and getting cheaper.
This knock-off type at 18Kgs gives plenty of output and suitable endurance at our moderate loads:
At 18Kgs and 3.6L tank 1.5KVA (or realistic 1000watt constant load) specs say 4hr10mins endurance at max load. For our moderate loads a full tank should run 5 - 6 hours.
AUD390 delivered seems to be now very reasonable!
Yes this is not a Honda, so you pays your money and takes your chances.
For comparison "Aldians Cave" have a 1KVA (realistic load 600watts) 2.7L 13Kg for $349 this week
21-09-2011, 08:34 AM
One at ALDI this week...
21-09-2011, 08:36 AM
Mike check my prev "Aldians Cave" = ALDI!
21-09-2011, 09:12 AM
No Noise level readings on the ALDI unit.
21-09-2011, 09:16 AM
I too have had excellent service at Bunnings and always found the staff very helpful. Courtesy (as a customer) costs nothing and i would rather smile and get one back than kick someone.
On the Aldi front, I've had exceptionally good stuff from Aldi and they are advertising this generator in their camping specials - clearly it is designed for camping use, ie, intermittent usage for short periods of time. If you wanted a full time gennie I imagine you'd have to pay much bigger $$$
21-09-2011, 10:53 AM
Yes Aldian's Cave has some fantastic specials at times - you have to make a personal assessment of the individual item build & functional quality.
I'm just a bit circumspect about spares support after the 12 month warranty on these Chinese generators - wherever you buy them.
These inverter generators all have very small 4 stroke engines and running them for hours at even 75% rated load will have the engine components at very high temps beyond the oil specs. This will result in premature internal engine wear = very short life in hours of operation.
Use premium oils and change oil every year, don't just top it up!
So the answer is firstly choose a generator with a normal load rating (not maximum) in Kilowatts well above your expected maximum load.
Dew heaters, Camera TECs and Laptops account for the majority of our imaging peak loads.
Secondly ensure the fuel tank holds enough fuel for the maximum endurance you will need - say 5 -6 hours imaging. These little units get very hot, so should be cooled for 20 mins before refuelling.
Another backup / protection option would be to include a small UPS in the power circuit for the mount & camera power supply/s. A laptop battery provides its own backup. here is a suitable example:
BTW I do prefer to use 13.8VDC power supplies for mounts and cameras. Another reason for choosing a quiet inverter portable generator over 12V batteries of all types.
21-09-2011, 11:57 AM
:eyepop: $340.00 sounds too good to be true. Do they really work as advertised? I mean the cheapest Honda is in the $1k ball park right? :question:
21-09-2011, 01:00 PM
I'm not usually one for posting warnings about potential scams but I had a
close call on Sunday. I walked into Bunning's at lunchtime and some old
guy dressed in a red shirt with a green apron on asked me if I wanted
Fortunately, I got the first punch in and sorted him out. Those less
suspecting might not be so lucky.........
Letting you know because I care!!
PS: I shop at Bunning regularly and find them very helpful.
22-09-2011, 03:39 PM
Yes reason for my post, let the buyer beware!
These are Asian knock-offs based on H$$da technology!
The Aldian Cave one has a 50cc four stroke engine. This is enclosed with supposedly forced air cooling. The price is good, so I went surfing and found one that I consider more likely to endure our typical imaging loads without clapping out prematurely.
The one I mentioned would be of similar design and quality, but IMHO if you only apply light loads and change the oil reqularly it should give a reasonable service life - not Japanese service life though.
There are many outlets selling these 1.5KA and larger inverter generators. However GO bigger and the weight piles on like a Sumo.
Hopefully a parts source will find its way onto fleabay soon as every bush camper will have one.
So a 1.5KVA 18Kgs for $390 delivered you get one for our typical load that should not have to rev its guts out and will run for at least 5 hours on a tank of fuel.
I intend to put money on one.
22-09-2011, 07:39 PM
I guess these cheap gensets might be okay to drive your mount and cameras if you used a lab power supply between them to take up the slack if the circuitry failed but I would not be plugging my laptop into one. My 1kva honda runs at idle in eco mode whilst driving mount, cooled cameras, FW, dew heaters, laptop etc etc so the draw for AP is quite low and I imagine the cheapies would be well capable of delivering the required output. I do not trust the electronics to keep the power clean enough not to damage sensitive equipment. The price difference cannot be based on greed alone.
22-09-2011, 09:30 PM
My hunch is it comes down to design life.
I heard a tale about whipper snippers. Their "design life" is 30hrs. Your average Joe with a few edges to tidy up probably uses their whipper snipper 2 out of 3 weekends over summer and hardly at all during winter, for 10-15 mins at a stretch - ie 20 times x 10-15mins ~ 3-4hrs use per year. At that rate, it can be reasonably expected to last 7-10yrs. When it finally dies, you think - brand "X" lasted me that long, I'll buy another.
These "clone" generator are probably the same as that. They'll cope with intermittent use, but if you want something for frequent use you buy the Honda - just like you'd buy a commercial whipper snipper if you were a mower man.
I also agree that I'd feel better about using the Honda with electronics. I haven't any science to back that up, but would be interested to see an oscilloscope assessment of Hondas vs the clones if anyone is so inclined.
22-09-2011, 11:08 PM
1 kva would be heaps for astro work.
These cheap Chinese gennies work for astro stuff. They are not as clean power as a Honda nor as reliable.
I have had 3 gennies - a Honda 20iu, a Chinese Genquip 3300 and a Yamaha 2.8kva.
The Chinese gennie is supposed to be 3.3kva yet the Yamaha appears to generate almost twice as much power.
The Genquip breaks down on a regular basis - usually the pull chord snaps and you can't start it.
When running the TV on the Genquip I can't get one TV station due to interference from the Gennie. I found that out by accident after getting the TV station when using the Yamaha or Honda.
My Honda 20iu starting buring oil and blowing smoke way to early in its life. A Honda dealer told me sometimes if they are just idling all the time (which it does even under moderate loads) the cylinder becomes glazed.
Anyway, either the Honda was faulty, I got some bad fuel, or I got some dusty windy weather which worked its way in. Not sure.
The Honda 20iu is quiet, light, easy to start, reliable and clean power. A full tank runs about 8 hours so you can image all night. The 10iu runs for less so you'd need to refuel sometime during the night. Same with this Chinese one linked. It appears to have a 4 hour or so run time on a full tank. So keep that in mind. Filling a gennie up with petrol at 3am may not be your personal idea of fun!
The Yamaha is the Rolls Royce here. Its heavy, but it has wheels, electric start (starts first go) runs 22 hours on a full tank, has oodles of clean power (I run a house on it plus my observatory at my dark site).
But it has a high price tag. Its really easy to change the oil on the Honda.
I'd go the Honda 10iu if I were wanting to travel for imaging and camping but my guess is the little Chinese unit would work fine but it may break on your occassionally. I would check the pull chord metal guide for sharp
unmachined edges. I'd also get a couple of spare pull chords and keep a little tool kit with it in case you had to do a field repair.
I agree about frequent oil changes (that's true for any brand though) and I would pull the chord very carefully, not too hard and try to pull it straight and not an angle where it will rub on the guide. Treat it very gently.
But for $349 that is how much a decent 300amp hour deep cycle battery costs so that is a really low price and it could be a good unit.
One last thing, my Genquip made it hard to change the oil. You probably need an oil remover suction pump. And you may end up spilling oil in it which then leaks out. So if you are putting it in the back of your car it may end up being quite dirty so it would pay to see how hard it would be to change the oil and getting one of those manual oil suction pumps to take oil out of the engine. They are about $30 or less.
The Honda has a little drain channel so you take off the oil lid and lean the generator over and the oil spills out onto this little channel and its not hard to put a tray under that to catch the dirty oil. Very clever.
25-09-2011, 08:20 AM
The degree of life is directly proportential to your oil change interval with these chinese generatorator, somewhere around 40hrs usage between changes.
We have one running up at Wiruna and goes for about 15-20hrs each new moon weekend, each month, 6-8hrs a day straight. We use it to top up the house batteries and provide setup load at night. It has been doing this for 18months. The first one we had lasted 8 months as we didnt take care with oil. Still though $1200 for over two years work (2 units $600 each) is going well.
Time for another oil change!:D
25-09-2011, 08:29 AM
It's also things like bushes vs bearings.
25-09-2011, 08:59 AM
The other one as well is physical environment.
Run them on a flat clean surface. Dont run them directly on soft dirt or grass.
I made a small plate out of wood, that raises it about 4cm above the ground so it gets cleaner air.
25-09-2011, 10:13 AM
Trevor & Greg,
All good experienced based advice, good quality oil (but don't rely on price to determine quality - check the spec - most of these small four strokes require SAE 30, or non-friction modified multi-grade - ask you local mower repairer).
Its true long periods at idle can lead to glazed bores, friction modified oils for these small engines just accelerate the glazing process.
I made the original post to warn the unsuspecting, the Aldi small 1KVA type may work for astro, but most people will also use it for camping and that's when overheating and overloading will occur.
I strongly favor having a unit that will deliver 100% more KWs (ignore the KVAs rating), than the specified constant load KW rating you estimate you require. I consider the 1.5KVA units (1KW) for an extra $50 a better investment for astro & camping. (Beware some manufacturers overstate their ratings - no that wouldn't happen ;)!)
Just like David Trap said, the small engine equipment usually fails early due poor maintenance, overloading, excess idling, or dust ingestion. If you have hard work spend the money on Stihl or Honda.
That being said I understand in recent years Honda has moved its small engine production to China (?).
Not quite on subject - during my 40 years in engineering my employer had many 90KVA Detriot diesel generators most purchased between 1959 and early 1960s, 50 years on, good maintenance practices sees many of these still in use on a daily basis - of course they have been overhaulled! Every 10 -15 years!!
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