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Portable generator not charging systems

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Hello all,

I have a brand new Honda EU2000i charger that I want to use as a charging generator while on the hook. I filled her up with oil and gas, plugged in the 30A shorepower cord that I had just disconnected from my dockside service and . . . . Nothing.

The "shorepower" indicator on my onboard panel did not light up like it does when connected to shorepower.
I tested the standard 110v outlets on the generator by plugging in a hairdryer. It worked fine. I did not have a way to test the 30A socket.
I've got a Xantrex Freedom Marine 25A charger and Link 1000 monitor. There was no indication of shore power on the monitor panel. The analog amperage gauge on my panel did not show any incoming charge.
I checked the breaker where my shorepower connection plugs into the boat and it was fine. I unplugged from the generator and back into dockside service and it was fine.

The rated output on the generator is around 16A. Is there a "minimum" current that is required to "trigger" the Xantrex and/or its monitor? Any suggestions? I must be missing something.

13 Replies

  • The Honda EU2000i is an inverter generator. Very good product, we had one as a backup geni on our previous boat and it worked when connected to our shore power socket. It generates the equivalent of between 1.6kw and 2kw which is more than enough to run a battery charger. However it's A/C wave form may be different shape and not detected correctly by auto switching AC gear. If you plug appliances directly into it, it should be fine.

  • We have run the boat systems including the battery charger from our Honda 2000 for a long time and it works great. You need to check the 30 amp plug. You don't need anything fancy, just a voltage meter. Or take it to a local Honda service center for testing. We have a 45 amp Iota charger which works just fine. Chuck

  • Is it just the Xantrex that is not seeing the generator output or the whole vessel? In Australia at least for current standards, the genset would not be connected through to the main switchboard unless an MEN (mains neutral earth) connection was found to be in tact. This is an active system to ensure that the vessel has an effective earth when connected on shore power.

  • That is a good question. The boat is a 2004 Jeanneau 43DS and I'm using the shore power plug just as if I were connecting to shore power. Any suggestions as to a way to determine if this is the problem?

  • Checked the 30A plug on the generator with the voltmeter. It's fine. I sent an inquiry to Xantrex, but no response. If the boat's AC panel shows AC in when connected to shore power, and I disconnect from the dock and plug the same cord into the generator, nothing appears on the panel. I did not disconnect the cord/boat connection. Killing me as I bragged to the Commodore about how this neat new Honda was going to work so well in quiet anchorages. Any other thoughts???

  • Also have a Honda 2000 and a Beneteau sailboat(model 393), no problems. I am focused on the fact the AC Panel on your Beneteau isn't lighting up.

    1) Does your shore power cable plug into a 30amp (round) or 15/30amp receptacle at the dock ? If 30 Amp, what adapter are you using to connect it to the Honda 2000i ? (or do you have the 2000i Companion with the 30AMP outlet ?)

    2) On the Honda, their is a 20 AMP circuit breaker. Try resetting it.

    3) Plug something directly into the Honda, like a hair dryer, or better yet a 3-prong outlet tester from Home Depot (approx $15) to confirm the Honda outlet is good.

    4) If you pass #3 above, what happens when you plug the same hair dryer or 3-prong outlet tester into a 110v socket in your Beneteau ?

  • Thanks for the thought Dan. It's a companion model, and I'm using my shore power cord. The 20 A breaker is OK. I have lowered the power share on my Freedom to 20A, still nothing. I just came across a sisters ip that was successfully using the same setup, so I will need to dig deeper.

  • I have the companion, but I don't use the 30 AMP outlet (I have a less bulky home made 15 foot cable from the boat to the generator)

    Before you spend any more time on the Freedom, why not focus on the more simple symptom that your Beneteau's AC shorepanel light didn't come on.

    1) Silly question, but I have to ask: You are keeping your AC switches unchanged compared to connecting your boat to shore power yes? E.g. You are not throwing the switch to use the internal inverter, right ?

    2) (I know you wrote you did this) But again test if the 15AMP outlet on the generator is functioning and can handle a load like a hair dryer. If not, your Honda Generator is the source of the problem.

    3) If 2 is good, focus on the possibility the 30A outlet on the Honda is faulty. Borrow a 30amp to 15 amp adapter and test with a hair dryer. If you don't have the adapter, skip this step 3 for now and come back to it.

    4) With the generator connected to the boat confirm your Beneteau outlets have or don't have power (use a hair dryer connected to an outlet in your head for example). If the hair dryer works, but the AC panel shore power light is still off (and the charger doesn't work either) than things get complicated. If the outlet in the Beneteau is dead and you had skipped #3 above, then go back to step 3 because your 30A outlet on the Honda Generator is by far the most likely cause.

    5) You can also connect your generator to another boat on the dock. Confirm that a hair dryer works from within the 2nd boat while on shore power, then without touching any switches, plug the boat into your generator and try the hair dryer again.

  • Do you still need help with this ?

  • Yes - thanks for asking Dan. Here's the latest:

    1. I have tried the generator on another boat and it works fine.
    2. I have tried another generator on my boat and it does not work either.
    3. I had the generator plugged in and running on my boat, no shore power connected. I wanted to check the connection at the 30A outlet of the boat and received a shock.
    4. If i connect to shorepower, and I touch the outlet housing, no shock. It seems the ground at my marina is protecting me, but the ground on my boat is not.

    This tells me I have some sort of problem with the ground and/or neutral on my boat. I am going to get a marine electrician to go through it from here. I don't feel the need to keep testing whether my ground circuit is keeping me alive.

  • Get an Electrician - excellent decision. To bad, thought, as we were so close :-)

    Also, don't connect to shore power anymore until this is resolved. I might be over cautious, but your boat could be at risk for stray current corrosion, a type of corrosion neither zincs nor galvanic isolators will protect against.

    Come to think of it, do you have galvanic isolator(s)? If yes, I would have your electrician test them (easy to do with a multimeter) after your main issue is resolved. It may have been damaged.

  • I've been using a honda for 3 years on my gulfstar 37,, I don't use the 30amp outlet though,, got a simple 30 to 110 3prong and use a normal extension cord into the 110 3prong outlet-- not sure this helps--- hope you got it resolved-- I run the thing pretty much every day on the mooring for hot water, a/c, battery charging and I love it.

  • Resolved. The unit uses a floating ground which causes the charger to see only 62.5 volts. Tthat wont trigger anything.
    Jump the ground and neutral and the problem is solved. I opened the case and jumped at the 15 amp outlet. Using proper connectors and soldered connections. I stumbled across the solution on the honda generator group over at yahoo groups.