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Running computer equipment with generator

This is a discussion on Running computer equipment with generator within the Other Hardware Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My friend and I have a mobile business that requires using a tower, monitor, three printers, battery charger for digital


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Old 05-23-2005, 05:13 PM   #1
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My friend and I have a mobile business that requires using a tower, monitor, three printers, battery charger for digital camera, and a couple of small clip-on fans. We need to know what size (wattage) of generator will safely run our equipment. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 05-23-2005, 05:36 PM   #2
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Hi,and welcome to TSF. Each of those items should have labeling indicating it's power requirements. The tower is likely 300 watts or so, more or less, depending on it's internal accessories. The monitor 80-110 watts, again an estimation. The printers? inkjet printers require very little power, though laserprinters require much more, as they have substantial heaters within. Small fans, I'll guess 35 watts each. The camera charger will also be labeled, probably 50 watts or less. The way it looks, if the printers are inkjets, and you only needed this to operate for short periods of time, you could run a couple of hours on a deep-cycle battery and a 1000W. inverter. The smallest portable generator you would find is probably 1500 watts. Which should be sufficient. The bottom line is you need to check the requirements on each item's label, and simply add them up for a total.

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Old 05-23-2005, 05:44 PM   #3
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i might mention, for the purpose of safety, make sure and use a good noise filter on these machines, as a generator usually puts out "noisy" power, and can damage equiptment.



personally, i would do this entirely differently, with a second alternator under the hood of the van, (assuming it's in a vehicle... if not, then a generator is definately easier.) and an array of 4 car batteries in 12volt parallel, and then run a nice huge inverter.

the fans could run directly on the 12 volt, and if you find a good LCD monitor, some of them run on 12vdc.

you can also find power supplies for desktop computers that will run on 12 volt as well.

that's more how i would do it, with only the printers running on inverters, and the rest of the setup running on 12 volt.

or, you could avoid any question, and just get a 3000 watt generator, i am sure that 3000 watts would handle that load.
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:35 AM   #4
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Thanks Walt and BP for the replies. Walt...by "noise" do you mean the noise than can tranfer through the extension cord to the computer equipment? And, if so, what kind of a noise filter? I haven't heard of them before. I have found a 3500 generator that a friend is going to lend me for this weekend, but I sure don't want to damage our equipment.
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Old 05-24-2005, 02:40 PM   #5
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any computer store should have surge supressing noise filters.

they are usually inside of a power strip, and are about 20-30$

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