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[aprssig] Generators, grounding, recessed male twistlock, etc.

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 5 19:03:50 UTC 2006


Folks:

I would imagine that checking any decent industrial catalog (grainger, msc, 
mcmaster) would turn up whatever plug or receptacle you're looking for. 
They may not be cheap, however; The less commonly used wiring devices often 
are substantially more expensive (as in 3x-4x) than the common ones.

As far as generator grounding goes: There are very, very different rules 
(and they're generally based on common sense, so it's not just pointless 
regulatory overhead) for temporary generator grounding and generators used 
for standby power (e.g. with a transfer switch).  For example in some 
cases, the Neutral and Ground are connected at the generator, and in 
others, they must not be connected.  It all has to do with where the fault 
currents go: you don't want the neutral going hot relative to ground, nor 
do you want load current flowing in your grounding system.

The point is, don't go blindly applying a solution intended for one 
application (construction site power) to another (home emergency power or 
digipeater remote site standby power).

There are a number of informative sites on the web that have "good" 
information on this: http://www.mikeholt.com/ is a good one for electrical 
code and practice kinds of questions.  The problem with the web is that 
there are equally many sites with bad, out of date, or dangerous 
information. Throw things like battery power and inverters into the mix, 
and it can get complex.

Or, even better, consult with someone who makes it their job to know this 
stuff.  Ask for specific electrical code references and a good explanation 
of why they suggest the particular implementation.  Investing a bottle of 
wine, or a favor, or even some hard earned cash in a consultation might be 
a worthwhile investment.

Jim, W6RMK





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