Cheap Small Portable Generators

There are many small very cheap 2 cycle portable generators that you can buy. They are sold under several makes and models:
Chicago Electric 66619 from Harbor Freight 800 to 900 watt
Triron 1200
Pulsar PG1202S
PowerPro 56101
TradesPro 836758
ETQ TG1200
Coleman CM04101
And many many more.

Many of these have one thing in common, they are cheap crap/utter turds. They all look pretty much like this:

But these turds can be polished.

If you buy one of the above generators (or one like them), before you start it up I recommend the following:
Replace the spark plug with an Autolite 65, or 64, or an equivalent type spark plug.
Gap the spark plug to between .028 and .031.
Torque the spark plug to 25 foot pounds or 360 inch pounds. The spark plug that comes with them are often cheap junk and not gapped correctly.
Remove the gas tank.
locate every connector that looks like these:
and make sure they are tight, use pliers to pinch them tight if not (the slot end, not the wire end), as they will vibrate off if you do not tighten them.
Inspect the fuel line, if it looks like smooth plastic and possibly has a mold seam, replace it with real fuel line. I would recommend replacing it anyways. Many of these use a plastic fuel line that will swell, split, or deteriorate in a very short time.
replace the fuel line hose clamps with good ones.
remove the fuel valve and replace the gasket pointed to in the picture below with a gasket or washer that holds up to gasoline. The washer installed is plastic and will not last long.
re-assemble the generator, mix up a batch of fuel at 40:1 not 50:1 the extra oil will help with lubrication and should not smoke any more than usual.

Put gas in the tank, wait about 5 minutes for the carburator bowl to fill, and start the engine, with the choke full on, move the choke over to run, and connect a 200 watt load to the generator wait 5 minutes. Using a volt meter check the voltage (under load) it should be 120 volts AC if not adjust the screw in the recess shown in the picture below (the red arrow). If the engine sputters when doing this adjust it as close as you can to 120 volts AC and the engine still runs smooth. let it run for several minutes and monitor the voltage, adjust again if necessary.
The green arrow points to the fuel valve.

Drain the gasoline if the generator will go unused for more than a couple of months. You will have to remove the gas tank and fuel valve to do this. If you do not, the gasoline can turn in to varnish and clog the fuel valve, line, and carburetor. Leave the fuel valve open while it is being stored and the gas cap loose to allow the remaining gasoline to evaporate.


Raleigh Super Sensitivety All Transistor

Got this one off of someone at www.antiqueradios.com. It is made in South Korea and is from the mid 60's. It runs off of 4 D batteries or an external AC adapter.
It did not work when I got it, I opened it up and found that the wires going to the batteries had broke loose. I re-soldered them and it worked. I changed out all the electrolytic capacitors anyways as they were 50+ years old and some may have been leaking. It has a very long almost 7" ferrite antenna and is quite sensitive. I think it may have been manufactured by Gold Star as the general design is very similar to other radios made by them at that time. Probably OEM'd for some other company. I mostly just like the design.



Picked this up at an Arizona Antique Radio Club swap meet. Many of the radios there were priced a bit high but this one was reasonable and had been completely restored.
 It had one major problem, it didn't pick up anything but static and crackled when the tuning knob was moved.
I found that the plates in the tuning capacitor were either slightly corroded, touching, or had tin whiskers. I carefully cleaned the plates with fine grit sand paper, and now it works perfectly. This is now the oldest radio I own circa 1941.


hallicrafters S-120 Goodwill find

Picked this up recently at Goodwill for very cheap. I cleaned off the hobo sweat. It hummed at power up. I recapped it but it still hummed.
 I did some poking around and found that the floating ground was miss-wired.
It's really just an updated S-38 and performance is about the same.