So I try sell myself on the idea that this project is because I really dislike going outside to start the generator when we have power issues (I do, but honestly its only bad when its really cold, and even then its not so bad), or that I am really looking for a good permanent project for my Raspberry Pi (also true, but its probably overkill anyway). Really its about just being able to do it. To me the journey is always the fun part, so lets begin shall we?

What we have is a 7.5 KVA petrol generator with key start. Its a typical Chinese re-branded item, but it works well and generally I am happy with it. But, as always, there are a few things that I think could be done better, especially when it involves repeatable procedure. I would love to be able to also add some time based features to do things like run the geny weekly to keep the battery charged. Other items may spring to mind as we get along here.

To start with, lets see what the sequence is:

  1. Detect power outage and wait to see if its temporary – 5 seconds?
  2. Disconnect Mains external
  3. Outbuildings, geyser and oven on mains set to off
  4. Enable case fans
  5. Open fuel valve
  6. Close choke
  7. Wait 5 seconds for fuel to flow to carb
  8. Double check main geny breaker off
  9. Switch ignition to on
  10. Crank ignition
  11. Detect engine started
  12. Disable crank
  13. Wait 5 seconds
  14. Open choke
  15. Wait 30 seconds for warm up
  16. Enable main geny breaker
  17. Periodically check all temperatures


Shutdown sequence:

  1. Detect mains power back
  2. Wait to be sure – 30 seconds
  3. disable main geny breaker
  4. Reconnect mains external
  5. Switch ignition off – geny should stop
  6. Close fuel valve
  7. Keep case fans running to help cool the box – 20 minutes – may need experimentation.


So, next post, how I figure some of the stuff out, like power detection, and control manipulation, amongst others.

Now, go build something.


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