Whilst doing some design on generators, I put an oscilloscope (shows the electrical waveform) onto a "suitcase" generator. One thing is for sure it aint smooth. It is supposed to be a sinewave...
To make the output smoother you have to load the generator up to about half its rated capacity. Then sensitive electronics like computers and tv's will run alot more happily.
The problem is the generator output is full of little spikes which at light loads are electrically quite conciderable. As the load on the gen increases then the spikes decrease.
To prove the point, plug in a normal flourescent striplight and watch it flicker. Now plug in a 500watt halogen floodlight and the flickering will reduce.
The new honda i series gen sets have an inverter to convert the rough spikey output to a super smooth output. They are reccomended for tv's and computers.
But in the real world we just plug it in and put up with it. Dont be surprised though when the power supply overheats. The spike protection circuit in any power supply will absorb the spikes and break them down into heat which has to go somewhere.
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