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No 240V mode on my generator. It will run the AC, I just can't have anything else running but the interior LED lights. If those devices cut the surge by that much, then that explains why they are so expensive- There's a lot more electronics and logic to the power delivery. I still don't feel they should cost THAT much though. A lot of stuff I am reading says those hard start capacitors are only good for ~5 amps or less. So if your marginal on the generator it will make it work better. Still may not give you the microwave, TV and all that at once, but I sure do like the price better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
So i had already order the softstart anyways and apparently they must be nearby because it took two days to get here:

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TBH though I would rather go this route I think simply because I know it will keep the amp draw decently below 30A
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
I havent actually looked at the wiring diagrams but I wonder if you could stack a soft and hard starter so that you have virtually zero startup spike.

For $12 the hard starter is a drop in the bucket by comparison
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here is the wiring diagrams for my Coleman Mach. The yellow sticker is hidden inside of a panel on the side of the ac unit. The code at the bottom left side is how you get the correct diagram from Softstart.


 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
this guy explains how a hard starter works, and is saying the Supco kit is not the best because it uses a positive temperature coeffient resistor:



It sounds almost like after multiple compressor starts it effectively heat soaks and no longer works. I dont know if I buy that it wouldn’t have time to cool between starts but I guess.

But basically a hard starter with a relay is the better way to go.

I am still not sure if the hard starter and soft starter could be used in conjunction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Ok so just to back pedal a bit, this is my AC circuit:

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The portion circled in red does not currently exist. That red circled portion of the circuit is what the Supco SPP6 hard start kit adds.

Basically, they show the diagram with the assumption you might add a hard starter.

The diagram in the middle is an alternate hard starter called a 5-2-1, refering to the pin numbers on the relay. This is what the guy in the video in my previous post prefers.

The ptcr in the Supco unit is a Positive Thermal Coefficient Resistor. Its resistance increases with temperature. So initially, when the AC is started, the ptcr is cool and offers low resistance. As the current passes through the capacitor to start and eventually run the compressor, the ptcr heats up and removes the capacitor from the circuit.

I imagine that the guy doesn’t love it because the whole time the unit is running the ptcr is hot from acting like a resistor and so the next time the compressor starts, the start capacitor is already being partially eliminated from the circuit.

The 5-2-1 relay style hard starter just uses a relay to engage or disengage the start capacitor. There is no resistor involved, its either on or off.
 

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I just got this bad boy: 18kWh Generac. Going to look into the soft start upgrade before installing the generator. The size was based on my current ac, appliances, and sqft, but since I'll be adding a water pump (for a 2600ga tank) to the system, it's worth $300 more to eliminate a potential problem. By end of summer I hope to have those 2 backups and since there's already a 36 panel PV system here; I'll be better prepared for the next inevitable "disaster" here in kalifornistan.
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So just to add a little bit more to what I said above:

The hard starter does not supply a surge of current to the motor. If this was a DC circuit then that would be true, but in an A/C circuit a capacitor does not act like a battery, it instead puts the current and the voltage out of phase. This is required to power an AC(alternating current) motor and to get it to turn in the correct direction and is why the air conditioners have a capacitor already.

Ideally, the stock capacitor is sized so that the AC voltage and AC current 90° out of phase. This is where the motor operates at peak efficiency and performance. By adding the hard starter in parallel with the existing capacitor you are increasing the total capacitance of the circuit, which shifts it away from 90° out of phase and increases the torque of the motor, but also decreases efficiency and increases heat. So that hard start capacitors are designed to removed themselves from the circuit and return to the original capacitance for proper steady state operation.

A soft starter on the other hand simply restricts the voltage into the circuit in an effort to reduce power during startup. If the Softstarter restricts the voltage to 40V at startup, and the compressor normally draws 50 amps, 40V x 50A = 2000W. On the other side of the soft starter you still have the full 120V feeding the unit, so 2000W/120V = 16.6A.

So it seems to me that you could use a hard starter and a soft starter together. The hard starter would still perform the duty of shifting the phase for more starting torque, but would just be doing it at the lower voltage from the soft starter.
 
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I’m not too sure if I’m learning a lot or just getting further confused.
I am certain you guys have got your stuff together and get really into figuring this stuff out. Kudos to you all! Very informative and interesting thread to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I’m not too sure if I’m learning a lot or just getting further confused.
I am certain you guys have got your stuff together and get really into figuring this stuff out. Kudos to you all! Very informative and interesting thread to watch.
Honestly, I only slightly understand what is going on but I do get what the two are supposed to be doing.

Like I have no idea why AC motors need the out of phase electricity, I haven't dove that deep, but they do. and apparently if you throw more capacitance at it it increases the gap in the phase and increases torque.
 
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I'd contact your soft start manufacturer and ask them if using a hard start in the circuit is okay. Seems to me if you want to use one, the relay version is the way to go. Those things have to get roached up there on the coach. I'm surprised those caps don't boil out and pop. Buy yeah, since you have the most to lose on the soft start, I'd get their input before I put my fancy $300 box on there.
 
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I’m not too sure if I’m learning a lot or just getting further confused.
I am certain you guys have got your stuff together and get really into figuring this stuff out. Kudos to you all! Very informative and interesting thread to watch.
I’m in the same boat too.
 
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