Is Mobile Link compatible with Model 4725 25kW generator?

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JeffZ
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:32 pm

I have an older (2006) Model 4725 25Kw liquid cooled generator. I'm wondering if the Mobile Link CDMA model #6463 remote monitoring device is compatible with my generator, how it works and what it monitors, and if it would be worthwhile for me?

I have to admit, that I lost track of the maintenance of this unit, and when I needed it most, it didn't work. The battery died, and the block heater body had disintegrated causing a leak. It had been since June when I last checked on it IE, checking oil and fluids, etc... It's in the back of the building and I can't hear it run, so I'm wondering if I can get this remote device to report to me if it does its test runs every week, there's a fault, or it doesn't start or run.

I'm also wondering if I should add a battery heater or anything else to make sure it runs when it's really cold out? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you! Jeff.
Chris
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:11 am

Unfortunately the answer is no on the Mobile Link remote monitoring. This 25kW generator is pretty old in terms of technology and was even before the R-200 controllers (next step in tech) came around. The problem is that the Mobile Link uses a communication system called ModBus which is a serial communication between the controllers and the Mobile Link devices. These old controllers don't have anything like that to communicate with the Mobile Link.

The R-200 series controllers which came out next also don't have a ModBus system, but they DID have a couple of pins that you could monitor, and when there was a critical problem, would trip an alarm of your choosing via a relay or alarm system monitoring channel.

Unfortunately you'll also find that parts for this unit are becoming more and more expensive and parts for the 1.5L engine it has are basically extinct (I'm in the same boat with the 1.5L 1800RPM unit at my home). They were great engines and ran well for their purpose, but from what I gather, were some type of Australian imported Mitsubishi Industrial engine and parts like the distributor don't match what we have here in the states. :wtf:
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JeffZ
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:25 am

Thank you, Chris. I suspected as much on the remote monitoring question, as controllers and other electronics have changed drastically over the last 10 years.

I am a former heavy equipment mechanic, so I have a pretty good base of knowledge regarding most things mechanical and electrical. We had a service company come in and try to start the unit after I got the fault light and I was NOT impressed! It was 10 degrees out and the unit calls for 15w-40 oil in the manual (can I use 10w-30?), and I called them specifically to replace the block heater because we were without power. Instead, they tried to start the unit and burned out the starter. GRRRR! I was quoted $1,000 for the starter by the people who burned it out! You could literally smell the starter toasted starter windings when you got near the unit! They wanted to quote us a new generator, but as you can tell, I'm hesitant. I found a starter online for $90 and bought it, but haven't been able to install it or the block heater yet

I'm also wondering if Generac is the best brand for us? We have lots of issues with the APC Uninterruptible Power Supplies in our office not wanting to accept the power from the generator as legitimate, clean power even though I have turned down the power sensitivity settings of the UPS units. I'm wondering if Generac has gotten better on that, or are other brands better on that?
Chris
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:49 am

It looks like you are in Michigan, so I feel your pain on the cold haha!

As far as the starter goes, I have seen those online as well and while they may not last as long as OEM, will probably work for a while. I personally use 5W-30 Full Syn in mine and it works much better in the cold. If you're using the 15W-40 that will be too heavy for SURE without the block heater. I can get you parts for the unit if you're needing them in the future.

Power quality out of the liquid cooled units has probably improved a bit over the years with the newer style digital voltage regulators and better electronic Bosch governors, but a LOT of UPS systems don't like the 'dirty' power that generators (all generators) produce. I've had good luck with APC Pure Sinewave units since they convert from AC to DC and then back to AC again. Some less expensive units will just click back and forth and go nuts when on generator power.
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JeffZ
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:42 pm

Thank you, Chris. It's good to know that they've switched over to digital power regulation. That should make a difference in power quality. I'll have to check into the pure sine wave units, but I suspect that they are quite expensive if you're buying a lot of them. Thank you again.
murphy
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:26 pm

JeffZ,

The UPS that Chris is referring to is called an "Online UPS". APC makes UPSs that generate a sine wave that are not online UPSs.

An online UPS rectifies the incoming AC to DC. The DC charges the battery, if it needs to be charged. The more important function is that the DC drives the inverter 100% of the time to create the output sine wave. No matter how "dirty" the incoming AC is it can be rectified to DC with no effect on the quality of the output. When the incoming power fails the inverter keeps running as long as the battery lasts with no change in the quality of the output AC. When the generator comes online the UPS resumes charging the battery. As long as the generator comes online within the discharge time of the battery the loads connected to the UPS do not know that anything has changed.
Chris
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:35 pm

Thanks Murphy! I knew there was another name for it, but couldn't think of it off the top of my head haha!

Jeff, if you have questions, or when you are ready to swap out that unit, feel free to give me a call!

https://gentekpower.com
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nrp3
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:08 pm

I'm not sure whether the new liquid cooled units come with the wifi monitoring or not yet. I like the Mobile Link cell because it isn't dependent upon the land lines. Right now we are still waiting for the new LTE version anyway. Wifi is better than no monitoring though. Kohler has Wifi based Oncue and Briggs has Info Hub cell based. There are other aftermarket cell based products that require more wiring than the proprietary models. I haven't tried these yet. The cell based Mobile link was very easy to install. Info hub works well and is fairly easy to install. The WIFI stuff is easy enough to install if it isn't already built in.
Chris
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:36 pm

The current liquid cooled line is still non-WiFi. The Air Cooled WiFi units required a totally new controller. My guess is that when the WiFi add on accessory comes out it will work with anything ModBus, just like the Mobile Links did, and avoid a new liquid cooled controller.
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nrp3
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Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:33 am

That's right, I forgot about the change to EVO 2. Hopefully they get us add on Mobile link soon. Have about 20 cell based ones to replace.
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