greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A lot of people have bought a generator for emergency power during Y2K if it has a chip will it fail to run? If it has a chip made in China or Korea and they are far behind us how do we know it will work? It will be a bad time to find it out to late ! Almost everything modern has a computer that controls it. A generator and 1000 gallons of fuel and no lights what a waste of money. A lot of chips are recycled from a junk pile of old boards not a good deal. If you say not to worry how do you know for sure? A lot of people may not be thinking of these things till they are in the dark and cold. A small chip can make you sweat if you do not know. Another stupid question maybe?...Bubba

-- Bubba (Badhabbit@water.com), January 04, 1999


I had the same concern with a new Honda generator (it has an automatic throttle which matches engine rpm with the electrical load). I called the 800 number and a tech rep told me there were NO computer chips in the unit, therefore NO y2k are possible. I would call the manufacturer of *your* generator for confirmation.

-- Dave (dwood@southwind.net), January 04, 1999.

Again, a little common sense is called for here. Even if your generator has a date sensitive chip, which seems unlikely, how is it going to know what the date is? Unless there's a lithium battery on a circuit board somewhere there's no juice to keep a clock running, so it would forget the date whenever it's turned off. And if there were a battery, all you'd have to do would be to disconnect the battery for a few seconds and any date sensitive chip would reset to its epoch date.

-- Ned (entaylor@cloudnet.com), January 04, 1999.

Calm down! Not every chip you see is a "smart" chip that has possible Y2K problems, especially in things like home generators. What you are seeing are probably analog devices; voltage and frequency comparators that are used to regulate the generator's output.

The cost of "smart" processor chips makes them something any sane generator manufacturer would stay away from. The industrial controllers and PLC's that everybody is referring to as "embedded chips" cost upwards of one thousand bucks for the cheaper models. You'd have to get up to some very large, three-phase, railroad locomotive sized engine driven, commercial generators to find one where the asking price would allow and the complexity of the unit would require using any such microrocessors.


-- wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), January 04, 1999.

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