Invertor generator SOLVED

This is my first post. I posted it where I thought I should but someone said I didn’t read the sticky post, so Im posting it here. Sorry if I’m still not in the right place.
I'm fairly new at arduino but have successfully made 5 different puzzles for an escape room in an RV. Everything works fine when the RV is plugged into my shops AC power. When I connect it to an invertor generator I get flashing LEDs on some puzzles. One of the puzzles has, what I call old sytle head phone type wires. If I just touch the metal handle on the wire, not the shaft that goes into the female connector, the LEDs start flashing. I've checked and doubled checked all grounds including the ground from the generator to the RVs chassis.
Any helpful hint would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Fabricator:
This is my first post. I posted it where I thought I should but someone said I didn’t read the sticky post, so Im posting it here. Sorry if I’m still not in the right place.
I’m fairly new at arduino but have successfully made 5 different puzzles for an escape room in an RV. Everything works fine when the RV is plugged into my shops AC power. When I connect it to an invertor generator I get flashing LEDs on some puzzles. One of the puzzles has, what I call old sytle head phone type wires. If I just touch the metal handle on the wire, not the shaft that goes into the female connector, the LEDs start flashing. I’ve checked and doubled checked all grounds including the ground from the generator to the RVs chassis.
Any helpful hint would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

This as good as any place.

Where are the LEDs that are flashing? On the generator or?

What is supplying power to your project? Is it the same as when on regular AC power?

What else can the generator power that can put a heaver load on it? That may reduce the noise on the AC power.

Is this a battery powered inverter or a Honda type DC generator that electronically converts the DC to AC?

Do you have an oscilloscope to look at the noise on the output of the inverter? Could be a square wave instead of a sine wave like the commercial power.

Paul

1.The LEDs that are flashing are on a puzzle made for an escape room that is connected to an arduino.
2. Everything works ok when connected to a land line.
3. This is in an RV. I can use the ac and as I said it works ok with the land line but not withthe invertor generator.
4. The generator was purchased at Harbor Freight. This is the owners manual

5. No I don’t have an oscilloscope.
Thanks for the reply.

Fabricator:
1.The LEDs that are flashing are on a puzzle made for an escape room that is connected to an arduino.
2. Everything works ok when connected to a land line.
3. This is in an RV. I can use the ac and as I said it works ok with the land line but not withthe invertor generator.
4. The generator was purchased at Harbor Freight. This is the owners manual
https://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/63000-63999/63584.pdf
5. No I don’t have an oscilloscope.
Thanks for the reply.

Did you ground the inverter generator as per instruction #10?

IF you have a microwave oven in the RV, try it and see if it will run ok. Most inverter generators will have a statement in the instructions stating they will or will not work with electronic equipment. Harbor Freight does not state either way, so assume it will not.

The problem is the electronics that generate the AC power make a stepped approximation of a sine wave. EAch step generated a multitude of high frequency noise pulses. This will destroy some electronic devices. Try it on a TV!

Paul

Paul
Yes It’s grounded to the chassis of the RV. We don’t have a microwave in it now, but I’ll try a TV tomorrow. It’s now 11:20 pm. Will it distroy the TV or will it just not work? If it doesn’t work is there anything that can be done to correct the problem?

Thanks Craig

What power supply do you have for the Arduino unit which is flashing? A wall-wart type transformer or something else?

MorganS
I have these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ53BPN?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf.

Fabricator:
MorganS
I have these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ53BPN?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf.

'
No third pin for ground and NO U/L label.

Try a wall wart with a transformer and a grounding pin.

Paul

Thanks Paul and Morgan. I’ll try to get some today and I’ll let you know the results.

Would this work? It says it’s grounded. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hubbell-15-Amp-125-Volt-White-Indoor-Decorator-Wall-USB/1000050031
I thought you miss spelled Walmart at first. I can’t seem to find want you are suggesting. I’m new at this stuff.
FYI, without making any other changes I tried a different non inverter type, what I would call a normal generator and the problem is gone just as if I was plugged into a land line. It must have something to do with the invertor generator. I would like to use the invertor generator because it is MUCH less noisy. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Fabricator:
Paul
Yes It’s grounded to the chassis of the RV. We don’t have a microwave in it now, but I’ll try a TV tomorrow. It’s now 11:20 pm. Will it distroy the TV or will it just not work? If it doesn’t work is there anything that can be done to correct the problem?

Thanks Craig

It may do either or both.

Craig, you seem to have a problem with purchasing stuff based only on price, not on specifications that will fill your need. If you are going to be successful in electronics, you need to study specifications and requirements.

I know personally several people that use the Honda 2000 series generators with their computers and ham radio equipment in their RVs and have NO electrical problems. One even uses two generators in parallel to run the AC while out in the boonies. And all the other electronic devices at the same time.

Your current wallwart supplies are for battery charging only, not supplying clean 5 volt DC for electronic equipment. But don't feel bad. One of my customers has a version of his aircraft equipment designed to run off the USB battery charger in private aircraft. When it killed his devices, he discovered the current provided was full of noise spikes. That is not a problem for battery charging, but now has to redesign his box to include circuitry to eliminate all the noise and give proper 5 volt DC.

Paul

Paul, This project is actually being run by my 27 year old daughter. She is cheap. But since we are not experienced in this stuff I couldn’t give her any reason not to buy the cheap stuff. Do you think the outlet I referred to above from Lowes will help? If not, other than getting another generator what should I get and please be specific.
Thanks Craig

Fabricator:
Paul, This project is actually being run by my 27 year old daughter. She is cheap. But since we are not experienced in this stuff I couldn’t give her any reason not to buy the cheap stuff. Do you think the outlet I referred to above from Lowes will help? If not, other than getting another generator what should I get and please be specific.
Thanks Craig

We are all cheap, using stuff we find, but sort of know what they do and how they do it.

You have not identified which Arduino you are using, but must be one that uses 5 volts. So, the Vcc input can take 8 to 12 volts into the coaxial power socket. Go to a local thrift store and find a used, REAL, wall wart rated for 7 to 12 volts DC. I don't think your current requirements are very much, so any will do. Or get a couple. That is what I do, except one time I failed to actually read the specs on the wall wart and went by the tag someone put on the device. Tag said 10 volts DC. When I actually plugged it into the Arduino, nothing happened. I checked the voltage and nothing. Then I read it put out 10 volts AC.

I recently purchased two home-built power supplies at a thrift store. Turned out to be one was 5 volts DC and the other 15 and 30 volts DC. $5.00 each. Both in nice commercial enclosures. Did I need them? No, but I did need a transformer and thought a usable one might be inside. Found a transformer elsewhere.

Paul

Paul would this work? The plug fits in the Uno, it says it’s an AC DC adapter input 120v 50-60Hz 0.5A Output 12v 1A
It’s from an old Netgear router and is UL approved. It DOESNT have a ground on the AC side.

Fabricator:
Paul would this work? The plug fits in the Uno, it says it’s an AC DC adapter input 120v 50-60Hz 0.5A Output 12v 1A
It’s from an old Netgear router and is UL approved. It DOESNT have a ground on the AC side.

Sure would!

12V is a bit problematic for an Uno. If it is powering more than just a couple of LEDs from the 5V rail then it will overheat the regulator.

Paul the 12v wall wart solved the problem.

Morgan if the 12v will cause overheating, what do you suggest. It’s powering 8 LEDs and a 5v relay.

I thank both of you for your help with this.

Would this 9v be better? https://www.amazon.com/SunFounder-650mA-Power-Adapter-Arduino/dp/B00F4UURCM/ref=asc_df_B00F4UURCM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=193989831776&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10546309098365993553&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9004311&hvtargid=pla-315554224225&psc=1

Glad we could help. Keep on learning!

Paul

A possible solution would be to run your device off of a power bank. Relatively cheap.
Keep a couple charging while others are running your projects and swap as needed.