*Adding A Generator Hour Meter & Tachometer*
By: 2manytoyz
30 January 2008

Yamaha sells an hour meter with built-in tachometer that will work in most any 4 cycle generator. I paid $39 and bought it online. P/N ENG-METER-4C-01 Installation is very simple, but there are a few things to watch for.

Everything you need is included in the kit. The only tools I needed were those necessary to gain access to the sparkplug wire. Comes with Velcro to mount the meter, optional mounting screws, the sense wire, and a single tie wrap.

Here's the commercial packaging.

All the goodies from the package, ready to go.

Instructions say to make 4 or 5 wraps with the included wire, around the sparkplug wire. Secure the end with the tie wrap.

I initially chose to mount it to the meter on the front panel. Big mistake! The sense wire ran close to the 120VAC outlet and wires, and induced a 60 Hz signal on the wire. This caused erratic readings on the meter. Nothing was mentioned in the instructions about keeping this wire well away from the AC Voltage. Lesson learned.

Note that I didn't have to drill the case. The wire exited an existing hole. Gives me the option of relocating it later, without leaving unwanted holes. I thought this inverter generator ran at a lower RPM than this. This is the no-load speed. About a 1000 RPMs lower than a conventional generator.

Even with a heat gun connected to the generator, still almost 600 RPMs lower than a conventional generator.

As you can see in this picture, the meter has been mounted on the back case for now. I may try to shield the wire and mount it to the front case once again.
Project for another day.

Done. Generator tucked away under my workbench.

When the generator is started, the meter displays engine speed. When the motor is turned off, it displays total run time. Per the instructions, the meter indicates a service interval of 10 hours (initial) and every 50 hours thereafter. Displays an alert for 2-hours upon reaching each interval. You can use the included cable, or use your own, same gauge wire, up to 8' long. One end wraps around the sparkplug wire, the other end slips into a groove on the back of the meter. No actual electrical connection. Great way to keep an eye on the performance of your generator, and to keep a tally of the hours. The back of the meter is sealed with epoxy. Waterproof, but when the battery dies, it's toast. Has a one year warranty, but battery will probably last 10 years (based on Casio watches I've owned).

$40, and 20 minutes of your time.

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