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Old 12-17-2020, 10:00 AM   #1
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Sound Box on NL gen-set?

So I have a Northern Lights generator down below, not in the engine room, but sort of a hold forward of the ER. Normally, the house battery bank will stay up with the solar panels and the alternator while underway.

Last Spring I was laid in at a dock on the Dismal Swamp for 3 days because of a bad blow associated with 3 days of rain.

So I ran the generator which worked fine.

But wow, it was loud.

I noticed there are some noise enclosures available for this problem, so I have a couple questions.

1. Do these things work?
2. Is it worth it to buy or should I try some sort of self fabrication?
3. Would it cause an overheating issue?

Suggestions welcome

John
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:46 AM   #2
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I have a sound shield and put in underwater exhaust. Now you can barely hear it. Sounds like maybe a small pump is running. Huge difference.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:09 AM   #3
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My NL 6KW has a sound enclosure and the standard lift exhaust. Even at the dock, I cannot hear but a hummmm.
I would encourage you to find a enclosure designed for your generator.
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Old 12-17-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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NL 9KW genny with sound box. Works well; minor hum is all I hear. It works well.
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:19 PM   #5
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3 out of 3 agree, thanks all for the input.
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:29 PM   #6
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While I’d recommend against a homemade solution, be aware the Northern Lights enclosure is a little involved. The base gets bolted to the boat, the generator then sits on top of that and bolted to the base, then the sides and top are attached. The fuel hoses pass through the base via thru-bulkhead type fittings so there’s a bit of a project involved. But yes, if your gen isn’t in an insulated ER, you probably want one.
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:14 PM   #7
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While I’d recommend against a homemade solution, be aware the Northern Lights enclosure is a little involved. The base gets bolted to the boat, the generator then sits on top of that and bolted to the base, then the sides and top are attached. The fuel hoses pass through the base via thru-bulkhead type fittings so there’s a bit of a project involved. But yes, if your gen isn’t in an insulated ER, you probably want one.
I removed the factory sound enclosure from our NL generator for maintenance and never put it back on. The rubber mounts and base are still in place as Porgy described. I think the mounting system is a major factor in keeping things relatively quite without the balance of the enclosure. I wish I had measured the db level before I removed the enclosure. I noticed a little increase in the noise level but nothing drastic. If we wish to decrease the noise level in the future I will add to the engine room sound deadening. A covered generator is out of site and therefore out of mind when it comes to maintenance. I like to be able to easily give it a visual looking for little things before they become major issues.
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:08 PM   #8
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A well engineered sound shield really works. My boat came to me with an Onan 4kw generator in a purpose built sound shield by Onan. It was so quiet that we would forget to shut it off when going to bed. The fridge was louder.
The downside of that design was that when there was a water leak from the heat exchanger, inside the sound shield, it retained the water inside the shield, and the air movement caused the windings to get covered in salty spray, and failed.
The replacement Westerbeke came with a Westerbeke designed sound shield. It is pretty quiet, but not so much as the Onan, but it has no floor, so no possibility of a similar failure.
Still far less noise than if the side is left open.
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:12 PM   #9
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Just had a NL 6kw installed with sound shield. It is extremely quiet w/ the shield. It is also quiet w/o the shield but not as much. Of course this is in comparison to our old Onan MJDE 7.5 aka Mr. Shaky. The mounting of the generator to whatever supports it is extremely important in reducing noise.

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Old 12-17-2020, 06:41 PM   #10
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The other 2 items that reduce noise, mentioned already: underwater exhaust (actually gas/water separator) and what's called "secondary isolation," that is lift the entire genset and add 4 additional isolators under the entire unit.

There is also a company in Ft Lauderdale that makes a very nice "soft shield," not cheap not when compared to a factory hard enclosure could be an option.

Custom generator covers | Great Southern Insulation

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Old 12-17-2020, 06:55 PM   #11
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I had one for my 20kw. I found it inconvenient to remove even though it necessary Velcro openings for checking the oil and water. Plus it was heavy heavy heavy. BUT, it did reduce the sound significantly.
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:02 PM   #12
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I have a 5kW NL in my engine room, no sound box. Very quiet in the boat.

I'm not a fan of sound boxes, they inhibit maintenance and inspection enough to be an issue.

If there are sound issues, there may be something else going on. Without addressing that, the soundbox may help, but not as much as one may think.

A bugger on these is intake noise, and this can be addressed in a variety of ways.

What NL machine?
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:41 PM   #13
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We have a 9KW NL on Blue Sky in an NL sound enclosure in the lazarette. Don't hear it at all, except for the exhaust noise (no underwater exhausting).
It is noisier with the easily removed front panel off for sure, but normal maintenance/monitoring is easily done with it off. And they all come off for more serious stuff.
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:21 PM   #14
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Ski,

I have a M643.Standing outside above the exhaust, it's very quiet. Just very bothersome aboard.

Looks like the dealer's part for sound proofing for M643 is not available. 39-78303.

I tried getting a diagram from boatdiesel.com but couldn't get the image to pop up.

John
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Old 12-19-2020, 04:37 PM   #15
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Ski,
I have a M643.Standing outside above the exhaust, it's very quiet. Just very bothersome aboard.
Looks like the dealer's part for sound proofing for M643 is not available. 39-78303.
I tried getting a diagram from boatdiesel.com but couldn't get the image to pop up.
John
John perhaps there is a Pilgrim group and you can get dimensions from one of them?
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Old 12-19-2020, 04:39 PM   #16
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John perhaps there is a Pilgrim group and you can get dimensions from one of them?
https://boatdiesel.com/PDFLibrary/Ge...=3983216320009

https://www.northern-lights.com/wp-c...sy-M773LW3.pdf

https://www.dieselpartsdirect.com/do...heets/m643.pdf

I hope one of the above or the Pilgram owner's ????
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Old 12-20-2020, 07:41 AM   #17
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A bugger on these is intake noise, and this can be addressed in a variety of ways.
Not on Turbo generators. I remember this one CAT 4.4 that used a Perkins block that in the Natural version would shake the entire boat with intake stroke noise. Very low frequency and extremely annoying

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Old 12-20-2020, 12:20 PM   #18
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Thanks Old Dan,

I found those links . The boat diesel one I can’t get past the thumbnail to the actual plan in either Chrome or Safari.

The installation instructions gave me a headache and gave me a severe ADHD reaction, so I streamed a movie. And I thought, without researching it, I could buy a couple Efoys instead. Then I started thinking I could just get some earplugs.

Someone makes a “soft” cover, drawback review is that it is “heavy.” Maybe easier to install though.

The NL one really looks like it’s best install at the original install.

John
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Old 12-20-2020, 01:21 PM   #19
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Thanks Old Dan,

I found those links . The boat diesel one I can’t get past the thumbnail to the actual plan in either Chrome or Safari.

The installation instructions gave me a headache and gave me a severe ADHD reaction, so I streamed a movie. And I thought, without researching it, I could buy a couple Efoys instead. Then I started thinking I could just get some earplugs.

Someone makes a “soft” cover, drawback review is that it is “heavy.” Maybe easier to install though.

The NL one really looks like it’s best install at the original install.

John
John, the 3rd URL on the 3rd page, picture of sound box, dimensions listed under the pic.

Per the ease of putting it back on? LOL Not so on my 20KW
With the proper sound box, business side of the generator, simple to remove and replace panel. Presto, easy pleasey
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Old 12-20-2020, 02:13 PM   #20
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So the sound shield depicted on the M643 propaganda sheet is no longer available.

There is a good picture of this sound shield in the M673 parts book. I read somewhere that the new design for the M673 fits the 643, part 05-78000.

I asked Diesel Parts Direct for a quote, nobody has a posted price on this.

Also asked GSi for a ballpark quote on a soft cover. Looking at photos the frame for these look pretty easy to fabricate.
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