Originally Posted by boondocking
"You won't harm electronics using a conventional generator."
Mis-information abounds. Here is a quote from the Champion open frame generator web site.
"Electronic devices, including computers and many programmable appliances use components that are designed to operate within a narrow voltage range and may be affected by momentary voltage fluctuations.
While there is no way to prevent voltage fluctuations, you can take steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment.
1. Install UL1449, CSA-listed, plug-in surge suppressors on the outlets feeding your sensitive equipment. Surge suppressors come in single- or multi-outlet styles. They’re designed to protect against virtually all short-duration voltage fluctuations."
That's just Manufacturer BS to protect themselves from claims when a knucklehead puts too much of a sudden load on the generator while sensitive electronics are hooked up. I have the cheapest generator as a backup, a $79 (with coupon) 2 stroke harbor freight generator and it is used by me and countless other Ham Radio operators in the field on field day with no problems with a surge surpresser. Voltage fluctuates 3-4 volts under load but it works just fine. I have about $1,300 in Ham Radio equipment that I have hooked up (I'm a Yaesu man) and never had a problem. Just check your voltage and ensure you are getting 60hz and you should be fine with a standard 3600 rpm generator.
Most 3600 rpm (non-inverter) generators need tweaking on the throttle adjustment anyway to get a good voltage initially and then again once engine is loosened up on break in and developing full power.
A surge suppressor is a good idea for all generators even inverter ones. Some of the better inverter generators use 12V DC from the starter battery for sudden increases in load until the engine and throttle stepper motor have time to catch up. That is how they can get an additional 500-1000 watts of "starting power" that is important for a/c compressor loads.
With that said, using a 3600 rpm generator is not neighbor friendly and even when I boondock camp in the back country (we have a 4 inch lift on our camper), I wouldn't run one just for peace and quiet. I will admit I'm a hypocrite and have no problem destroying that peace and quiet in the back country when I snowmobile.....aftermarket pipe/can and throttle pegged to 8200 rpm is music to my ears while crushing that powder off trail.