I happened across a deal recently on an unmounted scooter motor (just a little 49cc four-stroke) and I'm thinking about turning it into a backup generator for my house. Not being an engineer of any sort, and trying to build this for as little cash outlay as possible, I'm hoping to borrow a little expertise. I'll just list the questions I've come up with, and anyone who wishes to contribute just chime in.
1. For the coils, I'm planning on stripping apart some three-wire housing-grade cable (two insulated and one bare solid wire in a flexible plastic sheath) and brazing or welding the ends together to form a continuous wire for the coil. If I recall correctly, each wire is about 12-gage. Is that too heavy a grade of wire?
2. Can I use thermoplastic resin cast around and in the coil as an insulator?
3. How much time should I expect to use tuning the system? Meaning, tweaking the throttle for optimum RPM, adjusting magnets, etc, to get as close to house current as possible.
4. Am I just trying to rationalize building this rig just for the sake of having something to tinker with? (I expect the answers to this to be almost universally "yes"...)
5. Any questions I forgot to ask?
Quite frankly, I'm not sure I can even pull this off. I'd like to try, but I'm not willing to waste a bunch of cash and have only a bunch of scrap metal to show for it at the end of it. So, figuring for basic tools and not being willing to invest more than about $200 (of which $100 will be the little engine, and I can get the wire for free), is there any realistic chance of this working?