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  1. Electric chainsaw options 
    #1
    I had previously mounted a Tripp-Lite APS 3636VR, 36-volt, 3600-watt modified sine-wave inverter-charger on our E-16 and it worked fine for about 5 years. I was mostly running a Makita UC4030A 120-volt chainsaw to roll out to the fields electrically, saw quietly and without fumes, then haul the load of logs back home again with an attached trailer. But the "cheap" ($755) Chinese inverter finally failed dramatically, melting solder from three pins on three separate power transistors (out of dozens of them). Working on the surface-mount PC board required unsoldering every transistor on the central heat sink, a truly daunting task, just to get to the bad transistors. I contacted Tripp-Lite's "customer service" and they wouldn't sell me a new board, wouldn't sell any parts, wouldn't tell me who would, and, in short, fell greatly short of being of ANY service. I figured there had to be a better way of proceeding that didn't involve buying another $800 Tripp-Lite, another $500 Chinese, modified sine-wave, 5000-watt inverter, or jumping whole-hog into a $1800, 2500-watt, sine-wave, Outback inverter. I decided to try straight 36-volt DC from the batteries.

    So I purchased the Greenworks 40-volt, 16-inch electric saw (they briefly ran a sale on it for $115) and battery charger from Amazon and bought a 40-volt Greenworks battery from Northern Tools, saving about $50 from the cost of buying the whole kit from Amazon. I figured that if the connection to the tractor didn't work I'd at least have a usable battery saw. After building a 50-foot power cord from some 10-4 (10 gauge, 4 wires) outdoor cable, and connecting a PTO-compatible jack on one end and a 120-volt, 20-amp, 3-pin, locking jack on the other, I was almost ready to test the concept. Yesterday I built an adapter for the saw that approximates the dimensions and main DC pin spacing of the battery. It plugs into the saw and has a 120-volt, 3-pin, locking receptacle on its face. This morning I tried it out. It works for about 5 seconds, then beeps an error code indicating "abnormal communication" with the battery. So once I figure out what voltage it likes to see on the other two skinny communication pins I may be in business. The saw itself runs great on the battery, which is warranted for 2 years. The saw has a two year warranty and the brushless motor 10 years. I'll post more when I figure out what the saw's power board wants to see on those other two pins. Has anyone else tried the high-speed, Greenworks, 16-inch saw (not the cheap, low-speed 12-inch or the 24-volt models) on their tractor?
     
     

  2. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #2
    I also wonder what the extra pins are for on battery packs. I suspect there is a temperature sensor or voltage sensor in there somwhere. That could be causing the alarm. Maybe someone else here on the forums have an answer. I have searched other places but have not gotten any answers.

    I have a Bosch 36v chainsaw that works awesome. I have a 500w inverter on the tractor that I plug the battery charger into, so I can recharge the battery there. I have two batteries, and can go almost continuously. If I had a 3rd battery and two chargers I'd be all set. Cost is an issue there. I had their 36v push mower with one battery first, and later bought the chainsaw with one battery. Both tools are great. I sold my Elec-Trak chainsaw last year. It worked great and was more powerful than the Bosch saw, but I was concerned with safety issues on the saw (or lack thereof).
    -1970 (ish) Elec-Trak charged by a 200w solar array 99% of the time, gas free lawn care since 2007
    -1996 WV Golf Citystromer; 100% electric car
    -1998 WV Golf Citystromer; 100% electric car
    -1992 Chevrolet Blazer, EV conversion done in CA when new
     
     

  3. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #3
    Yep, gotta love the chain brake, roller nose, automatic oiler, easy tool-less chain adjustment, high chain speed, and lack of vibration, not to mention the light weight. I contacted Greenworks to see if I could pry the pin voltages out of them and reminded them that as big as their 146 Watt-hour battery might be, the 8 kilowatt-hours in the Elec-Trak battery is a bunch bigger. Also told them that getting this conversion to cord working might lead to more sales for their other "40-volt" equipment if we can use it all direct from the tractor.
     
     

  4. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1
    Hi.
    Next year, I plan to cut up wood from an orchard to burn in our wood stove. Gas powered chainsaws have a horrible reputation for maintenance. I'm thinking that a commercial grade 16" electric chainsaw in combination with a portable generator may provide me with a light-weight chainsaw that starts every time and requires very little repair time in the shop.

    Do you agree that a portable generator and electric chainsaw may be a good combination for this purpose?
    Last edited by ErikasLeo; 01-18-2014 at 02:19 AM.
     
     

  5. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #5
    I had thought about using a 2000-watt Honda generator at one time. It's pretty quiet for its size, has "eco-throttle" to cut unnecessary RPMs, and I had thought about using propane and a conversion kit to help cut emissions and lengthen engine life. It penciled out to be better than running a gasoline generator, but not as easy on gas as a properly tuned 2-cycle chainsaw (although much better regarding emissions). The battery chainsaw is far quieter, far less costly, far less complex, and way less polluting than either fuel option, especially since our home (and electric tractor) runs on solar photovoltaic panels to charge everything. The 36-volt inverter on the tractor was pretty slick too, but I wish that Chinese inverters were built better.
     
     

  6. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #6
    Senior Member wdwrkr1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    310
    I was just notified that Ryobi tools will be introducing 40 V tools with Lithium batteries in 2014.
     
     

  7. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #7
    I guess we'll see whether their battery's BMS needs to communicate with the saw. No word from Greenworks yet on their battery terminals, although I've taken measurements of all the DC potentials between each of the four on theirs.
     
     

  8. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    mass
    Posts
    113
    I had posted some time ago that I use a harbor freight inverter[less than 200 bucks] running on two large 6 volts [also a little over 200 bucks] and any 120 volt chainsaw that strikes my fancy, and leaf blower and bug mister and and and. The generic inverters are so cheap I cannot see why I would bother with any other way. Also serves as my counterweight for the snowthrower and mini bucket loader
     
     

  9. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #9
    Wow, that's a lot of accessories! Yeah, cheap Chinese inverters are great, until they aren't. Then they're just more electronic scrap to deal with and more $$ down the drain. And having to charge another set of large batteries, racking them so they don't fall out, dealing with watering more cells, etc. isn't my idea of fun. But if I can't get the info I need from Greenworks on how to make their saw work with the Elec-Trak battery bank, and if I can't make it work on my own, then I may just buy a second lithium battery and use the saw with that, charging it at home, not from the tractor. I don't do spraying, snowblowing sounds good in theory (but not running a battery tractor in really low temps), and how much more than a shovel-load can you scoop with the loader? I've had a Cub Cadet 5254 25 HP gas tractor for the past 8 years with 4WD, wheel weights, ag tires, hydrostatic tranny, differential lock, power steering, a 4-foot, 2-stage snowblower, and a 1000 lb. capacity loader. I'm selling it this spring (after 175 hours) and giving up on blowing a 550-foot driveway or moving loads of driveway gravel. As well as petroleum works, especially in the winter, it's just not the future (at least not mine). Snowshoeing to the car (soon to be an 84 mpg Elio Motors trike, which I'm converting to electric hybrid drive when we get it in about a year) is a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than blowing snow for an hour!
     
     

  10. Re: Electric chainsaw options 
    #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    mass
    Posts
    113
    SNowblower has no problems in the cold, just with it was a 2 stage


    the point is I have gotten over 2 full seasons out of a very cheap inverter, and when it dies another one will bolt into its place. It allows any variety of attachments that are cheap to buy and replace. My little loader does what I need and runs on a 12v winch, now wired to my rear battery set so it does not imbalance my 36v pack
     
     

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