I DREAM OF GENNIE

WHEN 4X4 AUSTRALIA GOES BUSH, A PORTABLE GENERATOR COMES ALONG TO ENSURE ALL ELECTRONIC GEAR REMAINS FULL OF VOLTS.

WE GENERALLY donít need electrical power when weíre away from town, but our photographers and videographers sure do. With countless cameras, lights, drones and laptops that are used all day, they have a lot of gear that needs to be charged to stay operational. A recent trip to the Victorian High Country meant we would spend two weeks away from a powerpoint and, as we are on the road every day, solar charging wasnít an option, either.

Enter the SPGi2000 generator from SP Tools, just the thing to keep all those gadgets powered and running. The SPG is a four-stroke gennie rated at 2kVa and 1600W, with a maximum output of 1800W. To create that sort of power it employs a Torini engine, with a pull-cord starting her up through a 32-bit inverter. The control panel features a single 240V outlet and a 12V outlet, as well as warning lights for low oil and overloading. The fuel tank holds four litres of ULP which, according to the specs, should be good for around seven hours of use at 50 per cent load.

The SPGi2000 is easy enough to use. We simply fuelled it, switched it on and it started with a few pulls of the cord. Subsequent starts were even easier, and we ran a powerboard off the 240V outlet to power laptops and charge batteries each afternoon. The specs quote the sound output at 52 to 61dB, so we tried to keep it away from our campsites and shut it down as early as possible to maintain the tranquillity of the bush.

The SPGi2000 is relatively compact and weighs 22kg. We strapped it in the canopy-protected back of a ute for the trip, along with a five-litre fuel can which we didnít use throughout the two weeks.

SP Tools sells a bigger SPGi3300E generator, which is a 7hp 300W inverter unit. Plus it also sells bigger industrial gen-sets that are probably too big for use on your average 4X4 trip. An interesting feature of the SBGi2000 and SBGi3300E is that you can link two of them to double the output without loss. That is, a pair of SPGi2000s puts out 3200W and a pair of 3300Es produces a whopping 6000W.

The SPGi2000 lists for $1584, but the SP Tools website had them at $995 when we looked, so check the site before you buy.