California Bans Small Off-Road Gas Engines, Including Lawnmowers and Chainsaws

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bmcj

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I have no idea where people are getting their information, but the bill is available to read right here:
Yeah, I had a little trouble swallowing that one too… it just didn’t seem to add up correctly. It was reported on a radio news program, but we all know how reliable the news can be. I knew that equipment bought before the deadline gets grandfathered, and I suspect that anything brought in from out of state is probably exempt too.
 

Kiwi303

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En Zed. Aka The Shire.
I am actually considering buying a battery powered chain saw. Very handy for small work and no more cut cord from a random one handed kickback. :oops:
I use a Stihl MS140c electric with their 1/2" mini chain. It's surprisingly good for wood up to 8 inch or so, and handy for trimming small stuff and whacking sticks for kindling that are too thick to sever/section in one blow with a hatchet.
However it's chain lasts a rather short time with being so small and so much more coming off each time it is sharpened compared to .325 or 3/8

I also have a .325 Sachs-Dolmar 111 that was my fathers, bought new in 1989 when I was a kid, that has been the farm saw for decades, and still runs well. Well enough that when I had to look at getting a larger saw than the 18"/20" blade than the 111 can comfortably manage, I bought a Sachs-Dolmar 133, Manufactured from 1979 to 1987. 85cc of old fashioned grunt. 24" bar and can handle up to 36". Even well mande and high quality, I doubt an electric chainsaw will last that long.

Currently with what I see with electric chainsaws they are adequate for use up to around the 16" bar size, above that the amount od draw they need to run the torque to pull the chain through means the batteries are so heavy that petrol is the more efficient power storage from the point of lifting and maneuvering that bulk.
 

cvairwerks

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North Texas
Don’t remember if it was KLM or Lufthansa that tried a program of using a tug to provide ECS air, power and movement for 747’s from the gate all the way to the hold short line. The equipment and manpower cost as well as operational delays far exceeded the possible financial savings. A couple of times, they ended up having to tow the a/c several miles around and back in line due to having to recycle systems to get them online. It also took 4 guys to man the tug and unhook everything from the a/c. The tug then had to navigate back via all the taxiways for the next a/c. I think they dropped the test program in less than a month as a total failure.
 

Pilot-34

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Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
I've got an electric chainsaw that cuts all I need it to cut and just keeps on going. It is electric. I pull my small generator out to where I'm working and run an extension cord to the chainsaw. So I'm kinda helping??? :eek:
Man you are missing the joy Of not dealing with any of that and all you need is a battery as big as your fist.
 

GeeZee

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Indianapolis, IN
started this with a question about moving a “banned” engine (lawnmower) to an “unbanned” application (airplane engine). As usual this thread has kind on gone off the rails.…
After reading the actual law it may not even be a legitimate concern. So in the words of the great Rosanne Rosannandana “Never Mind” ;)
This thread should probably be deleted. Maybe revisited by an actual Californian when/if it ever becomes an actual concern.
 

jedi

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I have one aviation thing thing to say before the authorities shut down this thread.

The Lazair ultralight was developed to run on large chain saw two cycle engines. Dale converted his Lazair to electric but was shut down when when the FAA decided batteries were not fuel but part of the empty weight of the aircraft/vehicle.

I am calling for an enterprising HBAer to step up to the plate and design/build an ultralight and to commercially sell an ultralight powered by off the shelf electric chain saw motors and batteries. No need to meet current FAR 103 criteria but might get the regulations "adjusted" to make this possible but not with waivers. It must be real world regularity changes with the Feds and CA in agreement. That would be real progress.

When that is accomplished I will admit that electric aircraft have "arrived" and are not just a green energy fad.
 

tspear

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@jedi

Pipistrel has an LSA already selling which is commercially available and all electric.
Diamond just announced they will have a part 23 DA-e40 which is all electric next year.

I would say, electric airplanes have arrived (as a niche play for now).

Tim
 

tspear

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@Kiwi303

I have no regular need for a chainsaw, and the one time every couple years when I need one I rent it. So I cannot speak to the size and reliability aspects you are focused on.
However, I will say the trees that were being cut down by the professional crew last week, were over three feet in diameter at the base, and over 75 feet tall per the homeowner (I have found tree height plays a major role in the price we get charged). They had two crews in cherry pickers to bring down the top portions in sections, all with electric chainsaws.

Tim
 

BBerson

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Electric is almost ideal for chainsaw tree felling because the cut time is rarely more than a minute.
Bucking several large trees into firewood requires more batteries but could be done with more batteries. I don't know if the motor gets hot under heavy use.
Electric isn't ideal for an ultralight, in my opinion.
 

Daleandee

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Man you are missing the joy Of not dealing with any of that and all you need is a battery as big as your fist.
From the famous Hertz commercial, "Not Exactly"

We sometimes get ice storms in the winter, hurricanes in the summer, and power outages now and again in the hood. So my little generator needs to be always in "ready to go at a moments notice mode." Well if it sits in the shed and never gets any run time it will be difficult to use when required. But if I get it out every few weeks and let it chomp up a some hydrocarbons then it works well.

In fact there's something quite satisfying about setting the choke just right and getting that little B&S engine to fire off and run smoothly on the first pull. The sound of it under a light labor while listening to the whine of the electric chainsaw hogging up a 12" tree trunk is exhilarating.

I would suggest that you don't know what you are missing! ;)
 

karmarepair

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@jedi
Pipistrel has an LSA already selling which is commercially available and all electric

I would say, electric airplanes have arrived (as a niche play for now).
There is a guy at Fresno Chandler that has three of them, and is trying to figure out how to run them so that they make sense. They were planning a cross-country to Sacramento Exec. They needed to charge at least once enroute to get there. They MIGHT have a role in primary training at their present state of development, IF you had a fast charger (which needs a LOT of amps) and enough of them so you always had one on the ground charging. Not sure I see the money in it, yet.
 

dave wolfe

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Dec 7, 2019
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So they are switching from small gas engines to idleing their work truck all day to charge batteries. Im guessing on a net fuel burn basis, more will be burnt by the idleing trucks?

Its pretty easy math.
 

cblink.007

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Maryland, USA
Talk to some old school Californians that grew up their in the 60's, I have one in my circles, it was paradise, many are horrified as to what the state has become.
Count me among that crowd. I grew up there during the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. The state that ushered in the supersonic era and produced some of the most amazing & revolutionary aerospace machinery in history has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. I left the state in 2004 as a consequence of my military career at the time, and have not looked back. That said, I miss the high desert and Eastern Sierras.
 

jedi

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Electric is almost ideal for chainsaw tree felling because the cut time is rarely more than a minute.
Bucking several large trees into firewood requires more batteries but could be done with more batteries. I don't know if the motor gets hot under heavy use.
Electric isn't ideal for an ultralight, in my opinion.
Most UL flights are rather short compared with the typical GA flight. Also UL training flights are shorter than GA training flights. Two or three circuits in the UL pattern can be done in the time it takes to do one in the GA pattern. A climb and descent in the 500 foot UL pattern is less demanding on battery power than a circuit in the 1,000 foot GA pattern.

The problem with electric ULs is the FAA issue of empty weight for battery power. The certified electric projects have the cost burden of aircraft development. The low cost 2 cycle engines are what allowed the UL industry to prosper in the 80s. Could the low cost of electric chain saw power do the same in today's market?

NASA has expensive programs to demonstrate distributed propulsion on a commuter size aircraft. A shade tree mechanic could do the same with a half dozen chain say motors and model airplane propellers.

Off airport, affordable, flight instruction without the burden of FAA requirements is what is needed to "save" GA IMHO.
 

BBerson

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could do the same with a half dozen chain say motors and model airplane propellers.
Chainsaw motors are too small. Better to use RC motors and RC engines from giant scale models. But I want the four stroke mower engines for ultralights. It's sad the smaller engines will be banned.
 
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Hot Wings

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delete
They had two crews in cherry pickers to bring down the top portions in sections, all with electric chainsaws.
I know it is WAY off topic buy just out of curiosity:
Were they cordless chain saws or corded? A lot of the man lift equipment is fitted with 110V power to the bucket.

Off airport, affordable, flight instruction without the burden of FAA requirements is what is needed to "save" GA IMHO.
👍

My spread sheet still says that hybrid is the way to efficiently power a clean (aerodynamic and emission) speed limited UL.
 

challenger_II

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Fisher County, Tx. USA
All the while, the truck was running to charge the batteries...

I thought battery chainsaws would be a joke for at least a few more years. However, I had a neighbor have two trees taken down by professional crews at the end of last week. I was curious why it was much quieter than normal when tree crews are there. So I wondered over, and they were using battery powered chainsaws.
Each worker had a couple spare batteries, they had charging packs hooked up in the truck.
I asked why? The answer was less maintenance, less hassle, and easier to keep charged than fueled.
The batteries are also swappable with all the other equipment they have.

Tim
 

wktaylor

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Sep 5, 2003
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Midwest USA
Every GI understands the message of 'never **** in Your own mess-kit'.

Anyone ever noticed that reservoir-lakes... important water sources for towns/cities... have been prohibiting ICE propulsion by recreational boats for decades... to keep fuel, oil and coolant pollution from contaminating critical drinking water supplies? Hey paddle, electric and sail have been used for years in these places.

Anyone here aware of the critical water shortages and massive fires in the western states?

California, and I'm sure Oregon and Washington and Hawaii... are considering the long-term effects of all pollution that can reasonably and rationally be solved by many emerging technologies.

I was a kid in the 1960s in So California: 1/2-mile visibility days of stage-3 SMOG alerts were common and it hurt to breath and play sports. When Cal got serious about ICE pollution controls the effects have been dramatic and long lasting.

Where I live... a big city in the mid-west USA... is beginning to experience high ozone/NOx levels that are relatively 'clear' [invisible] but unhealthy. NOW, factor-in continuous smoke from the west coast fires... drifting to the east... is leaving this locale even more sooty/unhealthy as witnessed by intensely red sunrises and sunsets [now common].
 
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