How to Start a Diesel Generator with a Controller

Generator Controller
Generator Information Generator Safety guides

How to Start a Diesel Generator with a Controller

Here at Constant Power Solutions, we provide a ‘Quick Start Guide’ when supplying our Diesel generators to ensure that when our clients receive their newly built Diesel generator, they have handy step-by-step instructions to help them start their new diesel generator inclusing starting with a controller.

This blog will talk more about the difference in control panels using Deep Sea controllers. Please see our other blogs regarding receiving your diesel generator.

So how do you start a Diesel generator? And what are the differences in the control panels used?

Starting the genset via the DSE Controller.

Here at CPS, we use a range of DeepSea controllers from the DSE4520 Controller to the DSE8610 Controller. All the 4000, 6000, 7000 and 8000 controllers work very differently, and if you’re not familiar with the DeepSea controllers you may not know where to start.

Each controller has a different range of buttons. For example, the DSE4520 only has 3 buttons, Stop (Red) Auto (White) and Start (Go) plus two scroll function buttons.

Whereas the 7000 series and 8000 series have more functionality buttons.

For all functionalities, please check the Deepsea Electronics PLC support page to download the manuals –

Manually starting a 4000 Series controlled Diesel generator.

Once you have followed the quick start guide and Generator and Engine manual, you need to make sure the generator is ready to start:

  1. Check that the battery is no longer isolated.
  2. Check the oil and coolant levels are correct.
  3. Ensure the engine has Diesel Fuel and has been primed accordingly.


You are now ready to start your CPS Diesel Generator!

On the DSE4520 Generator Controller, Press the Stop (Red button) before anything. This will reset any alarms the controller may have. Once you’re happy with everything, then press the Green Button (simple right) – You may notice that the generator may not always start straight away. There may be a 5-10 second timer on the screen to allow the engine to pre warm up. Don’t worry, this is normal!

The 7000 Series (DSE7120, 7320 and DSE7420) work in the same way, just with some slight differences.

Firstly, (like the DSE4520) before starting, ensure you have pressed the red reset button. Secondly next to the red button, there is a button with a hand symbol- this is the manual mode button. Press that button to activate Manual mode, then press the green Button.  Your generator will now fire up, or engage in the pre-engine warm up.

The main difference with the 7120 against the DSE7320 and DSE7420 is that if you press the green button without pressing the manual mode button, this will energize the ECU, whereas the DSE7120 does not allow this function.

Auto Mode

All controllers can work with an ATS or other remote start functionality. As with the Manual mode button, the Auto mode button needs to be pressed to activate. There will be a small red light to advise that auto mode is activated. Now, you can leave the controller in this mode and once the appropriate remote start ATS or other equipment sends a two wire start signal. The generator will then fire up automatically.

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