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Author Topic: SOM Conversion/ add on  (Read 1279 times)

glort

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SOM Conversion/ add on
« on: December 20, 2017, 03:22:53 AM »

May have asked this before, it's been on my mind a while and if I did ask, can't find it now.

Does anyone know of a Controller/ board that would enable an electric start engine to work like a Start o matic?
In these days of things like arduino and Pi, from the little I know of them it would not seem that difficult to do..... if you knew how.  I know there are also a lot of boards from China that are cheap and effective and maybe some of these could be coupled together to do the job if there isn't one pre made already.

Maybe even something like remote starting would be workable.  Be nice just to press a button on a key fob and have the genny in the shed come on and be able to switch it off the same way. 
Could well live with that.

I have seen generator controllers all over the net but they never seem to come in a kit and one has to buy separate components. 
How does one know what actuators and sensors are compatible or are they all the same?


dieselgman

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 06:10:51 AM »
Deepsea is the manufacturer of many variations on the auto-start digital controllers. Woodward makes the Synchro-Start line of solenoids. Lister/Petter uses them throughout their product line. However, since you will need a compression release actuator as well as fuel rack solenoid, this makes auto-start on the CS models a bit of a challenge and requires a good level of ingenuity to put together. If you used the antique SOM parts as originally installed by L/P on their SOM sets, you might have a pretty good leg up on making a simple system work. I believe they will be 24vdc only and a single large solenoid operates both the fuel rack and decompressor simultaneously. There will be an additional challenge of operating a conventional dc starter motor unless you were to incorporate a simple belt driven motor/generator of the type used in golf carts.

dieselgman
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 06:12:43 AM by dieselgman »
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AdeV

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 11:57:49 AM »
Adding an automotive starter isn't a big issue, I did that to my S-o-M with its replacement ST head generator: Simply bolt a flex plate to the gen head pulley, fabricate a bracket to hold the starter motor, and that's starting sorted.

You don't actually need to operate the decompressor, if you've got a solenoid capable of pushing the fuel rack shut & holding it, you can stop the engine without decompressing. Any auto starter motor should be capable of pulling an engine through compression as well.

To my mind, the biggest hassle is the rack operation: You want a "fail safe" system which, if all electical systems died, shut down the engine via some kind of mechanical movement; which means something spring-loaded with sufficient travel (either direct, or via a bell crank) to allow the full normal rack movement, and able to work against a spring that's sufficiently strong to overcome the governer's ability to pull the rack open again... If I didn't mind losing the failsafe option (or having some kind of battery-operated emergency backup), I'd have a coarse-thread screw on a geared motor, set in line with the end of the fuel rack. Screw comes out to stop the engine, goes in to allow it to start, much like the COV.

Speaking of COVs.... Lister never addressed this with the 5/ or 6/1, or the twins... if you're loading your engine to max HP you're supposed to switch to low-compression mode once the engine is spooled up... but this HAS to be done manually, and it has to be reversed after the engine stops. I guess there are three options here: Use a COV-less head (ala 8/1 engines); use some kind of screw in/screw out device, which was used on direct coupled 9/1 (JP1) gensets; or just ignore it as I'm sure most Lister engine operators did...  Personally I'd fabricate something which spun the COV into low compression mode after the RPMs hit maximum.

Thinking more generally, Lister put 24vdc into the 240AC circuit, and used current draw as a sensor. Whilst that's fine on a lighting circuit full of incandescent lights, or even with more complex devices like valve radios and possibly even some TVs... I do wonder if that's still a practical option these days? e.g. if there's 24vdc on the line, would switching an LED light on take enough current to be noticed by the SOM? So the next step, I suspect, would be to combine the genset with a medium-sized battery bank, and an inverter of an appropriate size for the circuit. Use the inverter/batteries to provide "instant on" 240AC (110AC as applicable), and only fire up the generator if the batteries need charging, or of the load goes over a certain level. Which also makes me wonder if a 240AC generator is even necessary (or desirable), if you can get a lower voltage version to charge your battery bank.
Cheers!
Ade.
--------------
1x Lister CS Start-o-Matic (complete, runs)
0x Lister JP4 :( - Sold to go in a canal boat.

mike90045

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 01:14:08 PM »
Nowadays, 24VDC on the AC line as a "sensor" would make any wall warts or transformers unhappy.

BruceM

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 04:41:14 PM »
+1 Many switching power supplies and appliances that have them built in will have power supply start up circuits that will attempt to operate and will get fried with 24VDC on the line.  You'd have to be very careful to not have these plugged in with a SOM type auto start.

My 6/1 is remote start/shutdown with a homemade Pixaxe controller (before the Arduino became the obvious choice).  Because my 6/1 does double duty as an air compressor, I used air solenoids for rack closing and a decompression exhaust valve lifter, and rubber roller to flywheel, Gast 4AM air motor starter engagement.  Air solenoids are handy because they are cheap and can have very high forces, if needed.  The Gast starter can't get through compression so decompression isn't optional.  The controller does apply both decompression and rack closing for a shut down condition.

There is no failsafe for the monitoring controller as I preferred full manual reversion for my hand soldered (no PCBs, no spare boards) custom electronics-  normal manual operation for manual starting and operation if any electronics should fail.  I've had only one failure in about 12 years of operation...the optically isolated serial data link to the remote control box in my shop (fried chip in socket and resistor) got zapped by lightning.  I should have used multimode glass fiber optics for that 400 foot link. I cheaped out and used CAT5 cable.

glort

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 04:06:21 AM »
OK, so no real SOM type setup. Not worried, remote start will be fine.

Saw elsewhere a starter had been added to the gen head with a flexplate and starter motor.  I wonder how hard it is to turn over a decent car engine compared to a 12/2. I notice on my 4.2L 6 cyl diesel the starter is smaller than on the wifes Subaru and quite small by car standards. Don't know if that is through gearing of a large flywheel or some other factor but a vehicle engine does not have compression release. Driving the gen head will also give a gearing advantage of a small pulley going to a larger one therefore increasing Torque.

In any case I will need a solenoid or linear actuator for the fuel rack so another at least for one  decomp release shouldn't be a great drama.

I might look at those generator controllers again and try to work them out.  Also see if there are some plans for an arduino setup somewhere on the net I can find.

dieselgman

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 10:13:19 AM »
Gear-reduction diesel engine starters have become the norm... much higher torques available in smaller packages.

I also much prefer the gear added to the genhead rather than the engine from a design standpoint. No doubt that approach will allow a starter to pull through full compression and may not even require the complexity of a compression release mechanism.

dieselgman
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dieselspanner

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 02:22:49 PM »
I've been collecting bits for a while, with the idea  of fitting a starter to the, would anyone know of a taper lock type fitting that could be mounted, or welded into a suitably  bored car / truck flywheel?

All links appreciated!

Cheers Stef
Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.

mike90045

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 02:53:06 PM »
With the starter on the genhead, you are now relying on the belt friction (tension and wrap) to carry the starting load.  Larger pulleys, having more surface area the belt wraps around, would fare better, but have less mech advantage.

glort

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 05:54:29 PM »
With the starter on the genhead, you are now relying on the belt friction (tension and wrap) to carry the starting load.  Larger pulleys, having more surface area the belt wraps around, would fare better, but have less mech advantage.

Even a 6/1 is going to have a 3 KW gen head.
Doing a quick search on starter motors, I found that a larger one for a car is around 3KW.  A semi truck Starter is about 6kw.
Given that the belt would be driving these loads on the gen head, it would stand to reason that there will be sufficient grip in the belts to drive similar or lesser power the opposite direction.

glort

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 11:25:17 PM »
I've been collecting bits for a while, with the idea  of fitting a starter to the, would anyone know of a taper lock type fitting that could be mounted, or welded into a suitably  bored car / truck flywheel?

All links appreciated!

Cheers Stef

Are taper locks not available where you are?
Could you not get a suitable Sized taper lock and any old pulley size and weld the ring gear to the pulley or tap and screw it?
That's what my idea was.

I think there are also locking collars one can get which are like blanks and used as spacers on shafts or are welded/ locked to.  I don't remember seeing them in taper locks just keyed with grub screws. Given the shaft on the engines is keyed, this should be OK.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/METRIC-Shaft-Collar-6mm-10mm-12mm-16mm-20mm-22mm-25mm-28mm-30mm-32mm/232486727744?hash=item362149f040:m:mylFNgcOBGXazvGdN6nSP1g

Here's someone in the UK that does tapers.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3020-Taper-Lock-Bush-2-1-8-Bore/152820386676?hash=item2394ce0b74:g:fI4AAOSw3fZaKtWX

Get the right bore and pulley size and see if you can go a belt width or 2 over then if you tap into the V grove won't matter or just get an engineering place to chuck it all up centred on a lathe and put some tack welds on it or weld it up for you.

Mounting the starter seems to me to be the trickier part. Lucky I have picked up a pretty handy range of this steel plate offcuts from the bin in a local factory.  Will go down tomorrow and have a look and see if they left any good Chrissy presents for me.  :0)

I'm looking to make a Trolley for the 12/2. Already got some car hubs and wheels and tyres for it and some 100mm thick section box steel so off to a good start. Going to see if I can get some more hubs I can mount easily with ball joints so I can steer the wheels  while keeping the axle beam straight as I think that will be a lot more stable than just a bolt in the middle with the whole front end turning.

Maybe I could just put a Diff and axels in the rear and as it will be a 240V generator, attach an electric motor with a VFD so the thing would be self propelled with speed and reversing control.
Bet that's never been done before!     :laugh:

ajaffa1

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Re: SOM Conversion/ add on
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 12:01:17 PM »
Thinking more generally, Lister put 24vdc into the 240AC circuit, and used current draw as a sensor. Whilst that's fine on a lighting circuit full of incandescent lights, or even with more complex devices like valve radios and possibly even some TVs... I do wonder if that's still a practical option these days? e.g. if there's 24vdc on the line, would switching an LED light on take enough current to be noticed by the SOM? So the next step, I suspect, would be to combine the genset with a medium-sized battery bank, and an inverter of an appropriate size for the circuit. Use the inverter/batteries to provide "instant on" 240AC (110AC as applicable), and only fire up the generator if the batteries need charging, or of the load goes over a certain level. Which also makes me wonder if a 240AC generator is even necessary (or desirable), if you can get a lower voltage version to charge your battery bank.

Hi AdeV, yes you are right putting 24v dc through modern electrics is probably going to do damage them and in many places is probably illegal. The solution is very simple, wire a single incandescent light bulb, with switch, as a starter for your generator. Once the genny is running and the bulb is lit, throw the cross over switch (grid connected) or throw the main circuit breaker (stand alone). Works a treat for me, when the power goes out I walk 20 yards to my shed, hit the switch, the genny starts giving me enough light to walk to the main fuse board and throw the cross over switch. Takes less than a minute. a lot better than the electric company who usually take ten minutes to answer the phone.

(edited to fix quoting)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 09:06:19 PM by AdeV »