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Messages - rmchambers

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Other Fuels / Re: Alcohol in smaller engines
« on: November 22, 2006, 01:22:55 PM »
I know about cars in Maine, we lived in southern Maine and one winter it got so cold that the dashboard of my car just split down the middle.. what the hell!   It was a particularly cold night so I went out and started the car to try and get some warmth in it and make sure the battery had some charge into it before I went to bed.  You take a good deep breath and your nostrils stick together.. that's cold!

My dad used to work for an electronics outfit and they used loads of methanol to clean parts with, they could only use it a few times before it became too contaminated for electronics use so he'd take the used methanol home in the gallon jugs and we'd add a whole gallon to our gas tanks after a fill up.  We never had to worry about ice in the tank and even electronics grade methanol was probably cleaner than dry gas anyway.  I figured that was an extra gallon of fuel that cost exactly $0 so it lowered my overall fuel costs.  Did that for years, summer and winter.


Bruno sounds like a salt of the earth type.  My wife's side of the family are Italian, masons, contractors etc and they appreciate hard work and following through on what you say you're gonna do (honesty).

Sounds to me like you've got a good guy there who you've already started to gain trust from.  Hopefully you can send some more business his way, he may have some serviceable tanks, heating coils or copper tubing scrap that you can fashion some heat exchangers from to allow your Listeroid to help heat the new home.

You're in a pretty enviable position starting from scratch.  I've only been on this group for a couple of months but the caliber of talent that freely contributes to these forums is second to none.

I'd be interested to hear how your project goes.


Everything else / Re: Music to scrape paint by....
« on: November 19, 2006, 02:16:12 PM »

Nobody works on their Indian engines and listens to something like Ravi Shankar? lots of Sitar and other such instruments?.  Want the engines to feel at home?  or is it more like an adoption of a baby and you raise 'em the way you want 'em to be and they grow up listening to ZZ Top and such and you will only tell them they were born in Rajkot when they are old enough?

General Discussion / Re: concrete vs resilient mounting round 2
« on: November 19, 2006, 02:02:50 PM »
I've been mulling this over since all the discussions of late and I have to wonder about something.

Lets say, as stated above, that the forces being generated by the engine from the combustion and the unintended forces from an out-of-balance flywheel(s) are all acting upon the main bearings of the engine.

If the engine is mounted to a monolith of concrete which resists all appreciable movement then the entire force of the combustion stroke as well as the out of balance forces are acting on a stationary bearing surface.

If the engine is mounted to some sort of flexible mounting then the forces acting on the bearing will still be there but if the engine as a whole and the bearing surface in particular can move some amount then the forces brought to bear on said bearing should be reduced as they are being spread over some distance.

I'm likening this scenario to hitting something like a nail with a hammer.  Assume the force of the hammer swing is the same but one nail is in a piece of wood (allowing movement) and the other nail is pressed against something unmovable (concrete).  Which nail will deform first?  The one between the rock (concrete) and the hard place (hammer).

I can't speak from experience as I have no stationary engine yet, I'm looking to make a genset from a petteroid when I have some free cash and time to pick the stuff up, but time spent reading most of what is contained in this site is valuable and useful to me.



I'm on the hunt for Kilowatts myself.  I purchased the device and have been going around to everything I can plug into and running them as usual for a few to several days and recording the amount and working out roughly what they use a month.

I've been replacing incandescant lights with compact flourescent ones and I have a few more to go there but little by little I'm whittling away at the usage.

I'm sorry to say that on my electric bill I am using for comparison I'm in the almost 30kwh/day bracket.  There's a lot of room in there for improvement.

I don't have gas available in the street and I don't want propane tanks outside so that leaves me with the electric dryer and electric stove.  The washer/dryer are very old, we got them when we got married 16 years ago so when they do die, energy efficient and faster spin washer (front loader) and moisture sensing dryer will be the replacements.

The thought of living next to a river sounds great, free power.  Even if it's not a whole lot, it's constant, you may be surprised what a small amount of continuous power can do for your self sufficiency needs.

Let us know how you get along, stories like these inspire me  :D


General Discussion / Re: seeking an answer...
« on: November 14, 2006, 01:17:00 PM »
I've always been in awe of Newton and Faraday and those of their ilk.  As far as understanding what Newton said about laws of motion - I get that.  What amazes me is what kind of mind can take 10 steps back and figure out the relationships and then turn around and come up with the formulae to express it and have it work perfectly.  I'd have loved to have met Newton but I'm sure he would consider me a dullard in comparison if he had to explain something that was so obvious to his mind.

Congratulations on the impending birth Guy, I hope you are stockpiling some sleep now.



Everything else / Re: Low buck vibration isolation mount
« on: November 13, 2006, 06:28:51 PM »
You know what they say about a picture being worth 1000 words?  well these pictures did it for me.

Thanks to you and Geno for getting them on the page, the rest of what you said makes a lot more sense now.  I had visions of the tires being cut and the flat pieces being sandwiched under the concrete block.

I'm interested to hear how the thing breaks in as it runs and if the transmission properties of the tires change as they get compressed.


Lister Based Generators / Re: Alternator Mounting
« on: November 13, 2006, 02:25:19 PM »
are you talking about using a whole separate belt to drive the alternator?

If overall length isn't a consideration this is probably the easiest to work with, if you have two belts if you don't want to run one or the other (alternator or generator) then slipping the belt off is a way to isolate that.


Lister Based Generators / Re: It's Alive !!!
« on: November 12, 2006, 10:26:03 PM »
Nice looking little rig you have there.  I'm assuming it's air cooled due to the lack of plumbing and the big case over the flywheel/fan assembly.  One question though, where does the warm air exit the unit?

It looks like just what I need to "backup the house if the utility fails" but more honestly - get one and have a nice simply working hobby machine to play with.


Listeroid Engines / Re: belt movement
« on: November 10, 2006, 12:58:07 AM »
If you suspect a belt problem, take it off and flip it round, if it rides up on the inside edge you may have a funky belt.  I would guess that the tension is a bit low and it will do the same thing (outside edge).

It's never jumped off has it?

Generators / Re: Transfer switch rant
« on: November 08, 2006, 02:00:42 AM »
i am still curious, has anyone looked into a reversing contactor set?

a 3 phase reversing contactor gives you

1. the leg's of disconnect

2. mechanical interlock

3. electrical interlock on the coil side

they can be picked up reasonably used on ebay.

I looked some up, pretty cheap too but my questions are:

How does this work?  Coil on the utility feed side keep the utility power connected and when utility fails it connects to the genny side?

The ones I saw listed were 27 amp or so, nothing looked big enough to move the whole house from grid to generator.  Perhaps some surplus industrial model might work but wouldn't it switch pretty quickly if the grid came back?  I'd like some control over that myself.

I guess I just have to keep looking and ask any electricians I know if they pull one out of a site and to save it for me.

bob g

Generators / Re: Transfer switch rant
« on: November 06, 2006, 04:51:46 PM »
Something like that in 150-200 amps would be perfect.  I want to completely isolate myself from the grid when I throw the switch.

If I limited myself to "critical" circuits a 30 amp would work fine but I want to isolate the house from the grid when I power the house and with a 100amp cservice coming in I can't use a 30 amp.


Generators / Re: Transfer switch rant
« on: November 06, 2006, 03:31:11 AM »
Purchasing an auto transfer switch does all this work for you as a matter of it's design.

Right, but they seemed too pricey for my needs.

Isn't that the truth!  I was scanning EBAY for one and you'd think a simple throw 3 leg switch could be had for $50 or so.   But no such luck, there are all kinds of funky automatic this and backup battery that, electronics to start your generator and exercise it once a month.

Surely someone sells a bog simple 3 pole switch for a decent price!

General Discussion / Re: Fiat economies - long - part 1
« on: November 03, 2006, 02:46:00 PM »
I really HATE the idea of genetically engineered crops.  I realize that cross pollinization can occur and has for ages to try and come up with better variants but NOBODY ever grafted tomato dna into wheat - for whatever proposed benefits.

It's like trying to cross breed a giraffe and a hippo.. in nature those two DNA chains would never be combined, I'm sure the hippo or the giraffe would find the other not the least bit attractive.

Monsanto is the big brother of genetic evil.  Trying to find milk nowadays that hasn't been brought to market by the magic of Monsanto hormones is getting pretty hard.  I worry what the hormones passed on in the milk are doing to my children and to a lesser extent to myself.  Kids are maturing earlier and earlier now and I can't help but wonder if part of the cause is to do with the hormones being delivered in the food/drink they consume.

The FDA is a big joke, my sister makes her own soaps and lotions in a shop.  she told me about the active ingredient in Softsoap(tm) and even some toothpaste.  "triclosan"  sounds fairly tame but it turns out it's classified as a pesticide!  So that's just great, I put a nice dollop of toothpaste in my mouth and I've got pesticide in there.  I'm avoiding that stuff like the plague now.

I also have to wonder that in our new "germ free" world where everything is antibacterial if we aren't setting up ourselves for a major health disaster.  When I was a kid I was not happy unless I was up to my ears in mud or oil or water.  I'm sure I ate a load of dirt and bacteria but I'm also pretty sure that my immune system was strong.  So if now everytime a kid goes to play outside he/she has to come back in and be sanitized before doing anything else what happens to their immune system?  No stimulus = no response and one of these days the germ free generation is going to get hit with some bug that does a lot of damage and they will have zero immunity to it.  That scares me too.

If anything the writings of the regulars here show me that the same folk that love this "old" technology also have a very keen awareness of the world around them.  Not content to be one of a flock of sheep but to question things and do it their own way.  I'm glad I stumbled on this forum, I've learned a lot.


General Discussion / Re: Fiat economies - long - part 1
« on: November 03, 2006, 02:15:10 AM »
All this talk kind of reminds me of an old BBC miniseries "Survivors".  Granted the premise of that series was a global plague that wiped out 90% of the inhabitants rather than some sort of economical one.

The end result, people had to live off the land and money was useless.  Barter was the order of the day and if you were a doctor/vet/blacksmith/practical engineer your knowledge was now a valuable commodity.

I don't relish the day when money becomes worthless, but what to do about it?  Do we go out and buy gold? would that be of any use in bartering?

My biggest debt now is what I have left on the house and my truck payments, I should be done with the house in 7 years and the truck in 2 but even "owning" those things outright doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies either.

We've been told that our electric generation rates are going up by 50% starting January 1.  talk about expensive, we are already paying more per KWH than just about any other state.  Starting to think that being able to run off-grid might not be so far fetched even in a suburban environment.

I appreciate Guy and Bob taking the time to put their thoughts down, it was very interesting and sobering reading.


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