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Messages - SteveU.

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Other Fuels / Re: Wood Gasifer Kit Now Offered
« on: August 29, 2011, 12:11:59 AM »
Hi Guys
Been a long time since I've even looked at this topic thread. Came here to refer some fellows wanting to know my first woodgasing operating experience. Refered them back to my experience and pictures with MarcusB. shown earlier here.

So Mr vtmetro askes a good question: 19 months later and where we at??
I am up to ~200 operating hours on 11 different gasifier designs. Piece a cake now making woodgas for 3 kW of power for boring after boring hour. Doesn't have to be brainac totally tar free. Pick the right engine. Learn to operate a system with your own woods, in your own climate for your own needs to make "good 'nuff" fuel gas. See here for DYI:
Google up YouTubes for PhilC. system at "GetSomeBass1" woodgas videos.  Google up for Daniel "Foxridgecampground" woodgas videos.
Read here many times DutchJohns pdf in English for making Microgasifiers;

For buy-it systems see where the APL/GEK people have evolved to;     Open up the "Buy It" tab and let it load. Read it all for a history.

See here for a different designers All stainless steel systems I have been involved with. I have insisting on a 5000 hour overhaul interval and 20,000 hour minimum service life as design goals for true working offgrid capable systems. I have now system tested these to be able to project this:
Both of these are now evolved mechanically mature systems and I do not expect any major changed or improvements now. Yes $$$$ and $$,$$$. That is the price for years of the development hours, set backs, the hundreds of prototypes built, and then the quality of  materials needed to put this experience into real metals available as produced systems. They both encourage their "One button" "Turn key packages" These ARE NOT KISS. Pass, save the money. And then put in the time to learn to operate manually. And then YOU design a simple timer automation system you can understand and maintain.

You will see that all of these have also evolved to spark ignition four cycle gasoline/gasious fueled engines. As have I. Sold my 12/1 India hot-rod "hopper". Kept the nice but noisy RS180 Jeng Dong for a small diesel. Truth be, to spark convert a Lister/Listeriod/Yanmar/Changfa engine while possible, and been done now, is a terrible waste of these rare hard to get excellent multi-heavy liquid fuel capable engines. And Duel fueling with diesel as the pilot ignition and woodgas as the primary fuel source has proven under actual generator variable loading and especially off load dumps to be unstable resulting in dangerous over-speeds with over-voltages and frequency swings.

I know of two now CS Listeriod 6/1 spark converted woodgassed efforts. Both have never documented more than a 1000 to 1500 watt generated capability. I have personal gotten 3.2 generated loaded kilowatts out of a little 3600 RPM Briggs 5.5 kW (gasoline) scream-a-matic genset.  The 972cc three cylinder Kubota's NA engines able to make a solid 5 kW AC or DC generated power woodgased fueled. Very quiet and smooth.
So pick the right engine. Pick a gasifier design and then really LEARN to use it with easy to gasify chunked up wood fuels and this is very doable.
Quote from one of the thousand + hour gasifier guys I have put up before, "Gasification is only 25% mechanical and 75% experience."

My lines of advice now are,"Only fuel wood Burning is actually Learning.",  "And Only engine running on woodgas is Really Learning Well."

If you want;  Google up "Steve Unruh woodgas" follow all of the links to see how I have evolved to form these opinions.

Washington State Steve Unruh

General Discussion / Re: Climate Warming a hoax?
« on: December 27, 2009, 05:59:30 PM »
Hey Doug,
I love you like a brother, man.
Excellent post speaking from the standpoint of a skilled tradesmen.
You have accurately described my own three trades careers investment, training and burn outs to a Tee. All obsolete and redundant now, employing less people at minimal wages.
The last I began in 1999 at nearly 50 years old to become a Master Automobile Technician. Did it too. Took five years. An initial 2000+ hours then an annual 500+ hours a year in learning/training. An initial investment of $16,000 in tools and then at least an annual $5,000 tool investment a year, each and every year to advance and try to keep up.
Problem was by 2005 mine and all other auto tech/mechs earnings were declining annually, new guys were being 9-10 month minimal wages burnt out and and I with the new sales end team approach was being forced to be the torch burning them out. I could earn 60% of an 80's, 90's wage IF I was willing to work one journeyman and two burn out "apprentices" slaves in actuality below me. Yeah, did that for as long as I could stomach it. I finally puked and John Gaul walked away along with many others. Good luck getting your 2001-07 purchased pride and joy repaired now that you cannot afford new anymore.
And All because the normal automotive business 8% annual investment/replacement cycle had been screwed up after the Al-Kydia attacks in 2001 to a 12% pace.
To "Save our Economy" our President unleashed the Lions of finance and the manufacturing robots were cranked up producing too many cars. Why repair? Just buy new. Everybody involved did more and more for less and less. By 2005 there were 100,000's of thousand LESS auto workers making more and more cars. Want to earn a living wage then? Go into housing construction. Go into Sales. Well that bubble has popped now too.
With all of the borrowed and false printed money flooding the economy of course people went on a buying binge.
I saw it in most of my friends, relatives and neighbors around me. Only the older ones like my self having lived through "hard times" of rationing, shortages, double digit inflation and stagflation knew and showed a little restraint with all of these new cheap shiny goodies dangled before them.

You see Doug I actually agree with you. Normal pace of reinvestment and change in most all areas have been exceeded. Why invest just to lose?
Our governments repeated the same mistakes of the 1920's and the 60's.
This is where we do differ: Governments as much as other external factors Create these shortsighted instabilities. They should be the governor of these up and down swings Not the creators. This is Why every one of these civilizations eventually over matured aged out and collapsed.

Always back to the same - I and my family have winter heat, food on our table and cloths on my back because I made these things happen; not the Guild, not the Union and certainly NOT my government.
Tthis is the same as happened to all of those same craft/trades men in all of those civilizations I listed when things spun out of control too.
Those who set aside their no longer needed specialized skills and got back to supping their own basic needs survived and did ok. Be the same today. Just add a little more self made power now.


General Discussion / Re: Climate Warming a hoax?
« on: December 26, 2009, 08:49:14 PM »
Folks this has all happened before many times. Egyptians, Greece, Rome, China (several times), Great Britain three times most recently right before the North Sea oil wealth rush.
Rapid social/economic changes led by technology shifts and markets flooded by cheaper out of country imports raw AND manufactured materials and labor. EG: US and later Canadian cheap wheat onto the world markets in the 1870's-1914. Cheap colonial wheat and slave labor flooding Rome, and foreign smart hungry merchants and trades men displacing established workers. Sound familia? Good for the Haves, the New Rich; but hell on the native born.
Solutions are have all been tried and experienced. Bread and circuses, great labor absorbing public works projects, labor intensive wars, polarization and stratification of societies into Have and Have-nots. The Haves employing and paying for personal security forces. Western civilization in the 1200-1700's. Adaptation can be slow and somewhat controlled, or, rapid and brutal. With our pace of life now, well?? I haven't been seeing too many people waking up and hoeing a garden yet.

Yes good time knowing how to fix real everyday needed things. Good time to know how to supply your own basic needs for food, shelter clothing and energy.
Pretty much why we are most here , eh?

Guns?? I have guns. I have used guns to kill now too many times. Had blood on my hands just this last week. Means that this time my just being a gun owner failed to keep the respect and peace. So far in a civil society that is what they are best for. Past that utility I consider my guns as means to survive a failure. . . . and that never puts a smile on my face.

American SteveU.

General Discussion / Re: i once again apologize for this site being down
« on: November 13, 2009, 11:59:06 PM »
Hi guys, I missed you.
Thanks admin.


Everything else / Re: Using 6HP Briggs w/multiple 12V Alt
« on: October 28, 2009, 07:06:38 PM »
Hi BigGreen
Before you run out and get that second alternator best just set up the 90amp you already have and see how well you will do.
My years experience in Auto Electric says with a ~40% efficient 12 volt automotive alternator you are going to use up 5 of those engine horsepower.
Not asking you to trust me - don't.
Just best to try what you have first BEFORE you shell out money.
Easy to 90 degree turn your vertical shaft motor power to horizontal with a long wrapped power drive belt. Look under most riding lawn mower decks.

You puzzle me with this internally regulated alternator with an external "Field" line. I have only ran into powertrain command turn off lines for engine unloading purposes. This ties to the internal regulator, not the actual field circuit.
What make and model is this alternator?


Things I want to Buy / Re: Offset idler bolt
« on: October 23, 2009, 04:28:41 PM »
A .040" offset.
I have a 2" xyzer hollow dipper and two sets of the ungrooved rod bearing inserts from JohnF. to go with the dipper too.
Pm or eMail me. I am in the members list.


Engines / Re: Yanmar engines?
« on: October 17, 2009, 06:18:58 PM »
Thank you RAB.
I stand corrected. I confess to never having much interest in automotive diesels. Been hooked on this cheaper gasoline here in the U.S.
Good to hear you are still alive and kicking.
How's your old horizontal slow speed doing?


Engines / Re: Yanmar engines?
« on: October 16, 2009, 02:21:31 PM »
I own a 3 cylinder Yanmar watercooled in a 950 John Deere tractor. One of the brother-in-laws owns a gray market imported Yanmar 3000 tractor too. Same engine.
These are both an older InDirect Injection  maximum horsepower 2600 RPM - maximum torque 1800 RPM heavy all cast iron engines and therefore were designed for 3rd world poor non-standardized diesel fuels. Neither one of us is willing to run alternative fuels through ours because Yanmar as a world class quality engine designer/manufacture  .   .   .   .   well their parts are Tier1 level expensive.
Any manufactuer designing a 3600 RPM capable diesel fuel engine is going to have to use a Direct Injection system to get the combustion characteristics to produce this RPM. This will always require a good engineered standardized diesel fuel. So, virtually NO fuel flexibilty here. Probably Only a good meets spec standards Bio-diesel.

This surpluscenter engine is an excellant quality Yanmar quality engine for 1/4 the price of new retail. Your cheapest source for parts would be to while they are still available just buy a whole 2dn, 3rd engines as spares. You will find ordering in just a minor parts kit will exceed this complete surplus engine price.

All my own opinions

Generators / Re: How do I find a restorable unit in Arizona?
« on: October 15, 2009, 08:53:42 PM »
Hello John
I too missed this thread. I see now you are already here.
Since you are a member if you go to the member list you can search out and view the previous posts of member "Diesel guy".
He has, in my Big Single Listeriod owners opinion, given the best documented case with numbers for using a big single Indian Listeriod versus a heavier, more expensive twin for true stationary Offgrid self powered useage.
Fuel consumption, fuel consumption, fuel consumption.
Yes.  According to him with proper set up .5 gallons US an hour is possible.

Just my humble opinion too. No offense to twin owners intended.
Good luck in your search.

Lister Based Generators / Re: Lister attempts escape!
« on: October 12, 2009, 11:15:11 PM »
Welcome cricco
If you do decide to block mount this figure on an at least 2200 pound concrete block isolated NOT jest sitting on your concrete floor. Otherwise you will just be transferring the vibrations. Yeah, have to cut and jackhammer a hole.

For resilient mounting ideas on these big singles look here:
Read the whole thing and you can watch a youtube to see you are not the only one caught by surprise.


Listeroid Engines / Re: Checking for sand
« on: October 08, 2009, 04:31:02 AM »
Hello again. Doug and others are right - you really need to do a complete teardown and cleaning to be sure. These are such simple engine with such a low bolt count that in comparison to a water-cooled VW it is ridiculously easy.
Better to get those India hammered in gib keys out now and properly hand file/stoned fitted now not on some cold dark Canadian winter night. It will only be much harder in the future with a little corrosion and metal to metal stick-tion welding. Disassemble now and reassemble and then future repairs and maintenance (when you are cold, tired, sick and/or drunk) will be a piece of cake.
If torn down before heated up and coolant run most gasket and seals will be reusable. Best to always have a spare gasket set anyhow. Less than $20.
A universal Liesle brand crinkle band ring compressor is $20. too. Or with a spare ring set as a back-up use the careful strong finger method.
Crankcase paint or not can be argued both ways. Your engine - your choice.
The tappet (camfollower) is an individually machined piece. The tappet holder is individually machined inside and out. The tappet holder fits in a bored hole in the crankcase. Nothing is perfect. What you are trying to do is find out before remachining anything is if you can restack these inperfections to cancel them selves out into your favor. Match mark pairing to achieve the best concentricity, balance and fit is done by manufacturers with wheel and tires and pistons and cylinder bores all of the time.
Hey! It ain't really yours until you start nicking and chipping the factory paint off of the bolt and nut heads. Then you will have a known workable set of tools lined up in your engine kit. Hint: flat file any of the "wierd" too big/uneven India hex heads down to fit the tools. Be good practice for saving specialized rounded off bolt heads you WILL run into on neat acquired machinery in the future.


Listeroid Engines / Re: Checking for sand
« on: October 07, 2009, 02:12:13 PM »
Hey m-o-n!
Troy is a pretty good guy isn't he?
The ledge he is talking about is the casting boss in the side cover on the exhaust valve side of the engine that the end of the cam goes into.
Good excuse to remove the flywheels to remove this cover for cleaning and get your gib keys hand fitted so you know you can do this in the dark and cold with a flash light.
Other areas are up inside the cast iron piston,  up on the underside of the crank case ceiling where the head/cylinder case studs come through and down in the lower sump pocket ceiling.
On your exhaust valve tappet: first try losening the hold down clamp and rotating the tappet holder in 90 degree increments to establish a different alignment.


Everything else / Re: Nickel Iron (Edison) Batteries Good? Bad?
« on: October 07, 2009, 01:37:34 PM »
Thank You Mr Mike.
Are you still vacumn distilling Waste Motor oil?

Changfa Engines / Small ChangFa(iod) in Rice milling plant
« on: October 04, 2009, 07:23:34 PM »
Hi All in my quest for woodgas fueling this video was posted on one of the woodgas sites:
Youtube channel is under the name of  Jamestanwh
Shows them cranking up and running the changfa to belt drive the gasifier starting up blower and fill the gasious engine supply piping.
Note the guy slipping off the drive belt on changfa shut down to let the blower freewheel in producer gas stream.
Lots of gasous operating details if you know what to look for.

Yeah. Overlook the lack of belt and fan guards. This isn't Kansas Toto.


Generators / Re: How to clean a generator covered w/diesel soot?
« on: October 01, 2009, 08:50:51 PM »
Yes Doug you and I are on the same race to with that Devil.
But I have a decades head start with my early heated Triclorethlyne electrical shop days. 275 gallons US evaporated every three months up into the Portland Oregon airshed. Plus the leads and asbestos then too.
But what a great cleaner, eh? Quick. Degreased. Hot. Just blow the dry dirt off.

Later in automotive service work they "saved us" from the asbestos by giving us cold aqueous brake/clutch cleaning washers:  that didn't clean - and then didn't dry. No more air blowing allowed!! So then to get the jobs out, can after can of, yes, chlorinated brake clean. (Legal here. Declared as safer than blowing asbestos fibers). Just kinda hard on the users. One in five for cancers here now having done this work. We'er doing our part to save the Social Security program

I would use on this problem a hot water, not steam!!, moderate!!, pressure washer, weak safety nozzle air dried while hot, followed up by a low temp!! oven drying.


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