Author Topic: Anyone done update to change old Start-O-Matic to a bit modern system  (Read 1008 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Hi folks,

I have Lister SR1 and old Start-O-Matic with it, to take care of either manual or automatic starting of my generator. My startomatic is a bit "worn out" model and I think, some of the components seem to be "on the last track". So - I am wondering if anyuone has done either renovation or total change of that system, to get more reliable and a bit modern system to start your engine. I know, that there are lot and lots of chinese systems around, but I think, it is necessary to understand, what functions one may have in the system, before buying one.

If you have good hints, please let me know. I would love to change my starting system to new one and take care the rest of engine in a way, I can run it years ahead.

Thank you in advance and take care



  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone done update to change old Start-O-Matic to a bit modern system
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2022, 12:28:35 PM »
I found this document in Finnish
Veli-Matti Kulo describing exactly what you are looking for. google translate works

I have plans of modernizing Startomatic myself just need a Lister with a Brush generator that is not collection only in GB,
I really like the relay logic and the simplicity,
I've seen that many worry about the quality of the output and don't want to power modern electronic with this,
my plan is to use an online UPS between the Lister and electronic devices


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1721
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone done update to change old Start-O-Matic to a bit modern system
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2022, 07:51:04 PM »
There is a company called Deep Sea that produces a range of generator controllers. I am sure one of these could be made to work with an SOM. The fuel control solenoid and decompressor solenoid could be replaced with modern alternatives.



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3054
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone done update to change old Start-O-Matic to a bit modern system
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2022, 04:57:32 AM »
Hi Kari,
I replicated the SOM features but only for remote start/stop and automated monitoring.
My setup is a bit odd in that running an air compressor is my primary function, generator secondary.  Because I had air and a large receiver tank I use an air starter (Gast 4AM) with rubber drive wheel, air cylinder for engagement pressure, and air cylinders for rack closer and exhaust valve lifter.  Air has it's advantages and the economy of cheap cylinder actuators operated by small inexpensive 12V solenoid valves and 1/4 drip tubes.  It does also have a downside- the air motor consumes a lot of air, and pilot valves, check valves and compressor unloader valves all so leak some.   

I also added oil level sensing and a vibration sensor, plus generator load sensing and compressor idle sensing.  So it can shut itself off after 10 minutes of no load, unless I have the remote no load override switch turned on. 

Its controlled at both Listeroid and remote control ends by a Picaxe 40X chips programmed in Pixaxe Basic.  It uses a CAT5 cable for the remote control.  I can share code and schematics with forum members up to the task.  There are no PCBs, its all hand wired on perf boards.  If I was starting over today I'd seriously consider a redesign for the Arduino, which I have used since for a couple projects.  Mostly you need a lot of logic level gate, low side mosfets to control your actuators.

The simplistic DC bias on the AC line of the SOM is less ideal for today's lighting and other electronic loads, but I expect with some modern IC circuit redesign, the same concept could be used. I had no need for auto start,  remote start with auto shut down control was fine for me. 

Hey Thomas,
Regarding generator power quality and electronics;  most electronics are now switch mode power supply driven, with the first stage of it being a bridge rectifier to bulk capacitor.  They are mostly immune to problems like waveform issues and harmonics that are typical for gensets.  In fact, i operate my computer gear entirely on 120VDC, with standard 120VAC switching power supplies.  In a case of severe EMI on the generator power you might need to add a simple common mode choke filter.  In my case I found that 0.1 uF snubber capactors on each diode of the excitation bridge was highly effective in supressing most of the conducted AC power EMI, so I did not need to add a passive filter.

A commercial inverter will often have worse conducted high frequency interference (EMI ) than your generator.

Best Wishes,