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Listeroid/Lister [page 3]
Sun, Jul 26, 2009: I must admit I am writing this long after the fact. My date for this entry is exact as I still have the receipt documenting the event. What I remember most about this day was the heatwave we had here in the northwest, a rare occurrence indeed, and it really punctuated the day this event happened.
I found a Lister, a REAL Lister, on Craig's List. It's a Lister Model HA2, that's a twin cylinder, air cooled, 23 horsepower diesel with a factory mounted 49.5 amp, 120-240 volt generator head producing 12.5KW. The current owner lives in Corvalis, OR. His father acquired this genset in Astoria, OR many years prior. It was originally the power plant on a ship and was surplussed to a yard in Astoria where it was sold. The current owner had the original paperwork, complete manuals, blueprints and everything that came with it. Boy was I excited!
I emailed this guy and asked him numerous questions. He answered them all and I was sure this was the genset for me! This thing would run my whole ranch with ease! And running it on my home-brewed biodiesel would just about make it the cheapest power around!
The current owner met me in Vancouver, WA, just north of the Washington/Oregon border, in a shopping center parking lot. He lit this thing up and boy, was it loud! Straight 2" pipe coming straight off the exhaust manifold but it was a sweet sound to my ears! He hung some power demanding devices off the genhead and it didn't even react to the load. I was sold!
We used pipe as rollers and grunted and pushed and groaned until we got this beast moved from his pickup to mine. The heat was incredible! Why it was so hot, I'll never know, but it sure made me remember that day.
I brought this great Lister generator back to my ranch and installed it right outside my well house. I plumbed in the electrical conduit to a brand new power panel equipped with a "break-before-make" arrangement that required I turn OFF the grid power before turning ON the generator power and vice-versa. I discovered this was a requirement to prevent killing the poor repairman when the lines go down, a common occurrence here.
I was so anxious to try my new power plant, I just had to try it out. I got a 5-gallon bottle of my home-brewed biodiesel and brought it to the generator. I started the big engine up and listened for a bit. Then I cut the main breaker, switched over to my running generator, and ran to the house. EVERYTHING was on! All the lights, all the computers, the TV, everything! It all worked!
This is going to be so great! Bring on the power outages! Bring on the snow, the wind, the downed power lines! I am READY!
Mon, Aug 17, 2009: One day recently, out of the blue, a fellow named Mike emailed me asking if I knew how to contact Joel Koch because he wanted to buy a Listeroid 6/1. I hadn't talked to Joel since my purchase back in 2007 but I was fairly confident he was still selling engines. I was wrong. I couldn't find any reference to Joel on eBay and so I emailed him. No response. So I emailed Russell Groves who told me Joel was alive and kicking but had withdrawn from the "engine parts importing" business.
So I went back to Mike and I told him that since I had recently purchased a larger Lister and no longer needed the 6/1, I would sell him my 6/1 Listeroid for the amount I had in it. He came over, looked at the crate, and promptly told me, "I know what's in that crate. I want to see this big Lister you bought!" We went out to my well house and started it up. We stood there and ooh'ed and aah'ed for a while. It was cool.
I had purchased the Listeroid, brought it home and put it in the barn to wait until I had time to unpack and assemble it. Never happened. I never pried one nail out of the crate; not one. It sat, brand new, in the crate, since 11/20/2007.
Mike bought the whole 6/1 setup, complete with ST 5KW genhead, pulleys, accessories; the works. Last I heard, he had it running smoothly and was pretty happy with it. As it turns out, Mike is a pretty knowledgeable guy. He has run several installations of solar powered electrical equipment in remote locations for many years! He told me things that I have been curious about for a long time. Very helpful guy. I never ceases to amaze me what people know, information, experience, techniques that WORK and work WELL for YEARS! Very, very cool stuff!
Mon, Oct 11, 2010: Well, it has been a long time since I posted anything new on this page and a lot has changed in that amount of time. My daughter, (remember the one I took with me to Portland to pick up the first Listeroid 6/1?), had another baby; this time a boy named Sawyer. I am making 100 gallon batches of biodiesel now in a newly designed processor made from steel barrels welded together to form a large columnar container. My beloved 1987 Mercedes 300SDL caught fire under the dashboard and burned up the interior. I fried my hands trying to put out the fire and spent a lot of time healing and in physical therapy. I tried to develop an underground muffling system for my big Lister genset and while trying to plasma-cut a hole in the scavenged barrel, it exploded and shattered the last bone in my palm of my right hand. More physical therapy (a LOT more!). I had a large building (80x50) erected on my property in which to conduct many of my most pressing projects in comfort. It turned out most excellently and is even more useful than I had anticipated. Big happenings here at the ranch...
Unrelated to biodiesel, Lister gensets and off-gridding, I am now preparing to collect rain water to be used for utilitarian purposes such as power washing my fencing, watering the horses, and washing the cars. I'll probably do a new web page specifically for that topic. Watch for it as things develop.

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