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The workshop weekend was a rousing success- the highlight of which was likely the Ken Boak and Darryl led effort to convert a Lister diesel to spark ignition for 100% woodgas operation.  This settled the long running debate as to whether a spark plug in the precombustion chamber of a Lister will actually light a wood gas fuel/air charge.  The answer is yes.  It also answered the related question of whether the pull rate of a standard 6/1 Lister is high enough to keep the gasifier hot and above tar making temps.  The answer is also yes.

This is great news for Listerheads.  It renders obsolete the previous dual fuel scenarios for listers, which had repeatedly proven touchy to control and dissatisfying conceptually, as some liquid fuel was still required.

Hopefully Ken and the rest of the crew will put info and a kit together soon to enable others to do the same.   In the interim, Ken’s forum “press release” and video is copied below.

Video of spark converted lister on 100% wood gas

There are many more videos of this on ken’s main youtube page. see here:

The forum thread on the Lister conversion is here:

For more general pictures on the workshop, see the gallery in the forum here: These photos include the BEK and 10kw skid projects.  We’ll report in more detail on those projects in a separate note.

If you are one of the 60+ people who attended the workshop and are in possession of pictures or videos, please do upload them to the forum gallery at the above link.  We internally didn’t get too many pictures, as we were busy.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us for an amazing weekend.  I am very honored by the impress and dedication of the people who are self-selecting to come to these workshops and participate.  Thank you all for making it happen and travelling from so far and wide to be here.  We might just have a Homebrew Computer Club of individual scale energy in progress.

Another workshop is already in the planning for this May or June.




Berkeley, California, 21st Feb. 18:50 Pacific Time.
by Ken Boak

Following an intensive 2 day gasification workshop at All Power Labs, an Indian 6hp Listeroid has run successfully at full power on woodgas as the result of a simple spark ignition conversion.

Mike Anthony, Ken Boak, Jay Hasty, Darryll and Jim Mason, aided by workshop attendees and the staff of All Power Labs, got the engine running on 100% woodgas after an 8 hour conversion process.

The conversion uses a Hall effect sensor detectiing a magnet fitted to the flywheel. An Arduino microcontroller board detects the output of the Hall sensor as the magnet passes just before TDC. The Arduino initiates the firing of a spark plug with multiple spark burst and variable ignition timing.

The woodgas conversion utilised a custom manufactured woodgas carburettor made by Andy Schofield.

The woodgas was supplied by a v2 to v3.5 upgraded GEK, put together by Jay Hasty aided by Opalyn Brenger and Walt Patrick from the Windward Foundation (

The plans for this spark ignition conversion will be available soon as an open source resource from All Power Labs. This will allow existing Listeroid users to benefit from wood gasification directly without the need to run a dual fuel system.

Video of the conversion process will be released shortly in the forum here:

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