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Old 08-02-2014, 13:07   #46
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Columbia Marine Exchange may have the parts you need used...I look forward to your "Gee I wish I would have installed it with the Barometric Damper from the Beginning" report. Our Dickenson works great on our sailboat...Good luck. ~Dave
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Old 08-02-2014, 18:44   #47
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

To satisfy my owns curiosity, I bought some Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Yesterday. Today, I burnt the last bit of my old diesel out of my furnace day tank and tried out the ULSD.

Before I give the results of my "test", I will give some factual data:

-Furnace is a Dickinson Newport. Purchased new in 2003.
-I have never used the combustion air fan at any time. It is not wired to a power source.
-I do not have a combustion air "duct". Combustion air enters the boat through generous gaps around my companion-way hatch. No dorades are installed on this boat.
-The distance from the top of the furnace to the chimney cap outlet is 4 feet. (my Dickinson installation manual recommends 3 feet).
-I do not have a Barometric damper installed. (My Dickinson installation manual says that a barometric damper must be installed in flue stacks that are longer than recommended.
-My day tank (see picture) is 12 inches above the furnace oil metering valve.
-I have used this furnace for approximately 750 hours. Mostly while on the hard during my project.
-Furnace is been in use in winds up to 40 knots.
-I have never observed anything coming out of my chimney other than some slightly brownish smoke during start-ups.
-I have not yet cleaned the freshly painted (Summer 2013) cabin house top. See picture after 200 hours of furnace use since painting.
-I have never had any soot or smoke enter the boat's cabin. Never a "backdraft".
-I use a small amount of alcohol for preheating during start-ups.
-In 2003 (date of furnace install), I believe that my state (WA) had not yet mandated ULSD. I assume that the first years of use was with "normal" diesel.
-In 2012, I discarded my 10 year old diesel (unnecessary, I beleive - But that is another story), and bought 20 gallons of new diesel from a gas station and then another 20 gallons of diesel from my marina fuel dock. The attendant said that the fuel was "normal" diesel.
-The diesel that I bought yesterday, came from a nice new shiny gas station. The pump said ULTRA LOW SULFUR DIESEL. a sticker on the pump said that the fuel has less that 15 ppm sulfur content.

And the results of the test is............

No change in the operation of the furnace. The furnace started right up as normal with the new fuel. I thought that maybe I was cheating by having some left over "normal" diesel in the float bowl. So after an hour or so of running, I shut the furnace down and let it cool for an hour. The restart was the same - no different than previous.

If absolutely pressed to come up with some observable change, I would say that the flame height is very slightly lower (for a given valve setting) and perhaps has a bit more blue color than before.

I know that some of my observations and history with this stove are in direct conflict with other person's experiences with these stoves.

I have no reason to doubt the validity of other persons problems.

I have no idea why the successful use of these products varies so greatly from person to person or boat to boat.

(pictures below were taken today)

Steve
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Old 08-02-2014, 18:56   #48
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

I forgot to mention that I do not have the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Baffle. I may get one just in case problems develop.

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Old 08-02-2014, 23:30   #49
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Hi all,

this is probably one of my first posts though I have been a member for some time now.

I have an older Dickinson Pacific model with 7" burner and Singer carburetor, have about 5ft of chimney, no barometric dumper or fan installed. The stove works flawlessly and keeps me and my boys worm and dry during our winter sailing adventures. Owen also works great and we prepared many tasty meals in it over the years.

Our boat is 34' long over deck and we sail mostly Georgia Strait, Golf Islands and Howe Sound, all year around (plenty of winter sailing since we installed the stove). I consider it one of the most valuable additions to our boat.

OP one of the things i noticed on the picture you posted is that your chimney installation begins with the elbow, stove manual states that you need a strait run of at least 12", here is the quote:

"Avoid using elbows and if necessary, use 45 degree elbows and allow for as much straight pipe as possible with a minimum of 12” (28 cm) from the top of the heater."

Hope this helps a little.

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Old 09-02-2014, 13:42   #50
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Now got heat, but still burns dirty. Photos show what came with the stove as a "superheater". From info Lloyd sent, fabricated extension over it, closer to recent superheaters. From info from cburber, fabricated a LSD baffle. Both modifications gave slight improvement, and in combination, burns well enough to keep the cabin warm, not quite cozy. Shielding the flue cap stops backdraft blowing into the cabin, but also restricts air flow, no doubt part of the problem with still burning dirty. "H" style cap should correct this. At least the soot is now outside of the cabin.

I still have not installed the barometric damper or "H" flue cap. Out of my ability to fabricate, so will have to wait til I can get them, after snow and ice clears off to safely drive an Alpha Romeo Spyder anywherel.

Never heard anyone complain about the Newport. Have heard lots of similar problems I have with the Pacific. Others have had no problems. As Lloyd pointed out, proper installation is critically important. Unfortunately some boats are simply not suited for it.


Daveineugene - I know of Colombia Marine Exchange. They are close, but I can buy new from local chandlery for about the same money as they ask. Good suggestion though. Already I wish I would have installed the Barometric Damper from the beginning. Will post a report once I get one. Noticed your boat is a Pilothouse; how high is your flue and do you have the recommended 3" fresh air intake?

Aleks - Good observation on the 12" straight rise. Mine is 10" before the elbow. Did not think 2" would make a difference, but now think that every tiny detail does. There is barely enough room to raise that section another 2" without heat damage to the wood, so will do that when I install the barometric damper. In my case, I believe the barometric damper is necessary since I can see the flame flare up and pull down into the pot regularly if set above 3. Do you have the recommended 3" air intake on yours?

Panope stated "I have no idea why the successful use of these products varies so greatly from person to person or boat to boat." - I suspect because very minor differences in both the installation and the dynamics of air flow within each boat make very major differences in how the stove operates. Clearly they DO work... for many people. Many others hate them. The manuals have a lot of information, but sales pitch has no warninghow tricky a "proper" installation can be. Unless you have a lot of experience, or can analyse your boat with accuracy beyond most people, no one will know what they are getting into and success is a matter of being lucky on a $2,000 gamble. That is exactly why I still will never recommend them to anyone.


Thanks again folks, I know my experience/attitude has pissed some of you off, but hope this thread will help save others from the grief I have gone through.
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Old 09-02-2014, 20:52   #51
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

[QUOTE=Vino the Dog;1463840
....Aleks - ....Do you have the recommended 3" air intake on yours?...
[/QUOTE]

No I do not, I have 2" hole beneath the burner and decent clearance all around the stove.

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Old 10-02-2014, 00:19   #52
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Dickenson produced heat today. Not much more I can do until getting the barometric damper and "H" stye flue cap, so spent four hours cleaning soot from the head and stateroom. This evening, was able to cook hot vegetables with melted cheese on the stove. Only took 1 hour and 42 minutes. I expect that will improve by at least a half hour, hopefully a full hour once I get the new parts.

For those who think my experimentation while waiting for the new parts is the actions of an idiot incapable of understanding basic physics, I would like to share with you a few pics of my dinner and some (non proprietary) details of an electric vehicle project I was hired to design about a decade before Toyota came out with the Prius.
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Old 10-02-2014, 00:35   #53
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Wouldn't worry about it Albert Einstein might have been one of the smartest men on the planet but he was a piss poor sailor.
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Old 11-02-2014, 13:45   #54
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

I'm not Einstein and no idea what kind of sailor he was. Sorry if my posts offend you. EV prototype pics are not to boast, but to give some idea that I do have some experience in design and fabrication.

I do not claim outstanding craftsmanship skills like Panope, whose blog is a joy to read. You want to see some beautiful work, take a look at his!

To continue; this is why I do not like the fan set up in the Dickinson.

From the first photo, it looks like plenty of room, but when you stick your arm in there to remove the pipe plug to clean out the fuel inlet, unless you have thin arms, it is very tight. Thus, slight misjudgement can result in tension on the wires connecting the fan to the switch. The connector on the fan is quite fragile will easily break off.

Then you have to remove the fan to fix it. The next photo shows it is held on with screws with a square drive. The average do-it-yourself person may have a couple square drive bits, as I do, but neither fit. It is an uncommon size.

Once you get the fan out, the broken terminal is set in an insulating block, which may have to be carved out (Dremel tool works fine) in order to expose enough of the tab to solder on a wire, which I decided was better than a fixed tab, thus allowing flexibility to prevent stressing the fixed connectors.

To control fan speed, they used a set of three resistors, which limits the fan operation to four fixed speeds and off, which, considering the delicate sensitivity of these stoves, is poor design when a cheap rheostat would provide infinite speed control for negligible extra cost.

Unfortunately, when re-installing the fan, I bumped something and the other terminal broke off, so I stuck a cheap computer muffin fan under the bottom of the stove to continue with experiments. Could not tell any difference between the muffin fan and the factory installed one other than the speed variations of the muffin fan were much better than the factory one.
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Old 13-02-2014, 01:47   #55
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Yesterday, checked to see if "H" cap and barometric damper are available. Columbia Marine Exchange had nothing and West Marine had none, could not even order them. Local chandler can order them, but take at least a week to get.

I know these parts are essential to conclusive results, but that does not eliminate the value of further experimentation before I get them. Wondering how much effect the superheater and LSD baffle actually has, I removed the improvised superheater and ran it with only the LSD baffle. The results were immediate. Flame burned much cleaner, but also much cooler. You can see from this pic of the inside of the baffle, removed after 24 hours that there was minimal soot compared to the intense filth generated with the superheater. High heat, very dirty, low heat relatively clean.


Next, I looked at the superheater used in Sig Marine stove, which is also a Dickinson product. On page 27 of the Sig manual, it appears that their superheater consists of four stainless bars with no ring around the top like the Dickinson model has. Based on that, I fabricated a much trimmed down superheater as shown in the second picture. With this inserted down the burner ring and the lower original unit in place, the change in burn was again immediate. This provided a much hotter burn that was still clean up to just below setting 3. Above 3 the flame would flare up alternatively to dropping low in the pot. At 5, it was very dirty and mostly low in the pot. Adjustments on the fan at any setting resulted in a worse burn.


Obviously the problem may be solved with the barometric damper and flue cap, but these experiments demonstrate the critical importance of very small modifications of everything in the system.

Only took 45 minutes to cook a couple steaks and they were not even like shoe leather. Best performance out of this stove yet. Aleutia loved his steak!
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Old 17-02-2014, 21:21   #56
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Besides the previous noted installation errors, cheap fuel causes soot problems. I am 65 and have been running diesel stoves since I was 14. In the past I ran #1 diesel in the stove, #2 in the engine unless it was a Caterpillar and then #3. We can't easily buy various graded diesel anymore. Too bad. Even #1 would soot up when run at prolonged low settings. Red Devil was the fisherman's friend. I have used many diesel stove brands, Olympic, Washington Stove, etc., most are gone now. Also, too bad. I always have felt Dickenson as one of the best. Almost all problems, soot, wind, etc, usually are related to the chimney installation. Too many bends, too much draft, not enough draft can depend the chimney height, type of cap and objects near the chimney top that direct or disrupt wind currents. As a former commercial fisherman I have spent 1000's of hours with a stove running. In the usual cold weather the stove ran 24 hours. Most didn't have a barometric dampener. Only the fancy yachts and rich fishermen had them. You need to set the stove up as recommended by Dickenson, with a barometric dampener. You might go to Astoria and see what type of chimney caps the fishermen are using now. If you have a separate diesel tank for the stove, try to find some #1 diesel, it's supposed to be the same as US standard heating oil. I don't know if biodiesel or some mixture will properly burn. It should soot up at low temperatures. I know of people burning cooking oil in diesel motors, but cooking oil is made to not catch fire when cooking.
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Old 18-02-2014, 18:14   #57
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Lepke,

I know these work on fishing boats with a wheelhouse and a 7'-8' flue. When I fished, we had one and it worked great. Now I am on a CT-41 Ketch. It is set up as close to Dickinson manual diagram on page 12 as possible on this boat. My experimentation is for my boat and to learn if the stove is a good choice for similar boats. I got it working well enough to get through the winter, but it is still a very poor choice. There is no way I can get a 7' flue or 3" air vent directly out of the cabin. I can improve the flue a little, but not until it's warm enough to tear out the existing one without freezing my dogbutt off.

I appreciate the comments on this forum. Meanwhile, continue to experiment with the set up I have as possible under current conditions. I post results to benefit others with similar problems. Thanks for your contribution:

Here is another thing I don't like. The little viewing port is made to save manufacturing cost without consideration of the user. It's a small piece of mica, a heat resistant mineral formed into thin transparent sheets, which has been in use as long as wood stoves had transparent doors. Good stuff, but very thin and fragile.

Because draft problems and dirty burning are common, so is soot on the mica which blacks out the view port. Then, the mica must be cleaned. Easy with a small wet cloth, but requires sticking you arm in the hot, filthy fire box to clean from the inside unless you shut it down and vacuum every time the mica gets dirty. That is another time consuming, filthy task that most prefer once a year instead of every day or two, which is necessary if your stove is not functioning perfectly.

The hazard is that the mica can easily be damaged, leaving an open hole in the front of your firebox. Mica is not easily found except on the Internet. Small pieces are inexpensive, and I would advise anyone to get some just in case, even if your stove does work as advertised.

A simple solution to make the stoves more user friendly would be a hinged, gasketed door that could be opened for cleaning. Of course, it would raise production costs slightly.
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Old 18-02-2014, 18:21   #58
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Next experiment;

After observing how my minimized “superheater” worked, and concluding that small changes can make noticeable differences, I decided to take the first one and trim down the upper ring slightly to see if that made a difference in the burn. I trimmed the top circular ring in half and re-installed it.

Again the results were noticeable. The flame burned much hotter on low settings, and mostly above the burner pot. On setting 3, the flame burned higher and “better” than it ever did, but only for a few minutes, then drew back down into the pot and sooted up. Unfortunately, higher settings still resulted in drawing the flame down low in the pot and producing volumes of black soot.

Photos show; minimized “superheater” after last experiment; modified superheater for current experiment; burn observed through viewing port at setting 1; setting 2; setting 3 at start up; setting 3 after using the fan for approximately 2 minutes.
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Old 19-02-2014, 06:10   #59
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

Vino,

Been Followiing your adventures with interest. I have some similar issues, not as bad. I like your experimentation.

I want to offer a thought.

I had to adjust the carb setting. From what I can tell the summer winter mix of fuel had a significant difference. What worked OK, about 3, at first didn't work later after refueling.

It would actually go into runaway producing so much heat I had to shut her down.

I readjusted the settings, do that say what was 3 is now more like 7. Frankly, I don't have any more adjustment left now. But it settled down to working fine again.

Maybe you are either dumping in too much, or too little fuel?

Just an idea.
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Old 20-02-2014, 14:23   #60
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Re: Dickenson Cook Stoves

hpeer,

Thanks for the suggestion. What you describe about runaway and too hot is what I experienced with the previous one, exact same flue and installation. This one is quite different.

Have checked the flow, and it seems to vary as supposed to with different settings. Still have not done the timed measurement, which is on my to do list, but current experiments are being done to establish some data on superheater effect first, now starting to experiment with draft. If I can get a clean, reliable burn at any setting, will use that as a base setting to expand on. I am doing modifications one at a time to get an understanding how the elements effect each other.

As Lloyd previously explained, my draft set up is not optimal. I know that, but it is within the explanations of the Dickinson manual. I suspect that Lloyd is correct, but the manual is inadequate. Will explain later with quotes from the manual. Yesterday's experiment (following) is based on one of Lloyd's suggestions, to extend the flue height.
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