Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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flysurge

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Dana,

  Have two mercs I am planning on putting two tank systems in with manual valves. Would really lke to test the electric pikup heater and electric fuel line as this would be a big help in keeping all the coolant up front. Please let me know if I can be of any help.   Rick in nj
cumminscanuck

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Reply with quote  #17 

Thanks for clarifying Dana.  I rather expected that to be the case but as volvo240 says, "every little helps".  It's currently -20 celsius here, has been for a week and will be for several more yet cosequently, I'm looking for heat input in every part of the system possible.

danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #18 

To those interested in beta testing.

The "component consortium" meeting last Tuesday came up with several ideas regarding moving forward with beta testing of newly developed components. But unfortunately not many resolutions to those ideas were reached since they mostly just raised more questions. I am trying to keep the project moving so it does not stall over the Christmas holiday.

I am hoping to present your input at next weeks meeting..so here are some of the questions that are unresolved.

1. How do we insure that "potential competitors" are not able to become beta testers?

2. How do we insure that components are installed properly? (this was partly resolved)

3. What is a fair price to charge for beta test components?

4. How do insure that beta testers comply with record keeping and reporting requirements?

5. How many units of each component should be initially beta tested?

6. How long should beta testing last before the components are deemed ready for public release?

7. Who will be responsible for developing and administering the initial beta testing program?

Please post anything you can think of (brainstorming is OK) regarding the above.

Only two decisions were reached last week.
1. Two members "volunteered" to present a draft "beta tester agreement/liability waiver" at next Tuesdays meeting.

and
2. It was decided to provide some sort of online "webinar" for beta testers to help them install components and any monitoring equipment correctly.


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grindmarc

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Reply with quote  #19 
I am hoping to present your input at next weeks meeting..so here are some of the questions that are unresolved.

1. How do we insure that "potential competitors" are not able to become beta testers?
Unless you plan on doing background checks on everyone, the best you can do is require everyone to sign a nondisclosure agreement that affirms that they are not related in any way to a component maker and will not share any information about the product with anyone but you. Competitors will be the first to order anything innovative once its on the market anyway. Accept it.

2. How do we insure that components are installed properly? (this was partly resolved)
Everyone should get the same instruction package that the consumer will get. No webinar handholding or anything that will give beta testers an advantage over the consumer. Part of the feedback requirements should be to take a pic during install and after and answer some basic questions to ensure that its installed properly. Anyone that has results that vary greatly from yours and other beta testers, should get a phonecall to make sure its intsalled right. Also, your instrux should have a way for the installer to test if it is working.

3. What is a fair price to charge for beta test components?
I find this question ludicrious. Yes, it MIGHT have value to the user assuming it works as designed (its in beta testing for a reason). But, the input and feedback from beta testers is tremedously more valuable than the pittance that you'll collect for a part in "beta testing." If you're hesitating for a second on that statement, you need to totally rethink the idea of this entirely. Take it right to market then.

4. How do insure that beta testers comply with record keeping and reporting requirements?
Make it simple and easy to track. For every datapoint you want to collect, make sure its something you can and will use. Don't try to capture every possible variable. Give me a nice little form that I can keep in my glovebox.

5. How many units of each component should be initially beta tested?
Your results need to be statistically relevant. And you should attempt to deploy at least 2 or 3 in each different climate and vehicle type.

6. How long should beta testing last before the components are deemed ready for public release?
It totally depends on the initial feedback and data collected. Assuming no problems or issues, I think at least 1,000 miles. But if it were me, I'd probably go at least 3k. Ensuring that these things are going to make it to their duty cycle (100,000 miles?) is really important -- especially if it is a mission critical component and not just an supplementary bit (fuel pickup vs hose warmer).

7. Who will be responsible for developing and administering the initial beta testing program?
I vote you Dana.
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #20 
Sorry for not posting this update earlier.
Our last meeting was over a week and a half ago. We skipped this and next weeks meeting since so many of us are on vacation for Christmas.

A LOT was resolved a that last meeting though.

1. A two person team is working on the Non-disclosure agreements over the break. Hopefully they will have a draft ready to take to the groups lawyer in about a week and a half.

2. It was decided to encourage record keeping and filing of those records by providing a 50% rebate for those that do.

3. It was also decided that the first $1k of each members profits will go into a "legal offense fund" to be used to enforce the NDAs. This should provide adequate incentive to participants to not leak info to potential competitors..and to potential competitors to not risk participating.

4. Decided how long Beta testing should proceed before full (public) product release occurs.

The Bad news: I don't think that the Beta test program will be operational before the end of February.

The Good news: Two more component makers have decided to sign on to the Beta test program...so a few more components should be available when it begins.



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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
rwoody

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Reply with quote  #21 
thanks for promoting this site!.. learned a lot and hope to learn more..am doing my new to me 82 benz then on to my motor home with 5mpg use.....that is what i need to get vegi!

woody
little rock

kcpilotpat

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Reply with quote  #22 
i'm not getting the automated responses. just checked in and see there has been some discussion.

one way or the other, i'm going to be doing and '82 benz in the next month. sounds like end of feburary may fit well!

so i understand, you have heated pickup that will screw into a benz tank. will i loose the fuel gauge? 

i'm a mecahnical engineer and will give good feedback. i have a thermocouple with remote readout i can place anywhere.  now it's a single shot, but i can get a multiplexer and read 4 channels and would be willing to do that. i would really like a data logger with multiple inputs.
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #23 
Sorry to say this  project is not going as smoothly as hoped since when I go away for fleet conversion nothing gets done by any of the rest of the R&D group.

I will try to hammer home the importance of continuing to stay on task even when I am not at the virtual meeting on this project tomorrow at our next one. I have a 2 fleet conversions in a row in March so if they are depending on me to keep them on task...this will take WAY longer than hoped.

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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
greasyscott

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Reply with quote  #24 
i would like to be a beta tester.  i have an 87 300 sdl that will be getting converted shortly and a 81 bunny pickup that will be done soon.

thanks
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #25 

I just returned from fleet conversions and a meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. I am hopeful that most of what was discussed at our last meeting has been accomplished and this project can move forward soon.


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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
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