I must congratulate myself - the Keystoker indeed makes heat! Unfortunately, it's only about 45 degrees this morning, so it will quickly run me out of the house if I crank it too long.
Opened up a bag of rice, poured in 10 or 12# into the hopper, raked a little coal down on the grate, and used one of the 'matchstick' fire starters, which promptly did nothing. The coal just laughed at that feeble attempt.
Next try was to use my Bernzomatic propane torch....which got me lots of sparks and popping, what looked like a fire, and which promptly went out.
Next idea was to steal some natural lump charcoal away from the Weber and pile a handfull or two on the grate, mixed in with a little coal. I hit that with the torch for a short time and we were off and running! Worked great!
Fast forward an hour or two - FIRE IS GOING OUT!!! Oh OH! Idle timer is working, draft is OK. What's with this? Finally put two and two together and realized I forgot to set the stoker stroke - it was almost all the way out so it wasn't feeding any coal. Cranked up the thermostat and let it stoke for a while, and all is running fine again.
Observations - this thing pumps out some heat!!!! YIKES!!!! At the same time, the temporary vent I'm using (corrugated aluminum dryer vent) is barely warm to the touch. I'm only running the stove at maybe 30%, but still I'm impressed. I'm flirting with danger - stove directly on the carpet, dryer vent chimney, stuck through a window..... But, CO detector is reading ZERO, and I have my fire extinguisher handy, and I'm not leaving the stove.
So, time to bring the hearth pad down to the basement, park the stove, and vent it with the PelletPro pipe.
Happy heating season!