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Scout
2005-05-09, 16:16
Ok. Here is some feedback. I am also seeking advice on use of the stove.

My task: Bring 1 3/4 C of water to a boil using my new ION stove and a titanium Snow Peak pot. (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?memberId=12500226&productId=24544147)

Outside conditions: 49F with a 5 to 10 knot breeze.

I filled my large pot with water and covered it with the small fry pan.

I then filled my ION stove with Zip Strip Denatured Alcohol (http://www.starbronze.com/pdfs/763.pdf) and then put a little extra on the triangle base to use as a preheater. (NOTE: I did not put the fiberglass in the stove)

I then put the tiPod over the stove and lit it. I put the windscreen around it. I gave it a few minutes until the flames on the traingle base died then put the pot on the tiPod and started a timer.

In this test, I never achieved a boil and the fuel was fully used within 9 minutes.

SO...I started again at 8:30pm. Same conditions.

This time, I put the fiberglass in the stove. I did not preheat it this time even though it was cooled off again.

I lit the stove, put the covered pot on the tiPod, and checked it 4 times throughout the heating process (by lifting the lid off).

By 8:52 (22 minutes later), I had a nice rolling boil. Long time huh? Any ideas why? Any help?

After that, the fuel died within 25 to 28 minutes. Here is a picture.

http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/ion_boil.jpg

Scout
2005-05-09, 16:18
oh, and I noticed that there was a light film on the water. Almost like wax? It could be because I never cleaned the pot before using but just curious if that could have been from the alcohol or not? :damnmate:

SGT Rock
2005-05-09, 19:47
My guess is your stove had too much direct wiond on it. Did you have a wind block of any sort upwind from it. 22 minutes is a bit TOO long. BTW, how much alcohol did you use?

Also, the alcohol wouldn't cause the film on top. Alcohol, if it got into the water, would just mix with it. My guess is there was something in the pot before you filled it or there is something in the water that is seperating during the boil.

Scout
2005-05-10, 08:08
I did not have any other wind block set up (other than the wind screen - with the holes placed downwind). But, the flame was not dancing around all over - if I peered in through the side, I could see that the flame was pretty steady.

I didn't measure the fuel...other than that it filled up the container. :biggrin:

Yeah, I figured the water was just a result of not cleaning the pot to start with.

SGT Rock
2005-05-10, 09:04
If you filled the container up, you were using about 1 ounce of fuel. Something you may notice the more you play with the Ion is the more fuel you put in initially, the longer it takes to start the boil. If you know how much fuel you should need to boil based on temperature and amount of water, then you should try to stay close to that amount.

The wind block would not be for the flame, but the pot. Something I have found and has been verified by BPL is you get a lot more convective heat loss from a pot with ANY stove in the wind. It sort of works under the same principle as why a hammock camper gets cold faster on a windy day. Will Rietveld has come up with a highly effective wind-block that works with all sorts of stoves, not just the Ion or alcohol stoves - it is called the kite screen http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/KiteScreen/index.html . He has offered to let me sell them on the site, and I think I may take him up on that offer. The basic idea is to have a big, UL wind-block (~1oz) that can be set up anywhere for any stove including canister and WG that can shelter the pot and stove combo from convective heat loss from even mild winds.

Hog On Ice
2005-05-10, 12:57
One thing I use for a wind block on windy days is to use the closed cell pad from my hammock set on edge and curled around the stove setup. For exceptionally windy conditions I would probably stake it down pushing the stakes diagonally through the lower dege of the pad and into the ground.

SGT Rock
2005-05-10, 13:18
I agree HOI, except I don't carry a pad anymore LOL ;)

Hog On Ice
2005-05-10, 16:11
One thing that I have been wondering about is the possibility of using some sort of insulation on the sides and top of the pot - sort of like the jetboil with the neoprene sides it has - I was thinking of foil wrapped fiberglass pipe insulation as a possible. I have some reservations about the idea but it might help with the boil times.

SGT Rock
2005-05-10, 16:32
Not a bad idea. It would be something worth trying at least.

Scout
2005-05-11, 03:59
Ok...my luck is not holding out. Ok fine...it is my SKILL that is in question here :fisheye: Here is what I did this time...

During this test, it was 57F - 60F with little to no breeze.

RESULTS:
-No boil.
-Water was hot and steamy but no boil what-so-ever.
-Flame died after 25 minutes (from fuel exhaustion).

I would like to convert to Alcohol but if it is requires this much tweaking then maybe I should just stick with the extra wait of my XGK expedition stove? Help.

Here is how I came up with these results --

I filled (yes, filled) the stove to the top. I let the overflow get onto the triangle base to preheat. This picture shows the stove BURNING (like Rock warns: notice that you can't see the flame...)
http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/Ion_test_a.jpg

Then I put the stove on and wrapped the windscreen around it - here it is as seen from above.
http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/Ion_test_b.jpg

Here is the whole setup.
http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/Ion_test_c.jpg

SGT Rock
2005-05-11, 05:21
I am at a loss. based on my experience with that much fuel you should have gotten a boil and maintained it for a very long time. Looking at your set up everything looks correct. You have said your fuel is denatured alcohol, and I assume it is a fresh can so there isn't any water contamination. You didn't have an aluminum foil reflector under the stove, but with an entire ounce of fuel that shouldn't matter. The only think I can think of is to try taking the fiberglass out of the stove and fill it about 1/2 way, then add about 1cc of fuel to the pan to prime it and see what happens. The only thing I can possible come up with is there is something like water that has saturated the fiberglass and is keeping the stove too cool - but it would seem that it would burn off during the heating proccess.

Scout
2005-05-11, 05:31
try taking the fiberglass out of the stove and fill it about 1/2 way, then add about 1cc of fuel to the pan to prime it and see what happens.

Sounds like a plan. I will go try that and report back to ya.

The first time I tried the stove I did not have the fiberglass in and ran out of fuel (was full to start with) in 9 minutes and did not achieve a boil.

Will be back with data and pics soon.

SGT Rock
2005-05-11, 05:57
If I don't answer you right away it is because I am in the woods. I'm heading out this morning to Damascus and getting on the AT to hike into Trail Days. I'll then be heading to Kincora after Trail Days to do Hard Core for a couple of days and be back here around Wed next week.

Scout
2005-05-11, 06:11
Ok...

53F; 5 knot wind; put down the aluminum reflector; 1/2 ounce of fuel; took out the fiberglass; dripped fuel on the triangle base...and lit...

500ml of water in the pot. Lid on the pot.

Cooked for 10 minutes until the fuel ran out.

No boil. The water was bath water warm.

I did learn something (that I just posted): You can't see the flame during the day....and the fluid is VERY flammable! :damnmate:

Scout
2005-05-11, 06:13
Kincora to do Hard Core.
What is that?

Sounds like a GREAT hiking plan! Nice! Have fun and...

HIKE ON!

SGT Rock
2005-05-11, 06:19
I am at a total loss here. The only thing I can think of is you have a can of contaminated fuel. You might try another can of fuel? Other than that it sounds like you are doing everything right and are getting VERY bad performance for some reason I cannot explain. Heck, you even said you were using less than 16 ounces of water which should be working in your favor.

Hard Core is a 2 day trail maintenance gathering that is sponsored by the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. After Trail Days, a huge group goes down to Hampton and stays at about 3 hostels every night while doing trail maintenance all day. At night there is a feed put on by volunteers. Last year there was an old shelter torn down and packed out and about a mile of relocations finished. When you finally get back to the US and do your thru-hike or get to Trail Days you ought to plan to do it. It is a worthwhile thing to get in on.

Scout
2005-05-11, 06:31
You might try another can of fuel? It is a brand new can. Crystal clear, nothing floating in it and so on. Hmm...will keep trying.



Hard Core is a 2 day trail maintenance gathering that is sponsored by the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. When you finally get back to the US and do your thru-hike or get to Trail Days you ought to plan to do it. It is a worthwhile thing to get in on. I look forward to doing a lot of these types of things once I get back! Especially once I retire - come on 2010!

SGT Rock
2005-05-11, 07:15
[QUOTE=Scout]It is a brand new can. Crystal clear, nothing floating in it and so on. Hmm...will keep trying.[QUOTE]

Well, alcohol is one of those funny liquids. It can absorb water and you wouldn't see any difference in color or consistency. Also, when alcohol absorbs water, it changed the boiling point of both liquids. There is a term for chemicals that act like this, but I cannot remember it. This is one reason why alcohol is used as a fuel tank and line dryer - any water it comes into contact with in the fuel system from the tank to the injectors will be absorbed and carried to the cylinders to burn off. Same thing for air brake systems...

You can inadvertently cause contamination by leaving the top off for a long time in humid conditions or it could even be caused at the factory by someone being sloppy and it not getting caught. I didn't believe this myself until I was chatting with the owner of Etowa Outfitters who had a can of bad alcohol when he was working on his ultralight stove.

Scout
2005-05-11, 07:24
Fair enough! Thanks for the education.

Hog On Ice
2005-05-11, 08:43
One idea that came to me was to try a different surface - a possible loss of heat is through the bottom into the tiles of the patio. One thing that I use for cold weather that would help here maybe is to cover a piece of closed cell pad with foil and then cook on that surface instead of the tiles. Other people will use a piece of cardboard covered in foil instead of the closed cell pad.

Scout
2005-05-11, 10:06
...a possible loss of heat is through the bottom into the tiles of the patio.

Can't imagine I would have that much heat loss just because of the patio tiels but it is a good thought.

I will take your advice and will try it on the ground like I would use in the woods...and see what happens.

Scout
2005-05-13, 03:46
I am heading to Switzerland for Memorial weekned and plan to run a test on all the stoves I can get my hands on!

I will have two alcohol stoves an Ion (http://www.ionstove.com/) stove from Rock, a stove from Mini-bull designs (http://minibulldesign.com/) and a multi-fuel pressurized stove from MSR - MSR XGK. (http://www.msrcorp.com/stoves/xgk.asp)

I think it will be fun to take different stoves out and see how they perform in the mountains. I will be sure to perform the tests under the same conditions and to record everything and post when I return!

I am also going to take advantage of the opportunity to test out some meal ideas as well! Wish me luck! More to follow.

If you have any suggestions or tests you would like to see, let me know!

john pickett
2005-05-13, 12:07
How about a cat stove and compare simmering to a cozy?
John Pickett ( a cat stove user)

JPW
2005-05-13, 16:12
I made a pot stand from a tuna can for my Ion stove. I punched the holes with a paper punch, two rows of 16 holesclose to the top edge. I'am going to add a few larger holes at the bottom of the sides, 4 ,3/8 or 1/2 for more oxygen flow. I think this helps vaporize the fule better by containing the heat. In a while I will be using it for 2 weeks. Will let you know how it went later.

Scout
2005-05-14, 03:02
How about a cat stove and compare simmering to a cozy?

I don't know what a cat stove is? :confused:

As far as the Cozy goes - I need to make one so if you can hook me up with some information that would be cool!

Rage in a Cage
2005-05-15, 00:28
Scout you can find info about both right here.
http://hikinghq.net/cat/cooking.html
http://hikinghq.net/cat/cat_stove.html

More info on making your own cozy can be found here
http://www.brasslite.com/potCozy.html

One more link for the cat stove
http://royrobinson.homestead.com/Cat_Stove.html

Scout
2005-05-15, 08:44
Cool. Thanks for all the information.

It looks like the Cozy is an essential piece of hiking equipment. I will see what I can do to make one.

As far as the CAT STOVE goes - I won't be taking one with me to Switzerland. Looks like it will be about 4 - 5 types of alcohol stoves and one pressurized, mutli-fuel MSR stove.

What I was asking was this: If you have any specific test requests on stoves IN GENERAL I will try them out for you. :-)

Rosaleen
2005-05-16, 20:03
Scout-

I just spotted the picture of your stove test firing. It appears that you have the stove sitting directly on the metal priming pan, and the priming pan sitting directly on a tile or cement patio. Try wrapping a piece of corrugated cardboard with aluminum foil, and placing that under your pot. If you can swing the pack space and weight, a piece of wrapped cardboard that matches the size of your pot and stand will protect the stove from a cold stand/surface. At the same time, it may reflect some otherwise wasted heat back to your pot bottom.

I suspect the cold stone-like surface is working as a huge heat sink, sucking heat out of your stove bottom as you are trying to boil water....

Good Luck!

CamperMom

Scout
2005-05-17, 18:18
you have the stove sitting directly on the metal priming pan, and the priming pan sitting directly on a tile or cement patio...I suspect the cold stone-like surface is working as a huge heat sink, sucking heat out of your stove bottom as you are trying to boil water....
Thank you for taking the time to look at how I was doing and for leaving the comments.

I will conduct a more thorough test when I take all of these to Switzerland but here are some results from a hasty test I just did:
Outside temp: 53F
Wind: light to none
Ground conditions: cold patio with no insulation.
I worked with 5 stoves (from left to right): Stealth; Trek; Skettie; Elite (http://www.minibulldesign.com/fs2.htm) and ION (http://www.ionstove.com/).

http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/5stoves.jpg

My favorite: The Elite. It boiled 16oz (500ml) of outside temp (53F) water in 6:26 and then sustained the boil for another 3 minutes. It was the easiest to set up - dump in fuel, light, place pot directly on stove.

Longest burn: The ION. It burned 1oz of fuel for about 20 minutes with a steady flame.

Quickest burn: The others were all close to 7 minutes with 1oz of fuel.

Like I said, these are just hasty results. I was just dying to run a test on them.

More to follow! Here is a picture of the Elite and it's 6:26 boil!

http://www.cimoli.com/pictures/2005/hiking/boil_6m26s.jpg

Scout
2005-05-26, 17:32
Heading out tomorrow to Switzerland.

I will take all stoves and just conduct some timed tests on them. I don't have a thermometer to test the water temp with so I will just record the outside conditions and times to boil or burnout.

The altitude will vary so will be interesting to see what results I get.

I am definitely learning to like alcohol but I think this weekend will really test the waters for me.

Lanthar
2005-05-27, 10:03
One thing that I have been wondering about is the possibility of using some sort of insulation on the sides and top of the pot - sort of like the jetboil with the neoprene sides it has - I was thinking of foil wrapped fiberglass pipe insulation as a possible. I have some reservations about the idea but it might help with the boil times.

I've been milling that idea around as well. The key has been finding an appropriate tape. Haven't seen the foil wrapped fireberglass. Should work fine. Assuming you don't wrap the entire pot (i.e. down to the bottom edge), the maximum temp the tape will see is 212F.

btw - that kitescreen looks very cool.

Hog On Ice
2005-05-27, 10:30
wrt foil wrapped pipe insulation - I was thinking of wrapping the insulation myself with the foil and then taping the ends together around the pot using the metal tape sometimes used to seal pepsi can alcohol stoves.

Lanthar
2005-05-27, 16:41
ah, that makes a whole lot more sense. 3m makes a neoprene tape too... been thinking about that...

Scout
2005-06-03, 13:42
back from Switzerland - what a beautiful place. I will make a post with pics hopefully over this weekend.

BOIL TIMES: I am thinking that each type of stove has its purpose - some to slow boil or slow heat and some to heat fast - depends on what yuou are cooking.


Do we really need to split hairs between stoves that burn in 4 minutes, 5 or 6 minutes? Its all relatively the same...especially if a boil is all your are after. If you need a specialized type of cooking then you would need to apply the proper type of stove. Just some thoughts.

INSULATOR WRAPPING: I have also found that foil will burn if it is lit or if flame is applied from the side of it. If the flame hits it in the middle it seems to hold, but if the flame spreads and hits the edge of the foil it burns up. I am thinking that the same thing will happen to the pot that is wrapped in foil or insulation - the flame will hit the endge of it and it will burn inward.

More to follow tomorrow I hope.

Nomad
2005-06-08, 02:35
I was using a brasslite i got my brother and when we moved it (burning full bore) to the cool sidewalk it went out alltogeter! So theres alot to the whole heat loss to conduction thing. He now has a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil. Work fine even in the snow.

PS- Switzerland would be an awesome vacation! Pics would be cool

What exactly does a Jetboil have for a "neoprene" sleeve/cozy? Is that just friction fit or what? How is it seamed?
My titanium loses heat so fast some winter days it won't take a boil so I'm interested in any insulation jacket that works

Thanx

Hog On Ice
2005-06-08, 08:36
I had something similar happen to me with the ION - I usually light the stove using the Spark Lite (flint and steel wheel) but one evening after some rain the ION would ignite and then almost immediately go out - my guess is that the wet ground was sucking enough heat out of the stove that the flame could not be maintained (???) anyways using a match I was able to get the stove to work - I leave the match partway out of the stove so that the flame is maintained until the stove warms up enough to be self maintaining.

Lanthar
2005-06-08, 13:29
[color=blue]What exactly does a Jetboil have for a "neoprene" sleeve/cozy? Is that just friction fit or what? How is it seamed?
My titanium loses heat so fast some winter days it won't take a boil so I'm interested in any insulation jacket that works

Thanx

I looked at one rather extensively, its a formfitted and sewed sleeve (no adhesive) telies on the stretchiness of the neoprene to friction it on (and the rolled lip and formed bottom of the cup), you could make one yourself if you rigged it so any flames didn't get to it...

Nomad
2005-06-08, 19:22
I looked at one rather extensively, its a formfitted and sewed sleeve (no adhesive) telies on the stretchiness of the neoprene to friction it on (and the rolled lip and formed bottom of the cup), you could make one yourself if you rigged it so any flames didn't get to it...

Gotcha, thanx Lanthar. If I can get my flame setup to go well I think something like that may be the next logical step. Especially if I can remove it in a pinch so I can still cook in my Kifaru TP

Have to try some test runs with some comparable material. Would that work w/the ion I wonder?

Note to self; compare R factors between foil-bubble wrap vs neoprene for a cozy comparison

Nomad
2005-06-08, 19:24
using a match I was able to get the stove to work - I leave the match partway out of the stove so that the flame is maintained until the stove warms up enough to be self maintaining.

That's clever in a simple way. Any chance of debris, buildup, or contamination using that method?

Hog On Ice
2005-06-09, 08:38
That's clever in a simple way. Any chance of debris, buildup, or contamination using that method?

no real debris other than the burnt match; does tend to discolor the top of the stove slightly where the match is laying

Scout
2005-06-25, 19:17
finally got something together with the stove tests...

http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?p=8145#post8145