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mark
2006-10-21, 04:15
Just purchased an Ion stove for an upcoming trip since I didn't really have time to make one.

I'm not new to alcohol stoves, having made a couple of Cat stoves over the years and used them very successfully. But I just can't get the Ion stove to work well at all.

With about 1/2 ounce of alcohol the best I get is a very small mostly blue flame, about 2 inches high, up from the center of the stove, like a large candle. It's not nearly enough to even simmer my 2 cups of water in my .9 liter pot let alone bring it to a boil. The flame looks nothing like the various pics I've seen on the web.

I've tried it with and without the insulation wick. I'm feeling rather dumb...what the heck am I missing with this stove? I've tried different alcohol amounts also, but surely I don't have to go up to as much as 1 ounce do I? The reason I went to this stove was because it's supposed to be a fuel miser.

Confused. Thanks for any input.

Mark

SGT Rock
2006-10-21, 07:42
Just purchased an Ion stove for an upcoming trip since I didn't really have time to make one.

I'm not new to alcohol stoves, having made a couple of Cat stoves over the years and used them very successfully. But I just can't get the Ion stove to work well at all.

With about 1/2 ounce of alcohol the best I get is a very small mostly blue flame, about 2 inches high, up from the center of the stove, like a large candle. It's not nearly enough to even simmer my 2 cups of water in my .9 liter pot let alone bring it to a boil. The flame looks nothing like the various pics I've seen on the web.

I've tried it with and without the insulation wick. I'm feeling rather dumb...what the heck am I missing with this stove? I've tried different alcohol amounts also, but surely I don't have to go up to as much as 1 ounce do I? The reason I went to this stove was because it's supposed to be a fuel miser.

Confused. Thanks for any input.

Mark

Hi Mark, did you get my e-mail yet?

Your issue is hard to pinpoint exactly since I am not watching what you are doing. But a few questions to help:

1. What pot are you using.

2. What alcohol are you using.

3. are you using the windscreen and heat reflector.

After that. Here are some suggestions I have had from some users that solve problems they are having:

Try replacing the bottom heat reflector which is just a piece of aluminum foil with a piece of carboard wrapped in aluminum foil. It seems that some people are using or testing their stoves on large slabs of cool concrete and that somehow keeps the stove from ever getting warm enough to do it's job. I never thought of that when I was building the thing. Anyway, a small sheet of carboard from a box (the kind with the two layers and a layer of "tubes" between them) should give you enough insulation from the ground to help AND you need to ensure the foil protects it so you don't catch it on fire.

The other idea to try is to "prime" the stove with a little extra alcohol. this will help the stove warm up faster.

Also, since you mention it, I assume you are leaving the pot on the stove the entire time. The flame gets to the right heat, shape, and size through interaction with the pot. Without that there isn't enough feedback to the stove from the heat of the pot.

Skidsteer
2006-10-21, 09:14
Mark, you don't mention in your post what stand you are using. If you are using your own stand and not Sgt. Rock's Ti-Pod, make sure that the space between stovetop and pot bottom is 5/8" to 3/4".

Just a thought.

mark
2006-10-26, 10:29
Thanks for the prompt replies guys.

I've really nothing to add except fill in all the details. I set the thing up on wood, on the heat shield, using the windscreen close to the pot, using 2 cups of water in my .9 Evernew ti pot, used a bit over 1 tablespoon of fuel. I'm using the Tipod stand which came with the stove, set it up in the arrangement which Sgt Rock showed me in an email (and tried lots of variations to slightly change the distance to the stove) and so on.

I get about 20 mins or so of burn time, which is long enough to just barely get my water to a simmer but nowhere close to a boil. I don't think I've tried 2 full tablespoons yet but that's exceeding what I want this stove for, and have other possibilities for stoves if it requires that much fuel.

At this point I have to abandon this stove, as I certainly can't rely on taking it to a mountain if I'm having these issues in my kitchen. The stove itself looks 'normal' in every way - no sign of any damage or misdesign.

Sgt Rock - my prayers for you for a speedy and safe return.

Peace,
Mark

Skidsteer
2006-10-26, 11:48
And you're using denatured alcohol?

SGT Rock
2006-10-27, 05:03
Thanks for the prompt replies guys.

I've really nothing to add except fill in all the details. I set the thing up on wood, on the heat shield, using the windscreen close to the pot, using 2 cups of water in my .9 Evernew ti pot,

Sounds like the set up I have successfully used. I don't think your pot or amount of water is the issue.



used a bit over 1 tablespoon of fuel. I'm using the Tipod stand which came with the stove, set it up in the arrangement which Sgt Rock showed me in an email (and tried lots of variations to slightly change the distance to the stove) and so on.

I had to go on-line and figure out how many ml of alcohol 1 tablespoon was LOL. It looks like you should be using the right amount of fuel there. All I can think may be the problem here is either you are not using denatured alcohol (which I doubt is the problem) or you could have a contaminated batch of fuel. Denatured alcohol can get contaminated with water if left open. I have seen that occasionally in my own testing.



I get about 20 mins or so of burn time, which is long enough to just barely get my water to a simmer but nowhere close to a boil. I don't think I've tried 2 full tablespoons yet but that's exceeding what I want this stove for, and have other possibilities for stoves if it requires that much fuel.

It certainly sounds like there is a problem here. How warm is the area you are testing in? What is you estimated water temp? Have you tried it with the wick and without it? Have you tried priming the stove a little?



At this point I have to abandon this stove, as I certainly can't rely on taking it to a mountain if I'm having these issues in my kitchen. The stove itself looks 'normal' in every way - no sign of any damage or misdesign.

Sgt Rock - my prayers for you for a speedy and safe return.

Peace,
Mark

I hope we can get the stove working for you Mark. If we can't, just let me know and we will refund you your investment in the stove.

Martyn
2007-02-28, 18:14
Mark and SGT Rock

I had similar problems with the ion. Part of it was testing on a cold surface, i.e. concrete, but the flame pattern remained much as Mark described even when on a better surface or with insulation under the stove. Boil times were up to 30 mins or more!

I cracked the problem by sliding the ion up in the stand about 1/8 inch. Bringing it closer to the pot solved the problem and boil times were much more like the spec.

I think the issue may be interaction with smaller pots that trap less heat under them. I was using either the MSR kettle or the BPL firellite 500 pot.

Hope this is useful. I persevered because the ion stove really is the best on fuel I have come across and I have a fair collection both purchased and home made to compare the ion with!

SGT Rock
2007-03-01, 09:48
Hey, thanks for that tip, never would have thought of moving the stove closer to the pot.