PDA

View Full Version : Wood Burning Stove Review



SGT Rock
2006-11-18, 13:21
Before I open up with the review, let me explain this a little. This stove is a new idea for a wood burner from one of the people that is a regular here at Hiking H.Q. He sent me this to test and also sent me a cook set to play with as well - since the stove is designed to work best with a specific set. He may or may not end up manufacturing the stoves - they do take some work to build and the materials cost ain't low. He has given me permission to post the photos and test results here on Hiking H.Q. and maybe some of you geniuses out there can point out some good ideas as I go along with this. Note - the measurements given are rough "eyeball measurements" and are not exact.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0036a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0036.JPG)

Name: None set yet ("Torch-lite Stove", "Twister Stove", maybe even "Stove-zilla")

Price: None set yet (~$85?)

Weight (as tested): Stove 6.0 ounces (169 grams); battery 1.3 ounces (35 grams); Pak-Lite 0.2 ounces (4 grams) = 7.5 ounces (208 grams total)

Fuel Type: Wood with electric fan (9v)

URL: None as of yet.

Similar products used by tester: Sierra ZZip stove, Hobo Stoves.

---------------------------------------------------------------

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0022a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0022.JPG) Snow Peak Trek900 Ti set (stove inside).
http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0024a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0024a.JPG) Stove nested inside the cook-set.

The Design: I am including a few pictures, but overall the stove is anodized aluminum with steel legs and pot stand with a few electrical components add it. It is built to work best with the Snow Peak Trek900 Ti set and will nest into that pot with some room to spare.

Starting at the top:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0030a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0030.JPG) The "burner" area.
http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0008a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0008.JPG) Stove out next to a coke can for scale.

Burner - the stove burner has a small "cup" about 1.25" (3cm) deep for the fire and coals. This cup has a series of curved, angled slits cut in it for the air to flow up from the base. Above this "cup" there is about 3/8" (1cm) more of body to the actual lip of the burn area. This gives you only about a 1 5/8" (or 4 cm) deep dish for your fire. Then above that are three pot stand legs about 3/8" (1cm) high. The top diameter of the burner is about 3.5" (9cm). The entire works is held together with pop rivets and has a good, tight fit in the construction.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0031a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0031.JPG) Stove bottom - legs in. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0032a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0032.JPG) Stove bottom - legs out.

Base: The base is made of the exact same outside body material as the top. Underneath there is a thin sheet of aluminum that holds a CPU cooling fan and the three legs on. The legs appear to be made from metal binder clips - a very cool idea to make folding legs from if you think about it! Again, the entire lower half is held together with pop rivets. With the legs extended, you get about 3.8" (1cm) of space for air flow under the base into the CPU fan.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0027a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0027.JPG) Stove control system.

Controls: attached by about a 6" (18cm) cable tether is the control and battery box. The battery box holds a single 9v battery and has a simple on/off switch and a knob for controlling fan speed. It is very simple to operate and the switches always work exactly like they should. When the fan is going you can barely hear it.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0029a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0029.JPG) Pak-Lite LED system.

And as an added option - he is considering offering this LED set which gives you a battery that is slightly lighter than a standard alkaline battery with a easy to use white LED system.

------------------------------------------

Operation:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0044a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0044.JPG) Stove with a boil going - fan off.

Fairly simple: Build a small fire and keep it lit with sticks.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0038a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0038.JPG) Bugle corn chip fire starter. This is how the stove looks after you use it a couple of times BTW.

Here is how I did it. For a fire starter I used a "bugle" snack chip. Basically a corn chip with some oil in it. One of them doesn't even register on my scales. For wood I just grabbed a couple of dead fall sticks from some trees around my hootch. I have included a picture of the pile of wood I used for the test to give you an idea of how little is needed to boil a pint of water (about 0.4 liters).

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0037a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0037.JPG) My pile of fuel. Soap dish for scale.

Start with some very slim, dry twigs and the bugle, then when that is burning, add some slightly larger sticks, then get some of the biggest stuff going. After using it a couple of times I found that you ought to keep the sticks about 4" long (about 10cm) which is roughly the width of the palm of my hand and the thickness of a pencil or smaller. Since I was working with skinny, dry wood - no special wood cutting tools were needed for the test.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0039a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0039.JPG) Fire started with Bugle.http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0040a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0040.JPG) Fire going - time to turn on fan.
http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0041a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0041.JPG) Fan on - ready for the pot! (this is about 30 seconds after lighting the wood).

Once the initial wood got burning with flame - I added some more wood, turned on the fan, and put the pot on top. The flames were shooting up the sides in no time flat. Starting with water at 46F (8C) I had a rolling boil going in 8 minutes - 211F (100C). Now you may wonder why it took a whole 8 minutes? Well I was trying to do about three things at once and I didn't always keep the fire going as well as I should. The stove consumes wood like no one's business. If I had been more on the stove and not trying to record times as well as talk to my interpreter while also getting pictures - well it probably would have been more like 4 minutes.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0043a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0043.JPG) Fan on low.
http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0042a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0042.JPG) Fan on high.

Also, get all your wood you think you will need ready BEFORE you start. Once you get going you will be feeding the hungry stove devil the entire time you are cooking on it.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0045a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0045.JPG) Rolling boil achieved.

Now saying all that - if you really were cooking on the trail, well you will probably be doing more than feeding the stove - probably trying to cook, talk to friends, keep your gear from getting lost in the leaves, etc. So it will probably take you about 8 minutes to cook a meal. Big deal! If you were in a hurry you wouldn't be walking.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0046a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0046a.JPG) This is the ashes. All that remains of the pile of fuel I started with.

------------------------------------------------------

Advantages:

Virtually unlimited fuel - You could burn this thing just about all night long. If you were in a place where you wanted to have a fire going (like under the front of a shelter in a storm) you would have a portable small heating fire for hot drinks and relaxation all evening. You could try to use it as a warmer - but I would imagine that with such a small flame it wouldn't be as good an idea.

Light weight - this stove with the battery and light only weighs 7.5 ounces. Think of that! An MSR Pocket Rocket with an EMPTY canister weighs about the same as this stove does. Fuel weight is not an issue. You could learn to use simple things already in your pack like olive oil and toilet paper for fire starter.

You could use it to smoke out insects too - just get a fire going and add some smoky fuel like leaves or pine needles.

There are probably some more. I'll think about this a while.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Disadvantages:

Soot - it can get everywhere if you are not careful. If you plan ahead this may not be a problem.

Usage - some areas do not allow open fires, depending on the ranger enforcing a fire ban, he may or may not see this as an open fire. Also with that, there are some place you would have to be careful when using this. A stray ember from green wood could put a hole through that expensive sil-nylon tarp that you are trying to cook under in the rain.

Skill - you need to have some skill in building fire to use this because you have to get wood burning before you turn this on. You cannot just fill it with wood, hold a lighter to it for a second, and then start cooking.

-------------------------------------------------

Recommendations:

So far I am highly impressed. This stove works as it should. I have done some testing using wet wood and was successful - although it took a little longer to get a working fire and get it to a boil. I plan to follow that up with some more tinkering and another report to go with this one. But here goes...

For the maker:

Something to consider is air flow on less than perfect surfaces. I tried this stove on some sand, and the wire feet sank in. Now this in itself is not a show stopper - but it did get low enough that it got me thinking about other less than perfect surfaces which could choke the air intake. My idea for a solution is to add about 3 - 9 holes around the base that would be above the re-enforcing rim and below the bottom plate that holds the fan. This would mean you would always have a good space for air flow no matter how the feet settled on dirt, mud, sand, or whatever. AND that might take a gram or two off the weight.

Another thing to look at is the controls. They are 100% rock solid and function without any complications. I am not an electrician by any means, but, I would think you could get some smaller parts to serve the purpose of what you have already on there. I could be wrong though. And even if you did go with smaller, lighter parts, they could cost a lot more and drive the production costs up more than is desired for this project.

For anyone wanting to buy or build one of these:

Considerations

If you are thinking of changing from an alcohol, gas, or canister stove and are not used to wood burning let me cover some things you ought to think about first:

1. You must know a little about how to start a fire. Getting wood going isn't as easy in adverse conditions as lighting up a canister stove. But it is a valuable skill and you can practice it daily with a stove like this. In fact, I would recommend anyone that plans to use a wood stove to get some practice in building a fire and maintaining it even in wet conditions.

2. You need to pay more attention to fire safety. One thing about having a stove burning wood is the possibility for sparks and, since this stove has a small burn chamber, embers getting out. If you use sticks that are too long, they can fall out the sides as they burn down if you are not careful. Clear the area around where you plan to use the stove - and using it on flammable surfaces or around other hikers with caution. Burning up the picnic table at a shelter would be a bad way to win friends.

3. Soot control - your stove will get blacked up with use. So will the pot you use on it. You will have to deal with that. Some people get freaked out when their brand new pot gets a little blackened by wood burning. If this sort of thing bothers you, well... get over it or go with some other stove.

That is about it for now. Tests will be on-going as I have time here in Iraq.

Take-a-knee
2006-11-18, 14:32
Lithium 9V batteries are now available. They are marketed for use in smoke detectors. I found them at Lowes.

www.ultralifebatteries.com 800-332 -5000

SGT Rock
2006-11-18, 15:10
I wonder how long a Li battery would last in this application? Seems like with as little as you have to run the fan that one or two could last you an entire thru-hike. Plus Li would give better cold weather performance and also be lighter than Akaline batteries.

Maker
2006-11-18, 15:53
Hi SGT Rock,

I appreciate your initial review- good stuff! Hello to you fellow hikers around the campfire:beer: , this is my first post here- I am the maker of this stove. I have found great information here at Hiking HQ in the past, now I have the opportunity to begin giving something back.

Your thoughts about battery life are reflected in the testing done by the inventors of the Pak-Lite , in theTest section of their website they explain the origin and performance...

" Developed from experienced hikers, Pak-Lite has tested and proven to be a great light for hikers. This champion, weighing in at 1.5 ounces, lasted from Mexico to Canada on a 2,600+ mile journey without changing a single battery or light bulb! Put that in your backpack! "

They also tested the lithium battery within a block of ice where it continued to emit light for 45 days! So the combined battery usage of stove and light could easily last several weeks of intensive use- I believe...but more testing is needed to be sure. You can find more cool tests and even more impressive results posted on the Pak-Lite site http://9voltlight.com/testing

Regards,

Victor

SGT Rock
2006-11-18, 16:09
Hey Victor, I am very interested in how you did the anodization of the parts. Seems like that could be useful for an aluminum stove maker. I have this idea rolling around in my head of how to make an even lighter Ion stove using some thinner aluminum parts and then anodizing them to give it strength and add some cool colors.

Maker
2006-11-18, 16:43
Hi Sarge,

That is an excellent idea about anodizing an Ion stove. I'd be very curious to hear about comparative characteristics of alcohol stoves from using anodized aluminum verses their otherwise identical non-anodized control group.

The truth is, it was the interest in anodizing that brought me around to the stove idea, and not the other way around. I am an artist branching out in my art expression. I ordered a book, read what I could online, then began converting half my art studio to assembling an anodizing line. There are six stages: cleaning, desmut, caustic etch, anodizing, coloring and sealing. The set up cost me easily over $1000. Luckily I have a large art budget for myself, because as a purely business decision it would have been a hard sell.

In the past the process has taken over 8 hours to do the parts for three stoves. I just bought a bigger tank (and therefore also a bigger power supply) this will allow me to have more parts done at the same time (or rather the same amount of parts done in less time).

Basically voltage runs through acid and transforms the aluminum into a noticably more durable material. At this point the aluminum is pourous and will accept color dye. A nickel sealer is applied for 20 minutes at around 180 degrees which probably contributes to the strength also.

There are anodizers who take on small orders. It would be better to anodize the preassembled parts. I could anodize a few ions in one of my loads if I had any Ion stoves. That might be a place to start. Take care,

Victor

SGT Rock
2006-11-20, 15:27
Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner on this, connection has been acting up (hell, I am in Iraq ;)).

I don't suppose there would be much difference in performance of an anodized vs non-anodized stove - just in strength and durability. What I would like to see is how light I can get the aluminum burner while getting a more ridged body (if it is even possible).

But I understand where you are coming from. It is amazing where ideas go. I had about given up on my idea for a commercial Ion stove because I never liked the stands I came up with, then the Tipod idea came up, now the stand is more popular in sales than the stove itself. I have even played with modified Tipod versions to make a break-down hobo stove for people that want a flat packing fire box. I think I have a good idea for a design now, just no way to play with it until I get back. But it seems simple when it is in my head. Cutting the titanium parts and making it actually work when I get back will the the trick. Of course it would only be a contained fire box - not a fan powered forge system like your Torch-Lite stove.

Now what I read about the anodization process is it isn't hard - just time consuming to do, and a little dangerous (nothing bad). As I understand it, I can get a poor man's set up for about the cost of a battery charger, big bucket, and the cost of the acid solution. depending on HOW I set it up, I could do batches of stove bodies through each step. Plus I could add some nice blue dye to get that cool color I wanted with the original Ion stove without the problems associated with trying to get fire resistant paints to stay on aluminum.

But enough on that. Thoughts for some upcoming reports and tests:

1. Wet wood burning - you don't always have good wood available.

2. Charcoal use. Getting leftover charcoal from burnt wood in fire rings may be a good strategy.

3. Soot clean up and stove maintenance.

Anyone have any more ideas?

JAK
2006-11-20, 17:15
Nice looking stove. I think some of the aluminum might melt or burn though, the stuff in direct contct with hot coals. Aluminum pots won't burn because of the water, and wind shields are generally ok because they are thin and cooled on one side, unless insulated, but the aluminum in direct contact with hot coals for any length of time might melt and burn, depending on how you use the stove. More comments to follow. Gotta run.

Turk
2006-11-20, 18:08
Rock,

I always like your very methodical approach. I just got a new and improved
Fritz Handel prototype sent to me, and I will try and mimic your approach to
review and testing methods.

One thing I would like to bring up about testing any hobo stove is the
"camp fire senario". Many people using hobo's, will burn for long durations
since the fuel is free and often readily available. Drying out clothing, using
it as a light source, or just having some warmth and cheer to a camp site
can see extended stove use sessions. Problems with a prolonged
burn can be
a) heat transfer to any electrical components over a period of 1,2,3 or more
hrs.

b) metal fatigue, expansion, warping etc from extended heat exposure.

c) also important to address especially with very lightweight stoves is
the methods for extinguishing. If I were to use water to extinguish my
UL hobo's this could seriously shock stress the materials. (tin canning)
Stove builder will often recommend allowing the stove to self extinguish
and then air cool to ambient temps. I dont know if this applies to your anodized AL ?

d) Ash collection. Many stoves designs have a finite burn time whereby the ash
collection system will eventually be so deep it chokes off primary or secondary
combustion air vents. By finding the point where the stove no longer supports
a strong useable flame would be a good assessment of your new stove. Also to
find the point where you would be "just wasting fan time"

Just some thoughts for consideration.

Happy testing.

p.s. VERY jealous! a sub 10oz rock solid forge stove .... who would have
thought! I am green with envy. Look forward to your continuing review.

SGT Rock
2006-11-21, 06:39
Rock,

I always like your very methodical approach. I just got a new and improved
Fritz Handel prototype sent to me, and I will try and mimic your approach to
review and testing methods.

One thing I would like to bring up about testing any hobo stove is the
"camp fire senario". Many people using hobo's, will burn for long durations
since the fuel is free and often readily available. Drying out clothing, using
it as a light source, or just having some warmth and cheer to a camp site
can see extended stove use sessions. Problems with a prolonged
burn can be
a) heat transfer to any electrical components over a period of 1,2,3 or more
hrs.

b) metal fatigue, expansion, warping etc from extended heat exposure.

c) also important to address especially with very lightweight stoves is
the methods for extinguishing. If I were to use water to extinguish my
UL hobo's this could seriously shock stress the materials. (tin canning)
Stove builder will often recommend allowing the stove to self extinguish
and then air cool to ambient temps. I dont know if this applies to your anodized AL ?

d) Ash collection. Many stoves designs have a finite burn time whereby the ash
collection system will eventually be so deep it chokes off primary or secondary
combustion air vents. By finding the point where the stove no longer supports
a strong useable flame would be a good assessment of your new stove. Also to
find the point where you would be "just wasting fan time"

Just some thoughts for consideration.

Happy testing.

p.s. VERY jealous! a sub 10oz rock solid forge stove .... who would have
thought! I am green with envy. Look forward to your continuing review.


Good points. So in addition to the other tests I have planned, I need to do a long duration burn test to see how that goes.

As to the cooling part - I would have to stick to the "let it cool on it's own" version. I think if you had to put a fire out, sand would be to way to go to avoid getting the electical parts wet.

JAK
2006-11-21, 13:40
I was thinking about this stove last night about the possibility of the aluminum pan melting down or even burning, as can happen with the base of a Kelly Kettle, or the wind screen of the Swiss Corked Flask Thingamagiggy.

One thing you could do, depending on where you are hiking, would be to spread a layer of sand in the cup before you build the fire on top of it. The stove might be redesigned to allow a little more room for this. I was thinking the same thing for other parts of a stove like the walls of a combustion chamber could be filled with sand, or ash, that you don't neccessarily need take with you when you move on.

Regarding this idea, and char and charcoal. Certain parts of the stove, like the walls of a combustion chamber, could be filled with dry fuel to act both as insulation and to turn into char for starting the next fire. It could have some small pinhole vents so the volatile gases would vent into the lower part of the combustion chamber and add to the fire. It would need to be enclosed so that air can't get in, but be able to be opened to remove the char and add some more dry fuel. Then you would start the next fire with the char and add more fuel by sticking sticks in from the side of from above.

Maker
2006-11-21, 14:53
It's great to have some of you other inventors giving feedback here! Thank-you! Turk, you have pointed out some good issues:

Problems with a prolonged
burn can be
a) heat transfer to any electrical components over a period of 1,2,3 or more
hrs.

b) metal fatigue, expansion, warping etc from extended heat exposure.

c) also important to address especially with very lightweight stoves is
the methods for extinguishing. If I were to use water to extinguish my
UL hobo's this could seriously shock stress the materials. (tin canning)
Stove builder will often recommend allowing the stove to self extinguish
and then air cool to ambient temps. I dont know if this applies to your anodized AL ?

d) Ash collection. Many stoves designs have a finite burn time whereby the ash
collection system will eventually be so deep it chokes off primary or secondary
combustion air vents. By finding the point where the stove no longer supports
a strong useable flame would be a good assessment of your new stove. Also to
find the point where you would be "just wasting fan time"

Just some thoughts for consideration.

As for "C", air cooling with fan is best. I sometimes just tip out the burning coals afterwords, the base at the bottom has remained cool enough to touch after stove use to do this.

"D"- ash collection. I have used it for prolonged periods where the ash level came above slit openings. I could not determine if the airflow had been restricted as a result, it appeared that the constant air movement kept those airways open.

Jak, your idea is brilliant:
One thing you could do, depending on where you are hiking, would be to spread a layer of sand in the cup before you build the fire on top of it. The stove might be redesigned to allow a little more room for this. I was thinking the same thing for other parts of a stove like the walls of a combustion chamber could be filled with sand, or ash, that you don't neccessarily need take with you when you move on. Even though this will not be the approach I will use on this stove, your idea is so good, it should be utilized in some way (by you probably).

Skidsteer, I love how you take your inventor mind into your work to turn it into recreation. That was a fine looking blaze that you had going there!

SGT Rock, referrred to this stove as the "Torch-Lite", so be it. Cheers,

Victor

JAK
2006-11-21, 15:55
Another thing that is great about wood stoves is the amount of boiling hot water you have available for washing out your pot, light laundry, morning ablutions. As long as you can come up with the water, which can be tricky sometimes.

SGT Rock
2006-11-21, 16:02
Another test tonight where I just broke up a big ol' stack of sticks and started burning without a pot at all. The plan was to replicate the use of the stove as a drying or warming fire.

Test started by igniting the fire with a single cheese curl. Within one minute I had a good flame going about 1 foot tall (.3 meters). I maintained a fire in the stove for an hour - varying fan speed the entire time but always keeping it on. For wood I mixed it up with dry dead-fall and some green stuff that was cut within the week and used fine sticks to stuff slightly thicker than a thumb. The total amount was probably more than 10 times what I would need to boil a pint of water.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0002a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0002.JPG) Lighting the stove up. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0003a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0003.JPG) After it got going some.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0004a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0004.JPG) Another picture of it burning. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0001a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0001.JPG) This is about as hight as the flame got during the test.

Since the stove has a small burn chamber, this is not the type of fire you can light and come back to tend every 10 minutes or so - you must tend to the fire constantly and feed the fire almost as much constantly or it will burn down to a small pile of embers in only a few minutes. If you are going to use this stove in this manner, you better be ready to not do much else as you are trying to dry stuff or stay warm.

The ash build up was manageable for about the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes it started to hinder the stove's ability to breath (I was feeding it quite a bit here) but it was not too hard to work around by using a poker stick to stir the embers and work "holes" in the ash and embers to allow air flow from the fan to come in through the burner cup. After about 50 minutes the ashes and embers were blocking too much to work with easily. At that point I had two options - let the fire die down to embers and dig some stuff out of the stove and re-stoke it (which was a viable option) or just shut the fan off and stop feeding it. I decided to call it quits for tonight and let the fire die out. Then I let the fire go out on it's own (this happened about 1 hour into the test) and waited for the embers to cool down enough to dump them - so at about 1:15 in the test I dumped what was a small pile of embers and ash out of the stove on to cement and stirred them to let the embers get air and burn themselves out.

Once that was done, I opened the stove up for cleaning and inspection. The stove was hot - but no so hot I couldn't handle it. Inside there was a very very small amount of ash - but way less than I expected considering the amount of fuel I burned and the way I was stirring and poking in the embers to open up those holes. The Fan and wire did not show any signs of degradation from the heat, nor do the body of the stove. There are no warped or burned spots that I could tell and the halves still fit together fine without any sign of warpage there either. To ensure none of the metal was burned off I weighed the stove again (without battery) and the weight is still right at 170 grams. I realize that to burn off a gram of aluminum - well I would probably notice that by site, but better safe than sorry.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusions from this test:

1. The stove can be used for warming and such in emergency, but I would not expect a lot of heat output like you could get from a simple campfire.

2. The stove seems to be able to handle burns that would last a lot longer and consume a great deal more fuel than is needed to cook without any signs of warping or deterioration.

3. Cleaning the inside (between the fan and the burn chamber) is probably something that will not be needed that often even under heavier than intended use - but the design is nice since it does allow you to get in there when you need too. Something else I realized about this design too - you could store a lighter and some fire starter actually inside that area of the stove if you wanted to - just remember to take it out before you light it.

4. I've run the stove motor for about 2 hours total time now and the fan is running fine. For a hiker that would only need the fan a total of maybe 15 minutes a day, this is the equivalent of about 8 days backpacking without wearing out a 9v battery. I'll try to continue to track battery time on this one.

5. The fan will throw you off since it is so quiet. I though the dang thing had stopped working. Nice.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Recommendations:

1. I wouldn't plan to use this stove as a portable fire ring unless you absolutely have too. A fire ring will still make a better fire for things like this if you need to stay warm.

2. Cleaning should not be hard if you burn wood that doesn't have a lot of sap left in it. I am going to work on some cleaning strategies when I can. My schedule keeps changing, so times I had planned for the tests keep having to get re-arranged.

3. If you ever plan to do something like this - keep the fuel less than 4" in length otherwise you have problems with the larger fire coming off the sides of the stove. Also, break up a good supply before you start - but keep the size under a thumb in diameter.

JAK
2006-11-22, 08:40
A good use of a stove like this, in conditions where fuel is somewhat damp, would be to establish some good coals while at the same time making a hot pot of coffee. I have done this with the Kelly Kettle. The first litre of water I use to make some hot tea, using some birch bark and small sticks. The second litre I use for my oatmeal or whatever, using larger spruce sticks, even up to 1" around. I try not to use anything unless it is dry enough to snap by hand. By then, which is still only 20 minutes, I remove the Kelly Kettle and I have the beginnings of a nice warming fire, and something I can push two larger sticks onto from both sides, in the native fashion. I have learned to remove the aluminum base because it really will take a beating in amongst the hot coals if you build a larger fire up over it. Anyhow, in the time it would normally take to build a fire from scratch before being able to make coffee, you can have your coffee and dinner first, and then carry on with the warming fire. Sticking with the stove might be a good idea though if you just want to warm your hands a little longer or dry some socks. This isn't really an option with the Kelly Kettle as there always needs to be water in it.

GGS
2006-11-22, 22:58
Sarge, a bit confused by you last post...

"There are *now* warped or burned spots that I could tell and the halves still fit together fine without any sign of warpage there either."

Is *now* a mis-type? Did you mean that ther is NO warpage?

SGT Rock
2006-11-23, 00:31
Yes I meant "no", not "now" = I'll fix that.

SGT Rock
2006-11-24, 10:44
Next - the Charcoal Test.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0053a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0053.JPG) Lighting the charcoal with standard stuff. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0051a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0051.JPG) Fire started burning.

For the test I collected 5 chunks of standard charcoal that had been outside the bag in the weather for about a month. Now I am in Iraq, so that weather has not been subjected to the same conditions and standards that a piece of left over wood in a campfire from along the AT or some similar are in North America will have been. But the idea was to see if salvaging free charcoal from along a trail would make good fuel.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0052a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0052.JPG) Fire going, fan on.

To start I used standard fire starting techniques, a cheese curl and some small sticks with a couple of chunks of charcoal added into the mix. The charcoal got going fairly easy. But there was not a lot of heat and the charcoal didn't get burning evenly. I stayed with two for a while - but the water temp never reached 100F. So I pulled one chunk out, threw some more tinder in the stove and got that chunk going all around. I finally got the water to 100F but it wouldn't get hotter. I decided since the charcoal was trying to heat the air, and the air was the medium to heat the pot - well that wasn't going to work because one chunk of charcoal was too far away from the pot although it had great air flow.

So then I added three hunks of charcoal above the first one and stoked the fire up some more. Finally a got a good tripod of coal where it would be close to the bottom of the pot - time to test it some more.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0050a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0050.JPG) Adding more coals to get the heat up. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0011a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0011.JPG) The whole set up with four chunks of charcoal in the burner.

This helped me get the water up to about 190F (about as hot as coffee from a drip coffee maker) but no hotter. The problem then was the charcoal was blocking the air flow of the stove. And the ashes were falling around and blocking the output holes as the ash fell off the coals. After about 30 minutes of this I finally got tired of waiting for a pot of water to boil - so I threw some more sticks on and got the pot up to boil in nothing flat.

Conclusions:

1. Don't try to boil water with charcoal as a fuel. It is not going to get you the BTUs of quick energy you need. I probably ended up using just as much wood trying to make the charcoal work that I used in the initial boil tests. I would have been more efficient just using that wood to boil the water.

2. Charcoal does make a nice, low heat, low interaction heat source. It would be better than wood for making a small warming fire in the stove - and it could also serve as a fuel for making low heat stuff like some tea to drink. This would be a good way to keep a pot of water for hot drinks after dinner sort of "simmering" in camp while you do other things.

3. Because of the way the charcoal burns and acts - I would recommend doing this without the fan running. The fan doesn't seem to help a lot with the way you have to stack charcoal to get it close to the pot. So if you were to stack some charcoal in the stove to keep a long low burn going - just use the stove as a brazier to hold the coals and pot for you instead of a forge stove.

SGT Rock
2006-11-24, 13:26
Just a quick add on to this stuff.

I pulled the stove apart after four bricks of charcoal and all those sticks were done burning down - an hour an a half of burn in the stove. Here is what was inside to clean out of the "inside" of the stove and how easy it is to clean:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0059a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0059.JPG)

incognito
2006-11-24, 14:57
The type of pipe reducer used to make the top and bottom portions of the stove I have used to make combination pot stands/windscreen. After repeated use, the part subjected to high heat becomes very soft/metal fatigue. The same is going to happen to the upper portion of your stove that the pot support feet are attached to.Yours should start to show fatigue shortly.

If the stove is used for short/shallow pots, you will experience a boil over for sure!!!!! Like you said, the stove burns hot and boils water in short order. When a boil over occurs it will proceed down into your fire bowl, pick up alot of the alkaline ash and deliver it to your well exposed fan.

You need to put a fire resistant harness on the exposed wires running from stove to switch. The burning lengths of twigs falling over the edge will land on the wires when your not looking, kinda like stove gremlins harrassment:afraid:

Sgt rock said Victor was a regular around here, by what name did you go by before MAKER?

Sgt Rock, you said that this was a new idea stove, what part is the new part?

SGT Rock
2006-11-24, 16:08
Well since it is anodized, it may or may not show the same fatigue problems. We will see with regular usage as I keep on playing with. I intend to find out one way or another.

I don't see boiling this pot over anytime soon. Like you said, short shallow pots. This one was designed to work best with this pot. Hence why I am testing it with that one. BUT, if a wide pot was to boil over, it might go off the sides and on the ground and not into the stove. Good idea to test sometime - I will try to make a pot boil over somewhere in the test.

I keep the wood nice and short on the side with the wire. I don't see adding weight for that when a user can cover it with some aluminum foil if he is the careless type.:stickyman

Regulars don't all register. Some just read. I got a few of those according to some of my web stats :aetsch:

And the part that is new is how he anodized it and put it all together at such a low weight.

You sure are awful negative sounding tonight. You jealous? :tee:

SGT Rock
2006-11-24, 17:20
I found the missing pics from the long duration burn. The pictures are posted on them on post #14 (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showpost.php?p=15850&postcount=14)

And for the record. Total run time on the fan is up to 3.5 hours and the total time with fire or coals actuall burning in the stove is up to ABOUT 4.5 hours.

Maker
2006-11-24, 19:53
Incognito, I also expeienced the metal fatique on earlier revisions of this stove. I can't seem to insert a photo, but I changed the design in a way that did much to overcome this. The anodized material is also much harder than untreated aluminum.

You were curious about what was "new" about the Torch-Lite. I can suggest a couple of other things besides the anodized material:

1. The tapered "inverted bell shape" burn chamber. It is light weight and keeps the fuel more centered under the pot.

2. The angled air slits. They haven't been emphasized in the review, but I believe they have improved airflow charactaristics for the pre-heated air coming from the fan.


But, I also thought the use of the potentiometer was new, until I read about someone doing this years ago. So, it may be that there is nothing new about the Torch-lite stove at all, and maybe elswhere in the world they are being produced in exactly the same way. I don't know, I am still exploring.:bandit:

Hey, but it's great to be more involved here with other stove makers. I first found my way here over a year ago from a Hennessy Hammock link. I currently use the UL backpacker with SuperShelter bottom (two open cell pads for cold weather) and a JRB Nest quilt. I read SGT Rock's equipment reviews with great interest. It has only been recently that I have delved more deeply into the "Around the Campfire" territories. So I am just starting to put together who has invented what, and I didn't post anything under another name previously.

Sarge, thanks for posting the new information on your finding!:biggrin:
Victor

incognito
2006-11-25, 13:57
Well since it is anodized, it may or may not show the same fatigue problems. We will see with regular usage as I keep on playing with. I intend to find out one way or another.

Anodizing protects the surface from oxidation and adds a minute surface hardness. It does not give/add strength to the metal.


Regulars don't all register. Some just read. I got a few of those according to some of my web stats

I imagine your stats are interesting.


You sure are awful negative sounding tonight. You jealous?

Thats cute, I like that!!!!!!!!!!! :elefant:

SGT Rock
2006-11-25, 15:55
Today I did the wet wood test. It was a success - sort of.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0013a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0013.JPG)

Before I got started I tested the stove and realized the battery had died. It appears that when I stored it the switch got knocked to the on position while it was inside the pot. This was the very beginning of a bad day. Since the fan is so quiet, it ran until it killed the battery. So I got a new one and started the test.

First off - the test was to see how well the stove helps in stoking up the sort of wet wood you find on the trail in the worst of conditions. To make this happen I started off by soaking a good amount of wood for a couple of hours:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0005a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0005.JPG) The wood soaking in water. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0006a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0006.JPG) The wet wood pile.

To start that wood going, I tripled up on the cheese curls - using three of them to produce enough heat to get the wet wood going.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0007a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_Stove/PICT0007.JPG) The cheese curls getting the initial wet food going. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0009a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0009.JPG) The fire looked like it died. But there were coals going. With a little coaxing and some extra tinder I got the fire going.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0010a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0010.JPG)

Once the fire was going good, I put the pot on. The starting temp of the water was 65F. It took a little long even with constant feeding, but I got a boil going in about 9 minutes. Because the wood was wet, it had to dry and then burn. As you can expect, this caused a lot of popping and cracking in the fire as the wet wood heated.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0012a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0012.JPG) Pot on the stove, wood in the background drying some using the fire from the stove. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0014a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0014.JPG) Rolling boil achieved.

So I still had this big stack of wet wood. I decided to go ahead and burn it all up, just to see how well it would continue to work - sort of as if I had just gotten into a dry area and wanted to continue to use the stove for warming and drying using the wet wood gathered. This is probably where I started to screw up...

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0015a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0015.JPG) This is the stove burning with the wet wood, a stack of wood drying on the fire as I tried to keep a good warming fire going. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0016a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0016.JPG) Here is a picture (not very good) of the hot coals stoked up in the stove - getting pretty darn hot in there.

As I got to the end of the stack of wood, the fan quit on me. I tried trouble shooting the switch - that didn't work. I checked the battery on my tongue - it still had juice in it. So I figured it must be the fan itself or the wire. I went ahead and dumped the last of the coals out with the ash and checked the wire. As I suspected (the body was dang hot) there were exposed points in the wire:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0019a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0019.JPG) Where the wires go into the fan housing - the wires on both sides were bare to the metal inside. http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0017a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0017.JPG) Where the wires enter the fan base - the plastic had melted exposing the metal both wires.

So I assumed this was the issue with the fan. I figured this would be an easy fix for later.

Then I went to clean the stove. I started by taking the stove apart at the center. Using a green stick, I scrapped off the excess soot and sap, and from the inside I dumped out the ashes.

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0020a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0020.JPG) Using the stick to clean the stove.

After I got done. I took the stove inside to inspect the wire damage. The stove had cooled off and I realized the fan housing was a little deformed from the heat. I pushed on it a little and realized the fan was just hung up on the body. I turned the switch on and the fan started running - sort of. It was obviously hitting on the housing somewhere and at lower speeds it couldn't maintain the momentum to stay running. I pushed around on it to bend it back into shape so it would work correctly. A few bends and it was almost as good as new. I was trying to get the thing near perfect when it snapped at the plastic supports:

http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0023a.JPG (http://hikinghq.net/images/wood_stove/PICT0023.JPG)

Now I need a new fan and wires. This sort of fan is easy to come by, I just have to snap the pop rivets and change it out. But for now it is broken...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusions

OK, so I have finally found a weak point in the stove. Keeping this thing hot for a long time is too much for both the wires and the fan. The plastic cannot handle that much heat for a long period.

For the user:

1. Wet wood can be burned. The fan helps. But you need to know how to get a fire going with wet wood. This includes patients not to feed the fire too fast and also not to take it too slow because the fuel will burn down before it dries more wood to sustain the fire.

2. You should probably not ever try to get a good hot fire going on this stove. And when you do use the stove, either a low warming fire like I did with the charcoal, or a short duration hot burn for cooking - like 15 minutes or less I would imagine.

3. Keep an eye on the fan. Don't let it warp under heat and protect the wires.

4. Store the battery out of the battery housing to prevent accidentally running the fan down. Chances are if it starts running while in your pack you will never know because it runs so quietly.

For the maker:

1. Make the wire hole larger. The look for some sort of grommet to keep the edges of the hot stove body off the wire insulation.

2. Use some sort of fastener like screws or small bolts and wing nuts for connecting the fan to the body, and possibly create a plug in attachment for the wires to the switch. Since these fans are easy to come by and are a possible point of failure - the user may want to be able to change one out easy in case it does happen.

3. Include recommendations in the instructions like the ones I have listed above - this is to keep the user from accidentally screwing up the stove in use.

Maker
2006-11-25, 23:48
Regarding the findings from the recent testing:


2. You should probably not ever try to get a good hot fire going on this stove. And when you do use the stove, either a low warming fire like I did with the charcoal, or a short duration hot burn for cooking - like 15 minutes or less I would imagine.

I agree. Probably best not to heap on the wood. If the level was kept to the volume that it holds with a pot on top, I would think one could operate the stove longer than 15 minutes without the fan housing and wires heating up too much. I would venture 30 minutes. I think your earlier tests support this.


3. Keep an eye on the fan. Don't let it warp under heat and protect the wires.

True. But under normal stove use perhaps heat warpage will be less of an issue.


4. Store the battery out of the battery housing to prevent accidentally running the fan down. Chances are if it starts running while in your pack you will never know because it runs so quietly.

That is a good idea. The battery detaches easily, and can be used for the rest of the time in the bundled Pak-Lite. In that case, I could eliminate the on/off switch entirely. I have an alternate idea for a smaller switch less prone to accidental tripping, but that would add to the cost.


1. Make the wire hole larger. The look for some sort of grommet to keep the edges of the hot stove body off the wire insulation.

You are right, it should be made with a wider hole that prevents heat transfer. That would be a good refinment.


2. Use some sort of fastener like screws or small bolts and wing nuts for connecting the fan to the body, and possibly create a plug in attachment for the wires to the switch. Since these fans are easy to come by and are a possible point of failure - the user may want to be able to change one out easy in case it does happen.

A more swappable fan attachment is a great idea. It would add a little weight, but it would be well worth it to implement that. The fan attachment in it's housing is very delicate as you found out. The rolled rim at the bottom of the stove is there to protect that fan, but instructions should warn the user about pressing on this area.


3. Include recommendations in the instructions like the ones I have listed above - this is to keep the user from accidentally screwing up the stove in use.

Yep. Thanks for testing the bounds, and pointing out some good improvments for the Torch-Lite stove.

Turk
2006-11-26, 00:03
Well done Rock.
:adore: :adore: :adore: :adore:
Sometimes pushing the envelope of your gear just for the sake of
establishing the 'line not to cross' is worth volumes of design data.
I totally did the same thing with my JRB Nest (one of the reasons I
so badly want an Old Rag Mtn for christmas!). Sometimes you just
want to know exactly how far you can go with something. Sorry
your stove is broken. It still looks awesome, and you produced
invaluable test data for a) benchmarking the field performance
and operating conditions of the stove and b) future design improvements
that might otherwise never have been thought of.

I believe the result will be an even better and badder torch-lite.
Can't wait to buy one. Thanks for 'taking one for the team' and
showing us the extreme limit of this gear. Hope you get a replacement.

Victor/Maker. When all is said and done, I hope you will ship me one to
Canada. Looks like this will be a killer improved UL Sierra Zip type stove.

Oh ... one last suggestion. Perfect time for a worse case scenario test.
Say you are in the field and destroy the fan. (as you demonstrated) How does it work with no fan?
Could you get by for a few days on a broken stove. Still cook your ramen? How does this affect performance.
Let us know how useable it is as a crippled hobo stove. Good things to know.

awesome testing so far.

Maker
2006-11-26, 02:28
Well said Turk!


Sometimes pushing the envelope of your gear just for the sake of
establishing the 'line not to cross' is worth volumes of design data.

BTW, are there any Sierra Zip users in our group who would be interested in conducting comparative performance tests between the two stoves? I would supply a Torch-Lite and would require an online write-up with photos in exchange. I would prefer somebody with gear testing experience. Thanks

SGT Rock
2006-11-26, 04:10
I already started thinking of a backup fan system test - just haven't figured out what I am going to use to replace the fan LOL.

The problem for me right now is I was hoping to do a couple of more tests with the stock set up. I wanted to do a test on a less than optimal surface to see how much fan restriction could happen and to see how stable the stove is in those situations (I think I can find some sand somewhere) and I wanted to make a short shallow pot from a coffee can to do a boil over test as Incognito mentioned.

dropkick
2006-11-26, 08:24
BTW, are there any Sierra Zip users in our group who would be interested in conducting comparative performance tests between the two stoves? I would supply a Torch-Lite and would require an online write-up with photos in exchange. I would prefer somebody with gear testing experience. Thanks

As a Sierra user I would like to do a side by side.
Unfortunately, on top of the fact that I don't wish to destroy the stove I have, I have altered it. Added a solar cell, rewired it, changed the battery case, replaced the switch with a simple connector (after seeing your set up I'm thinking of replacing it with a rheostat - maybe a strip of tin foil and a small alligator clip? - carbon or graphite rod?). I also put asbestos sheaths on the exposed wires (Sierra doesn't protect their wires either - I probably wouldn't have either, but I had the sheaths from something I stripped).

--Basically I'm just wasting your time with this post, sorry.

Good luck.

I do like the looks of your product.

Skidsteer
2006-11-26, 09:53
Well said Turk!



BTW, are there any Sierra Zip users in our group who would be interested in conducting comparative performance tests between the two stoves? I would supply a Torch-Lite and would require an online write-up with photos in exchange. I would prefer somebody with gear testing experience. Thanks


As a Sierra user I would like to do a side by side.
Unfortunately, on top of the fact that I don't wish to destroy the stove I have, I have altered it. Added a solar cell, rewired it, changed the battery case, replaced the switch with a simple connector (after seeing your set up I'm thinking of replacing it with a rheostat - maybe a strip of tin foil and a small alligator clip? - carbon or graphite rod?). I also put asbestos sheaths on the exposed wires (Sierra doesn't protect their wires either - I probably wouldn't have either, but I had the sheaths from something I stripped).

--Basically I'm just wasting your time with this post, sorry.

Good luck.

I do like the looks of your product.

Like dropkick, I've modified my Zippstove so much I'm not sure it'd be a worthwhile comparison.

If I can find all the original parts I could probably put it back together though....

Let me know. I'd be glad to help if possible.

Maker
2006-11-26, 13:04
Hey Dropkick and Skidsteer, I am VERY interested to hear that you are both Sierra stove modifiers! I am a little embarrassed that I never thought of upgrading either of the Sierra stoves that I own. I bought the first one over 20 years ago. The first memorable experience with it was backpacking along the Napoli Coast in Hawaii. It worked great, and was a fine conversation piece at the time.

I am especially interested to hear of DropKick's wiring mods. I'll share something that I have used. It is called "Surflon". It is a nylon coated stainless steel wire and crimping kit- used for hanging picture. This is the "cable tether" that secures the wires that go to the battery.

As both of you have guessed, I prefer a stock Sierra for the test, but thank you for your show of interest.

Sarge! I'll send out a replacment fan tomorrow...

SGT Rock
2006-11-27, 04:18
No need to send a replacement fan. I have a 5cm CPU fan I am getting for free from our computer repair guru on the camp. I just have to come up with an attachement system. I am also trying to come up with a grommet of some sort to protect the wire.

Skidsteer
2006-11-27, 18:23
....If I can find all the original parts I could probably put it back together though....

Let me know. I'd be glad to help if possible.


Hey Dropkick and Skidsteer, I am VERY interested to hear that you are both Sierra stove modifiers! I am a little embarrassed that I never thought of upgrading either of the Sierra stoves that I own. I bought the first one over 20 years ago. The first memorable experience with it was backpacking along the Napoli Coast in Hawaii. It worked great, and was a fine conversation piece at the time.....


As both of you have guessed, I prefer a stock Sierra for the test, but thank you for your show of interest.




OK Maker, ok....

I will put my Zip back together if it means I can get a chance to do a side by side test. I've done a fair amount of stove testing and can write well enough to get my point across for the most part.

Please don't make me grovel. :adore: :wink:

Maker
2006-11-27, 19:54
I will put my Zip back together if it means I can get a chance to do a side by side test. I've done a fair amount of stove testing and can write well enough to get my point across for the most part

Hey great, Skidsteer! I'd be happy to have you do the testing. :biggrin: Please contact me to exchange details vic@themosaicmaker.com

Sarge, let me know if fitting the new fan presents problems. I have prepared a replacment unit that is complete with the mounting plate, in case that part becomes damaged during the attempted fan installation.

Skidsteer
2006-11-28, 09:45
Outstanding!

E-mail sent.

sailingsoul
2006-11-28, 14:36
I have some questions about the design of any stove the chooses to use a pot for fan controll. The answer would only come from using and observing. Q: Is it necessary to have or is it helpful to have infinate fan speed controll? Compared to a switched control with off/ low /high or off/low/medium/high. Anyone who has a used a fan equiped stove might give feed back. When adjusting does it act the same as an electric srove? A switch w/one or two resistors should be cheaper that a pot. SS :captain:

Lanthar
2006-11-28, 14:50
I have some questions about the design of any stove the chooses to use a pot for fan controll. The answer would only come from using and observing. Q: Is it necessary to have or is it helpful to have infinate fan speed controll? Compared to a switched control with off/ low /high or off/low/medium/high. Anyone who has a used a fan equiped stove might give feed back. When adjusting does it act the same as an electric srove? A switch w/one or two resistors should be cheaper that a pot. SS :captain:

Pot might be lighter when you consider needing to make more connections (just thinking out loud I'm not an electrical guy)

SGT Rock
2006-11-28, 15:35
I think an off, low, med, high would work fine.

Maker
2006-11-28, 22:42
Sailing Soul asks:

I have some questions about the design of any stove the chooses to use a pot for fan controll. The answer would only come from using and observing. Q: Is it necessary to have or is it helpful to have infinate fan speed controll? Compared to a switched control with off/ low /high or off/low/medium/high. Anyone who has a used a fan equiped stove might give feed back. When adjusting does it act the same as an electric srove? A switch w/one or two resistors should be cheaper that a pot.

SQT ROck replies:

I think an off, low, med, high would work fine.

I agree, three speeds would probably be plenty good. However, there is (in my experience) a more interactive feel to twisting the knob and hearing the fan revolutions increase or decrease. I really like this aspect, but it is probably more psychological than functional.

BTW, the potentiometer is about 1/2 ounce (plus wires and knob).

dropkick
2006-11-29, 02:33
am especially interested to hear of DropKick's wiring mods.
Sorry I took so long to get back with you on this. My cheesy digital needs batteries and I keep forgetting to buy them.
Finally decided to do a cheesy schematic instead.
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-3/1165284/Sierramods.jpg
Didn't really do anything too snazzy.
I needed to replace the battery box due to an accident (I stepped on it). I used items I had laying around (I mess around with electronics - 31E army).
I went with a AA plastic 4 cell box. As it is wired in parallel it only needs to have one battery in it to work. -I usually only use one.
I did this so I could have backup in case I decided to go somewhere without access to new batteries. Plus the difference in weight between boxes is negligable. (to me - not a gram weinie)

I eliminated the on-off switch and just used a spade connector. The original switch had a high and low setting, but it had been part of the original battery box, and I didn't see anywhere I wanted to remount it. Plus for my cooking purposes I didn't feel it was needed.

- I actually put connectors on both the positive and negative wires so I can disconnect the whole thing when I wish to (or carry on top of my pack to charge with solar cell).

-I am now thinking of experimenting with a homemade rheostat -perhaps using a carbon rod (can cut one out of a D-cell) or a tungsten wire (might get to hot though) and an alligator clip. Won't know till I try. Will keep you informed.

I added the solar cell as I had them, and though the cell I mounted doesn't produce much juice I felt it would maintain the battery(s) if I had sunny days.
I mounted it to the battery box with velcro. It has about 8 inches of wire connecting it to the battery box. This enough so that I can have the cell hooked outside my pack in the sun and the battery inside.

The diode is to keep the solar cell from draining the batteries when it wasn't producing electricity. (In the pack, cloudy days, etc.)

The cell I bought from Texas Solar for less than $1 each.
I tried there website and got nothing. I'm hoping they didn't go out of business. I'm including the link in this post just in case:
www.shop.texasolar.com
The diodes I got off ebay for around $5 for 100.
-I'm not sure if I listed the diode I used in the schematic, but the one I listed will work.
I also covered the wires between the battery box and fan with thermal protective sleeves.

If you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them.

dropkick
2006-11-29, 02:41
Just got the link to work, had to mess with it a little.
http://www.texasolar.com/

Maker
2006-11-29, 05:08
Dropkick, thank-you for the Sierra wiring diagram!

I eliminated the on-off switch and just used a spade connector.

Good one! That sounds lighter than an alligator clip, and not susceptible to accidental connection like a toggle switch. I had been using a push button switch previously. It was a worse solution. This became hard to operate when the gritty sand of Southern Utah permeated and caused friction. Some switches are better sealed, but generally cost more.


- I actually put connectors on both the positive and negative wires so I can disconnect the whole thing when I wish to (or carry on top of my pack to charge with solar cell).

Very cool. I recently bought a Solar recharger for 9V. I notice they are on sale right now about $19 http://www.solar-world.com/batterychargers.htm#PocketBatteryChargers (lower left in the following photo link, weighs only 1.1 ounce) http://www.solar-world.com/images/PocketChargers.jpg

Maybe I should have shopped around a bit, your setup sounds much more economical. But they were very nice folks to deal with at Solar World, and I am curious to see how well their commercially available product will work with my stove. I haven't done any tests to see how effective this will actually be for practical use. But I'll look into it, and keep you posted when I find out. On the plus side, I found the rechargeable 9 volt batteries weigh around 1.5 ounces which is lighter than carrying 1.7 alkaline 9 volts (Lithium batteries around 1.5 ounces also).

dropkick
2006-11-30, 01:08
Maker,

If your thinking about integrating a solar cell or offering it as an option you should check out the power film at Texas Solar. They could be rolled up and stored in the kettle. They weigh about .01 oz each and resemble old film negatives.
You would need to soldier on leads and add a diode but that shouldn't be tough or add much weight.

I made myself a small solar panel for hiking, out of these and I am very happy.

The cells you would use only cost $2 each too. (If you bought in quantity they might give you a break also) Plus $2.95 shipping (this price doesn't change no matter how much you buy)

--I sound like an ad for them -- I liked the items and service I got from them though.

http://texasolar.com/shopping/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=65

Maker
2006-11-30, 03:30
DropKick says:

If your thinking about integrating a solar cell or offering it as an option you should check out the power film at Texas Solar. They could be rolled up and stored in the kettle. They weigh about .01 oz each and resemble old film negatives.
You would need to soldier on leads and add a diode but that shouldn't be tough or add much weight.

I made myself a small solar panel for hiking, out of these and I am very happy.

That power film looks great. I may have to get some to experiment with. At such light weight, it's a very attractive option, especially in flexible film style.

You've also got me thinking of thermal protected wires. I've been researching some on line made by "Gore" that look particularly good, but I'm not sure exactly what I need.

I'd like to start a removable wire assembly beginning at the connector that comes stock with the computer fan. If I used the male attachment of the connecter to the fan for one end of my wires, that could be the switch. In this case I could still hardwire the other ends of the wires to the battery clip (and potentiometer). On second thought, using that connecter as a switch would have "exposure to the elements" issues , and require more dexterity when cold or impaired. I'm still weighing out pros and cons on what kind of switch to use. Meanwhile, can anybody recommend a specific thermal shielded wire 18 gauge? At least then I'd be one step closer to sorting out my wiring challenges. Thanks .:beer:

oops56
2006-11-30, 04:00
Go to the hardware store get the wick that they use on your wood stove door put your wire inside that they have all o. d. size

gmagnes
2006-11-30, 14:01
Maker
If you're interested in any more testers, I'd love the opportunity to try out your stove and test it side by side with my Sierra Zip Stove. You can reply here or better yet, email me at: gmagnes <at> nycap <dot> rr <dot> com. I'm not an experienced tester exactly, but I'm definitely a gearaholic. I recently acquired a zip stove and have used it on 2 trips. I really like it and the idea of cooking with contained, wood fires, but I'd like to come up with something that's lighter than the zip. I don't have any overnight trips planned in the near future, but would be happy to do whatever tests you'd like in early winter, backyard conditions and provide whatever write ups you need. Let me know if you're interested.

I've also been looking at other home made, wood burning, backpacking stoves and am thinking of trying to make a few other versions of tin can stoves, so I'm kind of tinkering in the area already.

Gerry Magnes
Schenectady, NY

incognito
2007-03-03, 23:50
Are these being sold retail yet?

What is the latest on this unit?

Spring is not far away guys, need an update.:argh:

rjprince
2007-04-28, 21:44
Siera Zips retail? Yep. I have a couple that are about 3 years old. Work real well. Used 3 or 4 times. Just too heavy. I usually bought things in pairs for me and my son...

Check e-bay, amazon, or campmor. I think I bought mine from campmor. I am going to build myself a nimblewill nomad stove! (a Titanium version!)

Skidsteer
2007-04-29, 18:38
Siera Zips retail? Yep. I have a couple that are about 3 years old. Work real well. Used 3 or 4 times. Just too heavy. I usually bought things in pairs for me and my son...

Check e-bay, amazon, or campmor. I think I bought mine from campmor. I am going to build myself a nimblewill nomad stove! (a Titanium version!)

Not zip stoves. The Torch Lite. (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1987)

rambler
2007-05-09, 11:44
http://www.littlbug.com

Another choice is the BushBuddy, but the only website I can find for it is at backpackinglight

incognito
2007-05-09, 13:59
Wood burners of the types mentioned, once used, get to be stinky and dirty/sooty. Creosote smell lingers forever in your pack, gloves, stuff, whatever it comes incontact with or even comes close to.

Build a small campfire, wait till there are hot coals, put your pot on the coals.

Can't imagine spending $100.00 bucks on a BushBuddy.

Can't imagine assembling a dirty stinking Littlbug and then disassembling it when done.

Made a dirty stinking Martha Stuart woodburner just for the heck of it. Sold it!!!!

Woods Walker
2007-06-07, 23:57
But I like the stink... Anyways in lots of trails I can't start a ground fire or don't want to spend the time to let a scout fire burn down. But I do agree that cooking on or over the coals is great. I do it every chance I can.

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/fish2.jpg

Look at what I put up with around my parts.

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/100_8160.jpg

Ground fires.. Yea right........

Iceman
2007-06-08, 10:12
Mmmm......trout......:eating:

Woods Walker
2007-06-09, 23:31
Yup cooking one up right now. Baked with garlic and butter. Here are some of this years catch.

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/100_8165.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/100_5184.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/kenbrown3.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/kenbrown2.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/kenbrown1.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/kenbrown.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/100_5144.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n220/Daytraderwon/100_5138.jpg

Skidsteer
2007-06-09, 23:42
I just finished a cold meatloaf sandwich and you post photos of fresh trout.

Damn. Not fair.