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  #1
Old 02-01-2005, 15:03
Jim_Wood Jim_Wood is offline
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Lightbulb New Alcohol Stove

In March of last year, I developed a new alcohol stove that I think was (and still is) unique. Called the SUPER CAT, it is extraordinarily simple, yet is one of the hottest burning alcohol stoves I've seen.

I recently (January 30, 2005) released the design into the public domain. If you're interested, you can find more information and build instructions at http://timberwolf.us/supercat.

Jim Wood.

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

By the way, rather than adding to Sgt Rock's already long post about whether or not to attempt to patent and commercialize his alcohol stove, I'd like to offer a couple of comments:

1. As a former Silicon Valley CFO, I've managed dozens of patent prosecutions over the years. I'd just point out that it's a long (3-4 years), complex process with a good chance that you will ultimately not prevail, especially since there's so much "prior art" (patent term) in the space. It's also a process that will probably cost a lot more than you might expect - I used to budget a minimum of $10-$15K per (U.S. only) application in legal and filing fees even for fairly simple concepts. International filings typically added even more to the tab. Generally speaking, if an idea is not a fairly significant leap forward technology-wise, patent applications are probably not worth the bother.

This process is also the main reason that I decided to place my own stove design, noted above, into the public domain, rather than try to "protect" it with a patent. The word "protect" is in quotes, because with the intellectual property rights quagmire that exists in Asia and elsewhere now, patents really offer little or no protection against violators. Even a company like Microsoft, with its virtually unlimited legal budget, is overwhelmed by the problem.

2. I think the market for alcohol stoves offers a fairly limited opportunity for an entrepreneur, since those who are inclined to use them in the first place already have access to lots of inexpensive (or free, DIY) options. Nonetheless, if you're fairly certain you're not infringing on someone else's patent, and would still like to test the market, I'd suggest just charging ahead without worrying about patent filings. I'm convinced that the only way to really know if someone will buy something is to offer it for sale.

My 2.
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  #2
Old 02-01-2005, 15:26
The Old Fhart The Old Fhart is offline
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Good post, Jim, thanks. The only question I have is how someone named "Wood" developed an "alcohol" stove.
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  #3
Old 02-01-2005, 16:14
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Very nice stove
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  #4
Old 02-01-2005, 16:26
grandview grandview is offline
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Thumbs up looks good

nice write up and webpage...good work...i like the simple design of just a can with some holes in it...the simpler the better in my opinion.
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  #5
Old 02-01-2005, 17:03
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Excellent work. I love when people have the passion to do a write up, etc. about their hobbies, but thats probably the engineer in me.
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  #6
Old 02-01-2005, 21:37
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Thumbs up kick butt alcohol stove

thanks jim. that is the easiest coolest stove i have ever made,i made it in a couple of minutes and it boils very fast,wow what a bad little stove,thank you very much,gonna make a windscreen now,
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Last edited by neo : 02-01-2005 at 21:41. Reason: added more info
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  #7
Old 02-02-2005, 09:36
hungryhowie hungryhowie is offline
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Jim,

I saw your post on another site that I frequent a few days ago and have been thinking about the design since then. The first alcohol stove I ever made was very much like this one, though the flame was snuffed out when I put the pot on it (not enough oxygen circulation). As you already know, and I did then, as well, the holes needed to be larger. I also think part of the problem now was that I never gave it a chance to get started before putting the pot on top.

Anyway, to my point. My stove, failure that it was, did have something on yours: an integral and easy way to snuff the (hypothetical) flame. The stove was made from two separate mini-tuna cans (the kind that come in the snack packs). The bottom can was left intact (except for the top, of course) and served as the fuel reservoir while the top can had a bunch of holes punched in the side and both the botom and top were cut out of it (making it into a tube).

Using this method, you would be able to knock the top tube off with a spoon and snuff the stove with the pot, saving the need to carry a dedicated pot snuffer. The tuna cans worked well because the nest on top of one another (not sure about cat food cans), but I wouldn't even know how to being taking one tuna can, cutting into two, and finding a way for them to fit on top of each other. Looks like the challenge would be to find two cans that equall one cat-food or tuna can.

Nice stove though, and excellent, if verbose, write-up. I think the "former CFO" thing explains that well, though

-howie
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  #8
Old 02-02-2005, 11:04
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Seems like there is a lot of flame spillage (wasted heat?) up the sides of the pot. This is a common issue for side ported stoves (like the one from www.antigravitygear.com). As such wider pots might prove more efficient on this type of stove over a narrow cup-like pot (MSR Ti Kettle, Snowpeak Ti600, etc.).
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  #9
Old 02-02-2005, 11:58
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Great Stove !!! Many Thanks !!!!
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  #10
Old 02-02-2005, 12:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlbj6142
Seems like there is a lot of flame spillage (wasted heat?) up the sides of the pot.


In my testing of alcohol stoves this is usually quite true. I played with some similar designed stuff, and they work really neat, but I found there was a lot of wasted heat going up the side, that is why I have been trying to design a stove that focuses the flame to the center of the pot bottom and then spreads from there along the contour of the pot. I think the design is a viable one, but I would probably recommend a very large pot diameter for best efficiency.
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  #11
Old 02-02-2005, 12:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT Rock
II would probably recommend a very large pot diameter for best efficiency.
A tight fittng (0.25" air gap) tall (to the top of the pot, less an inch) will also help in cases where flame spillage is an issue. Or for that mater, with any stove. The problem I always run into is getting the windscreen to maintain a uniform distance from the pot around its entire diameter. I've been thinking about switch to some sort of integrated windscreen and pot stand for that reason.
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  #12
Old 02-02-2005, 12:27
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I don't personally like the integrated windscreen/potstand ideas. I have found most to be either heavier than needed or not sturdy enough in situation other than ideal. Also, heat transfer along the side of the pot isn't as effective as heat transfer from the bottom, so the goal to maintain as much flame under the pot is a good idea. I have my eye on the Evernew 0.9L pot because it is very light (4.05 ounces) and has a good pot diameter at about 5.5" (http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro...vcat=REI_SEARCH)

I still think this is a cool stove design
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  #13
Old 02-02-2005, 12:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT Rock
I have my eye on the Evernew 0.9L pot because it is very light (4.05 ounces) and has a good pot diameter at about 5.5"
======================================
Great cook pot Rock. I have both the 0.9L and the 1.3 L but I like the smaller one best. That's what I used on my thru-hike in 2003 and ever since, along with the Trangia. Used a home made windscreen constructed from heavy duty aluminum foil. Fits around the standard Trangia pot stand and is tapered inward at the top toward the cook pot. Don't lose any flame that way. Been thinking of painting the outside surface of the stove with high heat black paint. That's supposed to make it heat faster ???

'Slogger
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  #14
Old 02-02-2005, 13:14
JoeHiker JoeHiker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGT Rock
In my testing of alcohol stoves this is usually quite true. I played with some similar designed stuff, and they work really neat, but I found there was a lot of wasted heat going up the side,.

How bad did you find this to be a problem with the Brasslite stoves when you tested them?
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  #15
Old 02-02-2005, 13:21
MadAussieInLondon MadAussieInLondon is offline
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the newer brasslites are not pressureised and go up the centre rather than out the sides.
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  #16
Old 02-02-2005, 16:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeHiker
How bad did you find this to be a problem with the Brasslite stoves when you tested them?



Ididn't see this too much with the Brasslite stoves, but I haven't tested the newer laminar flow stove series, just the older versions.
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  #17
Old 02-02-2005, 16:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Footslogger
======================================
Great cook pot Rock. I have both the 0.9L and the 1.3 L but I like the smaller one best. That's what I used on my thru-hike in 2003 and ever since, along with the Trangia. Used a home made windscreen constructed from heavy duty aluminum foil. Fits around the standard Trangia pot stand and is tapered inward at the top toward the cook pot. Don't lose any flame that way. Been thinking of painting the outside surface of the stove with high heat black paint. That's supposed to make it heat faster ???

'Slogger


No, painting the pot is supposed to make it better. The Evernew pots have black exteriors already right.
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