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Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove Review
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Don Bushek
(donb) - M

Locale: Minneapolis
silicone tubing on 11/30/2012 12:14:18 MST Print View

A couple of posts here have presumed that silicone tubing would be suitable to route through the flame, ie is flame-proof. I doubt it! Silicone is not a thermoplatic, so it won't melt. But in a flame, it will degrade and eventually (at a high enough temperature) combust.

Erik Basil
(EBasil)

Locale: Atzlan
a Better Solution for use of the 117t or Excellerator on 11/30/2012 14:45:41 MST Print View

I think the better "solution" to the issue with preheating of fuel and inversion of the canisters with this stove is "to not do it".

I've personally got more shakedown to go with my 117t and the Boy Scouts who may adopt it as their standard Patrol Stove, but the general intent is that it will be a 3-season stove. With use in weather ranging from 20-90 Fahrenheit, I expect the stove will continue to function as reliably and effectively as every other canister stove we've used and enjoyed (even when we have to stash the fuel in the bottom of a sleeping bag). Based on my experience with canister stoves (and decades of use with a variety of white-gas, hexamine/esbit and even butane stoves), I really see this stove as having a lot of potential. It's encouraging to read the conclusions of our review authors on this topic, that's for sure!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 11/30/2012 17:40:51 MST Print View

Hi roger,

I'm not having much luck getting an answer from the reviewers to the question below, so I'll try my luck with you, as a very knowledgable stove person.

Cheers


How does the Xcelerator compare to the Litemax for fuel efficiency? To the Primus Micron?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 11/30/2012 18:54:49 MST Print View

Hi Tom

> How does the Xcelerator compare to the Litemax for fuel efficiency? To the Primus Micron?
This is a good question, but my answer may not be what you were expecting.

With few exceptions,the power put out by a canister stove is mainly a function of the jet size (~0.30 mm) and the temperature of the canister (ie the pressure inside the canister). The shape (or brand) of the burner etc etc really plays little part in this.

However, you can change the efficiency of any stove over quite a large range by how you use it. If you always run it flat out, you will get low efficiency: most of the heat goes up the side of the pot and escapes. If you run it at a moderate rate with a windshield about 15 mm from the pot you will get good efficiency.

Some stoves have a poor burner design. The MSR Pocket Rocket focuses the heat at the middle of the pot for instance. I don't like that design myself (and the pot supports are flimsy). Some stoves put out quite a lot of Carbon Monoxide due to poor air inlet design or pot position, but I don't think alters the fuel efficiency much.

Some pots have built-on heat exchangers. That alters the efficiency to be sure, but that is not really a function of the stove design.

Some people get very poor fuel efficiency because they run the stove flat out and they don't use a good windshield around the stove. Yes, I know the lawyers for some well-known brands have hysterics about windshields. Cretins. And cooking without a lid on the pot wastes a lot of heat too.

Just a thought for those who have little experience with canister stoves. The large hotplate on a domestic electric stove might, maybe, have a power rating of 2.4 kW. Most tiny canister stoves have a power rating closer to 3 kw, and are more powerful that white gas stoves as well.

Cheers

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Fire Maple FMS-118 Volcano on 11/30/2012 23:07:00 MST Print View

Anyone have any experience or comment on the Fire Maple FMS-118 Volcano for winter use in inverted can mode?
http://fire-maple.com/products_del.html?news_id=73&c_id=5&cate_id=8

How it might compare with Primus Express Spider
http://store.primuscamping.com/backpacking-stoves/single-fuel/butane/expressspider-w/windscreen/

And MSR Windpro II
http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/stoves/gourmet-cooking/windpro-ii/product

I'm not sure where you can even purchase the Volcano, but it looks interesting.

Erik Basil
(EBasil)

Locale: Atzlan
Look in GEAR forum on 12/01/2012 02:41:38 MST Print View

Yes, people here have experience with the 118 "Volcano". There are threads discussing it in the GEAR forum. There is also at least one thread with an example of a hybrid 117t/118, created to utilize the ti structure but the preheating tube.

Fire Maple 117t and HE pot
Another look at the Fire Maple 117t version of the Olicamp Xcelerator (well, the other way around) and a Fire Maple hard-ano HE pot...

Erik Basil
(EBasil)

Locale: Atzlan
Yep, that stove's on BPL, too on 12/01/2012 02:41:38 MST Print View

--censored, due to revelation of secret fuel efficiency data--


or, double post

Edited by EBasil on 12/01/2012 02:43:04 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove Review on 12/01/2012 05:57:20 MST Print View

I think the Olicamp 117V looks like a very basic and functional stove.

With a wind screen, and, on a simmer setting it will do as well with efficiency as any other. Indeed,here is a quote from the article:
"The FMS-117T replaces my WindPro II for pot sizes less than about 2.5 liters, where fuel consumption and efficiency between the two are similar."
He goes on to say that for larger pots it is less efficient:
"However, for larger volume pots (we use 4.5L pots for large patrols and groups), The WindPro II's larger burner head, and preheat tube (which allows for the canister to be inverted) means that boil times and fuel use are significantly less (15%+ depending on conditions) with the WindPro II vs. the FMS-117T."

Fuel consumption with any canister stove will be about the same. There is not that much difference in all the stoves, since they all burn pretty clean. The small bit of CO produced likely looses a bit of total energy, but very little.

Generally, at least in my experience, this means that the 117V looks like a winner for the conditions it was designed for. The big advantage to the 117V is the specific design for THREE season use. It is NOT a winter stove and was never designed as one. They produce other stoves that are designed for cold weather.
They saved weight by removing the preheat tube and machining parts from Ti or aluminum.

This does not preclude a bit of experimentation.

Fuel consumprion can be drastically improved by using a tight wind screen, such as a Caldera Cone, over the stove and maintaining the flame distance. Turn the heat down to low/very low. Using these two steps will result in decreasing fuel consumption drastically. Turning the stove off immediatly when not in use will help. I expect an easy 50% decrease in fuel usage.

Most of us do not lead groups into the wilderness, so, loosing the larger pot/frying capability becomes unimportant. Since a Caldera Cone supports the pot, it is possible to loose the grates. And, because weight is not expected on the stove, we can grind off the bent feet, too. This will save about 1/2-3/4oz. Note that for 3-4 cup pots it is possible to use the pot to do small frying chores (cooking a fish for example) or baking (cooking cinamon rolls.) So, replacing the 12/10 alcohol stove with a modified 117V provides additional capability for a total weight difference of 3-4oz, assuming similar fuel capability is carried for alcohol and the canister.

For three season use, the stove looks pretty good. I don't expect it to be capable of winter use. And, I expect fuel consumption is OK as it sits and can be excelent with minor mods.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove on 12/01/2012 20:54:34 MST Print View

Available from Amazon for $60.51 in the U.S.A., may be cheaper somewhere else. I just ordered one, and since I live in California, Amazon adds on the state sales tax, which is now 8% since proposition 30 passed. The wages of sin in the "Golden State." I never liked the stove on top of the canister concept mainly due to incompatibility with a windscreen, and the wind always seem to be blowing in Northern California where I backpack. I hope it has brass canister threads. I plan to use it with a .9L REI titanium pot and the nice Zelph corrugated windscreen. Slan agus beannacht leat!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/02/2012 19:51:41 MST Print View

"This is a good question, but my answer may not be what you were expecting."


Hi Roger,

True enough. I was looking more for the kind of numbers you provided in your excellent Heat Exchanger Stove Shootout: Part 2 article, specifically grams of fuel used to boil 1 liter of water. For those who have not read the article I am referring to, it would be well worth your time. Here is the link:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/canister_stove_efficiency_p2.html

I realized after I posted my question that this was probably an unrealistic question on my part, given the fact that the stove is a relatively new item and that you'd have to go to a lot of trouble to set up the test to get that data. Too much trouble for one stove to answer one person's question, methinks.

As for your suggestions on how to maximize stove performance, I am totally on board. I would add one further one to the list: Do not boil your water. There is an enormous energy penalty associated with boiling water, 540 calories/gram, known as the latent heat of vaporization. For any cooking/sterilization purpose I can think of, raising the temperature to somewhere between 150-180 degrees F, or even to just below boiling, depending on individual taste, should suffice.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/02/2012 20:19:10 MST Print View

Hi Tom

Well, yes, I would have to set up the whole test system to measure the fuel efficiency. The BIG problem with that is the fact that the only PC I have which can run my old data logger unit has died. (IBM Thinkpad, dead battery.) By way of explanation, the data logger needs the original parallel port chip by MOSTEK as it uses some very obscure features found only in that chip. Modern PP emulators can't do it - and both I and the mfr have tried.

However, my experience over a range of upright stoves (different models, different brands) is that the variation in fuel consumption between stoves is actually less (in general) that the variation found between low power and high power for the same stove. Large changes in pot diameter also change the efficiency somewhat.

I have considerable experience with the burner head used in the FMS-117T stove: Fire Maple have used it on several different models. It does have good efficiency. By way of example, I normally allow 30 g of fuel per day for morning tea and dinner for Sue and myself. On a 6 day trip last week with an MYOG stove using that same burner head I averaged 26 g per day.

> Do not boil your water. There is an enormous energy penalty associated with boiling
> water, 540 calories/gram, known as the latent heat of vaporization.
Well, yes, BUT that only applies when you try to boil the water away into steam. Just taking water up to 100 C does not incur that penalty.

If you are trying to cook some sorts of rice or rehydrate some sorts of dehydrated foods (for instance), you do really need to hold the water at 100 C for some time. Just holding the water at 80 C (~180 F) simply will not (ime) get some sorts of rice or dehi soft. The water just does not seem to get into the food. Somer foods are worse than others in this regard.

But that does not mean you have to incur a significant fuel penalty. If you hold the pot 'just' at 100 C (boiling) with the water (or stew) giving a steam burp once every 5 seconds or so, AND you keep a lid on the pot so lots of steam don't evaporate away, that is enough and it takes very little fuel to do that. What it does take of course is a stove which can be fine-tuned down to a very low simmer. This is not something you get from white gas stoves ... :-)

Cheers

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 01:58:21 MST Print View

...with an MYOG stove using that same burner head...

Enquiring minds want to know more!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 02:41:36 MST Print View

> Enquiring minds want to know more!
Article in preparation.
:-)

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 06:48:52 MST Print View

So pre heat tube version would look similar to the one Hendrik is giving away. does not fold as small. Not an issue depending on pot size.

55554
imaged borrowed from Hiking in Finland

Edited by kthompson on 12/03/2012 06:51:58 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 13:55:25 MST Print View

Ooh! Interesting!
I recognise the burner head (and the canister connection) but not the pot stand. I wonder which factory that one came from? Got any more details?

Yes, I know it it is the Opilio on the Edelrid web site, but they don't actually make their stoves either. It could be a custom pot stand combined with other stock bits.

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 17:56:01 MST Print View

"However, my experience over a range of upright stoves (different models, different brands) is that the variation in fuel consumption between stoves is actually less (in general) that the variation found between low power and high power for the same stove. Large changes in pot diameter also change the efficiency somewhat."

+1 Low power is the way to go, IMO/IME.

"I have considerable experience with the burner head used in the FMS-117T stove: Fire Maple have used it on several different models. It does have good efficiency. By way of example, I normally allow 30 g of fuel per day for morning tea and dinner for Sue and myself. On a 6 day trip last week with an MYOG stove using that same burner head I averaged 26 g per day."

Wince, but that's because I'm a guy that is used to wringing 7 days out of a 110 gram canister for 2 people. But that is due to a difference in cooking styles. We each get by with 12 oz of water, brought to near body temp in the sleeping bag overnight and then heated to drinking temperature plus a bit to allow for cooling, probably ~150 degrees.

"Well, yes, BUT that only applies when you try to boil the water away into steam. Just taking water up to 100 C does not incur that penalty."

True enough, if you can control it that precisely. Mostly, I just wanted to give the potential penaly some visibility, especially since I have heard so many references to "bringing water to a boil". It is certainly not an issue for me, given my above mentioned style.

"If you are trying to cook some sorts of rice or rehydrate some sorts of dehydrated foods (for instance), you do really need to hold the water at 100 C for some time. Just holding the water at 80 C (~180 F) simply will not (ime) get some sorts of rice or dehi soft. The water just does not seem to get into the food. Somer foods are worse than others in this regard."

Here things get a bit sticky, IME. For lower elevations this holds. At higher elevations, water will boil at temperatures well below 100* C. In this case, one would not only incur the fuel penalty, but their rice would be, shall we say, al dente. Most folks who hike at higher elevations therefore use only foods that can be made palatable at much lower temperatures, cous cous, cracked wheat, and dehydrated food that reconstitute at lower temps, etc. This is the audience I was addressing when I made my original comments about latent heat of vaporization, as many of them have mentioned bringing water to a boil in various threads. Even if they do not boil for long, there is a certain penalty, perhaps small but nonetheless real, to be paid unnecessarily for the small of water they vaporize, and in reality their food would likely reconstitute at a much lower temperature, saving even more fuel. I know this to be true simply because I cooked my meals for many years and found myself saving considerable fuel after I figured out that I didn't have to bring my water to a boil, or even close, to rehydrate potatoes, beans, cous cous, etc. FWIW

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/03/2012 20:28:58 MST Print View

> We each get by with 12 oz of water, brought to near body temp in the sleeping bag
> overnight and then heated to drinking temperature plus a bit to allow for cooling,
> probably ~150 degrees.
Um. This gives you warm water at breakfast time, yes? What do you do for dinner? Fwiiw, we have a cold breakfast for speed, except in the snow.

Our 26 g per day is for tea&coffee at 10 am and a good stew in the evening.If you skip the T&C you would maybe halve the amount of fuel. ... Skip coffee????? !@#$%^&*

Another difference is that we have a very limited range of freeze-dry foods here in Oz. There is basically one brand, which is very expensive. And there are 'dried foods/meals', but they take an awful lot of cooking to get them to rehydrate, and even then they don't taste that wondeful. So I do my own menu design and cooking, like our 'cooking girls' (to whom my compliments).

> At higher elevations, water will boil at temperatures well below 100* C. In this
> case, one would not only incur the fuel penalty, but their rice would be, shall we
> say, al dente.
Granted the reduction in boiling point, but up to 2,000 m I have never had any problem there. I bring the meal to the boil, briefly, than let it sit for 5 minutes or so, insulated. At high altitude, I add another minute. Well, works for us, anyhow. (Sue does not like al dente rice or pasta ...)

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove @ Roger C. on 12/04/2012 15:00:26 MST Print View

"Um. This gives you warm water at breakfast time, yes? What do you do for dinner? Fwiiw, we have a cold breakfast for speed, except in the snow."

Hi Roger,

What it gives me is warm water that needs a lot less fuel to bring it to the right temperature for making a proper cup of coffee. Warm coffee is downright uncivilized.
I also have a cold breakfast, both for speed and to save fuel for the really important thing: COFFEE. ;0)

"Another difference is that we have a very limited range of freeze-dry foods here in Oz. There is basically one brand, which is very expensive. And there are 'dried foods/meals', but they take an awful lot of cooking to get them to rehydrate, and even then they don't taste that wondeful. So I do my own menu design and cooking, like our 'cooking girls' (to whom my compliments)."

+1 They don't taste so hot here either, IMO, so I used to use more basic ingredients like mashed potatoes, cous cous, dried pre cooked beans, pea soup, etc, all of which reconstitute quite nicely at a temperature much lower than boiling. This cuts fuel requirements considerably over the course of say, a 7-9 day trip.

"At high altitude, I add another minute. Well, works for us, anyhow. (Sue does not like al dente rice or pasta ...)"

At 10,000' and above, I have found it problematic and expensive in fuel consumption to use regular rice and most beans. This led me to the above ingredients, but I did find one lentil, the Indian red lentil known as masur dal, that would cook in a reasonable time if I soaked it all day on a day when I was laying over. It makes a wonderful soup. I am with Sue on the al dente bit. Ughhhhh!

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove Review on 02/21/2013 18:51:50 MST Print View

Brad Groves wrote: > Incidentally, the Whisperlite Universal and the Xcelerator are WORLDs apart. The Universal is a HEAVY BEAST, it doesn't simmer...
Well, that's interesting. I was able to get a really good simmer on my W'lite Universal, including on kerosene. It's not like the ease of a simmer on a valve-at-the-burner stove (e.g. a Dragonfly, Nova, Omnifuel, etc.), but I was able to get a really good simmer -- WAY better than what I could ever get on a pre-2012 Whisperlite.

The FMS-117T does look like a step in the right direction in terms of weight and packability. It doesn't quite have the ingenuity of design and degree of manufacturing precision of Korean, American, European, and Japanese stoves.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove Review on 02/21/2013 20:42:25 MST Print View

> It doesn't quite have the ingenuity of design and degree of manufacturing precision
> of Korean, American, European, and Japanese stoves.

To the best of my limited knowledge, there are NO stoves made in America or Europe: they are all made in Asia, usually either Korea (=Kovea) or China. Even the latest Snow Peak stove was made for them.

And I don't think either America or Europe do much these days in the way of design either. Basically, you can't usefully 'design' a stove without making prototypes.

Lots more details in a forthcoming article on Stove Developments.

Cheers