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Caldera Cone and Starlyte stove
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Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Units? on 06/24/2013 10:51:14 MDT Print View

Dan, what are the units on each axis of your graphs?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Graphs on 06/24/2013 14:28:08 MDT Print View

Time is minutes, Methanol is grams and distance is inches. I did a few tests with ethanol (more energy dense) a got about 15% better fuel use (ie. 15% less used by weight).

Data points are the average of 2 trials per height.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Graphs on 06/24/2013 15:25:28 MDT Print View

Which axis is time and which axis is fuel?

You don't have any units on your graphs, only numbers.


Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Axis labels on 06/24/2013 16:19:53 MDT Print View

Like Bob, I find it difficult to read a graph without axis labels. It took me a minute. I see now that the Starlyte is maximally efficient (requiring 1.4 grams of fuel to boil) at 15 inches pot height. It is also clear that minimum time to boil (1.4 minutes) is achieved at a pot height of 13 inches. This is quite impressive. I think, given these data, a miniature version of this stove should be tested.

Also (perhaps Bob would agree), I find that the mixture of imperial (inches) and metric (grams) units in these graphs makes these data difficult to generalize. If you want just imperial I would recommend furlongs and drams, or if you want metric, decimeters and centigrams might be a good option.

Edited by ckrusor on 06/24/2013 17:32:20 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Axis labels on 06/24/2013 17:25:21 MDT Print View

My head hurts.

Dan mentioned that the distance is between the stove and the bottom of the pot. I believe graph one is set up for Time as y axis and pot height in inches as x axis. If I understand this correctly, 2.3 inches is the optimal distance for faster boils.

I believe graph two shows alcohol used in ml as the y axis and pot height in inches as the x axis. If this is true, then between 1.4 and 1.8 inches seems to be the sweet spot for fuel economy.

Comparing the two, it seems that I would want my pot to sit 1.8 inches over the stove to achieve the best fuel economy while only waiting < an extra two minutes for boiling water than if I set the pot at two inches which would consume an extra 2.5 ml of fuel.

FWIW I just ordered the unnamed 600ml (looks like evernew copy) pot/sidewinder bundle from TD which comes with the starlyte stove so I'll be interested to see how it compares to what I've read here. I'm assuming the modified will work better with this smaller pot based on what I've read here? (edit I'm looking for maximum efficiency but less than 12 minute boil times)

Derrick White complained of soot. I'm interested to know what kind of alcohol he used.

Dan D, I've read through the thread and I'm sure I completely overlooked it but which pot were you using?



Edited by IDBLOOM on 06/24/2013 17:37:51 MDT.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Fuel Type \ Dan' Graph on 06/25/2013 06:35:19 MDT Print View

Hi Ian - See this thread for the fuel type:

It is the closest thing I can get to ethanol in Canada and likely not ideal nor as efficient as other ethanol fuels more readily available in the US. For the purpose of this discussion I am using the same fuel with both stoves and only sooting on the starlyte.

I played around with it a bit yesterday and by reducing the distance from the top of the stove to to the bottom of the pot from 1.8" (Dan's optimal compromise distance) to 1.5", the sooting disappeared but my boil time increased dramatically. In fact .5 oz didn't bring 500ml (2 cups\16 ounces) of water to a galloping full boil. It burned out after 13 minutes, just before a full boil (steam was just beginning to pulse from under the lid.

Dan - thanks for the graph. Very informative. For those of you who can't read it, just play with your stove and the numbers become obvious. As for mixed measuring standards, I am laughing as we Canadians do it all the time ( I believe Dan is Canadian). Canada changed from the standard measuring system to metric in the 1970's and we tend to be accustomed to mixing the two together sometimes. Just use Google to convert to your preferred measures if necessary.

Everyone should note that, I understand at least, Dan has drilled more holes in the bottom of his cone to increase airflow. I have not done so (yet) and my numbers using similar fuels are not as good as Dan's: equally efficient but slower boil times.

EDIT: - My distance yesterday must have been 1.3", not 1.5". Now the outcome - no boil - makes more sense. I will retest sometime this week.


Edited by miku on 06/25/2013 06:51:34 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Starlyte on 06/25/2013 07:19:03 MDT Print View

Okay here's updated graphs with some labels for you guys. There's more info on all of this in my original thread

Starlyte graphs with labels

Don't pay too much attention to the actual numbers, as they're dependant on a lot of test variables (water temp, water volume, fuel type, indoor/outdoor etc). It's the trends/relationships that are important (these tests were 500ml of 40F water inside using methanol). The main point is that there is a trade off between boil speed and fuel use, and if you find yourself disappointed with either of these measures you can likely improve it by changing the height. If overall efficiency is lacking then you may want to consider extra holes.

As mentioned, I did add some more holes (via hole punch) to the bottom perimeter of my cone, as discussed and shown in my original thread. You can simulate the results of this before committing by jacking up the cone on some stakes (laying flat on a table) to create a gap under the cone for extra air. You can shim up the stove as well to preserve the same stove:pot gap. Through a test like this, I found I could achieve faster boils with the extra air and fuel efficiency improved as well, so I think I was getting a better air fuel mix. This may partially explain my lack of soot and may explain why some prefer the restricted stove.

My pot is a tall/narrow 750ml pot (Evernew ECA278). I discuss the ideal attributes of a pot for this system in my original thread, however since that discussion I've also learned that you can create a really neat setup with a short/wide pot and a sidewinder cone. Here the pot rests directly on the cone instead of using my wrist band idea. The downsides are a loss of storage space inside the pot and no pot height adjustability, but the upside is no fiddle with the silcone band and wider pots tend to be more efficient.

Edited by dandydan on 06/25/2013 07:21:45 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

SS Pot StarLyte and the Caldera Cone on 06/25/2013 16:25:01 MDT Print View

I was inspired by Konrad when he placed his silicone band at the 2 cup mark on his Heineken pot(1st page of this thread) He's using the Caldera for Keg set-up. He said he was getting the best results ever.

Trail Designs is making me a Titanium Cone for a stainless steel pot that I took the liberty of forming a ridgeline at the 2 cup mark. The pot hold 3 cups with good head room so the water will not boil over. I'll be using the pot on wood fires so boil overs can occur fast if not watched. The cone is being made to be used with the Modified StarLyte burner. The pot weighs approx. 2 ounces and the lid is 1 ounce. I'll have a high heat resisting Viton tab as the lid lifter to prevent melting in wood fires.

Here is what the pot looks like with the ridgeline that takes the place of a silicone band. One less piece to worry about.

 photo dfd295fd-e534-4eff-a8c7-306d825a11cb_zps7f5d57fa.jpg

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Ridge on 06/25/2013 16:29:55 MDT Print View

That's really cool. 2oz for a 3 cup pot is very impressive also. Does it seem durable enough for regular use? Or is it more of a niche pot?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Ridge on 06/25/2013 18:27:48 MDT Print View

Yes, durable enough for lots of use. It will even be more durable when I put a ridgeline at the 3 cup mark. Wait till you see the removable handle that is dual purpose. My wife has already got claim to one of the pots in the photo :-)))) The ridges on a Foster pot really make it durable. The ridges on the thin stainless do the same. When I get one completed I'll send you one to have as your own. Never can have too many pot set-ups :-)

Cool thing about the handle is it doesn't get too hot to handle when flames from other stoves go up the side of the pot. You've seen time and time again where folks ask what to do to keep their handles from getting hot. It's strong enough to easily pour out 4 cups of water in either direction.

I could even punch holes in the cone to accommodate the 12-10. Raise it up to the proper height.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Stove on 06/26/2013 18:09:12 MDT Print View

That does sound really awesome - perhaps the perfect pot? I'd love to check it out if you ever get a spare one. I might have some spare ti foil to make a pseudo-cone for it.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Stove on 06/26/2013 20:10:47 MDT Print View

DanD, I got word from TD that my Ti Cone has been shipped. Whoo! can't wait to burn some wood with it. I know it's going to work great with alcohol and esbit. They made the cone to my specs to work with the Modified StarLyte. My adventures in woodburning says I can boil 4 cups of water on one load of wood in a container 4" in diameter by 5" tall. The cone will be 4" diameter to fit the pot and 4" tall. If I load it with twigs 2" long and verticle stack-em and then top light I should be able to get at least 2 cups to boil. I've made a stainless steel pot support that will sit on top of the cone. Perfect pot? .....only time will tell:-)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Perfect Pot on 06/26/2013 20:14:35 MDT Print View

Awesome. I'm looking forward to pics/results.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Perfect Pot, Perfect cone on 06/30/2013 14:26:56 MDT Print View

I got the Ti Cone on Friday and did 5 wood burn test in it yesterday. StarLyte and Esbit tests will begin tomorrow. The cone is custom made for the pot. Due to the ridgeline at the 2 cup level they could not make it to burn wood unless it was inverted. They furnished the Ti stakes and grate. While waiting for the cone to arrive I devised a top pot support using soft stainless steel that is easily flattened out and curved to fit inside the pot. The grate fits inside the pot lid and the cone fits inside the pot soft rolled in the vertical position. All 5 tests boiled 3 cups of water using vertical stacked and top lit wood one load per boil. No need to feed twigs.

You can see the heat coloration on the cone due to the stacking and burning in the vertical.

Ti Cone wood burning mode

Edited by zelph on 07/25/2013 22:28:12 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Re: Perfect Pot, Perfect cone on 07/03/2013 10:56:41 MDT Print View

DanD, here are some photos and results using denatured alchy:

pot w/lid, handle and cone weigh 4.7 ounces. Pot is 3 cup capacity with plenty of head room. Cone fits inside in the vertical position.

July,3, 2013

Zelphs Fire Pot , Modified StarLyte , 1/2oz denatured alcohol with custom Caldera Cone.

Conditions: 70 degree air and starting water temps.Kitchen environment.

Three tests were performned.

1. 7 ½ min. boil time and continued to burn for an additional 1 3/4min.

2. 7 3/4min boil and continued to burn for an additional 2 3/4min.

3. 8 1/2min. boil and continued to burn for an additional 3 min.

Because the burner has a tight fitting storage cap, it can be snuffed out and then capped once it has cooled sufficiently.


Uses less that 1/2 ounce of fuel per 2 cup boil consistently for the three bench/kitchen tests. Awesome set-up.

 photo e113d990-8ed1-4c6d-9b62-ca0fc76d9203_zpsf9fbb05d.jpg
Fire Pot 2 photo FirePot2_zps88d9e861.jpg

4.7 ounces

Edited by zelph on 07/03/2013 10:59:57 MDT.

James DeGraaf
(jdegraaf) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Perfect Pot, Perfect cone on 07/04/2013 00:00:56 MDT Print View

Is that a Grandpas Fire Fork for a handle? Does it come off to pack things away? And will this be something you make available to the public?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Grandpas Fire Fork on 07/04/2013 09:19:54 MDT Print View

Yes James, it's a modified Light My Fire Grandpas Fire Fork. It's heavy gauge tempered stainless steel. The spring tension of it holds the handle tight in the bracket that is welded to the pot. I've used the handle attached to a branch to roast wieners and marshmallows. Today I'll use it to extend a pot full of water into a campfire. I'll leave it attached until the 3 cups of water come to a boil and then remove it via the long handle extension. I've boiled water in the pot on my kitchen stove with the handle attached. After boiling 3 cups of water the handle remains cool enough to pick up the pot and pour out the water. The flames of the stove went up the side of the pot about 1/2 inch. so there was plenty of heat going up to reach the handle. The handle has the ability to dissipate the heat quickly. The fire pot and fire fork handle should work well with all stoves.

I can make a dozen or so of the pots available to the public. Trail Designs can provide the cones.

I'll see if I can get a video put together in the next couple of days showing how the handle can be used and the cone set up to burn wood. Today I'll burn some 1/2 esbit cubes to see if I can get it to boil 2 cups under the cone. I was surprised to see the results of my alcohol tests. The ridgeline on the pot, the cone and use of the Modified StarLyte all came together well.

Yes, the handle comes off and packs inside with the fire grate, cone and burner. The grate stores inside the pot lid. The grate is inside a protective sleeve and the edges of the sleeve make it so that the little package sticks to the underside of the lid but is removed easily.

One other thing that I wanted was a cone that did not have a large opening at the top to allow heat and flames to exit to one side of the pot. Most pots have large handles that require the large opening in the cone. That opening focuses the heat right to the handles. One exception is the Cone for the Keg.

Edited by zelph on 07/04/2013 09:32:30 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Cones and Starlytes on 07/04/2013 16:37:15 MDT Print View

Looks like an excellent setup. I really like the size of the pot - probably 900ml if you count the space above the 3 cup line (which the manufacturers like Evernew do). My pot is 750ml and I wish it was a hair bigger like this since I can feasibly only get about 2.5 cups in.

Very cool how the handle is affixed. I like that it's removable.

Those are surprisingly fast boil times with the modified Starlyte. Have you tried a regular one to see how fast you can get and what the fuel penalty is?

You should get TD to offer the complete package on their site (or buy a bunch of cones from them and offer it on yours). Customers would love getting an amazing package like this with the simplicity and low shipping costs of getting it all in one place.

"One other thing that I wanted was a cone that did not have a large opening at the top to allow heat and flames to exit to one side of the pot."
Yeah I certainly agree on this. One of the criteria for the pot I chose was handles way up high so I wouldn't need a cut out in my custom cone. TD was happy to oblige my no cutout request. Is there a reason for the small cutout at the bottom? I needed some extra holes in the bottom of my cone, so it looks like this cutout would achieve that while only making it more wind vulnerable on one direction.

Edited by dandydan on 07/04/2013 16:38:33 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Cones and Starlytes on 07/04/2013 21:36:52 MDT Print View

Dan, I hav not tried a regular StarLyte burner under the cone. I tried Esbit today and was able to boil 3 cups with 1 full size cube. I've been putting the pot/lid and handle through some fire tests. Good day for a campfire. I'll be sending you a pot soon as you give me your address. I have some other info for you also in regards to the cone. I need further testing of the pot in the campfire to see how the bracket holds up to repeated lifting of the pot when it is full of water. So far, the ridgeline at the 3 cup level is preventing the thin pot from flexing when the handle lifts the pot.

Link to youtube watch Fire Pot Fire Fork

Edited by zelph on 07/04/2013 21:45:46 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pot on 07/05/2013 15:17:23 MDT Print View

It looks great in that video. I wasn't familar with the fire fork so I didn't realize you could use a stick like that - very handy. That's such a great all around setup.