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LTR - Primus Eta Solo Stove - Ben Mansfield

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  • Ben Mansfield
    My LTR is in the test folder, here: http://tinyurl.com/2emdcj9 and the text version is below. Thanks in advance for the edits. -Ben ... Long Term Report 14
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 14, 2010
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      My LTR is in the test folder, here:

      http://tinyurl.com/2emdcj9


      and the text version is below.

      Thanks in advance for the edits.

      -Ben

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

      Long Term Report
      14 December 2010


      Long-Term Use Summary

      I took the Eta Solo along on one more weekend backpacking trip to the
      Allegheny National Forest, as well as on a car camping trip to Cook
      Forest - both in Pennsylvania. Those two trips bring my backpacking
      use to 15 days and total use to over 20 days. I made 2 full cups of
      coffee every morning on the Eta Solo, whether backpacking or car
      camping, which means that I've used the stove to make about 48 oz of
      coffee times 20 days, or the equivalent of around 10 pots of coffee,
      plus or minus some as I occasionally made a little less or make an
      extra cup full to share. I also tend to have a hot breakfast (oatmeal)
      when backpacking, so I've used the stove to make around 30 packets of
      instant oatmeal (at least 2 packets per breakfast for me). I only have
      a hot lunch in the coldest parts of winter and I don't believe I ever
      used the Eta Solo to make lunch. I have made a bunch of dinners on it,
      however. For dinner I normally just boil water a cup full of water and
      add as much as I need to my meal, and so I've made around 18 dinners
      with the stove. Add in the occasional cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or
      other instant drink in the evening for another roughly 10 uses. Adding
      all that up, I estimate that I've boiled somewhere around 13 gallons
      (49 L) of water with the Eta Solo.

      All of that math, so that I can estimate how much fuel I'm using when
      I turn on the Eta Solo. My digital scale is accurate to about 0.5 oz
      (14 g), and the total weight of gas starting out in the canister I
      used was 3.5 oz (100 g). The canister is still going, but barely. I
      weighed the canister at 4 oz (113 g), which puts the remaining gas at
      0.5 oz (14 g) - which also happens to be within the accuracy of my
      scale. So while the stove still lights and burns with this canister,
      I'll probably buy a new one before my next trip. Obviously, all of
      this depends on the starting temperature of the water, the ambient
      temperature, the length of time that the stove is running, the
      temperature of the gas canister, and a whole lot of additional
      variables that I can't control. Any way I think about it, though, it
      seems unrealistically high to think I've boiled that much water on so
      little fuel. Without repeating the test in a controlled environment
      (what fun is that?), I'm not sure I have confidence in those numbers.

      Outside of testing though, I only really want to know how much fuel I
      burn on average so I can be sure that I won't run out halfway through
      a trip. Since most of my trips are weekend length, the risk is
      somewhat minimized. And since I do still use the stove when car
      camping, I can bring along what I think are the almost-empty canisters
      to use them up on those trips. For longer trips when I decide to take
      the Eta Solo in the future, I'm sure I'll build some model or
      something to predict how much fuel I'll use, factor in the weights of
      the various stoves I own, and make a determination of which set to
      based on the total weight of the stove plus the fuel. With the
      exception of my homemade alcohol stove, which can be finicky at times,
      the Eta Solo will likely be at the top of that list.


      Long Term Observations

      I don't really have any new findings to report other than the fuel
      usage I covered above. The only item that I should point out is a
      minor durability issue that I encountered. In fact, it may actually be
      the reason why the piezo igniter hasn't worked as reliably as I had
      expected. The metal pin that causes the spark is partially insulated
      by a white plastic tube, ensuring that the path of least resistance -
      where the spark will jump - is between the end of the needle and the
      top of the burner. A piece of that plastic tube is broken off on my
      igniter, causing the spark to sometimes jump between the pin where
      it's exposed by the broken plastic and a metal ring that supports the
      igniter on its way up to the burner. This broken plastic can be seen
      in the photo to the right.
      I'm not sure what caused the plastic to break, but I can only assume
      it was from getting banged around inside my pack. I don't recall
      dropping the stove or otherwise abusing it. In fact, I feel like I've
      been pretty kind and gentle to it. As soon as I figure out what I can
      wrap around the exposed pin to insulate it that also won't burn when
      the stove is running, I'll fix it at home. My initial inclinations
      were to try electrical tape or a piece of a straw, though I fear both
      might melt when the stove is on. Perhaps I can find some higher
      temperature shrink tubing or try a duct tape repair. In the meantime,
      however, I can always light it by hand or hold the stove in such a way
      as to get it to work.

      Summary

      The Primus Eta Solo Stove has been a fantastic piece of kit for me. It
      boils water really fast which is nice when I'm in need of my morning
      coffee, and means that I'm eating my noodles while my hiking pals are
      still trying to figure out where they packed their wind screens.
      Because I generally transfer the hot water into a freezer bag for my
      actual cooking, I don't really have anything to report in regards to
      clean-up. It's just water, or sometimes coffee-flavored water in
      there, so I wipe it out, drop in the burner and fuel canister, snap on
      the lid, and go. I now normally leave the cables for hanging the pot
      at home, as well as the fuel canister support legs. I don't really
      ever use the pot stands and heat shield, so those have been relegated
      to the spare parts bin as well, except for future trips with large
      groups where it would make sense to boil large pots of soup or
      something.

      Key Features
      Fast boil times
      Easy on fuel
      Quick to set-up and pack down

      Areas for Improvement
      Piezo igniter insulation broke rendering the igniter inconsistent
      Fuel knob and igniter button too small



      I would like to thank Primus and BackpackGearTest.org for the
      opportunity to test the Eta Solo stove.
    • Carol
      Hi Ben, Nice report. HTML looks good. Edits and suggestions follow. Carol, Monitor For dinner I normally just boil water a cup full of water and *** just boil
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 19, 2010
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        Hi Ben,
        Nice report. HTML looks good. Edits and suggestions follow.
        Carol, Monitor

        For dinner I normally just boil water a cup full of water and
        *** just boil a cup full of water ***

        My digital scale is accurate to about 0.5 oz 14 g), and the total weight of gas starting out in the canister I used was 3.5 oz (100 g). The canister is still going, but barely. I weighed the canister at 4 oz (113 g), which puts the remaining gas at 0.5 oz (14 g) - which also happens to be within the accuracy of my
        *** first line above... (14 g)***
        *** Just a nit here, but I suggest leaving out the canister weight at this point and just including the weight of remaining gas. The point you are making is how much gas you used. The canister weight doesn't help make that point. ***

        factor in the weights of the various stoves I own, and make a determination of which set to based on the total weight of the stove
        *** set to use based ***

        With the exception of my homemade alcohol stove, which can be finicky at times, the Eta Solo will likely be at the top of that list.
        *** I'm not sure what you mean here. Is the HM alcohol stove the first on the list, or left off the list? ***
      • ben.mansfield
        Carol, Thanks for the edits. I ve made the changes you suggested and posted the revised report. Hope you had a nice holiday break. -Ben
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 3, 2011
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          Carol,

          Thanks for the edits. I've made the changes you suggested and posted the revised report.

          Hope you had a nice holiday break.

          -Ben


          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Carol" <cmcrooker@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Ben,
          > Nice report. HTML looks good. Edits and suggestions follow.
          > Carol, Monitor
          >
          > For dinner I normally just boil water a cup full of water and
          > *** just boil a cup full of water ***
          >
          > My digital scale is accurate to about 0.5 oz 14 g), and the total weight of gas starting out in the canister I used was 3.5 oz (100 g). The canister is still going, but barely. I weighed the canister at 4 oz (113 g), which puts the remaining gas at 0.5 oz (14 g) - which also happens to be within the accuracy of my
          > *** first line above... (14 g)***
          > *** Just a nit here, but I suggest leaving out the canister weight at this point and just including the weight of remaining gas. The point you are making is how much gas you used. The canister weight doesn't help make that point. ***
          >
          > factor in the weights of the various stoves I own, and make a determination of which set to based on the total weight of the stove
          > *** set to use based ***
          >
          > With the exception of my homemade alcohol stove, which can be finicky at times, the Eta Solo will likely be at the top of that list.
          > *** I'm not sure what you mean here. Is the HM alcohol stove the first on the list, or left off the list? ***
          >
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