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Re: [pop-pop-steamboats] Our new members

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  • David Halfpenny
    ... From: Donald Qualls ... Well some engines don t run continuously. They may set off fine, and then stutter to a frustrating halt.
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 30, 2007
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>

      > how can the steam in the tube cool enough to get
      > water back into the hot section, if the hot section stays hot? That is,
      > not a question of the reaction effect (the linear vs. hemispheric
      > argument seems valid there), but rather of how the engine continues to
      > operate indefinitely (pending fuel supply for the burner)...

      Well some engines don't run continuously. They may set off fine, and then
      stutter to a frustrating halt.

      One clue is that the engines work better with the right amount of air in
      them. (Quite what the right amount is, and whether it increases or
      decreases during a run is another matter altogether.)

      So the air and the water act as a spring-mass-damper system, with a
      resonant frequency.

      This of course is in addition to all the evaporation and condensation going
      on, but all the same it is a clue.

      The important thing about a resonance is that the Output is out of phase
      with the input: the movement is greatest when the pressure is least. If you
      find this counter-intuitive, I recommend spending a few years pushing kids
      on swings as being a better path to illumination than diving into the
      maths.

      There's an analogy here between a pop-pop and a "displacerless" Stirling
      engine. Resonance causes the air in the sole cylinder to move 90degrees out
      of phase with the piston, just like a crankshaft-driven displacer would.

      David 1/2d
    • Donald Qualls
      ... Aaaah! Key here is that, having never actually operated a pop-pop, I wasn t aware they need some air in the system to operate. This makes perfect sense,
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 30, 2007
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        David Halfpenny wrote:
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>
        >
        >> how can the steam in the tube cool enough to get
        >> water back into the hot section, if the hot section stays hot? That is,
        >> not a question of the reaction effect (the linear vs. hemispheric
        >> argument seems valid there), but rather of how the engine continues to
        >> operate indefinitely (pending fuel supply for the burner)...
        >
        > Well some engines don't run continuously. They may set off fine, and then
        > stutter to a frustrating halt.
        >
        > One clue is that the engines work better with the right amount of air in
        > them. (Quite what the right amount is, and whether it increases or
        > decreases during a run is another matter altogether.)
        >
        > So the air and the water act as a spring-mass-damper system, with a
        > resonant frequency.
        >
        > This of course is in addition to all the evaporation and condensation going
        > on, but all the same it is a clue.
        >
        > The important thing about a resonance is that the Output is out of phase
        > with the input: the movement is greatest when the pressure is least. If you
        > find this counter-intuitive, I recommend spending a few years pushing kids
        > on swings as being a better path to illumination than diving into the
        > maths.
        >
        > There's an analogy here between a pop-pop and a "displacerless" Stirling
        > engine. Resonance causes the air in the sole cylinder to move 90degrees out
        > of phase with the piston, just like a crankshaft-driven displacer would.
        >
        > David 1/2d

        Aaaah! Key here is that, having never actually operated a pop-pop, I
        wasn't aware they need some air in the system to operate. This makes
        perfect sense, then; the steam forces water out, but doesn't completely
        clear the tube (so no steam bubbles emitted) and the inertia of the
        water pulls the pressure in the tube well below ambient; this then
        causes water to rush back in and actually compress the remaining air (as
        well as condensing some of the steam), and if things are all well, the
        inertia of the inflowing water will be sufficient to bring enough into
        the hot zone of the boiler to power another cycle.

        As you say, the water remaining in the pipe is acting as the piston in a
        hybrid of a Stirling cycle and a phase-change system similar to the
        Rankine steam cycle.

        BTW, I've seen photos and drawings of very large steam pumping engines
        that used only the water as their pistons, but (of course) they used a
        separate boiler and a valving system of some sort to control the steam.
        The pop-pop sounds like it uses a similar cycle, but with steam
        controlled by access of water to the hot section.
        --
        If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
        it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

        Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

        Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
        and don't expect them to be perfect.
      • David Halfpenny
        ... From: Donald Qualls ... Yes. However few owners give any thought to air: it just happens, or not. With the diaphragm type motor,
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 30, 2007
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>

          > This makes perfect sense, then;

          Yes.

          However few owners give any thought to air: it just happens, or not.

          With the diaphragm type motor, it would be hard to exclude all air as it
          will lurk in the recesses when the motor is first filled.

          However with the coil type it would be difficult to include any, but some
          will come out of solution as soon as the water is heated.

          It is possible that there are several different types of successful
          configuration - long tubes, short tubes, immersed tubes, inboard tubes etc
          and I can't get my head round it all. But as you say, folk who have made
          transparent motors have found them instructive.

          David 1/2d

          Jargon:

          A Stirling engine:
          - compresses a load of gas (usually air),
          - heats it up while compacted
          - lets it expand (providing a power stroke)
          - cools it down while expanded.
          Repeat.

          A Rankine engine:
          - boils a load of liquid (usually water),
          - lets the steam expand (providing a power stroke)
          - condenses it back into water
          - pumps it back into the boiler.
          Repeat.

          Either can be used either as a motor or be motor-driven to act as a heat
          pump shifting heat from a colder zone to a warmer one. For example a
          Rankine engine can be made either as a steam power plant or as a
          motor-driven refrigerator.

          There have been a lot more Rankine engines built than Stirling engines
          because it's a heck of a lot easier to pump liquid than to compress gas,
          and because a lump of steam holds a lot more heat than a lump of air at the
          same temperature.

          There: the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!
        • Donald Qualls
          ... Well, at least as it stood ca. 1900, when internal combustion wasn t yet a major player in the prime mover game. In fact, most steam engines made over the
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 30, 2007
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            David Halfpenny wrote:
            > Jargon:
            >
            > A Stirling engine:
            > - compresses a load of gas (usually air),
            > - heats it up while compacted
            > - lets it expand (providing a power stroke)
            > - cools it down while expanded.
            > Repeat.
            >
            > A Rankine engine:
            > - boils a load of liquid (usually water),
            > - lets the steam expand (providing a power stroke)
            > - condenses it back into water
            > - pumps it back into the boiler.
            > Repeat.
            >
            > Either can be used either as a motor or be motor-driven to act as a heat
            > pump shifting heat from a colder zone to a warmer one. For example a
            > Rankine engine can be made either as a steam power plant or as a
            > motor-driven refrigerator.
            >
            > There have been a lot more Rankine engines built than Stirling engines
            > because it's a heck of a lot easier to pump liquid than to compress gas,
            > and because a lump of steam holds a lot more heat than a lump of air at the
            > same temperature.
            >
            > There: the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!

            Well, at least as it stood ca. 1900, when internal combustion wasn't yet
            a major player in the prime mover game. In fact, most steam engines
            made over the past four hundred years have been an "open" version of the
            Rankine cycle, with the pump back to the boiler and often the condenser
            omitted in the interest of mechanical simplicity and/or reliability
            and/or lightness. I'm sure that's the case, because there have almost
            certainly been more steam engines built as locomotives and tractors than
            all other applications together, and virtually all of those are open cycle.

            Which, of course, doesn't change the elegance of an engine that can
            drive a tiny watercraft with no moving parts other than the working fluid...

            Worth noting relative to Stirling that the compression and expansion is
            typically a pretty small percentage of the volume; most of the designs
            I've looked at seem to run 3-5% volume change over the full stroke of
            the power piston. Steam, by comparison, has an expansion (if I recall
            correctly) of about 260:1 over the liquid phase; that makes steam
            engines capable of immense effort at very low speed (at least those that
            are designed for that kind of thing, minimum feature set including a
            variable cutoff valve gear) while Stirling is closer to an internal
            combustion engine in the way it runs -- that is, must keep up a pretty
            good rotational clip to run at all, because each power stroke produces
            relatively little energy.
            --
            If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
            it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

            Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

            Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
            and don't expect them to be perfect.
          • David Halfpenny
            ... From: Donald Qualls ... Yes indeed - letting the condensing happen in the atmosphere and substituting alternative Working Fluid
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 30, 2007
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>


              > most steam engines
              > made over the past four hundred years have been an "open" version of the
              > Rankine cycle, with the pump back to the boiler and often the condenser
              > omitted in the interest of mechanical simplicity and/or reliability
              > and/or lightness.

              Yes indeed - letting the condensing happen in the atmosphere and
              substituting alternative Working Fluid is technically cheating, just as
              leaving a turbine wake behind and ingesting substitute air is.

              > there have almost
              > certainly been more steam engines built as locomotives and tractors than
              > all other applications together, and virtually all of those are open
              > cycle.

              I'm sure you are right, but for such an influential piece of kit the number
              of steam locomotives built has been surprisingly few. I've not seen any
              estimate that exceeds a million. The humble pop-pop may well be (or soon
              become) more numerous!
              >
              > Which, of course, doesn't change the elegance of an engine that can
              > drive a tiny watercraft with no moving parts other than the working
              > fluid...
              >
              Absolutely! D
            • Donald Qualls
              ... Well, don t forget that most of steam s influence was in the days when a few dozen of something important could change the world. But look at what else
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                David Halfpenny wrote:
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>
                >
                >
                >> there have almost
                >> certainly been more steam engines built as locomotives and tractors than
                >> all other applications together, and virtually all of those are open
                >> cycle.
                >
                > I'm sure you are right, but for such an influential piece of kit the number
                > of steam locomotives built has been surprisingly few. I've not seen any
                > estimate that exceeds a million. The humble pop-pop may well be (or soon
                > become) more numerous!

                Well, don't forget that most of steam's influence was in the days when a
                few dozen of something important could change the world. But look at
                what else steam has done -- powered ships (the bulk of which after about
                WWII ran turbines instead of steam expanders) and operated stationary
                power installations (either electric generation -- again, virtually
                always turbine -- or things like mine engines); both of those are surely
                fewer in number than even locomotives. One could make a case that there
                have been more model steam engines built than there ever were full size
                ones, though I don't know where you'd get the figures to back it up...

                --
                If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
                it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

                Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

                Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
                and don't expect them to be perfect.
              • David Halfpenny
                ... From: Donald Qualls ... OK then: An Infernal Confusion engine: - compresses a lump of air, - heats it up a lot - expands it
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>

                  >> There: the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!
                  >
                  > Well, at least as it stood ca. 1900, when internal combustion wasn't yet
                  > a major player in the prime mover game.

                  OK then: An Infernal Confusion engine:
                  - compresses a lump of air,
                  - heats it up a lot
                  - expands it (providing a power stroke)
                  - lets it escape along with the products of combusion (which may also
                  provide a reaction thrust)

                  The one closest to the pop-pop is the pulse-jet or doodelbug engine, which
                  also uses an oscillating column of fluid in a backwards-pointing tube. (My
                  parents weren't very fond of these as they were married in London in August
                  1944.) In this case, the resonant pressure wave opens and closes the air
                  inlet valve, sucks in and atomises the liquid fuel and compresses the
                  ingested air. Ignition is usually by contact between the explosive mixture
                  and the hot walls of the combustion chamber.
                  The result is very simple and powerful model boat engine that is several
                  decibels noisier than a pop-pop

                  David 1/2d

                  There are one or two additional details, but the core science behind post
                  mediaeval Mechanical Engineering isn't mechanics, or mechanisms, or
                  materials, important as they all are: it's thermodynamics.
                • Donald Qualls
                  ... Of course, this cycle, like the Rankine, can be used either in batch mode or in continuous mode. Common piston, rotary, and pulse-jet engines operate
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                    David Halfpenny wrote:
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>
                    >
                    >>> There: the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!
                    >> Well, at least as it stood ca. 1900, when internal combustion wasn't yet
                    >> a major player in the prime mover game.
                    >
                    > OK then: An Infernal Confusion engine:
                    > - compresses a lump of air,
                    > - heats it up a lot
                    > - expands it (providing a power stroke)
                    > - lets it escape along with the products of combusion (which may also
                    > provide a reaction thrust)

                    Of course, this cycle, like the Rankine, can be used either in "batch"
                    mode or in "continuous" mode. Common piston, rotary, and pulse-jet
                    engines operate in pulsed or "batch" mode, where a discrete "lump" of
                    working fluid goes through the entire cycle independent of other
                    charges, while ramjets, turbojets and turbofans and at least one variant
                    piston engine (an internal combustion version of an elbow engine)
                    operate in continuous mode, where all parts of the cycle operate on a
                    flowing stream of working fluid (rather like the difference between pot
                    distillation and a distillation column, or lab synthesis vs. an
                    industrial process).

                    > The one closest to the pop-pop is the pulse-jet or doodelbug engine, which
                    > also uses an oscillating column of fluid in a backwards-pointing tube. (My
                    > parents weren't very fond of these as they were married in London in August
                    > 1944.) In this case, the resonant pressure wave opens and closes the air
                    > inlet valve, sucks in and atomises the liquid fuel and compresses the
                    > ingested air. Ignition is usually by contact between the explosive mixture
                    > and the hot walls of the combustion chamber.
                    > The result is very simple and powerful model boat engine that is several
                    > decibels noisier than a pop-pop

                    The classic valved pulsejet actually has a front intake and almost
                    entirely one-way flow, and model airplane versions have a venturi
                    carburetor built into the intake at the forward end (the German design,
                    too large to work well with a flat reed valve, incorporated the fuel
                    delivery into the grid that held the valves, so didn't as much resemble
                    a simple venturi carburetor).

                    There are actually a couple valveless pulse jets that are even closer to
                    a pop-pop in operation; all compression and flow control is due to
                    pressure pulses in resonance with the pipe, and both pipe openings face
                    backward and produce thrust (though the designs I've seen have them
                    different lengths and the overall flow is from the shorter pipe to the
                    longer; there has to be some directional flow to keep drawing in fresh
                    air and fuel and removing combustion products, of course, but it could
                    be worth testing to see if this would be the case with our kind of
                    pop-pop, since tuning the tubes to product directional flow has the
                    potential to greatly increase the efficiency of the engine). The
                    resonance frequency in these, in hobbyist scales, tends to be in the
                    mid-upper audible range, leading them to produce a very distinctive
                    screaming sound in addition to the usual loud roar of any jet exhaust.

                    > David 1/2d
                    >
                    > There are one or two additional details, but the core science behind post
                    > mediaeval Mechanical Engineering isn't mechanics, or mechanisms, or
                    > materials, important as they all are: it's thermodynamics.

                    Yep, pretty much anything invented since James Watt improved the pumping
                    engine at the mine where he worked (by inventing, out of laziness, an
                    automatic valve gear to replace the continuous attention of a boy)
                    depends on thermodynamics, at least until you start getting into
                    practical electricity in the late 19th century. At that point,
                    Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism become the important ones...

                    --
                    If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
                    it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

                    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

                    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
                    and don't expect them to be perfect.
                  • David Halfpenny
                    ... From: Donald Qualls ... All good stuff, and worth remarking - for the benefit of Our new members in the subject line - that
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>

                      >>>> the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!

                      All good stuff, and worth remarking - for the benefit of "Our new members"
                      in the subject line - that very little of our traffic is this
                      philosophical.

                      We major in the sheer delight of simple little boats, whether mass produced
                      from printed tinplate or cunningly homemade out of cardboard or balsa wood.


                      My 'Rattanndeep Enterprise' tinplate Titanic fell out of the cupboard today
                      (I caught her before she hit the deck).
                      http://www.angelfire.com/extreme2/rattandeepenterprise/

                      I took a look at her workings. The burner is a 7/8" diameter tinplate tray
                      balanced precariously on the outlet pipes out of reach and out of sight,
                      and very close to the underside of the pop-chamber. So I think it's fair to
                      say that the chances of a successful run As Supplied are vanishingly
                      small - par for the course I suppose ;-)

                      I shall try to sail her in the kiddies' paddling pool in the park while
                      it's too cold for kiddies to paddle, but not cold enough to be drained for
                      the winter. I've got some brand new Wellies (gumboots) in case of
                      emergency!

                      David 1/2d
                      Chartered Mechanical Engineer
                    • brian458666@550access.com
                      ... Yes, and I had a moment of illumination just now as I was loading up my coffee maker...although it does use a check valve, and the older style percolators
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                        >
                        > There are actually a couple valveless pulse jets that are even closer to
                        > a pop-pop in operation;

                        Yes, and I had a moment of illumination just now as I was loading up my
                        coffee maker...although it does use a check valve, and the older style
                        percolators used a restricted inlet to work.
                        Brian
                      • Donald Qualls
                        ... I ve got a stovetop type percolator that has a very broad, flat funnel covering the base and feeding into the vertical pipe, with liquid flow under the
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                          brian458666@... wrote:
                          >
                          >> There are actually a couple valveless pulse jets that are even closer to
                          >> a pop-pop in operation;
                          >
                          > Yes, and I had a moment of illumination just now as I was loading up my
                          > coffee maker...although it does use a check valve, and the older style
                          > percolators used a restricted inlet to work.
                          > Brian

                          I've got a stovetop type percolator that has a very broad, flat funnel
                          covering the base and feeding into the vertical pipe, with liquid flow
                          under the funnel permitted only through a couple tiny openings or under
                          the edge if a pressure pulse should lift the pipe and basket clear of
                          the pot base. The electric percolator I used to own had a rather tiny
                          boiler chamber, roughly hemispherical, under the base of the pipe, and
                          again a couple small openings to admit liquid. To my eye, they depend
                          on the bulk of liquid in the pot being fairly well below boiling, so it
                          takes a few seconds (even when the pot has begun to perk) for inflowing
                          liquid to boil, after which rising bubbles push liquid out the top of
                          the pipe; as the coffee heats, bubbles push smaller and more frequent
                          slugs of liquid into the dome to drip through the grounds until the pot
                          stops working at all when the liquid is very close to boiling -- just
                          steam comes up the pipe, because the liquid can't fill the working
                          chamber, much less the pipe, before it boils.

                          An automatic drip coffee machine (a la Mr. Coffee) works similarly but
                          with a limited supply of water; mine seems to have an unrestricted
                          intake from the tank, and depends on the temperature of the water supply
                          to regulate the rate of boiling, which in turn regulates the temperature
                          of the water that gets poured into the grounds basket. It's a little
                          topsy-turvy, though; start with water that's too warm and you'll get
                          mostly steam and poor flow through the pipe, while starting with icy
                          cold water gives the best coffee because you get good slugs of water and
                          they heat up just right before the hot spot boils and pushes them
                          through. This pot, however (mine's a Melitta), seems to depend strongly
                          on the inertia of water in the tank as well as on heating most strongly
                          near the intake to produce a useful pumping action. I didn't see
                          anything I could identify as a check valve when I had it apart for
                          cleaning after a period of disuse...

                          --
                          If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
                          it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

                          Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

                          Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
                          and don't expect them to be perfect.
                        • brian458666@550access.com
                          ... Yes, I had completely forgotten about the stovetop variety and was going with the electric ones only. Most of the electric percolators used a small boiler
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                            Quoting Donald Qualls <silent1@...>:

                            > brian458666@... wrote:
                            > >
                            > >> There are actually a couple valveless pulse jets that are even closer to
                            > >> a pop-pop in operation;
                            > >
                            > > Yes, and I had a moment of illumination just now as I was loading up
                            > my
                            > > coffee maker...although it does use a check valve, and the older style
                            > > percolators used a restricted inlet to work.
                            > > Brian
                            >
                            > I've got a stovetop type percolator that has a very broad, flat funnel
                            > covering the base and feeding into the vertical pipe, with liquid flow
                            > under the funnel permitted only through a couple tiny openings or under
                            > the edge if a pressure pulse should lift the pipe and basket clear of
                            > the pot base. The electric percolator I used to own had a rather tiny
                            > boiler chamber, roughly hemispherical, under the base of the pipe, and
                            > again a couple small openings to admit liquid. To my eye, they depend
                            > on the bulk of liquid in the pot being fairly well below boiling, so it
                            > takes a few seconds (even when the pot has begun to perk) for inflowing
                            > liquid to boil, after which rising bubbles push liquid out the top of
                            > the pipe; as the coffee heats, bubbles push smaller and more frequent
                            > slugs of liquid into the dome to drip through the grounds until the pot
                            > stops working at all when the liquid is very close to boiling -- just
                            > steam comes up the pipe, because the liquid can't fill the working
                            > chamber, much less the pipe, before it boils.
                            >
                            > An automatic drip coffee machine (a la Mr. Coffee) works similarly but
                            > with a limited supply of water; mine seems to have an unrestricted
                            > intake from the tank, and depends on the temperature of the water supply
                            > to regulate the rate of boiling, which in turn regulates the temperature
                            > of the water that gets poured into the grounds basket. It's a little
                            > topsy-turvy, though; start with water that's too warm and you'll get
                            > mostly steam and poor flow through the pipe, while starting with icy
                            > cold water gives the best coffee because you get good slugs of water and
                            > they heat up just right before the hot spot boils and pushes them
                            > through. This pot, however (mine's a Melitta), seems to depend strongly
                            > on the inertia of water in the tank as well as on heating most strongly
                            > near the intake to produce a useful pumping action. I didn't see
                            > anything I could identify as a check valve when I had it apart for
                            > cleaning after a period of disuse...

                            Yes, I had completely forgotten about the stovetop variety and was going
                            with the electric ones only. Most of the electric percolators used a small
                            boiler of under an inch in diameter that was at the very bottom of the pot. I
                            haven't seen or used one of those in many years and further details are elusive
                            now, and my Mr. Coffee type devices get a lot of use. It seems that each
                            manufacturer incorporates their own flaws so my standard backup is a french
                            press. But all of mine have check valves molded into the bottom of the
                            reservoir.
                            Brian
                          • Donald Qualls
                            ... I ll have to go look at mine; I couldn t get some pieces apart (they seem to be assembled with one-time latch-in parts, you d break them before they d
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 1, 2007
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                              brian458666@... wrote:

                              > It seems that each
                              > manufacturer incorporates their own flaws so my standard backup is a french
                              > press. But all of mine have check valves molded into the bottom of the
                              > reservoir.

                              I'll have to go look at mine; I couldn't get some pieces apart (they
                              seem to be assembled with one-time latch-in parts, you'd break them
                              before they'd fully disassemble), so it's very possible it has a check
                              valve I missed. That would make a lot more sense in terms of avoiding
                              bubbling back up through the tank, and it would only need a small
                              plastic ball trapped in the joint between two pieces.

                              --
                              If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
                              it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.

                              Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com

                              Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
                              and don't expect them to be perfect.
                            • Double Diamonds
                              i was also looking into the possibility of using pulse-jet designs to improve on putt-putt engine work and was considering that it might allow for a faster
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 26, 2013
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                                i was also looking into the possibility of using pulse-jet designs to improve on putt-putt engine work and was considering that it might allow for a faster engine cycle and quiet running from the lack of a diafram might allow more speed

                                --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, Donald Qualls <silent1@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > David Halfpenny wrote:
                                > > ----- Original Message -----
                                > > From: "Donald Qualls" <silent1@...>
                                > >
                                > >>> There: the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering on a postcard!
                                > >> Well, at least as it stood ca. 1900, when internal combustion wasn't yet
                                > >> a major player in the prime mover game.
                                > >
                                > > OK then: An Infernal Confusion engine:
                                > > - compresses a lump of air,
                                > > - heats it up a lot
                                > > - expands it (providing a power stroke)
                                > > - lets it escape along with the products of combusion (which may also
                                > > provide a reaction thrust)
                                >
                                > Of course, this cycle, like the Rankine, can be used either in "batch"
                                > mode or in "continuous" mode. Common piston, rotary, and pulse-jet
                                > engines operate in pulsed or "batch" mode, where a discrete "lump" of
                                > working fluid goes through the entire cycle independent of other
                                > charges, while ramjets, turbojets and turbofans and at least one variant
                                > piston engine (an internal combustion version of an elbow engine)
                                > operate in continuous mode, where all parts of the cycle operate on a
                                > flowing stream of working fluid (rather like the difference between pot
                                > distillation and a distillation column, or lab synthesis vs. an
                                > industrial process).
                                >
                                > > The one closest to the pop-pop is the pulse-jet or doodelbug engine, which
                                > > also uses an oscillating column of fluid in a backwards-pointing tube. (My
                                > > parents weren't very fond of these as they were married in London in August
                                > > 1944.) In this case, the resonant pressure wave opens and closes the air
                                > > inlet valve, sucks in and atomises the liquid fuel and compresses the
                                > > ingested air. Ignition is usually by contact between the explosive mixture
                                > > and the hot walls of the combustion chamber.
                                > > The result is very simple and powerful model boat engine that is several
                                > > decibels noisier than a pop-pop
                                >
                                > The classic valved pulsejet actually has a front intake and almost
                                > entirely one-way flow, and model airplane versions have a venturi
                                > carburetor built into the intake at the forward end (the German design,
                                > too large to work well with a flat reed valve, incorporated the fuel
                                > delivery into the grid that held the valves, so didn't as much resemble
                                > a simple venturi carburetor).
                                >
                                > There are actually a couple valveless pulse jets that are even closer to
                                > a pop-pop in operation; all compression and flow control is due to
                                > pressure pulses in resonance with the pipe, and both pipe openings face
                                > backward and produce thrust (though the designs I've seen have them
                                > different lengths and the overall flow is from the shorter pipe to the
                                > longer; there has to be some directional flow to keep drawing in fresh
                                > air and fuel and removing combustion products, of course, but it could
                                > be worth testing to see if this would be the case with our kind of
                                > pop-pop, since tuning the tubes to product directional flow has the
                                > potential to greatly increase the efficiency of the engine). The
                                > resonance frequency in these, in hobbyist scales, tends to be in the
                                > mid-upper audible range, leading them to produce a very distinctive
                                > screaming sound in addition to the usual loud roar of any jet exhaust.
                                >
                                > > David 1/2d
                                > >
                                > > There are one or two additional details, but the core science behind post
                                > > mediaeval Mechanical Engineering isn't mechanics, or mechanisms, or
                                > > materials, important as they all are: it's thermodynamics.
                                >
                                > Yep, pretty much anything invented since James Watt improved the pumping
                                > engine at the mine where he worked (by inventing, out of laziness, an
                                > automatic valve gear to replace the continuous attention of a boy)
                                > depends on thermodynamics, at least until you start getting into
                                > practical electricity in the late 19th century. At that point,
                                > Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism become the important ones...
                                >
                                > --
                                > If, through hard work and perseverance, you finally get what you want,
                                > it's probably a sign you weren't dreaming big enough.
                                >
                                > Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer http://silent1.home.netcom.com
                                >
                                > Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
                                > and don't expect them to be perfect.
                                >
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