Finally, an Optimus Loke 85!

Discussion in 'Optimus No:85 Loke' started by Doc Mark, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Greetings, Fellow CCS Stovies!

    Well, after years of seeking one, a nice Optimus Loke 85 finally came to live here with us! I paid higher than I wanted, but far less than I actually bid. And, as it turns out, several others of our CCS Mates were hot and heavy into the bidding, too!

    When the Loke arrived yesterday, I quickly opened the box, removed the red padded case, and unzipped it, to see just what my Loke looked like. The seller said it was only used twice, but I do not believe that, judging from the dirty, and somewhat dented condition of the stove and windscreens. Please don't get me wrong, it is in very nice condition, overall, just not as nice as the seller noted. Also, it was missing its 1.9l cook pot. As the pot sets are exactly the same as those used in the Optimus 81 Trapper, I grabbed a set from my original Trapper, and it worked just fine. I hope the seller will still find and send me the missing pot, but we'll see how it turns out.

    As to fettling, the stove would not hold pressure, and a quick inspection showed me that it was leaking from the fuel cap gasket, and also the SRV. Unfortunately, whilst trying to remove the SRV, the brass carrier broke into several pieces! :shock: :thumbdown: :doh: Luckily, I had a new spare Optimus mini-pump cap in my parts cache, and that was that! The cleaning needle was set WAYYYY too high, with almost no throw, at all! So, that, too, was quickly remedied, and now, at 4 clicks down, it offers a much better range from blasting to simmering. Cleaned the windscreens and the stove, and after filling it with fresh water white K-1 kerosene, I grabbed some Meths for priming, and headed outside to give it a go!

    Here's how it all turned out:

    First, the whole kit and caboodle.

    1390591938-DSCN4522.JPG

    And, the basics, all ready to go.

    1390591968-DSCN4523.JPG

    The tank is fine, size-wise, and with this outstanding powerhouse of a burner, I was in hopes that the Loke would soon be humming away, hotly!

    1390592022-DSCN4524.JPG

    The windscreen, all setup with the extra pot supports, which are optional in use, but allow for using different pot sets than what came with the stove. Good idea, however, the windscreen and support are very thin aluminum, and bend VERY easily!! So, being careful is the way to go when installing and removing these extra pot supports. The windscreen is slightly out of round, so I decided to give the extra supports a go, and they worked perfectly.

    1390592154-DSCN4525.JPG

    With the priming dish filled with Meths, the Loke is just about ready to prime.

    1390592240-DSCN4526.JPG

    With no problems whatsoever, the Loke 85 was quickly burning hot and blue, with no underburn! Just followed the directions, and it went like clockwork. :thumbup: :D

    1390592426-DSCN4531.JPG

    Though I did not time the boil, the Loke soon had a lovely rolling boil going!

    1390592463-DSCN4536.JPG

    Also, as we use our stoves to actually cook, and not just as water boilers, I had to check out the simmering capabilities of this powerful Loke 85. How's about this outstanding simmer!?!

    1390592548-DSCN4537.JPG

    Oh, YEAH!! That simmer will work just fine, and it seemed very stable, too!

    1390592651-DSCN4541.JPG

    Also, check THIS out! Note anything "interesting"?? How about TWO windscreens and pot supports!!

    1390592730-DSCN4542.JPG

    For the sharp-eyed amongst you, the windscreen and pot support for the Optimus 91 Purple Flame, on the stove in that photo, also fits this stove!! The pots are slightly smaller than those from the Loke, but it "may" be another alternative, if smaller pots are wanted. Fun! However, there is a caveat which might keep me from using this setup.

    1390593306-DSCN4549.JPG

    And, note the slight difference in the opening into which the burner fits and operates. First, the Loke screen, and then the Opti 91 version, which is tighter around the burner.

    1390593405-DSCN4550.JPG

    1390593427-DSCN4548.JPG

    Don't know if the difference in spacing is enough to cause a problem, so, at least for now, I'll hold off on testing the 91 setup. Here is the Loke with the proper sized pots, purloined from one of my three Optimus 81 Trapper stoves.

    1390593600-DSCN4546.JPG

    And, the rest of the Loke's goodies:

    1390593682-DSCN4543.JPG

    1390593714-DSCN4545.JPG

    A quick comment on using the elastic straps to hold all the bits and bobs of this stove. It seems a good idea, in theory, but I'm not sure that in practice it will be very "practical". At first, I could not get the case to zip up with the packed inside it.

    1390593865-DSCN4552.JPG

    1390593885-DSCN4553.JPG

    However, the thought came into my mind that, if I simply turned the packed stove over, so the narrow part of the pot was on top, it might work, and VOILA, it worked perfectly!!

    1390594317-DSCN4554.JPG

    1390594353-DSCN4555.JPG

    Now, the zipper works much better, and I can see that, if one wishes to organize the small parts of this stove, and take the time to insert and remove them from the elastic, it should work nicely for them. Don't know what I'll do, in the field, but since my good friend Dag Ståle warned about the ease of loosing the pump, and possibly other small parts, maybe using the elastic is a good idea, afterall!

    Though I had hoped to pay a tad less for this stove, and though the one pot is missing and may never come my way, and though the whole set was more dirty than it should have been for being "only used twice", I am exceedingly happy with my Loke 85, and very grateful and blessed that it has finally come to live with us in our mountain home!! For those that are still seeking your own Loke 85, do not give up hope, and keep up the hunt! Be prepared to pay a good bit, as that seems to be the way prices on this particular stove have gone. I am pretty darned sure that you will be VERY glad you did, when your own Loke 85 arrives at your home, just as I was when this one arrived yesterday!! Thanks for checking out this Loke, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. bem1965 Sweden

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    Congratulations seem to be in order!

    A great stove! I will do as everybody else and put it on my wanted list and hope to find it in a box under a table in a thrift store....

    I guess that you can not fit a spirit burner in the Loke wind shield? That would be too good!

    Best wishes!
    Lars
     
  3. Nordicthug

    Nordicthug R.I.P.

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    Schaweet!! Nice little stove Doc. Well Done.

    Perhaps it's time for you to buy some lottery tickets.

    Gerry
     
  4. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

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    Hey Doc,

    Thanks for the detailed write-up and supporting images (especially of the pan/support shots). Glad you found another you can cross off your wish list and at a price lower than your max, always a great feeling. Patience pays off.

    Too bad about the cracked carrier, must have been on there awfully tight. Hopefully you can scrounge another as a replacement as the caps are $$. I acquired a used Loki late last year at great price in part because she came with no pans/windscreen and the bag's zipper was shot and needed to be replaced (careful with yours to not overstress it). But they have great burners as you've mentioned with good heat range. I've used mine with the two flat cross-sectional pot supports that fit and balance over the outer cap, which you see in the Ranger (10/199) setups as well. Good for smaller pots but anything with a wide base or holds over a liter is a bit more of challenge re: balancing.

    The extra pot supports are a wonderful addition making this setup very flexible compared to other similar stove/proprietary pots combos akin to the Trangia. I don't have a Trapper, but do you know if the Trapper has the same ability? I hope you get to use her in the field!

    SM
     
  5. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    All that did was move the item from your list onto mine.
    Very nice post and great details.
    Thanks Doc.

    Ken in NC
     
  6. Knotty

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    It's hard to type with drool all over the keyboard.

    That is one sweet piece of kit.
     
  7. DAVE GIBSON

    DAVE GIBSON Subscriber

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    super buy,a great stove and not like the ones we normally see..used twice,on want,two month long mountain climbing trips!??
    no snow? the last few years we had shots of your place deep in the white stuff..
     
  8. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Guys,

    Many thanks for all the nice comments! Much appreciated, all around! This stove is well worth seeking out, and scoring, so I recommend it to any interested Stovies. Wear out some shoe leather, in your stove hunting, and you may find one for a really good price!

    Thuggy, thanks, Mate! Well, IF we played the Lottery, we'd buy tickets, but since we don't gamble in that way, guess we're out of luck, except for stove success!

    Steve, yes, the optional pot support fit the 81 Trapper, too, and here it is with a variety of different pots. First, the supports inside the Trapper:

    1390623858-DSCN4572.JPG

    You may remember that the Safe-fill includes the red filling/plugging spout, which is in place inside the Trapper burner. Next up is a T25 Duossal pot, smaller of the set.

    1390623944-DSCN4573.JPG

    Fits just right. Now, let's try a Trangia kettle, just for fun.

    1390623985-DSCN4574.JPG

    Again, a nice, useable fit for the little kettle. Now, we'll go to something even smaller, the English-made Bulldog pot.

    1390624033-DSCN4575.JPG

    Yep, the little Bulldog also fits nicely, and as you can see, even with this Meths stove, the Loke 85 optional pot supports allows the use of a wide variety of different pot sizes, which is a grand option to have.

    Dave, we have chilly weather, but so far, since our first pre-Christmas snowstorm, very little actual moisture. Many of us up here on the mountain are praying and hoping for a very wet February and March, and with luck, April, too!! [-o< [-o< [-o< We really need the moisture, be it rain, sleet, ice, or snow, and we'll gladly take whichever of those that comes our way in that regard. Stay warm in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. For what it's worth, the windscreen for the 81 Trapper is far more beefy and strong than the one that comes with the Loke. Guess Optimus was trying to save weight, and possibly some money, when they switched to the lighter aluminum for the Loke. I "might" swipe the pot support from that Trapper, just for a little stronger windscreen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  9. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

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    Thank you very much Doc, great detail. Love the passion you (and many others) show with their stoves, read it in every word.

    That setup looks like one of, if not THE best, at protecting the burner (and the base of cookpots) from winds. Congratulations again with the purchase.
     
  10. yonadav

    yonadav Subscriber

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    Congratulations, Doc! I never knew this model ever existed. Now I will be on the lookout for one.

    Enjoy!

    Yonadav
     
  11. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Morning, Steve, Yonadav, and All,

    Thanks for the kind words, Guys. I agree that this stove should be at the top, when considering those that protect the burner from wind. If the windscreen and pot support were just a tad more beefy, like the 81 Trapper, I would be more inclined to say this is the ultimate stove for Winter use! However, the thinness of the aluminum, and ease of bending the kit, makes me cautious, at least a little bit.

    I got a note from the seller, saying that they were unaware that the stove actually came with two pots, as it appears they bought it used, and with only the one pot. They have very kindly offered to do whatever they can to help me, if I want to seek out a proper 1.9 liter replacement pot! I would be shocked if Optimus still offered such a thing, but will check and see. If one is available, it would be nice to add it to this Loke, without having to borrow pots from my old 81 Trapper. Nice of the sellers to make that offer, in any case. Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  12. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Is this stove meant for ONLY cold weather, so the over heat issue is not present?
    Just a thought. I'm out the door now!

    Ken in NC
     
  13. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Howdy, Ken,

    Well, I haven't read that it's a "Winter-only" stove, and would surmise that it should work perfectly at any time during the year, when using in a windy environment, which is usually everywhere. ;) :thumbup: :D It's not an ultra-light-weight, however, and may be better for using with two people. But, I wouldn't hesitate to carry this stove in my pack, if the mood struck me to enjoy it "out there". 'Course, a Sievert SVEA 123 and smaller cookpot, and/or the Sigg Tourist cook set, are far lighter, and will work just fine for most folks, including me! But, there is just something super attractive about the Loke 85, and I am very happy to now be the Custodian of one!! ;) :thumbup: :D Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark
     
  14. mr optimus

    mr optimus Subscriber

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    Hey Doc congratulations on your superb score, and brilliantly documented and written post.
    To me the Optimus Loke 85 may not be the most beautiful looking classic, but reading your post a very well made designed operating stove.
     
  15. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Howdy, Brian,

    Great to hear from you, my friend, and many thanks for your always kind words! I totally agree with you, that the Loke is not going to win any beauty contests, when compared to a real brass classic stove. However, to paraphrase a line from the movie, Forest Gump, "Beauty is, as beauty does"! ;) :lol: :lol: Though most certainly not a thoroughbred, the Loke should win the hearts of many a Stovie, especially in Winter usage. I'll know more after having a chance to play with this stove more, and actually cook on it. By the way, I found the "40 pumps" recommended in the directions, to be easy, and no big deal. The Midi pump that came with the Loke does seem to work just fine, though I dismantled mine, and then cleaned and added new graphite powder to it. If I could do one thing to change the design, I'd have made the pump usable from outside the windscreen, just in case it was ever necessary to use it during cooking. Should work well, given the bend in the Midi pumps design.

    Thanks, again, Brian, and as always, God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark
     
  16. Stoveuser

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    Hey Doc!
    Thanks for inspiring pics and text. Very helpful to me as a new Loke owner. Only thing missing with mine is the instruction manual. But I guess I can fond it here at CCS :lol:

    Best regards
    Stoveuser
    More stoves = more fun :D/
     
  17. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hi, StoveUser,

    Thanks, again, for your kind words, and hearty congratulations on scoring your own Loke 85!! I can have the instructions that came with my stove copied, and can send them to you in the Mail, if you would like them. My printer is too small to scan the large sheet on which the instructions are printed. So, I will to to our local Print Shop, and have some copies made, then send one to you. Just send me a PT with your full name and mailing address, and I'll send off the instructions in the Post. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  18. Dutch_Peter

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    Hi Doc,

    Congratulations with this great find !! It seems there's always a stove left to hunt ;)
    Any thoughts on why it's so rare? It looks like a very good design: Combining the high-power and good simmering burner with the wind shield of a Trangia.

    Thank you for sharing and have fun :)
    Peter
     
  19. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hi, Dutch_Peter,

    Good to hear from you, and thank you for your comments. I think that, maybe, some reasons why the Loke was not more popular with both military and civilian, alike, were these:

    - They were heavier than other stoves of their period.

    - They had lots of bits and bobs of which to keep track, and as Dag Ståle wrote, concerning the Army, troops complained that it was easy to lose the pump (and I'd imagine more little parts, too).

    - They were large in size during a time when more and more stoves were coming out which were even more powerful, and far smaller (and lighter). I have always called the type of stove to which I'm referring, as "plug and play" stoves, i.e. the MSR, Primus, Apex, and others of that ilk.

    - Last, and I'm just guessing: I'd bet the Loke was more expensive than many smaller, lighter, and more powerful stoves of it's time.

    All that added up, at least IMHO, to not being as popular as it deserved to be. But, to give it a more modern context, look at all the backpackers and hikers, who consider a tiny popcan stove to be just about perfect, and think stoves like the SVEA 123, etc., are thought of as "too big and heavy"!! :shock: :shock: :doh: [-X :lol:

    These are just my thoughts and opinions, but maybe they have some semblance to why the Loke 85 went the way of the dinosaurs, like so many other outstanding stoves of it's day. Personally, I think the Loke is a well-designed and nicely running stove, and it deserves our respect and, yes, admiration! ;) 8) :thumbup: :D

    As to more stoves to find, I think you are absolutely right, but the list is growing smaller and smaller, actually. I still would LOVE to find an Optimus #9 someday, and hope that will eventually happen! Thanks, again, for your kind comments, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  20. ouzel

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    Bem1965 :
    The swedish army spiritburner will fit but it is bigger than trangias.