Optimus alcohol stove

Discussion in 'Optimus No:88 (alcohol)' started by David Roberts, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. David Roberts

    David Roberts United States Subscriber

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    My 40 year old Optimus alcohol stove.

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  2. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    Cool unit. Looks a lot like the META 50. How does the burner compare to the Trangia? If it is like the military Trangias found in the Snusburk mess tin, it may be from an army contract.
     
  3. David Roberts

    David Roberts United States Subscriber

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    I bought this Optimus new from an old camping store in Baltimore Maryland about 1978.
    That store was amazing and stocked to the rafters with old surplus WWII stuff.
    The Optimus burner has seen many miles and has two settings - high and really high.
    The "simmer" ring works ok - not as well as a sliding cover like the Trangia has I suppose.
    Without the simmer ring I can boil a pan full of water (1 liter) for 10 minutes on one ounce of methanol.
    Or pop a tea kettle on for a nice cuppa.
    This is my go to stove for car camping and backpacking.
    The wind screen is the best.
    I have used this stove at altitude, in the cold, and the wind blowing with no trouble.
    Of course the blue flame can be hard to see at light up...is the darn thing lit???
    But once it gets its flame on there is no doubt.
    I have always used methanol which works very well.
    When I use methanol I get no black soot on the pans l as I have had from other denatured alcohol fuels.
    I plan to try ethanol alcohol.
    Any thoughts or experience using ethanol?
     
  4. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    I have one late '70s Trangia burner that has an open circular simmer ring like yours with similar results -- hot and really hot. Acquired an Esbit alky burner, only to find it was not made in Germany but China, and was very much a knock-off of my Trangia. Primary difference was the Trangia has holes of one size. The Esbit has larger and smaller holes alternating. Just a patent-infringement dodge, not any noticeable performance difference. The Esbit simmer ring is an improvement, besides the variable opening of the later Trangia simmer ring, it also has a spring clip [like on a manuscript clip] handle that makes it easy to set it on a burning heater and snuff it out.
    I'm using CleanStrip ethonol[?] from Home Depot. Also I use the yellow Heet fuel additive.
    Both burn clean and hot. Isopropyl 90 % was a bust. It burned poorly, with lots of smudge. I have burned Everclear in the past, but the temptation to drink it instead [or spike near-beer] is too much. Also kind of spendy.
    I don't have a Trangia pot set yet. I have acquired a couple of stands one minimalist Evernew titanium cross stand, and one 3-piece titanium potstand from Boundless Voyage Outdoors.
    I bought my first Trangia burner from REI to use inside a Swiss Ranger Volcano Flask Burner. Works very well in that long tube. Much better than the twigs and pinecone fires most people think it's for. You could burn that stuff, but risk melting the aluminum tube.

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  5. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    I'm on the way....
    That is the wrong time of night to suggest alternate uses for priiming fuel....

    I'm going to have to look at sensible mixtures for our next bbq, and punch. :)

    It'll be fun experimenting if nothing else. It'll fill a gap till the autumn crop off the allotment. :)