Tegstove

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by presscall, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Invented and marketed by Spencer Turner, who won support for his invention in an episode of BBC TV’s Dragons Den.

    I bought mine second-hand, unused but for an initial try-out.

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    Takes this type of gas cartridge.

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    Here’s the video from tegology.com



    A key feature for me is that a fan powered by the in-built lithium-ion battery charged by the stove’s TEG (thermo-electric generator) blows air warmed by otherwise waste heat from the burner and heat reflected by the base of a pan or kettle downwards to warm the gas cartridge. It offsets the evaporative cooling of fuel in a gas cart and is very effective - but more of that in my evaluation later.

    It’s a tall, weighty device. Some comparisons of scale, Soto Windmaster and Svea 123

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    The pot rest. Very sturdy, nicely sprung adjustment to three positions - stowed/open/wider open.

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    The legs offer variable height to compensate for uneven ground ...

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    ... and click into place at the base for stowage.

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    The legs are firmly braced and in spite of the height of the stove, create a very sturdy cooking platform.

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    Electrickery.

    The Li-ion battery and charge indicator LED’s.

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    Button to check on the state of charge - fully charged with four LEDs illuminated here.

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    Output USB and input micro-whatsit for charging the battery from an external source (before an outing for example), using the micro-whatsit plug-to-USB plug lead supplied with the stove.

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    End result, charging for a phone, or whatever.

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    The TEG - 56mm square - and burner.

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    That tripod arrangement reminiscent of a ‘classic’ stove’s flame plate conducts heat to the ‘hot’ face of the TEG and these are the cooling fins and air intake to provide a ‘colder’ underside to the TEG and create the thermal differential that ensures there’s a healthy output from the device.

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    Looking up into the cavity where the gas cart goes (the fan just visible in the lower shot).

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    A rush of warm air can be felt beneath the cartridge base.

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    The instructions speak of a gas shut-off mechanism in the event of hot ambient temperatures contributing to the warming of the gas cart by the stove resulting in too high a vapour pressure in the cartridge. After allowing it to cool, it can be re-started by pressing a re-set button.

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    Ignition!

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    Being a butane stove, it’s very controllable of course, from a reliable low simmer ...

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    ... to a powerful maximum.

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    Stuff sack.

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    Box write-ups.

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    From web sources, it’s evident the Tegstove went through a number of prototype incarnations before the production version.

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    My thoughts?

    Firstly, I emphasise I have no connection with the company!

    Purely on what I want from a stove, the charger function is an interesting add-on but not an essential requirement. It’s not a stove I’d use for backpacking (weight and bulk) so it’ll be used not far from wherever my car and its lighter socket charger is parked.

    The way it keeps a gas cart warm is a huge benefit and it’s magical to witness. I inserted a fresh gas cart from my outhouse store and it was very cold. The Tegstove fired up on that, the flame a bit subdued on the cold gas initially but it was soon up to speed and remained so throughout a protracted test session of several kettle boilings. When shut down, the fan remains on and slows very gradually to a stop. I wondered for a while what it reminded me of and it’s the subdued whine of turbo jets you can hear as a passenger as your aircraft finishes taxiing to a halt at the end of your journey.

    It does rather better than an inverted gas cart does I’d say and better than the Soto Windmaster (in the comparison photo above and which I featured on CCS HERE) which itself is no slouch in coping with evaporative cooling of gas carts coupled with low ambient temperatures. Additionally, the use of those cheap butane gas cartridges offers much better cost-effectiveness than the screw canister gas mixtures.

    The inventor speaks of the height of the stove as an advantage, allowing convenient use when sat in a camping chair. I agree, it’s an unexpected delight. True, any stove can be brought up to the same height perched on a suitable table or stand, but the Tegstove is incredibly rooted and stable on those legs. Put it this way, I’m very fond of my Coleman three-burner suitcase stove, mounted on a Coleman stand, but it’s not as shake-free as the Tegstove and it’s stand-up and not sit-down cooking, which is surprisingly enjoyable, I’ve found.

    A disadvantage of the cooking height is that it takes the pot above the usual crop of windshields. The wind-chill effect on a pot and flame can be very significant in disrupting combustion and leaching away the heat from pot and burner. Windshielding is essential. Locating the stove in the lee of a building, tree perhaps, rocks maybe is not always possible and some form of portable windshield is going to be a must-have addition to this stove. On my project list.

    I spoke just now of those prototype versions. Also from a web source, drawings of some even earlier possibilities.

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    What if that ‘horizontal’ type made it into production? Doug’s Optimus 9 springs to mind.

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    The Tegstove? My view, a stove with a lot of character and qualities. A future classic.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  2. Harder D. Soerensen

    Harder D. Soerensen Denmark Subscriber

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    Interesting device - and as always John - a great example on how to picture and describe a stove!

    (It’s gonna be a beast to polish down to shiny brass ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  3. Longilily

    Longilily Subscriber

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    Now that's got some serious engineering gone into it John ! Like it a lot, shame the wind shield aspect hasn't been engineered out.

    Nice right up as always :thumbup:
     
  4. Montero

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    "Looking up into the cavity where the gas cart goes" : I see that's nuclear silo !
    @presscall =Yoda said : comprehensive description it is.
    Btw. There's not so many inventions in this area any trace is precious.
    Best regards
     
  5. Canuman

    Canuman Subscriber

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    That looks weapons-grade. Did you need a special licence to fire it?
     
  6. jrs08

    jrs08 Subscriber

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    John, you have got to have one of the largest and most varied stove collections on the face of the earth. This one kind of reminds me of a Biolite twig stove that runs on butane. Always enjoy your unusual stoves. Thanks for sharing. Jim (jrs08)
     
  7. MrAlexxx

    MrAlexxx SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Just when you think you've seen it all you haven't. Excellent write up.
     
  8. Rickybob United Kingdom Banned

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    i like the built in heatshield - protects the bottom of the pan!
     
  9. Canuman

    Canuman Subscriber

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    If I had to hazard a guess, that looks to be the new Primus ETA laminar flow burner, or a close relative.
     
  10. SomiZ

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    Hi John

    Excellent presentation with all the pros and cons.
    I really enjoyed reading your observation and thoughts on this unique stove
    Its really a nice XXI century gassie, which would probably never reach my info horizon unless presented here.

    In horizontal position It would make a perfect Optimus 9 modern reincarnation and resolve the windshield issue.
    Will you consider to "convert it"? ! :) :)

    Cheers
    Zoltan
     
  11. bem1965 Sweden

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    Arrrghhh! I must have one!

    What a crazy over-engineered solution to no existing need!
    Some of the points of apparent built-in obsolescence might be circumvented.... The battery might just be swapped for one with the current fad of "standard" USB-ports, the kind of micro-USB on your example just went south. But who doesn't love to keep a pocket full of adapters for different standards?

    It would be nice to see the results of a practical test of the efficiency of loading the battery while running the stove, like is a brew up enough to recharge the battery or do you need to run it full blast with three canisters?

    For some reason it reminds me of the Optimus Pro, that both me and my wife loves to use but hates to carry. The Optimus Pro has the same wheight as this contraption....

    Thanks for a splendid write up! Now I "need" another gassie!
    /Lars
     
  12. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    You mean the Primus Pro Lars? I agree, it’s a good analogy.

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    Very good questions you raise about the charging performance. Something I’d resolved to explore to report back on.

    John
     
  13. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    What, Zoltan, and invalidate the guarantee?!!! Probably.

    John
     
  14. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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  15. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Still compiling the evidence, but 79% charge on my I-pad to 82% charge in the time taken to boil a litre-and-a-half of water (3-and-a-1/2 minutes). The Li-Ion battery was fully charged before the session and remained so in that time.

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    A second kettle boiling session produced a very lively flame on max (compared to the photo above of output after the first 3 1/2 minutes firing) almost lifting off the burner. This was due to the warming effect of the fan hot air down-draft.

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    Throttled back to a simmer.

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    Next test will be to discharge the battery by charging my phone/tablet from it when the burner’s not in action, then see how it copes with charging up its battery while charging a device too.

    To be continued ...
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    Love your reviews, John. You could review a paperclip or a battleship and either way it'd be a good interesting read and by the time it was done you'd have all the ins and outs explained to us. Do be careful around the nuclear reactor..........

    1% charge per minute is pretty good, especially for a tablet! I claim no expert status, but from my understanding of the current state of TEGs, that's beyond the abilities of anything that size or cost. I'd bet the battery on the stove did most of the charging and dropped several percentage points, even if the simple four LED charge indicator didn't show a drop yet.

    Looking forward to the next round!
     
  17. redspeedster

    redspeedster United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I was going to say "Excellent photo journalism". But I wouldn't insult you by comparing you to those creatures.
    As for the stove, a solution to a problem that doesn't exist IMHO.
    As you said too heavy (and too tall to be used in a tent porch) for backpacking. If I have the car I've got a @$&/:B-) great big battery and charging set up with me. For that reason I'm out.
    Just shows that dragons know bugger all about camping or stoves, same as the designer.
     
  18. Rickybob United Kingdom Banned

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    the igniter electrode looks highly stressed - never seen one through the burner before
    selling at around £100 is too expensive - is he hoping to sell them to the mod perhaps
    if you put the battery in backwards and it makes icecubes then i am up for one.
     
  19. redspeedster

    redspeedster United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Coincidentally I saw one of these stoves today in Sports Direct of all places.

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  20. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Thanks guys!
    Exactly right, after writing up my report I set another kettle to boil and the charge indicators immediately showed a drop. The greater drain of the tablet over my phone may have made the difference, but it indicates that the charging ability of the set-up has its limitations and I conclude that in my test the TEG’s charge merely slowed down the discharge of the fully (externally) charged Li-Ion battery.

    Next test was to discharge the battery by allowing it to charge my tablet without the stove burner being lit, though I was unable to get the battery completely discharged and one LED charge indicator light showed.

    It must have been very near to zero charge however, because once the TEG got up to working temperature, there was no output to charge my phone and the current from the TEG was evidently wholly assigned to powering the fan at first.

    An experienced camper or back-packer has the knowledge to decide on exactly the right stove for the conditions and requirements. Redspeedster’s lightweight, compact, easy-to-use Speedster alcohol stove perhaps, maybe a small gasoline or kerosene stove to combat the cold in snow and ice. Something like a propane bottle fuelled multi-burner stove for camp.

    Someone without the benefit of that knowledge is for sure going to use a propane multi-burner for camp and a lightweight isobutane stove for more portable use. The Tegstove seems to occupy a place somewhere between the two but although I can see the basis for Gary’s comment about a “solution without a problem” but I’d say it has a practical value nevertheless.

    It’s more portable/stowable than a multi-burner propane stove and outperforms a small isobutane stove, even the Soto Windmaster, that’s one of the best in my opinion. The action of the fan and configuration of the stove, warming the gas cart, has created a butane stove with no tailing-off of performance due to evaporative cooling or lowered ambient temperatures, or indeed, a reduced flame at the burner as the gas cart approaches empty.

    I intentionally ran the stove on a nearly-empty gas cart to the point at which it was totally empty. The burner output was as strong right to the end, with a suddenly extinguished flame and not one dwindling to nothing. That alone makes it a favourite stove already and - in spite of my access to quite a few options and associated knowledge of what they can do when it comes to choice of stove - it’s a sufficiently compelling quality to induce me to adapt my use of it to the circumstances and setting.

    Consequently, I would take it along on a hike and I would use it in camp as an alternative to a liquid-fuelled single-burner stove.

    The ability to charge a phone? it’s not something I’ll rely on as a primary charging device, but maybe to top up a phone from time to time. That said, I have in mind coupling it up to one of those small LED lamps that plug into a USB socket. It’ll be handy to throw some light on my cooking without setting up a separate lantern and stand.

    I’ll sort out a windshield too and will report back on further progress.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018