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Magispook

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Equipment Testing
« on: February 12, 2006, 06:25:14 PM »

Used the snowfall we had last night to do some testing.¬  We only got about three inches but I wanted to see how my backpack tent (North Face Rock 23) handles a snow load.¬  No problems at all.¬  Had some droop at the front vestibule but nothing else.¬  You can see the tent to the left in the below picture.¬  Normally I camp with a hammock (winter too) but sometimes a tent is good to have if there is more than one person.¬  The dish at the right side of the solar panel array in the picture is my Solar Sizzler.¬  I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how it performed on a somewhat sunny winter day.¬  The black thing on the tripod is a popcorn popper I painted flat black.¬  Got hot quite quickly.¬  ¬ :)¬  If you've ever been curious about a Sizzler, now you see the setup.



Below is a close-up pic of the Solar Sizzler.¬  If you look closely at the newspaper wad dropping, you can see it is in flames.¬  A great and fun way to test the focal point and amount of heat generated is to put a wad of newspaper in the beam and see how long it takes to light.¬  About five seconds this time but, hey, it is winter time.¬  Guess it's a no-brainer as to the identity of the guy having fun playing with fire.¬  ¬ ::D


Thanks to CL for helping me post these pics.
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Nurseforlife

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 07:10:50 PM »

That Solar Sizzler looks like an interesting set up, I'm curious id you cook anything else but the popcorn using the Sizzler, and what did you think of the over all performance?
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 08:20:51 PM »

Keep in mind, I don't know how to cook well.  But, I've cooked bacon and eggs,, grilled cheese sandwiches, boiled water, and popped popcorn with it.  My daughter makes a dynamite grilled cheese sandwich using a pie iron painted flat black.  Just about anything you can make with a pie iron (like pies) can be done.  You adjust the heat by adjusting the amount of sunlight concentration on the pot/skillet/cooking utensil and/or by raising or lowering the tripod if you use one.  Just about anything you can cook in a skillet or pot can be cooked with this.  In terms of "stealth cooking" i.e. no smoke, odor, or fire, you can make a stew by boiling your stew contents about ten minutes, then transfer the contents to a fireless cooker (also known as a haybox).  Or you can cook a number of goodies all at one time by placing your veggies in one boiling bag, meat in another bag, dessert in another, then boiling them all together as you would cook in a crockpot only faster given the heat the parabolic cooker produces.  More info on the Sizzler can be found at solarsizzler.com if one is of a mind to do additional research.  Google or ixquick.com parabolic cookers or the Solar Sizzler for more info.  Gee, if I was the game tailgating sort, this would be a neat toy to take there.  I really like mine, but then, I am a shameless experimenter/gadget enthusiast.  Problem is, I don't have the funds to satisfy so I buy carefully--this item was well worth the money and I did a lot of research before buying.  BTW, mine is a factory second with blemishes (doesn't affect operation at all) and I got it at a discount.  Hopefully, I can make it to one of OCH's get togethers and demonstrate, eh?
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CountryLady

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2006, 10:05:06 PM »

I like your gadgets, Magispook. I like how you walk your talk. :afro:

And you bet your 'bippy' you have a demo-date at the next OCH get together.

BTW... a hundred years ago when I was a smoker :coolsmiley: I had a solar cigarette lighter that was a tiny parabolic dish. People wouldn't believe that little thing could do the job, but it did, and rather quickly too. Thankfully, I stopped smoking back in 1984. :afro:
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2006, 10:11:39 PM »

I have one of those solar cigarette lighters.  I used it to explain the principle behind the sizzler to my daughter.  Neat little device.  I tried just bending some aluminized poster board into a parabolic shape but didn't work.... don't know unless you try.   ::D
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Nurseforlife

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2006, 10:25:42 PM »

Thanks for the link and the information. I would love to make it to an OCH gathering!
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cassBme

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 10:35:39 PM »

Now that's really interesting, I've never heard of them before. I could see having some fun with that! Thanks for the pic's.
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Garnet

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2006, 05:06:35 PM »

I decided to test my solar cigarette lighter.¬  BTW the instruction said made for Radio Shack.¬  I used a roll of newspaper about the size of a cigarette and a little longer.¬  Followed the directions about 4 pm in bright sun (about 55 f) and waited about 4 minutes.¬  Saw the bright spot at the focal point, but it did not get hot enough to burn.¬  Not even warm to the touch.¬  So I asked DH to try, since he was the one who had acquired it.¬  Didn't work for him either.¬  Knowing the optics principle involved, we were both surprised that it didn't work.¬  But glad we weren't depending on it in an emergency.¬ 

Guess it's a good thing to test gear and gadgets.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2006, 05:50:31 PM »

Garnet, try a darker color and more loosely packed tinder in the cigarette lighter (think tobacco color).  It will light.  It will light faster around noon.   :afro:
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Garnet

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2006, 08:11:09 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions, Magicspook.  I can probably retreive the gadget from the trash and try it with other paper at high noon.

Hope to see your Sizzler demo sometime.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2006, 09:33:41 PM »

By all means, retrieve it!  I'd love to have another one but you just can't find them nowadays as far as I know.  Back when I was an active electronics technician, I was toying with the idea of using the lighter as a dish antenna, not for radio waves, but for light waves such as a laser pointer modified to transmit sound.  Unlike radio waves, no one can hear you because the beam is so narrow and targeted to the receiver.  Problem is that the beam tends to spread out over distance and consequently so does the signal strength because of it.  The cigarette lighter antenna would gather that weakened light and focus it to the focal point where you typically would put the tinder but would go to the light receiver instead.  May just try that one of these days.  Please do retrieve it if only for use as a conversation starter.   :afro:
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2006, 08:01:30 PM »

GSI Vortex Blender - Got mine in today.  Will post at Gear and Gadgets Reviews.
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weaver

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2006, 08:16:56 PM »

Nice Tent.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2006, 05:10:24 PM »

Guide Gear Bivvy - Light duty test today.  Will post results over at Gadgets and Gear.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2006, 07:51:15 PM »

Coleman Mini-lantern - Got a Coleman mini-lantern at Walmart a few days ago.  Costs about $10.  It's a two-LED mini-lantern.  The white LEDs are BRIGHT and batteries are included.  It also has a slide mirror so you can adjust for omnidirectional light or light with a more narrow beam.  Guestimating it's about 8 inches tall and 1.5 inches at its widest (somewhat an elongated triangle in shape).  Bright yellow body with black base.  Seems pretty stable.  It has a small plastic bail handle so you can hang it.  I really like it.  Well worth the money, especially if you use solar recharged AA batteries.
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CountryLady

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2006, 12:02:34 PM »

I'd looked at these but figured the light would be too dim.
Now I'll reconsider it. :clap

:ty Thanks for posting this Magispook.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2006, 10:24:33 PM »

Sorry for the delay in posting here in this forum.  Been busy and lazy.  My latests views:

Guide Gear Windproof Lighter (Sportsmansguide.com): Piece Ďo crap.  Takes me about seven or eight attempts to get it lit.  But it is windproof I believe.  I could not blow the flame out.   The LED button cover came off after the first day in my pocket.  A piece of the plastic hinge broke off and now I canít carry it in my pocket as the metal spring covered by the former plastic hinge keeps stickiní me in the leg.  On the other hand, the compass works well.

Guide Gear 4" Self Inflating Pad (Sportsmansguide.com): Comfy.  Big.  So big it canít be rolled back up to fit in the bag included.  Ah, youíre supposed to store self-inflating pads inflated anyhow.  This is definitely a base camp itemĖtoo heavy to backpack.   Itís really comfy.  Only one air valve so it takes forever for it to deflate even if King Kong is your helper.  Deflating is a killer on the wrists too.  Despite that, I like it.

Guide Gear Camp Cot (Sportsmansguide.com): Higher than the cots I used in the military.  Heavier too.  Good for car camping.  Sturdy, thatís for sure.  I suspect the fabric stretches for a bit.  Fits in its bag!  The bag opens up to become an attachable holder (hangs on side of cot) for stuff you would normally put on a table.  My daughter has taken it overĖshe likes it that much.  Great for cool sleeping when itís hot.  Sets up and takes down in about a minute.  Saw one of these being handed out to refugees on one of the video segments about the recent earthquakes in Indonesia.

Northwest Territory 12 LED Remote Control Camping Lantern (SuperKmart): Gives adequate light without heat.  I rationalized this purchase for lighting during hot weather when I would not want to use an Aladdin lamp.  Remote control is of some concern.  It looks and feels flimsy but works.

Northwest Territory Tent Fan with LED Light (SuperKmart): Two speed fan needs to be close to you so use as a personal fan.  Built in hanger to hang in tent, otherwise sits well on a desk.  Might use it for car camping but not backpacking as it is too heavy with the batteries.  The LED light is annoying because the lens reminds me of some form of disco faceted lightingĖwould be hard to read by.  Adequate.

Gamo Varmint Stalker Air Rifle (Cabelaís): Havenít had a chance to really sight it in yet but seems to do the job with the target pellets I managed to fire before the wife caught on and got worried what the neighbors might think.  Has a scope with laser sight and flashlight.  Feels good weight and balance-wise.  Hardly any noticeable kick.  Ammoís cheap enough.  Single shot at a time, then cock it for next shot.  Got it at a $70 or so discount because the person who returned it could not figure out how to put the batteries into the flashlight and laser.

Blowgun (Cabelaís): Neatest thing since sliced bread.  Habit forming.  Mine came with about 20 darts.  Daughter kept using mine so I got her a 36" one (my blowgun is 48").  Hers came with about five different varieties of darts (about 20 of each kind).  Visitors to our home find it addictive.  Lots of different darts come with the $20 one I got for my daughter (mine was $10).  Good way to recycle pizza boxes.  I put a giant spit wad in mine and shoot it at the dogs when they wonít stop barking (donít worry, doesnít hurt them, just startles).  You can get paintballs for them too.  We bought a small bottle of Ďem.  Takes a lot of ooomph to get the paintball to target so it will splat.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2006, 08:38:39 AM »

Remote Control LED Lantern - Just a quick update.  Took it with us when we went tent camping in VA.  Positive:  didn't attrack any bugs and most likely used very little battery power.  Negative:  Remote wouldn't work.  Gave out about 1/3 the light of a flourescent tube lantern we took as well.
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2010, 10:53:57 AM »

Hammacher-Schlemmer Packable Walking Stick - Got one about a month ago.  I have a great going out into the woods for more than a few hours home-made hiking staff but I wanted a very light weight for my one hour walks since I do have a hill or two on my route.  Also, I plan another one of my longer walks this or next month which is almost 24 miles in length (last time it took me about 6.5 hours but I was only 50 years old then).  The path is the local rails to trails and will be from where I presently live to my home town.  A hiking staff comes in handy by helping set a pace, assisting on what little uneven terrain is on the trail, and keeping dogs (or people) at bay.  This staff folds down to about 12 inches, is very sturdy, has a compass/camera mount, has a mesh carrying case, and even has measuring markings.  It is very light and I really like it.  Here's a link.


http://www.hammacher.com/Product/77776?cm_ven=HS&cm_cat=ProductSEM&cm_pla=AdWords&cm_ite=77776&OVMTC=Broad&site=&creative=3258492377&OVKEY=folding%20hiking%20sticks
   
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Magispook

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Re: Equipment Testing
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2010, 11:13:13 AM »

Currie Technologies E-zip 750 Electric Scooter - Bought one at Sam's Club.  Been wanting one for a long time as I've wanted some kind of electric vehicle that is easy on the wallet relatively speaking.  Good news and bad news.  Yep it works, is fun, easy to operate, and almost quiet.  Could probably rig a 24 volt solar charger for it.  But it does not pull well here on the grades (some flat-landers would call them hills) to the point I have to "assist" it by using my feet as in a completely people powered scooter.  I was hoping to be able to ride it just about anywhere and that would be the case if I lived in a flat area.  Also you are cautioned not to ride it in the rain or over wet surfaces.  I do use it to take our recyclables to the recycling collection point a quarter mile away but have to "assist" it going up the hill.  You get about a ten mile range and a top speed of about 12 mph.  Couldn't find a link on the Sam's Club site but here's one from amazon. Got it for $300 at Sam's Club.  Oh, and it looks really cool when I stand up on it and glide along, especially from the collection site as the perspective is from a lower level to the hill with scrub greenery between me and it.  It appears to the observer that I'm walking  (they can only see the upper torso) at about ten miles an hour.  Great surprised looks which, being a magician, always pleases me.


https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_8?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ezip+750+electric+scooter&sprefix=ezip+750


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