Jan 5, 2012 at 11:07 am #1283735
Out with the old-
In with the new-
I built it using Captain Paranoia's fantastic Caldera Clone post script file. He's done an impressive amount of work on his project.
I modifed the closure detail to a design I've been playing with lately… It's ok- I like the way it looks and works on smaller diameter windscreens, but probably isn't as secure as CP's original design on something this large. I used it on a traditional winsdscreen for my beer can pot as well, as detailed in this post http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,2712.0.html
I also had to make the bottom part of it in two pieces because the pattern wouldn't fit on my 6" wide roll of roof flashing. I used some rivets that I had laying around from a previous project to fasten it together.
After doing a whole mess of tests yesterday, I've concluded the clone is definately more efficient. During these test I was getting around about a 9:30 boil time with my old windscreen, and an average of about 8:50 with the clone. The best I can tell, the average burn rate of the fuel stayed pretty close to the same so it's not just making the stove run hotter.
BMJan 5, 2012 at 11:31 am #1820187
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Yeah, I can believe that your cone would show a bit better performance. The CC is more or less a standardized form. Looks Good!Jan 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm #1820221
I forgot to post a pic of its most important feature that sets it apart from a Trail Designs CC! When disassembled, it all fits INSIDE of my pot, neat and tidy.
BMJan 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm #1820229
That is sweet! Almost no room lost, because you still have the pot volume to pack other stuff into.
I like that a lot because if you have a bigger pot, your efficiency typically increases and I like doing one big batch of hot water or snow melt instead of many small ones. And with that snug, efficient fit, there's very little volume penalty for a larger pot.Jan 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm #1820336
> "I built it using Captain Paranoia's fantastic Caldera Clone post script file. He's done an impressive amount of work on his project."
Seriously? Fantastic? Impressive? *HIS* project? Seriously?Jan 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm #1820358
As far as I know, he wrote the post script file. It's a seriously impressive piece of work. You enter in your variables as outlined by the readme file, save it, and send it to your printer. BAM, there's a pattern for a clone. Have you looked at it? I guess the development of the post script file was helped along by many of the outdoorsmagic forum members.
I'm not taking anything away from the Caldera Cone- it's a good piece of kit, but as I mentioned in my previous post, fitting inside my pot is an essential criteria. To have a big pot like my 1.3l evernew, and then have to store the windscreen in a separate bulky container is a no go.
Making a complete system that works together takes a bit of work, and a lot of fiddling. The Trail Designs kit is a very convenient one stop shop- drop down a chunk of change and a few days later everything shows up in the mail and you are a happy camper. But I'm quite handy with a hole punch and a pair if scissors, and have at least 100 alcohol stoves I've made over the years (not counting the ones I've thrown out) to choose from to play with so a DIY route is more up my alley. Plus I drink lots of soda so I've got plenty of raw materials for future stove building at my disposal.
BMJan 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm #1820362
@keith_bassettLocale: Pacific NW
I just got the clone script from him today. Nice to see that someone else is using the narrow flashing. I like the rivets as a way to hold them together. Good thinking and a seriously solid connection.
Do you think you could get by with just two rivets?Jan 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm #1820365
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
The previous poster (Rand) is one of the owners of Trail Designs who OWN the patent AND name Caldera Cone.Jan 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm #1820370
I dunno- I used three because it looked good. I had the 1/8" diameter rivets left over from an previous project. I only needed 12, but they only come in bags of a 250 or something… I would look at getting maybe some smaller ones for material this thin. And they are real, smash with a hammer rivets, like in aviation. I got that from McMaster. I love that place- too bad they don't have a walk in retail store you could browse the aisles like a Home Depot- only they'd make Home Depot look like a corner market in comparison.
BMJan 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm #1820374
"The previous poster (Rand) is one of the owners of Trail Designs who OWN the patent AND name Caldera Cone."
Yeah, I figured that. And I've read through the Caldera Cone patent- but if you read carefully- I wrote "Caldera CLONE".
Rand made the Caldera Cone. Props to him.
CP wrote a post script file. I mean, the name should have given it away, but I never even once thought for a moment that post script was an actual scripting language.
BMJan 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm #1820385
> as I mentioned in my previous post, fitting inside my pot is an essential criteria. To have a big pot like my 1.3l evernew, and then have to store the windscreen in a separate bulky container is a no go.
….and that's exactly why we developed a solution that fits inside the Evernew 1.3L pot.
RandJan 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #1820397
"….and that's exactly why we developed a solution that fits inside the Evernew 1.3L pot."
But it's takes up most of the space inside the pot, leaving little room for anything else. If you look at my pictures of the stowed clone, my windscreen is put away without needing to be rolled up so tightly, and leaving my post pretty much empty for whatever else I want to stuff in there. I like my 1.3l pot to bake with, but that requires a very slow burning stove (while keeping a close eye on thermal run-a-way) so with my setup I could fit a couple of stoves, baking cups, measuring cup, dish towel, scotch brite pad, lighter, fork/spoon, etc., with room to spare.
You make good products. I have nothing against you or your organization. But I do mechanical design for a living. I'm almost never satisfied with off the shelf anything, and am ALWAYS looking to fix things that aren't broken. I mean, I couldn't even leave CP's post script file alone. I entered my basic dimensions, then using a Linux command line program (pstoedit- it's available for Windows but I couldn't get it to work) converted it to a dxf file. Then I opened it up in SolidWorks DWG editor (lame AutoCAD clone, but it's all I have at work to edit dxf files) and spent a good part of the day tweaking it (when I should have been working :o… ). The ps to dxf conversion was real sloppy and took a while to clean it up into something I could work with, just so I could change the closure detail… Call me crazy…
BMJan 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #1820435
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
The cone is a basic shape and is taught as part of many math programs in elementary schools and high schools. As long as you don't distribute the clone you do not infringe on any patents. You are free to do anything for yourself.
I tend to do the same as you. I fix things, new, out of the box. I repair my car by removing 20 parts and replacing them with 16. Postscript is indeed a standard language. Most printers these days speak it, as you found out. Not that easy to work with, though.
Anyway, I like your cone set up. Please avoid Trail Design's involvement by not using their names for something. They make a good product and do not want it confused with engineering prototypes, good or bad.Jan 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm #1820465
>"As long as you don't distribute the clone you do not infringe on any patents. You are free to do anything for yourself."
True in a practical sense – going after someone for a one-off, what are damages? The gross or net profit on one stove? $10-20? Plus legal fees if successful, so it all about the putative aspects, not the compensatory. You've caused so little harm, you're unsueable.
Eli Whitney's cotton gin is an example – it was tremendously insightful to turn the process around – picking the cotton from the seeds instead of the seeds from the cotton. Ironically, he had hoped to make slave's lives easier but it revitalized the whole plantation cotton industry. But any handiman who'd seen one could make one himself so Whitney made nothing from it.
But if you fall within the scope of a patent, yes, you're infringing, even if you are making it for yourself. Now, personally, I dislike how the patent office has gone to largely granting patents to anyone who fills out the forms correctly and for which is not obvious prior art. And letting other claimants fight it out in the courts. I wish they would enforce the "non-obvious" clause more. Because an awful lots of minor ideas and tweeks get patents. Things that, to me, any skilled designer could have come up with. Stuff that is hardly the first transitor or airplane (or thermarest or free-standing tent in our realm.) I have NO opinion of Trail Design's stuff. I'm not familar with their product line or their patents. I'm just saying, in general, we're granting too many patents and while that employs many laywers, it can stiffle innovation.Jan 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm #1820553
"but probably isn't as secure as CP's original design on something this large. "
Just curious: What did CP design? And what was original about it? What does your improved design weigh? And how much water are you boiling in your tests?Jan 6, 2012 at 8:50 am #1820763
"Just curious: What did CP design? And what was original about it? What does your improved design weigh? And how much water are you boiling in your tests?"
I'm referring to his folded slot/tab closure as compared to mine. I've used my closure method on smaller diameter windscreens before, and because of the small diameter there's more tension on the joint giving it a more positive "snap" when engaged, and it stays put really well. I can play catch with my Heineken windscreen without it popping open. On this clone setup, it's not as secure. Excessive wiggling will cause it to pop open, quite annoyingly, making my pot fall onto my stove. I've bent it around a bit to make it more secure, but still, I like how it looks but it's not perfect.
BMJan 6, 2012 at 10:37 am #1820833
Anyone know where to get uncoated aluminum flashing? I bought some aluminum flashing from Lowe's to make windscreens out of, but it had some type of coating on it that turned brown and emitted some wicked fumes during stove operation. The flashing at Home Depot has the same coating.Jan 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm #1820869
I have no idea, so can't help you there. I just use the coated stuff and just deal wiht it when it burns… But I do have one secret I can share…
Have you ever noticed that when the flashing starts to burn, the windscreen gets all deformed? The flashing wants to be more or less flat (slight curvature from coming rolled up) and wants to stay flat. When it gets hot, the aluminum first starts to stress relieve, and in that area the stress will relieve (and when it burns it will anneal), and the areas that are still under stress try to flatten out, making a bit of a mess of your windscreen. So, my very simple solution- stress relieve your windscreen under controlled conditions before you use it the first time in the field! Assemble your windscreen, and toss it in a 350F – 400F oven for a little while. Then it will evenly stress relieve, so when one side starts to burn, it won't get bent all out of shape. This technique can also be used to fix an already warped flashing windscreen. Just tightly wrap the flashing around a cylindrical object that's slightly larger in diameter than the assembled size of the windscreen. Fasten it tightly with binder clips, bailing wire, whatever, and toss it in the oven. When it comes out, it will be more or less fixed.
BMJan 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm #1820872
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
You might try using aircraft paint remover. Pretty good (nasty too) stuff.Jan 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm #1820891
"True in a practical sense – going after someone for a one-off, what are damages? The gross or net profit on one stove? $10-20? Plus legal fees if successful, so it all about the putative aspects, not the compensatory. You've caused so little harm, you're unsueable."
Interesting point- but what if there's no loss of sale? For the form factor reason's I've already outlined, and that fact that I'd never pay $35 plus tax and shipping for something so relatively simple to make, with tools and materials I already have on hand (my only purchase was a $7, 1/16" diameter arts and crafts hole punch to make a nice termination of the flissure joint cuts).
"Eli Whitney's cotton gin is an example – it was tremendously insightful to turn the process around – picking the cotton from the seeds instead of the seeds from the cotton. Ironically, he had hoped to make slave's lives easier but it revitalized the whole plantation cotton industry. But any handiman who'd seen one could make one himself so Whitney made nothing from it.
But if you fall within the scope of a patent, yes, you're infringing, even if you are making it for yourself. Now, personally, I dislike how the patent office has gone to largely granting patents to anyone who fills out the forms correctly and for which is not obvious prior art. And letting other claimants fight it out in the courts. I wish they would enforce the "non-obvious" clause more. Because an awful lots of minor ideas and tweeks get patents. Things that, to me, any skilled designer could have come up with. Stuff that is hardly the first transitor or airplane (or thermarest or free-standing tent in our realm.) I have NO opinion of Trail Design's stuff. I'm not familar with their product line or their patents. I'm just saying, in general, we're granting too many patents and while that employs many laywers, it can stiffle innovation."
The current patent process really frustrates me. I deal with it on a day to day basis, and my company's primary source of income is by collecting royalties on patents we own and license to other companies. Let us look at this from the consumer's standpoint: for example, Trail Designs doesn't offer a 2 piece cone for sale, yet their patent covers it. Obviously there's a market for 2pc cones, or that thread on OM wouldn't have over 500 posts. So what are potential consumers supposed to do? Live without their needs being met? Spend their money on a product that's ok, but not quite what they want? I (or anyone else besides TD) can't make and sell 2pc cones to them. The handy ones can make their own from CP's script, but everyone is SOL. How is that fair?
How about this hypothetical situation- pretend TD makes crap cones. Let's say their quality, manufacturing and materials, is total rubbish. For the sake of the argument let's say that I have the manufacturing capabilities to laser cut them from premium materials, cnc form the closure details, and because of my superior manufacturing capabilities can offer them at a lower price point. But I can't w/o infringing. So then what are consumers to do? Suffer a poor quality product, or no product if TD went out of business for making shoddy gear, until the patent expired in 20yrs?
(Please do not accuse me of accusing TD of making shoddy gear- just a hypothetical scenario. I've never seen TD cones first hand, but have heard nothing but good things about them from various blogs and consumer reviews.)
BMJan 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm #1820900
BM: I know you're speaking hypothetically here.
In the "they have the patent but don't manufacture it" situation, well, yeah, that innovative is potentially off the table for 20 years.
In the "They make it but they did a lousy job" scenerio, again, maybe everyone suffers.
But in both cases, a contractual deal could resolve the issue. They issue a license or a limited license to another firm that does have an interest in marketting it or manufacturing a better quality item.
And, in both cases, if you copy their design for their own use AND YOU DON'T TELL ANYONE, you're unfindable and therefore untouchable.
Also, in both cases, if you have better idea or better manufacturing, you can similarily make it for yourself with impunity.
Note: My thoughts on making one for yourself being unenforceable isn't always true. If Shell starts using a process that Chevron patented in one of their refineries, Chevron is going to find out. And go after them.
Regarding "but what if there's no loss of sale? . . . I'd never pay $35 plus tax" That wouldn't cut the mustard in court. Their patent, they get to decide the price. Also, factoring in your time at your billing rates, I'm guessing that's a $300 stove you've got now! I know mine are.
I'd like to see a range of patent periods. Somehow related to the design cycle. A drug that took 7 years to develop, test and get approved should have a longer protected period (15 years?) than a couple of fins on a pot (5 years?). Also the pace of change of the industry should be factored in. Should the primary patent on white LEDs (blue being the last color to be figured out) or more so, something in integrated circuits hold up everyone else or bleed revenue from all other firms and consumers for 20 years/18 months = 13 life cycles? Whereas, if you really do invent a better mousetrap or lawnmower or plow, sure, have 15 years to market it.
Editted to address another point you made: "I (or anyone else besides TD) can't make and sell 2pc cones to them.": But you could patent the 2-piece design. You couldn't market it without a license from them. And they couldn't market the 2-piece version without a license from you. That happens all the time in automotive and electronics manufacturing – multiple or reciprocal licensing agreements between firms.Jan 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm #1820918
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
I give Russ and Rand (Trail Designs) a lot of credit for going after a patent on the Caldera Cone. First of all, few people know how much work and cost is associated with issuing a patent. Issuing a domestic patent (for a large company) use to cost upwards of $10k and internationally the costs were over $80k. Additionally, there are maintenance fees associated with maintaining the patents. The patent process takes a lot of time and energy and they did a great job. As a cottage industry, they took it upon themselves to stake a claim and defend their rights to their original thoughts. This is regardless of the product quality or if they bring the idea to market. I don’t know for sure but I suspect you would be violating their claims IF someone decided to just sell patterns of a CC. The purpose of a patent is to provide a timeline where the owners of the intellectual property and recoup their investment. How long do you think it would take to make a $10k profit in a cottage industry?
As others have said, if you like your split cone idea you should talk to TD about a licensing agreement. That way you can make it a win-win scenario for everyone. If they like it a lot, they might consider compensating you for your idea (I said might). That also would make it a win-win for everyone.
Legally, you can review their patent in detail and come up with a new implementation that is functionally effective yet doesn’t violate the patent claims (this is very common in the industry). BTW, if the CC was an absolute winner, then I would suspect a bigger company (like MSR) would come in and do exactly that. Even if you could circumvent their claims, you may be hard pressed to sell many due to the interesting nature of the UL community (think Boilerwerks / mKettle).
The bottom line is, build a better (legal) mouse trap yada, yada,yada…Jan 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm #1820924
Jon: I agree with everything you say.
For myself, here's my win-win:
When on company time, I keep my ideas in-house. Not to patent, but so we're smarter, cheaper or more competitive than the competition.
When on my own time, I just blab about my ideas and hope someone takes them and runs with them.
IME, there's no shortage of clever ideas and I'd rather be brainstorming new ones and testing stuff in the garage, the wilderness, or a toxic-waste site than filling out forms, and spending time in court to enforce a patent. But that's just me.
-DavidJan 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm #1820934
> Trail Designs doesn't offer a 2 piece cone for sale, yet their patent covers it. Obviously there's a market for 2pc cones,….So what are potential consumers supposed to do?
Not true….Trail Designs does offer, builds, and regularly sells a 2 piece cone system. We don't offer it through our website but we are selling 2 piece cones all the time. We posted all kinds of stuff about it here on the BPL Wiki…..but that's gone now. There's all kinds of comments and threads about it here on BPL….just search for our "Fissure" product….there are posts on it going back for years and even someone picked it as their "2011 Readers Choice". We don't advertize it much because its a pain in the ass to make and so we handle it on an as requested basis. Here's a youtube video:
RandJan 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm #1820937
…oh…yea….and it was WELL over $10K to get the patent….as much as you may hate the philosophy of the patent office….try and actually get one.
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