new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

getting free advice  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think there is a bizarre bunch of things going on with all this stuff that most of you don't know about.


#1

ernie and erica would teach people, for free, for years. I posted videos for free. And because there were places where a few people did not understand the physics or the math, they would say mean and hurtful things. But smarter folks would understand and have great success.

Eventually the message was optimized so that people had less fuel for their ugliness.

So the first message is, keep in mind that those people that try to help others for free tend to get an ugly shit storm for payment.


#2

I am dumbfounded at the number of fire themed bucket-of-horrors that are created and the creator proudly yells "rocket mass heater!" --- no, that is not a rocket mass heater. You need to come up with your own name for that freak show of flaming death.


#3

I have managed on-line forums for over 25 years. So I am used to people contacting me outside of the forums to ask me questions that really belong in the forums. And I am a mega hard ass about it and say: If you ask me your question in the forum, I will answer you in the forum at no charge. Outside of the forum, it would seem that you are asking me for a private consultation, and I charge $160 per hour for that.

It is bizarre the number of people who email me (or send a PM from all sorts of PM services) and say "you don't know me, but I have a question about rocket mass heaters." I tell them the above and their response is "I don't like forums, can't you just answer my questions over email?" "Yes, I can. Here is my paypal account, please send me $160." "That is ridiculously rude beyond words! How do you expect to change the world with an attitude like that?"

the answer, of course, is that I cannot help 20,000 people if my time is consumed by one person. Posts in the forums help thousands.

Ernie and Erica get bombarded with similar stuff in their email. I try to tell them to charge these folks or direct them back to the forums. Usually they remember, but sometimes they are too softhearted. And being softhearted is nearly always punished.


#4

These are growing pains. This is a technology with a popularity that is growing exponentially. The people that are involved are being run ragged. There is just not enough time in the day to personally help everybody. And a lot of folks that have come to the forums to learn, and have left once their rocket mass heater is working well. They do not feel the same compulsion to help others. Especially when helping people seems to always come with so much pain.

It isn't really the fault of the newbie. They're new! They don't know all this stuff that is happening. Since they are new, they probably think there are only 12 of these build each year and they will be one of the 12! So, surely, the great experts will be excited to hear about their efforts! The reality is that there are thousands being build this year - probably five times more this year than last year. And a lot of those people are seeking help privately - and want it for free.

All of the people in the rocket mass heater world are trying to figure out ways to cope with the freakishly massive demands on their time. As the crowds grow ever larger, the previous techniques will fail, nerves will get frayed, and new techniques will need to be tried under the banner of "trial and error" - and the "error" part will surely lead to more stumbles.

An ever growing massive gob of less-than-perfect human beings trying to collectively move forward.


#5

I would like to ask people to try to use a slight language differentiation. A "rocket stove" is for cooking - typically outdoors. A "rocket mass heater" is based on rocket stove technology, but is for heating your home - typically indoors. Calling it a "rocket stove mass heater" is okay. But when you say you want to heat your home with a "rocket stove" then a lot of people get concerned about the smoke and gasses that will build up in your house and then everybody will die. Adhering to this tiny bit of vocabulary stuff soothes a lot of problems.



 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is a recent thread that six people directed me to. Last night I hid the thread with the idea that I will try to figure out what to do with it in the morning. I am now going to put that off another hour or two in the hopes that my friend coffee will help a smooth path be more obvious.
 
Andor Horvath
Posts: 91
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
free vs. fees! i concur, it's a dilemna, especially when discussing one's "trade".
I've given many free seminars on "low cost DIY food and energy strategies for the urban environment",
and it can be difficult to transition from free to consultation/design.
Often people simple don't realize the time i've invested in this area; similar to carpentry sometimes:
people simple don't think craftsmen should charge what doctors and lawyers get away with...
even with the amount of schooling (traditional and hard knocks) and tools I show up with.

I digress,
thanks for this vibrant, important, enlightened forum
 
Andor Horvath
Posts: 91
1
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
#2...perhaps there should be a "freak show of flaming death"/performance art category"!
 
John Master
Posts: 518
Location: Wisconsin
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I very much agree with your consulting answer, glad to see you putting the kind of value on your time that it deserves. Time=money, although you get a good feeling out of helping people (we all do to an extent) you can't just spend all day every day helping those less knowledgeable on the subject or you will implode like a black hole. Energy and home heating are an astronomical market and especially for a product the customer can construct from commonly available local materials, hard to make into a business that pays back unless there are well defined limits of what can be expected. Thank you for the time you spend tying up all the loose ends, it's a great site. Can't wait to get mine up and running for real.
 
Ernie Wisner
gardener
Posts: 791
Location: Tonasket washington
31
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Erica and I try to give everyone a fair shake but we do have some expectations.

1. meet us halfway; read the book and the forum! most of the questions i see folks asking have been answered so do a little searching. probably the best way to search for what Erica and i have put out is to simply search for our names. then i wont have to get pissy cause you are asking questions that have no relevance to anyone who has done a minimum of research.

2. if you ask Donkey, Paul or Peter and then you come to me, I am going to be royally pissed off. you have asked the folks at the forefront of RMH design and while i do not agree with everything they advise. I will stand by them; they have well performing stoves. Do not play me against them.

3. dont bring super basic questions to me. you have the resources here to get every basic question answered.

4. i am not going to advise you on something that is not an RMH and i dont like to advise folks who have not built an RMH before they try to modify it. you simply dont have the data to work with and it is a waste of my and everyone else time to try and talk you through a modification unless we can have a common ground to start from. that common ground is a working basic RMH. from there you can go wherever you wish but that is the starting point.

all of this ought to be obvious to most folks who give and get respect but it seems that some folks just cant give the basic respect of being informed about a subject.

Thanks Everyone
 
Jamie Corne
Posts: 61
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:I think there is a bizarre bunch of things going on with all this stuff that most of you don't know about.


#1

Ernie and Erica would teach people, for free, for years. I posted videos for free. And because there were places where a few people did not understand the physics or the math, they would say mean and hurtful things. But smarter folks would understand and have great success.

Eventually the message was optimized so that people had less fuel for their ugliness.

So the first message is, keep in mind that those people that try to help others for free tend to get an ugly shit storm for payment.


#2

I am dumbfounded at the number of fire themed bucket-of-horrors that are created and the creator proudly yells "rocket mass heater!" --- no, that is not a rocket mass heater. You need to come up with your own name for that freak show of flaming death.


#3

I have managed on-line forums for over 25 years. So I am used to people contacting me outside of the forums to ask me questions that really belong in the forums. And I am a mega hard ass about it and say: If you ask me your question in the forum, I will answer you in the forum at no charge. Outside of the forum, it would seem that you are asking me for a private consultation, and I charge $160 per hour for that.

It is bizarre the number of people who email me (or send a PM from all sorts of PM services) and say "you don't know me, but I have a question about rocket mass heaters." I tell them the above and their response is "I don't like forums, can't you just answer my questions over email?" "Yes, I can. Here is my paypal account, please send me $160." "That is ridiculously rude beyond words! How do you expect to change the world with an attitude like that?"

The answer, of course, is that I cannot help 20,000 people if my time is consumed by one person. Posts in the forums help thousands.

Ernie and Erica get bombarded with similar stuff in their email. I try to tell them to charge these folks or direct them back to the forums. Usually they remember, but sometimes they are too softhearted. And being softhearted is nearly always punished.


#4

These are growing pains. This is a technology with a popularity that is growing exponentially. The people that are involved are being run ragged. There is just not enough time in the day to personally help everybody. And a lot of folks that have come to the forums to learn, and have left once their rocket mass heater is working well. They do not feel the same compulsion to help others. Especially when helping people seems to always come with so much pain.

It isn't really the fault of the newbie. They're new! They don't know all this stuff that is happening. Since they are new, they probably think there are only 12 of these build each year and they will be one of the 12! So, surely, the great experts will be excited to hear about their efforts! The reality is that there are thousands being build this year - probably five times more this year than last year. And a lot of those people are seeking help privately - and want it for free.

All of the people in the rocket mass heater world are trying to figure out ways to cope with the freakishly massive demands on their time. As the crowds grow ever larger, the previous techniques will fail, nerves will get frayed, and new techniques will need to be tried under the banner of "trial and error" - and the "error" part will surely lead to more stumbles.

An ever growing massive gob of less-than-perfect human beings trying to collectively move forward.


#5

I would like to ask people to try to use a slight language differentiation. A "rocket stove" is for cooking - typically outdoors. A "rocket mass heater" is based on rocket stove technology, but is for heating your home - typically indoors. Calling it a "rocket stove mass heater" is okay. But when you say you want to heat your home with a "rocket stove" then a lot of people get concerned about the smoke and gasses that will build up in your house and then everybody will die. Adhering to this tiny bit of vocabulary stuff soothes a lot of problems.





Respecting people's various trades is important. Many people in many different industries go to the "experts" for things that they don't necessarily know about. There is a rapidly growing interest in rocket stoves throughout the United States. A lot of this, I think has to do with our current economic climate.

Many people find this site through Google or Youtube. I found it by being referred. I will not name his name for certain personal reasons.

When I first came here - I did not realize who the "more experienced" people were. I was excited and it was like an adventure for me. I was so curious - as most people are. The rocket mass heater and Rocket Stove are very awesome things - that a lot of people are only starting to hear about. It's very difficult to know the "basics" of any of these structures because the internet is full of different designs and I think that's why most people end up here. Upon arrival - there are so many topics...

I read on this forum for a little over a week...before registering and beginning to communicate. The threads that I had read...showed many "experienced" rocket stove builders helping others with their questions...and conversations about helping...

As a newbie - I thought this was the norm. I wanted to learn - and so my questions were naturally directed at those people whom I felt were most knowledgeable. These same people seemed to be very open, kind and willing to help - so I emailed several (or PM'd on here).

I had no idea that might have been "offensive" to some. In my experience on the internet on forums that are directed at a trade - people that are experienced have always been more than willing to help and answer questions of those who are just getting started.

My suggestion: perhaps pin a topic on top explaining things to newbies - so that this won't happen in the future. There are many people who don't know anyone on here and once venturing out to other forums and sites...may not know there are connections.

When I go to a doctor - I always try to get a second opinion on things. Most people do, and in fact, among the medical community - it's recommended. By pinning a topic above explaining the various intricacies of asking for help - it might lead to less "trouble" here and more productivity.

Just some thoughts.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please, Paul, Ernie, Erica, don't sell yourselves short. I went looking for a column of David Pogue's where he describes how he handles his oodles of email, but I can't find the one I'm remembering.

What I remember is that he used macros to change a brief phrase (I recall it being "buzz off") into a more detailed paragraph deftly and clearly explaining why the emailer was FOS. He had different messages for people who wanted him to advise them personally on which XXX to buy or people who wanted him to troubleshoot their computer. I'm thinking that all of you need a similar canned message (or three) so that you don't waste time explaining why you can't answer questions via email (or discuss newbies fabulous new ideas for RMH improvements) over and over again. Apparently Outlook can do this sort of substitution for you.

David has gone even further, making dozens of abbreviations in his typing (like t for the and wv for Windows Vista and mx for Mac OSX) but that's because he basically lives on his computer. I can't explain how he does it, but maybe somebody else can.
 
Kirt Metcalf
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am new to forum. What I would like is info on rocket mass heaters. I have watched videos and read about them here. I saw a video around Corvalis, Oregon (I live a couple hours away) and was wondering about learning how to make a RMH. Where/when are there weekend workshops or training to make a RMH? For instance, I have no idea about cob? I have friends that I help get firewood for because we can not afford $$$electricity (I use 4-5 crds and they use as much) and I am not getting any younger nor they, plus we would use less fuel consumption from forest. I would like to learn how to make a RMH and then make some for friends and families that can not afford heating cost. Thanks, Kirt
 
Shane McKenna
Posts: 50
Location: Utah
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
RTM is one of those subjects that deserves a "Read this first" thread that always stays on top. It could include a list of links to Ianto's book, videos, the best threads to get past FAQ. Then when the inevitable non-serious, tire kicking, lazy forum guest comes along, everyone can point them back to the first thread, and wish them many hours of happy study.

I am an engineering consultant for mechanical and manufacturing engineering. My passion is Stirling engines, I have designed dozens of them over the years. I also study other alternative energy and passive solar technologies as a broader interest. So I consider myself a quick study on most thermodynamic and mechanical processes. Even after reading Ianto's book, and reading this and donkeys threads for a few weeks I found I still had questions I could not find researched answers to. The main reason is the shortage of organized information on the subject. This is a fairly esoteric subject, without a lot of documented study, and a ton of experimentation with new ideas. That being the case, of course there is going to be tons of questions thrown out there as people come to this thread.

For my part, we are going to document our process, and results of building 6 RTM units. No one else will have exactly the same results as we do due to at least a thousand subtle factors unique to our structure, such as found materials, fuel, climate, etc. The more people who do this, the better understood the systems will become. I don't intend to do this to garner any business, only to pay back for those who came before, and whom we are standing on their shoulders to move the knowledge forward.

For my 2 cents on giving away information. I freely give to those who appear serious about an open exchange of ideas, and when the time is available. What many people fail to grasp is that some of us actually get paid for the advice we give. While I can't speak for others, and I have had no direct communication with either Paul or Ernie, I have read many comments they have posted to questions. They are obviously committed to education and assisting as many people as they can. A little common courtesy and respect goes a long ways, and I don't think it is too much for them to ask folks to do a little research, rather than being the direct help line. If you can't be happy with what they freely give, then by all means, dust off the old wallet.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to second third the idea of a "read this first" thread on top, for those folks averse to clicking over to the article on richsoil.com

Kirt, have you read Paul Wheaton's article on Rocket Stove Mass Heaters? It has a basic explanation and links to where you can buy detailed plans for a 6 inch RMH for $20 (and more). It's a great place to gather information.

 
Jeremiah wales
Posts: 137
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I Believe that Everyone has something to SHARE in Forums. Some people go about it in their own way. It seems as though some people give themselves a "Gold Crown". The "Gold Crowns" consider the people who ask questions about how to do something "less than perfect" or "less smart".
All Forums should be there for people to share ideas. Almost all forums have upset people when "the Gold Crowns" start name calling and looking in the mirror too much.
Direction to How to Forums may help a lot of people.
Lets all just be equal and share information calmly. Name calling and rude comments should be grounds for getting kicked off any Forum.

If you ask for information or help about a topic. Then go thru and make positive comments or try to help someone else on something that you may know more about. There is not one person on this forum who is an expert in every topic. Share what you know.
 
John Master
Posts: 518
Location: Wisconsin
7
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
fourth on a "read this first". I have the ability to spend hours on a computer and am good with google, many able bodied people who could otherwise implement this desgn have neither. I think I stumbled upon the richsoil page and then found this site from the videos there, but for the many that found this site first, who knows what they have seen read or know. Someone somewhere suggested sub forums but i think that tends to scatter information as opposed to organize it. Would be nice for the newbie (and those trying to guide him) to have a place to refer them to, perhaps with links to iaanto's book, erica and ernies home page, richsoil page, youtube videos and perhaps some of the best threads on certain key topics like design, materials, working with building inspectors etc, etc as well as a bit of the basics on forum rules and guidelines for getting advice. It would take some time to put together bt would probably pay off in reducing the stress on you guys.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jeremiah,

There are many ways to run a forum. In my early days of running forums I did the "we are all equal" and made attempts to be fair. It was about a thousand times harder than what I do now: whatever the hell I feel like. Complete with a gold grown. And the mirror. And a big ego and big sack of arrogance.

I guess my forum ends up a bit different than one you might manage.

I'm really passionate about providing a place for humble folks to talk about topics that i think are cool with communication styles I am comfortable with. And there has been a long parade of people that have told me that my management style is wrong, or bad or nefarious or less-than-optimal. Yes, here we are - a pretty damn big community.

I just wanted to make sure that if anybody read your post that it would be clear that while those are lovely ideas, that that is not the way things are run here on permies.com.

Just for comedy, here are two things you just said in the same post:

Name calling and rude comments should be grounds for getting kicked off any Forum.


The "Gold Crowns" consider the people who ask questions about how to do something "less than perfect" or "less smart".


Don't worry, I'm not going to kick you off for calling people names like "the gold crowns", "less than perfect" or "less smart." I'm going to assume you are referring to theoretial/hypothetical people.

 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's your forum, Paul. In my experience, all the best forums have a single leader who is not afraid to pull out the smite option.

Here's a quick change that might be helpful: right now at the top of the wood stove forum page, there is a link to your very helpful article. How about you (or a minion) change the text preceding it to something like "Start HERE to learn about rocket stove mass heaters"

In the Fukuoka forum, there are two topics with a special exclamation point icon-- they are at the top of the list despite not having the most recent action. So, I would suggest having a similar topic pinned to the top of the wood stove forum, either instead of or in addition to my first suggestion.

I also went over to JavaRanch and I see that y'all have a FAQ link up at the top of every page, next to Search and Recent Topics. Something like that in the group of links at the top of every page might also be helpful. Then if someone is straying from the accepted norms, they could be advised to consult the FAQs.
 
Jeremiah wales
Posts: 137
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hold on here. Just so you understand what Im saying. Never wanted to get pulled into this topic. But here I am.


1. I was not talking about the owner of this forum or any Moderators. They all work hard running this forum.

2. I was giving a quote to what people have been called here by other members. "less than perfect" "Smarter than"

3. One Time I asked a few normal questions once here and was called every rude name in the book by one or two members. In respect for this forum I call the TYPE of person who knows more than God, "a Gold Crown". Instead of giving a resonable answer there are people who are Critical of other people and do the name calling thing.

4. I'm one person who does not want to get involved in any Political crap or B.S. that goes along with it. I am just one of many members of this Forum who does not want to be attacked for asking questions or called names. The only reason Im here is to learn from people who know more than I do about topics. If I know anything more about a topic that may help people I will attempt to add a positive comment in a helpful way.

One time a friend of mine got a real mad attitude and he called someone else some crap name and I told him relax, calm down and go home and kick his dog.

Im done with that kind of crap. Dont want to be around it.



quote=paul wheaton]Jeremiah,

There are many ways to run a forum. In my early days of running forums I did the "we are all equal" and made attempts to be fair. It was about a thousand times harder than what I do now: whatever the hell I feel like. Complete with a gold grown. And the mirror. And a big ego and big sack of arrogance.

I guess my forum ends up a bit different than one you might manage.

I'm really passionate about providing a place for humble folks to talk about topics that i think are cool with communication styles I am comfortable with. And there has been a long parade of people that have told me that my management style is wrong, or bad or nefarious or less-than-optimal. Yes, here we are - a pretty damn big community.

I just wanted to make sure that if anybody read your post that it would be clear that while those are lovely ideas, that that is not the way things are run here on permies.com.

Just for comedy, here are two things you just said in the same post:

Name calling and rude comments should be grounds for getting kicked off any Forum.


The "Gold Crowns" consider the people who ask questions about how to do something "less than perfect" or "less smart".


Don't worry, I'm not going to kick you off for calling people names like "the gold crowns", "less than perfect" or "less smart." I'm going to assume you are referring to theoretial/hypothetical people.

 
Vern Faulkner
Posts: 35
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As a long time forum veteran (in the generic sense, not of this place) I have come to realize wayyyy too many folks are simply lazy. They come seeking information, but then don't do a forum search.

(Which is why I searched here for masonry heater stuff before posting a question about same.)
 
Kirt Metcalf
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Julia, and thanks to others.
I have gone to the link, have not bought books. I suck at reading books for info, but hands-on...I love it. And I pay for it, not a freeloader, I've paid to have hands on classes and I get it. I read..I fall asleep I am new to this forum (this is my second post) so if I am in the wrong spot or if you have suggestions on where to go, I am all ears. Thanks again, Kirt
 
Max Tanner
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
PAUL - Brilliant and one of the best sentences ever!
"You need to come up with your own name for that freak show of flaming death. "

My blogs stats show that my post on RMH and RStoves is the most popular post that I have ever done. People search for RMH and RStoves everyday, so my little blog post helps those come here. I give credit to All of you, give links to here Paul's site, to Ernie and Erica, Ianto and his book. Like I said it is the single most searched for set of topics. My little posts are for info purposes, I just reviewed and gave credits as well as a way to learn more. From the stats lots have come to here to read and learn. Hopefully they did and did not just PM people, hmmm?

I have created a few small ones, will be making a few more in the next few weeks, so will update my info as well.

As a person who was criticised on another forum recently for telling people to use the search function, it is a relief to read the most excellent post here telling people to actually use and learn the search function! THANK YOU !!!
I Enjoy the site, the people and the personalities, since I have recently been accused of having a "Large Personality" as well, I understand you Paul! What I do not understand are people who say that but are so lazy that they are not even willing to move their mouse up to the search feature, instead simply make a post request of some garbled barely intelligible request and hope the masters step in and give them all the info. If you can not or will not use the search feature, how in the world will you actually get off the couch/armchair and actually do anything at all? Most of these Armchair Commandos, just go from forum to forum, blog to blog, hopefully they do not infest my eyes for too long.

Remember you all help people everyday by the words and works you have created in the past, hopefully many more will learn and benefit from you in the future as well. I wish you all well and prosperity for many years to come, thank you Sincerely for your efforts!
Cheers to you all.

O man.... "You need to come up with your own name for that freak show of flaming death. ".. can I use that in my siggy, I am still laughing about it now, that is just to nice to let go by!!!
 
Andor Horvath
Posts: 91
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am now more aware of protecting my work, as a maker vs. takers
others may also be interested in learning more about the Creative Commons licenses at the link below
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
hope this helps,
andor
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think when it comes to things that could be flaming fireballs of death, one has to do lots of research, preferably not inside your home. One of the thing the good books says (not the Bible, but the handbook on rocket stoves...) is that this is experimental, i.e. things could go wrong, very badly wrong.

I have 4 functioning rocket stoves now, using them for kilns, you know what, everyone one of them has its quirks and reacts a bit differently. Of course, I tend to tweak them after every load of wood (about 4 weeks), which might explain it... one of the things that has complicated things is availability of materials, like perlite doesn't exist in Costa Rica, from what I can find. I ended up just using sand.

When starting my venture into rocket stoves, after reading a bit and deciding I was adapting technology, I paid Ernie to help consult since I was going to have do something different, and I wanted it to have a good chance to work. Ernie, being a very fair person, offered to share with me any proceeds that come out of our mutual design, but I am not worried about that, but it is an indication that he is all about the money. I figure once I get past a couple of hints, and clarification, it is time to pay for an expert.

I have yet to post my progress, because frankly, I am still working out the bugs, but I promise, when it is all stable, I am more than willing to do so, perhaps it will make a good addition - and perhaps not. But, I would not entertain people asking me a bunch of questions for free, if they aren't sure, better to not do it, since we are playing with fire here. I would hate to feel in anyway responsible for someone burning up a stack of wood, or their workshop. What scares me is questions from those who haven't done the homework to understand the basics, great way to die, in my opinion.

Read the book, pour over the book, run some experiments, if you want to make a change. Just to build what others have done, not a problem, but to make a change, you really have to understand the current system.

just my opinion

 
Ernie Wisner
gardener
Posts: 791
Location: Tonasket washington
31
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As Fred said i am all about the money.
I need the money for things like bricks and ducting and wood and perlite and clay and to pay welders, and to buy dimensional lumber for my shop and test beds and to buy refractory materials for the castable RMH. I need lots of money to keep doing what i am doing so i can continue to post new things and provide the service Erica and I provide.

I cant do it quickly on what little money i get and i cant get the things like a testo meter or a fluke hand held or any number of other things that would make my life easier doing research and development of these stoves. Erica and I need about 10 grand in one lump sum for getting the RMH tested at a UL lab. so we are saving up for the testing. we have some donations that amount to about 200 bucks and we will probably have to cover the rest. this is how my work on the RMH has gone the whole 10 years i have been working on them.
Folks want to build them and i want to have designs that work well for folks but no one wants to just donate cash so we charge for our services. I just drag my cripple ass out and do the work i started and when we have the money i get the materials i need then i build the stove. Fred's stoves where about a hundred dollars in materials each (cause i built them as close to what he had on hand as possible.). our initial consulting price is around 300 bucks; 200 went to the cost of development.

I am starting to build a big catamaran for Erica and I this summer the build will take two to three years. then we will be able to travel to places like AU, Russia and Costa Rica for way less than plane tickets cost. we will continue our stove work during the build but I am not waiting. i started our little business to teach folks hands on skills and appropriate Tech; so i need a platform and way to travel to show case that tech. since i am a life time sailor i can do something other folks cant do and that is sail a boat to almost anywhere with little to no fossil fuels and very little embodied energy. (yes i do those figures as well) my energy cost in the boat should be paid off in just about 3 years.

So yes now days i am all about the money, plans, consulting fees, workshops (if we can make them actually pay), Etc. show me the money and i will show you the data when i can get it. testing companies dont take chickens.

Thanks Fred hope all is well down your way and keep in touch.
 
Erica Wisner
gardener
Posts: 1181
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
199
books cat dog food preservation hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to be clear:
Posting a question - any question - is what these forums are for.
Most people answer more than they ask - that's why we get so many useful answers per question.
All responses, including 'try a search' or 'that question got asked before, check here' should be considered helpful until proven otherwise.
(Given that electronic communications are notoriously bad at conveying emotional content, why not interpret things in a way that makes you feel good?)

The search button is small. Many visitors have never seen it, or don't know how to adjust the parameters to search relevant forums / all forums. Many experienced participants remember their own learning curve, before they became fully able to use its awesome power. Pointing it out is not the same as calling you stupid.

My preferred process:
1) Search
2) Post
3) PM someone and invite them to comment on that post, if hoping for their particular perspective.

Two reasons searching is better:
1) You don't have to wait for replies. Instant gratification!
2) You can tag follow-up questions onto a discussion that already has a lot of interesting people involved. Better answers, faster - and if you find multiple threads on the same topic, you can pick your favorite bunch.
I routinely search before posting questions.

New questions are awesome contributions.
Repeat questions are not quite as useful, but they're still fresh activity. It just dilutes the forum a bit because all the useful answers that were posted before end up disappearing off the bottom of everyone's screen, and the new posts have to be answered or redirected. Makes us feel more like an information booth, and less like a colloquium of interesting folks who respect each other's time and expertise.

If instead of searching, OR asking your question,
you use these forums to find somebody who sounds smart and then PM them, or email them, your follow-up questions,
you are circumventing the beautiful process above.

That's detrimental for two reasons:
1) You are like that guy who tries to get free legal advice at cocktail parties. Or buttonholes people in the bathroom. Don't be that guy.
In context of online forums, PMs and email for genuinely private business, unsuitable to discuss in front of others. Could be a professional negotiation, weird inside jokes, personal business you don't want publicly discussed.
PMs are not for making sure that someone can't escape from your question.

2) By requesting a private response, you are denying the other people the benefit of that answer. So even if it's a really great question that nobody has ever asked on these forums, and you could be the first to start some esoteric new topic that would keep all the old hands excited and so on... nope, you want to have the answer just for yourself.

For that reason, the preferred ettiquette has become 1) search, 2) post, 3) PM someone and invite them to comment on your post, as above.
Paul will actually personally see that you get your answer under option #3) if you don't get answered within 48 hours, something I find rare online.
I suppose you could also 4) PM again and offer some suitable bribe or consulting fee.

If you are accustomed to tactful, polite, carefully-crafted personal messages that subtly flatter while providing you with the personal satisfaction of feeling your needs and interests are unique and valued - while inviting you to gain from the useful experiences of others who have previously explored the same interests...and this from people who don't expect a paycheck from you...

...if that's what you expect online, you have probably lived a much nicer life than most folks I know, and you might as well pay it forward rather than take offense.

-Erica W
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
lol, actually I meant to say you aren't all about the money, since if you were, why would you share? But yes, one does need money to buy toys... or materials for experimentation.

Honestly, I think those who feel they are part of making the world a better place need to realize that their credibility is hurt, if no one can make anything. Heck, I am wealthy based on my ideas and my hard work. Yes I have done some very good things for reforestation, and at the same time provided a very good retirement for myself and my wife, and an inheritance for my children. In so doing, I have exploited no one, improved the lands I have acquired and even produces some very good paying jobs. If I had tried to do this without making it pay for itself, I would have reforested perhaps 10 acres, instead of 900.

And Ernie, you come down to Costa Rica, I expect a call!
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing that perhaps is good for people to consider as well is ask questions of people a little better than you, than people who are experts. You might actually understand what they are saying, and they were where you were not long ago. If you ask me about forestry, I might give you an answer that is a bit hard to digest, since my mind isn't on the basic principles anymore. Ernie is surely thinking about things simpler than just how to stack bricks right now, so don't expect, or even want, the advice of an expert, what you need is someone who has figured out what you are trying to do right now, not how to build the next generation rocket mass stove.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fred Morgan wrote:ask questions of people a little better than you



But Fred, everyone here is perfect!

 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Erica,
Your post could be the top listing in a "How to use this forum" tutorial. Thanks for stating it so clearly.
Gani
 
Andor Horvath
Posts: 91
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Erica's post should be sticky, at the top of the forum, and blinking: WARNING: READ THIS FIRST!
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2044
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
174
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes! Erica has spelled out, nicely, best practices for interacting with these forums, particularly as a newcomer. Her text could be a major piece of the FAQ that I suggested above.
 
Don't listen to Steve. Just read this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!