Tom Rutledge

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since Apr 15, 2012
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Recent posts by Tom Rutledge

I recently found out about 'curtain burners',  because the local fire risk abatement group got one, or got money for one or some such.

They cost something like $100k USD each, and require an engine to keep going.... that seems.... a lot.

Does anyone have pointers or quick $0.02 cents on a track hoe loadable Rocket Incinerator?
1 year ago
I can't remember where I picked this up.  And here it goes.  It may help the RMH spreading problem.

For doing a specific action three things are needed.  It's sort of the fire triangle for actions.

1.  The ability to do that thing (*)
2.  The will to do that thing (**)
3.  A trigger (***)

* : or the self understanding that they have the ability, etc.
** : or employ the ability, spend the resources, etc.
*** : a point (? in time and space?) at which the idea of doing the thing is raised, evaluated and selected for doing.

At it's simplest these are binary things, and can be forced.  Think jump scares or tickling, or putting something burning hot on someone's hand to get them to (re)act.

At the more complicated realistic side 'convincing' is needed and all manner of brain rot and PR damage can be a hindrance.

Maybe it helps.


1 year ago
( late to the party )

Leading with the solution rather than the problem.

There are three basic problems coming up in short order.

1) Cost of current heating system / fuel / running out of money spent on food, etc.
2)  It's already to late and I'm cold.
3)  long term saving the world, CO2 , etc. etc.

Skip 3,  Near and dear to our hearts, and not the point at the moment.

Skip 1,  They have options ( they just don't know it yet )    

I think 2 is the answer.    There was a lovely video back on page 5 ,

Some Europeans putting in what looked to be a common area open air, rocket mass heater.     A supper gilligan proof ( I know... ),  BYOW, communal solution might go a very long way to showing a lot of people that warm asses warm cold people.

To cut the gordian knot of design / regulations / etc.    Don't do it inside.   It doesn't need a building permit if it's out in the back yard.  Wrap a tent around it and call it a 'communal warming center'.  

One possible template,  a liberator on a custom non burnable skid with a bench or two of mass then enough structure to get the chimney up 10 + ft.

Rather than the push of  'this solves your problems' get it coming the other way to 'how do I get an ass heater closer to where I sleep? '

Ideas, not fully though out, and hope.    It's some good work being done.   At first slowly, and then all at once.
1 year ago
Can't stop running into awesome 12VDC things....  and  , which apparently has a 12VDC option.

I have one of the originals packed away, it worked last I knew it was just a bit small for my needs.

I have no personal experiance with the current crop of products ( thought the website is being a bit... wonky for me ), I hear good things from a nomad I watch on youtube.

Might work out for you.

Good luck.

2 years ago
I'm a big fan of Bob Wells at the youtube channel CheapRVliving.

And they just posted : Cook in Your Car! 12 Volt Electric Oven Cooking in Any Vehicle! Cooking & Warming with NO Propane!

At the end he messed up the units a bit.   The cooking probably took about 250 watt  hours, or 22 amp hours on a 12vdc system.   That'd be a lot of hurt on a lead acid system.   On a LiFePo, system i'd probably be fine.  Extra fine if you can do it while the sun is out on a few 100 watt pannels.

Bob also mentioned 'wrapping it up' e.g. like a hot box / hay box cooker.  

The given solution depends on situation and budget both in the longer and shorter term.

A $50 cooker that ends up eating $200 batteries every year or two due to deep discharge... not the best plan in the long term, and sometimes you need to do what you need to do.

2 years ago

Bethany Dutch wrote:Saw this link here:


Or - my brain wants to say I remember reading something years ago about some sort of cooling system using ammonia that caused a chemical reaction with SOMETHING that made things chill or freeze. Any thoughts?

There is an Einstein Refrigerator.   Want cold?  Just add heat.... (cough)  rocket mass heater... (cough,cough), or maybe a solar thermal collector.

The idea of having a buy once cry once heirloom quality cooling system.... glorious.  
2 years ago

For higher total money quantities :

At one of the higher money thresholds,  I'd say a version for people who use metric measures.  
Maybe a second level for plans adapted to a EU, or Chinese market.
Get wheaten labs one of them fancy combustion gas measuring thingies
Get wheaton labs one of them fancy thermal imaging cameras.

rewards :
Stickers / plaques / art for backers RMHs, or RMH dreams.
  "I ❤️ RMH"
  "Windfall for heating!"
RMH top safe mugs / tea / coffee sets or drinks.
Possibly a set of trivet that are RMH barrel top safe, and keep stuff on top at _less_ than a raging boil.  

I'm enamored with the idea of a RMH samovar.

a 20 minute egg timer, so that I can figure out when to go check on the heater.

a 20 pack of 'just light this thing' eazy rocket mass heater starters like the compressed wood logs that go in some fireplaces ( something more non ick though ).

I'm very chuffed. Thank you.
I've had about... a dozen instant pots.   I like them a lot, and tend to give them away.

I'm not familiar with the 'burned pot' message.  

When i'm using the Saute seeting it'll sometimes say 'BURN' or something like that when it's getting to hot or it things I've done something wrong.

The stainless steel really more like 'less staining that raw iron'-steel.  

A bit of water and steam in the pot for cleaning probably wont hurt.  Heck, try pressure canning it for 1 minute.  I'd stay away from soaps as they might cause bubbles and cause venting issues.  Maybe some white vinegar.
2 years ago
If there's a real Truckstop around where you live, go take a visit over in the Trucker parts area.  There's always interesting 12 volt stuff there.

12V DC cooking is going to be a bit rough as the standard plugs can only pull 100-200 Watts safely.  

Hot water is sorta like one step of cooking, a 12V DC heating element for a hot water heater would be useful.   There are on demand or not 12V DC kits for that.

There are apparently some DIY sous vide rigs for the googling.

I have a 12V DC LiFePo bank ( they are getting much more reasonable now a-days , and don't off gas when charging so they prefer to be in the house rather than in a vented compartment out in the cold.   I use it and an inverter to run an instant pot and a rice cooker, today I ran them at the same time... it was lovely.

Price wise, converting 12V to 120Vac ( always get sine wave inverters, it's just for the best ) is getting cheaper and cheaper.
2 years ago
To Long Didn't Read; flights seem to be about 1/2 as fuel => CO2 usage as driving a standard gas car.  

Rhiannon Drake wrote:


Paul wonders if flying is not better than driving; he has seen a statistic of 5 gallons jet fuel per passenger on a flight, vs an estimated 150 gallons gasoline for driving a similar distance.  He thinks better data is needed about carbon emissions from various modes of transport.

If you’re going anyway, the jet plane might not be as much as you think.


This we can expand on and be more clear about.  states

CO2 emissions from a gallon of gasoline : 8887 grams / gallon
CO2 emissions from a gallon of diesel : 10180 grams / gallon

I recently drove across the US and racked up ~2050 ish miles at about 23.4 MPG, or about 88 Gallons of Gas.  Or about 777 Kilos of CO2, not the greatest i'll admit.

From :

I also recently flew across the US and racked up... 1800 miles or so, going to and from the same locations. ( with two layovers... )  The flights were on older yet full of passengers and they claim an equivalent MPG of ~ 60 ish.  so.... about 30 gallons of fuel, and about 305 Kilos of CO2.  

On the one hand, the drive also moved a seveal ton vehicle with me ( that was the entire plan btw).   The drive cost maybe $300 in fuel, and a maybe $250 for lodging, and maybe $100 for road snacks.   And that costs about as many dollars as the flight and such did.