Petzl Carbide lamp..

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Postby Jeff Bartlett » Oct 29, 2007 11:10 pm

well, if you're going to build something that ridiculous, you're going to have to use the WERNI:

http://homepage.bluewin.ch/werni-lampe/
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Postby emesine » Oct 30, 2007 9:02 am

I caved for years with a petzl generator (with carbide in baby socks BTW), I caved with a premier, I've seen a lot of carbide hip mounted generators in action- I've never seen one that works particularly well. They all tend to need frequent banging to get them to run, if they run at all. The drip system always seems to get clogged. This design squirts water under pressure, so it doesn't get clogged.

And, for carbide cavers, the fact that it will explode if not used properly adds that nice touch of risk that carbide cavers seem to like. I've moved on to LED based lights, so I don't use this design anymore. However, it really does work great-better than any other generator I've seen in action. It is also easy to clean; the other headache about generators is that you have to clean the dripper after every usage, which invariably means soaking your hands in spent carbide. YECH.

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carbide lamp

Postby emesine » Oct 30, 2007 7:41 pm

For the record, the designer of this lamp was:

Vladislav "Lada" (Lahd-ya) Kohle

from the Czech Republic, not Croatia.

Thanks Lada, and let me know if you read this!

Andrew

PS I DIG the WERNI!
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Postby Tubo Longo » Oct 30, 2007 8:14 pm

I've been caving for almost 30 years. On carbide. It takes some care out of your lamp, but mine (an old Spanish made Fisma) can give me up to 6 hrs of decent light without any hassle and up to 8 if I have some good carbide and keep the lamp filled up with water.
The main trick, careful maintenance apart, is to have available some big rock carbide. Quite common in Europe, not at all in the US.

Anyway, "Werni" is a well know Swiss caver from Basel and his reflektor is widely used in the Swiss caving scene: it actually reflect light WAAAY better then Petzl's one does.

A last note. I would avoid brass and carbide: as far as I remember, the acetilene can chemically react with the brass, leading to the formation of an explosive compost. Which can very easily detonate when...say it, you bang your lamp to let it works better... :shock: :flammable:
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Postby emesine » Oct 31, 2007 8:03 am

Just out of curiosity, where does one purchase the Werni? Again, I haven't used carbide in years, but it does look like a nice reflector. I've never heard anything about acetylene and brass causing an explosion. It will spontaneously detonate if pressurized to 2 atmospheres (that is why bottled acetylene is kept at low pressure, dissolved in acetone), but I've never heard of a problem with brass. Is there a chemist listening that can enlighten us on brass and acetylene?

I've purchased nut grade carbide from Mexico (you can imagine what the customs agents had to say about that!) I've never seen it in America.

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Postby NZcaver » Oct 31, 2007 10:32 am

emesine wrote:I've never heard anything about acetylene and brass causing an explosion. It will spontaneously detonate if pressurized to 2 atmospheres (that is why bottled acetylene is kept at low pressure, dissolved in acetone), but I've never heard of a problem with brass.

I've never heard of this issue with brass either - and virtually all the old caplamps are brass. (Renato, are you sure of this?)

Ah, yes... the spontaneous combustion factor at 2 atmospheres. With the help of a large plastic soda bottle, this is half the fun of being a carbide caver! :big grin: (The other half involves burned eyebrows and angry "welding" flames following you in long crawls.) :laughing:

I've purchased nut grade carbide from Mexico (you can imagine what the customs agents had to say about that!) I've never seen it in America.

You could alway try IMO
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Postby Tubo Longo » Nov 1, 2007 12:23 am

You can buy the Werni from Werni himself, just check on his website (back a few post in this thread). No idea of cost and shipping..

I'm pretty sure about brass, but not totally, due to some translation issue.

Anyway, not long time ago in the Italian caving list there was a discussion about this. Basically, from what I remember, the acetylene react with this soft metal and can form some sort of crystals that can explode when banged on. A caver reported the lamp exploded in his hands while deep cleaning it: he was both banging and scratching these crystals which had formed inside the pipe that take the acetylene to the burner.

I'll try to find out these report and translate and post it here
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Postby Jeff Bartlett » Nov 1, 2007 7:51 am

Tubo Longo wrote:You can buy the Werni from Werni himself, just check on his website (back a few post in this thread). No idea of cost and shipping.


i was quoted $180 US, not sure if it included shipping or not.
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Postby Tubo Longo » Nov 1, 2007 11:45 pm

xcathodex wrote:
Tubo Longo wrote:You can buy the Werni from Werni himself, just check on his website (back a few post in this thread). No idea of cost and shipping.


i was quoted $180 US, not sure if it included shipping or not.


I'm not surprised: US $ is at its lowest ever on international market. Back a few years ago it would have cost half that money in US $.... :hairpull:

As for the brass, I possibly translated it wrong. :doh: Guess it was copper: does it makes more sense?
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Nov 2, 2007 12:28 am

Tubo Longo wrote:Guess it was copper: does it makes more sense?


I was bored and looked it up, copper and acetylene appear on lists of "incompatible chemicals" because they react dangerously. It seems a lot of ox-acetylene fittings are brass so I guess they don't react.
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