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Stella Carbide Generator

PostPosted: Oct 31, 2007 2:57 pm
by TAGCaver
I have been checking into carbide for a few months now, and have finally decided that i want to try it out. I have heard horror stories of the Petzl Ariane generator melting, elxploding, etc... I have a friend who has the Stella generator from InnerMountain, and he loves it. Its made out stainless steel intstead of plastic, costs $79.00, so why wouldnt you get it instead of the Petzl. I contacted IMO and they no longer will carry it! Does anyone know where i can get one, or know the direct link to the company that makes it? Any help would be greatly appreciated! :grin:

PostPosted: Nov 1, 2007 12:39 am
by Tubo Longo
My guess is you may have to import it from Europe or, may be, Canada. Don't know if there's a caving shop in Mexico. But I'm pretty positive isn't anymore manufactured. But there're some other quite effective lamps.

Among the many caving shops, you can surely check out this Italian one: it has a wide choice of carbide generators. Unluckily their website doesn't have an English translation, but I don't think there's much to it.

<> is the website, while the page with carbide lamps is <>.

The MTDE is basically the old FISMA; the Repetto is about the same but made out of stainless steel. The ALP DESIGN is made in plastic: is very popular in Italy but needs a quite large rubber band to be placed at the connection of lower and upper chambers to avoid leaking acetylene IF it has been overheated burning too much carbide too fast. With this simple trick it works very well. Infact it's quite common in Italy.

PostPosted: Nov 1, 2007 11:16 am
by TAGCaver
well, that was really a kick start. I emailed them today and waiting response (surely italians speak english as well?) I have spent a few hours copying and pasting into a translator, and think i understand somewhat what is being said :shock: Thanks for the help, and i will continue looking.

PostPosted: Nov 1, 2007 11:19 am
by TAGCaver
oh yea, one more thing, Have you had them ship something to you here in the States???

PostPosted: Nov 1, 2007 11:57 pm
by Tubo Longo
I'm pretty sure they do speaks English as well. Should you have any problems with them, just let me know and I'll gladly help.

But don't expect a fast reply: the Italian National Caving Event is in full swing in Tuscany until Sun. Since they're one of the biggest spelo shop in Italy, if not the bigger, my guess is they won't check much email until mid next week. For more infos on the event, <>

Never had anything mailed to me in the US: if ever I need something, I buy it when I go back in Italy on vacation (like I did last year). Sorry, can't help much in this. But a trick, if you're willing to pay some extra bucks: have anything shipped via UPS or FedEX or DHL. Whatever Feds say, control are more random than via regular Postal Services (ops, Osama isn't reading this, right?)

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 8:24 am
by Phil Winkler

I have an old Fisma modified so it is submersible I wouldn't mind parting with as it is highly unlikely that I'll ever use it again. It is 32 years old or so, but still works great. I last used it in 2000 or 2001 on a trip to Helictite Heaver in Fern. It was my wife's first (and last?) cave trip. She really loved the hike up Nat Mountain, too.

The mods are brass nipples brazed to the gas port and water port. On the water port nipple you can place a rubber tube that leads up your back to your helmet just like the gas delivery tube so that the generator can still breath while submerged as you swim thru a passage.

The lamp is a Petzl.



PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 1:08 pm
by TAGCaver
Definately interested. Could you send me a picture? Sounds like something that would work great for me, and i would be willing to give you some sort of monetary amount for it. I do alot of wet caving here in TN, there are actually a few pretty good ones (Snail Shell). If you make it down here sometime you should let me know.

NSS #59047

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 2:38 pm
by Phil Winkler

I'll take some pics this weekend and email them to you.

I don't like wet caves anymore. :D

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 2:44 pm
by TAGCaver
That would be awesome...How much are we talking? :carbide:

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 2:46 pm
by Phil Winkler
Oh, $25 ought to do it? Need any BWIII, Jumars or Gibbs?

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 4:04 pm
by TAGCaver
BWII? GIBBS? Jumars?


PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 7:32 pm
by Tubo Longo
Phil Winkler wrote:TAGCaver, I have an old Fisma modified so it is submersible.... The lamp is a Petzl. Phil

I think there's a bit of confusion going on here. Fisma was for a very long time the best, and basically the only, big carbide lamp available on the market. It was an independent company, based in Spain if I'm correct.

I think to remember it was bought by Petzl like a decade ago or so and then, a few years later, closed.

The present MTDE it may be the old Fisma company, ressurected under a new name (guess the Fisma name is now owned by Petzl): surely Fisma and MTDE are very similar.

Interesting mods anyway Phil: btw, the very same one Petzl introduced with its Ariane generator. Also, if your Fisma is a 30+ yo it's a very solid model. More recent ones had problems with the connection between lower and upper chamber giving way... And $ 25 are a real bargain :kewl:

PostPosted: Nov 2, 2007 9:55 pm
by TAGCaver
well now dont talk it up tooo much bud, hes going to want more than 25 from me!

However, thanks for the insight. I am still trying to get ahold of repetto sports * like you said they are busy* but phil's FISMA seems worthy of trying! For 25, cant beat it huh?

i can almost smell the carbide burning now.... :campfire: :campfire:

PostPosted: Nov 3, 2007 12:02 am
by killian
i have the petzl generator and it sucks!!!! i would love to try something else... Tell me how this Stella generator works..
Killian :grin:

PostPosted: Nov 3, 2007 8:28 am
by Phil Winkler
I bought my Fisma generator in 1975 for the PSM expedition. It is very well made.

Chris, my business partner has the rope and ascenders for sale. Check out the section for speleo marketplace. Let me see if I can find it...