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Thread: Solar fire starter

  1. #1
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    Default Solar fire starter

    Here is a video of how to get a fire going using a solar lighter


    https://youtu.be/YwmI4_uHu-Q


  2. #2
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Pretty cool.....
    Radio Shack used to sell them as solar cigarette lighters.
    Something to whip out a amaze your friends.

    Works well.....LOL
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    Also the wallet magnifiers work pretty well as well...
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    Of course it needs a sunny + day....LOL
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  3. #3
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    But are you going to carry one all the time?

    I put those in the "Gee wiz" category. Sure, they work, and they work great. But they aren't that easy to carry. A magnifying glass can be put in a wallet, or slide into whatever container you have with all your other fire starting equipment. Other examples include fire pistons, battery and steel wool, etc. They are all cool and fun to do, but when it comes down to it, I still just throw a fero rod, a container of matches and a lighter in my kit. And, sometimes I throw a magnifying glass in because it is so thin.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The Greeks used those solar reflectors to light the torches for the first Olympic games. Fire from the gods.

    They still do.

    Ever seen that done using the bottom of a soda can?

    https://www.google.com/search?site=&..._am0#kpvalbx=1
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  5. #5
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    I am not going to carry one in my pocket but yes in my pack the ability to make fire in many different ways is always a good idea if a ferro rod gets wet and stay that way it will come apart match's get wet lighter fail

  6. #6
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I took out the pocket magnifier out of my wallet......after I had my cataract surgery.

    Was my backup "seeing glass" as well as fire starter.

    The mirror....not worth carrying all the time....except to amaze you friends,.... in my opinion....
    I would just toss in another Bic in a different pocket.....
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  7. #7

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    I have something similar to this, the Solar Hotbox I think it is called. It is machined from a piece of aluminum and is about the size of a hockey puck. It comes apart in two pieces and has an o-ring to keep moisture out so you can carry tinder inside. I use char clothe with it.

    While any solar firestarter is dependent on the sun and so is pretty useless at night, I have done some testing with them to see if they work in less than optimum conditions. Shortest day of the year is December 21. On December 19th, about a half hour before sundown, with the sun coming in just off the horizon on an otherwise cloudy day, the Hotbox got an ember started in around 5 seconds.

    Many cloudy days will have an occasional break where the sun shines through for 10 to 30 seconds before it goes back behind the clouds. If you are ready for those, see a small break coming, that can be enough to get an ember started from char. I have even got an ember through a light haze where there was a thin layer of clouds. I have used a credit card sized fresnel lens to start an ember from the sunlight coming in through the garage window and through the windshield of my car.

    Points to be noted are that char works great for this application, better than any type of dried grass, after all it is almost there already. Next point is that they can work in less than optimal conditions. Last point is that size matters. All of these solar fire starters are capturing the rays of the sun and focusing them down to a point. The more rays captured, the quicker and hotter the point of focus gets.

    Short math lesson. The area of a circle is found using the formula Area = Pi X Radius X Radius where the Radius is one half of the diameter. For this explanation the value of Pi isn't needed so I will leave it as Pi.

    Area of a one inch lens = Pi X .5 inches X .5 inches which = Pi X .25 square inches

    Let's double the size of the lens to 2 inches.
    Area of a two inch lens = Pi X 1 inch X 1 inch = Pi X 1 square inch

    What we see here is that if you double the size of the lens the area and thus the amount of the sun's rays captured doesn't double, it actually is four times as much.

    So a four inch lens will have an area of Pi X 4 square inches, fours times larger than the two inch lens and 16 times larger than the one inch lens.
    Last edited by ATS; 02-18-2018 at 08:32 AM.

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