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Discussion Starter #1
In the spirit of stirring the pot, how about an idoit's guide (I'm the idiot) to butane firing. I acquired an Aster K4 and I think its about to be classed domestically as a weapon of mass destruction. Most times when I try to light it, the flame adamently refuses to pop back to the burner and emerges from the front of the smoke box making it look like a dragon that strayed in error from the set of Lord of the Rings. When it does pop back I can coax the machine into life but after while the characteristic burner roar disappears to be replaced by what I can only describe as a howl which is sufficiently loud to send my dogs into immediate hiding. And I managed to singe all the hairs off the back of my hands...

(Yes I'm using butane not propane and yes I've used compressed air to clean the jets.......)

(A quick chorus of Alcohol Rules OK follows.)

Robert
 

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Robert,
Welcome to the black art that is firing the Aster K-4!

The tendency to not pop back into the larger combustion chamber is normal, as the air passages are constricted in the water flue's, this making the AFR off enough to allow a nice flame in the smokebox. The quick way to start it is to open the gas a crack, light it, you see that is is burning up in the smokebox, quickly press down on the gas valve to stop flow momentarily, then as soon as the flames are traveling back into the poker (gas convection) release your finger from the valve and wa-la, you have fire in the boiler!


Of course, if you like the smell of burning hair, you can pull the burner out of the backhead enough to light the poker from the rear, then stick it back in. To each his own.
The howl you are hearing is the burner's way of telling you it want's more fuel. This is espically true on the K-4 as the fire needs enough velocity to travel through the flues.


What I have found most beneficial to the K-4's is a properly designed radiant burner which allows for umpteen amounts of heat, uses a lot less fuel, and leaves plumes as long as the train at times.
Here is proof:


On youtube:
K-4 Plume

This burner was converted using Kevin O'Connor's article that can be found on Southern Steam Trains' website under references.
You will have an email later in the day with a little more explanation.
 
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