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Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?

Posted by Karl Petersen 
Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 16, 2009 11:38PM
I hope you folks like the Bulletin. Now that two issues have gone out with my bleeding on them and hiding the typos where you will never think to look, perhaps you can give me some comments on what is neat and what could have been printed on softer paper to make it more useful.

What do you think of the Cruban/Empire stuff? So Albert Banzhaf managed to shoot himself 4 times, eh? Do you think Frank Curran really submitted Cruban brochure pictures to the Scientific American to confuse us, or did the reporter just use them for filler? Two points go to the first person who calculates the odds that two steam tractor fans in different parts of the country will acquire similar Cruban chassis at the same time only eighty years after they were "lost".

Would you rather have fun short stories about made-up steam experiences? Maybe social reports about meets saying who wore what?

I guess feedback is not necessary if you really like what is coming out in the issues anyhow, but it does encourage me to stay up past midnight to make more interesting articles. I really think breaking up the articles with little sub-headings helps people like me with CRS figure out where the were in the article when they come back after getting coffee.

When you get the urge to phone me with a really droll rambling visit in mind, remember that my cell phone provider gives me free minutes when you call after 9 PM Mountain time on weekdays or anytime on weekends. If your phone minutes actually cost money, I will gladly call you back during those times for free too.

Karl Petersen
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 17, 2009 12:20AM
I really liked the vintage cover photo of the 1901 Conrad steam car. The technical details of the Empire steam car and the Cruban bus/truck chassis were very fascinating. Our 1916 Stanley Mountain Wagon has been so much fun to operate that it is ashame that there are not more of them left today for people to enjoy. To read about the restoration of Earl Eckel's 1916 Stanley model 825 Mountain Wagon, I am delighted. That was also a very appreciated and informative article by Dave Nergaard on "Piston Valves and Stanleys". All the 40 pages of steam articles were good! Anyone not getting the Steam Automobile Bulletin, is really missing out.
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 17, 2009 09:50AM
Hi Karl,

The new format is great. That CRUBAN-EMPIRE business was always a mystery. My suspicion was that the reporter had too many three martini lunches.
Note the CRUBAN fan turbine, something they offered for condensing Stanleys; but I never saw that in any catalog of theirs. Duveneck had one, casing blew up when a hose plugged.
OK, now find out about that nice Nash phaeton steamer in Clymer's red book.
I don't think made up stores would work. There is so much steam car history from 1920-1940 that needs research.
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 18, 2009 05:36AM
Hi Karl,

Excellent job on the Bulletin, much appreciated. Way to go, man. I like it as much as I liked The Steam Automobile back in the '80s. IE, a lot. I suspect that editing an excellent steam car mag is your destiny/fort
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 18, 2009 05:49AM
Oops, looks like the Phorum software didn't like my "accent-E" code. Okay, since it won't accept that, the last word above can be anglo-phoneticized as "for-tay". Let's see the Phorum pick out "-tay" as the "end" of a post, and cut off this post accordingly. Well, good job on the Bulletin, Karl, and losing the rest of my lengthy post after the "alt-e/e" entry was not much of a loss. I'm not going to retype it from memory. I think that your editorial judgement surpasses any suggestions I can offer anyway.

Peter
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 19, 2009 05:03AM
Hi Karl,

I am less crabby now after recovering from most of yesterday's post disappearing into the ether.

My "lost comments" were to the effect that IMO, a "scrapbook" format seems best for the SACA magazine. A little bit of everything. Something for everyone. Antique _and_ modern. Reports on building, running, repair/maintenance, restorations, road trip stories, steam car history, tech stuff. A letters section and selections from the Phorum and web. Also reports on unbuilt ideas, proposals and designs, which are part of "the steam enthusiast experience".

One issue is archival permanence. Digital/internet literature may get lost over time due to data-format changes, equipment obsolescence, storage-media decay, data migration, etc.. For example, almost anything stored on floppy disks is practically "lost" already, even material from only 10 years ago. How long until practically nobody has a working CDROM or DVDROM drive, to recover data from those kinds of disks? Serious stuff, considering how rapidly information technology is changing. Reprinting selected internet material in user-friendly paper format may be the best way to preserve it for future reference.

Speaking of which, one personal pet peeve of mine is "OCR'ing" old literature into new fonts/formats, when a photographic reproduction would be more "historically correct" -- and more entertaining/informative and less prone to typos. The current paper reprints of the old SACA magazines -- of which I recently purchased a stack -- have been ruined this way. Needlessly, IMO, considering the ease of using .pdf files and today's affordable photo-quality scanners, printers, and increasingly gigantic hard drives. A friend of mine just got a reasonably-priced 1TB drive! [Enjoy your laugh, anyone reading this 10-20 years from now]. Yep, one _terabyte_. 1000 gigabytes. That's lots of data. What's 1000 terabytes called? Coming soon to a laptop near you.

=================

Banzhaf shot himself 4 times? He must have been a pretty bad shot. In cases like that, should one recommend target practice, or not?

Well, hopefully this post won't get lost in translation.

Peter
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 19, 2009 09:23AM
Is the bulletin circulated via email or listed elsewhere?
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 19, 2009 09:57AM
Snail Mail.

Link to "Application for Membership" on home page or here-> [steamautomobile.com]

Best,
Scott Finegan
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 20, 2009 08:11PM
I would like to see information on the early steam car pioneers. How about starting with Sylvester Hayward Roper?
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 20, 2009 09:38PM
I know this is a bit OT, but I have to agree with Peter on the reprints of the old Steam Automobile. The parts of each page which remain photographic or scanned replicas are actually easier to read than the OCR'd & reset text. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I bought them, although I was happy to get the information, once the typos & spacing problems were worked around.

However, on topic, I really enjoyed the last Bulletin. The Cruban material was great; I think the period starting with aftermarket Stanley products, and ending with independents and experimenters up to WW2, is very interesting. Those people were doing the R&D on the next steps in "Stanley-level" technology, and could provide some good fodder for those who want to build simpler mechanical devices.

Kelly
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 20, 2009 10:02PM
I should just mention that the job of an editor is to edit....that is to compose the Bulletin, check for spelling, grammar, correctness and so on. The actual writing is done by authors, writers or contributors, however you want to style it. There is no rule that the editor can't write an article, but it ain't really his job. That said, most publications such as this usually have a problem getting enough material to fill every issue; usually not for lack of ideas but for lack of contributors. Could I suggest that if you REALLY want to see a specific subject written up, that you consider researching it and writing a lucid report on your findings? That could then be published in the Bulletin for everyones edification and your satisfaction.

Either that or end up owing Tom Kimmel a few favors, then you'll find yourself writing some articles...

On another topic, I think I'd like to see an article written about pressure compounded, velocity compounded and pressure-velocity compounded turbines :-)

Regards,

Ken



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2009 10:03PM by frustrated.
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 21, 2009 01:45AM
Okey, Ken, so we will have a nice turbine article. You can thank yourself for it since you owed it to Tom Kimmel who asked you to write it.

I really don't mind having written too many of the articles in the last issue, because what I really did was get first crack at reading and enjoying the material, then pushed it around until it stuck together logically enough for me to serve it up to you folks. Glad interesting material came in, but I did most of the really untouched Cruban people stuff strictly solo.

By the way, who has any information on Roper anyway? Write me directly unless you want to start another thread on Roper. I bet there is a ton of hearsay needing to be weeded and organized, and that is true about any of the steam developers, even the famous ones.

Karl Petersen
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 22, 2009 05:30PM
Karl
You are doing a great job. I hope that you can continue to get good material.

I would like to see an article on how the Cruban steam engine valve motion works, and how the steam flows thru the engine.

I examined Mike Wahl's Cruban engine, and it does have 3 cranks at 120 degrees apart, with piston valves.

I could not figure out how the steam would exit the HP cylinder and get to the MP cylinder, and then to the LP cyinder (Maybe it is a HP cylinder and 2 LP cylinders). I do not understand it, and would love to see a good explanation.

Leo
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 22, 2009 07:46PM
This engine is a three-cylinder compound, one HP and two LP cylinders.
The manifold shown in the photo in the Bulletin attaches to the end of the three piston valves castings under the cylinders.
I am guessing that the piston valves are hollow spool valves; The HP inside admission and the two LP are outside admission.
I would be very interested to see more on this engine if it is disassembled.

The only other three cylinder compounds I have read about were in torpedo boats. The two low-pressure pistons were 180 degrees to each other and the HP was 90 degrees to the low. Very fast boats for there time.
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 22, 2009 08:08PM
So the Cruban notes should be resent to the Cruban thread already on the forum, uh, I think. If not, start one and cc to the owners. I am hoping for more info on both engines.

Can anyone pull all the Roper material together and write me a nice toothy article? I can tell you, it would be fun for you and I will edit it into nice shape making you look like Hemingway.

Karl

Karl Petersen
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 23, 2009 03:32PM
I might suggest Coburn Benson for Roper input. He owned the Roper 2-wheeler for a while and is quite interested in early source material in general.

Kelly
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 24, 2009 01:46PM
I second Coburn - a wealth of knowledge.
Also try Buck Boudeman, as he is the current owner of Roper's final ride.
I have some information written by others. Not sure about copyright issues....

Tom



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2009 01:49PM by tom in nh.
ben
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 24, 2009 07:32PM
Hi,,A few comments,,,Roper was among the LAST of the pioneers,!!! Check patent of Nathan Reed,,Beverly Massachusetts,,for his 4 wheel drive steamer,,DATE,,1795,,,then,,Oliver Evans,,who built a self sustaining[screws and conveyors]] grist mill,,,and DROVE his dredger from his shop,,perhaps 3 miles to the river launch,,in Philladelphia,,His engine was a super hi pressure for that time,,,and the outer shell was white oak i think,,Scotch marine style,,This in 1805 and dont forget the INTERNAL combustion wagon built by Morley,,1826--35,,now this is before Drakes well,,,the days of whale oil,,haha,,there was a model of this engine at Owls Head auction a few years back,,I bid 3x what I thought it would fetch,,this was an engine that Charles Duryea had actually worked on,,,and makes mention that its carburetor pre dates the German stuff,,used both electric and flame ignition,,[not both together of course]],,Oh yeh,,,forgot the Evans dredge had a DIFFERENTIAL,,so said Joe Knowles,,,dont know his source,but Joe knew the Messrs Stanley AND Mr Ford,,Joe drove his 1910 Stevens-Duryea to Detroit for the Golden Jubelee in 1946 I think it was,,No trailers in those days,,,come to think of it,,no interstate either,,Gosh,,I'm off topic again,,,and its gettin late,,,at least I feel that way,,Cheers Ben
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 25, 2009 07:47PM
[www.steamautomobile.com]

"Is the bulletin circulated via email or listed elsewhere? -kdc2"
No its not.


I just found this post, the steam bulletin is sent, bi-monthy to SACA members. Thats how we get the bulletin. In order to become an SACA member you must print out the form, fill it in with pen or whatever, and send it in. Its really that easy.

Also this link may be useful. Its from the current Bulletin

[www.steamautomobile.com]


Best



Jeremy
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 27, 2009 08:17PM
Hi All,

well. since everybody seems to be asleep, I figured that I would double post. Karl, your doing a bang-up job, keep up the great work.

Also as MEMBER of SACA I have a small report. I visited with Harry(cyclone) a few weeks back. Since were both member's I feel it important to let the group know how things went. Things went really good. Harry performed some run demonstrations of his engine [using non-condensable vapor as the working fluid]. He actually demonstrated 'reversabilitie of engine rotation at speed' I was quite impressed. The last time this happened to me, with an 4-cycle steam engine(the piston landed on the roof of the building) the engine was running in the parking lot, well you could easily say the engine needed some work after that. I witnessed the cyclone engine do this and was most impressed... Also Harry demonstrated efficient throttling characteristics using his method for the cyclone. It was a good visit, and i can't help but to compliment the club for it. Just so happens were both member's in florida, and it was easy for us to meet up at Harry's place.

Best


Jeremy
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
May 31, 2009 05:50PM
Hi Karl

Just received the magazine here in the UK. I agree with Peter in that a little bit of everything really works.
Tom's article on the Doble Henschel was interesting. Some time ago Old Glory printed a picture of a surviving Henschel engine with a bevel gear and propshaft flange located in a European museum. From the article I would assume this was the 80hp boat engine.
I would be interested in seeing a higher resolution drawing of the solid fuel monotube generator to compare it to the Sentinel version.

Brian
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
June 21, 2009 11:12AM
Quote
Rolly
This engine is a three-cylinder compound, one HP and two LP cylinders.
The manifold shown in the photo in the Bulletin attaches to the end of the three piston valves castings under the cylinders.
I am guessing that the piston valves are hollow spool valves; The HP inside admission and the two LP are outside admission.
I would be very interested to see more on this engine if it is disassembled.

The only other three cylinder compounds I have read about were in torpedo boats. The two low-pressure pistons were 180 degrees to each other and the HP was 90 degrees to the low. Very fast boats for there time.

The engine used in the California Steam Bus built by Besler and operated by the Oakland Municipal Bus System used an engine of this design. I believe the correct term for it is "steeple compound". As I recall, the engine as built by Besler was very smooth; it was mounted on the trans as a replacement for the original diesel powerplant--an expediency to reduce time and complexity issues. The Besler project was really the only one of the three that enjoyed any degree of success.

Bill
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
June 21, 2009 02:04PM
Bill the engine showed and described in the Bulletin is not a steeple compound.

A steeple compound is when the low pressure and high-pressure pistons are on the same piston rod. They got the name Steeple from the early pumping engines, very large and high erected in three and four story buildings. High on top and low on the bottom.

Engines described as compound normally have two separate rod journals, a high-pressure piston on one and a larger low pressure on the other. Each being 90 or 180 degrees from each other. When configured as 180 D only one valve is needed to operate both cylinders.

A three cylinder compound is an engine having one high and two low pressure cylinders each on its own rod journal and piston rod, the high exhausting to each of the two lows. Very rare.

The photos in the Bulletin clearly show the center cylinder as being the high pressure and the two outside cylinders as being the two low pressure, each on there own rod journal.
A three cylinder compound each with its own piston valve as shown in the photo on pages 20-22 & 23.
ben
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
June 21, 2009 03:08PM
Hi Rolly,,A fellow in Mexico,Maine ,,,the guy that built a 6" scale Locomobile,,,,maybee 15=20 years ago,,,had a live steamer run'n round the back yard,,,in the shed was a 3 cyl compound,,,in line,,,We drove over from the museum and had a wonderful picnic along the river,,,It MAY have been the day we took Sen,Margret Chase Smith for a ride in the 1910 Stnley,,,Yes now that I think of it,,,,we had cable out in the driveway,,hammering to dislodge the soot,,,,I think I was riding with David that day,,,,,,,,Fun as usual,,,Ben
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
June 21, 2009 08:26PM
Quote
Rolly
Bill the engine showed and described in the Bulletin is not a steeple compound.

A steeple compound is when the low pressure and high-pressure pistons are on the same piston rod. .

Rolly:

Thanks for the correction. It's obvious how much I've forgotten about steam in my 30+ years' absence!

I'll try to confine myself for the time being to memories I can share.

Bill
Re: Steam Automobile Bulletin feedback?
June 21, 2009 08:43PM
Cool stuff guys. It is also on the topic for bulletin if you send me a writeup and pictures!!!

Karl

Karl Petersen
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