Coleman dual fuel lantern
The reason this has taken so long is that the lantern I received way back
then has been stored at War's and I didn't get to start testing it before we got home
after the IC.
Oookay... First of all, if you show a pump up lamp to anyone in this country,
their first reaction is probably to take two steps back and say "that sounds
dangerous... what's wrong with a normal kerosene wick lamp?". If you start filling
it up with regular unleaded on top of that, you're likely to be branded as
"that pyromaniac with a death wish". I don't know why this is so, it's just
the way it is.
In that light, it wasn't without anxiety I assembled the lamp (I had
to break it down for air transport) and started reading the manual. There
isn't all that much to it, but after all, we're talking about pretty specacular
fuels under a fair amount of pressure, plus I had to take it apart in little
pieces to fit it into the suitcase, so I wanted to make sure I hadn't goofed.
As a sidenote, this lamp doesn't "look" like the lamps of my childhood
that were either polished brass or tin. The internals are made from a
mix of aluminium and brass, and the tank is surprisingly sturdy, which makes
sense since it's a pressure container. The parts looks to be mass production,
but well made. In short, it instills confidence.
Finally I figured it was as good as it was going to get, so I gingerly opened
the valve and applied a match. Whoa! let me tell you: a double generator
lamp is bright. It also gives off a surprising amount of heat. At
least out on the porch it was almost odorless, much more so than most
kerosene lights I've seen, and that was a pleasant surprise too.
I've been trying to figure out what kind of mileage this lamp gets, and so far I
don't have any exact figure. One tank seems to last something between 7 and 9
hours at full blast. The manual says that the lamp has to be pumped up frequently,
but in practice it wasn't all that bad. After running about an hour or so, it
got a little dimmer, so I gave it a few extra strokes. No problem. It takes more
pumping when the fuel level gets low, but not to the point where it'd get
Even if I'm pretty impressed, there's one thing that one needs to keep in
mind: This lamp needs to be lit with a match. A longer match would be better.
The easiest way I've dreamed up is to use a regular match and a leatherman to
reach in to light it. Either I'm doing it wrong (and I'd love to be shown
a simpler way), american matches are longer as a rule, or that's just the way it
is. I'm going to tinker with a wal-mart flint lighter and let you know if I get
it to work. It seems to be made for propane lamps, though. Time will tell...
Would I buy one
...Well, I got this one as SOM prize sometime ago and I'm certainly happy with
it (thanks, ladies and gentlemen, and thanks to
Rust's Hardware Hank
that donated it.). I'm
very impressed so far... If I'd gone out and bought one tomorrow, it'd probably
have been the kerosene kind, but that's mostly because gasoline lamps (and stoves)
are very unusual around here. More for cultural than technical reasons, I suspect.
I really like the availablility of fuel, and it sure produces a lot of light.
Ask me again this spring.. I may well be a convert by then... Now I'm gonna have
to try to switch jets in the camping stove to see how it runs on unleaded (instead
of kerosene) and see how that works...