Office of Steam Logo_1

Author Topic: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine  (Read 197 times)

MadeForThat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 137
1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« on: October 31, 2023, 11:49:07 pm »
Hi all, been a while since my last post, and this one is a bit of a novel! At my work we are using an orbital tube welder to make large diameter welds, and we run this machine on a bulk dewar of argon. Well this dewar will occasionally vent to keep its internal pressures below burst (thank goodness) but it seemed to me to be a pretty big waste of compressed gas. So I hooked up a steam engine to the tank. This is a microcosm S10, and it has been running darn near continuously for almost 2 months on argon. I will stop it once a week or so to oil it all over and in the cylinder. I run it as low as it will run which is around 60-80 rpm. I have taken some close ups of the places that I am sure people tend to worry about on these engines. I am pleased to say that nothing is near the point of what I would consider excessive wear, and the engine will still run off the slightest puff of air without much blow by on the return stroke. Very pleased to see the governor did quite well, I feared the pulley shaft would wear right through from the belt tension, but there is not much difference between when I first received the engine and now. there is about .01" of play up and down from horizontal on the cross slide, I am not worried about this, but that is the worst observable wear, and probably most of that was there originally. I didn't start into this to make an endurance test of the engine, but it has proven its mettle and has now earned a retirement from continuous service, but I think it is probably ready for the next 1300 hours of running!

 @Jin, incredible work on these engines, please let me know if you are aware of any other engines that have more hours than this, so I can beat them!

MadeForThat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2023, 11:56:42 pm »
Just to prove I am not a complete animal, I did clean it all up and give it some fresh clean oil. Here is after that, ready for more.

St Paul Steam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4891
  • Location: St. Paul Indiana
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2023, 05:40:33 am »
That is some incredible hours on that little guy, very ingenious of you to think of capturing the otherwise wasted gas & letting it do some work powering this engine. neat story & thanks for sharing it with us.
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
"Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind."
  Nikola Tesla

Stoker

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4034
  • Wherever you go ......... there you are!
  • Location: Eastern Sierra
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2023, 09:25:21 am »
Awesome & ingenious!

That little puppy has really been put through its paces and is now really the "proof of the pudding", as they say!

Of late, I've come to respect the overall quality of Microcosm's work far more than were my initial impressions. Now if they could just get out from under their totalitarian regime, but that's a totally different story. Heck, more and more, it looks like we're needing to get out from under ours!!!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

St Paul Steam

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4891
  • Location: St. Paul Indiana
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2023, 11:08:28 am »
Awesome & ingenious!

That little puppy has really been put through its paces and is now really the "proof of the pudding", as they say!

Of late, I've come to respect the overall quality of Microcosm's work far more than were my initial impressions. Now if they could just get out from under their totalitarian regime, but that's a totally different story. Heck, more and more, it looks like we're needing to get out from under ours!!!
Now where's that "like" button at ?
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
"Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind."
  Nikola Tesla

komet163b

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 953
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2023, 12:38:30 pm »
Wonderful idea.  I'll bet everyone is used to the regular sound
of your steam engine.  If children could visit the shop they
would love it.  Does this make you an Argonist?

Happy Argoning,
Wayne

MadeForThat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2023, 07:26:42 am »
I would love to post videos of the setup, but the area that this resided in is occupied by a rocket engine capable of 35000lbs of thrust. Pretty strict rules on cameras and whatnot hahaha! The slight ticking of the connecting rod is certainly soothing for me, not sure if everyone else agrees!

RedRyder

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4479
  • Location: Connecticut - USA
Re: 1300 hours continuous use of Microcosm engine
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2023, 12:37:11 pm »
This is a great story! Thank you for posting it here.

Mrs RedRyder has one here at the office of steam.
I felt it was a quality piece the moment we opened the box.

If your work ever gets declassified you can tell the world you've be working on an argon engine!