BRS Fan Assisted Wood Burning Stove (Pic Heavy)

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Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
20
United Kingdom
Aye Up All,

1. I was recently gifted a BRS, fan assisted, wood burning stove and after a few ‘patio tests’ did some minor upgrades and a modification, then I headed for the woods.

Out with the plastic container and in with a (cheap-ish) titanium pan-set.
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Out with the tiny battery box screw (don’t want to faff with that in the field!) and in with some BMT
(Sorry - no dedicated image :()

Out with the (so called) lock-nut hinge nuts and bolts and in with a piece of 1.6 mm welding rod enabling me to split the stove for packing. (and a future mod!).
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2. Covert route out following game trail to intended shelter site.
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Oooh, result – a large piece of windfall conifer, time sort some fuel!
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Branch sawn down into stove relevant sized pieces; I know that the dump pouch filled will provide enough fuel for cooking and warmth for the afternoon (It is February!).
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Needle sections cut into sprigs – spring is coming and nesting material will soon be required so why not help out? :)
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3. I wonder if there’s any fat-wood to be had? This branch has come from too high up but nearby, a conifer with some old, low down, broken branches and evidence of sap discharge – maybe….
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A careful saw cut later
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No, only minimal turpine, perhaps any that was there has been reabsorbed over time, it is a very mature tree after all and the damage could be decades old.

I’ll take some pine needles for a brew later
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4. Some time later however I happened across this – this looks promising….......and another careful saw cut later......
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Result 2! I'd better GPS spot-mark this fella for future use!
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5. On to the shelter site/set-up then -
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That dump pouch full of ‘raw’ fuel? – shaved and baton-ed into appropriately sized tinder/kindling and fuel including quartered, fast burning pieces for boiling water and unsplit ‘logs’ for a slower burn and steady heat output.
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6. Out comes the stove in its previously made storage/utility bag and pan-set securing straps.
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Stove plus extras are all stowed inside the pan-set. (I decant these into the storage bag whilst setting up the stove so as not loose any).
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Battery pack control switch and new hinge pin are stowed inside the burner base. The base can be hard to remove, I use the handle of the suede brush packed for post use cleaning (safer than a knife!)
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Ground cleared, level base created;
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7. Fire box appears to be best seated on the burner base before clipping the fan unit into place (bottom edge of box is easier to locate into the lower notches. (I found this to be the case even when the nut and bolt hinge was still in use).
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8. Caution required re cable socket/debris ingress (plumbers mat helps (B&Q £6). Mind that plastic battery box too (easy to stand/kneel on!)
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9. Fuel ready; Stove set up. Note fan detail is back to front – (II) = slow; (I) = fast. Note also, air intake plate needs to be open.
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10. Over several patio tests I found that a good, initial amount of (quality) tinder and kindling is required to get a burn going successfully. Pfaffing about with small amounts and tiny sparks/coals wasn't too successful. The quantity of stove-metal/damp Feb air/less natural air venting than on other fire box stoves possibly all contributing.

When the tinder is well alight and the kindling taking the fan was switched on to low setting (set on high too quickly and the coals can be blown out!) In the image shown, 2 crumpled sheets of kitchen roll plus a handful each of fat-wood shavings and tinder sticks were used.
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11. Fuel sticks were gradually added and the fan switched up to I (Full!). With the fan still on full, I then added more and more fuel sticks slowly creating a bed of red hot in the lower half of the fire box.
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12. Time to put the pan on – ½ litre of water. Note the pan support positions – allows the pan to be moved slightly off-centre opening up a gap for easier feeding of the fuel sticks into the fire box. (don't slide it too far though!).
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13. Water took 3minutes 45 to boiling, 4 mins 15 to a rolling boil – air temp was around 5 degrees C. (Stove shielded from prevailing breeze by shelter and pan lid was on the pot).
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14. Time to try another of the boil in bag meals meine Frau prepared last autumn and shoved in the freezer – Chilli con carne – de-lish!
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15. And then its time to relax next to a real ‘log’ fire with a brew (coffee, I inadvertently ground the pine needles into the ground whilst baton-ing - doh!) I used the same water from heating the boil-in-bag. And some choc! 'Yorkie - its not for girls!' (Only joking ladies :))
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16. I find that an old cut down suede brush is good for cleaning inside the fire box and either side of the air grate after use.
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17. Rubbish packed up for carriage out – site left as near to original as possible
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Conclusion.
This stove is a great tool for outdoor support.
Is it worth the money? - I believe so, yes - it works, it's practical and it is fun to use.
It is relatively inexpensive, compact and fairly lightweight.
It can be used to purify water, heat up food and beverages; cook foodstuffs from raw etc (probably forge metal in blast mode! lol).
It does smoke on start up but as the ember bed is created and with appropriate control of the fan less so.
(It is only totally smoke free with a good ember bed, dry fuel and the fan on full).

Does it blacken pots – yes, easily remedied if it bothers you - scrape on grass/scourer/wire brush. (Storage bag prevents soot/resin getting on kit in your ruck during carriage!).
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This stove even has the potential to be an effective source of warmth in a suitably ventilated shelter set-up. The relatively tiny amount of fuel shown in this review lasted four hours (how much gas/meths/£s is that!).

The stove isn’t as self ‘breathing’ as other fire boxes due to the fan-input design and restricted air intake when the fan is switched off – no issue when you are ‘cooking’ though but if you do want to keep it going as a heat source I found that with no fan input at all, the fire could quite easily die too far back for recovery and so low speed fan needed to be almost constantly on.
That stated, with a fresh handful of fuel, and fan on full, the recovery from glowing embers to blast furnace is impressive!
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Theoretically, with an inexhaustible fuel supply and the knowledge of how to harvest, prepare and ignite it, plus some slight modifications to it, this stove can function indefinitely. (With limited fuel requirement impact on the environment).

Batteries?
During my trials with the stove a pair of cheap AAs lasted 10 hours before I noticed fan speed reduction and I had been using the fan almost constantly.

With re-chargables (batteries or a dedicated power pack) and a means to do so (solar/hand gen etc) fan power shouldn’t be an issue.

However, a small addition to the fan air duct (facilitated by the stove halves separation) could prove useful.
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Now I’m thinking, - “That cone also fits perfectly in that bag that I made for a reason” -
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What if...........................
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I hope you find this useful. :)
 

bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
2,918
164
55
Stockton on Tees
Great project and write up with pics, on the cone in the last picture, what were you thinking of using as a chimney and in what sort of shelter ?

Thanks.
 

Big G

New Member
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
Aye up Jaeger, I remember you asking about these stoves a while ago.. i was gonna take a punt on one but i bought a Ti Honey stove instead. They look a decent little stove but i'd be wary of using it as a heat source.. might burn the fan out. I bought the larger size of AMG Ti pan set before Xmas.. decent set for the money.

A nice review and field test mate :cool:
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,881
1,792
McBride, BC
Very thorough review and sensible mods. Your hinge fix is a far better design. Surprised by the length of the AA battery life.
Did you happen to notice what sort of ash you got? White or a lot of residual charcoal?

Pines (Pinus sp.) have elongate needles borne in fasicles (bundles) of commonly 2, or 3, rarely 5, depending on species.
I'll guess your windfall was Douglasfir or one of the true firs, Abies sp. with flattened single needles.
 

Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
20
United Kingdom
Aye Up All,

Thanks for the compliments and Qs.

Bopdude - I envisage the cone as acting like a cooker hood, gathering any smoke and along with the chimney drawing it outside a shelter.

What sort of chimney? - some kind of lightweight flexible pipe (diameter about 50mm) that is heat resistant. It only needs to be a relatively short length i.e. a couple of feet.

What sort of shelter am I thinking of using it in? - improvised eqpt i.e. basher, tarp, or improvised natural i.e brushwood.

All of my activity is low profile, I ruck-in what I need and so the potential of this stove as a compact mini heater appeals.

BigG-73 - I take your point re the fan, time will tell. At the moment the stove is still in 'trials' mode and so it is getting some hammer, I've used it about 5x extended duration now for boiling and a bit of warmth. That intensity would obviously lessen from spring onwards. I know that it depends on the fan quality but if it is a good one the potential could be for it to be long lived. The fan on my desktop computer (8 years old) must have run for thousands of hours. I haven't researched it yet but I would imagine that they are probably available somewhere on the net. Of note is that the fan section has hardly become warm during extended use either from convect-ed and conducted heat from the fire box or extended use of the fan. I'm assuming that the mass of ally helps conduct heat away from the motor. Yes, I'm pleased with the pan set - reasonable value for money (for 2nd grade Ti whatever that is!:lmao:)
I've been wondering if a sliding air vent on one of the unhinged firebox side walls would lessen the need for the fan on continuously in heater mode.

Robson Valley - Thanks for that info re the tree species. Re the ash - I've now burned the pine in the review, plus western red cedar and beech. On almost each occasion I have let the fuel burn away until completely out (assisted by the fan). There has been almost no ash at all, what there has been has been is a very tiny amount of grey and very few tiny pieces of charcoal depending on when I have called it quits. I intend to try birch and horn beam in the near future - all dead standing or windblown of course.

Notably, although I did mention cleaning in the review, I didn't cover it in detail.
Cleaning the stove has been absolutely minimal, only limited debris on the air grate, (none beneath it at all); and almost none on the fire box sides, in fact the pan has usually ended up dirtier (sticky) than the stove.

PS

Back to the subject of the fan - beware forgetting to fully open the sliding vent plate or inadvertently pushing it closed (confession!:() poor stove lighting and performance can be confusing for a while!

On an economy note - when I have resorted to use of a gas stove (for the speed of use more than anything) I have usually had between six and ten, 3 to 4 minute boils (for a brew-up) out of a C100 canister depending on the time of year/ambient temps.
(I use a SAT for longer boil times i.e. boil-in-bag meals).
I noticed a while back the price rising on those C100s (and suggest it will continue to do so) so not only the initial cost of the BRS wood burner but also the continued use of it would quickly see break-even and after that its just batteries.
 

Big G

New Member
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
Aye Jaeger.. I'm not knocking mate.. like i say i nearly pulled the trigger on one on ebay. I hope it serves you well and you get some good use out of it.

Some of the Chinese clone stoves are decent for the money.. and i think the BRS make fall in to that category.

Might even pick one up in future.. after you've giving yours a good hammering..! :lmao:
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,270
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Amazing what they come up with! I would never imagine a fan assisted outdoor stove !
Next gadget should be ( already exists maybe?) a universal solar charger for the batteries, the GPS and mobile phone.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,881
1,792
McBride, BC
It's here. Flexible solar panels which tack onto your pack and hat.

I looked up that stove = $55CDN and I think it's a real bargain from Jaeger's review.

Several fans in my pellet stove, that's why it works so well for total home heating.
I could buy 2 for the price of a 2-burner Coleman. 2 people cooking/2 dishes, and no crowding like on the Coleman.
 

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