|Then entrance is a collapsed ceiling|
|Water Droplets on Lichen. Look like silver|
|Glazed Rock or Molten Silver. Take your pick|
|That glazed stuff covered with red dirt.|
|Looking Straight Up. See the castings of the tree bark?|
|Tree Casting. This one is horizontal|
|Looking down the tight side channel|
|Charcoal embedded in the rock|
According to Wikipedia: Calcium Carbide is produced industrially in a electric arc furnace from a mixture of lime and coke at approximately 2000C. This method has not changed since its invention in 1888.
CaO + 3C goes to CaC2 + CO
Then, acceding to me, when you add water to it (very carefully) you get: CaC2+H20 makes C2H2 + Ca(OH)2. Which is acetylene gas and something with calcium in it. Perhaps Calcium Hydroxide.
So this is how you use Calcium Carbide. It comes in little rocks (about the size of cheerios) and you put it into the bottom of a special brass lamp container.
|Rocks in the bottom. Water in the top.|
The top of the container you fill with water. I use tap water, but you could use bottled if you really want to. I might avoid Perrier. Anyway, you screw the top into the bottom. Now, there is a clever adjustment device on the top that lets the water drip ever so slowly into the bottom. So water ( H2O) will mix (in a hopefully controlled fashion) with the Calcium Carbide ( CaC2 ) and out will come the Acetylene (C2H2 ) gas and smelly stuff. The gas rises up through the top of the container (which we will henceforth refer to as a lamp) and is directed out this little pin hole in the front of the lamp and can there be lit and generate light. The jet of gas is very fine and cute and can shoot out around half an inch (much more than that and the entire thing gets too hot).
If you set everything up properly a single filling of the lamp can generate light for about 2 hours. Then you have to dump out the sludge and reload. Not sure how you are supposed to dump out the sludge and reload if you are assuming that you don't have any other light mechanism. The other part of this lamp is a little flint and steal wheel on the reflector mirror. This is to allow you to light the lamp without the use of other fire. I don't find that the wheel works all that great.
|I made this one using just Carbide light (60 second exposure)|
|Long exposure of the gang working down the tunnel|
Just to take you one more aside down my own personal software stack tunnel. What do you think happens if there is a fire in a Calcium Carbide warehouse and you haven't told anyone what you store there and the Fire Department shows up and sprays thousands of gallons of water onto everything?
The point of all of this was to try out my lamp and hardhat combination in the darkness of a cave. The experiment went pretty well. I walked down the passage and could see OK. The beam of the lamp was not as bright, or at least more diffused, than my electric head lamp, but the light was also an interesting yellowish color. The main problem I had was that the filled brass lamp is pretty heavy and mounting to the plastic hardhat I got at the store produced a front weighted hat that didn't want to stay on very well. It kept sliding down over my eyes. And you don't want to be reaching up into the flame to adjust it. Need a neck strap. (note to future self).
And so we ended our little jaunt. A few hours underground, a few new tidbits of knowledge. Hey, and I still haven't told you where the cave is ….......
|The Action Adventure Team: Underground Squad|