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Cleaning run Ace of Hearts - Observations, Questions

Hi all, done a cleaning run today on my new baby dragon.

Now I appreciate it will be different when its running with alcohol instead of vinegar, however it appears to me that there is a great deal of reflux dropping straight through the plates off the ends of the nuts on the downcomers and I cannot really see anything tracking down the little fingers meant to redirect the reflux, what do you think, have I put it together right, is it acceptable anyway.

I've come up with an idea for a simple device to assist with what I perceive to be a problem and that is a simple thin stainless washer about 1"diameter with a hole in the middle to match the bolt. Dish it slightly so its like a little umbrella and bolt it on instead of the little fingers, no reflux now can drop straight through the next plate. What do you think, is it a feasible idea or daft. Anyway I've ordered some to have a go, they were cheap so wont be much of a loss anyway.

I'll post a new video with the results when they arrive

By the way I know I've made a mess of the plumbing, I assume the flow restrictors would be better on the output side of the condensers and I cannot decide which way to plumb the dephlag, obviously counter flow is more efficient but it seems it must lead to airlocks, what the general consensus on this or is that a can of worms.

Cheers Ian

Edited by @Moonshine: YouTube link removed because the referred video is not available any more.



  • Hi Ian

    I have also just got a baby CD and I noticed the same as you, lots of liquid drops straight down the middle, I too was thinking of adding somthing to help reduce this, my idea was to make some little copper "Ninja Stars" with a hole on the middle for the nut and maybe 4 points bending down a little out of some 0.5mm thick copper plate, I'll make sure the middle of my copper Ninja Stars is wider than the hole in the top of the Procap below, I'm going to have a go this weekend so I'll post some pics.

  • Yes mate, i identified the same problem with my maiden run last week. A stainless washer will work well i think and i'll be trying that out today. I did notice that more than half the reflux was going down the existing flow director, but still it could do with improving and we are discussing ways that we could make it better.

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  • ss fender washers....

  • +1 Punkin.

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  • From the way the Baby Crystal Dragon design worked out it was pretty clear that the flow director is not able to redirect all of the reflux, and with the limited space on a Baby Crystal Dragon bubble plate you can not just rearrange the ProCap positions like on a larger plate. From what we have seen so far it's not dramatic, but replacing the standard flow director with something like a bent washer surely will lead to even better results. There are always more ways to reach the goal. ;)

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  • I'm just thinking out loud, but can't you simply add a 2nd or third flow director?

  • It's hard to see details in the video . I bend the deflctors starting really close to the nut and it helped a lot. Make sure you are using one of the small washers between the director and the downcomer cup as well. I will look for a pic. I have also used multiple deflectors and is really good also.

    Edit, found a pic.


    downcomer deflector details.jpg
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  • +1 to @captainshooch , you could also file or grind a little bit of a flat on the washer below and it would start the bend a bit sooner...

  • The main problem is you have reflux liquid flowing down all sides of the pro cap and the flow director only comes in to contact with a small fraction of it, you can get away with it on a bigger CD as you can turn each plate so the upper caps are not directly dripping through the holes in the caps below, on the Ace all the caps are inline with no adjustment possible, some sort of wider washer will help I think, it's certainly the cheapest and quickest option, I'm going to have a go a fashioning a three pointed star shaped flow director tomorrow, I'll post some pics

  • edited March 2015

    For this application I'm thinking a slightly oversized V shaped/bent washer. A longer screw would be needed......Or.....

    Perhaps just a larger area on the existing widest part of the tear drop shape? Just large enough to exceed the diameter of the liquid cup.

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  • @Anavrin the deflector should not be in contact with the downcomer cup.


    The cheapest and easiest solution is the washers that come with the Pro-Caps.

    The picture I posted earlier is of my own baby. I have ran it countless of times with merely a drop here and there falling straight down. Give it a try, I think you will see what I mean :)>-

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  • Also, on the home page for the forum are 3 links to videos, on the upper right hand side. The bottom link is the maiden run for the baby done by Lloyd. Look at it, specially at the 2:07 mark.

  • edited March 2015

    @Smaug said: Perhaps just a larger area on the existing widest part of the tear drop shape? Just large enough to exceed the diameter of the liquid cup.

    Aesthetically this is THE solution. =D>

  • edited March 2015

    Hi all, fitted the washers. I'll post another video when I get to use them



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  • I'll get round to my three pointer ninja star down comer at some point, didn't have time over the weekend

  • edited April 2015

    Edited by @Moonshine: Discussion Ace Baby Dragon Pro Cap Modification from 29 April 2015 11:24PM by @MikeAggie merged.

    @MikeAggie said: After numerous uses of my Ace, I was still disappointed with the pro cap spilling directly into the next cap with the blade really not dispersing the flow of distillate. I decided to try different modifications to see what worked best. I realized like water the distillate will find the least resistant path to the ground with gravity being the force. The problem with the ace dragon, is the pro caps are lined up directly above one another so that the nut on the bottom of the pro cap redirects the distillate to drop directly into the next pro cap with the blade looking more like decoration than effective way to redirect the flow. I re-shaped the blade to cross paths with the nut and flow past the lower down comer. It almost looks like a half heart. Strangely it worked better than I thought. As soon as I can make a video I will post.


    You still don't have the flow director placed between the two nuts like was suggested in the other this thread. Did you try that? It certainly solved the issue for me.

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  • edited April 2015

    Looking forward to your video @MikeAggie, I've got a few more baby CD sections coming in the post, I might try this, do you have the downcomer extensions?

  • yeah tried that first, it helped. right now I am running each one with different set ups. reposition washer with old shape, proper washer set up with new shape, incorrect washer old shape and incorrect washer new shape to see which works best. I quickly snapped a photo of the last one going back into the ace not realizing it was my incorrect washer new shape. I will try to post a video as soon as possible.

  • don't have the extensions. been meaning to order some, just need to ask smaug if he has them in stock. What i really want to try is reaming a thread on the inside and using a small threaded pipe to adjust the height. twist to lowere or raise. but at $25 a cap, I am afraid to screw one up.

  • @MikeAggie ... that's a great fakin idea... will try it myself... and i have my washum's in the correct location already just a bendy thingy...

  • edited April 2015

    Results are in.

  • edited July 2015

    here are the Test results. The New Diverter shape wins. Even if you place the washer wrong it still diverts to the side. The recommended washer placement with New shape was the best.

  • Looks good, I'll be having a go next week, I've got down comer extensions coming so I'll see if it still fits with that shape

  • It's a job very well done. We are really lucky to have our customers working with us all the time for development and improvement.


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  • That config makes perfect sense.

    Did you say you had both washers installed as well? I could not see well enough.

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  • It's washer first, diverter, then nut. With the half heart shaped that worked best.

  • :-c

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  • edited April 2015

    We did that quarter round radius on ours (bent them on a stainless work table with a rounded edge), but in retrospect, I wonder if they would work better if you just kept them straight, and bent them down at a 45 degree angle from the nut. Going with a radius keeps the top part of the diverter nearly horizontal. Just like @captainshooch showed above. Since we have the larger plates, the caps don't need to line up, so really, no big deal either way.

  • I was considering testing the washer idea, but I wanted to give it a run with the current equipment ( because first time customers receive the kit and have to make due with what they have). I even thought about drilling a hole in a beer bottle cap to see if the crimped edge would work. I'm sure we are willing to hillbilly engineer anything that will improve our hooch.

  • Cross-post of @Anavrin's flow director solution from our Show Us Your Dragon discussion:


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