Coleman Catalytic Heaters

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 11:44
ThreadID: 87455 Views:2860 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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G'day all,
Just picked up a Coleman Black Cat Catalytic Heater at a Garage Sale.
Appears to be in very good nick but the"Grey Ceramic Fibre Head" does not
"glow" evenly and has a blotchy appearance.
Hopefully, someone with one these heaters can advise whether or not this
is normal and any opinions whether it is safe to use(following the recommended instructions etc) would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: SimonW - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:48

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 20:48
Hi Ozikeith,
I have had one of these heaters & its fan forced brother the procat for 5 years, & what you are seeing is normal, no problem.

cheers Simon.
AnswerID: 459524

Follow Up By: ozikeith - Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 09:47

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 09:47
Hi Simon,
Thanks a lot for the info mate.
Do you reckon the Procat with the fan is a big enough improvement on this one to pay the $150(delivered to Melb) asking price from an online store in Qld?(does the fan make a big difference?)
Would appreciate your opinion.
Thanks again,
FollowupID: 733112

Follow Up By: SimonW - Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 12:41

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 12:41
Hi Keith,
The fan on the Procat makes a significant differance to the efficiency & it is the only one we pack in nowadays in the camper. It does take up a little more room, but the differance in warming up the camper is worth it. We do not use the D cell batteries instead we have a 12v step down cig lighter adapter & just run it off the camper trailer house battery. The other thing that is worth while is the adapter so you can refill the coleman canisters while traveling other wise they are expensive to replace.

Our main reason for using the heater is to take the edge of the camper in the cold as we have 2 yourng children, if you are traveling just as a couple another alternative is a cheap 240v single electric blanket on the bed, then put it on about 90 minutes before hitting the cot & it is pure luxury, uses very little power also.

cheers Simon.

ps: Note: We do not find our fan noisy.
FollowupID: 733136

Follow Up By: ozikeith - Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 06:53

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 06:53
Hi Simon,

Thanks for the further info. I have ordered the Procat and will also run it using a cig lighter adaptor. I also have the adaptor to refill the Coleman cannisters from a 9kg cylinder which I have been doing for my Coleman Hot Water System and a Coleman Gas Lamp. I don't have an inverter so the electric blanket is not possible at this stage. I only want the heater to take the chill off our small 12ft van in the mornings and evening when no 240v is available. I would not leave it operating while asleep though, especially after reading this:-

FollowupID: 733499

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 09:59

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 09:59
Hi Keith,

The only advantage of the ProCat is the fan. It runs on D cells though and was not only savage on batteries but fairly noisy.

I made a 12v to "x" volt converter where x was adjustable. It was only ever a prototype but I'm still using it. The variable voltage was in the range of flat to full D cells and reducing the voltage controlled the fan speed and we found a tolerable level that worked well.

Without the ability to do that I'm not sure I'd spend that sort of money on a ProCat.

AnswerID: 459546

Follow Up By: ozikeith - Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 07:11

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 07:11
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the info. I have ordered the Procat and will run it off a 12v cig socket adaptor. The adaptor has different voltages down to 3v but is not adjustable.

Was there much involved in making up your adjustable converter?

As you use one of these heaters you might like to look at this link:-
You may already know all this stuff but appears to be the reason that
Coleman stopped making these catalytic heaters.

FollowupID: 733501

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 23:09

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011 at 23:09
Hi Keith,

Interesting read. I'm an ambo, so have had a bit to do with CO poisonings.

We use ours in our Kanga & leave a small bit at the bottom of the door open & a small corner of our upper window.

Hot air rises and so that way the tent draws fresh air & expels exhaust but still in frosty conditions maintains an elevated temp. Works quite well.

We don't use it a lot but when we have it's been great.

The converter is a variable voltage regulator a few capacitors & resistors. Nothing hard about it but I wouldn't have a circuit diagram for it. It came out of my head at the time. I could draw one up but I'm a long way from a scanner at the moment.

FollowupID: 733574

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