What are you doing?! Put that thing out right now! Don't you realize how dangerous combustion torches are? Even a spark could ignite all this lubrication and slag the entire machine! Fire is best left in a boiler, where it can be properly contained and controlled. Where's your cogtorch?
Despite having fire for thousands of years, humans still suffer from the dangerous misuse of fire, burning down innumerable homes and claiming countless lives. In addition, the sources of lubrication used within mechanics are notoriously combustible, which poses a huge threat to machinery being worked on. Thus was born the Cogtorch.
A simple enough device, it's often one of the first things that a mechengineer learns to build during their apprenticeship, and they'll use it for the rest of their career. Through the combination of gears, cogs, and crystals, a piezoelectric current is passed through an electroluminescent emission crystal, producing a strong, stable source of light.
A cogtorch is a handheld tube, approximately 33cm long and 6cm in diameter. The length accomodates the insertable flywheel power source as well as the series of stepdown gears required to convert it's motive power into a usable current for the emission crystal. The very tip contains the emission crystal (and supporting stabilizers), capped with a glass lens to protect the internal mechanisms while still allowing light to escape.
- What's in here? -- A cogtorch is almost guaranteed to be present with any mechengineer; likely on their toolbelt, but if not then definitely inside their toolbox.
- Crack! -- The emission crystals are notoriously fragile. Any major impact is likely to fracture it, reducing the cogtorch to a fancy paperweight. They're also quite expensive; the helper who drops a cogtorch is going to get a nasty berating from the mechengineer. The utility of the cogtorch for rough-and-tumble environments is thus limited, and some will prefer to stick with the old-fashioned kind.
- Where was that damn power pack again...? -- The entire internal assemblage is powered by an insertable flywheel cartridge. No power pack, no light. In addition, flywheels small enough to carry around conveniently run down in a matter of hours; you only get so much use out of it before you have to respin the power pack, a delicate affair not easily done without specialized tools.
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? Responses (6)-6
A useful thing, simlerler to my idea of glowing mori rock but much more fragile.
Solid item that adds flavour to a world.
Steampunk flashlight. Good for flavor, and provides a good occasional distraction (as the engineer has to pause to rewind his cogtorch).
It just didn't make sense for engineers to be building amazing devices of technological wonder and still be working by candlelight. Does not compute.
A nifty item. A great piece of steampunk gear, though the difficulty of recharging it might make it less used then it should be.
I'd put an exposed friction wheel that could then use any local spinning wheel to 'charge' it.
One would have to be careful about overcharging it, either by charging it too long, or by using a wheel spinning too fast.