A ten-second toaster, for breakfast in a hurry


Filmed in a lab somewhere near the “South Jersey Shore”

"NO TIME! Quick, wire that car battery to my braces so I can cook while I eat!!"


Did he say “…who can bone the toast first…”?

/and I agree: crappy soldering. Cold joints all over the place.
//those rheostats!

But can it do bagels?

This guy raises so many questions. How does he afford to do this hobby? What is the fascination with the destructive power of electricity? What is his day job? BB must dispatch roving reporter Xeni Jardin to interview Mr PhotonicInduction, before while he electrocutes himself…


He’s a professional electrician and has quite a few safety measures so it’s far more likely that he will trip and smash his head open on the stairs then get himself electrocuted.

The real question is whether or not he is Lemmy’s illegitimate child.

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Is that a rather large collection of elaborate bongs on his shelf?

flaming toasters are so 1994


no, really, it’s a 20 year old webpage where duct tape plays the role of the electronic controller.


/hugs ghost of his Amiga, cries


I think they’re electrical vacuum tubes of some kind

I find it hard to be annoyed by then/than substitutions, since they so often improve the original sentence.


They seem to be multiphase mercury arc rectifiers.

In the times before everything went solid-state, things looked definitely cooler.


Looks like a conventional infrared-radiation toaster, with the IR being provided by the heated resistive wires. The amount of radiated energy, or the energy loss from the wire, grows with fourth power of temperature, according to the black-body radiation. The energy pumped into the wire is the P=U*I, or P=U^2/R (where R is the resistance of the coils, electrical power loss, so it grows with second power of the voltage pumped in. The thermal-equilibrium temperature of the wire, where the radiated power (corrected for the power absorbed by the wire from reflections of what it radiated) equals the electrical power dissipated in the wire, will therefore go up in a nonlinear way, with the curve slope flattening as the power is increasing.

But far before this becomes an issue we run into material problems; few materials can withstand so high temperature in oxidizing environment (aka, air). There are heating elements from e.g. silicon carbide or molybdenum disilicide that can do quite good job, though. Just be aware that the higher the temperature, the faster the wear (up to the point when the element lasts a fraction of second!), and that surface contamination with flux-acting salts that, when melted, dissolve the passivation layer, can corrode it VERY fast.

I guess one could improvise a toaster with such elements, or with halogen lamps.

Another possibility would be not heating the elements with electric current, but use induction heating (for metallic radiative elements) or microwave absorption (for ceramic elements). That way we can use solid slabs of material instead of thin, wear-prone wires or foils. Voila, much longer service life even at high temperature of the radiators. (Though the mass of the radiators would be needed to be low in order to shorten the heat-up time.)
Edit: In the case of microwaves we are not limited to oxidizing-prone carbides/silicides, but can potentially use even oxide ceramics that are not prone to that. In case the oxides begin absorbing microwaves significantly only when hot already (see e.g. the problems with microwave melting of glass), we can use a sintered-powder material with other ceramic or metal grains to provide the absorption when hot, and be surrounded by the oxide grains and protected from air. Avoid using traditional macroscale composites (sandwich of slabs, for example) due to thermal expansion differential issues that at such temperatures will be annoyingly significant.

In case of the microwave-heated radiators, some microwave leakage to the toast itself would be beneficial to preheat it through volume in order to shorten the time needed to brown the surfaces (and to let the toast retain enough heat to melt and soak the subsequently applied butter, nomnomnom).

But we cannot go to the extremes in the power flux, as then we could end up with a toast that is charred at top fraction of millimeter and raw just below. Or, if we go to even higher power extremes (entering the field of Q-switched lasers now), we could vaporize the top layer of the toast while not even scorching the bread below. So regardless of what we do, the toast will take couple seconds to be done.

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