I was frustrated at starting my coal stoker, so I started experimenting with a way to automatically start it, I was about to have a success, then stopped my research as soon as I found out, and watched the video on YouTube of Leisure line, and at the end of the YouTube Video, it showed Patent Pending.
And since most my friends and associates were pushing me to get a patent on something, I started working on a control system for my stove to allow me to use a thermostat to control the heat, I mainly want the thermostat for the ability to have it programmed, it took me a while, and finally I have a Patent Pending status on my device as well, and it works awsome, it is available now, and will be announced soon, the device I have now, works for any stove using the Tri-burner mechanism ( older Alaska, Reading , etc )
The one thing I wasn't crazy about, as far as the video I watched, is the 16 minutes delay for a fire, the one I was experimenting with was firing up in less than One minute ! so watch out, I may start the research again.
As of now, I am not crazy about it at all, since I finally figured out how to start my stoker with charcoal for under One minute, and at one time, I challenged myself to start it using only one piece of charcoal briquette.
Currently I am working to produce prototypes of my control units for other Stoves as well ( Keystokers, Harman, Leisure Line ) their mechanisms are different than the tri-burner.
My device is an electromechanical add-on, and the few people who have them now, can not stop bragging about them. It should retail under $ 200.00 ( Programmable thermostat included )
The one thing that is keeping me away from further developing the auto ignition, is the fact, that you can burn just few ounces of coal all day to keep the stove lit, and it's hard to compete with such a thing economically. The cost of keeping the stove lit, especially when you have already invested in a programmable thermostat, outweighs by far the justification of purchasing an ignition system, even if it drops below the 99 Dollars mark.
BUT it's a great challenge and fun to do !