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# Wankel Microwave Carousel

The Wankel engine - good chefs ask for it by name
 (+20) [vote for, against]

Background - Most microwave ovens have a set of hotspots and cold-spots. This causes food to cook unevenly. Most people solve this burnt-popcorn-lumpy-gravy problem by using a microwave oven carousel, to keep the food moving. The food seems to enjoy this as well.

Problem - Regular microwave oven carousels rotate about a center point. The food directly over that center point doesn't get the benefit of any movement, so it could get over- or under cooked. Also, the food can get pretty bored, going in the same old circle.

Solution - Create a carousel with eccentric motion. As the carousel rotates, the center of the carousel also makes a small orbit around the center of the microwave. None of the food gets left out. It's like a Tilt-a-whirl for your tortillas. If you like, you can hula-hoop while you watch the food cook, since it's the same motion.

The carousel is made from a non-metallic Wankel engine. (The plastic engines were not big sellers, so surplus parts are readily available). To get an idea how this looks, PLEASE SEE LINK ("Wankel Engine") and scroll down to the animation. The carousel includes the green rotating triangular rotor, and the central hub, but not the gray housing. Notice in the animation that the rotor completes three swings around the hub for every one complete rotation. (I hope that makes sense.)

Details - the carousel is easy clean, auto-start, cool to the touch, and adjustable speed. Recommended speed is one rotor RPM. It's few inches smaller than normal carousels, to make room for the eccentric motion.

 — robinism, Feb 16 2005

Wankel engine http://static.howst...ngine-animation.swf
[robinism, Feb 16 2005]

(?) Epitrochoid, mentioned in [angel's] anno http://www.monito.com/wankel/j-epi.html
[robinism, Feb 16 2005]

Waltzing MaGrillDa Waltzing_20MaGrillDa
[phoenix, Jun 25 2010]

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Yep. I'll take one.
A similar effect could be achieved using epicyclic gearing.
 — angel, Feb 16 2005

Sure, for heavy meals.
 — robinism, Feb 16 2005

Didn't know about wankel engines. My new found knowledge has raised my sense of self worth to the point of looking down my nose at anyone who doesn't know what a wankel engine is. Idiots.
 — etherman, Feb 16 2005

Now you can use the word 'epitrochoid' in conversation.
 — angel, Feb 16 2005

[angel] Go on, give us an example.
 — hippo, Feb 16 2005

I think she just did.
 — etherman, Feb 16 2005

d'oh!
 — hippo, Feb 16 2005

Wouldn't the name give some guy the wrong idea about microwaving his wiener?
 — FarmerJohn, Feb 16 2005

 I love this idea. It won't work too well for items that are similar in size to the oven (a pizza box, for example), but for smaller stuff it works great. How great? I've already baked this in my own microwave, but in more of a "spirograph" style. No more nachos with half-broken, half-cold cheeze. No more half-frozen, half-scalding pizza.

 It seems that most microwaves without turntables have a metal fan above the cookspace to randomly scatter the microwave energy. This worked reasonably well, but wasn't perfect. Unfortunately, if the fan failed in an inopportune position, it could reflect the microwave energy right back into the magnetron, resulting in an interesting meltdown.

 Most new carousel microwaves don't have this fan, and thus still have hotspots which now manifest as rings instead of spots. I had an early carousel microwave that had both the fan and the turntable, and it worked absolutely wonerfully.

I do like this idea. [+]
 — Freefall, Feb 16 2005

Yes. I'd been considering this problem for a while and hadn't hit on this solution. As [freefall] points out, it doesn't have to be Wankel, any eccentric orbit will do the job and probably more simply, but the Wankel thing would be cooler.
 — wagster, Feb 16 2005

Favorite line of the week: ' Also, the food can get pretty bored, going in the same old circle.'
 — RayfordSteele, Feb 17 2005

 Awww Brau, everyone had managed to avoid that!! Even me!! I'm partly disappointed in myself for not breaking the smut silence first. Let that be a lesson to me.

 But good point:

In a restaurant: 'honey, I think my sausage is a bit cold.' 'well ask the waitress to wank it for you.'
 — etherman, Feb 17 2005

Etherman, you missed FarmerJohn's wankotation from yesterday. It was a small one...
 — robinism, Feb 17 2005

Cookin' idea!. Etherman, what 'sauge' is that?
 — gnomethang, Feb 17 2005

"sauge" is French for the herb sage.
 — AbsintheWithoutLeave, Feb 18 2005

correct absinthe ... err .. thats what I meant.
 — etherman, Feb 18 2005

 //a carousel with eccentric motion. As the carousel rotates, the center of the carousel also makes a small orbit around the center of the microwave.//

Buy one of those plastic wind-up carousels and put it on top of the built-in turntable, somewhat off-center.
 — baconbrain, Mar 12 2005

That is truly a flash of genius. (+) Email me if you want help drawing up the patent.
 — kevinthenerd, Jan 12 2009

I am surprised that no no one saw the full potential of a Reuleaux triangle based design. With Wankel engine gearing, the area covered by the turntable is somewhat figure 8 shaped. But if the gearing is changed, a Reuleaux triangle can almost completely use the square area of a typical microwave.
 — scad mientist, Sep 23 2013

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