Turquoise Energy Ltd. News #100
  covering May 2016 (posted  June 3rd 2016)
Victoria BC
by Craig Carmichael

www.TurquoiseEnergy.com = www.ElectricCaik.com = www.ElectricHubcap.com = www.ElectricWeel.com

Planetary Gear Variable Torque Converter is The Ultimate Automotive Transmission! (see Month in Brief, Electric Transport)
* Permian Period Revisited: The Age of Evolving Amphibians, not Reptiles (Special report)

Month In Brief (Project Summaries)
- Variable Torque Converter Transmission... & crab fishing - Permian Period Revisited - Commercializations?

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
- Mexican Silver Money - Financial Collapse Timeline?

- In Depth Project Reports -

Permian Period Revisited: The Age of Evolving Amphibians, not Reptiles

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Electric Hubcap motor, Chevy Sprint & Variable Transmission - Conclusion: PGTC looks like the ultimate auto tranny, May's frustrations solved... I think - miswired phases - better planetary gear?... buy it! - Stronger Spring - Various experiments and adjustments with springs and mountings
* A small note on permanent magnet assisted motors: just by luck I made the ARM motor that can be converted

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects (no reports)
Electricity Generation (no reports)

Electricity Storage - Turquoise Battery Project (NiMn, NiNi, O2-Ni), etc.
- Source of Electrolyte - Oxidizing Graphite for the Positrode - Nickel Ion Battery: another form of nickel-nickel cell

No Project Reports on: I'm dropping this section. In theory I've felt it's good to be able to see quickly if there's been no activity in an area of interest rather than to have to read through to find it's not there by omission, but it's probably more confusing than anything... especially to me to decide what to include as projects and project ideas evolve and morf. I now put what is covered in "Month in Brief" in the contents under that heading, so if something is even briefly written about anywhere it'll appear somewhere in the contents above.

May in Brief

   My work at AGO continued to eat into project time until I finished the jobs in mid May.

Planetary Gear Variable Torque Converter (PGTC) Transmission in Chevy Sprint

   Other than that I persevered rather doggedly with the frustrating Sprint Car transmission project. It soon became evident that the PGTC system actually worked just fine from a stop. Nothing else is needed to get the car rolling, and the 'final drive ratio' to the wheels following the converter is almost irrelevant.
   What was relevant, the missing point I finally figured out about the end of the month, is that the maximum torque out is dependent on the maximum speed of the slipping gear, so with a lower PRM motor, getting the most is dependent on configuring it with the slipping gear as the fastest turning gear. Instead I had the motor on the fastest gear, so everything else ran more slowly, and the torque conversion was at a disadvantage. As configured it's a demo.

Sprint with torque converter et al. New is the mounting bracket and lever
for the tensioning cable to better pull the tensioning rope.

Newly realized is that for maximum torque, the slipping pulley with the rope should
be on the sun gear instead of the planets assembly, to turn at a higher speed.

   Until then it was a perplexing mystery why the car worked fabulously at lower torques, but simply seemed to jam up with friction on higher ones - if it needed more than about 20 foot-pounds of torque at the mechanism's output shaft. That meant it wouldn't climb hills and couldn't be taken out on the road.

   I thought it seemed perhaps to have something to do with the spring in the tensioning system. By the 17th I had a stronger spring and was ready to install it.
   But just before I started working I was invited to go crab fishing. Here on the coast that might be a valuable life skill at some point if food gets scarce, so that day I bought a "clamshell" crab trap (16$ at 'Capital Iron' in Sydney) and a fishing license and learned how to fish for and identify crabs. I caught the allowed limit of 4 male rock crabs off a wharf. In fact, we continued fishing and I threw the two smallest ones back and kept two larger ones. (Grab them by the rear legs so they can't pinch your fingers with their claws. I'm sure that would really hurt.)

   With the new spring it seemed to work a little better. Then I made a 'proper' mounting for the slipping gear pulley tensioning system. It still did up to 20 foot-pounds very smoothly, but still jammed above that. I ran the car a couple or a few times most days and scratched my head over the problem. What, what, could be wrong?
   On the 25th I discovered that the pulley was being pulled off-center by the tensioning rope, and I thought for a while that that was the main problem. Perhaps at higher torques perhaps it was more or less jamming the gears together, creating high friction.

   But in looking for a more suitable commercially made planetary gear and thinking of how to configure it on the 31st, I finally realized what I believe is the actual problem. A certain amount of torque slips the slipping gear, depending on rope tension. The torque available at the output isn't infinite. It depends on the slipping torque times the relative gear ratios of the slipping gear and the output gear. The motor only runs so fast, so the slipping gear only turns so fast, and at top speed, only 20 foot-pounds is available at the output. More tension only slows down the motor and hence the slipping gear without increasing the available torque, so if that same torque won't budge the car, everything grinds to a halt. The means to increase torque then is either to have a faster motor, or to have higher intrinsic gear ratios, even tho any ratio above the fixed ratio can theoretically be obtained. If the sun gear was the slipping gear, the pulley would spin much faster and it would probably work up to a much higher torque.
   Apparently that has been the main problem with the Planetary Gear Torque Converter (PGTC) since I first made it in 2012. Why didn't I try other configurations earlier? It will be darned hard to change it - a complete rebuild. I may set it up using the best planetary gear I can find, with CNC waterjet cut metal chassis parts. Assuming it works the experiment would double as the first pass at a production design.
   Then I started to think that with the slipping (sun) gear shaft sticking out one end and the motor (planets) shaft sticking out the other, and the ring gear in the middle with the chain drive sprocket (or the original gear) to the differential, I might be able to use the original transmission chassis, hacking it as required and replacing all the crap inside with a single planetary gear. Then it would be sealed to have gear oil and so solve the gear and chain lubrication problems, keep the dust out, and it would fit some of the original mountings.

   When the torque has been within limits, I've now seen what an amazingly smooth running variable system it can be. I think it'll be "the ultimate auto transmission" when configured properly. All that's needed is for the gear to be configured right.

The Permian Period Revisited

   Starting in April but especially for most of May I stuck my nose into paleontology, where I wanted to find out more about the evolutionary transition from amphibians to reptiles. I've never felt I had much to offer on this sort of subject before, but as I delved into it, it gradually became clear to me that important parts of the story had become confused by past mistakes and that the Permian virtually needed a fresh start, a re-evaluation, to clear them away.
   Until perhaps the 1960s(?) there was perhaps little distinction in most peoples' minds or in scientific nomenclature between what then became known as 'amphibians' and reptiles, and this surely played its part in creating the confusion. Prior to that, "amphibian" was purely a functional term, and otters and seals were called amphibians because they lived in water and on land.
   Small reptiles were being assumed to have existed long before the fossil record showed any large ones, which somehow then evolved rapidly into many types. But there is every reason to expect that reptiles would have become large as soon as they differentiated from amphibians. It started to become evident that all the presumed "reptiles" up until the very late Permian were in fact amphibians or at least "pre-reptiles". I noted that very heavy breast bones, sternum and clavicles, seemed to distinguish large amphibians from reptiles. This was well supported by mentions in Wikipedia articles of 'bone microanatomy' suggesting low metabolic rates and aquatic or amphibious lifestyles in those very same creatures. Wikipedia articles showing 2, 3 or 4 possible 'clade' (family tree) diagrams for various species and families seemed to illustrate that there is as much speculation as relatively clear knowledge.
   I started writing with what I feel is a convincing theory about the unsuspected purpose of the sails of Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus (the "parareptilian" Pelycosaurs): they added skin surface for amphibious respiration. This evolved into a revised (but by no means complete or definitive) version of the history of the Permian period as a whole.

   I first put it in the In Passing section, but as I wrote more and more and added more and more images it made the e-mail pretty large, and since many regular readers may not be especially interested in the topic, I made it a special project report in its own section for the web posted 'full' version of the newsletter. [ http://www.saers.com/recorder/craig/TENewsV2/TENews100/TENews100.html ]

Permian Period Amphibians:

Skeleton of the Pelycosaur Edaphosaurus:
Not a "lizard" at all but a giant (~3 meters long) "salamander".
Note the heavy sternum and clavicles that anchor the buccal breathing muscles.
The sail adds greatly to its soft, moist skin area -
skin surface is an important component of respiration in amphibians.

Artist's rendition of the Pareiasaur Bunostegas:
Not a "lizard" or an "ancestral turtle" after all, but rather a giant "frog" or "toad".

   With much time taken up in the first half of the month and being determined to solve the mysteries of the PGTC in the second, I didn't touch the 2015 tax report until the night of the 27th, when I wrote up the points for that project. After that I continued almost daily with some little but or other. Nor did I get any farther on the promising nickel-air battery, the permanent magnet assisted ARM motor, or any of the other projects.


   There were some indications of interest in energy production projects, including interest from Australia in setting up an ocean wave power system. I could see devoting time to that in some administrative/oversight role, so long as there is development money and I'm not the one doing the exact mechanical design drawings or much of the fabrication or labor. It is by no means a one person project anyway, and will have to be mostly done by paid help. Given the basic design from the sketch in TE News #80, it becomes more a marine engineering project than inventing. I think it should be worthwhile. Money for employees and access to a wavy beach to build the structure on are the key requirements, and access to power lines to send the power to if it's to be more than an experiment or very local system. So far I haven't even found time to send an e-mail that I probably should have already sent.

   And with a better understanding of the variable PGTC, and seeing how smoothly it works once it's working, designs are developing in my mind for the manufacture of PGTC transmissions for EV.s, including under the hood types and the add-on wheel motor drive. Any suitable motor that fits in the available space can be attached. (allowing, eg, later upgrade to a 'permanent magnet assisted' motor) Per the latest plans, a wheel motor would mount under the car behind the rear wheel and connected to it by a toothed belt.

   A source of funding for any or many of the projects would help open them up. Otherwise, I think small scale PGTC transmission manufacture might be attainable with a local partner, and I'll keep plugging away at the rest as time permits.

In Passing
(Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)

Mexican Silver Money

   Mexico mines more silver than any other country. I recently heard that in Mexico they are using silver coins for currency. In the USA and Canada we stopped doing that in the 1960s, as inflation made the face value of the coins worth less than the value of the silver they contained. (In fact, it presently costs about 15$ to buy one dollar of face value in old Canadian silver coins - .6 troy ounces of silver. So a dollar is worth 7% of what it was in 1967 when they stopped putting silver in them. The other 20% was copper and maybe some nickel to make the coin harder so it would last longer. A USA dollar had .72 ozt as it was was 90% silver. Being the same size, the US coins were slightly heavier overall because silver is denser than copper or nickel.)

   As I imperfectly understand it, Mexico has a new system. The coins have a weight of silver, not a face value. Every day the day's value of a gram of silver is posted on a government website. If for example it was 11.35 pesos, a purchaser could go into a store and buy a 5 peso item with a one gram sliver coin, and would receive 6.35 pesos in change. (In this system one probably sees the hand of Hugo Salenas Price?) While fiat currency gradually inflates away, the silver coins will retain their value. "Gresham's Law" states that bad money drives better money out of circulation. Ie, people will spend the paper if they have any and hang onto the silver. If Mexicans are saving in silver, they may be better off than most of us when faith is finally lost in fiat, as it must soon be with the lavish, unending money printing -- first the dollar, then the yen, now the euro, next will be the dollar again.

Financial Collapse Timeline?

   Well, along with many I've been early on the collapse timeline. Apparently some have expected it imminently even for 10 years - and it hasn't happened yet. But Venezuela, where (in case you missed it) people are now eating pets, looting, rioting, starving, murdering and dying in droves, including in hospitals with no power or medicines, will soon be coming to a country near you. Just as there, if one is paying attention, one sees everywhere an inexorable creep toward disaster which no one is attempting to address.
   There are those who have been saying it'll happen "within the next year" for some time. There are now more of them and some day they'll be right. In the meantime, many of the cooler heads who were saying "It's still a few years off." are now talking about 2017 and saying "We're in the end-game."
   But anybody who stocked up on food and supplies in Venezuela, even if it was 5 or more years "too early", is doubtless really thankful now that they did! I now have a vegetable garden and chickens. And with solar panels, an EV and a trailer hitch I can go out and fish, using the Electric Hubcap outboard in my aluminum boat. (must get some more fishing tackle!) I am, I hope, much better prepared than I was five years ago. Still, one never knows for sure what the future holds for oneself.

   What warning signs might we expect? First, credit tightening up. Too many banks have too many bad loans outstanding, and are becoming reluctant to make more of them. This is already starting as business loan payment delinquencies rise precipitously. Then, businesses that have hung in there until now will be going out of business in droves - partly because of lack of customers who can afford to buy things besides food, and partly from the credit freeze-up. Also banks and governments, in collusion, can be expected to steal money from everybody's pension plans and accounts one way or another to keep themselves afloat. And food prices are expected to rise notably month after month - probably starting this fall. When you see these late warning signs, the collapse is just around the corner.
   Whether physical gold and silver become unavailable leading up to the bank failures or at the same time is unsure. More and more people worldwide are now buying them to protect their wealth, but the annual supply isn't growing. (A bank teller has noticed the rising interest here.) It's still a good time to buy.
   Now the finance guy on Next News Network (youtube) about the start of June noted that there have been major crop failures or setbacks in North America and Europe already this summer owing to the many climatic disturbances such as the record droughts, record floods, and unseasonal snow and hail (all brought on to a large extent by 'geoengineering', I'm sure). He expects food costs to rise sharply this fall for that reason, again bringing us everywhere closer to the Venezuela situation.

   The collapse, as I've said before, will remove the power base of the corrupt (who all work through the financial system) and wake people up, a great intellectual, philosophical and spiritual awakening. Those who live, and those who come after we're gone, will examine what happened and make vital changes to society that wouldn't happen - wouldn't be permitted - in a thousand years if everything just drifted along as it has been going. Change will start with local communities and grow from there. The new world will take form over decades, and it won't settle down for a millennium. After that I'm sure we wouldn't even recognize it. The planet has a glorious future.

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Permian Period Revisited:
The Age of Evolving Amphibians, not Reptiles

by Craig Carmichael
May 2016

   Who having an interest in dinosaurs and early life hasn't seen images, and perhaps plastic models, of 7 to 12(?) foot long Dimetrodon and probably wondered about the purpose of the enormous sail on its back? There has been no convincing answer. I was doing some study into possible transition stages between amphibian and reptile, and came across a lengthy thesis about "Modes of Ventilation in Early Tetrapods: Costal Aspiration as a Key Feature of Amniotes" [ie, how early land creatures breathed] by Christine M. Janus & Julia C. Keller.
   As I was reading in this, the reason for the sails clicked on like a light switch. In fact, I thought the authors were about to propose it themselves in the next paragraph or two, but they took another path. If even these obviously knowledgeable authors didn't mention it there, it had surely never before been suggested. This got me started on a path were I came to realize that much about the animal life of the Permian period appears to have been substantially misinterpreted.
   Misconceptions have always abounded in paleontology, where everything must be guessed about an unknown fossil. "Basilosaurus" should have been named "Basilocetus" because it was actually a mammalian whale, not a reptile. Entelodont was first thought by the strange jaw and teeth to have been some sort of crocodile, until someone realized it was a giant pig - a very different animal. Ideas right and wrong get passed on as being facts unless someone notices inconsistencies and figures out a scenario more in line with facts that have emerged. The mistakes are thus gradually corrected. I believe what I've written below will prove to be a good step in clarifying the Permian period.

   Dimetrodon and Edaphasaurus appear to date from the early Permian period, or perhaps the late Carboniferous. Their fossils have been found in North America and in Europe so far. (All the continents were connected together with land bridges in the mid Permian.) An explosion of mid size to large reptiles appeared at about the beginning of the Triassic. It seems to have been presumed that small reptiles existed long before that, even in the late Carboniferous, and also that these two unique Pelycosaur genuses were reptilian. It wasn't at all clear to me that a good case had been made for either of these ideas. Would small reptiles have developed so soon after amphibians first crawled out on shore - almost contemporaneously? Even before frogs? It would seem logical that reptiles, once they appeared, would quickly evolve into large sizes and dominate the environment. Why would they start off tiny and long live in the shadow of land dwelling amphibians?

   So, were the Pelycosaurs actually reptiles, or amphibians? or more advanced large amphibians? Recently paleontologists seem to be calling them "parareptilian".

Dimetrodon Skeleton (images are from Wikipedia or from Paleos.com . Proper attributions can be found there.)
   Apparently scientists seem to believe the Pelycosaurs practiced the more advanced "costal respiration", the chest muscle and diaphragm breathing common to modern reptiles, birds and mammals. Since no modern amphibians do this, we might naturally assume that they were reptiles. But I looked for more information, and it all seemed to suggest they were amphibious. Could they have been a "missing link", a stage between amphibians and reptiles? Or even just plain amphibians?

   Today's amphibious anamniotes (creatures without an amniotic sack - fish & amphibians that must lay eggs in water) practice "buccal breathing". As the whole bottom of the frog's or newt's mouth or throat goes up, it closes its nostrils and air is pumped into the simple lungs. There are no muscles in the chest pulling air into the lungs. Because of this buccal breathing, frogs and toads generally have short necks and large, flat heads, in order to have a larger lower mouth/throat/buccal area compared to their body size. Newts and salamanders have smaller heads but breathe the same way.
   The Pelycosaurs' short newt-like neck as presented in some images, and their slow metabolisms, seem to me to support the buccal breathing idea.
   Could the idea they used costal respiration be simply an assumption, made early on and never challenged? The murkiness of the subject was such that it wasn't until the 1960s(?) that the whole order "amphibia" even had their own name as distinct from reptiles. (...-Fish-Amphibians-Reptiles-Birds-Mammals) Before that, the word "amphibian" was mostly used as a functional term, and seals and otters were described as "amphibians" because they live in and out of the water. A creature that hatched as a tadpole in water and then grew into a land dweller might easily be called a "reptile" - a salamander was considered to be a species of lizard.

   But in addition to throat breathing, amphibians make use of their soft, moist skin for a considerable part of their respiration, especially to expel CO2. Elimination of CO2 (according to the 'Modes of Ventilation' thesis) is the harder part of air breathing. Intake of oxygen is the easier part. And in the Carboniferous probably through into the early Permian, there was still some gradually decreasing CO2 remaining in the atmosphere, compounding the problem. But the larger the creature, the less skin area it has per volume of body, so only very small animals respire just through the skin - mostly insects, and a few small salamanders. About the largest land-dwelling "typical" newt-like amphibian was the Permian Eryops, about 6 feet long.

   Perhaps you too have just guessed it: I believe the Pelycosaurs with their low metabolic rates were amphibious, and their soft, moist skin would have been an important part of their respiration. The sail greatly increased the skin surface respiration area to enable a much larger body size. At up to maybe 12 feet long and 150Kg weight for both genuses, they were much the largest land animals up to that time and would have dominated the environment by virtue of that great size. The sail made this possible, especially in a still less than ideal atmosphere.

In this and other images, Dimetrodon seems reminiscent of a giant salamander.
If it was a buccal (throat) breathing creature like a salamander or frog,
which also utilizes skin respiration as a vital part of its total respiration,
the sail would have greatly increased its skin respiration surface
compared to its body volume, allowing the Pelycosaurs to grow
to be the largest land dwelling amphibians up to that time.

An Edaphosaurus skeleton.

A short-necked Edaphosaurus image again potentially suggestive of buccal (throat) breathing.
(I wonder what a swamp full of croaking Pelycosaurs would have sounded like?)

   Other info I found indicated that contrary to much art depicting them in dry places (such as in the BBC series "Walking with Monsters - Before the Dinosaurs"), it is said of both types that they lived in swampy and wet areas -- typical for amphibians. Another site indicated it had similar tastes in habitat to Eryops, a 6 foot amphibian. (And there were in fact at least a couple of smaller early amphibian genuses, Ianthasaurus and Platyhystrix that also had sails on their backs, which line may perhaps have evolved into the Pelycosaurs.)
   Then, one source said specifically that no Dimetrodon eggs have ever been found. I found no mention of Edaphosaurus egg fossils except that they were 'presumed to surely have been hard shelled', which also implies that none have ever been found. Is that lack of eggs just bad luck, or could it be that Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus laid soft shelled eggs in the water and perhaps had a tadpole larval stage? Hard shelled eggs, if they did exist, wouldn't preclude the 'amphibious' or 'prereptilian' breathing skin, but that none have been found does add fuel to the idea. (Afterthought: How would a reptilian male mount a female with a sail for procreation? The sail would be much less of an impediment to procreation in an amphibious species laying eggs in water, where the male comes along and fertilizes the eggs after they're laid by the female. Oh well, Stegosauruses must have done it somehow!)
   A question that might have an answer or might someday get one is: Have quite young Pelycosaurs been found, or only relatively mature adults? Different size specimens found correspond poorly to different ages, according to Wikipedia. Would a fossilized tadpole Pelycosaur be recognized as such? Tadpoles attributed to Eryops have been found.
   Another web site mentions that Dimetrodon skeleton microanatomy indicates it had a "low metabolic rate", with relatively few channels for oxygen carrying blood. This too would be in keeping with it being amphibious and a buccal breather.

   This is mostly rather circumstantial evidence, but that may be about the best we have for now about this far-off time. But a picture emerges of a more orderly evolutionary timeline: Amphibians emerged from the water sometime in the Carboniferous period as the carbon dioxide content of Earth's atmosphere became reduced enough to support higher land animals. They evolved into the two probably amphibious Pelycosaur species at least by the early Permian.

   I noted the very heavy clavicles and sternum in the chest behind the throat, seemingly fused or closely bound together. This seemed like an ideal heavy attachment point for buccal breathing muscles. I started checking other skeletons as further evidence for the Pelycosaurs being buccal breathers. Yes, that was similar to known amphibian Eryops's skeletal build.

Eryops skeleton with similar heavy clavicles and sternum

   Then I started checking some known early reptiles: Postosuchus, Lystrasaur, Placerias... Sure enough, their chest bones were much lighter. But I also noted that those I found were listed as being "early Triassic".


Both early reptiles were much lighter in the breast area than the amphibians.

   Then I came to Scutosaur, supposedly a reptile from the late Permian. It had the heavy breast bones, similar to the Pelycosaurs and amphibians.

Scutosaurus Skeleton

   That appeared to shoot down what had seemed like a fine piece of evidence - but only for a moment. Scutosaur was listed as being Pareiasaur genus, a member of the "Synapsids" once known as "mammal-like reptiles". Some paleontologists have thought it might be an ancestor of the turtle. But in the description was a most revealing statement, in fact, a bombshell:

   "Most authors have assumed a terrestrial lifestyle for pareiasaurs, but bone microanatomy suggests a more aquatic, plausibly amphibious lifestyle." [Wikipedia, 'Pareiasaurs']

   If the Pareiasaurs (including for example Bradysaurus, Scutosaurus and Bunostegos) were actually prereptilian amphibians, the seemingly contradictory skeletal form evidence was actually virtually conclusive support! Bunostegos is explicitly denominated as a "pre-reptile" in Wikipedia.
   And from their essential forms and proportions, to me it looks like they are probably closely related to - evolved from - frogs. (Frog skeleton images too seem to show heavy breast bones relative to the whole skeleton.) We might perhaps suspect two somewhat parallel strains of evolution, in size as well as probably in increasingly sophisticated anatomy: from 'salamanders' to Pelycosaurs, and from 'frogs' to Pareiasaurs. The Pareiasaurs appear to have evolved in Africa, where many fossils have been found. But they seem to have spread over the world from there, with all the continents being connected at the time.

The form might suggest it evolved from a frog.

(The skeleton above looks far more froglike than this particular rendition,
perhaps revealing how much may depend on the artist's preconceptions.
In fact, some of the form doesn't seem to follow the skeleton at all.)

Bunostegas, another Pareiasaur,
again looking like an overgrown frog or toad (one "the size of a cow"),
and as with the others, having a "lumpy" skin with more
respiratory surface area than smooth skin would have.
(Apparently it was also the first creature with all four legs
essentially vertical, rather than sticking out to the sides. Evolution!)

Really, with all the similarities...
were these all just varieties of one species?

   Most of the Pareiasaurs were big, from .6m to 3m long, and considering the bulk and short tails seem larger than Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus, yet they had no sails. How could they be so big, and evidently buccal breathing, yet apparently with much less respiring skin area per volume? First, they had wider more frog-like proportions and so probably lung-breathed better than the newt-like Pelycosaurs with their narrower heads. Then, the atmospheric CO2 level had dropped to insignificance, where it has since remained. Then, as "prereptiles" they might have evolved more complex lungs. Evidently the rest came down to the skin texture. The Pareiasaurs had scutes, knobs, folds, and lumpy skin textures. On a fractal level, all this could bring about a much increased respiratory surface area over what flat, smooth skin would provide.
   On a further note, in both the Edaphosaurus and the Scutosaurus skeletons shown above (but not necessarily in all amphibians) we observe longer ribs extending back almost to the rear legs. I suppose that with buccal breathing, the abdomen doesn't need the flexibility it does for costal respiration.

Looking more deeply into creatures of the Permian on a site called http://palaeos.com/, I found the mid-Permian Dinocephalia family. They also had very heavy breastbones, and they seem to look a lot like the Pareiasaur "overgrown frogs" above. Pictured is Estemmenosuchidae Uralensis. Again they were said to be swamp dwellers, and were thought to be largely vegetarian.

   It started to look like all of the so-called "reptiles" of the Permian period were in fact amphibians or at least prereptilian.

   Another area I briefly explored reinforced this view. Many of the early Diapsids, a broad group presumed to be small early reptiles, again sounded like they had suspiciously amphibious lifestyles. I couldn't find any photos of skeletons showing the chest area, just a couple of side view drawings. In these they seemed to have the heavy breast bones, but it was hard to be confident of it. Some were of salamander- or lizard-like formation.
   But might some of them actually be primitive frogs? In the artists' images, many of the large rear feet and legs looked to me like frog feet and legs. Would they not have been webbed? This considerable size difference commonly found between rear and front legs was also noted in writings. (Oops... I've lost the link to the item where I first read this and about the 'aquatic' or 'amphibious' habits of many types. And where is the bone microanatomy analysis?) It was thought that the long rear legs would be for 'bipedal' locomotion, but they could instead be for jumping, or lunging forward at prey. Some seemed to have shorter tails, but it didn't seem that any had no tails. Juvenile frogs have tails, and perhaps adult primitive frogs might still have had tails. Even the pareiasaurs had short tails. The rear end anatomy doesn't look like modern frogs, but perhaps primitive frog ancestors might have used their front limbs to assist in launching, and their tails for balance in the air. But whether salamanders or frogs, it looks to me like yet another case of amphibians having been misidentified as reptiles, again no doubt starting in past times when there was no distinct scientific classification called "amphibia".

Here's a related note: Two broad divisions of Diapsids have been identified: the Lepidosauromorpha and the Archosaurs. In one text the Lepidos are described as having a heavy sternum (and in Wikipedia as having a 'primitive sprawling gait' - legs to the sides). Since the heavy sternum seems to be a distinguishing amphibian characteristic, perhaps the two classifications have unwittingly divided the amphibians from the reptiles. (But I have not checked this out.) If that's the case, the Lepidos probably evolved into the Archos.

   Then I did a search specifically on "frog fossils". Based on lack of earlier fossil finds, frogs were long thought to have first evolved in the Triassic period. Recently frog remains from the early Permian have been found, which puts a different slant on things. (Now where was that link?) Also the wide divergences in finds from later times is said to indicate that frogs and salamanders likely radiated away from each other in the Carboniferous. Amphibamus is a late Carboniferous creature said to be "froglike", yet with a tail. Even so, in the absence of any reptiles, earlier Permian frogs certainly might well have become later Permian Dinocephalians and Pareiasaurians, which after all have short tails themselves.

Amphibamus grandiceps Cope, textbook drawing of the type specimen [georgesbasement.com]
...20cm long Amphibamus, "a poorly understood prehistoric amphibian."
But much seems to be speculation and confusion about the Permian period and amphibian evolution.

"Frogamander" from the early Permian
"In its Early Permian habitat in Texas, Gerobatrachus hottoni would have lived on land and water where it could lunge after insects like this mayfly Protoreisma. - See more at: http://www.livescience.com/2554-frog-amander-fossil-fills-evolutionary-gap.html#sthash.YjIPrNN2.dpuf"

   But groups of creatures from the late Permian such as the Gorgonopsia and the Dicynodonts, didn't and don't seem to fit into the otherwise neat scenario of the 'amphibious Permian'. In the mid Permian the newly appearing seed bearing plants began to provide a good food supply for land dwelling vegetarians, as detailed on Paleos.com:

"While animals were undergoing a change so were plants, with xerophyletic (dry-adapted) species of ferns, seed-ferns, conifers and ginkgos coming into prominence.  The Glossopteris flora dominates in Gondwanaland. These new plants mark the transition between the Paleophytic (the old spore-bearing moisture loving coal swamp plants) and the Mesophytic (gymnospermous) era of plant evolution. Significantly, whereas animal life has its big transition at the very end of the Permian, plant life switches over to a more modern flora some ten to twenty million years previous."


"But now in the Kungurian [mid Permian] we see an environment dominated by medium to large sized herbivores (the pelycosaur family Caseidae). This very important event marked the shift from a food chain based on detritus and carnivory (insectivore/ piscivore/ carnivore) to a more efficient one in which plants as primary producers provide the main input. The Lopingian Epoch (Late Permian) witnessed a succession of impressive medium to large herbivores - caseids, estemmenosuchids, deuterosaurs, tapinocephalids, and dicynodonts - with (apart from the dicynodonts) each "dynasty" flourishing briefly then dying out after only a few million years, to be replaced by a new wave."

   So it would appear that land animal evolution hit an accelerated pace once there were food plants, and this probably fostered the transition from amphibians to reptiles. Then large, sluggish amphibians who previously had the world to themselves would have been easy prey for agile reptiles, so the transition once begun could have been completed in a relatively short time.

   The saber-toothed Gorgonopsids date to the late Permian. Their form, skeleton (with light clavicles and sternum) and bone microanatomy indicate they were terrestrial creatures having costal respiration: reptiles. Certain bones had moved from amphibious positions to form the inner ear so they would hear best in air, again saying they were reptiles, not amphibians. Notwithstanding some "mammal-like" qualities and outline, I suggest from their late Permian timeline just before the Triassic explosion of reptilian types, that they must have been the earliest of reptiles. Scutosauruses were doubtless their easy prey, and when they died out, so did the Gorgonopsids.

   So it is possible that the late Permian (the "Lopingian Epoch", or perhaps the last 15-20% of the period as currently described), might better be described as belonging to the early Triassic, if one would describe the Permian as a period dominated by amphibian evolution, and the Triassic by early reptiles. At any rate it seems to have been an age of rapid transition between the two.

   In conclusion, herein I believe I've uncovered and corrected what appear to me to be some large misconceptions about the order of evolution and the nature of many Permian creatures. This certainly doesn't clear away all the murk from this distant time, but I think it's a good start!

Electric Hubcap Motor Systems - Electric Transport

Electric Hubcap motor, Chevy Sprint & Variable Transmission

Planetary Gear Torque Converter ("PGTC") Works Great, Starts Car Moving Great!

   I'll start with an important conclusion: I was wrong in 2012 that the planetary gear torque conversion doesn't start working until the vehicle is in motion. With a smooth, balanced slipping/tensioning mechanism, it works just fine from a stop. In 2012 it was just too crude to work properly under many circumstances, leading me to draw false conclusions. And in fact, a misconception continued into May 2016.
   For much of May I was puzzled that things worked great if the required torque was under around 20 foot-pounds ("F-P"), but it balked at much more than that. When the tension was directed more evenly around the pulley so it didn't pull to one side, even with a cable tie as a quick experiment, this figure rose a little. But it wasn't the answer.

   I started figuring that the output torque could only be increased to a certain point for a given RPM of the slipping gear and ratio between them. Probably there's a "maximum torque ratio" between the gears as well as a gear ratio. If instead of the slow moving planets assembly I use the fast moving sun gear as the slipping gear, the torque should be multiplied much more, and the unit can have perhaps ten or twenty times the maximum torque - plenty to put the car on the road.

   But now I've seen how smoothly the system runs when working within its limits. I'm finally convinced that this, the Planetary Gear Torque Converter ("PGTC"), must be about the 'ultimate' form of automotive transmission one could come up with. It needs to be set up right... and then produced for car transmissions and add-on wheel drives.

A Better Planetary Gear?

   I started thinking a large diameter UHMW planetary gear several inches wide with plastic planet gears that don't need lubrication would be an ideal form of the gear for a car. UHMW would also have the least possible friction with very low heat and losses. Aluminum might be the best metal for the sun and ring gears. It's all about spreading out the stresses so the lighter materials can handle them even for a large, heavy vehicle.
   Perhaps thus constituted they could also be straight gears instead of helical for highest efficiency, without being noisy like metal straight ('spur') gears are. Conceivably too, they could be composed of two or more planetary gears placed in parallel and bolted together, with the teeth offset between units so that they were at different points of engagement at any given time, spreading out any unevenness caused by straight gears. Or with full width sun and ring gears, the planets assembly might contain narrower planet gears, placed at offset rotations.  Such strategies might attain the general smoother, quieter drive effect of helical gears, without having the helical gear sideways thrusts and losses.

   With such a planetary gear and a toothed or flat drive belt instead of a chain, no lubrication would be required except for greasing the bearings, which, with modern sealed bearings, is very rarely needed.

   One fly in the ointment is that cutting precision gear teeth even in softer materials looks like a serious challenge, unless they can be waterjet cut from thin pieces and built up into thick ones. But, even if one chose larger, coarser teeth than might otherwise be desired, would that be precise enough? I doubt my ability to do a satisfactory job of it, even spending considerable time setting things up.
   On the 31st I looked on the web. I found a planetary gear (Swiss company Gysin.com GPL120) that looked like it would be notably better than typical automotive planetaries, but it's a sealed (lubricated) unit with bearings, and units with plastic planet gears. Presuming the price isn't out of reach, why try to fabricate something difficult that someone else already specializes in that's doubtless the best? It makes the prospect of manufacturing transmissions a lot simpler! I sent off an e-mail to a US distributor.
   Another company makes gears to order, including from plastic. So an option might be to take an automotive planetary gear and make a housing that would give the benefits of the gysin housing, with plastic gears replacing the steel ones to remove the lube requirements. If they would handle the torque.
   A couple of days later an inquiry found that there is a company making still larger planetary gears 'for 4x4 offroading', right here on Vancouver Island. But the prices were scary. Unfortunately it's not near Victoria, but I may take a trip up there some time to have a look.

Motor Phases Were Miswired between Cables

   I noticed that the motor occasionally wouldn't start spinning until it was run the other way or manually turned to a new position. That seemed inexplicable. And I
and thought of how it wasn't revving up very well in reverse. On the 8th I disconnected the pulley rope so it was free-spinning except for the flywheel. It still worked poorly in reverse. Somehow, I must still - or again - have the drive phases wrong! I hooked up a DC current clamp meter and started swapping drive wires at the plug. Sure enough, they were wrong. When I had them right, the motor started and spun freely in both directions and the motor currents went way down into the lower 10s of amps once up to speed. Instead of seeing 150 or more amps under load, it was down around 100 even while driving forward. It explained why the motor had seemed to take substantially more energy than with my controller, and of course it generated considerably more heat - another problem explained!
   How had this happened - again? I had the wire colors clearly marked, but somehow they were wrong again. AHA!... Some hall sensor wires had to be crossed between the handheld control box and the driver's seat controls, so when I switched, the phases got switched at the sensing side. That makes sense. If they were wrong in the handheld control, it would also explain how it was that they were wrong earlier when I changed from my controller to the Kelly. I've probably put them back the way they were originally. (I may have cross-wired the Kelly handheld control myself since it had the wrong plug for my motor, but I knew I didn't like Kelly's arrangement of having the motor sensor cable and the controls cable both connected in the same "J2" plug in the controller! Thus changing the operator controls means changing the motor sensor cable as well. They have two different functions and should have separate cables.) I'll say this for it: nothing blew up in spite of the fault, even if the motor got smoking hot a couple of times.
   So that cleared up some small mysteries and solved a couple of problems, but it didn't make the car move any better, including backward. Experimentally oiling the rope and pulley just made them spin freely in spite of all tensioning.

Adjustments: Changing the chain sprocket to a lower final drive ratio (3:1), and to a stronger tension rope spring.

   The spring was rubbing on the pulley and making a metal on metal noise. Changing the spring to a smaller diameter should stop that, and at the same time, any change there would be an adjustment, with the possibility the car would roll better. or worse. or at least that I'd learn something. Fortuitously I had recently found a spring that seemed just right. But it proved to be weaker and I put the old one back in.

   Then, notwithstanding that it didn't have much torque, I thought I would try changing the 4 to 1 final chain drive ratio to 3:1, from a 12 tooth sprocket to 16, driving the 48 tooth one on the differential. That would allow street speeds (not highway) without over-revving the motor. In theory all that should mean was the variable torque converter ratio should change to compensate. I had a sprocket gear welded up, and changed it on the 14th. Instead of an hour, it took all afternoon to do everything and readjust it all.
   The first results were perhaps predictable. Instead of 10 foot-pounds ("F-P" herein) or so to start moving at an easy to start point, it required 1/3 more. Before, I could get the car to roll where it needed 20, but this time it seemed to take more tension, and I pulled the lever back until the spring clamp on the cable hit the cable sheath, without getting enough to get the car moving at any time. The motor would still start turning at this maximum tension, without moving the car. It definitely needed a stronger spring.

   On the 18th I put a new spring in. The wire in this one was 1.1" diameter instead of .85". It was even fatter than the old one (3/4" O.D.) and so scraped even worse on the pulley. (For now, oh well!) Much to my surprise, on pulling the stick back a little harder, from an easy to roll position the car readily started and drove ahead. As per the theory, the extra torque was provided by a higher ratio from the planetary gear torque converter. In fact it seemed better than before. (How far can this be taken - to 2:1, or even 1:1? If so highway speeds should be attainable.) It even backed up a bit, if still not very well. (It would have backed out of a level, paved parking spot - yay!) But from a tough spot it still wouldn't go ahead and the spring hit the end stop. So I torched another inch and more off the tensioning rope and reattached everything. It helped, but it still wouldn't move from that spot, which turned out to need almost 50 F-P (150 F-P at the wheels). Again I was pulling the lever all the way back, and I got the feeling an even stronger spring would definitely help.

   I pulled the car a few inches up the 'hill' to where it "only" needed - if I recall correctly - about 35 F-P. (was it really that much? - over 100 F-P at the wheels? I should have tried it again to confirm that - I was probably mistaken.) and it did start, and drove ahead until I stopped it. It seemed it was approaching the point, at least the order of magnitude, required to put it on the street. It seemed the stronger the tensioning spring, the more torque the drive had available. Could it really be that simple?
   That was the strongest spring in the drawers at Capital Iron. Somewhere I had to find a still stronger one, and I had to make some sort of proper mounting so it didn't rub on the pulley. And perhaps one that would provide some leverage so one didn't have to pull the stick so hard. It occurs to me that a 12" pulley would require lower tension forces for friction than the 10" one. But I couldn't easily have fit the larger size. It would have been in the way of the speedometer gear, if nothing else.

Mounting Bracket for Tensioner Cable, Lever & Spring

   Obviously I was going to have to make another attachment to the transmission - hopefully without complete disassembly again. On the 19th I started looking - by no means for the first time - to see how I might mount the cable for an even, smooth pull in both directions. This time I came up with the idea of linking the two ends of the tensioner rope with a short chain, and having the spring pull the chain outward at right angles (upward). If there was just a bracket sticking up above the pulley, it could anchor the cable sheath. The cable could pull down on a lever, and the other end of the lever would pull up on the spring. Two springs might easily be fitted to double the strength of the tension, and the lever could hinge at a point nearer one end to give the driver more leverage, too.
   I finally found what looked like a good piece of steel for the bracket among my scraps, pre-painted yellow. I took the motor off, estimated where things should be, drilled holes, and fitted it on. I had to drill one hole in the body wall of the transmission. As I didn't want to disassemble everything, I did it in situ with a cordless drill. It took quite a while and tapping threads was also slow. It must be harder than the usual "mild steel".
   By the time I had it attached, I'd had enough and had other things to do, and packed it up for the day without fitting anything to it. At least at this point I had a pretty specific plan. On the 20th I made a pivot piece and a lever to attach the cable to, and I put an eye hook screw on the other end of the rope. Some chain links connected the two eye-hooked rope ends together. More time had been taken shopping for the bits (and then for unrelated things) than making, and that was as far as I got.
   On the 21st I got it all connected and replaced the motor. It worked much the same as before, again with the car balking when higher torques were required, the motor spinning without moving the car. Again that seemed to be because I couldn't pull the spring as tight as I wanted. This time it was limited swing of the lever, which hit its end stop before the spring was tight enough to load the motor down heavily enough. On the bright side, it was quieter without the metal spring rubbing on the pulley, and it would now be easier to change things. The cable sheath was firmly clamped on. The end stop could be ground down a bit, the spring's position on the lever could be moved up or down with another hole, and the spring could easily be changed - or perhaps two of them could be employed.
   The next day I ground down the end stop so the spring could be pulled farther. That didn't seem to change much, so I went out and got another spring. This time I didn't pull back very far on the stick before the car started moving. But it still didn't like starting to move if the required force was over about 25 F-P. I could tighten the tension more now, but still if it was more than that, the motor simply slowed down. It seemed it would do 30 F-P for a moment while the motor and flywheel slowed, but not for very far if it had to be kept up.
   The theory of course was that it would do twice the torque at half the speed, but that still only seemed to apply up to 20 or 25 F-P. That's the most yet, but it needs 50 or better (150 at the wheels) for the road. Far from being "ultra-efficient", it was simply losing higher torque than that to friction somewhere. The rope and pulley got very warm. As the motor got hot.
   Between the planetary gear and the chain reduction, the motor had about a 5 to 1 reduction to the wheels. Really, it might run as well or nearly as well just with any (working) clutch, without the addition of the variable torque converter component. Where was the theory not carrying over into practice?

Camera: View the workings?

   I couldn't see into the hood from the driver's seat. I decided I needed to mount a video camera right by the transmission. I could run the car, then review the close-up video and see if there was anything that might show what problem or problems there were with the system. On the 23rd instead I got someone to hold the camera. In reviewing the videos, it seemed the cameraman hadn't really got in there where I wanted to see. I guess he didn't want to get run over.
   However, the next day I did a little more driving. The thrust bearing was loose again, and then I noticed that the set screws on the ring gear were at a different rotation on the shaft than where I'd set them. And this was the second time they seemed loose. Apparently the ring gear could turn without the output shaft following it! Since it was a splined tenon inserted over a 5-pointed "star" shaft, this should have been impossible. Apparently not! The points must have worn down. Well, it was always a 'cludjed' arrangement, evidently another of my "not robust enough" pieces. One of the set screws was now at the keyslot on the shaft, so I screwed it down into the slot, which should keep it from sliding regardless of torque.
   I thought that would have explained and solved everything, but I still couldn't get the car to start moving if it took over 25 (75) F-P or so.
   But I found I could stand with a foot outside the driver's door and still reach the pedal with my other foot, once I had set the tension lever to a desired point, and look at the shaft as I started the motor turning. The ring gear may have twisted around the shaft before, but it wasn't doing so now. Now what?

It's all in the adjustments? - Nope.

   I returned on the 25th and did much the same. If the pressure wasn't too much, one could see the slipping gear & big pulley turn one way as the shaft turned the other, moving the car forward. With the stick pulled tighter, the pulley turned less and the motor turned slower, but again the car pulled ahead. It all seemed smooth, predictable and according to theory.
   I thought, well, the bottom anchor end of the tensioning rope was very close to the pulley, while the other end being pulled had somewhat more slack. That would mean the pulley was being pulled a little off-center, and the higher the tension, the more off-center the pull would be. Could that small factor make the difference when the torque got too high? I put a cable tie between chain links and pulled things tighter together. There would be more tension with the rope lifted away from the pulley less.
   The car pulled ahead, if grudgingly, from a zone probably requiring 30 (90) continuous F-P. It seemed the off-center pull was indeed the source - or at least an important source - of friction that increased rapidly as the motive forces got higher.
   Before the mounting, the ends of the rope were simply being pulled towards each other at the radius of the pulley. After the ends were being pulled away from the pulley. At the far (bottom) side of the pulley, the rope was held about 3/4 of an inch away from the pulley. With the first system, the pulley was being pulled toward the bottom when the rope was tightened. With the second, it was being pulled toward the top, and the higher the torque, the more off center it was.
   I determined to replace the rope, which was now a little short anyway with the cuts made, and make a noose that could be moved in or out a bit with pipe clamps to adjust the height to match the bottom.

   At this point it appeared that the theory worked great, and once again it was my somewhat flimsy construction with sloppy tolerances that has been the problem. For a prototype, it'd have to be excused.
   But I got the pulley forces, I thought, more or less centered without much improvement on the 31st. And, playing with a spare planetary gear albeit not an identical one, it started to not make sense - I could put sideways forces on it, and it still meshed pretty smoothly. It still worked best under the magic 20 F-P.

   In the meantime, on the same day I was considering buying a planetary gear for a production prototype. As I did so, a better idea of what the problem was came to me. Interactions with the slipping gear turning a certain speed made for a certain maximum level of torque on the output. That apparently was 20 foot-pounds. If that speed was higher, the maximum torque would be higher. The speed could easily be obtained by using the sun gear as the slipping gear instead of the planets assembly. It seems to me the Toyota Prius arrangement is that way. But that means changing pretty much everything. I couldn't see using the same or another surplus auto gear for a one-off and then having to redesign it for production. I decided that for this experiment I should buy a nice enclosed planetary gear and have the chassis parts cut by CNC abrasive waterjet. If it worked, it would also be the production prototype.

   Then I started think about it more. If the shaft for the motor stuck out one end and the shaft for the slipping gear the other, with the chain sprocket to the differential being on the ring gear in the middle, the whole unit could be enclosed in the original transmission case, even if that might need to be hacked up somewhat. In that case (bad pun!), it could contain a little gear oil for permanent lubrication, and issues of using plastic gears would vanish. It wouldn't be quite as efficient as what I've been visualizing, and it would depend on getting the transmission from the same model of car, but it would be good enough. All the regular gears and shafts inside would be replaced by the one planetary gear. Solving the lubrication problems and keeping dust and grime out are important.
   On June 3rd I went out to the shed to get the transmission housing, but a bunch of wasps came out of the cardboard box it was under. Ugh, a hive! I decided to wait until dark and then pull the box out with a long rope. Then I could take the garden hose to it.

"Permanent Magnet Assisted" Unipolar Motor
Just a note

   When I think that neo magnets will fit into the existing toroidal core motor coils in the "ARM" motor, it now seems fortuitous that I built it, and didn't get around to doing the "Transverse Flux" reluctance motor idea. I might now come up with some good way to put neo magnets into a transverse flux motor, but it will require some design changes with some different waterjet cutting patterns. The old motor would have turned out to be a dead end, where the existing ARM motor can be "upgraded". I hope to have the Sprint working in June (or maybe July) and so at last turn my attention from the variable torque converter to other things such as this.

Turquoise Battery Project - New Chemistry Battery Making

Source of Electrolyte

   I went to look for potassium chlorate as a strong oxidizer to oxidize the surface of the carbon fiber, but I absently typed "potassium sulfate" by mistake. I found it as a fertilizer for agriculture, 0-0-50. That seemed too easy! I called a local supply to ask if they had it. By the time the lady returned to the phone I realized my mistake. Oops, how had I come up with the wrong chemical?
   They did have it, and I thought I might get some for the garden. Only after I hung up did I remember that potassium sulfate is my battery electrolyte! That explains why I had absently typed the wrong search term.

   ...A 25Kg bag for 54$. That sure has to beat mixing small quantities of sulfuric acid and potassium hydroxide! Once again, if you know where to look, you can probably find something. But it certainly was an odd search sequence that took me straight to a cheap source!
   I went there and ended up just getting a 2Kg box. It didn't actually specify the chemical on the box, and I'm not sure of the purity. It seemed better to get a little to try out.

Oxidizing Graphite for the Positrode

   When I typed the right chemical to search for, potassium chlorate, in the search results was a way to make it using bleach and potassium salt (NaClO + KCl), both of which I have. But it looked complicated, and I decided instead simply to put some bleach in a pail and toss in some carbon fiber cloth. That sat there the rest of the month as I didn't have time to look at it.

   The cell I made in April also sat for the month with a small charge on it - the other method of oxidizing the positrode. It didn't seem to have much current capacity. I added water a few times. It didn't seem to improve with the charging. Finally on June 3rd it occurred to me that there was no particular reason the carbon fiber should be "battery purity" since that's not what it's made for. If it had any nitrates or nitrites present in it, it would self discharge via the "nitrate-nitrite shuffle". Or the Glycerin might produce something as it oxidized. That these things didn't occur to me much sooner can only be ascribed to having too many projects on the go at once, and giving most of my attention to the PGCT.
   The thing to do would be to flush out the electrolyte. The beeswax seemed to have come off the far end. That simplified what I thought would be tricky, as water could be run right through the cell. Black powder (nickel or nickel oxide) came out, along with brown liquid. I put it back on charge. Leter the discharge rate seemed to have dropped in half, but it was still much too high. I suppose it takes more than a quick rinse to clear out the water absorbed into the separator sheet.

Nickel Ion Battery?

   It seems that if one uses potassium sulfate in the electrolyte, the
nickel will stay solid in all its oxidization forms. But according to the article below (sent to me once again by Leonardo), if one uses instead nickel sulfate, Ni++ ions coming off the negative will be dissolved and migrate to the plus side. If something is made on the plus side to hold all those ions, a battery cell is formed.

Secondary batteries with multivalent ions for energy storage
Chengjun Xu1, Yanyi Chen1, Shan Shi1,2, Jia Li1, Feiyu Kang1,2 & Dangsheng Su3,4

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281779613
Secondary batteries with multivalent ions for energy storage   Article in Scientific Reports · September 2015


The use of electricity generated from clean and renewable sources, such as water, wind, or sunlight,
requires efficiently distributed electrical energy storage by high-power and high-energy secondary
batteries using abundant, low-cost materials in sustainable processes. American Science Policy
Reports state that the next-generation “beyond-lithium” battery chemistry is one feasible solution
for such goals. Here we discover new “multivalent ion” battery chemistry beyond lithium battery
chemistry. Through theoretic calculation and experiment confirmation, stable thermodynamics and
fast kinetics are presented during the storage of multivalent ions (Ni2+, Zn2+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Ba2+, or
La3+ ions) in alpha type manganese dioxide. Apart from zinc ion battery, we further use multivalent
Ni2+ ion to invent another rechargeable battery, named as nickel ion battery for the first time. The
nickel ion battery generally uses an alpha type manganese dioxide cathode, an electrolyte containing
Ni2+ ions, and Ni anode. The nickel ion battery delivers a high energy density (340 Wh kg−1, close to
lithium ion batteries), fast charge ability (1 minute), and long cycle life (over 2200 times).

Received: 18 November 2014
Accepted: 21 July 2015
Published: 14 September 2015

   I'm not sure I want to tackle such an idea (having little enough success with seemingly simple chemistries), yet it is an interesting one. Again nickel is identified as the substance with the most benefits of the metals considered.

Victoria BC Canada