Turquoise Energy Ltd. News #102
  covering July 2016 (posted  August 1st 2016)
Victoria BC
by Craig Carmichael

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

Month In Brief (Project Summaries)
- Sprint/Variable Transmission - Ocean Wave Power - New Chemistry Batteries (Air-Nickel) - Solar Panels for the Miles Electric Truck? - Hydro Power from Small Creek on the Cheap (a Video)

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
- Rising Sea Levels? Not so fast! - Platinum Gets Rare - Turkey Shoot - Violence Starts with Ruthless People - More Lawlessness - Where are the VHE/Lambda Ray/"free energy" Collectors/Converters?

- In Depth Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Electric Hubcap motor, Chevy Sprint & Variable Transmission:

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects (no reports)

Electricity Generation
* Solar Panels for the Miles Electric Truck?
* Oscillating Water Column (OWC) Ocean Wave Power Buoy Drawings

Electricity Storage - Turquoise Battery Project (NiMn, NiNi, O2-Ni), etc. (no reports - see month in brief)

July in Brief

Sprint/Variable Transmission

   As in June, most of the month's project work that I managed to get done, which wasn't very much, was on the variable torque converter for the Chevy Sprint.

   After not getting the last newsletter off until July 8th, it was another couple of days before I finally got a bit of project work done: part of one of the pulley sides. By the 14th in spite of minor challenges I had two sides done and the lower pulley together, and on the 15th and 16th I did the other one. Shaping the sides on the lathe and cutting the bolt holes and getting everything to line up occupied considerable time.

   Then the drive shaft wasn't quite long enough as I already knew, and when I finally tried to test the system, the pulley came off the end. There was nothing for it but to make a new shaft. I also got 'joy' couplers to connect the motor to this shaft, and I had to cut the sun gear off the motor shaft. I was very reluctant to do this, but nothing else worked, and I was even more reluctant to disassemble the motor so I could press it off in the hydraulic press or replace the whole shaft. Since the drive shaft was now connected to the motor at one end, it should only have a single "steady" bearing at the other, so I took off the cut-down trailer wheel hub with its two bearings and replaced it with a single press-fit mounted needle bearing. Luckily I saw how to mount it very easily with the same bolts as the hub, just by grinding and filing the outside edge a little so it became an exact, locked in fit.

L to R on shaft: Motor, Joy (flexible) coupling, chain drive to differential
center, needle bearing, slip-belt pulley to differential left (port) side.

Idler pulley is seen below, mounted on steel "U" arm, with hinge pin
at the bottom and tensioner from shift cable at the top of the arm.

   When I finally had it all together, testing didn't go well. The thin steel "U" piece I'd used to mount the idler pulley, tho just the right size, flexed a bit and the idler didn't get a lot of tension. When it got enough, the 'poly-V' belt melted poly-V grooves into the ABS pulleys. The belt was pretty warm and I could smell the hot plastic. I turned the belt inside out with the flat face against the pulleys. It took so much pressure on the belt to force it to engage that I ran a bungey cord to the driver's door and pulled on that as well. Then the adjustment screw in a slot, strongly tightened, slipped and the belt slackened. Later I noticed that the smooth face of the belt was also quite slippery compared to the textured poly-V face.
   In all the testing, the car moved: only backward, 3 or 4 times, a foot or two, and only if it started from a position where it wouldn't take much of a push to start it going. I wondered if the reduction ratio was sufficient even with the slipping belt, but I wasn't really sure it ever got a fair test, either. And it seemed the idler would have to be on the back side instead of the front to drive forward. Two idlers?
   On the 30th I went to Princess Auto to get another idler pulley to install on the back side. I noticed they had a wide, fat belt from a variable torque converter such as is used on small motorbikes.
   I thought that if a fat belt like that would grab at the edges of the pulleys like a big V-belt, it should take far less force to get sufficient friction for things to engage as desired. Finding such a belt was another problem - theirs was too short. I started thinking of somehow using multiple strands of rope to create a wide belt. Or maybe single ropes in double V-belt pulleys? What, change the pulleys back to V-belt?!? Or maybe a couple of layers of PP webbing/strapping the full width of the pulleys?

Ocean Wave Power

   In saying what project I actually worked on, I can't omit a thing I actually spent far more time on: considering ocean wave power and discussing it with potential funders and participants in Australia. Someone pointed us to Wikipedia, an obvious source of information we all should have thought to check earlier but of course didn't.
   That made me think of youtube, and I started watching videos. At first, my contention that the rope and pulley system with all the floats tied into a tower on the shoreline was better than one done with hydraulics seemed to be gaining sway. Then I found a video about a floating machine using the oscillating water column (OWC) method of extracting the energy. I had long ago heard about the one in Scotland - a big cement structure on a steep bank - and I thought (ie, without thinking) they had to be made like that.
   Seeing the floating one revolutionized my thinking. Large, heavy floats are ponderous. It takes time to get them moving. If the waves are large that's okay, and large floats can extract more energy, but if the waves are too small large floats won't move much to extract even what energy they have. A water column in an open bottom tube buoy reverses this inertia problem, immediately rising or falling with each wave of whatever size, and exhaling or inhaling air through an air turbine covering a hole at the top of the tube. It can extract the max from small or mediums waves, but will start to follow large ones up and down, reducing stress in storms. I drew 3 diagrams and sent them to the group. I've included them in the "detailed report", which actually has just the drawings.
   Someone else did a presentation in LA, CA, USA about wave machines in general and what crappy designs there were out there (eye opening in itself), and then showed his version of a floating OWC machine, and how it would generate electricity for 2¢/KWH. It was different in that it used a water turbine rather than air, in a venturi under the water column's surface.
   At first I thought this might be as good as or better than the air turbine. Then I thought it wouldn't. Then I realized it was his buoy design I didn't agree with, and decided that if the buoys were similar, its performance would also be pretty similar. (depending on relative turbine setup and efficiency.) But moving parts under the sea would corrode faster, and furthermore, a single air turbine-generator unit could be more easily unbolted from the top of a buoy and removed for servicing. So I went back to thinking the air turbine was the better idea.
   If he continued his experiments he would probably come up with good units. But like most of us working in green energy, he ended by saying he needed money to get any farther. Big oil and even (now totally uneconomical) nuclear energy get subsidies. Green energy gets the cold shoulder or even sabotaged. (How did we ever even get river hydro?)

   The air turbine model too (as I visualize it) needs mass if it is free-floating, but in this case we don't want it to rise and fall, so it works the other way, reducing power output efficiency as the waves get bigger, while making the most out of the small ones. I think that's the way to get the most and steadiest power, including during those many calmer months when swells are a meter or two instead of 3, 4, 5 meters or more. The motions it does make *might* actually be helpful in amplifying wave effects. I could see it getting up to 3 times as much average power over a year as non-OWC systems.

   At both ends of the Pacific, we figured that 'politics' and 'bureaucracy' was probably going to be a harder problem than the actual project. I was sorry to hear it sounding like Australia would be as bad as Canada.
   The first wave power unit to actually go on the European power grid is one mounted on a wharf in Gibraltar. Another that is said to be going on line next year is in Denmark. Note these places: the decisions permitting the projects were doubtless made locally. In larger countries, the entire shoreline is government property and bureaucracy makes everything so difficult that no one can get anywhere, so the first success was Gibraltar rather than Germany, France, Britain or Spain, with all the resources any of these could potentially throw at it. And as I may have said in 2008 in some of the first issues of TE News, trying to get anywhere with anybody here in BC seemed like rowing up a waterfall.
   There are no little countries or duchies in North America nor in Australia where one might skirt the big bureaucracies. But there are a few little out of the way islands and isloated places. I'll leave that thought for now.

   On the 24th a news article about making drone engines with 3D printers in Russia reminded me of that process. Maybe I could more easily make the smallest wave power turbines for testing buoys - and for comparing turbine types - from plastic on the 3D printer? I continued to think of cutting the bottom off an old hot water tank, and cutting a square wind hole in the top and outfitting it to be a wave power buoy. I would cut pieces of 2" styrene foam as floatation and glue it on with canned spray foam - a technique I learned while making the peltier module fridge.
   On the 29th I went out to the garage and tracked down a 24 volt lawnmower motor I mentioned many newsletters ago as a potential low power generator. That might handle what the water tank can put out. For more power I'll have to either sacrifice my 12 amp, 120 volt mower (I loaned out the other one - sigh!) or else convert an alternator to permanent magnet armature.
   On the 31st I looked for "air flow turbines" and finding nothing for sale, ended up reading about OWC design and theory on the web, complete with all the funny greek symbols in complex equations. I started to think that a "common sense" estimate of everything might work out just as well as getting lost in a maze of formulae.
   On August 1st I ground the welds off my 2007-8 attempt at wave power, lurking in the bushes in a corner of the yard for nearly a decade, to liberate the two rusty old hot water tanks. Now each tank, all by itself (with hanging weight, foam floatation, and a turbine and generator on top) could be its own wave power unit that would doubtless capture more energy than the entire 2007 unit that included both tanks, welded joiners and various mechanical parts and supporting stucture.

2007-8 wave power attempt; rusty water tank: Cut off bottom and outfit as a wave power buoy?

   Much was made of the need for airflow turbines/fans that would turn the same direction with air coming from either direction. The standard seemed to be the Wells turbine, but a youtube video compared that to a modified wells turbine with blades that flipped back and forth depending on the air direction, which seemed to perform much better. But even that isn't the optimum wing/propeller airfoil shape. I struck me as the wrong approach. I think it might be better to use one-way louvers or flaps so that the air always hits the turbine from the same direction, regardless of whether it's going into or out of the buoy, and make an optimum turbine.
   A 'DIY turbine' in a youtube video reminded me of computer fans. I got out my largest one (120x120mm), 48v @ .15a or 7.2 watts. Spinning it with the vacuum cleaner on "blow" I got (aside from some funny and inconsistent much higher voltage readings) about 7v o/c and .06A s/c. for a maximum possible .42 watts. That could light a bright LED. I think that would make a disappointing demo. On the other hand, one facing each way, each with a flap, seemed a simple solution to the bidirectional flow dilemma.

New Chemistry Batteries - Air-Nickel

   On the 19th I stuck the nickel-air cell (now sitting on the counter for about 2 months) into a jar of water. I pulled it out to drain and changed the water, several times over several days, to hopefully dissolve out impurities. All that beeswax that seemed so sticky came loose all the way around the edges. And the top bulged up like a big bubble. And then I started cleaning up the counter instead of working in a mess... and didn't get any farther. Sigh!

Solar Panels for the Miles Electric Truck?

   I started driving the truck more in July. Where it had been able to do 30 MPH with the original bad or intermittent motor rotation sensor, after the repair it would only do 25. Ugh! So I stick to short very local trips. The puzzling thing is the Miles vehicles are supposed to be fully road safety rated, so why are their electric ones, only, with the same frame and cab as the gas ones, deliberately so limited in speed?
   I had been thinking of using two 90 watt solar panels in series as a possible charging system for the 36 volt Sprint. The maximum open circuit voltage per the specs is 22.3, so two would be 44.6 - theoretically enough for a 42 volt float charge on 36 volts NiMH.

   The truck is 72 volts. On the 23rd I set the two panels on the truck and measured about 39 volts. For charging a 36 volt segment, that would be 13 volts per 12 volt section - a good minimum float charge voltage for lead-acid. 1/2 of the batteries initially measured 38.3 volts. Clouds came on and off, and the charging current varied between 50mA and 330mA; at one point .4 amps. The panel will supply about 3 or 4 amps (4.9A at MaxPowerPoint) if the batteries need charging.
   After 20 minutes the voltage was 38.6. But an isolating diode is needed to prevent the batteries feeding back into the panels when their voltage is lower (ie, no sunlight). And as panels warm up, their voltage drops a few volts. With them already marginal, I begrudge another 1/2 a volt diode drop loss.

   After considering various "almost works" choices, I decided maybe the best solution (and only since they are 6V lead-acid batteries) would be to use the four 90 watt panels as four 18v charging sections, and design my own oscillator circuit to drive some switching mosfets, to switch the connection (the minus side) on and off at high speed to give "pulse charging", which will automatically weaken to "not much" as the batteries reach full charge... if it's sunny... in the summer. This would also incorporate a shutoff for when the panel voltage is less than the battery voltage. And the mosfets would act as "active rectifiers" without the loss of over 1/2 a volt for passive diodes.

   The real voltage from the panels is a little too low to float charge NiMH. The Sprint with NiMH and or lithium cells will need another plan.


   Then I think in the cab I should put four 18 volt meters on the dash to show the state of the battery charges of each section. If a battery is dying, one can isolate it to one of the four sections and replace those 3 - and keep the two still good ones for the next dud, maximizing use of every battery and keeping cost down. The immediate problem with that is that the present batteries are only 180 amp-hours instead of the usual 220-260 amp-hours of most 'golf cart' batteries. New ones with more capacity will upset balance when charging from 120 volts, and one might want to replace the lot to increase range anyway.

Hydro Power from Small Creek on the Cheap - Video

   I've watched this video a couple of times now: Water Wheel Generator by Off Road/Off Grid youtube channel. With a very small creek, a chute of a few boards, a big old wire drum/spool made into a water wheel, a bicycle wheel as a big pulley and an alternator converted to a permanent magnet armature, this fellow has made a hydro power plant for his country mobile home. With a very low head, it puts out about 40 volts and is probably well under 100 watts if not under 50 (he didn't say - maybe he doesn't really know, and of course it would vary with water flow in the creek). But of course it runs continuously, which is better than most alternative energy sources.
   He uses it with a modified charge controller to charge some old 12 volt batteries. The batteries feed a 1000 watt inverter. Thus when he wants power, even hundreds of watts for a while, he has it, and recharging starts as soon as the load is turned off.

   I got a call from AGO on the 27th. They finally had all the parts to make more ships' winches slip rings, and needed two made ASAP. Considering how little I'd got done in July on projects, I figured that would probably pretty much end the month. Ah well, a little extra income doesn't hurt! Anyway, I didn't get them finished before the August 1st long weekend, and I did do a bit more project work.
   For August I hope to do a bit more variety of work than just the variable transmission, whether it's battery development, wave buoy construction, or just the solar panels for the truck.

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

Rising Sea Levels? Not so fast!

   Last winter I wrote of unusually high water levels which several times flooded the lowest parts of the sea walkway near my house at high tide. Such flooding had only occurred once before, perhaps a decade previously. I took this to mean the expected rise in sea levels had become perceptible. However, these episodes weren't repeated and there have been some pretty low tides this summer. Then I heard that ocean levels have risen by only about 2cm - less than an inch. NOAA has this to say: "Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters or 0.12 inches per year." This figure indicates a rise of nearly 3" from 1992 to 2016. Not huge, but not insignificant, either.
   On top of the 3", the extra high waters here last winter may have been a combination of factors which would have included El Niño, heavy rainfall on the mainland gushing out the Fraser River mouth, and "super moon" especially high tides.
   The 3" however is sure to continue growing.

Platinum Gets Rare

   Okay, so you already knew it was rare. Until the last 3 or 4 years, for decades platinum has cost substantially more than gold, even double. Now it's substantially less. Like gold and silver it's considered a monetary metal so there's no sales tax. I decided to buy some platinum since it'll probably revert to its usual higher price as the manipulations end and all the precious metals rise.
   I have been having a bit of trouble getting it. I ordered a bar and it came immediately. I ordered another one later, and it took almost a month, with the usually prompt supplier (SilverGoldBull.ca) eventually e-mailing and apologizing for the delay. On the phone, a lady said a shipment they had expected didn't arrive and they had run out. It was perhaps "on allocation". (limited quantities to dealers) There have been times platinum (and sometimes palladium) simply isn't on the shopping list at on-line dealers - as was again the case for the platinum bars for a while before my order arrived. I've never found any locally.
   Demand for gold and silver are continually rising as people lose trust in paper money and blips on banks' computer screens (conjured up out of thin air). Soon they too will be more in demand than there is stored metal plus new supply, and there will be waiting times and the prices rises already happening will accelerate.

   A diminution of precious metal price subsidization started to happen in June. By August 1st platinum (retail 1 ozt bars) cost 1600 $Canadian versus 1330 $ in mid June. The western world's vaults are said to be about empty, and the scheme can't be continued without at least some real metal backing the unbelievable amount of paper futures contracts for metals that will never be delivered. (I'm sure the guards at Fort Knox are only there to prevent anyone from finding out!) Why are they doing it? Because if gold and silver were continually rising in price in a free market, the decline in purchasing power of fiat currency would become more glaringly evident than it is at the grocery store. Then many people would start buying metals as a hedge against inflation, accelerating its fall. Now they can't hold the beachball under the water much longer. (While precious metals have gone down since 2011, people are telling me unbidden they are paying double for food what they were a couple of years ago. Surely it isn't that bad yet, is it? I'll get there and more... but whoa!, I covered that last issue.)

Turkey Shoot

   The attempted coup in Turkey was apparently fomented by the CIA and other American/corporate/financial interests. A Turkish woman living in the USA predicted on Corbett Report many months previously that she expected the CIA to attempt such a coup.
   The plan apparently was to kill Erdogan, get rid of the Turkish prime minister and parliament, and install the ultra-influential Moslem guy living in Pennsylvania as a dictator. (I forget his name - he was already wanted in Turkey before the CIA spirited him out of the country.)
   Omitted in the media demonization of Erdogan with much groundless name slinging like "tin pot dictatorship" and then how "Erdogan" was maltreating thousands those involved in the failed coup and that he was bringing back the death penalty for them, has been that he was democratically elected by the people of Turkey. So was the parliament. The justice department of Turkey is the body rounding up the coupsters and those involved in groups which had been known for some time as having violent anti-government leanings. True, Erdogan said in an exclusive Eljazeera interview (youtube) that if parliament passed a bill to bring back the death penalty, as was being demanded by the people, he would sign it.
   The coup was timed for the middle of the night when everyone would be asleep, and by morning when everyone woke up, it was supposed to all be over - fait accompli. Some factors that led to its failure: Erdogan got warning in time to be elsewhere than his hotel room when they stormed it to kill him, and likewise to warn others in the government. Social media spread news quickly that something was happening. (Also spreading lies that Erdogan had fled the country and the coup had succeeded.) Erdogan asked the citizens of Turkey to go out in the middle of the night and occupy the town squares and government buildings. This they did, even climbing onto tanks, and 270 lost their lives. The police went out and arrested many of the military participants - even tho these were wielding powerful military assault weapons which they could not match. (Many of the military were told they were simply taking part in an "exercise".) All these courageous acts indicate that people prefer an at least nominally democratic government to a dictator installed by a foreign coup, a process that doesn't seem to have worked out very well for the people of Ukraine.

Violence Starts with Ruthless People

   In the USA lately, some policemen shoot innocent people and are acquitted. In fact, there have been more annual gun deaths by the police in the last 2 or 3 years than by everyone else put together, and more robberies by the police from persons or from vehicles ("redistribution of wealth" or "civil forfeiture") than by everyone else.
   Then we have the topper: After a chief witness against Hillary Clinton, no less than a former Secretary General of the UN, turned up dead with his throat crushed (they tried to say it was a heart attack, but the real cause got out - now it's "from exercise weights in his gym"... let's see: he was weak enough to be in danger of a heart attack, but he was exercising with crushing weights?), the head of the FBI read off a litany of her crimes as Secretary of State on TV... and he ended up by saying she won't be charged (but he said that if you try the same things, you will be). He carefully phrased things to leave out typical incriminating words, such as saying "reckless" instead of "criminally negligent". Perhaps he and his family were threatened. Likewise, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, after meeting "secretly" (it got out) with Bill Clinton, pursued no charges.
   It is now plain to all that rule of law is dead at all levels, and that even the biggest predators - especially the biggest predators - are free to continue their predations.

   A result this summer is a growing struggle between those most oppressed and the authority of the state as embodied in its increasingly corrupt police forces. Caught in the middle are society at large as well as the good police, who will be targeted just as much as the bad just for wearing their uniforms.

   Many Americans are pointing to this as "The Day the Republic Died." Some say "Republic" now has to be preceded by "Banana". But it has been in decline for over a century. I might rather point to November 1963 when president John F Kennedy was shot and killed. Kennedy was a beacon of hope to a nation that had already been increasingly darkened for decades by private and corporate agendas that went against the public good. He tried to eliminate government secrecy and corruption, harness tidal power for virtually free energy, have the US treasury print money directly instead of via the private "Federal Reserve", stay out of wars and disband the CIA, and expose hidden agendas, and for these things he was hated by most every special interest group. Only the public loved him, and that wasn't enough support.
   Since Kennedy, corrupt private interests have seen to it that no such president was ever again elected, including by murdering his brother Bobby in 1968 when he tried to run for the office. Hope for a brighter future died with the Kennedys. The last vestiges of real public control over national affairs were dead.

   Of course, my own ideas on how to take back full control of our affairs are at http://www.HandsOnDemocracy.org . It wouldn't be that hard if people were awake and realized that they can't simply hand over their own political power and authority to others, avert their gaze from the political "black box" machine for four years, and expect good results. The internet can be a powerful tool for making sure that what goes on in government is known publicly and is what people really want to have happen, and that people who wish to serve rather than to rule can be chosen for public offices.

   We are today seeing that when ruthless predators are allowed to run amok, not only does it make things worse for everyone, but that society eventually cannot survive at all. In the future, if we are to have socially sustainable societies, we must have the temerity, audacity and nerve to stand up to ruthless people who prey on the innocent when once we recognize their crimes as such  - people like the original Rothschilds, the David Rockefellers, the JP Morgans, the Alfred Sloans, some of the 'big oil' and bank executives, the Clintons, probably many or even most of the 65 people who have as much wealth as half the planet's population, and, well, the list could go on and on and on. We will need to arrest such people, try them fairly and impartially by a judgment group, and execute the guilty, rather than have them return to society at any later time to take revenge and resume their manipulations, robberies, abuse and killings so many unsuspecting souls, and to continually decimate our most progressive social, intellectual and creative elites when they try to make progressive changes. They sideline progress, generation after generation, nowhere more than in energy, finance and governing institutions.

   The "mainstream" media is on their side - paid lackeys, who will lose their jobs or their broadcasting licenses to 'go against the narrative'. They demonize those the corrupt don't like with lie after lie. One would believe from the "mainstream" news that Trump, Putin, Assad, Erdogan and others are the most evil of people. I have heard people say that if Donald Trump is elected, he'd start World War Three. Really??? The man who said Putin is a great leader, and that he could work with him? It is in fact Hillary Clinton who said that a nuclear first strike against Russia is not off the table. So by their own words: Is it Trump who is likely to start world war three? Putin himself praised Trump in return, and warned that if Clinton is elected, the world is headed towards war, and (to western reporters) "It really worries me that you seem insensible to the danger."
   Another person said "Don't let them undermine or federalize your county sheriff's office." In the USA sheriffs are elected and are not accountable to those in any other political office, only to the public by election. They represent only the enforcement of law and order. This was a brilliant move on the part of whoever set it up. The sheriffs may soon be the only people standing between civilized society and slavery or civil war, anarchy. If or when the time comes, when the crimes are seen to have caused a horrendous economic collapse, the local sheriffs are not employees hired by the rest of government. The politicians don't have authority to give them orders or to fire them. They will have the authority to arrest all these corrupt politicians and all their corrupt associates - lawyers, judges, bankers, anyone - and lock them up pending trials.
   When the old system has definitely failed and everyone is looking for answers, they will be ready to try out ideas like Hands On Democracy, and to build socially sustaining communities embodying the six core values of Quality of Life, Growth, Equality, Compassion, Empathy and Love, starting at the local level.

More Lawlessness?

   Here is some heresay from a video on youtube. I think I mentioned a while ago that police in the USA have been searching cars and relieving people of any cash they find - "Prove it wasn't drug money." or some such nonsense.
   Now (it says) Oklahoma has apparently carried the program to a whole new level. The video I saw said they have devices that will scan your debit card and prepaid credit cards and take the credit or the money from your back account. However, if they are real, I haven't heard any stories of them being used for such theft - yet.
   This source thinks law enforcement are stealing a hundred billion dollars a year now from innocent motorists who will never be charged with a crime, but who have nonetheless been relieved of their money by highwaymen, er, highway patrols. Evidently truck drivers are a particular target because they may have large expenses, and hence carry more cash. (I used to hear tales of Mexican police wanting $20 if they pulled over a "rich American tourist". They were being modest and polite!)

   The same video also says the federal government got scared by how much they were "raking in" and quit, but now many desperate states are in on the game. (And here I thought it was just crooked cops!)
   Whoever is behind it and however widespread it is and however much is being taken, the CBC news, usually a pretty reliable source, warned Canadians traveling to the USA about the robberies a couple of years ago, with a couple of disturbing motorists' tales of losing, for example, the money given a student by his parents to go to university with. If more and more people hear tales from people in their circles about being robbed by police, doubtless many more Americans likewise will start fearing to go on the road -- especially truck drivers, even out of proportion to the amounts stolen. Ultimately that can only lead to the breakdown of the delivery system and social order as a whole. Unless all this isn't true, in a culture of increasing lawlessness there are doubtless those who will now flee from the police just because they're carrying their own money -- and perhaps some who will open fire on them if they can't get away. Civilization is built on rule of law and trust that that law is properly and equally applied to all. How can it possibly survive such an onslaught? Look for new stories of high speed police chases and be sure to wonder why the 'suspect' was fleeing from police.

Where are the VHE/Lambda Ray Collectors/Converters?

   I have written about VHE (Very High Energy) or (as I called them) "Lambda" rays, recently at last identified beyond the gamma ray spectrum, and theory for how to turn them into electricity. Others have made these exciting and astounding discoveries long before, even without having the whole theory. I have written how in some of Steven Mark's last e-mails he said he was being threatened by the US government with jail if he didn't shut up about it. (Yes, they had all his e-mails - spying without a warrant. Think government spying is benign or is used against "terrorists"?)
   Then there were the two people in Brazil who had Brazilian patents for free energy devices, did a youtube video about them and offered to sell them locally, and who then vanished from the radar screen, after having been arrested once on trumped up charges and then released.

   I don't watch "Dragon's Den", and can count on 2 or 3 fingers the number of pitches I've seen. But one of those, as I channel surfed by, definitely caught my attention. Someone brought in a free energy device, placed it on the floor, and turned on some incandescent light bulbs powered by it. He said something to the effect that there were no batteries in it and that the light bulbs would stay lit as long as anybody wanted.
   It was quite a short presentation. After a few moments, one of the "dragons" jumped up, walked over and shook his hand, and said "If the technology works, I'm in." As usual, rather than changing the world, that was the first and the last I ever heard of that.
   A Malaysian Airlines plane (called 'Flight MH370' IIRC) disappeared over the ocean some time later. It suddenly and mysteriously vanished with no distress call and it was never found... but it seems a damaged piece of the elevator appeared a year or two later on an island in the Indian Ocean. I hardly remember the details, but it seems to me some thought some dents or holes indicated a bomb had gone off on the plane.
   It's somewhat 'common knowledge' that when those in the top positions of power and influence want to get rid of someone, a plane crash is sometimes used. That anyone having wealth and influence could be so evil, so utterly lacking in conscience and moral nature, as to sacrifice a whole plane full of innocent people to kill one innocent person they don't like stretches most peoples' credulity, and so his death would have to be seen as an unfortunate accident, not as a targeted killing. Yet, "collateral damage" - violent death of multiple innocent people in pursuit of a violent agenda - appears to be quite acceptable in some circles. A bomb on a plane? Well then, it must have been terrorists.
   I heard a rumor shortly after the crash that there was a small group of people on board who had gone to Malaysia or to Singapore to arrange for manufacture of a free energy device. I have always wondered if this was connected to the Dragon's Den episode.

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Electric Hubcap Motor Systems - Electric Transport

Electric Hubcap motor, Chevy Sprint & Variable Transmission

Differential Variable Transmission with Slipping Belt that Returns Power to Motor Shaft

   On the 10th I finally got a bit of project work done: part of one of the pulley sides. The splined center piece that went on the shaft was a bit too wide, and held the side away from the pulley. On the 12th I did some more, and I figured out that if I machined a 'bowl' in the center of the inside side as deep as the offending extra width, it would fit. But it didn't fit in my small lathe to be able to dig it.
   I took it down to AGO where a new machinist did it for me after the piece he was presently working on. Marvelous! In the meantime, I had done the other side for the same pulley. The edge rounding, to keep the belt from rubbing on a sharp corner and wearing rapidly or even jumping off, didn't match. Oh well! I also had to trim the outer diameters down a bit, as fitting it on the car showed that the sides of the two pulleys were going to collide - I wouldn't be able to get both pulleys on. I hadn't thought they were that close together; apparently less than 7"!

   The first pulley was the bottom one, and only a 1/4" bolt with small split washer that just might bend and slip through holds it into the differential left side. There's no room inside the differential for anything bigger and better. The second one was the top, and the drive shaft, pulled out as far as I could, was a little short, so it was only gripping at one end of the SDS bushing. These things weren't satisfactory, but the bottom seemed almost problematic, and changing the top shaft would be a fair bit of work.

   By the 19th I had everything together and on the car, having done the idler wheel tensioning arm and its connection to the shift lever that day and the previous. I found a piece of "U" shaped channel steel for it that was the perfect shape. However, the thin metal proved more flexible than I'd hoped, twisting to the side some when pressure was put on the idler pulley.
   With these three deficiencies my level of confidence that it would actually work on the first test was about 2%. Sure enough, the twisting arm didn't seem to put enough pressure on the idler pulley, and after a few moments the upper pulley fell off the end of the shaft. First order of business would be to make a shaft about 2" longer. Then somehow stiffen the arm. Then would the bottom pulley hold okay?
   I considered making a very long drive shaft that would be the motor shaft and run all the way across the transmission (~17"), but then I considered that then I couldn't take the motor off without disassembling several things, and the transmission with the motor would be too heavy to handle. The motor with the 13 pound flywheel was now ~42 pounds all by itself. Better to put in a coupling.
   I milled the required keyway slots in a 9" piece of shaft on the 23rd. None of the 1" shaft parts would fit on the '1"' shaft - it was slightly oversize, and a bit oval. It also wouldn't fit into the 1" center hollow in the lathe chuck. On the evening of the 24th I took it out to the somewhat larger lathe at Victoria Makerspace and trimmed it down - the first use I'd made of my rather pricey membership in well over a year. It worked much better than mine for this job, the whole head having a center hollow bigger than 1".

   The next day I started trying to assemble and fit everything. I decided to get rid of the shortened trailer wheel hub. It pushed the top pulley out about 1/2" over from the others. And with the joy couplings, what was needed now was a single bearing that could be twisted a bit to line up with the motor shaft, wherever it was: a pressed needle bearing. I found it would be very simple to grind 3 semicircle crescents for bolts in the extreme outside of the press fitting, and then it would fit securely, held by the same bolts that had held the trailer hub on.
   I was very reluctant to cut the sun gear off the motor shaft, but nothing else worked (even with a propane torch), and I was even more reluctant to disassemble the motor so I could press it off in the hydraulic press, or replace the whole shaft. If I ever go back to the planetary gear, I'll regret that.
   The joy couplings had only one set screw - where the key was. I remembered how the electric Caik outboard had been messed up by one of those working its way up the shaft with the key until it had forced the motor shaft and rotor up and it jammed against the stator compartment wall. So I took the two couplers and drilled set screw holes at 90° to the originals for a proper lock onto the shaft. Then I hunted around for 5/16" set screws but couldn't find any. I thought I had at least one! I finally got some bolts for temporary use, only to discover that I had now somewhere misplaced one of the couplers. After everything else was mostly done, with it still not found, I quit for a while. Later a fresh search found it still in the vise from threading the new set screw slot. I'd looked on my messy workbench all around it. I took it out to the car and somehow found that I had now misplaced the rubber cushion piece that goes between the two metal ones. Another search all over, a coffee and some other things... Finally I rolled the car back a few feet in case it had somehow fallen under it. Sure enough, there it was.
   I had to carve a small 'V' out of one side of the transmission box body because it was in the way of a bolt - just a bit, and I had to carve a bit of a motor mount piece that wouldn't quite adjust to where I now needed it. Then I couldn't move the new shaft out quite far enough because the key for the chain sprocket went just a bit too far that way.
   The next day (26th) I took it apart, cut off a bit of the key, and put it all together. With the new bearing arrangement, the shaft was about 3" longer than it needed to be. I could have just used the old one! The car wouldn't move, but it didn't seem the idler pulley got very tight. I put a bungey cord on it that I could pull from the driver's door. I operated with one foot outside, one on the electron [gas] pedal, and one hand pulling the cord. Not an arrangement for going very far!

   The car would go backward from a level to "almost rolls by itself" slope, but not uphill. It did go smoothly. It wouldn't go forward. Evidently it needed a second idler wheel around the rear for that, or extreme tension on the front one. The ABS plastic pulleys and or the drive belt very soon smelled quite hot, much sooner than the motor started getting hot. Somehow I hadn't considered that at any time before or since making ABS pulleys on the 3D printer. I can see some changes will be needed to the materials being used and of course to the idler wheel mounting, as already noted. Maybe once those are done it'll start moving more robustly? - I sure hope it's much more!
   The next morning (27th) I tried again and this time the belt jumped off the pulleys. It was really a poly-V belt, and it had melted poly-V grooves into the pulleys, which reduced the effective pulley diameter and loosened it. I turned it inside out, flat side out, but somehow that was even looser. The chain needed another link to get the pulleys a little farther apart. But obviously those pulleys weren't going to last. After all that work on them!

   Either I could make some the same of another material, or I could change the sizes entirely and have sizes that wouldn't spin the differential so fast once it was in sync. And since the car movement had been less than robust, I should probably size them for a greater speed reduction to the wheel, per the tables in last month's TE News. If I made one smaller pulley, the slip would be on it. Then I could keep the lower pulley without it quickly melting. Of course, it would need a shorter belt. I guess I'll have to make one from a polypropylene strap, melting the ends together per an issue of TE News a while ago. Perhaps better still, I could line up the ends flush, and bridge them by melting a second piece onto the outside.
   But making new pulleys and changing setups is time consuming. Perhaps I should try the flat side of the belt (adding another 1/2 chain link), and just replace the idler mounting for now, and see how that works? After all I'd hardly run it and I might find I want to change other things or do something differently once I had this working as best it may as it is. (And if the belt was tight enough when loose, maybe the idler mounting will work 'as is' too.) I added the link, made the adjustments, and tried again with similar results - the car would only go backward from an easy spot, and stalled when the going got tougher.
   Furthermore, the idler pulley needed a lot of tension to engage the belt sufficiently, and it seemed the bolt adjusting the height of the bearing, and hence the tension on the chain and on the belt, had slipped down in its slot, in spite of being tightened as much as I could. Thus, the belt loosened off as it went. I think that probably happened before too, and was probably part of the problem with getting the car to move and to keep moving. Something will have to be added or changed to lock the adjustment securely in place.
   Later I realized the smooth surface of the belt was much slipperier than the other side. And when I went to buy a second idler pulley for "forward" I saw a torque converter belt used in small motorcycles. If I had a belt that gripped the edges of the pulleys, it would take a lot less pressure for it to have the required grab on the pulleys. Finding one that would fit is another matter. Perhaps I can make something out of ropes or multiple layers of polyproylene webbing/strapping?

New Idler Pulley

   Let's see... on the motorcycle, there's a cam wheel with indents set at different places. When the chain is adjusted, rotate that wheel as far as it'll go and lock it there. The chain slot can't slip without the wheel moving to a lower position. Something like that to keep the adjustment from slipping...

Electricity Generation

Solar Panels for Charging the Miles Electric Truck?

   I started driving the truck more in July. Where it had been able to do 30 MPH with the original bad or intermittent motor rotation sensor, after the repair it would only do 25. When it hits 26 the motor switches off or even to braking to keep the speed down. That's disappointing, because I'd be embarrassed to accumulate a line up of traffic when I drive. So I stick to short very local trips. The puzzling thing is the Miles vehicle frame, used for a number of similar vehicles, is supposed to be fully road safety rated, so why are the electric ones, only, limited in speed? All I can think of is that the motor would be over-revving, beyond its specs, above 25 MPH. It certainly does wind up! If it wasn't for the fact that it might have trouble starting up from a pothole or whatever, I'd think it would generally be better if they'd stuck it in 3rd gear instead of 2nd. A "2-1/2" gear might have been ideal.

   The truck has a flat roof over the cargo box, and on the 23rd I decided to try an experiment. I had been thinking of using two 90 watt solar panels in series as a possible charging system for the 36 volt Sprint. The maximum open circuit voltage per the specs is 22.1, so two would be 44.2. The truck is 72 volts. I set the two panels on the truck and measured about 40 volts. For charging a 36 volt segment, that would be 13.33 volts per 12 volt section - a good float charge voltage for lead-acid. I connected them to 1/2 of the batteries, nominally 36 volts. They initially (after connecting them for a few seconds before I remembered to check) measured 38.3 volts. They'd have been lower if they had needed charging, below 38. When I checked before connection, the panels said 39 volts. Clouds came on and off, and the charging current varied between 50mA and 330mA. The panel will supply about 3 or 4 amps (4.9A at MaxPowerPoint at 36.2 volts) if the load has a lower voltage - ie, if the batteries are low. Well, they could keep the charge up, and on sunny days could do much of the charging if one was patient. (Maybe all of it for the amount I drive it!)
   After 20 minutes the voltage was 38.6. But tree leaves started shading one of the panels, and it was soon down to 38.1. It seemed the batteries were feeding into the panels, so an isolating diode would be needed. With the voltages already marginal, I begrudge another 1/2 a volt loss. Maybe it should be active rectification with mosfets?
   The next morning there was a clear blue sky (no clouds, no chemtrails - a bit of luck), and around 10:30 DST there were no shadows on the truck. I took the panels back out and set them on top. They read 41.0 volts. I found an alternator diode and again connected the panels in series to 1/2 the batteries, through it. I got 40.0 volts open circuit. (As panels warm up, their voltage drops.) When connected, the panels dropped to 39.2 and on the battery side of the diode, 38.4. Inserting the current meter, it showed .40 amps.

   Well, that seemed to work nicely - on a sunny day with no shadows on the panels. There's lots of room for 4 of those panels on the square roof if they overhang the cab a little. In fact the panels are 22" x 46", and the space per panel is 27" wide, or 29" if that silly vent wasn't in the way. Should I get 2 more of the 90 watt panels, or should I get the biggest ones that will fit with that voltage spec, perhaps 140 watts? Two more 90 watt panels is definitely the cheapest option (~400$) since I already have two, that have been sitting around unused for a couple of years now. They would provide a rated 360 watts. The 140 W panels, which would make 560 total rated watts for about 1000 $, were a good width at 26.4", but they were almost a foot longer and would need a "roofrack" over the cab to hold the front ends steady. I decided, if I was doing this configuration, to stick with the 90s.

   Then I thought that perhaps a better option would be to find 3 somewhat shorter "full size" panels of over 200 watts, and use three 24 volt charge controllers. Two panels could go sideways over the box. The third one would need a "roofrack" frame to mount over the cab. These could charge with over 600 rated watts, even 1/2 the speed of the plug-in charger. At well over 1000$ this would also be the costliest option. But since the charge controllers would be pulse chargers that should improve battery life, it would replace my present desire to replace the existing 72 volt charger with six 12 volt pulse chargers each costing 140$ + taxes, a theoretical saving of 940$ plus all the electricity eventually saved.
   My search eventually disclosed that panels are made with 36, 60 or 72 cells. I have two 54 cell panels on my roof from 2012, but HES says these are no longer made. They're the voltage and the size I want for the truck for the three banks of 24 volts, but I only have two of the three needed, and I would also have to extract them from my high, steep roof (and replace them with others).
   With existing choices then, I can't fit the three panels I need to get the 24 volt charging systems. I don't want panels that stick out past the box (back or sides), because the first time you get the truck too close to something, instead of a near miss (or perhaps a dent) you'll hit with a solar panel and probably break it.

   I finally concluded that the best solution (and only since they are 6 volt lead-acid batteries) would be the four 90 watt panels as four 18v charging sections, and to design my own oscillator circuit to drive some switching mosfets, to switch the connection (the minus side of each panel) on and off at high speed to give "pulse charging", which will automatically weaken to "not much" as the batteries reach full charge since that's the voltage the panels are... if it's sunny... in the summer. And it would have a shutoff for whenever the panel voltage is less than the battery voltage. The mosfets would act as "active rectifiers" without the loss of over 1/2 a volt for passive diodes - a notable help with the marginally high enough voltage.
   Then in theory if one battery gets weak earlier, I only need to replace a set of 3 instead of all 12. Of course the other sets will doubtless go soon enough, but it spreads out the expense and gets more the maximum life out of each battery.

   One caveat: I would have to park on the street to get the sun. My yard is too shady. (Or cut down the old cherry tree, which is actually long overdue anyway. But that would only be a partial solution since the house itself shades the driveway much of the afternoon.)


   To even just "float charge" nickel-metal hydride batteries well, the open circuit voltage would have to be 42.0 volts (even assuming low drop active rectification). The most I got in full sun was 41 volts, and even that soon dropped to 40.
   I figured out why the open circuit voltage had gone down the first day between readings: Just one of the several spec sheets I looked at had a temperature graph. It showed lower voltages at higher temperatures. The spec.ed voltage was 43.2v at 25°c. Theoretically that meets my 42.0 volt requirement. But it dropped down to about 38v at 50° and 34v at 75°. As my black panels sat out in the sun they got warmer and their voltage dropped.

   So getting near the highest rated voltage, to over 42.0v for a NiMH float charge, sounded fine, but it was actually a fantasy. The panels would have to be kept cool in full sunshine, and they would have to be aimed at the sun. But really the only practical orientation on a vehicle roof is flat. So my original plan for charging the Sprint with solar wouldn't work. Like the Peltier modules, solar panels could be made in just about any voltage rating in small steps, but they're made either 22.3 volts or somewhere over 30 volts, 36, 60 or 72 cells, neither of which seems very convenient or efficient for either 12 volt or 36 volt battery charging. (Maybe it helps them sell DC to DC converting charge controllers?)

   So the Sprint with NiMH and or lithium cells will need another plan. Unless... if I used only 8 NiMH cells in the third "12 volt" battery, it would be 33.6 nominal volts instead of 36, and the panels could put out 2.8 volts less for float charging: 39.2 volts instead of 42.0. That could work, but it would bring its own set of headaches, especially for charging the last one from three regular 12V chargers.

Oscillating Water Column (OWC) Ocean Wave Power Buoy Drawings

   Here are some drawings I did to illustrate how an OWC sytem for capturing wave power might be implemented. The design can be scaled to sizes from "demo" to very large.

The open-bottom buoy

One idea for a turbine to turn the same direction with air inhaling or exhaling

A propeller type wind turbine approach

Victoria BC Canada