Turquoise Energy Newsletter #152 - January 2021
Turquoise Energy News #152
covering January 2021 (Posted February 5th 2021)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael

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

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Cylindrical New Chemie Batteries - Projects halt again - Solar & Wind DC Power -

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Death of Democracy? - The Way Forward? - Small Thots - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems (No reports)
Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects (No reports)
Electricity Generation
* My Solar Power System: - Monthly Solar Production log et cetera
* Windplant Woes

Electricity Storage
* Turquoise Battery Project (NiMnOx-Zn in Mixed Alkali-Salt electrolyte)
 - New Cylindrical Cell Design Idea: "Eureka!" - Planning a Cylindrical Cell - Making the Cell's components

January in Brief

   First I'll mention that on February 4th I lost most everything I had ever done on one computer if it wasn't also somewhere else. Oops! That included this month's photos, after I had erased them from the cell phone and before copying them to a USB stick. Along with some other data for this month.

New Chemistry Batteries

   I did some good work on these. I knew much of my trouble was with swelling of the positive electrode, causing it to lose internal conductivity. It is hard for flat plates to prevent swelling (much less in prototype form). Cylindrical cells solve the problem best, by holding even high pressures and giving the material nowhere to expand into. But whenever I thought of those, I couldn't see a way to get the electrodes together without ripping the delicate interface layers and separator paper.
   Then I had a "Eureka!" The agar jel is liquid when it's hot. It's one of those delicate layers, and the thickest. All I had to do was to get the center electrode in loosely, with a gap around it for the jel layer. Or pour in some hot jel and then immediately insert the electrode, squeezing the jel-liquid up the sides to fill the gap.
   I used 3/4" copper water pipe for the outside case (much thicker walls than necessary!) and silver soldered a copper disk bottom onto one end. (made two) The diameter being exactly right, I made them "sub-C" size. (NiCd, NiMH power tool battery size) I tried electroplating one can inside with zinc, but I wasn't impressed with the result. I liked the ones Peter in Oregon did (gosh, is it about a year ago now?) by melting the zinc onto the copper. (I think he dipped the copper into melted zinc.) But I can't turn his flat plates into cylinders.
   I 3D printed a bottom insert and a top cover out of PVB plastic.
   I ended up making a successful looking center electrode with a 70:30 cupro-nickel "center rod" current collector/"plus" terminal by using mainly some steel threaded water pipe nipples and fittings. Pressing on a small cylindrical area instead of a large flat area, I only used about 1/2 a ton of pressure.
   I still have to coat the can inside with zinc.

   Excited as I was by the battery design, even if I got no farther I had intended to at least wire up the cables for the ground effect craft before the end of the month, but I had a very busy last week with some pressing business, driving to town almost every day. Everything came to a halt. Then on the 29th I got sick. (Some digestive upset with severe diarrhea. It ended but my stomach was still queezy on February 1st, having lost 8-9 pounds. Other people had it too so I guess it wasn't the chicken.)

   The political events of the past month have been epic and distressing. I have written about them in In Passing below. I fear my words may cause "cognitive dissonance" in many readers who have watched too much mass-media TV propaganda and not enough independent journalism. A great many do not yet seem to have grasped what has just happened.
   There has for some time been a "poster" on line with a picture of a contemplative Donald Trump, that read: "It's not me they're after, it's you. I'm just in their way." Many millions of people were hoping for and expecting some last minute "mousetrap" to turn the tables. It didn't happen.
   Now that he is out of their way, we are just starting to get a foretaste of the coming firestorm. A close comparison is with Germany in 1933 when the Nazis took control of everything. This time it's the Washington "oligarchy", "swamp", "deep state" or "mob". With outsider Trump having challenged their decades-long growing hegemony for four years, they are now out to destroy every vestige of opposition and punish all those who for a time reined in their power and control. They will tolerate no discussion or other points of view. Expect outspoken people to start disappearing like in Pinochet's Argentina. If there is ever another election, it will be between Tweedledum and Tweedledee again, or as crooked as this last one.
   Even by the crooked "official" figures Trump got 10 million more votes than in 2016 - more than Obama ever got -  and according to a recent poll is the most popular man in America (if not the world) even after Biden's inauguration.

Solar & Wind DC Power

   On the night of the 4th there was a huge storm, and the power was out until about 3:30 PM on the 5th. (The question was not "if", but "how many" trees had blown across the power lines. Later I noticed one from my own beach property had fallen across the highway and the top part had been bucked up and removed by a work crew! I guess I should cut firewood from it. Ug!)

[5th, AM] I decided to work on the windplant connections, 'down' since too high a voltage in a strong wind had zapped the MPT7210 boost charge controller. The wind being a very intermittent thing, I hadn't done anything with it since. This time I was wiring up the windplant's own 24V charge controller first (they didn't offer a 36V), then a (new) MPT7210 would boost the 24 volts to 38 to charge 36V batteries.
   But I wanted to check the actual voltages from the windplant's controller to make sure that nothing weird was being output and it would really work without hurting the MPT7210. The power being off prevented oscilloscope testing. But as I worked the wind died and I had to leave it.

[still 5th AM] I was concerned that if the power was off too long I would want to run the fridge and freezer, not to mention a light in the living room. And there wasn't much sun for recharging. The sooner I started, the longer it would have during the day to charge.
   I finally decided that my deteriorating NiMH "D" cells were really junk owing to drying out inside over the years, and removed them from the garage floor to make space. (I could have drilled a hole through the button of each cell and added some water with a syringe, but in spite of the cost of batteries, there would be so many to do that it just didn't seem worth it. That MPT7210 might be repairable, too. ...Ya, and my Makita skill saw. And several other things that have gone "dud" now sitting in boxes.) I took the one completed LG 120 AH lithium-ion battery stack out to the garage and did some wiring to connect it to the "PowMr" MPPT solar charge controller and to the house 36V solar wiring. The clouds were out, but it still managed to be pumping 65 watts into the battery, which was already reasonalby well charged. A little later that dropped to 35W, and I connected another solar panel to the DC controller. That brought it back to 65 watts.
   The power to the AC/grid system dropped notably with the DC one 'stealing' some of the power. The house system actually produced less than the trailer system, instead of 1-1/2 times as much. It went into the battery.

[7th] I have a question about balance chargers... Do they source or sink a little extra power on those little wires to even out all the cells, or do they just sense the voltage on each cell and reduce the charging current to the whole battery when the voltage on the most charged one reaches a maximum limit? After a day and more on slow charge (slow owing to the clouds), there are cells from 3.68 to 3.88 volts. (Up from 3.62 to 3.75. Not that they were evened out to start with.) Shouldn't they be evening out by now if it's really a "balance charger"? (Do I have to go charge the individual low cells further to balance them?)

[8th] The pipe holding up the windplant split and bent over, leaving the propeller hitting the cable and the wooden pole beneath. I decided I had had enough of it and took it down. I stored it away. I'm only getting it out again if the power ever actually fails for an extended period in the winter.
   I decided that as solar PV keeps getting better and cheaper, wind - at least for home use - is probably "obsolescent" for most purposes now. ...Just like solar heating water except perhaps for swimming pools. The water doesn't get very hot owing to losses in the poorly insulated panels and in circulation, where simply attaching a solar electricity panel to a water heater works great to any temperature. And electricity doesn't freeze in winter. Wind and solar hot water were supposed to be "the" places to go to. Now, what are they for?

[12th] I assembled the second stack of ten LG 120AH lithium ion cells into another 36 volt battery. It was the same as the first stack, covered recently. On the 13th I attached the balance charger, took it out to the garage, and connected to the PowMr solar charger. I hadn't charged these cells before the assembly and they sat at just 3.55 volts/cell. It was sunny and it started charging around 150 watts. That sounds like some good power but let's see: 36V*120AH=4320WH. at that rate, 4320WH/150W=28.8 hours to charge it fully. That could easily be over a week with the weather we've been having. Now it sounds pretty feeble!
   Apparently the solar panels were in the shade of trees. Later on the charge had gone up, varying from 300 to a little over 500 watts - around 9 hours empty to full - and the voltage had gone from 35.5 to about 36.1. (With the low sun and tree shadows, empty to full would still take about three sunny days around here right now.)

12th: 35.5 V (start of charging)
13th: 36.1 V
14th: up to ~36.3 V (clouds)
15th: ~36.7 V (some sun -- wow, charging IS taking several days!)
16th: 37.1 V (clouds)
17th: 38.3 V Sunshine - I guess that's about charged! [No, apparently it should go higher. Later i raised it to about 39.5 V]

   On the 15th I also started getting out the third set of ten cells plus the two extras and charging them to over 3.65 volts, two at a time in series, fearing that they might start getting too low and deteriorating after sitting around so long.

   After that was when I started piecing together the cylindrical version of my own new chemistry batteries. But near the end of the month I couldn't find time even to put up some siding as the walls of my "cabin" - the roof over the travel trailer - coontinued to deteriorate.

Surely I could find some time to get the protective siding sheets up on the walls? Nope! (yikes!)

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

Death of Democracy?

   Nigel Farage has stated "Trump was the peacemaker, not Obama." Indeed, Trump was the first president in recent times to try to withdraw US troops from hot spots instead of invading or inflaming them. I was looking forward to another four year breathing space in which we could try to evolve society and democracy to new stages in which things would depolarize and youth would be enculturated and educated to realize that we all live in societies or civilizations that are only peaceful and permanent as long as we figure out and take the steps to make and keep them so. Instead, on Biden's first day in office US tanks were rolling back into Syria and he spoke of sending 15,000 more troops to Iraq. He also started turning the US capital into a fenced city with a similar number of troops to protect it.

   I thought, all else having failed, Pence would have stood up in the Senate and refused to ratify the most controversial "electoral college" votes until the charges of fraud were investigated. But he caved. Even then I dared hope against hope that in the last gasp Trump might have arranged with the military to arrest the worst of the traitors to democracy. But according to Paul Craig Roberts they probably wouldn't have done it. From his experience in Reagan's cabinet he said the president's power is too limited. It hit me like a ton of bricks that democracy is over (or will be just a façade) for a generation or more likely much longer.
   So nothing was done and the world is quickly sliding down a slippery slope into a pit that will be very hard to climb out of again. The fraud by which the oligarchy that has ruled Washington for decades now "won" the US federal election (and apparently some state elections also seemed to have been fraudulent) and seized total control of the country, would seem to be the death knell for democracy. If the oligarchy behind the scenes are unwilling to allow a free and fair election once because they didn't get to choose both candidates, and since they got away with it even while not having complete control, why will they ever allow one again now that they do have total control over the media, the courts, the federal legislatures and probably most of the state legislatures, and the presidency?
   And with the USA setting the corrupt example and shoving its weight around in other nations, can democracy anywhere survive? It has long been in decline. Canada appears to be following lockstep. This is going to be worldwide.

   It seems too late now to stop what is likely to be a mean and vengeful agenda against everyone who hasn't towed the oligarchy line. They are openly saying it. (I would hate to be Trump or his family now. He soundly condemned the [supposed] violence at the capitol in a considerable speech which virtually no one broadcast, but he is being blamed for it. (Everyone knew this rally was coming. Where were the police? OMG! Apparently there is video of them opening the doors and letting them in! Most of the people quietly walked through and left peacefully again!) That demonstration pales beside the many violent uprisings of BLM and Antifa in various cities with lootings, burnings and murders last summer, for which no one is being blamed. Clubbing him out of office won't be good enough for them.)
   Liberty and freedom of speech are vanishing quickly. Anyone with any social or political comment or insight and a following is being shut off of Facebook, Twitter and so on, and dozens of youtube news and social commentary channels have been likewise wiped off -- years of work and reporting and great videos done by hundreds and talking with thousands of people. Soon there will be nothing to watch in the realms of social or political affairs except what agrees with what the government wants. Soon we can expect people who disagree with the Washington oligarchy in any way to start disappearing - just like in Pinochet's Argentina, Hitler's Germany or indeed today in Xi's China. With the outsider president who has been demonized and ridiculed (lies!) and hampered and stymied in action daily for over four years gone, all will be peace on the mass media because anyone who disagrees with the "deep swamp" oligarchy will either have shut their mouths or they will be gone.

   And yet, even with M@fia.org for now and the foreseeable future running the show, Christ Michael has promised us more than once that our planet has a glorious future.

"I was crucified here, shall I not one day be glorified here?" - Jesus speaks, in the book Love Without End by Glenda Green.

The Way Forward?

   And yet, in all this, there is no "us" and "them". We are all "us". We are all naive and uneducated to a high degree, and our societies and governments are in fact quite primitive. Today from bottom to top, there are too many who are unaware of the advantages democracy brings and the disadvantages of authoritarian regimes, who are too intolerant and uncompromising, and who feel too self entitled - that others owe them a living, or allegiance, even without a reason. The hard-won gains of so long ago are increasingly forgotten and aren't taught to youth. And those gains of democracy have become ossified and brittle because no process of updating their processes along with societal progress was incorporated into them, hence they gradually decline until a new authoritarianism rises up.
   Those who "run the show" have always acted for today without regard for tomorrow because of their own upbringing. Too few look behind an immediate problem to try and understand what is at its basic root and create a lasting solution by altering that base so the problem and similar problems don't occur again. So no one anywhere has come up with long term solutions to change the course. The long term systemic decay has been gradually increasing for 150 years, and it is now boiling over. Neither do those who rise up in fury and violent protest understand that "violence begets violence" and that their acts only provide justification for the authoritarianism.

   But I cannot for the life of me understand why there are some few people who are so mean and vindictive, who seem to have no moral compass or conscience, and no concern for their culture or for their own future career when they go to the mansion worlds and have to face the universe consequences of the way they lived their life here. Huge numbers of people would be better off without those few, who fight for power and trample on everyone on their way up, make war on their own people, and when they're in complete control, start foreign wars.
   The world would have been and would be better off if such people had never been born - or better, had been brought up in more loving ways to set them on better paths. But the vast good-hearted majority have a very hard time understanding that the people who become unyielding authoritarian figures do not have their interests nor the real interests of their society at heart in the decisions that they take, so no one takes action against them as they climb into more and more power and control, until they control everyone, and anyone who disagrees with them is disappeared or otherwise disposed of. [Nuremberg questioner: "Weren't there people in Germany who objected to these policies and actions?" Herman Goering: "Not above ground." (Quoted from memory)]
   Without hoping to sound mean and vindictive myself, countless lives and perhaps civilization itself can only be saved if those few troublemakers, when it has been a longstanding pattern, will not change their ways (which is rare), are dispatched before they've done too much harm. Consider just for example what might have changed in 20th century history if Hitler had been executed after his failed beer hall putsch, or Stalin after a couple of his bank robberies (which financed the Communist party) and jail breaks? How many tens of millions of people might have been saved thereby?
   And we can go down a long list less famous yet highly detrimental programs. What would US cities be like if Alfred Sloan had been hanged before he had destroyed the entire in-city and inter-city electric trolley transport infrastructure, all across the USA (The GM Conspiracy - the conspirators were all very eventually convicted in 1947 but not punished) - perhaps when (IIRC) he had been a chief of the plotters to turn the USA into fascist state in the 1930s would have been a good time? Nope, he remained free to continue to prosecute his nefarious plans for his whole life.
   Now, what about specific people of the past few years, who spied on a non-oligopoly political candidate, then tried to overturn an election with trumped up charges, and some called for the death of the elected leader. Some of these people were fired in disgrace, but now they are back as the oligopoly has regained control. Leaving miscreants around to await a new opportunity unfailingly has worked to the great harm of civilization and is one of the reasons everything is falling apart today.

   Better longer term solutions to minimize the creation of miscreants of all sorts and maximize the creation of contented, productive, contributing citizens who understand they are part of local and broader communities, are:

* Improved family life. We need "Family Learning Centers" everywhere and a "Library of Family Wisdom" available on the internet. Better people make a better civilization, and better people starts not only with good genetics - elimination of the mentally inferior and antisocial-violent types (within every race) - but by children being brought up to be contributors to their communities, both worthy leaders and worthy followers.

* Better education of the young. Not just reading and math, but life skills, and personal and societal morality and the distinction between them. The present generation of "misundereducated" people with all their various self chosen levels of self entitlement and expectation that others are there to take care of them, can hardly be expected to create new solutions for the betterment of mankind.

* Good enculturation of the young - let them better understand the great society they live in, and realize that it will only continue to exist and to be great as long as everyone is looking after it and as they are able to adapt and evolve it as times change and human social and technical progress continues.

* Promulgation and spread of the fundamental values of being human, which are today being recognized as "The Seven Core Values":

 - Equality
 - Growth
 - Quality of life
 - Empathy
 - Compassion
 - Love for humanity.

[Chief prosecutor at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials following world war two: "If I was to define evil, I would have to say it is lack of empathy." (quoted from memory)]

* Explicit adoption of these core values and the ethics and morality that stem from them, into every organization and institution. For social sustainability every social, political, economic, educational, health and other institution needs to be on the same page, all contributing to their society and culture overall instead of becoming competing factions within that society. Eventually all society has been reduced to competing factions with no overall course or theme. "The nation" is no longer - instead it is this and that corporation, this and that institution, all working to dominate rather than be a part of the whole. The whole is rapidly disintegrating.

* And again, every institution needs to be able to adapt, change and evolve as society does. Present day democracy has been set in stone. It has hardly changed since its inception except where some workaround patches have been absolutely required to put out immediate fires. It has become ossified and brittle, until oligarchies have grown around it and gamed the system to selfishly benefit themselves. It is unable to evolve or (as we are seeing) even to survive, much less meet peoples' needs in an evolving civilization. People today are entitled to, and very much need, to have much more direct, day to day input into governance than a vote every few years.

* And again, stability of population cannot be left out of the discussion. We are today in a population bubble, raping every resource the planet has to offer in order to feed a global population probably about 2-1/2 times larger than can be sustained in the long term -- 7-1/2 billion instead of around 3 billion. Quality of life has dropped and dropped with the growth - one might well say that life has become cheap. When we have finished, the seas will be practically empty, countless species will be extinct and the capacity of the planet to support people may well be, perhaps temporarily, much reduced below the 3 billion figure.
   Every productive acre is being heavily employed, and even a small glitch in agricultural production and distribution today will mean food shortages, and there have been in recent years, especially 2019 and 2020, major glitches, globally. And the out of balance population is susceptible to some now virtually inevitable greater pandemic which will spread like Wuhan Coronavirus but with a high mortality rate, that will kill billions.
   It looks like it will take a huge die-off of people to bring the fact that we're greatly overpopulated home to everyone's attention. This global disaster will surely be burned into "racial memory". Maximum family size everywhere will be voluntarily restricted to three children and many will have fewer, to help maintain stable, reasonable populations.

* In the short term, there appears to be no way to change what has occurred and what is likely to soon occur except by making things even worse. Rather than "fixing problems" we need to create new solutions, to improve the mentality and spirituality of whole populations and new generations with more understanding and less naivety, and gradually melt the long arc of violence, hatred and intolerance that is so thoroughly gripping western and other lands, by the various means mentioned above and any other peaceful means found to be useful. This will probably take decades. It may well take centuries. Let us pray and trust that we do not descend into dystopia.

* I understand some of the best material for helping us to understand where we have come from and where we are today are books by Jared Diamond:
 - Guns, Germs and Steel
 - Collapse - How societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
and his latest:
 - Upheaval - Turning Points for nations in Crisis

* Many exciting new ideas/solutions for taking society and its institutions to new levels are being written and presented to us. An excellent site with many fine titles all in one place (and occasional version updates) is:

Small Thots

* Many are saddened that the Thylocene ("Tasmanian Tiger") became extinct just about the time it was belatedly realized they might be endangered, but OTOH no one has to worry about their sheep disappearing in Tasmania any more.

* I'm sure that if people today had had any experiences with sabre-tooth tigers, we would only be glad they are gone. They were with us for most of human history, and they did stalk, hunt and eat people.

* A friend linked me to some info on the Dr. Shallenberger who said he'd rather get CoViD than have the CoViD vaccine. He is apparently not highly regarded in the medical community. He's a naturopathic doctor. A misdiagnosis seemed to have caused the death of a patient. [Like, that never happens to most doctors? My brother Ian was complaining to his doctor for two years before he switched doctors and the new one gave him a simple blood pressure test - through the roof! His kidney failure was by then well advanced. He lived on another 9 years of kidney dialysis and then 5 more after a transplant, to age 57. ...just a blood pressure test!?!] Was Shallenberger grossly exaggerating the potential for ill effects from the vaccine? Without further confirmation I thought perhaps I should have left him out of TE News #151.

* But someone sent me a link to a January 3rd "Bridge City News" interview with a family physician on Denman Island, BC, Dr. Stephen Malthouse, who said very similar things -- including that he'd rather get the virus than take the vaccine -- along with a broader spectrum of topics about CoViD19. He had seen actual patient health problems from the vaccine along the same lines as Shallenberger wrote of. And he even said the vaccine won't even stop you from infecting or getting infected with CoViD. It only reduces the symptoms, so you'll still need to do all the same things as now. (So is it really a vaccine?)
   In addition he made the point that I mentioned in an earlier issue (as pointed out by Dr. Chris Martenson - PeakProsperity.org), that Coronavirus "cases" were simply based on "positive" PCR tests, which meant many healthy people - sometimes tens of millions - have been counted as "coronavirus cases". (He said a Portuguese court threw out PCR tests, which were never meant as a diagnostic tool.) He also said masks are causing many problems both physical/medical and psychological including developmental problems in children, who can't see faces and expressions - in short causing far more harm than they do good. Social distancing is similarly not very effective as the tiny virus particles can easily travel 25 feet through the air.
   Finally he was asked if there were other doctors who felt the same way. He replied that they were all over Canada and all over the world, but that no one was listening to them. He thought there was an agenda in play that was not based on health or science. (Well, hey, at this point I ask "How could there not be?" Better questions are "What is it?", "Who benefits and how?")

   The news interview came after he had written an open letter to the BC Health minister, Dr. Bonnie Henry, expressing his concerns. He feels that the pandemic is over, as actual hospitalization and death rates are about the same as other years for this time of year.

Here is the video (on Rumble): (Sorry, lost the URL)

* Lin Wood says there have been deaths and convulsions from the Pfizer vaccine and that one should stay away from it. There have been other deaths such as 32(?) elderly in Norway, and so on. I should probably point out that there is apparently more than one CoViD vaccine, or at least more than one company each making it under their own name.

* Virus vaccines can be great. Smallpox, once a terrible scourge and responsible for the decimation of the red race, has been annihilated or nearly so. A newer vaccine has apparently eradicated measles, which every kid (including me) used to get.
   There are limitations however. First they seem to be very specific. There are already three strains of CoViD. If CoViD is like flu, one suspects they will each require a separate vaccine. Then, they are (hopefully) a prevention if taken well in advance, but not a cure. One nurse who got the vaccine died of CoViD a few days later. Did she already have CoViD, or was it a bad reaction to the vaccine? It was said she was supposed to get a second 'booster' shot to make it fully effective. I was unaware that a second shot was required.
   There is also much being said about nefarious substances now being used in vaccines and causing more harm than good. If I had kids today I might well be an "anti-vaxxer" myself, or at least very picky about which ones they might be given.

* A "cheery" bit of news?: In New York an 80 year old woman was dying of CoViD, with only a 20% chance of survival. The family did some research and asked that she be given Ivermectin. She was, she improved, and she was moved out of the emergency ward. The doctors in the new ward, however, refused to give her any more Ivermectin and she got worse again. The family took them to court. The hospital resisted (!) but the judge told them to immediately administer it. At last report she was recovering again. It should of course never have been necessary. It would be a more cheery story if the media covered it and gave away to the public the well-kept secret that there's a medication that cures CoViD.
   Nigeria is doing more study on use against the virus in their "IverCoViD" program. Owing to the prevalence of African River Blindness in central Africa, Ivermectin is widely used there and they have considerable experience with it - and a very low rate of CoViD. [These per "TrialSite News" on youtube.]

* Dr. Pierre Kory and the FLCCC have apparently made some progress getting the US regulatory agencies to admit Ivermectin cures CoViD and permit its general use for that purpose in the USA. Surely Canada, Australia and Europe would follow. (Since the inauguration, I doubt it will be approved. In fact, I wouldn't want to be Dr. Kory right now. He might just disappear or something.)

* In a short video (youtube) an author of impressive social writings, Jared Diamond, expressed serious concern in 2019 that the USA could become a dictatorship in the next ten years. He was overly optimistic: it took less than two!

* A video I watched critical of Joe Biden I later found had been removed from youtube. [even before he took office] Censorship? What censorship? (I don't even remember the video, but apparently someone replied to a comment I made under it. That's how I found out it was gone, when I went to see what I had said that he replied to. A number of youtube news/opinion channels that I used to watch have been summarily terminated by youtube.)

* Cartoons critical and highly disrespectful of Donald Trump, OTOH, seemed to appear daily for his whole term in office. 3 or 4 people I know would broadcast e-mails with them several times a week. Or videos, or songs with new anti-Trump words. It finally occurred to me that these could not be random occurrences. Someone and more likely several people were obviously being paid well to produce them, one after another.
   Just like the TV news found something to criticize about him, day after day, month after month. If someone else did it or said it, it was a good thing. If Trump did it, it was immoral. If a lie about him sounded plausible, it was pounded out day after day. And made into cartoons. It was obviously a concerted and prolonged attack.
   It didn't seem to affect those who knew better. Even by the crooked "official" count, Trump got ten million more votes in the 2020 election than in 2016.

* I watched a part of a video wherein Hollywood producer John Paul Rice (Hunger Games and other titles) had made a documentary movie A Chlid's Voice about pedophilia and human trafficking in children in Hollywood. Before Geoffrey Epstein was at long last exposed (and then murdered so he couldn't testify), Rice had uncovered and exposed a global ring of this perversion and destruction of young lives, with children being sold and traded "like candy" for rape and torture. He published this huge story but it was never mentioned on the mass media amidst the daily bashing of Trump and other trivia.
   After a year and a half Amazon suddenly "unpublished" A Child's Voice, and apparently even a web search on the exact title won't divulge that Amazon ever had anything to do with it. He says Vimeo still has it... so far.
   How different from burning books is this?

* Certain recent events call up past equivalents:

 - The meeting of the Senate to impeach Trump was much like the meeting of the Sanhedrin to condemn Jesus. In their haste and hatred, they ignored their own rules. No witnesses, no testimony, skipped their legislated delay periods and protocols.
 - The military has been rumored to have been demanded to swear their allegiance to Joe Biden personally instead of to the constitution - just like in Germany to Hitler. A big purge of people who might not be loyal to him has been initiated. (Probably 3/4 of all the military voted for Trump - they are therefore "terrorist extremists", "enemies from within" to the new regime.)
 - Free speech is gone. Everyone with anything real to say is being shut off from every platform where one might speak, which today are essentially all on the internet -- even president Trump while he was still president was cut off.
 - Vengeance is to be wrought on everyone who disagreed with the present regime's plans or supported Trump before the election. They have openly called for it. AOC says examples should be made of them. Again this parallels with Nazi Germany as well as Soviet Union and, regrettably, many other coups.
 - Elections are gone - at least, free and fair ones where someone - even a billionaire - outside the oligopoly might ever win. Again like so many past coups.
 - The so-called insurrection at the US capitol building while the senate was in session seems to have been a stage managed event, a "false flag", like the Reichstag Fire probably was in Germany. It is now known from video that the police opened the doors for the protesters and ushered them inside. A mob of people walked peacefully through the building and eventually left. The little violence - window smashing - was fomented by a very, very few individuals, and the police shot one woman. It served to disrupt the senate's proceedings and apparently unnerved Mike Pence into going along with the program of the corrupt to say "let's not investigate the evidence of the many charges of election fraud, and accept all results as claimed." It therefore probably changed history, since Pence had intended to insist on investigating them, which probably would have seen the oligarchy thrown out and maybe many of the worst arrested instead of giving them complete dictatorial control of the USA. Instead he became more of a Judas Iscariot, betraying democracy and law and order into the hands of the lawless oligarchy.

* Discredited people in high places fired by Trump or during his tenure, hateful and deceitful, like JoBr and JaCo are back. (Dare I even print their names?) After disgracing themselves and with all their lies and devious plotting, they are being interviewed on the mass media as if they were credible government spokesmen. Br, who was calling for Trump's assassination in 2017, was on TV saying the USA was full of "domestic terrorists" who were "more dangerous and far more numerous than Alqaida" and had to be "dealt with". They didn't mind BLM and Antifa rampaging through various city streets last summer, burning and killing, so he obviously means the whole body of the public that doesn't knuckle under. Who are the real terrorists? The terms he used to describe the supposed "terrorists" seemed really to be describing himself rather well.
   It shows what happens when the people who are the real threats are not summarily dealt with. If Br had been removed from the planet instead of merely fired to await his next opportunity for vendetta against morality, decency, democracy and humanity, thousands or perhaps millions of lives would be in less danger now. Good parallel with Hitler or Stalin after their earlier crimes. Instead of being eliminated as "a clear and present danger", they came to own everyone in their nations.

* The grocery stores on this island have all been "short-shipped" on vegetables multiple times. "Ice Age Farmer" points to people in USDA, Ag-Biz magazine, etc. who have been warning of grain shortages, in particular corn and most especially soy. Much of next year's soy crop has already been sold to China while US supplies dwindle. These being principal animal feeds, ranchers are culling their herds and slaughtering young calves as the prices of feeds go up and availability drops. This makes for a temporary abundance of meats, but a long term shortage. If meats cost too much there will be more pressure on every other type of food.
   The empty shelves are surely coming to the grocery stores near you!

* I thought this recent video by Greg Hunter, interviewing Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, was excellent. It spells out what has just happened in US politics and what to expect for the near future.


   The firestorm is coming. The naive people saying "Yay, the Trumpkin is gone!" will soon be sadly disabused.

* Confronting the oligarchy will now be like confronting a badger. If the confronter won't go away, the badger will suddenly charge out of its hole and attack - likely with physical violence and deaths. And yet, we must continue to speak out against tyranny and opression, and for better solutions, even in non-confrontative ways. "The meek" - the balanced, moderate, peaceful and caring individuals everywhere - cannot inherit the Earth by shutting up and being slaves to it.

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* The plural of "walrus" should be "mazerus", since a maze consists of many walls.

* People keep saying there's no English word that rhymes with "orange". Urban myth! "Hinge" and "fringe" rhyme with "orange". Or how about "lunge" or "plunge"? With a rhyme we are talking about the sound, not spelling. (Again our alphabet is lacking the basal "schwa" vowel ("purr", etc) that the rest are differentiated from.) If we were going for spelling, then "flange" or "range" is the same as "orange".

* Cyclone: To bicycle by oneself.

* Anarchy: Rule by the reigning anarch.

* They say a goldfish has a memory of 30 seconds... so why do mine always expect they're going to be fed when I approach the aquarium?

   "in depth reports" for each project are below. I hope they may be useful to anyone who wants to get into a similar project, to glean ideas for how something might be done, as well as things that might have been tried, or just thought of and not tried... and even of how not to do something - why it didn't work or proved impractical. Sometimes they set out inventive thoughts almost as they occur - and are the actual organization and elaboration in writing of those thoughts. They are thus partly a diary and are not extensively proof-read for literary perfection, consistency, completeness and elimination of duplications before publication. I hope they may add to the body of wisdom for other researchers and developers to help them find more productive paths and avoid potential pitfalls and dead ends.

Electric Transport

No Reports

   Egads! The ground effect vehicle model (and everything else) will have to wait another month!?!

1. Vcc
2. Gnd
3. Gnd
4. no pin
5. port2:3 (N/C)
6. port2:4 = Left Ducted Fan - PW output to its 'ESC' Motor Controller
7. port2:5 = Right Ducted Fan - PW output.
8. port1:6 = up and down 'throttle'/power control - PW input 3 from radio control receiver
9. port1:7 = side to side 'steering' control - PW input 4 from radio control receiver
10. Rst  (N/C)

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects

No Reports

Electricity Generation

My Solar Power System

Month of January Log of Solar Power Generated [and grid power consumed]

(All times are in PST: clock 48 minutes ahead of sun, not PDT which is an hour and 48 minutes ahead. DC power output readings - mostly the kitchen hot water heater for some months, then just lights - are reset to zero daily (for just lights, occasionally), while the others are cumulative.)

Solar: House, Trailer  => total KWH [grid power meter reading(s)@time] Sky conditions
Km = electric car drove distance, then car was charged.

31st 1161.90, 327.71 => 0.86  [55Km; 80424@25:30] more clouds and sprinkles.

01st  1162.71, 328.14 => 1.24 [80451@18:00] A bit of sun in AM.
02d  1163.02, 328.34 => 0.51 [80491@16:30] Rraaiinn.
03rd 1164.57,329.37 =>  2.58 [80534@17:00] Some sun today!
04th 1164.75, 329.44 => 0.25 [80560@17:00] Wind and rain.
05th -- Power Failure in night until end of day.
06th 1165.37, 330.15 => 1.31 [60Km; 80636@17:00]
07th 1165.89, 330.43 => 0.80 [35Km; 80682@19:00] More storm; clouds, wind & rain. No ferry.
08th 1166.35, 330.67 => 0.70 [55Km; 80705@17:00] Wind, rain, sun (not much), clouds.
09th 1166.36, 330.68 => 0.02 [80762@21:00] Storm with driving rain all day. Unbelievably dull! Windplant busted.
10th 1166.80, 330.68 => 0.42 [80779@16:30] Fairly windy, cloudy, spitting rain. Ground fault breaker to trailer tripped night of 9th so no solar (or consumption) from trailer. (But I heard the ferry. Very late at night.)
11th 1167.32, 330.98 => 0.82 [85Km; 80829@19:30] MORE clouds, wind and rain.
12th 1168.14, 331.58 => 1.42 [80858@16:30] There was some sun! Ferry came!
13th 1169.43, 332.75 => 2.46 + ~1KWH DC/battery charging = 3.46 [80897@17:00; 35Km] Good sunshine!
14th 1169.61, 332.87 => 0.30 + .2 DC=0.50 [55Km; 80947@16:30] Back to storm & rain.
15th 1170.39, 333.52 => 1.43 + .5 DC=1.93 [85Km; 80994@23:30] Some sun today!
16th 1170.76, 333.72 => 0.57 + .3 DC=0.87 [81020@17:30] Clouds, rain, not much wind. A bit of sun near end of day.
17th 1171.60, 334.70 => 1.82 + .7 DC=2.52 [45Km; 81048@17:00; 35m] Sunny AM!
18th 1171.78, 334.72 => 0.20 + .05 DC=0.25 [81084@17:30] Cloudy again. At least not windy.
19th 1172.41, 335.37 => 1.28 + .3 DC=1.58 [55Km; 81122@19:30] Some Sun.
20th 1173.04, 335.76 => 1.02 (DC:Batteries are now fully charged, not much happening) [55Km; 81161@20:00] Some dull sun.
21st 1173.95, 336.30 => 1.45 [81196@17:30] Some dull sun.
22nd 1175.24,337.09 => 2.08 [81235@22:00] Quite a bit of sunshine.
23rd 1175.40, 337.11 => 0.18 [81276@18:00] Egads!
24th 1177.51, 338.66 => 3.66 [81305@17:30; 35Km] SUNSHINE!
25th 1179.73, 340.36 => 3.92 [81341@17:30] MORE sunshine!
26th 1180.76, 341.06 => 1.73 [55Km; 81389@20:30] Less sunshine.
27th 1182.00, 342.40 => 2.58 [55Km; 81427@18:00] More sun than scattered clouds.
28th 1184.50, 344.35 => 4.45 [81457@17:00] All sun!
29th 1184.94, 344.54 => 0.63 [81500@17:30] NO sun! Snow or tiny hail. (White shoulders from Meyer Lake North.)
30th 1185.70, 345.20 => 1.52 [81558@17:00] No sun- period of lighter clouds. Was sick - bedroom heated all day.
31st 1187.37, 346.29 => 2.76 [81609@18:00] Sun for a while (from 11-14:00?)

01st 1189.57, 348.04 => 3.95 +.7 DC (recharge) = 4.65 [81645@17:30] Sunny
02d  1190.96, 349.01 => 2.36 +.2 DC = 2.56 [81684@17:30]
03rd 1191.44, 349.26 => 0.73 [55Km; 81741@17:00] Drizzle.
04th 1192.21, 349.75 => 1.26 [81787@21:00] more drizzle.

Daily KWH from solar panels. (Compare January 2021 with December 2020 & with January 2020.)

(Each Day)
January 2021 (11 panels)
December 2020 (12 panels)
January 2020 (12 Panels)
 (solar was shut off until
Jan. 6th, so 5 extra zeros)
















Total KWH


Monthly Tallies: Solar Generated KWH [Power used from grid KWH]
March 1-31: 116.19 + ------ + 105.93 = 222.12 KWH - solar [786 KWH used from grid]
April - 1-30: 136.87 + ------ + 121.97 = 258.84 KWH [608 KWH]
May  - 1-31: 156.23 + ------ + 147.47 = 303.70 KWH [543 KWH] (11th solar panel connected on lawn on 26th)
June - 1-30: 146.63 + 15.65 + 115.26 = 277.54 KWH [374 KWH] (36V, 250W Hot Water Heater installed on 7th)
July  - 1-31: 134.06 + 19.06 + 120.86 = 273.98 KWH [342 KWH]
August 1-31:127.47 + 11.44+91.82+(8/10)*96.29 = 307.76 KWH [334 KWH] (12th panel connected on lawn Aug. 1)
Sept.- 1-30: 110.72 + 15.30 + 84.91 = 210.93 KWH   [408 KWH] (solar includes 2/10 of 96.29)
Oct.  - 1-31:  55.67 + 13.03 + 51.82 = 120.52 KWH, solar [635 KWH used from grid]
Nov. - 1-30:  36.51 +   6.31 + 26.29 =   69.11 KWH, solar [653 KWH used from grid]
Dec.  - 1-23: 18.98 +   .84* + 11.70 =   31.52 KWH, solar + wind [711 KWH + 414 (while away) = 1125 from grid]

Jan.  - 6-31: 17.52 + ------* + 10.61  =  28.13 KWH, solar+ wind [1111 KWH from grid]
Feb.  - 1-29: 56.83 + ------* + 35.17  =  92.00 KWH, solar + wind [963 KWH from grid]
* The solar DC system was running the kitchen hot water tank. Now it's only running a couple of lights - not worth reporting. So there's just the 2 grid tie systems: house and "roof over travel trailer".
One year of solar!
March - 1-31: 111.31 +   87.05 = 198.37 KWH solar total  [934 KWH from grid]
April   - 1-30: 156.09 + 115.12 = 271.21 [784 KWH from grid]
May    - 1-31: 181.97 + 131.21 = 313.18 KWH Solar [723 KWH from grid]
June   - 1-30: 164.04 + 119.81 = 283.82 KWH Solar [455 KWH from grid]
July    - 1-31: 190.13 + 110.05 = 300.18 KWH Solar [340 KWH from grid]
August- 1-31: 121.81 + 83.62   = 205.43 KWH Solar [385KWH from Grid]
Sept.  - 1-30: 110.68 + 65.09   = 175.77 KWH Solar [564 KWH used from grid]
Oct.  -   1-31:   67.28 + 42.55   = 109.83 KWH Solar [1360 KWH from grid -- Renters!]
Nov.  -  1-30:   35.70  + 20.79  = 56.49 KWH of Solar [1301 KWH from grid]
Dec.  -  1-31:   19.78  + 11.31  = 31.09 KWH Solar [1078 KWH used from grid]

Jan.   -  1-31:   25.47 + 18.58  = 44.05 KWH Solar [1185 KWH used from grid]


Things Noted - January 2021

* The DC power generated is only a very rough guess because the PowMr charge controller doesn't record it. It's based on reading the watts to the grid and the DC watts at the same times. While the batteries needed charge, the AC and DC were usually quite similar. But they were competing with each other for the four old 250W panels and the readings fluctuated quite a bit.

* [9th] In the dark in the driving rain, the transformer on the power pole by the highway put on a small fireworks show. Often I've heard it crackling in the rain, but now it was sparkling. In the storm it must have been getting some salt spray from off the ocean. (What was it again - 12,000 volts?)

* On the 9th a new record was set in the gale and driving rain for lack of solar power: just 20 watt-hours made for the entire day, with nothing turned off or malfunctioning. Now that's a DULL day!

* On the 11th(?) On the house equipment I moved a second solar panel to the high side of the PowMr charge controller from a grid tie inverter to help charge the new battery stack. So now it's 7 panels on the grid ties instead of 8. But four are shared, so the output to the grid is further reduced if DC power is being consumed. This was only the case for a couple of weeks after I put the lithium ion 36 V battery stacks out and put them on charge. After their initial charge, they were only running LED lights, but the charging in the dull winter took over a week. While they were charging there were 9 panels total in use at the house instead of 8, then it dropped back to 7.

* Things got better as the month went on - longer days, higher sun angle, and clearer weather. The sunny 28th made over 10% of the whole month's total. (still only 4-1/2 KWH!) On February 1st the house systems were for the first time this year making over 1000 watts around midday.

Windplant Woes

   On the night of the 4th there was a huge storm, and the power was out until about 3:30 PM on the 5th.

[5th, AM] I decided to work on the windplant connections, 'down' since too high a voltage in a strong wind had zapped the MPT7210 boost charge controller. The wind being a very intermittent thing, I hadn't done anything with it since. This time I was wiring up the windplant's own 24V charge controller first (they didn't offer a 36V), then a (new) MPT7210 could boost the 24 volts to 38 to charge 36V batteries.
   But I wanted to check the actual voltages from the windplant's controller to make sure that nothing weird was being output and it would really work without hurting the MPT7210. The power being off prevented oscilloscope testing. Regardless, as I worked the wind died and I had to leave it.

   I could make out the vibration of the windplant spinning all night on the 6th, but again by morning of the 7th it wasn't turning. Again the clocks and one computer said there must have been a power bump in the night - but this time not very long since the time was still right and the other computer was still in undisturbed "sleep" mode.)
   However, in the afternoon the wind picked up again. I checked the output from the 24V windplant charge controller. It was wild - neither DC nor pulses but pieces of sine waves, and for some reason it was drawing considerable current even with no battery connected. I decided that wasn't anything I wanted to use to condition the power to the boost controller. In fact, I wasn't even sure it was working right - although it was new. At least the simple 3-phase bridge rectifier put out pretty smooth DC! That night came the wildest storm yet, and power was out again. I found I had a buck (voltage reducing) converter good for 65 volts input... but I think I saw voltages higher than that in wind gusts. So I have nothing to connect that is guaranteed to not blow up and yet do something useful including in lower winds when the voltage might be 20 to 40. Maybe I should have got the "12V" windplant instead of the "24V"?
   Perhaps the thing to do is to find and order a DC to DC converter good for about 100 volts on the input, and have it reduce the voltage to about 20 - enough for the MPT7210 but at or under the windplant's output if the wind is up to much of anything. (Or get a buck-boost converter, set it to 38 volts and forget the MPT7210?)

   The windplant doesn't run very often, but it would have made considerable power on these nights if it had been connected, on days when the solar was contributing very little. As it was I connected a 250 watt radiant electric heater. It was probably only 50-100 watts, but I could feel the heat in front of it, made by the windplant.
   I bought some 100 watt resistors for "dump loads" last month, and I should try matching those to the windplant. "If voltage hits "X", turn on load 1. It it hits "Y", turn on heavier load 2. If it reaches "Z", even heavier load 3. (I don't suppose they would go far to keeping my bedroom warm, but it might be worth a try? It would be better running a water heater if that could be arranged.)

   The night of the 8th was again stormy (no ferry for a week!), with what seemed like the worst winds yet, and in the morning I woke up to a banging sound. This turned out to be the windplant. The "EMT" electrical conduit pipe I had used to mount it (owing to it being the exact right diameter) had split on one side and bent over, and it was sitting tilted at an angle. And the blades, when it turned, would suddenly hit the pole. Ouch! I really wanted to go up and set it straight or at least take it right off and lay it down, but the strong wind and driving rain were good incentives to not go up on a roof. This time the storm continued all day, battering the windplant and its vanes.
[10th] Before noon the wind had finally calmed down, but soon looked like it was picking up again. I therefore made haste to the roof and dismounted it. A blade had cut through the old extension cord's outer insulation and one of the wires. At another spot where the cord must have been flapping in the wind a bit, the outer insulation was worn away.
   Then I looked at the pole arrangement. It was held together with deck screws, and my recent experiences with deck screws said they would sooner or later rust through and break. Then everything would fall. So I took down the entire assembly. The "tilt out of high wind" feature hadn't worked out and the whole mounting would best be redone anyway, as a simple pole. (...up and down the ladder and across the wet and somewhat slippery metal roof 5 or 6 times.)
   I looked up some actual windplant charge controllers. (I hadn't paid them much attention before because none were 36 volts.) Much to my surprise, they all evidently "put on the brakes" when the voltage got above 14.5 volts (or multiple thereof for 24 or 48 volt units). So, for my "24 volt" windplant and using 24 volt batteries, it would brake when the wind got it to 28 or 29 volts. If there's a good wind, the speed and voltage stays well above that. No wonder it seemed to make sparks when I connected alligator clip leeds: it really was shorting the generator output. What a crude way of regulating voltage! That means they just waste most of the power in a wind that will provide good power.
   An off-grid friend ordered a VAWT windplant. I told him they made less power than the propeller type. But he liked the ideas of low noise and simplicity. I'm starting to think he has a point, especially about the simplicity. And it seems to be either there's a storm and you can get some good power from it, or (mostly) there isn't.

   I'm starting to think how nice and simple and durable solar panels are compared to a wind turbine with moving parts, mounted high up out in the windiest spot one can find. There was virtually no solar power at all on the 9th. (30 watt-hours - it barely registered!) Still, I'm not entirely convinced that going up and remounting the windplant is a good use of my time. Maybe if I can find a 100V rated buck converter? I looked on line and didn't. Maybe a different search?
   I finally decided not to bother putting the windplant up again. I'll just store it, and all the pieces with it. If the power is out for ages during the winter I might want it and can put it up again, but other than that it's more a waste of time than anything. And the pivot bearings are going bad in the salty sea air that the storms bring over, so in fact it would be best kept indoors for use when really needed: an emergency generator. (I won't look for more equipment for it. If I'm careful, keep a resistive load on it, it won't blow a 65 volt input buck converter and then the MPT7210, and the less it's used, the less the chance of such a mishap. Hopefully I'll never need it at all.)

   Perhaps wind power has become somewhat obsolescent as solar panels have increased in power and their costs have dropped so much? With tempered glass covers and no moving parts, they just sit there reliably making electricity year after year, without wild voltage swings. And then there's HE ray energy for the taking by whoever manages to make it work and then avoid being forcibly prevented from continuing.

Electricity Storage (Batteries)

Turquoise Battery Project: Long lasting, low cost, high energy batteries

New Cylindrical Cell Design Idea: "Eureka!"

[11th] Okay, I think it's been about 9 months since I looked at this project, but I'll start where I left off. My test cells generally worked much better (up to a certain point) if I put my weight on top of them during discharge, mainly I assume by pressing the nickel manganate particles together until they conducted electrons well. One can compact them well, but they seem to swell up when wetted in the cell. I got harder PVB plastic to make sturdier flat cell cases from, and put a grid of points that would snap together across the area to help hold them together more strongly. I hoped that would be good enough.

   But the mind returns again and again to the cylindrical form of so many batteries, able to hold everything immobile under very considerable pressures. Surely that would be much the best. My conceptual problem with making them has mostly been that with the several delicate layers between the two electrodes, how could I jam the center electrode tightly into a tube/can without damaging that interface? I was just sure it would prove frustrating and impractical if not impossible.
   But this month, finally finally a solution occurred to me: the layer of agar jel is liquid when it's hot. The trick will be in the technique. The inner electrode will fit in loosely rather than tightly, with a small gap to the outer electrode/can. So it will just drop in, enclosed by the separator paper. But first some hot agar jel will be poured into the cell. When the electrode is inserted it will displace the jel, which will rise up and fill up the gap between it and the outer electrode. Assuming when the agar cools and hardens it is stiff enough, there will be no room for the inner electrode to puff up and lose conductivity. With no tight fit to grind the separator layers during insertion, even very long thin cells could be made.
   PVB or other plastic parts then would be used only for the end pieces.

Planning a Cylindrical Cell

   One might coat the inside of a copper plumbing pipe with zinc to form the outer shell and negative electrode, then paint that coating with the osmium doped acetal ester to prevent zinc dendrites. A positive electrode could be made with a 70:30 cupro-nickel current collector in the middle, protruding as the "+" terminal. That alloy seems to not oxidize in the pH 12-13 electrolyte, so going to a graphite rod isn't necessary. Monel would doubtless work too. (Preferably a round wire, but I have Cu:Ni sheet metal. Oh well, it'll have to do for now.) Around that would be the compacted nickel-manganate material. That would be wrapped with a paper separator. As it couldn't swell, the calcium hydroxide/calcium sulfate (plaster of paris) layer I've been using would be omitted. So far so good.

   This struck me as being worth trying.

   Using copper water pipe is convenient, if much heavier than it needs to be. Having the positive electrode on the outside might be preferable, but I don't have a way to turn cupro-nickel sheet into pipe (or a can with a bottom) with no other material at the seams. (Most any other metal (like silver solder) would oxidize and the cell would start to leak.) Cells made that way should have higher current capacity. OTOH, compacting a solid round cylinder of powder materials will probably be much easier than a thin walled, hollow cylinder that fits around the outside. Hmm, actually the proportions of materials required probably work out better too.
   So I'll go with what's most likely to work out well - which is making it the same as a standard dry cell. I found that 3/4" copper plumbing pipe was the just same outside diameter as "sub-C" cells, the size used in NiCd and NiMH power tool battery packs. With no particular reason to make any particular size, I cut a piece to that length. Could 1/2" pipe be used to compact the center electrode into? That seemed likely. I cut a piece, but it seemed a little thin. Perhaps a 1/2" copper coupling, then? That made the outside diameter, 5/8", into the inside. I decided that should be close enough. That should leave about the right gap for the agar jel layer.

   Of course, a can with one closed end would be even more ideal, and typical of small battery cell construction. But how would I get that? Then I thought of using copper plumbing pipe end caps as cans. Aha! They're rather short and squat, but are the essential "can" shape. They should be good for prototypes, anyway.
   Then again, for the negative electrode, I should be able to silver solder on copper end caps, or just end disks, without having them corrode and leak. This is probably the route I should try first. I wouldn't want to go too far toward making equipment sized for an end cap diameter, only to then have to redo it for a regular pipe size.

   So there's the new plan: a "sub C" size cell with a copper can having a silver soldered bottom disk. A printed plastic insert would hold the bottom of the middle electrode centered and insulate it from the copper bottom. What about the top? The PVB is still stronger and prints more easily than ABS, so it's the choice. Perhaps I could make it just the right size to melt on with the heat gun, just right so that it wouldn't leak in spite of being a rough 3D printed piece? In commercial battery making, the last step would be to crimp the outer can against the insulating top piece(s), all the way around, squeezing it in place and helping to ensure there are no leaks. Unfortunately that would seem to be "out" without more equipment. I can make a clamp to go around the whole can instead. (In the event the first lid fit quite tightly.)

   There's always been a bit of a catch-22 in all this. It's very hard to make a battery, even a prototype, without special equipment, and it's very hard to justify making special equipment without a proven layout and a proven battery chemistry. Well, I guess this layout at least is pretty well proven, being so similar to the "standard dry cell" layout. (I may or may not make it a "dry cell", that is to say, not saturate it completely with water.) Even so, I will probably want to have cans of thinner copper and other such details, which would change the size of the crimper.

Let's see

Outer (Can) Dimensions

O.D. - 22.2 mm
I.Length - 40 mm
I.D. - 20 mm

Weight (pipe only) - 25.4 g (sounds metric somehow)
'finished' 27.7 g ('regular' silver soldered bottom)
cans       29.4 g ('with outer flange' silver soldered bottom)

Inner Electrode Dimensions

O.D. - 16 mm
Length - 36 mm


Spacing (thickness/gap) for separator paper + agar gel + zinc coating inside outer electrode - ~2 mm
Thickness of PVB bottom insert - 5 mm
Thickness of PVB top cover - 5 mm
(Diameter of insert & cover = 20 mm = I.D. of can)

Constructing the Cell

[15th] I had used an old piece of 3/4" pipe. I have plenty of it. I thought it would be simple enough to clean out the crud on the inside. Scotchbrite and sandpaper didn't seem to do it. Hydrochloric acid didn't seem to do it, but brought it down to a whitish layer: calcium buildup. (what, calcium in a water pipe?!?) A tiny wire brush spinning in a 'dremmel' tool inside the pipe made a cloud of very fine dust and left me in a coughing fit.
   I got out a new 12 foot pipe and cut the inch and a bit off the end. The spinning wire brush seemed to shine up the inside nicely. (How long can one simple job take, again?) Later I held my breath and cleaned out the first one too.

[17th] I silver soldered copper disks to the bottoms of the tubes. Only one leaked and had to be touched up. (Hopefully nothing in the alloy of the silver solder will have trouble in the negative electrode chemistry.) After that I had to clean them all over again. The wire brush/dremmel helped. I suppose if silver solder works, I could make custom tubes of any diameter out of much thinner copper than water pipe. For prototyping, I'd rather not!

   Next I needed a cylindrical compactor for the positive electrode powder.

[18th] I made it. I found a 5/8" x 5.5" long steel rod to serve as a plunger. A piece of electrical EMT tube/pipe seemed about right to fit outside that. It was actually too tight and the rod had to be pounded into it, going in less than an inch. I fixed that by pounding on the outside with the rod in it, thus stretching the metal and expanding the tube until the rod slid in and out easily. It took a number of ever deeper insertions and outside poundings until it would go all the way through.
   Now, what about the bottom? somehow the cupro-nickel terminal wire had to stick through the bottom and not get chopped or squashed during compaction. The EMT end fitting! It seemed perfect, as its top was the OD of the pipe, then it narrowed to be the same as the inside. This allowed me to make a disk that couldn't be pushed through and held the work 3/4" above the bottom end. I drilled and filed a small hole in that for the terminal wire to go through. And it even had a side screw to hold it together with the tube during compaction, but then the whole end could easily be removed, leaving the open end of the tube to push the electrode out through.
   My chief concerns about using it are (1) that the tube might split open, since it's not very thick walled, and (2) that the end disk inside might bend and get pushed out. What happens to the current collector / terminal wire?
   I am expecting the wire to get rather bent and folded inside the electrode as the powder compacts into a "brick". As long as the wire sticks out to make a connection to, it should work, but it's best if it either goes through the center of the electrode or has some kind of pattern to the bending that brings it closer to more of the substance of the brick. This brings to mind the idea of deliberately making such a pattern. A helix coil might be ideal. The coils could get closer together as it compacts, like compressing a spring, and no point in the brick would be far from the wire. That could potentially be better than a straight wire. (Hmm, but does that make it an inductor?)
   Anyway as I presently have no round Cu:Ni wire I'll be using a strip of sheet metal. A zig-zag fold is the best that might be expected.

[19th] I made a thicker "washer" to put inside. In the evening I tried to make an electrode.

   Now, how much nickel-manganate powder? The space is 16mm diameter * 30mm length. 201*30=1.92cc. If the density of the powder when compacted is 4, that's about 8 grams. (That's probably an overestimate for density. Should be plenty.)

   I thought that in theory it would be simple to take off the end fitting and push the finished brick out the open ended tube. It wasn't. One problem was that electrode substance had oozed out between the plunger and the tube. The plunger was well stuck and wouldn't move at all except by pressure from the hydraulic press or hammering. (And with the small cross section, I had only pressed to 1/2 a ton of force.) The second problem was that there was nothing I could put under the tube to provide a space where the electrode could be pressed out into using the press. I thought of using a piece of pipe with a slightly larger inside diameter, but every piece I could find was either way too large or small, or virtually exactly the same. After much futile searching I took a copper pipe joiner piece, inserted the plunger, and pounded on it until the copper had expanded and fit very loosely over the rod. It wasn't really long enough, but I put it in the press and squeezed what was left of the electrode into it. Even in the slightly larger pipe, it was stuck and broke apart when I tried to push it out.
   At first I thought I'd have to re-think the whole thing. But if I make a custom piece to fit over the end of the EMT pipe the same as the regular end fitting, but have it open out into a space for the electrode to drop out the end in the press, it still might work.

   The other and perhaps more ideal way would be to replace the pipe with a die that splits open, perhaps into 3 pieces, to allow the electrode to fall out. But each electrode would be more work. Hopefully it won't be necessary. I'll try the custom end piece on the EMT pipe first.
   It was late but I went out one more time to look it over. I had found a threaded coupling nut, but it was too big. Then I found it had the right threads to fit over the EMT pipe end clamp fitting. It was large enough and just long enough to let the electrode come out in the press. I needed only to file out the thinnest point of another end fitting so the electrode could pass through it. (The first end fitting needs to keep the thinnest point to hold the end washer in.) It might well work. I would wait until I went to town again and get another end fitting.

   I replaced the rod plunger with a car wheel lug bolt. I filed its round, flat head to 5/8" to fit closely into the tube. The advantage is that only the bottom end, the head, is in close contact with the tube, so it's much easier to slide in and out. It wasn't long enough, fitting entirely inside the tube during compaction, so I used another small bolt on top to press it in.

[20th] I had to go to town so I got the fitting. I still couldn't seem to press out an electrode cylinder. I tried 3 times with variations of technique and components. They always broke up on their way out of the tube. It would seem a new technique or more considerable modification of this one is required.
   I started thinking of a cylindrical tube that opened up to a bell shape near the bottom. (Maybe more like a thin funnel than a trumpet bell.) A rod would stick up from the table into the bell up to the cylindrical tube area. The rod would have a small hole for the center wire. Another rod would push down from above as before to compact the materials. Once compacted the bottom rod would be removed. Then further pressure from the top would push the electrode out through the bottom bell, where it would meet no resistance or obstruction to cause it to crumble, even if it expanded just a bit as it came out of the cylinder. (...as it seems to do, which was surely a part of the problem.)
   This, instead of using mostly ready-made parts, was going to require some building.

[22nd] I had occasion to visit Masset at the north end of the island. In both Home Hardware and Coop Home Centre I found great selections of threaded galvanized plumbing pipes. These seemed to have better options as compactors than the EMT pipes and fittings, and I bought some suitable looking pieces.
   The short "pipe nipple" pipes looked like about the right 5/8" diameter to be a tube to pour the mix into and insert the plunger. I got a 3" and a 5", either of which might be used. I got an end cap that, with a suitable insert, could form a bottom for the tube to compact the mix against. For pushing the compacted electrode out, there's a 1/2" to 3/4" adapter that provides lots of room, first by being on the outside of the thick-walled pipe and second by flaring out like a bell. In case that is too short to provide sufficient space, there's also a short 3/4" pipe nipple to screw onto the end of that.
   At 10:30 that night, I decided to give it a try. I drilled out the weld(?) that protruded a bit inside the 3" long pipe with a 5/8" drill, filed down the (wheel lug bolt) plunger head so it fit more easily, fiddled around a bit and found a couple of nuts to put into the end cap, and washers that likewise fit just inside. That made the bottom end without bothering to cut and shape something, albeit with a larger than desired center hole.
   I put the end cap on, dropped a piece of Cu:Ni in for the current collector, and poured the powder mix in. Since it already had Sunlight dishsoap (gel) which had dried out, I used an eyedropper to add a few drops of water 3 or 4 times. I then started compaction simply by banging the pipe down on an anvil a few times. The level of the loose powder mix dropped noticeably.
   I had found a pipe that fit just inside the main one, and I used that to press down around the outside edges, to get it partly packed down without pressing much on the current collector wire in the center. Then I did the main compaction in the press, again to about 1/2 a ton.

   I pulled out the short plunger and dropped in a couple of washers. Then I put the "bell" end on and started pressing the electrode out of the tube with a longer bolt for a plunger. I checked and added on the short larger pipe nipple so as to not squash the electrode against the bottom as it came out. I put in some crumpled paper towel so it would land softly when it dropped. It worked, and in just an hour I finally had the desired cylindrical electrode.
   (The photo also shows the end cap with washers and a piece of cupro-nickel for a current collector sticking up.)

   I used the nickel-manganate powder mentioned in TE News #134, which was based on that of TE news #73 except (as I recall) I put in quite a lot of extra conductive carbon black powder. It weighed 10.25 grams. Less than a gram would be the wire, so call it 9.5 grams of actual electrode substance... minus however much of that was carbon and additives. Probably it should be way over an amp-hour, but given many previous results I'd be happy with 1/2 an amp hour.
   When it was long dry, the resistance from any point on the surface to any other point was in the lower 100's of ohms.

   Next step: 3D print a bottom piece to hold this electrode centered and off the conductive bottom of the cell, and a top piece also to center it, and to enclose everything.

With January's photo collection lost, here's "all in one". From Left:
* The compacted nickel manganates electrode with the cupro-nickel current collector stem.
* The 3D printed cell top and inner bottom piece.
* Zinc electroplated (yuk) copper pipe "sub-C" battery cell "can"
* second can with larger (silver soldered) base.
* The remainder of the zinc anode, much corroded below the water line.
* Sample 70:30 cupro-nickel current collector. (I wish I had wire instead of sheet metal.)

[23rd] I designed and 3D printed the pieces in the morning. They were pretty simple, so it didn't take too long. I got the top fit just right, and made a couple of small dimensional adjustments. But I printed them with PLA since that was in the printer. As previously discovered, PLA disintegrates in alkali. They would have to be redone (with the adjustments) with PVB (or ABS), and I had to go into town.

[25th] I cut a piece of sheet zinc with a tab and rolled it up as an anode. It was 2.1 grams. I cleaned one of the battery cans as best I could (harder inside a small cylinder!) and filled it with zinc chloride plating solution. I used the printed top and bottom to hold it in place in the center of the can without touching it, with the tab sticking up. It started charging with 1.5 volts at about 1.16 amps at 20:18 PM. So if I was to leave it for an hour, the can should have over one amp-hour worth of metallic zinc plated onto the inside of the cylinder - a one amp-hour battery assuming the zinc was all accessible to the electrolyte and that the anode hadn't been eaten away before the hour was up. Hmm!
   Of course I checked it after 10 minutes. The inside surface of the can had taken on a powdery looking zinc color. When I put it back, it was charging at 1.38 amps. (Was it the clip leed connections? Why do I never seem to have solid connections to my test cells?) I checked again at the 30 minute mark. There was now quite a thick coating inside the can, and the anode looked thinner. Then it started charging at 1.47 amps.
   Thinking the coating seemed to be getting rather thick, I turned it off at the 40 minute mark. It had also been getting warmer as it worked, and at this point it was pretty hot and I could hear it bubbling.
   The surface texture was crumbly and rubbing it removed grains of zinc. Dendrite crystals, I presume. I started to think copper dipped in zinc ("galvanized") really was the way to go. But I'm not sure how to do that inside the can but not outside.
   I was sorry there was no simple way in the cylinder to try out the zinc dipped copper plates that Peter from Oregon had sent me many months ago. They had a thick, solid zinc coating. (Hmm, maybe I could use a 1 inch pipe instead of 3/4", and roll up one of them to fit inside it?)
   Another idea occurred to me to get the same effect: Coat it this way, however badly, then take a small propane torch to it and get it just hot enough that the grains of zinc flow into one another to make a fairly solid skin.

   The anode was down to 1.1 grams, so it had lost a gram of zinc. That the uneaten top end is larger is visible in the picture. A gram of zinc has 820 mAH, but some of it was in the loose crystals. I'd be lucky if the cell had 1/2 an amp-hour of negative material.

Because of the loose, grainy surface and because I was short of osmium doped acetal ester, I decided to put this one together without any. Could the agar jel alone prevent zinc dendrites from wrecking the cell?

If the inner electrode is 16mm diameter and 34mm long, that's about 17 sq.cm of outer surface to interact with the zinc can. At 25 mA/sq.cm that would be only around half an amp of current capacity. Well, maybe it would surprise me and deliver more. A lot depends on the compaction, and a lot depends on the electrolyte.

   This was the last day I had a chance to work on things in January.

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada