Turquoise Energy Ltd. News #70
Victoria BC
by Craig Carmichael - December 6th, 2013

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

Highlights: Centrifugal Variable Torque Converter Tests (take 2? 3? 4?)

Month In Brief (Project Summaries)

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Planet Titan: More exciting than Mars! - John F Kennedy assassination 50 year anniversary

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Electric Hubcap motors: Metal rotor end covers?
* Planetary Gear Centrifugal Variable Torque Converter Transmission

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects (No reports)

Electricity Generating
* Lambda Ray explorations

Electricity Storage - Turquoise (NiMn) Battery Project etc. (no report)

No Project Reports on: DSSC solar cells (will probably abandon), LED Lighting, Pulsejet steel plate cutter, CNC Gardening/Farming Machine (sigh, maybe summer 2014?), Woodstove/Thermal Electricity Generator (will probably abandon), Peltier & vacuum pipe heat pumping, Ultra-efficient torque converter transmission, individual EV battery monitor (will probably cancel).

Newsletters Index/Highlights: http://www.TurquoiseEnergy.com/news/index.html

Construction Manuals and information:

- Electric Hubcap Family Motors - Turquoise Motor Controllers - Ersatz 'powder coating' home process for protecting/painting metal

Products Catalog:
 - Electric Hubcap 4.6KW BLDC Pancake Motor Kit
 - Electric Caik 3KW BLDC Pancake Motor Kit
  - NiMH Handy Battery Sticks, 12v battery trays
& Dry Cells (cheapest NiMH prices in Victoria BC)
 - LED Light Fixtures

(Will accept BITCOIN digital currency)

...all at:  http://www.TurquoiseEnergy.com/
(orders: e-mail craig@saers.com)

November in Brief

   The first week and a half of November saw more needed work around the house and yard, and various financial/bookkeeping items unrelated to inventive projects.

   Then, in spite of all the interesting or pressing projects I could or should have worked on and the coming of cold, wet weather, I had developed a strong desire to try again to get a working torque converter transmission and get that stationary red Sprint car into motion. At the same time, I hoped I could do one that would also work well with a wheel mounted Electric Hubcap system to hybridize petroleum cars with an add-on system - per the original plan dating back to 2008. The centrifugal torque converter became November's almost single obsession.

Variable Torque Converter Transmission

   With the increasing complexity of the planetary gear torque converter system -- the rope/pulley tension control and then the poorly functioning clutch and flat drive belt, and finally the flywheel... which I had put on the wrong element... I ended up, in a couple of stages, going back to an idea dating back about four years: a centrifugal drum system similar to a centrifugal clutch but with fingers that would bounce off slots in the drum at intervals, the torque being imparted with the bounces. I had made a couple that weren't done quite right for the Tercel wheel mounted motor, then I started building one a couple of years ago for the Sprint. Just at that time I got excited by a magnetic converter idea that proved impractical. After that I diverted to the slipping planetary gear idea, which has also proven to have unexpected complications.
   With the centrifugal unit, the torque goes up as the fingers push out harder and hit the slots more frequently with increasing motor speed. If the plastic fingers don't shred, at some point the car should start moving. As the car accelerates, the hits become less frequent for a given motor speed. With enough speed (highway) and or low torques, the fingers would stay locked in the slots and the motor would turn the output directly.
   In order to give the system the maximum chance of working, I put the chain drive with the 4 to 1 speed reduction back on, so that only 1/4 as much torque would be needed at the drum. This reduction would have to be decreased to 3:1 to get the car on city streets or 2:1 or less for the highway. This might be done along with trying out flat belt drives again to give higher efficiency, or different size chain sprockets can be employed.

   I made it a "star" with five fingers (or "shoes" or "dogs") on the inner rotor on the motor shaft, and five slots in the drum on the output shaft. The fingers and slots would all line up at once, giving five torque pulses distributed around the rim during each rotation -- and less by the amount the output was already turning... assuming the car actually moved.
   In the first test, it didn't move. Well, maybe a couple of inches - almost downhill. Most of the energy seemed to go into making noise and shredding bits of plastic off the fingers, flattening the points. I decided it needed wider slots and more contact area so that the whole face of the finger point hit the face of the slot, spreading the load from a small area to a large one.
   After modifying the parts and reassembling, I did a second test on December 2nd. This time I jacked up a wheel, and at least saw the drum (frying pan) start turning and speeding up according to how it was supposed to work. But the motor still ran like it had almost no load, and I could easily stop the wheel by hand. Then, with the Sprint having a nut at the center of each front wheel, I put a torque wrench on the wheel and measured just around 7 or so pounds or torque, and it was still shredding the plastic. Reverse was about the same. It didn't seem very encouraging.
   But I started looking into it and examined the parts afterward. There were visible problems, and any part that doesn't work right usually prevents a mechanism from performing properly. The biggest problems were (a) that the slots were too short and (b) that the ends of the springs were in the way. Both of these factors prevented the 'fingertips' from going very far into the slots and getting a good hit. I did a video of the test and dissecting afterward:  http://youtu.be/hFlztdfxHks
   And perhaps changing the slots and or 'fingertips' from 45° strike angles to something perhaps more like "D" shapes would transfer more and more of the motor speed into drum torque the deeper the hit was as the motor turned faster, and with the right proportions and springs ensure the motor could be appropriately loaded to produce sufficient torque at an appropriate speed. And maybe substantially larger "fingertips" with matching bigger slots. And if there was room to make them 2" wide instead of 1" the forces would be more spread out. A smooth aluminum drum would stop the chipping away at the plastic - obviously the stainless steel pan is only for proof of concept.

   The fact that I had belatedly remembered there's a way to measure the torque at the wheels, itself seemed encouraging. At least I can tell how much force is being developed and see how close it is to providing enough, and compare that with previous trials to know what works better and worse. I resolved to make the necessary changes with a couple of part shape variations, intending to try again in December. But the weather has turned to cold and snow, so I may move on to other things like lambda ray radiant energy collectors, and meanwhile simply give some more thought to the centrifugal torque converter.

Other Things

   While I focused physical work almost exclusively on the centrifugal torque converter, near the start of the month I had the idea to narrate my booklet Fundamental Principles of Democratic Government and put it up on youtube. I expect it will reach many more people in that format and on that popular site. I started editing it to make it more suitable for narration, typing at it occasionally for a few days. Then my browser crashed and somehow I just didn't load it back into the editor again. Too many things to do!

   Then the clutch (the hydraulics) quit working on the electric Mazda. I didn't get around to fixing it, and started starting up in third gear to avoid having to shift while the car was moving. But it's definitely an annoyance. And it's presently short one battery, and even with that seems to be using more energy to go places, perhaps with the cool winter weather. Somehow it's up to around 2.7 AH/mile or worse, which at 120V is over 320 WH/Mile, up from 270-280 until recently. Could the oil and grease in the drivetrain be stiffer or thicker when it's cold out? I started driving the gas Tercel more, also because I have to defog the Mazda windshield with a hair dryer before starting.
   I like the idea of the centrifugal torque converter and not needing a clutch or any gear shifting at all.

   On the 28th two of us, physicist Frank Jakovac and I, did a little web research on the "lambda rays", and found them denominated as "very high energy gamma rays", with their general recognition and observation being only a decade old. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory satellite's map of the sky evidently puzzles astronomers by showing the "gamma ray fog" coming from more evenly around the sky than expected, from unknown sources. Since the "VHE gamma rays" have distinctly different interactions to matter than regular gamma rays - and even different conditions under which they seem to interact - I still hold that they merit a separate name. We don't call ultra-violet rays "VHE infra-red rays". Frank concurred that "lambda rays" seemed like a suitable name.
   The most interesting point was that unlike any other waveband, when these powerful photons do interact, they create "a shower of high energy particles and antiparticles". The "antiparticles" must be responsible for the reverse magnetic fields noted by some of those making energy conversion devices, and of course magnetic fields would induce electrical currents in the collector wire.
   Once the lambda rays and the processes of extracting their energy are better understood, it's likely that better and more effective energy conversion devices will be produced. That's when large scale desalination of sea water may start vast desert expanses blooming. Perhaps even new and unanticipated applications for lambda rays will be found.
   For now, it's probably enough to understand that these incredibly energetic "short space rays" exist and come from all directions, and that radiant energy converters using them to produce considerable electrical power are real and scientifically explainable, not magical and mysterious or simply some figment of deluded peoples' imaginations.

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


   I think some great space exploration is going by virtually unseen. The Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, and has now flown by Titan, the atmospheric planet larger than Mercury that orbits Saturn, dozens of times.
   Early on, in January 2005, the Cassini's Huygens probe parachuted down onto the surface of Titan. It sent back some crappy, low-rez B & W pictures which, owing to their poor and colorless quality, require considerable visual study and comparison of the same scenes from different altitudes of the descent to really make sense of.
   The fault isn't mainly with the media - the scenes shown are completely unexpected and alien, and the space scientists themselves have missed the most exciting stuff. Although these images are the meat in the sandwich of all the spectral, chemical and other sensor data, they were carelessly adulterated in processing, the contrast being expanded by immense and wildly varying amounts for each image, rendering many of the scenes virtually incomprehensible and making a correlation between various views of the same features in different descent images almost impossible. It was then carelessly claimed that the adulterated images were the "raw", unprocessed, images. Both the 'random' contrast expansion and the claim that the results, posted to NASA/JPL and ESA web pages, are unprocessed, strike me as careless and unprofessional. Then, droplets of (no doubt) methane ice on the camera lenses appears to have led to seeing "craters" in liquid sea and hence mistaking it for solid ground. The triply perplexing images were ignored by the space science community and their visual value completely discounted - the final  blunder. It was only by very good fortune that someone sent me links to obscure web sites where the actual raw images were archived.
   The Huygens pictures do correlate with the other data to show astonishing things, which without checking the visuals, have been completely misinterpreted. The scientists tried to figure out what Titan was all about with their ears, nose and touch but with their eyes closed.

Huygens image triplet #689: * side looking camera (SLI) * Downward ~45° angle camera (MRI) * Steep angle 'telephoto' camera (HRI)

Left - the actual raw images, showing the atmospheric haze (or methane rain) and the shallow liquid beneath the lander.
Middle - all three equally contrast enhanced by me. Contrast enhancement brings out hidden details in the haze and under'water' features.
Right - Every image differently contrast enhanced by JPL, often grotesquely.
These are presented as being the "raw" images on JPL/ESA web sites

   Titan is the only world in the solar system with an air pressure anywhere near Earth's, at 22 PSI (versus Earth's at 15 PSI). In many ways, Titan is amazingly Earthlike, and in other ways intriguingly alien. The powerful daily tides cause methane seas with flowing channels full of undersea dunes to form around the equator, and in the flushing back and forth, so much sediment is transported, more eastward than westward, that Titan very, very gradually rotates instead of having one face fixed always towards Saturn.
   In 2009 the Saturn system's equinox in its 30 Earth years year occurred, and Titan's 27° axial tilt north pole went from 383 hours a day darkness to 383 hours a day sunlight as the northern spring progressed. Here is a great composite mosaic image of the arctic done this year by Cassini CIRS and ISS instruments, perhaps with a little help from a SAR radar imager swath or two. There are methane lakes and various landscape features.

Titan's north pole and arctic in early summer (fall 2013 on Earth)

   Ubiquitous visual image indications that Titan is verdantly covered with vegetation are corroborated by various spectrographic findings. The Huygens GCMS team concluded that "complex chemistry is occurring on Titan's surface", and Cassini examinations from space have shown more and more "the stuff of life", apparently with no thought that there might actually be plainly visible life. The atmosphere is 95% nitrogen, 5% methane vapor, and perhaps 1% hydrogen. Hydrogen, not oxygen, is apparently the active energizing, breathing gas. (Earth C + O2 => CO2. Titan C + 2 H2 => CH4. The oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle couldn't work as it does on Earth because the CO2 would freeze out.)

Typical Cassini SAR Radar image of Titan's surface, mid northern latitude.
Allowing for differences between radar and visual images, the terrain looks like typical forest from
overhead, eg, using Google Earth, but with giant trees growing up to 2000m tall in the 1/7 gravity.
It looks unlike any other type of terrain in the solar system.
Radar dielectric constant returns are also typical of forest canopy rather than solid ground.

In 2006 I made a "mosaic" (this is a reduced excerpt) by piecing together Huygens descent images from the downward looking camera.
I believe it's the most accurate one that was done, incorporating the lowest level images that JPL left out.
(I used no partial transparencies, so anything that appears to extend across frames actually does.
In the closest image, HRI 710, Huygens' own floodlight lights the lower right corner so much I had to erase it.)
I concluded that Huygens landed in a shallow, duney, sea, full of profuse aquatic vegetation
(more apparent from side looking images), on the peak of a dune ('X') in only a few centimeters of liquid methane.
If it had landed only 30 or 40 meters north or south, it would have hit deeper liquid and floated around.

Descent image 650-SLI.
Anyone see a giant leaf on a giant slanted stem, casting a dark shadow?
and a stem with longer, thin leaves at various angles, going across the surface behind it?
These same features are visible from various angles and altitudes
in various images taken during the parachute descent.
(The darkening from top to bottom angles is typical of a liquid surface, not solid.)

Titan from the surface after touchdown, SLI camera.
Many observers concluded "shallow liquid", which was corroborated by the accelerometers
(registering landing impact forces), the GCMS readings ("relatively pure liquid methane on the surface"),
ripples seen spreading from a point in two consecutive images, and animations of the after
landing images apparently showing ebb and flow of liquid, as well as
Cassini T14 radio occultation returns indicating liquid hydrocarbons in tropical areas.

Closer inspection reveals stems to many of the "rocks", some of which
are clearly elevated above the surface and casting dark shadows, and which
were unidentified (apparently organic) material spectroscopically to the GCMS.
In the center-left foreground are objects with 'fronds' apparently radiating from centers.

I composed this image by blending three or four images, which provided pixel
integration to make a sharper image showing better detail than any one single image.

   There's so much more to say - and to speculate - about Titan! I followed the exploration closely for some time, and I did a web page on it, Living Titan, some years ago. Later, owing to some later realizations about a few misconceptions I had had, I did a "Space Update Notes" page.

The Murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy - 50 years back

   When I noted a few issues back that journalists have joined with energy solution inventors in being in danger from the gangsters who run our societies for their own greedy ends, I didn't think to mention the one group who are most of all at risk: political leaders who would steer civilization in new directions of peace, prosperity, equality and goodwill. It's not just the CIA, and not just in South America, where the newly elected are asked, "I have a pile of money for you in one pocket, and a gun in the other. Will you do what we want?", and it's said not only to national presidents but all the way down the line. National leaders who truly try to lead are however a special target.

   Even as an 8 year old kid I remember how the tragedy of Kennedy's murder in November 1963 was felt by all, no less here in Canada than in the USA. It was a coup, a crime against freedom, and a culminating event in a long line of such crimes.

   I watched the supposed murderer Lee Harvey Oswald the next day, who was - somehow - interviewed on TV on the news while in custody, saying something like (as best I can remember it), "The president has been killed. This is a tragedy. Everybody stay calm; the facts will come out." Greg Hunter of USAwatchdog.com, then 7, was also watching and said this month he remembers him saying "I'm a patsy." (I don't remember that statement - probably I didn't know what a "patsy" was. That may be why I remember the other part. If he said more I don't remember it.) It was certain to both of us kids from his evident sincerity, demeanor and his words that he was innocent. Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby within a day to shut him up, and I have never seen that interview come to light again. I suppose that the tapes were soon seized and destroyed. The facts didn't come out.

   What puzzles me the most is that what actually happened is evidently still a mystery to most people. A mafia boss whose name I forget wrote his memoirs, long after the event but quite a long time ago now, in which he told that Kennedy's murder was effected by "a mafia cell" from Florida. There used to be a common type of storm sewer drain that had not only a flat grill, but had bars going up the curb to the sidewalk and a metal top that replaced a piece of the cement curb. These were used in Edmonton where I lived as well. They would have made an admirable hidden sniper hideout even in the middle of a crowd, and he said Kennedy was shot through the sewer grate from beneath the grassy knoll - where so many witnesses said they had heard the shots coming from. The murderers then made their way off through the storm sewers with no one the wiser.
   This had the ring of truth to it to me, being the only explanation ever offered that fits the known facts, which it does perfectly.
   Furthermore, again many years after the event, an informant in a jail got the confession of another mafia leader who admitted to the murder and said he'd do it again. After going to all the trouble of getting the informant in there and getting the guy to confide in him, nothing was done with this information and the inmate was not questioned about it.
   I saw these things on TV, yet it seems as if I was the only one watching, as even later documentaries made no reference to them, and still dwelt on the "mysteries" surrounding the actual killing. Many still conclude Oswald was a lone gunman regardless of the seeming impossibility of a shot from the rear entering the front and splattering Kennedy's brains out the back of his head (among other problems with the scenario).

   I won't go into all the intrigues and backroom scene things that were going on or speculated to be factors. I think the satirical Onion got it right in their cartoon book Our Dumb Century (1900-1999), in a "newspaper headline" reading something close to: "Kennedy Killed by Mafia, CIA, FBI, Unions, Castro, Republicans, Military". He preached and promoted liberty and freedom, and that didn't fit in with anybody's well developed schemes of manipulating and controlling the public to their own self-seeking ends.

   Kennedy left behind some brilliant and inspiring speeches such as his presidential inaugural address, his Berlin address, his "We choose to go to the moon" speech, and a speech to the newspapers guild in which he warned of dark cabals seeking to destroy freedom, among others, which are well worth listening to.

Electric Hubcap Motor Systems - Electric Transport

Electric Hubcap Motor Construction: metal rotor end covers?

   As I worked on the torque converter, I was looking at the motor. I had switched from steel to molded polypropylene-epoxy motor cases because of the serious magnetic drag from the steel. However, there's no appreciable magnetic flux at the back end of the rotor. With the design now having a rotor end cover plate that doesn't extend around the rotor, it occurred to me that that end plate could now be metal with no effect on performance. 1/8" or 3/16" steel might be ideal - if heavier than the lightweight PP-epoxy. Or maybe 1/4" to 3/8" aluminum.
   And if that metal end were cut by, eg, abrasive waterjet, it could be cut with mounting tabs sticking out, as well as the bearing cup sized center hole and all desired mounting, bolt and ventilation holes. That would be an improvement over the existing design where a mounting flange is an add-on "afterthought", and some of the long bolts holding the motor together have to be used to attach it with.
   And one less big ring piece to mold would move that much in-house labour to being a custom ordered part, done by automation. If that was too costly or slow, aluminum could be cut on the band saw, albeit the result wouldn't be as beautiful and perfect.

Ultra-efficient planetary gear torque converter
centrifugal torque converter
Back to a Previous theory of operation...

   Owing to being unable to get the flat drive belt not to slip without what might be major work, I put the chain drive back on and removed the clutch parts. Anyway the chain had the somewhat dubious advantage of being 4 to 1 reduction, which could allow a marginally performing torque converter to move the car. For the street it would need a lower ratio, or the motor would over-rev at street speeds. (city about 3 to 1 or less; highway under 2 to 1)
   And with the realization of my flawed theory of operation in putting the flywheel on the slipping gear, I had the choice of trying to move it to the motor shaft, which would mean making and putting in a longer shaft... or trying something else entirely.
   Fickle as I am, I took the last option. I decided to try the idea of a sort of centrifugal clutch with clockwork fingers meshing with the slots of a slotted drum. This I had started making in 2011 in a slightly different form (after various related attempts in 2009-10 on the Tercel wheel mounted motor), but then I diverted to the magnetic idea, which seemed exciting at the time but proved rather impractical.

   The theory of operation is that the fingers spring out when the motor reaches some given RPM, much like a centrifugal clutch. But instead of just rubbing on the inside rim of the drum, they transverse hit slots in it and bounce off, back towards the center. This imparts motive energy to the drum, a 45° angle impact providing an optimum force vector.
   Looked at another way, the fingers are little hammers and the drum a big nail. Each hit tries to pound the drum around a little bit farther around a circle. Since we don't want the motor to come to a sudden stop, the blows are glancing and the hammer bounces off "sideways" - actually, back toward the center. According to mechanical clock makers, 45° is the best angle.
   Here we should differentiate between the effectiveness and the efficiency of the energy transfer during each hit. If the entire energy of the motor was effectively transferred to the drum by a square hit, the motor would be virtually stopped, indeed would bounce back, as a hammer with a nail. So we want the lower effectiveness of a glancing blow with the sideways bounce of the fingers, allowing the moderately loaded motor to build up speed and strike many energetic high speed blows rapidly. Energy of course is proportional to the square of the speed. The efficiency of the energy transfer depends on many factors of friction and loss, but the slippery plastic has little friction and is free to bounce around without causing much lost energy. So notwithstanding all the rapid flappings it should still be an "ultra efficient" torque converter. This is in contrast with a 'simple' centrifugal clutch wherein the friction of the shoes on the drum generates a lot of heat with poor efficiency.

   In the first idea, again this could unit have gone, perhaps optimally, on the motor shaft, but that would require all sorts of changes to the existing Sprint design. So once again, I decided to put it on the slipping gear. If the output gear turned the same direction as the slipping gear, the drum would more optimally have gone on the output. But they turn opposite directions. I mounted the drum to the frame, stationary. The amount of slip of the gear would depend on the torque required, slipping least when least torque was required and most when the most was needed. I was somewhat nervous that this didn't seem to accomplish anything really new and untried. It was pretty similar to the rope, which only seemed to work once the car was moving, and it might be one more failure.
   Then I thought it out again. Each time the slipping gear stopped or slowed suddenly as the fingers hit the slots, it would provide a pulse of torque that should (I hope) transfer to the output. That was something different from the steady drag of the tension rope. Now it sounded at least somewhat promising: the pulse effect might make it work with the vehicle stopped and get it moving - replacing the pulley tension rope and eliminating the clutch.
   On the 10th, I took one of the weight rings off intending to use the other as a fat plate to mount the bolt-axles of the plastic centrifugal "fingers". Then, in order to improve the start-stop effect, I decided to take the other flywheel piece off too, and to use just the rather lightweight V-belt pulley as the mounting plate for the fingers. Since it was smaller diameter (10" vs 11"), that meant there would be more room for the fingers between the spinning disk and the 12" diameter drum, and a different finger shape. I hadn't made the fingers yet, so little time was lost. A negative aspect of using the "V" of the pulley to put the axles across was that I'd have to cut and chisel the axle-base area of each plastic finger to fit into the "V". (image, left) But the 10" pulley was carefully fitted to the planet gear assembly and it would be a lot of work to replace it with an improved part.

   I made a pattern on paper for the fingers, then cut it out and traced the outline onto a piece of 1" thick UHMW polyethylene. I made one on the 12th. Its pivot had to fit into the "V" of the V-belt pulley, and a 1/4" bolt went through the rim of the pulley for its axle. After much trimming, the fit seemed satisfactory.
   I had no time on the 13th. I cut 5 more fingers from the rather small piece of plastic on the 14th, with just a few small scraps left over. One was a spare as I had decided to make a five finger layout with five slots in the drum. If that didn't have enough action, I could increase the slots to 10 or 20 still lining up 5 at a time with the 5 fingers.

   But thinking back to one design I tried on the Tercel wheel quite a while ago, I consider that it failed because its 25 "V" links - 25 continuous 45° "VVVVVV" shapes around the rim of the drum - had too much coupling to the five inertial oscillator-fingers: the motor - visibly - couldn't build up speed and hence had not much inertial force. If it had had only 5 "V"s around the rim, it should have picked up enough speed to give five times the energy per "hit", one strong pulse instead of almost continual weak ones, perhaps enough push to get the car moving. I'm not sure why I didn't think of that at the time and try it out.
   As I continued to consider this overnight, I realized that the 6029r disk brake rotors I had one-time used for motor rotors and stators would make a perfect mounting plate for the fingers. The center fits an SDS bushing to mount them on the motor shaft, and the offset center would project the rotor about the right distance from the motor into the transmission box and into the drum. Then, the drum could be bolted onto one of the "new" flat magnet rotor plates which could mount on another SDS to the chain sprocket shaft. And I had the five fingers just cut but not yet carved out to fit the V pulley, the 'spare' proving fortuitous.
   This 'new' design started to look pretty straightforward to build and by the 15th - in spite of a few misgivings - I decided it was after all worth changing everything and trying it out, eliminating the planetary gear. In addition to what seemed like a better design, the chain drive with the 4 to 1 reduction plus the somewhat smaller (12") wheels on the Sprint, would give it perhaps 5 times the leverage it had directly driving the Tercel wheel, so 1/5th of the torque would be needed. Optimized (if necessary) and with a 3 to 1 reduction it should do over 60Km/Hr, sufficient speed for city driving. If it could do it, 2 to 1 or less would allow highway speeds. All automatic - no clutch or gearshift. IF it worked! I've certainly tried enough things that haven't!
   And if it worked well enough to use without a speed reduction following, it would go very well on an Electric Hubcap car wheel system, adding only a couple of inches width to the motor.
   After it was all working on the Sprint - assuming it did - I could print a pulley of appropriate size for whatever reduction seemed good, and try the more efficient flat drive belts again. (My new plan for making flat belts: use polypropylene (or other material) strapping and make it long enough for plenty of overlap. Sew, melt or otherwise seal the seam along its entire overlapping length so it won't break or otherwise come apart. Spray the belt with urethane for better grip(?))

   I got the five fingers mounted on the rotor on the 16th, and cut the slots in the drum on the 17th. When I tried to ream the edges of the cuts with a knife, and then a chisel, it finally dawned on me that my "aluminum" frying pan with all the holes from various torque converter attempts wasn't just some specially tough alloy: it was stainless steel. A teflon coated stainless steel pan is a new one on me! (No wonder it's stood up so well to abuse in several prototypes.) But I was left wondering how I was going to bevel the edges to 45°. Filing stainless steel with a tiny flat file would take a coon's age.

   I put one leaf spring onto one of the fingers to hold it in until the motor hit "X" speed of engagement, hopefully a few hundred RPM. I made it from #18 gauge nickel-brass sheet, work hardened through the rolling mill a few times. After this one I noticed I could do them with no extra holes in the rotor if the back end rested on the rotor rim, and I also noticed a piece of 5/32" nickel-brass wire, left over from making recorders (flutes) about 8 years ago. That should make better springs than the sheet metal, but it couldn't be made to fit around the 1/4" bolts. I decided to silver solder 1/4" washers to the springs at the appropriate points... then realized that would anneal the metal and cause it to lose its spring.

   On the 19th I tried making a spring with splitting the wire in half to make the hole in the middle. But it was a lot of work. I had to perforate it by drilling several very tiny holes to get a sharpened cold chisel to cut through. Then when I tried to expand the slit to a hole, it broke when it was just about there. A longer slit might have done it, but the job was very time consuming -- and I needed 5 of them.
   So I left the springs unfinished and mounted the drum on the flat rotor. That at least seemed more doable! The rotor could be mounted either inside or behind the pan. There seemed to be not much room in the case with it outside, so I put it inside. Somehow that took most of the day. I tried to bevel the edges of the slots with grinding wheels in a "dremmel" tool. After considerable grinding they still weren't what I wanted, but at least I rounded off the edges and smoothed them.

5-slotted drum rotor mounted
(One 'slot' was an existing square hole. The previously cut lengthwise slots are irrelevant.)

   In the following days, I made the springs to hold the fingers retracted at lower RPM s. I scrapped the first sheet metal one, which had less spring to it than the wire ones. I used the first wire and another that I also broke a side of anyway - they'd probably hold up through a test or two. I had everything finished and adjusted by the night of the 22nd.

Brake disk rotor mounting the five fingers fitted on the motor.

   In the test on the 23rd, the car didn't move. Well, maybe a couple of inches, and that was slightly downslope. (The drum did turn a bit. Turn the drum, the car moves. I took a video with my cell fone for later review, but at the end I pressed the 'record' button again, like with both my other camcorders, instead of the separate square symbol button to the side. The fone stopped recording... all seemed fine. But when I went to view it later I discovered it had deleted the video! Thanx a lot!) But most of the energy seemed to go into making noise and visibly shredding bits of plastic off the fingers, flattening their points. Really, this was predictable. The faces of the slots were not only not ideally shaped and not polished smooth and slick, but they weren't even quite straight, as the sides of the pan weren't exactly square and vertical. So they were contacting small points of plastic - not enough surface to take heavy impact pressure. Later it occurred to me I could have greased the drum. But the plastic fingers were already pretty slippery and it wouldn't have solved the main problem.

   I decided that the operative principle was probably sound, but the implementation was lacking. It needed longer slots with more contact area so that the whole 45° face of each finger point would squarely hit an ideal 45° polished face of the slot, spreading the load across a large area. If there had been room, the fingers could well have been made 2 or 3 inches wide instead of 1, with 1/2" height of faces hitting each other, making 1 or 1.5 square inches of smooth surfaces striking each other.
   In fact, it might be hard to fit a more suitable drum. The walls of the frying pan were too thin to give the broad hitting surface desired, yet a thicker wall might be either too small inside or hit the differential on the outside. It was barely missing the differential as it was. I couldn't shrink the drum without also making a smaller inside rotor. I started wishing I'd picked some 9" or 9.5" disk brake rotor instead of 10". It started to look like a pretty major rebuild.
   On the morning of the 25th I got the idea to cut the ends of each slot in the pan to make a short "H", and bend the two tabs thus created outward to 45° to form an open bottom "V". If one edge of the "V" hit the differential I could grind down just that area until it missed. Unless I roughened it up with the tools in bending, it would be smooth. That seemed easiest and had good potential for making what seemed to be needed, so I disassembled the unit again and got the drum off.

   At first I figured I'd open a vise to the desired "V" top size, clamp the drum on (somehow), and hammer the flanges down over the vise edges to about 45° perhaps hammering something like a "D" shaped die into the space. Then on the 26th I figured out that I could strategically C-clamp the flange part on the end of a steel bar, with a square bar piece the size of the flange on the inside, and pull the pan around to fold out the flange. I got started late after composing a lengthy e-mail. It seemed to take three hands to set up each flange, I was interrupted by a very long phone call, and then as I did the first couple someone phoned to ask why I wasn't at the dress rehearsal for our informal trio concert Thursday. Wow, 3PM already? Oops! Increasingly, the days seem to go by with only small accomplishments on green energy projects! The rehearsal, and the lunch time "concert", went well.

Bending out the slot face-tabs: Clamp, twist whole pan.

Bent tab edged slots

   I didn't get back to the drum until the 28th after the performance (which went okay). I finished one last tab that needed more angle-grinder cutting the next morning, the 29th. The extended drum tabs hit the differential even more than expected and would take more than a little trimming to fit in. Then I considered that if I added a link to the chain and extended the adjustment slot, the axle could move away from the differential. The motor could adjust that high up if I cut a piece of metal to extend the adjustment slot. I might even get the speedometer gear and cable back in! Accomplishing this took the rest of the good daylight, which only goes to 3 or 3:30 PM in winter. The chain had a lot of slack with the adjustment fully extended. The slot should really be lengthened even more, but there wasn't much more it could go.
   The chances of getting the Sprint moving in November seemed to be receding.

   As I was bending out the 'tabs', I started thinking that the circumferential length of the slot is actually very important. One thinks of centrifugal force as trying to fling things outward, but the actual path of an object released from the rim of a rotor is a straight line from wherever it was released. The fingertips would go outward into a thin slot only a short distance, and farther and farther as the length of the slot was increased. The reason the sharp tips were ground off in the very thin slots was because only a tiny bit of plastic went into the slot. Now the slots were 3/4" or so wide. But maybe a 1" or 1.5" width would result in a more suitable thickness of plastic entering the slot for the hit.
   I also started out thinking it didn't matter that the tips had been ground flat, since they would go into the wide slots all the same. But in fact, the 1/8" or so of flatness means they'll start moving out 1/8" farther on, effectively shrinking the 3/4"-7/8" slots, which I had started to consider were probably already narrower than desirable, by 1/8". I decided I should take the fingers off and resharpen the tips.

   On the afternoon of the 30th I replaced the chain. The original was a little too long and I didn't have a half-link to shorten it to a length between that and the original too short length. (They may or may not be available.) The other choice was to cut still longer adjustment slots, but Jim Harrington gave me some 'industrial' chain with links and a half link from his AGO Environmental Electronics stock. This fit the sprockets but wasn't compatible with the motorcycle chain. It's said that industrial chain won't last long in motorcycle (ie vehicle, transport) usage, but that's a small concern at present - especially as I may yet convert it to a flat belt before it goes on the road. Also this chain has a lot less friction resistance to bending than the 'permanently lubricated' motorcycle chain with its rubber grommets on each link to retain the grease.
   The chain as it goes around the sprocket on the differential is too close to the bottom 'floor' to slip in sideways, so to get the old chain off, after removing the master link I rolled the car forward until it came out the end. This wasn't easy on a damp lawn, and I almost called off the game on account of the rain getting into the engine compartment in spite of a tarp. When I went to put the new one on, I realized that if I simply jacked up one wheel I could turn it to turn the sprocket gear, with the car hood area safely under the shed roof.
   While I was putting the chain together I also remembered that with the center nuts on the front wheels, I could in principle jack one up and put my torque wrench on that wheel to see how much torque was being generated. The torque proved steady enough that the indicator needle didn't vibrate pretty wildly back and forth, a "feature" which had led to some serious miscalculations when I had tried making a magnetic converter in 2011.

   I decided to persevere a couple more days to complete the adjusted installation and get in another test before finishing this newsletter. On December 1st I fitted the drum back on, removed the fingers and sanded the tips sharp again, and made a metal piece to hold the motor higher up than the front slot had adjustment for. It took several tries to get this fitted out properly and to get the rotor and drum lined up. The hard part was getting the motor in the right distance and aimed so that the fingers lined up with the slots all the way around. Then the height is set with the front slot adjustment. Somehow the inner rotor was a little forward of the outer drum - not ideal for the fingers hitting the slots evenly and simultaneously around the drum, but owing to the large spacing between the fingers and the drum (increased with the sanding), it at least turned freely. Finally it was close enough to to try out. But by then the light was fading.

   On December 2nd at noon I brought out the 24V (NiMH D cells in trays) battery, connected the cables, and gave it a try. It didn't work well. The motor didn't seem well coupled to the load. It spun up to a considerable speed with ease, and without making much torque at the output. And it was much noisier than I had expected. A video with a torque wrench on the wheel shows maybe 7 foot-pounds. The motor connected straight onto the output shaft could have tripled that (even with just the 24 volt supply). And again bits of plastic chipped off the fingertips and dulled them again.

[video]  http://youtu.be/hFlztdfxHks

   All in all it was pretty discouraging. It shows how such a torque converter might work in principle, as an example, without actually working well enough to bother trying to propel the car. I considered that the slots must still be too short for the fingers to get in and get a good hit, and I drew a diagram to estimate how long they actually should be, which was after all easy to see geometrically.

Short slot (7/8") and long slot (~1.5"). Long ones should work much better.

   Later examination showed that a separate reason the fingers didn't go in as far as desired was that the ends of the springs were hitting against the drum rim, preventing them from springing out farther. And the spring ends themselves would have been hitting in the drum slots. This metal-on-metal rubbing and hitting probably reduced the potential torque substantially, and also explained most of the noise.

   On the evening of the 4th I took some pieces to the VEVA electric car club meeting. Two of us discussed angles and noted that because of the curved shape of the 'fingers', the angles to the pivot point were quite different between forward and reverse. Owing to the one wider slot, I hadn't tried it in reverse. On the morning of the 5th I decided to whip everything out to the car, reassemble it and give it a try. The results however seemed pretty much the same as in forward, under 10 foot-pounds of force, and some of the white flakes falling around me were plastic bits and not snow.

   In spite of the discouraging results I decided that I would try and improve everything, correct the obvious problems, and try again. It wasn't 5% as good as it needs to be, but somewhere in there, in theory, is a potentially practical converter! However, with the snow starting to fly, maybe it's time to look at inside projects - like the lambda ray collector.

About the plastic...

   Naturally people have questioned my choice of UHMW polyethylene plastic for the centrifugal fingers that repeatedly hammer the drum. I didn't use it without a few misgivings myself. It takes a lot of force to move a car. As mentioned, I'm now trying to have large faces of plastic and metal hit together squarely to have a low loading per unit area, but I really don't know how large an area will be needed to have this work practically, without permanently distorting or abrading the material. We need a unit that doesn't quickly fail (like in the tests so far), or wear out too rapidly to be practical. Nor do I even know for certain that it can be made practical at all.
   Another choice might be aluminum, but I found that to be very noisy in a previous attempt at a torque converter in spite of quite gentle contacting between parts. My ideal vision for production at the moment is UHMW plastic fingers and a drum with thick aluminum inserts around the rim, the spaces between the inserts forming the slots. And two or three inch wide fingers and slots wouldn't hurt at all.

   Wikipedia has this to say, with my emphases on its impact strength and slipperiness:

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE, UHMW) is a subset of the thermoplastic polyethylene. <snip> It has extremely long [poly-molecular] chains, with a molecular mass usually between 2 and 6 million u [atomic mass units]. The longer chain serves to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by strengthening intermolecular interactions. This results in a very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made.

UHMWPE is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic. It is highly resistant to corrosive chemicals except oxidizing acids; has extremely low moisture absorption and a very low coefficient of friction; is self-lubricating; and is highly resistant to abrasion, in some forms being 15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel. Its coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal, and is comparable to that of PTFE (teflon), but UHMWPE has better abrasion resistance than PTFE.

   So that's it... this benign, inert (and I might add, clean burning) plastic is the best available for impact strength, and the self lubrication and low friction make for a highly efficient transfer of energy to the drum that won't make waste heat and need cooling like regular metal automotive transmission parts. When formed into fibers, UHMW's impact strength is in fact comparable to aramid fibers such as kevlar.
   Its one drawback is that it isn't very high temperature, but it's said to take 80 to 100°c okay. (Aramids are much better in this regard.) Hopefully not much heat will be generated. At higher speeds and lower torques, the fingers will probably 'lock' into the slots and the output will turn 1 to 1 with the motor, greatly minimizing probable heat generation.
   But I confess: I used it because I had it and hoped it would be good enough - a left over piece from making motor molds. I thought nylon would be better, but I didn't have any and it's costly. Only later did I look up UHMW in Wikipedia and find out its properties were the most ideal... for a thermoplastic.

Electricity (Energy) Production

About "Lambda" Rays - the energy source for "CLBR" Radiant Energy Harvester

   On the 27th Frank, the physicist who had wandered by earlier and calculated there wasn't much energy in the CMBR, came over and we did an exciting exploration of waves and particles for 3 hours, visiting quite a number of websites in quest for information.
   "Cosmic rays" have very high energy. But "rays" is a misnomer: they aren't photons and so they don't have a place in the electromagnetic spectrum. They are in fact charged ions, mostly protons or electrons, moving at near the speed of light as they travel through the interstellar medium. Energetic as they are, there are very few of them and they wouldn't provide a viable energy source.

Cosmic ray energy from the galaxy goes up to 10^18 electron volts per charged particle - mainly protons. Some from extra-galactic sources have been measured at up to 10^20th eV.

   We found "very high energy gamma rays", which have only been explored in the last decade. These are probably synonymous with "lambda rays". One website had a good discussion. It notes energies up to 100 terra electron volts - 10 times higher even than the frequency and energy noted previously.

Site: http://www.hap-astroparticle.org/184.php  (excerpts)

H.E.S.S. is a system of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes
that investigates cosmic gamma rays in the 100 GeV to 100 TeV energy range
(credit: H.E.S.S collaboration / ASPERA)

The last decade has witnessed the birth of a new field of astronomy – Very High Energy (VHE) gamma ray astronomy – expanding wavelength coverage of astronomical instruments by another 10 decades towards the highest energy radiation. These gamma rays are produced when high energy cosmic rays bump into interstellar gas, creating a bunch of elementary particles. Unlike charged cosmic rays, the gamma rays travel on a straight path and point back to the point in the sky where they were produced. <snip>

VHE gamma-ray astronomy is becoming part of mainstream astronomy, with surveys of the Galaxy revealing dozens of VHE gamma-ray emitting cosmic-ray accelerators. Objects discovered include supernova remnants, binary systems, pulsars, stellar associations and different species of active galaxies, hosting super-massive black holes at their centres. The mystery of cosmic rays is going to be solved through an interplay of detectors for high energy gamma rays, neutrinos and charged cosmic rays.

   Again these "lambda" rays differ substantially not only in energy and wavelength but in character from "regular" gamma rays. Wikipedia (Electromagnetic Spectrum) has a chart of the interactions of photons of various frequencies with matter that I missed earlier, which gives "high energy gamma rays" its own heading, separate and distinct from "gamma rays":

Region of the spectrum Main interactions with matter
Radio Collective oscillation of charge carriers in bulk material (plasma oscillation). An example would be the oscillatory travels of the electrons in an antenna.
Microwave through far infrared Plasma oscillation, molecular rotation
Near infrared Molecular vibration, plasma oscillation (in metals only)
Visible Molecular electron excitation (including pigment molecules found in the human retina), plasma oscillations (in metals only)
Ultraviolet Excitation of molecular and atomic valence electrons, including ejection of the electrons (photoelectric effect)
X-rays Excitation and ejection of core atomic electrons, Compton scattering (for low atomic numbers)
Gamma rays Energetic ejection of core electrons in heavy elements, Compton scattering (for all atomic numbers), excitation of atomic nuclei, including dissociation of nuclei
High-energy gamma rays
[Lambda rays]
Creation of particle-antiparticle pairs. At very high energies a single photon can create a shower of high-energy particles and antiparticles upon interaction with matter.

   The production of antiparticles probably explains the reverse magnetic field directions noted by some of the 'free energy' harvesters. The "shower of high-energy particles and antiparticles" from a single photon hints at the large amounts of energy that seem to be available for harvesting. (and would appear to be a good reason to keep well clear of the conversion device and to shield the workings.) The extra phrase "upon interaction with matter" under a table heading already titled "Main interactions with matter" may be a hint that these rays don't seem to freely and spontaneously interact with matter: they have to be coaxed into doing so, as by the sudden switching of electromagnetic fields in the energy harvesting devices.

   And there were hints of the pervasiveness and energy of the lambda ray background radiance:

http://m.space.com/7990-universe-energetic-cosmic-fog-stumps-scientists.html  (excerpts)

The ever-present fog of energetic gamma rays permeating the universe isn't created by what astronomers expected, new observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal, leaving scientists with a new cosmic mystery to solve.

<big clip>

But what the unknown source turns out to be isn't the important part of the finding, said Martin Weisskopf, Chandra Project Scientist from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center who isn't involved with the Fermi team. What matters is that "there is apparently a population of gamma ray sources out there that one cannot identify," he said.

"This view of the gamma-ray sky is constructed from one year of Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations.
The blue color includes the extragalactic gamma-ray background. The map shows the rate at which the LAT detects
gamma rays with energies above 300 million electron volts — about 120 million times the energy of visible light —
from different sky directions. Brighter colors represent higher rates."
CREDIT: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration [original caption]

[The strong signals from the galactic plane of the Milky Way are no surprise,
but that there is a considerable "fog" or bright background of them coming
from all directions, apparently is, and it indicates energy available for harvest
anywhere, anytime.]

   And from another site:


From as far back as the late 1960s, orbiting observatories have found a diffuse background of gamma rays streaming from all directions. "If you had gamma-ray vision and looked at the sky, there would be no place that would be dark", says Large Area Telescope (LAT) team member David Thompson of NASA's Goddard. [my emphasis]

   Possibly the lambda ray "fog", rays above perhaps 100 GeV, is even thicker and more of a uniform glow than the 'regular' gamma ray range, since people have harvested radiant energy without reference to orientation of the collecting device. On the other hand, it might be distributed much as in the image above, and further experimentation might show differing results attending differing orientations.
   Understanding more about the energy - it characteristics and where it comes from - is likely to lead eventually to new generations of better collection devices and perhaps unanticipated developments.
   For now, it is probably enough to know that the powerful radiant energy is real, everywhere present and harvestable by the right techniques, and that "radiant energy collection devices" besides solar panels do appear to exist and to work more or less as claimed, even if their makers so far haven't known, or have had wrong or hazy ideas about, the source of the energy.

Victoria BC