A S T R O  S A


Adelaide Branch

Welcome to the October newsletter which still looks the same as all the other previous editions. This is because out of 40 questionnaires sent out, only 8 were returned, with the final count being 4 votes to leave the layout as is, 3 for two columns and I didn't care either way! So as those who took the trouble to fill in their questionnaires are the ones who get the say, majority rules and the layout will stay full page. The logo has basically been agreed on, but Tony took a copy of it on disc at the last meeting and is artistically tampering with it, so it should appear next month.


This months meeting began at 8.20PM with 21 people present and apologies from Kevin-and Peter. Two new people, Tom and Ralph, were welcomed followed by Dan's Treasurers report. I then gave the Secretary's report which included letters from Lindsay, Raphael, Cliff, Searl group newsletters, ASTRO VIC news sheet and the latest Crop Circle newsletter. I then brought up the subject of the newsletter questionnaire and suggested that maybe we could subscribe to the New Energy News as well as Extraordinary Science. Ralph responded to this by saying that he already subscribes to the N.E.N. and that he was willing to give the back issues to the ASTRO library - thank you Ralph. I then brought up the subject of us moving house and that the last meeting at the present location will be December. Michael has offered his house as a possible venue, providing the renovations that are being carried out at the moment have been completed, so after three years here, the meetings are on the move!

The meeting then turned to general topics with Ian reminding me that he had provided a list of the 1994 crop circles, and also questioned what was happening on the Internet. Tony replied to this with some coloured printouts of alien pictures and some more information on the MRA - he lied last month when he said it was dead! Michael showed an article on Mercedes and their latest testing techniques for aerodynamic testing, using water rather than air, as they can get the same information with much lower flow speeds. Ian then showed us an Aeromagnetic Pixel Map which is a colour printout of the magnetic flux of the land. This is done by flying aircraft up and back in strips 400 metres wide and the information is used for geological surveys. It would be interesting to see the map for Grid Point 44. A discussion then followed about the French nuclear tests, the various possible reasons for doing them and the results of tampering with nature once again. Finally Ashley produced his last box of giveaways as his recycling job is about to come to an end. He also brought along some information about the Haley-Bopp comet and more books on the Montauk experiment. Allan gave a brief description of what it was all about with his final words being that these guys were "seriously messing around with time."

Ashley invited the two new members to give an insight into their interests as far as ASTRO type activities are concerned. Tom gave a very interesting description of his water turbine. He calls the effect "ACE", which stands for Amplified Energy Force. The machine basically has a hollow central shaft with a pump on the bottom which pushes the water up the shaft as it rotates. The water then sprays out through jets on the perimeter of the device to give it the rotary motion. The water then falls back into the bottom of the machine ready to be picked up again by the pump. The device is brought up to speed by an external motor, which is then turned off, and then the machine runs itself. Tom said that he built a 3 foot diameter machine which worked until the internal stresses caused it to destroy itself. A 4 foot version has now been built, but Tom needs a 20 HP motor or $2000 to buy one to get this latest machine going. When this does happen, the ASTRO group has an invitation to see the machine running - we shall all look forward to that. Tom has also visited Robert Adams in New Zealand and said that he was shown some interesting things. He said that Robert gave him a shaft with magnets on it to hold in his hands and then proceeded to make it rotate by simply bringing another magnet up near it. Ralph then gave us an idea of his interests which are in the area of electrostatic motors and Tesla coils. He has particular interest in the Swiss Testatica machine and has done some experiments of his own in this area.

Finally a video of the Flywheel Battery that Cliff kindly sent down to us was shown, followed by the Callahan video. The meeting eventually finished at 10.45 followed by an over indulgence of sugar in the form of what seemed like a never ending supply of biscuits.


The following item in the latest Greenpeace magazine caught my attention, as the technology used should be running in parallel with the heat pump technology.

"Australians can now buy green white-goods. The first ozone and greenhouse friendly refrigerators, the result of a joint project between Email and Greenpeace, went on sale in February '95. The Westinghouse Enviro RA 142M and the Kelvinator Daintree M142C (these names are so predictable) causes no damage to the ozone layer and the greenhouse warming potential of their refrigerant and insulation is virtually zero, Greenpeace says. As of January1995 1, all fridges manufactured or imported into Australia must be CFC free."


I have done a lot of experimenting in the last couple of months with mixed success. For those who have not seen the system I have fitted to my car, below is a drawing of it in its most basic form. The water is sucked in by engine vacuum from the water container when the solenoid is switched on, (manually at this stage) into the manifold directly underneath the carburetor. This is limited by a 65 jet and mixes with air coming in through a 104 jet - both jets are from a Solex carby. The water then passes through the heat exchanger, picking up the waste heat from the engine's exhaust. Theoretically it has turned to steam at this point and is fed into the engine. The other solenoid valve automatically feeds air only (no restriction) when the vehicle is in overrun, (the fuel is cut off at the same time) as part of  the fuel saving device that I have had on the car for some time. The reason I have now fitted it here is so that it puts hot air into the engine to prevent any problems with possibly cracking valves by feeding cold air in straight after feeding  steam in to the engine. So that's the system in theory but is not so good in practice!

Accompanying this article is a graph of the exhaust temperature verses time of the vehicle from a cold start. The measurements were taken at the heat exchanger which is used to heat up the water via copper tubes fitted inside it. As you can see, it only took 1 minute and 40 seconds for the exhaust gas to reach the 100 degree C mark, from a starting ambient temperature of 27 degrees C, finally stabilising at around 200 degrees C. The problem I have found however is that I cannot transfer the heat efficiently to the water inside the copper pipes, with a maximum temperature of 70 degrees C only being reached. Thus the water is not getting hot enough to produce steam and thereby at this stage I am unable to reap the benefits of feeding it into the engine. I found that just feeding the hot water into the engine had absolutely no effect on the economy, in fact on some settings the economy actually got worse. I then disconnected the heat exchanger on the exhaust pipe and fitted about 4 metres of 6mm copper tube to the actual exhaust manifold itself in an attempt to get higher temperatures. This resulted in water temperatures which would now not get over about 40 degrees C! There was a bright side to all this, which was that by pure chance while accelerating at a bit more than half throttle (vacuum gauge between 5 - 10 inches) up the South Eastern freeway, I noticed that the MPG reading had jumped from its usual 25 - 30 MPG (average for that throttle setting) to 40 - 45 MPG. Puzzling over this I realised that the only thing different was that I was still passing some hot air through the heat exchanger. We are talking a very small amount here as it first passes through a 104 jet from a Solex carburetor. At this stage I have not done any more investigation, but the increased mileage effect is occurring primarily in this one range of engine operation at the moment. Even with this limitation I have managed to achieve an average of 46 MPG over the past week. This is an increase of about 8 MPG over the previous best, and 18 MPG over the completely standard engine. This equates into improving the vehicles range on one tank of petrol by another 140 Kilometres - not bad! My theory is that the heat is vapourising the fuel to some extent and thus giving the mileage gains. The engine does not appear to be running lean as the exhaust is it's normal colour and there is no evidence of pinging at all, but more tests will have to follow to make sure of this.


Following are a few articles on using a catalyst to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. One is current while the other two go back to 1979 and 1982. These ideas seem to have drifted off, or been pushed into, the great black hole of unwanted inventions! Thus I have presented these articles to see if it stirs the memory banks of any budding chemists out there who may have some idea what chemicals may make this stuff work.


From the book, Hydrogen - The Ultimate Fuel, comes an article from 1979 about a device called a Cerium filter which was developed by a Belgian FN group. The filter is said to be able to separate hydrogen and oxygen in water after it is heated to a point of becoming steam. It is believed that Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi had negotiated for rights to the device. It seems that with this Cerium filter, a small water tank could be placed under the bonnet of a car to feed a steam generator attached to the engine exhaust system. Steam could then be fed to the filter and is decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen and then fed into the engine intake manifold, thus increasing the amount of power and efficiency of the engine output. Results are purported to be up to ten extra miles per gallon from a standard size automobile (what's that?) and considerably less pollution, cleaner engine parts and spark plugs too, along with extended engine life.


John Brownson, from California, was said to have produced hydrogen gas from ordinary tap water by adding a mixture of three light coloured powders. Brownson claims the tests were made on a motor home set up for operation on propane gas and that he has photographs and signed affidavits of the test. Brownson also drove his own car, also equipped for gas, from his home in Hauser Lake, Idaho, to Boise and back, about 700 miles, on a half a pound of powder and a fuel tank full of water. He has made many demonstrations before witnesses with a small bottle in which he places about a quarter of an inch of powder then adds water, striking a match to the fumes coming from the bottle produces an invisible flame attested to by placing a piece of paper near enough to burst into flame. Chemists from Gonzaga University and the University of Idaho tested the gas Brownson produces with a chromatograph showing that the gas is very definitely hydrogen, as much as 70% to 90% hydrogen along with another unidentified gas possibly a light hydrogen form. Brownson estimates that a 350 V8 engine could go roughly 16,000 miles on under $10 worth of powder mixed with ordinary tap water. Brownsons secret formula is apparently still his own secret, for there has been no further word or publicity on him or his powder.


In an article on Unleaded Petrol in the August / September edition of Nexus, there is a letter from Douglas Wragg, I.Eng., L.A.E., M.I.M.I., M.I.R.T.E., F.Diag.E., (anybody know what all these letters mean?) who is a road traffic consulting engineer in Balcombe, Sussex, England. He says "One idea I am actively working on is steam. It has every possible advantage (and none of the disadvantages mentioned above): maximum power and torque at standstill, recycled exhaust, therefore zero emissions (if there were any emissions it would only be water vapour). The engine would only need to be a three cylinder two stroke, equivalent to a six cylinder four stroke: very few moving parts ensures reliability and performance. The heat source: a hydrogen catalyst, providing motive power within 10 seconds of starting. The problem with this design? Apathy/animosity from the "vested interests". There is no doubt that this design will not meet with their approval as it is contrary to their thinking at this time. It requires people with vision and commitment to back this idea in order that it may work."


Another radial motor design has turned up, this time from Russia. Researchers at the Russian Central Automotive Engine Scientific research Institute in Moscow are working on a variable displacement piston engine, potentially a fuel efficient, light weight design suitable for both motor vehicles and air craft. The pistons are arranged radially, and a swash plate converts reciprocating into rotary motion - tilting the plate varies the piston stroke. Prototypes have produced 120 horsepower at 5,000 RPM. The configuration is similar to some motor vehicle air conditioning compressors and also has a similarity with the original Sarich design.


Professor E. Merigeault published an article entitled "Les Turbines a Frottements ou Turbines Tesla" in the June 1914 edition of "Revue de Mecanique" In this article he explains his theory on how the Tesla turbine works and suggests improvements to increase the efficiency of the device. Merigeault assumes the working principles of a Tesla turbine are similar to the action of the flow of fluid through a tube with the rough interior able to move in the direction of that of the fluid without friction. After many pages of careful mathematical analysis Merigeault, who was an Engineer in the Corps of Mines and Professor at the National School of Mines at Saint-Efienne, suggests two ways in which such turbines could be improved.

"It is necessary, moreover, to remark that the scheme mentioned is not an absolute likeness of the Tesla turbine since in the turbine each turn of the stream is, instead of being exclusively in contact with the metallic surfaces, partially reduced by the fluid of the adjacent turns. The reactions of one element of stream on outer bodies are not, therefore, entirely applied to the rotor; the causes of loss of pressures in the flow thus comprise not only the frictions of streams of fluid on the solid surfaces, but also the frictions of the streams adjacent to one another.

Improving the Tesla turbine - it is certainly desirable to avoid the internal friction "between the streams of fluid", which evidently causes loss of efficiency, and one can consider the following methods to obtain this result:

1 - Employ discs whose inner and outer radii are nearly equal, such that each particle of fluid escapes before traveling a complete revolution. There is, thus, at every instant only one turn of the stream, and that turn perhaps assimilated to an arc
of a circle.

2 - To produce the effect of spiral-like wall spacers guiding the current, bring the discs sufficiently close together so that one achieves an action similar to a stream of current flowing in a narrow channel.

The scheme presented is an adequate representation of a few machines thus perfected, the results obtained are therefore applicable. One can state the efficiency of these machines approaches unity (i.e. 100%) when the coefficient of the loss of pressure is augmented, the velocity having a suitable value. The transverse-like wall spacers of the second mechanism have the advantage of augmenting the above coefficient. They should have the disadvantage of suppressing reversibility, which in general is not of great importance."

So that's the final article on Tesla turbines. I hope you found them interesting and at the same time, not too confusing.


An article appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser recently on a new car radiator which cleans polluted air as it passes through it. It is being developed in the good ol' US of A and is a spin off from the catalytic converter technology. It involves coating the car's radiator with platinum, which is also used in the catalytic converter in exhaust systems. As air passes through the radiator, ozone and carbon monoxide are broken down; the ozone is converted into oxygen and the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide.

Development of the system is being carried out by Engelhard Corporation, a manufacturer of catalytic converters. and trials by major car makers are expected to begin this year. The estimated cost, if the system is put into production, is expected to be between $600 and $1200 for each vehicle but Engelhard says it would be the most cost effective method of cleaning air in high pollution areas, such as Los Angeles.

By using a high - efficiency fan, which would draw air over the catalyst when the car was parked, the cleaning benefit could be increased tenfold. This sounds like a great idea and an excellent money maker for the catalytic converter manufacturers, but it also appears to me that it would be a much better idea to put all this money and research time into stopping the pollution from occurring in the first place, rather than attempting to clean it up afterwards. It creates quite a humorous picture if you think of a row of American "Yank Tanks" driving down the road with each one cleaning up the exhaust of the previous vehicle: it's quite absurd when you think of it like that!


Argonne and Advanced Research Development Inc. (ARDI) from Athol, Mass.                                                               have embarked on a $1.8 million project to produce a flexible solar film that can be stretched over an awning or wrapped around any other surface which is exposed to the sun. They call it a "solar cell on a roll," because it would be manufactured in large sheets about the thickness of heavy duty food wrap. To make the solar cell, photoactive dye molecules developed at Argonne would be embedded in stretchable conductive films developed at ARDI. In a process somewhat akin to photosynthesis, sunlight excites the dye molecules, causing positive and negative electrical charges to separate. "The conductive polymer accepts the charges," explains Wasielewski. Positive and negative charges flow in opposite directions, creating a current across the polymer film. The researchers are studying ways to attach metal electrodes to draw off the power. The Argonne - ARDI team aims to produce its solar cells, which have a theoretical efficiency of nearly 70%, for one tenth the cost of silicon based cells.


Cliff informs me that two by three hour video tapes of Prof Searl's Brisbane lecture are available for $35 plus postage. (approx. $5) These can be purchased from Peter Soegeneier at the following address: GPO Box 269, Brisbane, 4001.


Tony has passed on some more info on the MRA via the Internet. It seems that Norm Wootan and company are still claiming that the device works and have included this diagram to represent their latest endeavours. There was also some text explaining what they are on about but I didn't have room this month to include it.

















The next meeting will be held on the second Friday once again, at the usual time of 7.30 PM, the date being: 


The video for this meeting will be something a bit different to usual, a shortened version of "UFO's The Secret Evidence."

The usual applies in that please bring $3.00 to cover video purchase and newsletter printing and postage, and something for supper would be appreciated.

I hope to see you all at the next meeting!!!!