Adelaide Branch

Welcome to the November newsletter. This month’s edition has a mainly “electrical” content, so apologies to the more “mechanical” people, which leads me to ask again for your input to the newsletter. Otherwise you gets what I gives ya!! Anyway read on and I hope you enjoy this month’s news.


The meeting began at 8.10 PM with 33 people in attendance. As predicted, the numbers have dropped since we decided to pull the meeting content back to be more in line with what ASTRO was initially about. (i.e. keeping the meetings more technical) Peter reported that the Extraordinary Science subscription is due again and that we have $286 in the bank, mainly due to the new subscription method of handling this newsletter. We have to remember however that this money has to last us until the subscriptions run out next June! I then gave the Secretaries report which included a flyer on a new book called “Q Mechanics” and the ASTRO Vic. newsheet.

The general part of the meeting commenced amid some “hands on knitting” by Libby with Michael passing on some new information of F/E machines and Roger donating the book “The Powder Puff Principle” to the library. Andrew updated his latest efforts by reporting that the system had been installed that day but there was a problem with too much water feeding into the engine. This could be overcome by fitting a check valve and discussion ensued on the best and cheapest way of doing this. The other problem was one of heat loss and during discussion of this the subject of ceramic paint as an insulator arose. As a demonstration of synchronicity, the man who imports this paint into Australia was making his first visit to our group! Athol mentioned that he could obtain the “Living Energies” book for $30 for anyone who wanted one and Lindsay talked about how Microsoft can interrogate your computer to see what illegal programmes you have when you are connected on the internet. Leon mentioned the possibility of UPS units coming up for sale for scrap value from where he works and talked about some experiments Randal and him have been carrying out using a charge pump circuit for charging batteries.

The meeting moved on to our guest speaker, Colin Fraser who spoke on his efforts to get ethanol production happening in South Australia. The benefits he gave for any country producing this fuel were that grains can produce good fuel, reduction in CO2 and smog, keeps fuel production local and gives social and financial stability. (more jobs and less imports) Colin said the biggest problem seems to be that it will take at least a decade to get anything through the political system.

Damien then gave a talk on Digital versus Analogue phones with a technical description of the differences. It appears that the new digital system is not all that it is cracked up to be with 1.8 million consumers still on the old analogue network and only 200,000 on the new one. The future seems to be digital via towers in the cities and a satellite network for country areas, the worrying part about that is the number of “low orbit” satellites required to achieve this - over 800! The meeting finished at about 11 PM with supper and chats following until the curfew of 12 midnight.


No I did not forget to put this month’s phrase inside the box - this is it.

And it is not a picture of my mind.....blank! Turn to the back page for the answer.


For about 2 years now, June and myself have been involved with ASTRO and as time goes on our interest has intensified. Our friends too, have consequently become interested, however due to our locality (Central Yorke Peninsular) for most people it is just too difficult to come along to the meetings. From our home it takes 3 hours to get to Eden Hills, so Friday nights becomes Saturday morning before we know it. So we decided to ring a few like minded friends and suggested an ASTRO spin of group.

Well it happened at 7.30 PM on the third Friday of last month when we had a gathering at South Killkeran. We haven’t discussed formalities or fees but 10 very interested people gathered around and watched a video, had a nice chat and finished at about midnight.

I believe it was successful enough to continue, so what does the club think of this? We’d like to know.

Thank you,

Lindsay and June. (08 8836 7226)

Reply: I think that this is great to have a country group spreading the interest and information about ASTRO type subjects - congratulations for taking the initiative! In fact I would like to see other groups, say further north, in the Riverland and in the S. E. of our state. If any country readers would like to take up the challenge of starting a group in their area, ASTRO SA Inc. will support your endeavours with the availability of information etc. - Bruce.


Recently I became interested in George Wiseman’s Energy Conserver circuits in which he places a capacitor in series with a battery and a load. His theory is that when a current flows in a circuit it is not consumed by the load, but simply passes through it. He comes to this conclusion by the fact that if an ammeter is placed before and after the load, the current will be the same. From this George devised some experiments in which he used a windscreen washer motor in series with a capacitor and battery. He used the battery to simultaneously charge the capacitor and pump “x” amount of water. He then removed the battery from the circuit and discharged the capacitor back through the pump motor and claimed to pump almost as much water again! This theory has similarities with Thomas Beardon’s “Final Secret of Free Energy” and with the PODMOD device.

Because I did not have the appropriate capacitors available to repeat this experiment, I decided to do my own version using a much lower current draw by lighting a LED. To simplify the switching arrangement, I used two LEDs (see diagram), one to light during charge, and the other to light during discharge. To keep things even, I tested several LEDs until I found two that had the same current draw. This was 19.7 mA through a 560 ohm resistor with a supply of 12.7 volts for each LED. I ran each test for the same time period, just under two and a half minutes and measured the current and voltage across the load. I used a supply voltage of 12 volts and a capacitor value of 166,000 uF. I “chose” this value simply because I wanted a long charge and discharge time and more importantly, it was what I had!

The results, as seen by the accompanying graphs, show that the LED remained alight for the full time while the power was off in between charging cycles. If you look at the area under the current graphs, it shows that you get back about two thirds of the energy put into the circuit. The LED appeared to be of similar brightness judging it visually, however technically it would be marginally less bright as the voltage across it is slightly less during discharge (charging 1.673V - 1.757V, discharging 1.717V - 1.650V)

This circuit is definitely not “over-unity”, and doesn’t claim to be, but it does show that with a bit of lateral thinking we can get more use out of the same amount of battery storage. On face value it appears that we are gaining almost double the amount of charge out of the battery, but how much are we actually getting? Let’s do some calculations.........................


From the tests done so far and using Wiseman’s theory of reusing the same current in each part of the circuit, it appears that we are getting back almost as much electricity during the discharge cycle as we are using in the charge cycle. This is what is indicated if you look at the graphs of the current and voltage across the LED. However if we look at the power input to the total circuit, a different picture emerges.

CASE 1: Using the original test for checking the LED current flow using a 560 ohm resistor only, with 12.7V supply, the LED had 1.7V across it and a current of 19.7mA. This means Pin = 250mW, while the power used by the LED (which equals brightness) was 33.5mW.

CASE 2: Using the capacitor circuit with the same input voltage, the current now dropped to a nominal 10mA, with 4.5V across the resistor, 6.5V across the capacitor and we still had 1.7V across the LED. The power in the LED is now only 17mW and our Pin = 127mW. However, the battery is only connected for half the time now, so a 50% duty cycle makes Pin = 63.5mW. (Sounds good so far doesn’t it?)

CASE 3: At this stage I began to see where Wiseman’s theory starts to become suspect. Because of the voltage drop across the capacitor, the current and therefore power in the load (LED) is less, in this case half. So I went back to CASE 1 and reduced the supply voltage until the current in the circuit was the same as in the capacitor circuit. This occurred with a supply voltage of 7.4V, a voltage across the resistor of 5.7V and across the LED 1.7V. This gave a Pin = 74mW while the power in the LED was now 17mW. (same as CASE 2)

So the tests did show some improvement using Wiseman’s circuit, although it only turned out to be about 14% and not approx. 75% as initial tests indicated. I think this shows the importance of testing, documenting and calculating results in a logical manner when doing any sort of experimenting rather than making extravagant claims based on first appearances. If anyone has done similar experiments I would like to hear from you.


Greg Hodowanec has recently (August 96) released the latest version of his MRA device. This version includes it’s own oscillator so the unit can run as a stand alone demo unit. Greg connected a high level LED device directly across the output coil L2. At resonance he claims that it lit very brilliantly. (equivalent to about 10-12 nW level) Three independent laboratories in Atlanta have evaluated the device and support Gregs claim that the output power gains are in the order of 11 to 18 times the power being fed into the unit.

The test data below was recorded in January 96 using a Fluke 87 meter.

TP1 Vg = 0.75 V (RMS) } P in = 0.056 mW (RMS)

Lg = 0.75 / 104 = 0.075 mA (RMS) }

TP2 V out = 1.0 V (RMS) } P out = 1.2 mW (RMS)

Lout = 1.2 mA (RMS) }

Power Gain = 1.2 / 0.056 = 21 times (where Fo = 100+ KHz)

Notes regarding tests:

1. Oscillation was made essentially resistive to keep all waveforms sinusoidal.

2. Relative measurements were made with sinusoidal waveforms and resistive sources load.

3. Operation was well above resonance where power out is low, but power gain is high. (At resonance, PG = 11 times)

4. Tests were made under “black box” conditions and verified by all evaluators.


The rechargeable Battery Corp. (RBC) is reporting a breakthrough in the development of rechargeable manganese dioxide (MnO2) alkaline batteries. The company says batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, that use its technology will have triple the energy capacity of lead-acid batteries, yet will be made of environmentally benign materials and be less expensive.

Alkaline zinc/manganese dioxide batteries have been in wide use in common C and D cells since the 1950’s, but until now, there has not been a reliable way to recharge them. RBC’s specially treated manganese dioxide material has been cycled more than 2,000 times under laboratory conditions and 455 times in a prototype cell.

RBC said it would licence its technology for computer and portable equipment batteries within nine months, while electric vehicle batteries could be in production within three years.


A New Zealand company,Vectron Industries, is using inverters to slow down electric motors in industry in order to provide substantial savings in energy costs while offering advantages to the industrial process and the environment. Frequency inverters fitted to squirrel cage induction motors are now the most cost-effective variable speed drive (VSD) system available. They are capable of delivering large savings, particularly where flow rates of pumps and fans need to respond to factors such as changes in humidity, temperature and pressure, differences between day, and night or summer and winter duty cycles. For example, running a fan at half speed/half volume reduces the energy requirement by 87%. Variable speed inverters offer a fine control of flow which can be fully automated, with the added benefit that maintenance is reduced because, unlike the valves and dampers they replace, there are no moving parts. Advances in modern inverter design bring real improvements in comfort, reliability and noise levels. And the bigger the drive, the greater the cost saving.

Inverters can provide savings in several ways: reduced energy cost, improved product quality, increased productivity and reduced maintenance. An example demonstrates some of these savings.

Example: An oil refinery pump. This example compares the effect of valve control and variable-speed drive control on electricity used by a pump which operates at each of three fixed flow rates for various periods. At rated flow, the pump needs 55kW shaft power from its drive motor. In a typical year, the pump is used under the following flow conditions: rated flow (100%) for 881 hours, 80% flow for 1982 hours, 50% flow for 4477 hours and off for 1420 hours.

Pump efficiency: 75.0%

Motor efficiency: 92.0%

Variable-speed drive efficiency: 97.6%

Electricity cost: 12c/kWh

The variable-speed drive control effects electricity savings of $14,681.40 a year. That is a saving in energy in one year of 122,345 k/Wh for one pump. Imagine how much energy would not have to be produced if all industry adopted this approach!

Contact: Keith Valentine, Vectron Industries Ltd, tel 0-6-843 1400, fax 0-6-843 0398. Variable-speed drive supplier Vectron Industries Ltd conducts energy audits, and offers professional engineering advice and practical solutions for installations where variable-speed drives can be applied.


The 3 in 1 mysterious device that welds, brazes and solders. These were all the rage back in the 50’s when this advertisement was in Popular Mechanics.



There has been some complaints recently about the content of the monthly meetings and the newsletter. In both cases, there is only a limited amount of information available on “technical subjects” which cover the brief of ASTRO. Also as the group grows, it becomes harder to please all the people all the time, in fact we can’t! The bottom line is, if you want something different presented at the meetings come up with a suggestion and LET YOUR COMMITTEE KNOW ABOUT IT!!! To continue to operate successfully, we need to know specific subjects, etc. that you want to hear about. Organise a speaker, video or give a talk yourself on what YOU have been doing. (You have been doing something...haven’t you?) One complaint has been that people don’t bring along stuff that they have been experimenting with anymore. I agree, but we the committee cannot make members do that, it is up to them (that includes you). The space is available at each meeting in the general discussion time for anyone to bring up any subject they want.

Regarding the newsletter, once again, if you feel something is not being covered, write it yourself or provide me with the information and I will put it in a readable form for you. In this month’s edition I have included the results of some tests that I have done (see Recycling Electricity) - send me your results - even if the experiment did not work, at least it lets others know that something is happening!..................................................................The Committee.


The next meeting will be held on Friday November 8th.

This month’s guest speaker will be..........ME!!!! ........talking about....


.In this talk I shall tell of my experiences over the last ten years searching for ways of reducing fuel use and pollution. This will include fuel vapour, water injection and several other techniques, while for all the visual people I will bring along a box full of my failures for you to look at! I will also show the successful results I have achieved in the last few years.

To keep with the theme of the evening, a video called “The Secret Life of the Automobile” will also be shown. So bring your $3, something to share for supper and have an entertaining evening.

PHRENETIC PHRASES ANSWER: Two albino hippopotami with white silk stockings making love in a pile of snow under cloudy skies while a white flock of doves watches closely and laughs!