DISCLAIMER:  All information given in this newsletter is for educational purposes only.  No claims are made on or for the validity or correctness of the material provided.  ASTRO SA Incorporated accepts no responsibility for any mishaps or accidents incurred by any persons utilising this information.

Andrew (Secretary)
email   astro1@picknowl.com.au
Ken (News Letter and Web Page)
email   Ken@kenkranz.8k.com

November 1999


I read with interest last month's article in Peter's Page about the number of lightening strikes decreasing around the world from twenty years ago. (18,000 strikes per day down to 10,000) I have been interested in lightening for many years and it is my belief that the number of strikes is in fact increasing. My original thoughts came from the fact that in the last 6 years there has been more direct hits on ETSA radio towers and substations than had occurred in the whole of the previous 27 years that I worked for them. During the recent storm on Saturday 22nd of October, there were over 5,000 strikes per hour according to the Bureau of Meteorology in Adelaide. Also figures from a recent TV show stated that in America there are over 20,000,000 strikes per year, which translates to roughly 55,000 per day. I would be interested in hearing other people's views on this subject.


Bruce has submitted three items for this newsletter;  other input has been as low as it can go.  Please send in information for publication, one would think from talking to members over coffee that we should have a newsletter the size of a phone book!  It seem most of the inventors and doers are the worst recorders of information and writers in the world, (I'm in that category).  We have in our group Electric cars, Browns gas cars, Joe cell cars, magnet motors, gravity wheels, water purifiers, orgone generators, devices as designed by Beck, Clark, Townsend Brown, Tesla, De Palma, Adams and many many more--how can we have such a lean news letter?  Please write it up and send it in!Many thanks.

Ken Kranz.


The following article appeared in the July 1999 edition of the Holden employees magazine "People".

General Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation have combined resources in a program to speed the development of electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell technology vehicles. World leaders in advanced vehicles, GM and Toyota have identified more than a dozen projects for research during the five year program involving hundreds of engineers.

The history of our co-operative efforts is well documented, GM Vice Chairman, Harry Pearce said. "This collaborative effort is the latest example of fierce marketplace competitors exploring innovative ways to approach solutions to common challenges'" he said.

Specifically, the team will develop:

A common set of electric traction and control components for future battery electric, hybrid     electric and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Batteries and battery test procedures, vehicle safety requirements and continued work on improved inductive charging systems for battery electric vehicles.

Powertrain and control systems for the next generation hybrid electric vehicles.

Future systems design, fuel selection and processing to support production of fuel cell powered vehicles.

Making these advanced technology vehicles relevant and available will be one of the key challenges facing automotive manufacturers. "If we are to elevate vehicles with advanced environmental technology into practical use, and have these vehicles widely accepted by the public, we will have to create a trinity comprising innovative technologies, reduced costs and an appropriate infrastructure," Toyota Executive Vice President, Akihiro Wada said.


This article came from the October to December edition of renew magazine. Theses batteries were featured in an earlier edition of the ASTRO newsletter, so it is good to see something that has finally made the marketplace.

There has been a lot of promises made about new battery technologies in the past, with very few new products becoming available. However, it appears that lithium polymer batteries have finally made it onto the market. These batteries consist of layers of polymers (plastics) with different properties, sandwiched together to form a battery.

The Ultralife lithium polymer batteries have greater storage capacities than even nickel-metal-hydride batteries, making them one of the most energy dense battery options available (up to 125 watt-hours per kilogram, compared to lead acid 30-35 watt hour per kilogram).

The Ultralife batteries can be made in almost any shape, as thin as 1mm, and can be configured in any series/parallel combination to produce a battery of the desired voltage and capacity. The batteries are also very safe, containing no corrosive liquids or metallic lithium, and are resistant to abuse from overcharging and discharging.

Prices are not set yet, but they are expected to eventually cost around the same as an equivalent sized lithium-ion cell. These cells are currently only available from the manufacturer, Ultralife Batteries, 2000 Technology Parkway, Newark, NY 10920 USA, ph:+315 332 7100, fax:+1315 331 7800, www.ubi.com.

Bruce McBurney's
The Secret Super High Mileage Report
Chapter 3

I reada book called "The Secret of the 200 M.P.G. Carburetor" By Allan Wallace. It explained a simple vaporizing carburetor system and discussed several of the systems from the past. I wanted to see for myself and set out to build my own system. First I built a gasoline heater, then a hot water vaporizer, then an electrical system for heat control, with a dual disk butterfly mixing control with which I could vary air, fuel ratio from 10-1 to 1000-1. Finally while trying to find in a text book the boiling temperature of gasoline,. I discovered the principles of Thermal Catalytic Cracking (TCC). I read that the oil refiners take the heavy oil leftovers and heat them above 747 degrees with water or hydrogen and break them down to smaller more useable molecules. The idea hit, the system had to lower the boiling point to make a difference with vapor because of the principles of refrigeration and compression. That is to turn vapor back to liquid. Natural gas will stay vapor under our engine compression. It struck me that this really could cause such a drastic mileage increase. I took all I had learned and designed and built a system on my 1976 360 c.i. Dodge Maxi-van. It had a large catalytic chamber heated by the exhaust and electric elements powered by additional alternators capable of reaching this 747 degrees and beyond. I air pressure tested it at 100 lb. at 900 degrees. I also developed different systems to feed heated gasoline, air and steam. It was very difficult to get ratio pressures and temperatures stable. It was difficult to keep it balanced to run. The best I ever got was 72 M.P.G. for about a 5 mile run as measured by my mileage computer. I knew I was on the right track, but I also needed to computerize the whole system including the two fuel injectors, steam injector and the temperature, natural gas and oxygen sensors. All this would cost big bucks to do effectively. Also I needed clean, additive free gasoline. It was at this time I decided to write a book hoping to get financing to further develop the system. As well I felt it important that this understanding was not lost. I thought possibly this technology had been misunderstood not suppressed. I felt TCC could explain the mysteries of the previous inventions. The publicity of the book would get the help I needed to get this done. As I was laying out the book, it came to me that if I could prove I was producing natural gas under analysis then it would help prove my theories correct. I began phoning around to labs at colleges and universities and I explained what I was doing a hundred times. Finally, in October 1987, I began dialogue with Professor Eugene Cherniak, an analytical chemist at Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario. After some initial checking of formula, I was told that there was certainly enough merit to do some lab testing. It took a long time to set up and I was anxious to publish my book and theories. I felt for a while that I was just getting jerked around or put off; it was taking too much time. I went ahead and published my first book before I knew the laboratory results. I wanted to be sure the idea was explained. Finally, in the days before Christmas the gas chromatograph proved that natural gas was produced in the process. The gas was then analyzed again, this time making use of an ultra violet (U.V.) spectrometer. Again natural
gas was indicated. The actual U.V. test results can be seen on page 19. Specifically the graph indicates molecular size and quantity and proves the presence of natural gas and other low boiling hydrocarbons, proving my theories correct. Professor Cherniak was sufficiently happy with the results to give me reasonable assurance of the obtainablity of a research grant. I was told go home and wait for a call. After 2 weeks, anxious for news, I called for a progress report. The news the Professor had was not good. He told me that although my ideas were sound, no money would be made available. More ominously, he told me that the reason the project would not happen was politics. The professor added only that he was not feeling well and did not have the ability to pursue the matter any further. I sent a couple of hundred books out trying to get help, none came. It was not until June of 1989 that I finally persuaded the professor to write a letter of recommendation. A letter that I felt was very conservative compared to the jubilation that he had expressed upon our initial success. That Letter of recommendation can be found on page 18. The letter states that it would be very important to find funding for this project that, "if it is successful, will bring (great benefit) to our society which is currently plagued by inefficiency and serious pollution." He promises in the letter that he will personally help me scientifically technologically and financially. In fact there has been no such aid since the initial work and no help in finding it elsewhere. I know he had a good heart about the idea but the responses he must have met presenting the gas analysis must have scared or saddened him greatly. If the politics that causes this sort of suppression were to occur in the Arts, there would be violent protest from the general public. Unfortunately, because of the degree of complexity of this subject matter, full comprehension of the situation has eluded the general public. In publishing my first book, I had many people who would tell me they understood it now. I heard many different testimonies of other inventors, or stories of people buying new cars and getting fantastic mileage with experimental systems that sneaked out of the factory. Only to be taken back by the Dealers stating they were experimental and not ready for market. Two out of every ten would give me a story back and I talked to hundreds of people. Two years later I got an idea for a video. I found that if I talked to people and showed them all the books patents and articles with my explanation, 90 % believed me. I put it all on video with just me explaining it, just what was going on. It is boring, not Hollywood, but it seemed most anybody who watched it believed and understood. Many strangers told me so. I sent out 100 copies to various media and environmental organizations. I got stupid rejection letters or was ignored. The worst was Greenpeace. Supposedly they are working against global warming and carbon dioxide levels but I was told it was their policy not to get into private enterprise and would do nothing and that many people had approached him with similar ideas looking for help. My comment was that if there were so many on the same track, possibly we were right and they should look into this. The man I talked to there added "Sorry nothing could be done." I said, "You are either working for the oil companies or stupid". He said "I have never got any money from oil companies." I said, "Then there is only one other option. Why would they ignore all this information when they are getting it from many sources? From the very start of combustion engine technology, leading scientists complained about the very low efficiency of motors that were mass produced. The automotive engineers claim it is around 20% efficiency. They claim 35% heat lost in the exhaust, 35% heat lost in the radiator and 10% lost in overcoming friction and wind resistance. Therefore 20% in propulsion. However there is another way to look at this formula with amounts and conversion factors well accepted in the engineering community. It is known that a medium size car that gets about 20 M.P.G. can maintain 60 M.P.H. on about 12 H.P. To produce this electrically, it would take about 10 Kilo Watt of power, figuring 746 Watts per H.P. 10,000 W = 13.4 H.P. 1 B.T.U. of heat is produced by 1 .K.W. in 1 second 1 K.W. X 60 seconds X 60 minutes = 3,600 B.T.U. 10 K.W.H. of electricity = 36,000 B.T.U. of heat 10 K.W.H. = 12 H.P. X 1 hour @ 60 M.P.H. = 60 miles travel There is approximately 20,000 B.T.U. per pound of gasoline and about 8 lb. per gallon. If you got 20 M.P.G. at 60 M.P.H. it would take 3 gallons for 60 miles 20,000 B.T.U. X 8 Lb. per X 3 gallons = 480,000 B.T.U.s 480,000 by gasoline 36,000 by electricity This works out at factor 13.3 to 1 or 7.5 % efficiency A car at 100% efficiency should get 13.3 times farther, 266 miles per gallon. Now I am not trying to sell electric cars. I just want you to understand there is tremendous room for improvement. If the numbers are correct and seeing as you can get these figures and formula from many technical sources they probably are, then 100 M.P.G. would be a true 40% efficiency. About 5 times better than what we are getting now. It is quite within the realms of reality and not too good to be true.

Copyright 1999 HIMAC

The article below was found by Victor at

Making your own solar cells
From an email to the energy 21 newsgroup

There is another solar cell method even more efficient. called the "in situ" process Which uses beach sand and a metal plate like a cookie sheet sand is put in and then an organic chemical is applied to the beach sand (sprayed on)the chemicals name is 3,7 dimethylpentadecon-2-olpropionate the chemical is available from organic chemical supply companies. COPPER CHLORIDE SOLAR CELLS I thought it might interest you. I haven't tried it myself but it may work, Normal solar power for its current price is pretty damn awful. 10%-20% of sunlight converted to power. And the price (to be kind) exorbitant. However what big brother doesn't like people to know is that cuprous oxide is photosensitive. It's not as efficient as Silicon cells but its way cheaper.

Take a piece of copper heavily rusted on one side use nitric or muriatic acid (diluted) to rub of this rust until a reddish layer of copper is exposed. Over this new layer put wire mesh and connect an electrical contact to the mesh. then put a transparent plastic cover over the thing. fill the inside with 95% water and 5% clorox bleach. Then on the other side of the copper (the normal side without any of the afore mentioned junk) make an electrical contact. This contact is positive. The mesh contact is negative. Then put the thing in the sun. This comes from "creative Science and research" an organization in the ads at the back of popular science.

One member of the energy 21 newsgroups feels this way about the above design It is a thermal activated electrochemical cell. It is also my perception that photovoltaic cells are also an activated electrochemical reaction. The stored chemical energy is released slowly by the wavelengths that the material absorbs best. Ever wonder why these cells have a life expectancy of about twenty or so years. In fact, focus the sunrays on them to get more current out and you will Shorten their life. What does this tell you? I just don't buy the electronic theory behind them that the consumer eats right up.

Let's go back when Bell Labs got their first transistor patent. There were several transistors already patented, as far back as 1933. Moray was actually the first patent application on the transistor in 1931. He was denied the patent because he could not explain how his semiconductor emitted electrons without having a heated cathode. Anyway, Bell Labs had to make up a theory that would get them a transistor patent so that they could monopolize on prior-art without paying royalties to the rightful inventors.

End of his theory See also his at article, http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/swampy/1/transistor.htm 

FRI 10th
Bring food, drink, and any inventions working or not (let's have a look).

Peter's Page
th 1999

ASTRO  Meeting 8/10/99

…. opened the meeting on time. 
Ken…could not contact the Vegivan Man by Email. It was hoped that he would give us a talk on alternative fuels.
Roger…asked for approval to subscribe to a new magazine called RE-NEW…$22/year subs.
Bruce…had some free range eggs for sale at $2.50/doz. HE advised that comet Lee would be coming soon and might land in the Atlantic Ocean. Also referred to were the three major earthquakes and the nuclear accident in Japan.
Andrew…brief reference to a new book by Dr. Peter Adamo, titled "EAT RIGHT for YOUR TYPE"…blood type that is. ie. Type O should eat meat, Type A should get stuck into the vegetables, Type B should eat fish and Type AB can eat what they like. Hardback copies are $54.00 and soft back copies are $19.00.
Roger…next month's speaker is David Horne from OMNIPOLE.
Victor…mentioned his page on the WEB, with articles on Aqua Field Generator and making your own photocells.
Roger…Spoke on achieving his personal goal of getting rid of his bank account. He is now with a credit union. Next year he wants to not support the Oil companies.
Mark…commented that there might be insurance problems if one modifies their car.
Rob N…said that if you don't turn it into a super speedster you have not really got a problem.
Ian S…said that the French military insisted that their military diesel's also run on vegetable oil.
Cedric…talked about running tractors on vegetable oil and he said that you could have up to 50% water with diesel and still run effectively.
Andrew…talked to John Coulter about using sugar waste to make diesahol, stating that the alcohol did not need to be distilled better than 50%.
Alan T…had the first diesel in SA and said that it worked on hot days when early petrol engines conked out. He used a vegetable oil and diesel 50% mix and said that it ran well.
Andrew…said that there were two types of diesel injectors…pintel and fan-cone. The fan-cone injectors were the only ones that worked with a water mix.
Michael…mentioned that excess power from wind generators is fed back into the energy grid and that this power is bought by the electric utility. Peterp said that companies such as Penrice (ex ICI ) been selling energy back to ETSA for a long time.
Rod…mentioned retro braking on coal trains putting energy back and Michael mentioned Kinetic Busses.
Peter P…mentioned an article in a magazine stating that trans international company Monsanto had had it's nose put out of place with the rejection of it's Terminator Seed Technology.
Mathew N … from ASTRO Brisbane stated that it was hard to get information. Various people mentioned that the Internet was a major source of information. Eg. Our and Victorian ASTRO  WEB pages with their news and numerous links to other sites around the world.
Roger…said that we are the biggest ASTRO in Australia and that Melbourne was the second largest, but they operated differently in that they got in big name speakers on put on talks at hired halls.
Roger…then introduced our guest speaker for the night. His name was ARNOLD WARD, and the topic was on " GENETIC ENGINEERED FOODS "
Arnold is a retired accountant with an enormous layman's knowledge on the ins and outs of Genetic Engineered Foods. He is well respected and listened to by Government bodies, councils, primary producers and other interested parties. He spoke to us for a solid hour without notes, in a very concise and professional manner. He very succinctly imparted the important information over to us without the use of confusing technical jargonise, as most scientific professionals tend to do.

Arnold described Gene Transfer techniques, DNA strands and the randomness of the transfer process in relation to where the inserted gene ends up. The results are quite often unpredictable. He cited the well-publicised incident of the Monsanto GM potatoes in England where the research scientist was sacked for telling the truth about nasty side effects on the animals that ate the GM potatoes. Arnold gave many other examples:-

Arnold stated the fact that there is no need for food shortages anywhere in the world and no need for genetically modified foods, but people in poor countries are forced to grow export crops rather than their subsistence foods. They can not afford to buy imported foods.

If Genetic Engineering  (GM) is a predictable science, then it should produce predictable results …this is not so.

Well done Arnold, this talk would have been well receive on a television program and would have been a good reference base for those politicians who are still proposing to poison our state ( and us ) with this ill researched and conceived manipulation of our food chains.

See you next meeting