ECW Orbo O-Cube Testing Week 1 (Feb 9 — New Video from Steorn)

I decided that once the Ocube arrived I would start a series of threads to keep track of the testing experience. So here we go. I’ll add to this post day by day until the week is up, then start a new thread to prevent the posts from getting too long.

Feb 9, 2016.

The Orbo O-Cube arrived yesterday. It was shipped last Thursday from Dublin and arrived in the US on Friday, finally being delivered to my house Monday. For some reason the tracking number got changed during the shipment, so the first tracking number I received did not work.

As I explained on a previous post, on Monday morning Steorn sent me an email explaining that the Ocube I was sent did not have a Li-ion battery in it as it was supposed to — apparently an mistake on their part. They said they would let me keep this Ocube, but will send another one with the Li-ion battery in it. The purpose of the battery is to act as a buffer which is trickle-charged by the Orbo pack which Steorn claims provides the power for the Ocube

In my first few hours of non-systematic testing I found the Ocube was able to light up some LED arrays for quite long periods of time, but after a while the LEDs would shut off. After leaving the unit for a while, it seemed to recharge. So it acted like it had a battery in it, which seemed to contradict what Steorn told me. This morning I woke up, and the first thing I did was to see if the Ocube could now charge any of my mobile devices, and it turns out the answer was no. Nothing would charge. However, it was able to light up the LED.

So this is not acting like a standard Ocube, as it is supposed to be a charger for mobile devices. So I got in touch with Steorn this morning and I think we have the answer — this has a 5F capacitor in it, not a battery.

Here’s my first video, BTW.

Some more information from Steorn regarding the capacitance.

“It has capacitance and a 5F cap, but the LI battery is needed to give it charge ‘depth’ can you take the back off there are two measurement points.”

“You have drained whatever energy is stored in the units own capacitance – it will recharge itself, if you can get the back off the unit you can measure the recharge”

I asked if the I was able to run the LED lights for a long time when I first started using the cube was because it had been building up charge for days:

“Yeah, it’s not just the 5f cap, out tech itself has quite a bit of capacitance as well (a by product, not a design feature) . . when you get the back off the unit you will be able to measure the charge build up”

Feb 10, 2016.

A quick video showing my attempts to get the lid off!

Ocube test starting Monday February 10th.

Thanks to Anon2012_2014 and Wishful Thinking Energy for providing the ideas and important supplies for this test.

We are using a PortaPow Premium USB power monitor to measure output energy from the Ocube. The USB power monitor measures voltage, current, and time to find the energy passing through the meter in mWh. We are using a resistive load for the Ocube starting at 1k Ohm. We are planning on reducing the resistance to increase the load until we reach the stated output rating of 400mW.

The meter has a stated error of less that 0.2%. It is not powered by the Orbo but has a separate battery.

0210161912

0210161911

The ocube is plugged in at 8:30 p.m. with a 1,000 Ohm resistor.

0210162032 (1)

After 45 minutes with barely any change (Voltage varied between 0.0475 and 0.0482 with no amps) we are moving to a 100 Ohm resistor.

 

With a 100 Ohm resistor the reading is 0.000V, 0.000A, 0mWh

0210162127a

After 15 minutes, removed the 100 Ohm resistor and replaced with a 10,000 Ohm one.

Reading is 0.3890 V, 0 A, 0 mWh.

Feb 11, 2016

A new short video from this morning. Sorry about the blurriness!

I’ll repeat here what I said in a comment below:

This is my thinking. This version of the O-Cube is obviously no good as a charger or for powering any kind of USB device. With the output so limited, as we have seen, I think the best benefit for people interested in getting to the bottom of what this technology is, is to open it up. Steorn says inside the cube there are built in ports for testing purposes which they say can provide useful information. Even if everything else is potted, the ports should be accessible, providing Steorn is not making that up. So that is my goal. I have an appointment to see someone this evening to look at the cube, who should have the tools and hopefully know-how to get the lid off.

Here’s another series of tests from today:

Also, I do have a weight for this ocube unit: 1101 g.

Size:
The circumference is 420 mm.
From the top of the skull to the bottom of the chin is 144 mm.
From ear to ear is 118 mm.
Depth is 39 mm.
Thickness of top casing is 3 mm.

Another short video, this time testing with the smaller LED stick. I had not tried to discharge the Ocube since the last attempt on the previous video at 11:35 a.m.

An hour later, at 3:22 p.m. I did the same experiment as the one shown in the video immediately above with the small LED stick, and the LED did not come on, nor did the power meter.

Here’s another video showing the second two tests with the small LED stick.

February 12, 2016

Here’e a video showing the behavior of the internal LED that comes on any time you insert anything into the USB port (providing there’s enough charge to activate it)

Here’s another test of the internal LED as sugggested by SG

This video shows the internal LED lighting after waiting a variety of time intervals.

Finally got the back off the ocube

0212161821a

The weight of the ocube without the back plate on is 853 g

Sunday, Feb 14th 2016

Here are some closeup photos of the ocube.

  1. There’s a little bubble of what seems to be silicon gel (soft and flexible), through which you can see what seems to be the blue casing that we have seen in some Steorn videos that enclose the orbo power packs.

0214160614

 

2. The two sets of testing terminals.
0214160615

3. The capacitors/batteries/? Someone asked the size. Each is 45 mm long and the one on the left is 15 mm wide.
0214160616

4. The complete ocube
0214160639

Steorn has been in touch with me today and said they would be shooting a video to be posted on their Facebook page late today which will show some testing of this ocube. They also said that I’d be refunded the full cost of the ocube, and also be sent a new one for free “when we are happy with the correction to our charge controller chip.” I will of course refund those who kindly supplied funds for the initial purchase of this cube.

Here’s a video showing voltage readings across the testing terminals. Video was taken about 2:30 pm on Feb 14th:

 

Here’s the latest video from Steorn

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryisdead/videos/10153531949942672/

I just received this email from Steorn. They had asked for me to give them a reading from the test ports

The two voltage measurement points on the unit are as follows:

1) the one that is rising is measuring across our power cells.

2) the second one measures across the mega-ohm resistor. This should measure circa 14volts. That is to provide a permanent electric field that causes the Orbo cells to recharge faster and to a higher voltage level than they would with just their own inherent electric field.

The second voltage being zero is certainly a problem, I think that it is one that can be fixed for test purposes (until we get you a full unit). It will require the application of a voltage and low to no current at one of the test points – I will need to look at this in the office tomorrow and get back to you on how to go about it.

Thanks.

  • artefact

    One with a capacitor and one with a battery. cool.

  • FC

    Thank you, Frank.
    Great job.

  • ecatworld

    Steorn said the nuts are a T20 torx — will get one today and take the thing apart.

    • Mats002

      But… Is the LED lighting again? Will you keep on having the LED on?

      • ecatworld

        Doing another video for that right now.

        • ecatworld

          Sorry, video messed up. See my answer above.

        • Okay, so we have a capacitor.
          But when the Ocube core is continuously delivering 0,4 watt, then you should try to add some single LEDs in a row to get as near as possible to 0,4 watt.
          And then let it run…

          In the best case, the LEDs will never die.

          To get better signal, you could let run your LED lamp to consume as much power out of the capacitor, so it’s empty when you start with the single LED.

    • FC

      Maybe the OCube is easier to test without the capacitor. I don’t know if you’ll be able to get rid of it.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        A 5 Farad capacitor at 5
        volts could store 62.5 J, or 0.01736 Wh โ€“ two orders of magnitude less than the
        energy content of a loaded Li-ion battery. That is, you could get 0.4 W for
        about 2 ยฝ minutes. Everything beyond that would be unusual.

        • FC

          That’s right, Andreas.

          But if the capacitor is removed, Frank should get 0.08 amps at 5 volts (=0.4 watts) of constant output, which may be easier to test. Me thinks.

          • HHiram

            I doubt it is constant. It is probably variable – maybe highly variable and noisy. That is probably why the capacitor is in there in the first place.

          • Zephir

            Actually it may be even possible, that without some voltage at output the recharging unit cannot work at all (a common thing for captret)

        • Ged

          Once discharged it should be done for good, too. Unless the capacitor is actually a critical part of the power generator? Generally though, a capacitor just smoothed out noise in the power source to make it more stable and safe, so I assume the same is here.

        • Anon2012_2014

          Pweet,

          Should slowly recharge the capacitor (exponentially) if we start with it shorted out. But there is danger in discharging a 3F capacitor — might burn out the internal circuit if they don’t have a current limiting resistor in series. Most of the charge is going into the capacitor at first.

          I also doubt a 100 ohm load is going to do much at my projected continuous power output of 40 mW = 20 mV ( V = (R*P)^0.5). Think he needs to try it, but also some higher resistances.

          Finally, the time constant in the RC circuit requires us to make at least two measurements so as to calculate steady state power output.

  • Stephen

    Its interesting though. Perhaps the battery is needed as an intermediate store the energy in buffer to charge the phones etc. But in effect the output is from the battery not the process going on in the device. Perhaps with this device you have more direct data on the generated energy and process going on in the device itself?

    Its great Steorn are helping with questions and advice. I hope it works out as we and they hope.

  • Zephir

    /* this has a 5F capacitor in it, not a battery */
    This is a good improvement, as it would eliminate the need of occasional replacement of battery. But the capacity per volume of ultracapacitors is much lower than this one lithium batteries.

    • Blue Energy

      Pretty exciting for you, Frank, to have apparently been chosen to be the first person in the world to test an O-Cube. Congratulations on your additional prestige. In recognition of your new position as ‘tip-of-spear’ we’ll try to avoid bothering you too much with our questions and advice so that you will have time to actually test it. We’ll fail, of course, but we’ll try.

  • ecatworld

    Heading out the door to do some shopping.

    • Ged

      Good luck!

    • damn_right _man

      So, already bought the stuff, You need ?

    • georgehants

      Admin, this is no time to be shopping, eating, sleeping or using the loo.
      There are millions of scientists on-line from all over the World that have never heard of open-science and who will be wanting continuous updates.
      Plus I may wake up in the middle of the night and will want to know the current situation.

      • Ged

        So many people living vicariously through one.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Probably headed out to buy the above test components.

  • A simple multimeter could be used to measure voltage and current. First, let it charge (the 5 F capacitor only version), then measure the voltage before any LEDs are connected. Connect the LEDs and see what happens to the voltage with time. Next time, after recharging the same amount (same period of time), measure the current when connecting the LEDs. This would give some idea of the charging efficiency.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Simple method:

      1) Get some 1/2 watt resistors as a load. You can get them at Radioshack or order them on line.

      2) Get 3 or 4 sets of leads with alligator clips at both ends, preferably insulated.

      3) Get a USB cable that plugs into the Orbo of appropriate type (male or female, USB, mini-USB, micro-USB, etc…).

      4) Cut and strip the insulation from the wires from within the USB cable to different length (to prevent inadvertent shorting). Identify the power and the ground wire.

      5) Start with a high resistance for the load, say 1 megohm. Clip from the power lead to one end of the resistor.

      6) Clip from the resistor to a cheap digital multimeter positive input with a sensitive (microamp) current scale.

      7) Clip the ground on the multimeter to the ground wire of the USB.

      8) Clip a second digital multimeter with a sensitive volt scale to the power cable coming out of the USB.

      9) Clip the ground of the second (voltage) multimeter to the ground.

      Power = V*A

      Orbo has a giant 3F capacitor that will have a huge time constant.

      Post the results when starting and after 1 hour. Should be something like

      5 volts, 5 uA both times = 25 uW

      10) Reduce the resistance by 10x (i.e. 100Kohm, 10Kohm, 1Kohm, etc…) until the steady state voltage.

      should be something like

      1M: 5 volts, 5uA, 25 uW (no noticeable decay in 1 hour) (RC Time constant = 34 days)
      100K: 5 volts, 50uA, 250 uW (no noticeable decay in 1 hour) (RC time constant = 3.4 days)
      10K: 5 volts, 500uA, 2.5 mW (decays 2% in 1 hour) (RC time constant = 8.33 hours)
      1K: 5 volts, 5mA, 25mW start; 2 volts, 2 mA, 4 mW after 1 hour (RC time constant = 0.83 hours)
      100 ohm: 0.45 volts, 4.5 mA start and finish (RC time constant = 5 minutes)

      That is enough data for us to figure out the rate of charge/discharge on the capacitor and thus the continuous power output of the device under optimal loading conditions.

      • SG

        Or just bypass the capacitor and measure at the terminals of the Orbo power pack.

        • Annet de Graaf

          In this stage I would ask myself Frank” “Will it blend?”. After ten years of waiting for this moment you have received the wrong delivery, and now you nerdies (with all respect, I love nerdies) are waiting for the DaVinci code to be unraveled? And mr. Shaun McCarthy is on his way to Temptation Island with your money. Or psychiatric hospitalized for that matter.

  • ecatworld

    This is not a regular torx screw

    • Ged

      Maybe the autoparts store folks can identify it? If there is an electronic appliance repair store nearby, they should know what it takes, since it looks like the sort seen on appliances.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Tamper resistant Torx. You will have to order one. Sears and Amazon has them. PITA.

    • damn_right _man

      You did not take the picture to the shop ? Dude, prepare Yourself better, now You have to walk back again and this time take the pic with You. BTW, I could have said, that this is not a regular torx.
      Standard torx do not have the pin inside. But it is simple, this additional pin gives the torx a special name ” torx with pin” and they belong to the “secure torx screw” variant of screws.

    • Adam

      It’s called security torx I think – something like this – http://www.amazon.com/EazyPower-13243-T20-Security-Insert/dp/B000BQYJQ4

    • Andreas Moraitis

      You could remove them with a provisional tool (maybe small scissors would suffice) and replace the screws with normal ones if you want to close it again. The guarantee will anyway be lost.

    • Private Citizen
      • ecatworld

        Got the wrench at O’Reillys

        • mike wolf

          yea, you are probably right pweet, don’t open yet.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Simple method (Reposted for Frank):

        1) Get some 1/2 watt resistors as a load. You can get them at Radioshack or order them on line.

        2) Get 3 or 4 sets of leads with alligator clips at both ends, preferably insulated.

        3) Get a USB cable that plugs into the Orbo of appropriate type (male or female, USB, mini-USB, micro-USB, etc…).

        4) Cut and strip the insulation from the wires from within the USB cable to different length (to prevent inadvertent shorting). Identify the power and the ground wire.

        5) Start with a high resistance for the load, say 1 megohm. Clip from the power lead to one end of the resistor.

        6) Clip from the resistor to a cheap digital multimeter positive input with a sensitive (microamp) current scale.

        7) Clip the ground on the multimeter to the ground wire of the USB.

        8) Clip a second digital multimeter with a sensitive volt scale to the power cable coming out of the USB.

        9) Clip the ground of the second (voltage) multimeter to the ground.

        Power = V*A

        Orbo has a giant 3F capacitor that will have a huge time constant.

        Post the results when starting and after 1 hour. Should be something like

        5 volts, 5 uA both times = 25 uW

        10) Reduce the resistance by 10x (i.e. 100Kohm, 10Kohm, 1Kohm, etc…) until the steady state voltage.

        should be something like

        1M: 5 volts, 5uA, 25 uW (no noticeable decay in 1 hour) (RC Time constant = 34 days)

        100K: 5 volts, 50uA, 250 uW (no noticeable decay in 1 hour) (RC time constant = 3.4 days)

        10K: 5 volts, 500uA, 2.5 mW (decays 2% in 1 hour) (RC time constant = 8.33 hours)

        1K: 5 volts, 5mA, 25mW start; 2 volts, 2 mA, 4 mW after 1 hour (RC time constant = 0.83 hours)

        100 ohm: 0.45 volts, 4.5 mA start and finish (RC time constant = 5 minutes)

        That is enough data for us to figure out the rate of charge/discharge on the capacitor and thus the continuous power output of the device under optimal loading conditions.

        • SG

          I appreciate the careful post. But I think a more straight forward approach is to remove the lid (as suggested by Steorn) and measure at the terminals of the Orbo power pack itself.

          • Anon2012_2014

            If you have ever taken apart something and accidentally broken some wires or other component, or worse, dealt with a safety interlock, you would know why I would try to test it first as is. I don’t know what kind of hardware Stoern has a the energy collector, and I am afraid of breaking it, if it is “potted” into the case. That would ruin our day.

          • SG

            Yes, although this unit may not be potted. Shaun mentioned that if Frank opened the lid, there would be two measuring points that are accessible.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I agree that the aluminum faraday cage is a good test — but first I want to know how much power it puts out as is.

            I also can’t help but think of the tinfoil hat!

        • Wishful Thinking Energy

          Frank, what Anon has suggested is a great procedure. This is the procedure I would use if I were testing the device. To make your testing easier I would recommend getting a DC power meter such as: http://www.amazon.com/PortaPow-Premium-Monitor-Multimeter-Ammeter/dp/B00LZ07BG0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455035429&sr=8-2&keywords=mwh+meter

          I will purchase it and send it to you if it will help.

          Measuring Voltage at the power pack terminals will not provide electrical current information. We need to know current to find energy.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Wishful,

            Good idea for tomorrow, especially recording the data on a graph (in case it is not just a simple RC circuit or in case the power output fluctuates with time of day). For today, he can do it with the Radioshack multimeters. Hopefully he has two lying around. If not, they are cheap enough.

            I’m find this very exciting. I hope it is better than an RF harvester!

          • Mats002

            Me too like Anons test procedure. Above 1F is very much, Capacitors normally comes in microF – avoid short cutting it. (Is it really 3F?)

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Itโ€™s 5 F, actually not that much. Capacitors of comparable size are used in audio amplifiers to provide elasticity and to reduce the 50Hz noise.

          • They’re substantial items though, and not cheap. I’m not sure one would fit inside the space needed for a small battery.

            http://pyramidcaraudio.com/sku/CAP500DBL/5-Farad-High-Performance-Digital-Power-Capacitor

          • Mats002

            I used to design amplifiers and power supplies, I remember having 10 000 microF and those basters was big. This is 30 years ago though. I have a vivid memory of short-cutting a big one with a large screwdriver, it was welded to that big capacitor with a flash! 5F really?

          • Andreas Moraitis

            You are right, 5 F would rather fit the high-end sector. I guess that the capacitor type that they use is different from the old electrolyte models, which were indeed very big. Maybe we can identify it as soon as Frank has opened the cube.

          • When will the unit with the battery arrive?

          • ecatworld

            I don’t know. I have asked, but no firm date.

          • Omega Z

            Security screws, potting material all explained by the presence of the 5F capacitor. This isn’t so much about securing the technology as it is about product liabilty issues.

            Imagine someone coming in contact with the Cap getting their socks knocked off. Someone who hasn’t changed their socks in a month. The stampede, the carnage, ohh the horror and the lawsuits that follow.

          • Anon2012_2014

            A 5F capacitor with 5 or 10 volts on it is not going to electrocute anyone. Voltage matters for knocking your heart rhythm off.

            The danger is shorting it out by accident. It can put out a LOT of current and explode/fry the wires with a big pop. The amount of energy stored is 0.5*C*V^2 or 250 joules. A shorted out capacitor might have an initial resistance of say 0.1 ohms, so it would draw 100 amps in a tiny wire, i.e. 1 kW for a brief period of time as it discharges. If you have ever plugged in a 1 kW hair dryer the sparking at the wall socket plug would be similar. The difference is the wall socket and the hair dryer conductors are made to conduct 15 amps (at 110 volts) and only draw 10, so they don’t heat up a lot. The wires here maybe are made to handle 5 amps, but we are temporarily drawing 100. Hence the danger.

          • Mats002

            What about ultracaps then, they should be 500 times more powerful (5000F/2.7V), see picture below from Andreas Moraitis. 500kW for a brief period?

          • Anon2012_2014

            The equations are from high school electronics:

            V = I*R (Ohm’s law — invert it to solve for I)
            P = V*A
            E = .5*C*V^2
            T = R*C

            Where
            V=voltage
            P=Power
            A=current
            E=Energy
            C=Capacitance
            T=time constant (seconds)

            So if the 5KF ultracapacitor is charged to 2.5 volts and is shorted out with a 0.1 ohm resistor, it will still only draw 2.5/.1 = 25 amps, which will give it an initial power of 25*2.5=62.5 watts. The voltage will decay with a time constant of 5000*.1=500 seconds, so the voltage will be at 63% of the initial voltage after 500 seconds.

            To blow up the capacitor, it has to either internally short, or overheat. It can be shorted by simply exceeding its design maximum voltage, at which point the insulation between the plates (probably made of very thin foil) will simply breakdown and allow a current to flow between them. Not an expert at supercapacitors, but I believe that the high school electronics algebra is always the same. So easy that a high schooler could do it.

          • Zephir

            We are actually talking about this type of capacitors here, see my comment above.

          • Zephir

            I’m working with 5 C/5V supercaps regularly and they’re quite harmless. If you short them, their leads get heated and that’s all. Of course, the shorting doesn’t prolonge the supercapacitor life, so it should be avoided.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Check. Never had one. I left the lab back in the uF electrolytic days. They were higher voltage and would spark but not be harmful.

          • Omega Z

            My post was a little tongue in cheek, but in today’s frivolous lawsuit society, even minor discomfort can result in legal issues. Thus, the manufacturer needs to show they put effort into preventing people from nonchalantly coming in contact with- in this case, the capacitor.

          • Stephen Taylor

            So, Steorn has shipped a unit to Frank and it will not charge any of his electronic devices even one time. Whatever is in the “Big Red Box” seems to be capable of supplying something like 20mW or so. If it’s a big throttled “battery” this is going to be a long and boring test. Oh well, we do need a distraction from the Rossi shenanigans.

          • You did read what Frank has written, that they accidentally sent him one without a Lithium-Ion battery? And are sending him one with the Lithium-Ion battery, free of charge?

          • Stephen Taylor

            On, that will certainly add clarity!

          • Stephen Taylor

            Sorry Esa, I just can’t get serious about this and I am in deep disappointment on the whole LENR scenario. Please, we need a breakthrough or we better start building thorium fast breeders like our lives depend on it because they do.

          • Ged

            As far as I am aware, the Ocube has nothing to do with LENR.

          • Stephen Taylor

            Hi GED, good to have a chance to say hello. My guess on this very old Steorn yarn is that It probably has most to do with chemistry, as in a large throttled battery. As such it will take an extremely long time to fully discharge it at the miniscule throttled discharge rate. Whatever “it” turns out to be I am not expecting an energy revolution from the ” Big Red Box” any time soon. I will try to refrain from commenting on this subject as I really can’t take it seriously. It does provide a useful diversion as we wait and hope for a clean energy solution. Of course I realize it likely has nothing to do with the stated purpose of this site.

          • Ged

            You are probably completely right. We’ll have to see when we get a look inside.

          • Thank you for informing me and the internets that you can’t get serious about something and are deeply disappointed in something else.

            Me, I’m still waiting for my ADGEX ELFE flashlight to be mailed out to me, after ordering it on the 29th of October 2015. I’m hoping it will finally arrive this month, and not end of March. However, the discussions I’ve seen thus far on overunity-forums etc are leading me, too, to be quite depressed about the state of affairs – there’s just too much vagueness going on.

          • Wishful Thinking Energy

            It’s probably a 5F supercap. Here is an example:
            http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/PHB-5R0V505-R/283-3520-ND/2770536

          • Mats002

            Yeah, the prefix ‘super’ didn’t exist back then – Amazing!

          • Andreas Moraitis
          • Charging your phone using one of these isn’t recommended…

            http://www.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/explosions-samsung-rogue.jpg

    • mike wolf

      A good pair of needle nose pliers Frank. try and wedge them and you may be able to break them loose. I say good ones because cheap ones separate and you loose torque.

      • mike wolf

        oh, don’t squeeze them, open them to put pressure in the corner of the star points.

        • ecatworld

          Ok screws are out but the bottom plate is not wanting to budge. Got a mail into Steorn for advice. I wonder if it is glued, or stuck to the potting resin.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Frank,

            See my comment. I think you can do a lot of testing first without accidentally breaking the wires or the energy collector unit by pulling out a glued in device that may not be meant for repair. A lot of electronics (shall I say Sony) were purposefully built this way. In fact your torx screws I believe started with the same idea. One way assembly with no disassembly. You can break it apart in a few days after bench testing it as is.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Frank, not knowing how good you are with that multimeter, here’s a small Howto:

            Put it into ohm mode or continuity mode. It will beep when it shorts out. Remove the usb cable from the orbo. Cut off the cable at the other end from the part that plugs into orbo. Strip the outer insulator off the cable with wire stripper or a pocket knife (PITA). Inside you will have four wires which may or may not be of different colors. Strip the insulation off the first wire. Then see which of the above four pins it is connected to by holding one lead of the multimeter (better to use the alligator clip lead) to the wire, and then probe with the pointy multimeter lead to the other end of the cable. If it is GND or VCC (ground or the positive lead) leave it exposed and put a piece of masking tape on it so you know that is your ground or positive lead. If it is D- or D+, cut the exposed copper to the insulator and then tape it over with electrical tape). Repeat until you have identified and exposed both GND and VCC on your cable for the subsequent test.

          • That sounds very likely. It was probably made a day or so before it was posted out.

            Acetone or methylene chloride (used by plastic kit builders, so available from model shops) will dissolve epoxy potting compound. Aceton is safest as it is very slow.

          • Sanjeev

            There is a chance that the chemicals will damage the electronics and perhaps the core too.

          • I agree. I think Anon’s non-destructive testing is a best first option.

          • Sanjeev

            5F cap is a very dangerous thing. Be careful.

    • LuFong

      You need a security bit. They put those on to keep people from opening things, I think microwave ovens have these because they have a capacitor inside which can be dangerous even if unplugged. As someone mentioned below, Harbor Freight sells good cheap sets.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Frank,

    Also, suggest that you try the below non-destructive testing first (4 leads, 5 resistors, 2 multimeters, 1 watch, 1 USB cable, wire strippers, electrical tape) first before opening the unit up and maybe breaking something.

    -Anon12/14

  • ecatworld

    New short video above.

    • Mats002

      Frank, did you tell how many watt that LED thing need?

      • ecatworld

        About 1.5 W

        • Mats002

          There you have it guys! Who is first to calculate the energy production (or harvesting, or drain)?

          • Ged

            2.5 minutes of charging for 2.5 seconds of light, or 3.75 Joules. So ~25 mW of charging power, if I did my math right. Note the times are just estimates from me counting during the vid and the vid’s timestamps.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Didn’t it take 45 minutes of charge to get about 1 second of light?? I estimate 3.1 watts when lit based on the specs for a similar 28 LED system I saw on the internet.

            Anyway, why suffer with this guestimate of the power dissapation of the LED unit.

            Frank — please see my suggestion below in the long post sent about 5 hour ago: need two cheap multimeters from radioshack, 3 alligator clipped leads (they come in a bubble package), and some resistors graduated from 1 megohm to 100 ohm. If you don’t have another USB cable, buy one because your going to cut it in half to make the load test rig. I don’t think I forgot anything.

            Tomorrow after running the test, I suggest using a screwdriver to wedge under the back panel of the orbo to pry off the unit. It might crack the backing plate if it is glued in, but hopefully won’t ruin the electronics.

          • Ged

            I don’t have sound on, so maybe I misunderstood the new video? It lit up, ran out of power, didn’t light up for several more times till left sitting for a few minutes of video time, then lit up again. But again, no sound, so could have missed important narration.

          • Anon2012_2014

            The first time on Frank said he had left it for about 45 minutes. I did not time the light flash. Note that we could lookup the voltage thresholds for typical white LEDs of about that power to see where they should stop illuminating on the voltage discharge curve. Those LED units might also have a voltage inverter or regulator in them, although that would add cost. I see they cost from $4 to $7 on the internet, i.e. not a lot of parts or labor in them.

          • Ged

            Yeah, I did my calculations based on the second light up event at the end of the vid, assuming the first event drained the Ocube below the LED lamp’s threshold, and then it recharged back up enough by the second light up.

            It does seem fairly simple, but I would guess there must be some voltage control going on, since the array is an all or nothing light up. I did find this http://www.gizmology.net/LEDs.htm , which seems to suggest LEDs have some interesting behavior in a circuit. Maybe this can help, but my knowledge is very basic in this field.

          • ecatworld

            Thanks for your suggestion below, Anon. A very good idea. I am working on putting together that circuit.

          • Mats002

            Before we get carried away: it is possible this ‘thing’ is packed with ultracaps and that the energy stored is fed into an intermediate cap that is recharged from the cap bank. It would behave like we see now. I like to rule out this scenario first. Sorry to rain on the parade but might be joining in later on ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Ged

            Seems like Frank will have to keep a running tally of all energy drawn from it!

          • Omega Z

            If Frank gets it open, many questions will quickly be answered.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Mats,

            Even if it is packed with lets say 10K farads of ultracapacitors at 5 volts, that is only a limited amount energy storage ( .5*10000*25 = 125 kJ). That is about 2x the 56K joules of energy in the 4 AA batteries that the 28 LED light runs on for 5 hours. The Wikipedia entry on energy density says that alkaline batteries have a volumetric energy density of 1.3 MJ/L compared with super capacitors at 0.06 MJ/L, i.e. batteries are 20x denser. So they would be better off storing the energy in batteries for this trick, and it would still run out after a period of time if used at the same rate.

            Of course, if we are going to limit the discharge rate to 1 mW average, packing it with 12 AA batteries or lithium ion volume equivalent would result in 168 kJ of energy and would last an astounding 168000/.001 seconds or 5 years. The conclusion is that batteries at low powers (1 mW) will last a really long time.

            In real life, smartphones need 2.7 Ah at 4 volts for about 2 days before draining = 225 mW on average, so even jamming 12 AA equivalent batteries or supercaps, a real cellphone only would last for 8 days.

            If this device produces more than 20 mW continuous from energy harvesting outside of human created radio transmissions, its great. If it produces 2 mW which is what I expect, it has limited usefulness.

          • Not if you go on long enough.

          • Jouni Tuomela

            the time between the lower treshold of the lamp (lamp off) and the new try: xxx secs
            the time the lamp was working: xxx secs
            wattage of the lamp: 1,5 W

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Frank, would you test the motor of your new car at 16000 rpm? Wouldnโ€™t it be better to use a load of max. 0.4 W as specified?

          • ecatworld

            Yes, you are right. I couldn’t find an off-the shelf USB device rated below 0.4, But someone is sending such a unit.

    • Ged

      Interesting. If you look at the LED lamp’s USB when its plugged in, both times when it lit up there is a blue glow along the USB port, and that glow remains a little less than for a s second or so after the lamp turns off. There’s no lag between the light and that glow when it first lights up, only after it turns off, so I don’t think it’s a reflection lag from framerates, but maybe.

      • ecatworld

        No you’re right. Blue light comes on anytime something is operating

        • ecatworld

          It was not blocked, just in the moderation queue

        • Ged

          Must be an “on” indicating LED. That itself will be drawing power too, but guess we’ll just have to accept its unmeasurable existence. Does suggest the LED lamp needs some threshold of voltage to turn on (makes sense, as it turns on an entire array at once), but some power is still flowing even once the array drains the Ocube below that on threshold.

          • Zephir

            /* that itself will be drawing power too */
            Well, not quite – the LED and whole the USB measuring stick could draw over thirty miliAmps of current, which is quite comparable with alleged output of the Orbo Cube powerpack (80 mA/5V).

          • Ged

            Oh, I mean the indicator light inside the Ocube that glows around the USB port when something is drawing power through the USB — that itself is a source of power draw, but one we can’t measure as easily with the shell on.

    • Jouni Tuomela

      What does the info in the product label say about the capacity, how many mAmps does it produce?
      Please use a lamp with less wattage, someone could calculate this from the time and the wattage.

      • ecatworld

        I do have a less powerful LED lamp which I’ll use for the next video.

      • Private Citizen

        There are some very inexpensive endoscopes on the web (some less than $20). Perhaps a local mechanic or home inspector might have one. Wouldn’t take much of a hole to insert an endoscope and get pics of the interior.

  • passerby

    Capacitor, called it.

  • Ged

    Given the draw rate of the LED lamp, if known, and the size of the capacitor, we can use the amount of rest time between plug-ins compared to how long the lamp stays lit, to estimate power production, I believe.

    (Edit: Saw the 1.5W reply below to the lamp draw). If so, can you do several different rest intervals and see how that affects LED lamp light time? From the above, it seems 2.5 or so minutes can equal ~2 seconds of lamp time.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Ged, I think like you. Just looked that up. The 28 LED lamps say they last 5 hours on 4 AA cells. Assume they are alkaline batteries that is 3.9 watt-hours per battery or average drain of 3.1 watts.

      Gadget seems to light for about 1 second after 45 minutes. That means it stores 3.1 joules in 45 minutes. That makes the average energy stored per second (i.e. continuous power)

      3.1/(45*60)=1.1 mW

      Until we get better data, that’s a back of the envelope.

      Seems to me to be an energy harvester.

      Note that the USB bus specifies 5 volts, and I would assume the LEDs light until they get to about 4 volts on the capacitor.

      • Ged

        Lighting until 4 V would also explain the lag in the “on” indicator LED within the Ocube.

        • Anon2012_2014

          Agreed.

    • ecatworld

      About 1.5 W for the lamp according to my meter

  • Omega Z

    All cells are not equal. Some hold more charge then others.

    A 12 volt car battery(6-2v cells) can crank down and having set a while can crank some more. The battery is not recharging itself. It is merely an energy balancing between cells after setting a while. To a much smaller degree, you can witness this within a single cell.

    Capacitors can also retain some residual energy when drained, but unless it’s defective, this is pretty much a non event. Tho I can repeat a few stories I’ve heard & an impossible to happen experiance of a volt meter we never found all the components to afterwards, this is not something you would build into a product.

    If this was shipped without a battery, this is a stroke of good luck.
    So, Frank having drained the O-cube and later being able to use it again would be a strong indicator that it is generating energy. There would be no residual energy capable of doing this in a good capacitor.

    The lack of a battery will have eliminated several months of experiments, calculations & guess work. (F9) to confirm is there a battery or is there not. Frank will quickly be able to move on to measure the energy being produced and eliminate possibilities of it’s source with a Faraday cage etc…

    • Ged

      Thankfully, knowing if there’s a battery or not is a simple matter of weighing the device against the one that is supposed to have a battery. That or testing for a static voltage, as batteries have. So far it is acting like a capacitor though. Way more testing needed for sure.

      • Omega Z

        Having watched the update #2 video, I know why the O-cube cost $1200.
        $100 dollars for the O-cube-, $1100 for the packaging. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Ged

          Gotta admit, that is some snazzy packaging.

          • Annet de Graaf

            And I really dislike the package design and their marketing. Considering 15 years of development; they could have branded their product much fancier over the years.

          • Ged

            I dunno, it has a real “Day of the Dead” look to it.

          • Annet de Graaf

            LOLLL haha and also the music they use in the video’s. It’s so Gothic.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Year of the Monkey face on the device. We get energy out of the mouth.

      • Mats002

        It’s all about time I would say. Each cycle of drain will add to the total energy out and at some point the volume of the ‘thing’ is just not large enough to explain the capacity. How many cycles (and time) are we talking about here? You won the contest by the way, thanks Ged!

        • Ged

          I would say we’d need at least enough accumulated power draw to rule out a lithium battery of largest size possible to fit in that device’s weight. Based on laptop batteries, I would gestimate approximately 32 Watt-hours is the max you could stuff in that shell (would be fairly hefty). I bet someone else will be able to make a far better estimate of what needs to be surpassed to unequivocally state it is harvesting/making energy.

          • Mats002

            Agree and if your 25mW per ~3 minutes is correct we have to wait (at least) 32 * 40 * 20 minutes for that answer.

          • Ged

            So… about 1 month ;). Well, definitely there are easier ways to look at this then.

  • Zephir

    One rather scathing explanation of why Steorn supplied his unit so early just to Acland – just for feedback from the opposite side of Moon:

    http://www.moletrap.co.uk/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=4652&page=131

    …”Once again, Shaun chose his victim perfectly. Acland is completely incompetent. Not only he is chaotic and jumping from one test to another one, without logging all details of what he does; not only he has spent all day today trying to find out how to open the box (without success); but he is also completely incapable of figuring our how much power the Orbo pack should deliver and how to test it. He does not even need to be a paid shill of Steorn; with such incompetence he will not manage to find out anything conclusive anyway”….

    • Guy Mann

      Jesus. The guy just got the thing. People need to relax and give the man time.

      • Zephir

        Of course, just the moderation of this thread is full time job – but this critique also has its rational core. What we actually know about first day of testing? I didn’t invest into this unit not a penny, but the people who did contribute to it would expect a better output in future.

        • mike wolf

          Investors or not, you guys with some knowledge should get in a chat room or skype and work it out. I guarantee you, if you guys get together, you could work out the best way for frank to work it on his own, because unless you guys can get in the same room, he is on his own. This board is absolutely swamped with everybody’s ideas, probably has him scatter brained. You guys should organize with him in a live conversation.

          • Zephir

            If I would get the money for the public test of unit, I’d develop some full time test connected with Arduino, web camera and online logging of data. This is standard technology today already, which I’m experienced with. I already ordered Orbo Phone, which is a bit cheaper and I’m prepared to organize such a test with its powerpack, once it arrives.

            I can appreciate the Frank patient journalism and very good discussion forum, but the preparation of such a self-running test just needs some experience or time, which has been wasted during waiting for units. I also presume, Frank maintains his own job for living and he has no spare time to learn all these stuffs just for one single test. Someone educated in electronics should help him with it at place.

    • Ged

      Time will tell, literally though. The more it’s used, the more we know; and more Ocubes are going out to more people who will be testing them. Besides, to say all that on the first day of testing about someone who isn’t a professional tester is completely uncalled for and ignorant. That person is trying to turn into a pointless troll at this rate, with no helpful testing comments.

      • Zephir

        Yes, but the total power load of the unit should be somehow logged. Once it will get finally depleted we wouldn’t even know, how big charge it actually provided.

        • Ged

          But that’s irrelevant to the claims being tested. If it ever gets fully depleted, if it ever stops lighting up LEDs, then Steorn’s claims are disproven. There is no need for logging power load for testing that claim.

          • Zephir

            The skeptics will not hear you, until you provide them such a cheap arguments. Even if this tests will be sucessfull, they will tell you, you probably haven’t loaded the unit enough and you cannot prove the opposite.

          • Ged

            Irrelevant. That is not a skeptic, but someone who is ignorant to the hypothesis being tested. The question is simple: will it continue to produce energy over time spans long exceeding traditional energy storage? If it keeps recharging for as long as the electronics are intact, then the null hypothesis is rejected. So very simple, cut and dry, there is no wiggle room.

            Now, there are other, and faster ways to test it, which would require logging power draw. And you know what? That logging of power draw and those methods can be started at Any time. So again, arguments from ignorance not validity are all these “skeptics” have to say.

          • Zephir

            The problem arises at the moment, once you cannot restore the power of unit after first switching on (which already did happen IMO). From this moment the performance of the unit is dependent on its history, which we already lost.

            Anyway, which resume I’m supposed to write at my blog about this story after first day of testing? I’m still missing some protocol from testing at single place, which I could copy and paste from here and do my own calculations. How long the LED has been connected, which voltage and current passed? When it died out, has the power been restored? How long, after which time? Voltage, current again.

            Enough of usual twaddling, get a real data for a while.

          • Ged

            The video provides one data point, but at this point no conclusions about the hypothesis can be drawn, yet. The important points to write up about are 1) the device can light up 1.5 W LEDs without its battery installed, 2) after it runs out of charge and the LEDs deactive, the device will recharge and light back up those LEDs if left to sit, and 3) LED light time seems proportional to how long the device is allowed to sit. The conclusion then is that this shows that the battery is not necessary to the function of the device, and that it is recharging from some source slowly (1.1 mW to 15 mW continuous, depending on the calculation at the moment).

            And then conclusion point 4) more testing is needed and more testing is on going.

            If the device fails without any obvious failure of the electronics, then Steorn’s claims are rejected and the null hypothesis that the device isn’t anything different from any other battery/capacitor is accepted. Very easy to understand and evaluate. Time will, again, tell.

          • artefact

            Imho the voltage of a capacitor falls quickly and LEDs need to be over a certain voltage to shine so it is not easy to calculate the generated energy.

          • Zephir

            This is another problem – the exponential characteristic of LED makes it terrible power load for testing. The camera has brightness compensation, so you cannot actually get anything reliable from video.

          • Ged

            Time on is all that’s needed. Again, all that’s necessary to disprove the device is if it stops charging at any point.

          • Ged

            If we get Anon’s suggestions rolling with resistors, this’ll be a breeze ;). Frank’s working towards that end, but even so, LEDs still take energy, and we can use that to measure the amount of energy replenished between times the LED’s are used, and thus an estimate of recharging power. Yeah, the error bars will be large, but they are less than INFINITE as having no date is.

          • mike wolf

            Amen G.

          • Blue Energy

            Yeah. Screw that guy. For whatever reason, Frank has been entrusted with being the first. Under the worst of circumstances I trust Frank to be a fair arbiter. You won’t catch him with his thumb on one side of the scale or the other and he won’t be influenced to allow others to do so. So far what he has already accomplished in one day has lessened the amount of unknown. And if he has questions as to how to proceed next – there are people here who are willing to give advice. I don’t know if there is a perfect choice for first – but Frank is a good one, if you ask me.

          • Ged

            You know, all this “first” stuff is hilarious, since the Post service is the one who “chose” Frank, not Steorn!

            Anyways, Frank has made no proclamations that it works or doesn’t. He’s just been trying to test it and having us watch. There is nothing to be grumbling about as he’s made no claims. He is getting more equipment from others, and better protocols too. He’s doing a great job for one who suddenly caught a fish and now has to figure out what to do with it. People are just being instant gratification monsters.

        • mike wolf

          hey the unit came incomplete. I think everything you said is great for the completed unit. Let Frank play with this one, no telling what you can learn. I suggest the people who helped Frank obtain this should get together and discuss a plan of attack for the completed unit. No harm done so far.

          • Zephir

            /*hey the unit came incomplete*/

            It could be also part of Steorn plan. We didn’t get the complete/regular unit, hence we cannot do production tests with it. Whatever Frank will find about it could be doubted with Steorn later from this perspective.

          • Ged

            I call bull on that. That requires complete ignorance, again, of what is -being- tested. If the Ocube fails to keep charging after a time, it’s a failed product. The battery is just a buffer, irrelevant to the -generation of energy-, that is, the recharging. So having one or not will not change the results of a base test of the technology as we are afforded extra easily here by having no battery in the device.

          • Zephir

            If the Ocube fails to keep charging after a time, it’s a failed product.

            The question is, how long such a time should be. From consumer perspective two years may be enough, but from scientific perspective you may want to wait much longer for to exclude all classical (i.e. chemical) sources of energy.

          • Zephir

            /* It is likely that the Orbo charger has voltage regulation and current limiting circuits between the battery / capacitor */

            IMO (and according one of Steorn videos) it uses classical step-up buck from China which has such a circuits already built in – but it has not meaning to discuss it here with people, who apparently have no idea, how such device could be constructed.

          • Ged

            Arrogant. We have people who work with supercapacitors for a living commenting here.

          • Zephir

            Irrelevant. We also have people here, who speculate about quite apparent things.

          • Ged

            But that is immaterial. You lack in things and I lack in things and others lack in other parts of knowledge, that should never hold you back from speaking factually, unless you have nothing to add and are just bluster to put down others. That is not how a scientific mind speaks, thus your entire post was useless arrogance. You know nothing about the people here who haven’t commented, and only the smallest window into those who have. Do not presume so much, as it shows your lack, not what you possess.

          • Zephir

            /* you know nothing about the people here who haven’t commented, and only the smallest window into those who have.*/

            Oh come on. If someone proposes, that the Orbo charger has a voltage regulation, it’s more than enough for to classify him as a laymen in this matter, despite he is still perfectly right – or just because of it. It’s like when someone proposes with serious face, that some PC probably has a CPU – after then it’s evident, it has no meaning to discuss the subtleties of CPU programming just with him.

            He would be indeed right but still rendered incompetent.

          • Ged

            Now that is just ridiculously silly. You are smarter than that.

            Stating the obvious does not, in any way, render someone incompetent, especially given any wide demographics in viewership. But categorically claiming such, is utterly intractable to actual discussion. Rather, it’s the tactic of someone hiding their ignorance, by claiming “others can’t understand” or are “laymen” and thus unable to understand whatever “esoteric” fact you’re trying to hide. That just makes you look arrogantly boastful in the most empty of ways while providing nothing useful.

          • Zephir

            Well, as I can see, while your answer is still relevant, you’re also belonging into group of people, which has no meaning to further dispute with FOR ME.

            You know, about 60% of USA citizens still believe in creation – so it has no meaning to convince them with some arguments, if they didn’t managed to understand it during last two hundred years. They simply have their version of truth, which they insist on.

          • Ged

            Yeah, you seem to have your own version, indeed.

            Playing dismissively coy with the original commenter who made a perfectly reasonable comment, calling that commenter incompetent through a roundabout way, and then continuing to pretend as if somehow you are justified in that unacceptable behavior–that is quite an absurd view of “truth”. You probably had nothing of value to add in the first place and just had to cover yourself.

            Bringing up creationism does not help your case, but the opposite, as sound information must always be given out when and where it is needed or else people can’t learn, or be persuaded to better supported positions. Nor does anything have intrinsic meaning for “all people”, so that is a logical fallacy to try that use that as a support of your comment.

            I’m being hard on you for one reason–you also needlessly posted that irrational, “scathing” quote against Frank from “someone else”. You are presenting a coy pattern of behavior that disruptively no good, yet have made fine comments elsewhere. So get your act in gear, and stick to your guns instead of trying to belittle others here and this matter will be closed.

          • Zephir

            /* You probably had nothing of value to add in the first place and just had to cover yourself */

            Or I’m lazy and unwilling to spend the time for explanation of stuffs to people, the proposals of whose apparently point to much lower level. It’s my equivalent of RTFM first. Believe it or not, sometimes the RTFM is the best advice, which you can get in a given moment.

          • ecatworld

            It’s about 5mm thick

          • Gryphon

            Another option might be to carefully drill a hole (or several) through the side just above where the base is and see if you can lever it open by applying some force on the base from the inside. Perhaps you could fit a reasonably sturdy L shaped tool such as an allen key (is it called a hex key in the US?) through the hole to provide the leverage.

          • ecatworld

            Thanks, it might come down to that.

          • damn_right _man

            Suction still not tried?

          • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

            just take a hacksaw and cut about 4mm from the base all around the outside.

          • Zephir

            Be prepared that metallic dust and sawdust could destroy the electronic inside unit at the case of shortcut or it may adversely affect the performance of unit later,

          • Ged

            Exactly, but that is simple enough to define and thus test. ~4 eV is the max for chemical. Knowing the Ocube’s weight, we know exactly how much energy it could store at theoretical (impossible) max (and some weight is the casing, USB control electronics, and other circuitry). It’ll be very easy to define its max possible energy density if Frank can get it open past the glue (too risky to do yet, as a good chance it could be destroyed).

          • LilyLover

            Frank, I’m pretty sure that the encasing is made in a manner similar to that of an old video-game-cartridge. It would be non-continuous zip-lockish pattern. Think more like plastic nokia-mobile-phones of the bygone era that had non-sliding backs.
            So, use small flathead on the large radius end to lift-slide a tiny part out or up or combination. If that doesn’t work try with the small radius end and then try with sides.
            I’m somewhat sure that they must have avoided any modern glues, so keep trying with the camel under the tent approach.
            Good luck.

          • mike wolf

            If they didn’t send him another one, I would agree with you.

    • Omega Z

      This is my view on what is being posted on moletrap.

      You lost the race,

      But, We haven’t started the race yet,

      That fact is irrelevant

      It appears they had come to a conclusion before the O-cube was ever delivered.

  • mike wolf

    You know Frank. Speaking of live chats. You should create a google hangout for all of us. Mic all the people that know what is going on. So we can hear you guys.
    If you are as faithful to it as you are to ecatworld. When alt energy goes mainline all those hangouts potentially become viral. Just saying.

  • Zephir

    Well, there is thin and perspective dependent boundary between void critique and constructive feedback. I hope, Franck will select the best from this thread for his further advancement with ORBO tests.

    • ecatworld

      Sure, Zephir.

      I’ve had the unit in my possession for about 24 hours now, and as you know it’s not the kind of Ocube anyone was expected to be shipped, so I’m having to try and adjust to this capacitor-Ocube, and there have been lots of interesting and useful comments here with ideas to try. I think we will have time to try a number of different things, and am making preparations for some already.

      • georgehants

        Admins latest picture above, if compared with some of the examples of modern art that sell for high prices should go to a gallery specializing in such things, could be regarded as a new age of artistic construction.
        Look forward to Admins investigation today.
        Would be good to hear from Mr Steorn again now.

    • Ged

      Critique/criticism/constructive feedback all require one thing: that an improvement suggestion/method/details are provided as an alternative. Being a skeptic also demands that one provide an alternative hypothesis or method. Just complaining as the quote you posted is simply the same as replacing the rational brain with an impatient, petulant child. Because it is useless impatience. Testing results come with time, improvements come with time, and this device itself is completely dependent on time. So enough of this worthlessness, such a person as you quoted saying such derision after only a few hours of fiddling with a new test subject demands our denunciation till they mend their foolishness.

      • SG

        These are somewhat old testimonials, at least in Orbo time, which passes very quickly these days. Also, not sure what you are implying given that nearly everyone who has an Orbo-powered device seems pretty cheery.

  • FC

    This whole thing is turning very quickly into a nightmare, both for Frank and for Steorn.

    I’m afraid that, even if something positive comes out of Frank’s test, it will not convince any skeptic.

    In the absence of a more simple and robust Orbo technology demonstrator, I really hope that Steorn start shipping “normal” OCubes ASAP.

    • Ged

      This is really more simple than that, guys. If it can charge on its own with no discernible input power over a point of time where any battery would be drained, there you go. If it eventually drains out and stops charging, then it is a failed product, and there you go.

      There is nothing to be “skeptical” about, it’s binary. Either it keeps charging, or it stops. The SPEED of the test rests on how vigorously we measure it and drain it. But no matter what, time will run its course and prove only one or the other point.

      There is no nightmare, there is only science.
      There is no convincing, there is only data.
      There is no “normal”, there is only measurements.

      • FC

        Ged,

        I’m not a skeptic, and I hope you’re right in the end.

        But I’m sure you have enough experience dealing with skeptics to know that they will find many excuses to reject your claims, given the conditions under which this test is taking place.

        • Ged

          Who cares? I mean seriously, who cares? People talk about these “skeptics” (which they aren’t, a skeptic has an alternate hypothesis/method improvement to propose) as if they matter or are a thing. They are meaningless. No one is saying anything about this device other than Frank is trying to test it and this is the first half a day of that. These “skeptics” as defined are just instant gratification monkeys–meaningless. All that matters is the work testing the device and that will take time. There are NO conclusions made yet. To be skeptical, a CONCLUSION must already be presented for evaluation. So, there are no “skeptics” even in existence yet, just derisive folks who are wasting everyone’s time and theirs with no advancing ideas/methods.

          • FC

            Granted.

            It’s just that some of those false skeptics have the power to shape public opinion, without conclusions.

            Steorn can only fight them giving the public something undeniably useful. And I can’t wait for that to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Blue Energy

            Something undeniably useful will have legs of its own.

          • Ged

            Personally, I doubt the device will be a success, and fully expect it to burn out at any time here. And if it succeeds, my bet is it is harvesting ambient energy through some clever, dense packing of well known energy harvesting materials.

            But none of that matters, only the testing and the process of gathering details by which we characterize and find out the nature of what we have before us. Whatever the data says, and the process of getting data is a constant evolution, always, is what it says and all that will matter. We will see!

          • FC

            I’m surprised by your doubts, Ged.

            Then, I guess you believe the OPhone to have better chances of success, do you?

          • Ged

            It’s the same tech, so whatever we find out for one should apply to the other. But, that does mean there are a lot more tests going on right now of the overall technology ;). With Anon’s protocol we’ll find out a lot of the basic parameters very easily, and from that we will get a much better picture of the device. All things in time.

          • FC

            Right. I just thought that Steorn had had enough of testing and they were taking the marketing route instead, to let the public decide for themselves.

          • Ged

            They are. This is not a Steorn test product. This is a consumer product Frank bought. He is testing it as a consumer.

          • FC

            Ged,

            I totally agree that an OCube is a consumer product that anybody can test. If it charges, it works. If it doesn’t charge, it doesn’t work.

            But to me, what Frank got is more of a test product. In fact, he’s is having to buy all kinds of tools, electronic components, and equipment to test it.

            That’s why I feel it’s imperative for Steorn to start shipping OCubes, because most consumers are not engineers.

          • mike wolf

            Bingo! Those skeptopaths we all see and know have no credibility left. I don’t mind normal skeptics, they help. As sure as I feel about alt energy, I am still skeptical deep down. But I am happy in the hope of. Where as the skeptopaths seem angry that people are even trying.

    • Annet de Graaf

      I can’t imagine the volume of faith in this whole project. Scepticism is a natural process. And why are you all “nerdies” responding like this is some outstanding project with a positive outcome? Is it because of the 15 years of development? Could it not possibly be that you were all sleeping along the process? And within this testing the truth will reveal itself? I’m an outsider, who visit the mystery of unraveling free energy, just today … but I can’t reconcile the fact that the first delivery of the unite O-cube is a failure? Every startup delivers a quality product! with at least a manual.

      • Ged

        What’s positive is it is in people’s hands to test now, no one is saying anything else. The truth will be revealed as it’s really simple–either it keeps recharging or not. Who knows what it will do, that’s why it’s being tested. Patience!

    • Blue Energy

      Not true. I am a skeptic and I am willing to be convinced by the result of Frank’s efforts – one way or the other. It will take some doing – but it has only been a day! There are some who have long since decided for sure what they think: derider or true believer. They will claim that any result other than theirs is false. For the rest of us, actual testing after all these years is a huge blessing. And for those who have not been a part of the process previously and yet believe they have a right to claim ownership of it now – what are you going to do about people like that anyway? The web lets them talk but that doesn’t mean we should listen.

      • FC

        Blue Energy,

        I totally agree.

        In my case, I’m more of a believer, but I’m open to accept whatever result comes out of Frank’s test.

        Unfortunately, not everyone is as open minded. And that’s what I’m afraid of.

        • Ged

          There is plenty of room for all sorts of tests. This is a very long term device, however it’s Very easy to disprove. If it stops recharging, it’s game over. There is nothing mystical or complex about the endpoints.

          • FC

            Absolutely, Ged.

            But for that to happen, we need Steorn to start shipping OCubes. That’s all I meant to say before.

          • Ged

            Steorn is. There’s another blog I watch that also has an Ocube on the way. The Post Office just got to Frank first.

          • FC

            That’s great to hear, Ged.

    • Zephir

      For to convince the skeptics you should draw quite a load from Orbo Cube. The nightmare scenario (which even Steorn may not be fully aware of) is, this unit is working like sorta fuel cell and it generates its electricity into account of gradual oxidization of metal electrodes, carbon, wax or both. Under such a circumstances it may take a years until you draw its theoretical power capacity with 80 milliAmps and you can also forget some manual tests.

      • Ged

        Easy to calculate energy density using the weight of the device and whatever its constant (if it is constant) power production is. Given it is supposed to charge phones, we also get an idea of its energy density very quickly with the version that has a battery (and I doubt wax is any way even remotely close to lithium ion in energy density, or we’d be using it in our phones, eh?). Following Anon’s protocol will answer a lot of things instantly. But an important bit of knowledge already gained is that a battery is not needed and there is some sort of trickle charging.

        I bet it’s just harvesting ambient energy through some clever solid state, 3D compaction of normal technologies we already know about but no one has yet put together. Easy to test with temperature ranges and faraday cages.

        • Zephir

          /* Following Anon’s protocol will answer a lot of things instantly */

          You cannot prove instantly anything with power cell, which has theoretical capacity about 50 Ah while it allows to draw only 50 mA current max. BTW What the people here have with ambient energy? Don’t they realize its actual power density? When you’re hearing radio playing loudly, it doesn’t mean, its energy comes from ambient. This energy is in range of milliwats per cubic meter and the Orbo Cube comes fully shielded with massive aluminum cover.

          • Ged

            Energy density is simple. Weight can give us the maximum energy density possible, and power draw will tell us how fast we expect to deplete it, then we have to look at the physics of the circuit behavior for the different energy source types. It will take just a month to deplete this thing if it was a 6 cell lithium ion battery, at the current rate. Not long at all on the scales we care about, so no, it isn’t at all like you applied in the post above mine. Also, Amp-hours aren’t useful, we want Watt-hours, because voltage is variable; that much we know already.

          • Zephir

            The wax has theoretical energy density 12 watt hours per gram, i.e. 12 amper hours per gram at one volt i.e. like three AA lithium cells. And the powerpack of Orbo has a volume roughly 0.1 dm3. If I we consider 1g/ccm density, it makes energy of 300 AA lithium cellls, which would take fifty months to deplete.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Frank,

            Is it solid feeling if you shake it, or does it feel like it has a pendulum on springs inside.

            I hear it go thunk when you put it down on the table.

            Would you mind weighing it?

          • ecatworld

            It’s very solid feeling. No rattles or vibrations.

          • Ged

            You mean like the Standard Energizer AA Size 1.5V 3000mAh Lithium Battery? Those are 4.5 Wh, while a 6 cell Li-ion battery runs between 38 to 65 Whr. Should tell all those mobile phone makers they should have been using wax all along.

            But in all seriousness, weighing it is what is required, and opening it would answer a lot. But science will wait however long it takes.

    • Anon2012_2014

      To make useful energy it has to make an economically useful amount. I take that to be of the order of 50 mW for a device of that volume.

      We will find out later if it has batteries or large super capacitors large enough to jigger any test.

      There is no magic only science and the scientific method will prove if Orbo is a breakthrough or just a good energy harvester with good marketing.

      • FC

        Right. But, as I just said to Ged below, I thought that Steorn had had enough of testing and they were taking the marketing route instead, to let the public decide for themselves.

    • SG

      > it will not convince any skeptic

      In my view, we are not here to convince pseudo-skeptics. They will never be convinced–nor is it worth our time trying. We are here to determine for ourselves, with an open mind, whether the data supports Steorn’s claims, or not. If it does, and the manufacturing costs can drop significantly with mass production, then the world changes. If it doesn’t, then we go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

      • FC

        SG,

        As you said, to change the world we need mass production. And mass production only makes sense when there is massive demand.

        How are Steorn going to create massive demand? By convincing enough people who currently are either skeptical or gulled by the opinion of powerful pseudo skeptics.

        IMHO, some convincing is needed. And also IMHO, such convincing can be achieved more easily by shipping more OCubes than by elaborate testing. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • SG

          We are certainly in agreement that more Ocubes need to be shipped, and preferably soon. The Ophones as well. The more people testing and reporting the better. If there is any there there, then the “powerful” (pitiful?) pseudo skeptics will not matter an iota in the big scheme of things. They will not be the ones written about in the history books.

          • FC

            Exactly!

    • FC

      Given the misunderstanding that this comment has caused, I will attempt to rephrase it here:

      Considering that the vast majority of consumers are not engineers, I think that Steorn would obtain better marketing results by shipping more OCubes (without any missing component) to regular consumers than by having an OCube (without the battery) tested by an independent third party. Provided, of course, that OCubes work as advertised.

  • Sanjeev

    I hear on the dark web that another person will be getting his Ocube by today or tomorrow.
    I’m not sure if he will do a public test.

    • Which site are you browsing there? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Is orbo that despised that you have to discuss about it in the dark web? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Sanjeev

        Don’t want to post a link, I don’t want people to go there , its too Dark ๐Ÿ˜€
        Anyway, someone will do it sooner or later.

        • FC

          Are you talking about Free Energy Truth? Or would that be a third one? :-p

          • Sanjeev

            No. He is expecting it too but no ETA yet.

          • FC

            Exactly. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • FC

            So that make it 4, then?

          • Sanjeev

            Don’t know about Free energy truth actually.

          • FC

            It appears to be the same as freeenergy.news

          • Sanjeev

            No idea really. We will know if they get one.

          • FC

            I just hope they get a OCube with no missing parts.

          • Bob Greenyer

            It is what happens when you pay for Facebook likes.

  • So, based on the new video, Orbo had no load from 1:11 to 3:36 which is 145 seconds. During that period it could charge and was then able light up the 1.5 W LED array for approximately one second. This gives a charging power of 10.3 mW (1.5 W x 1/145 ).

    • Sanjeev

      Its premature to say anything. He has not yet started proper quantitative studies.
      Most probably the second ocube will be handed over to MFMP for more in depth tests.
      Wait and watch.

      • Seppo’s conclusion seems reasonable given the small amount of information available about the internals of the device. It’s hard to see how the charging current could be smaller than calculated, as it is a ‘nett’ figure.

        A simple experiment might be to allow charging for a series of timed intervals and then observe the time it can light the array after each. If a linear plot is obtained, the charge rate can be firmed up.

        Possibly this was Shaun’s intention in sending a capacitor-fitted unit, if such a test would show a higher output than that stated, repeatable indefinitely and with no electrochemistry to introduce complicating factors.

        • georgehants

          Morning Peter, the World has been waiting 4.543 billion years for an Orbo, give or take a few billion years, so a few months quietly testing does not seem out of order.

          • Morning George. You’re right of course – but that won’t stop a certain amount of foot stamping if we aren’t reasonably sure that it’s working in a couple of weeks.

            Personally I’m reasonably confident that the gadget will pass any tests Frank can throw at it. Unfortunately I’m less confident that establishment scientists will take any notice of something that threatens their knowledge heaps – but you never know.

          • Comment

            Why don’t you get two of these, one either side, hold it above a soft bed pillow and mattress at a low height and pull apart – unless they don’t want you getting in, it should pop apart.

            Am-Tech 2 1/2-inch Mini Suction Cup https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0036W70BG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_xtYUwbJBZ8N9P

          • Ged

            It is apparently glued shut, and breaking through that glue is what has been giving Frank trouble, but he is winning last I heard by using an ice pick.

          • ecatworld

            New video above showing my efforts to crack the case!

          • gdaigle

            It sure appears to be potted, Frank. Any chance to get an L-shaped tool into the screw hole just under the lid surface and pull up (while holding down the shell on its edge at several points)?

          • Zephir

            Anyway it’s strange in connection with previous McCarthy’s promises, he will enable the users to study the internals of the device. It’s even more strange with respect to his previous announcement, that the device will allow to replace the lithium battery as the only spare part of it.

            Now it’s evident, Frank got some final version of device, which is based on supercapacitor instead of replacable Li battery and it has actually no serviceable parts at all.

          • Teemu Soilamo

            My bs meter on Orbo has positively skyrocketed during these past couple days. What may seem like a “confident gesture” by sending Frank the first O-Cube–and the replacement which was supposed to ship imminently, of which we have heard nothing btw–could very well be a delaying tactic. I mean, suppose they don’t have what they claim. What do they do? Try to buy extra time for as long as possible with antics like these. They even superglued the lid, ffs.

          • Ged

            Frank’s the bloodhound on their scent, with the power of far too many bright minds here giving him good testing suggestions. It looks like they tried to throw us for a loop with the gluing, but that won’t stop progress for long. One way or the other, we will know the truth, soon.

          • Guy Mann

            Is it glued? Or just fitting very tight. If you’ve ever taken apart a MacMini it requires a thin metal tool and some force to separate the case, much like this. I used a putty knife. These edges are rounded though, which makes things more challenging. Also, a change in temperature might cause some expansion, which would make it even more difficult to get off.

          • Ged

            Frank thought it was glued, but if it is just very snugly wedged, then putting it in the fridge to cool it down should help matters.

          • SG

            They wouldn’t go to the trouble of sending the Ocube with a clever plan of gluing it to throw us all off. Simply doesn’t make any sense.

          • Ged

            I have seen far stranger things. But, this version of the cube was sent by mistake and probably never meant to be opened, so if it is glued, then it would be to throw people off on purpose from getting into this particular version.

          • Bob Greenyer

            With all of the shocks and vibrations of you attempting to get into the ORBO, I would think it is charging quite quickly… Perhaps it is powered by frustration.

          • Ged

            Tapping into the vexation field emanated by humanity, the all new Grrcube will keep your annoyingly complicated devices powered and obstinate for ages!

          • Bob Greenyer

            haha

          • Timar

            Such a device would be ultimately self-limiting: free energy > less reason for frustration > less frustration-powered free energy

          • ecatworld
          • Bob Greenyer

            I think you mean self regulating – no charge…. more violent bashing, charge… leave it alone, rinse, repeat

          • hempenearth

            Smoke alarms

          • mike wolf

            I don’t agree. They have gotten like 12 million they could have walked with. Now if they sell 1000 at 1200 which is about ten times less. Now they walk with the money? I don’t think so. Be patient. Remember we have thousands working on fusion for billions of dollars and we have nothing. But you expect the little guy to have it immediately. You are being bias at least, unreasonable at best.

          • Teemu Soilamo

            Look, buddy. When you say you’ve got infinite energy and are bending space-time or something, that’s a mighty high claim. That is when you execute execute execute, not screw around like a bunch of hopeless losers. Pardon me for being extremely skeptical in such circumstances. I am still open to my mind being blown…

          • mike wolf

            Problem is that top minds are brainwashed and wouldn’t even consider an attempt. So we are left with normal minds that want to achieved the perceived unachievable. I think you should cut them a little slack. You don’t know it is infinite or able to bend space-time. This is why we get nowhere. People don’t want to doubt what they think they know. That has lead to a closed minded world. The open minded people are ostracized, ridiculed, and slandered. Pity.

          • Teemu Soilamo

            No, they’re not. I am not ostracizing anyone for being open-minded. I am getting annoyed by Orbo acting shady as s***. Just ship the product so it can be tested. They do not have the luxury of over-promise, under-deliver at this point.

          • SG

            They did.

          • Teemu Soilamo

            Not the product that they were supposed to ship. There is no expectation for this thing to work, therefore conveniently no way for it to fail. And now we’re not getting the proper unit for “several days”, probably weeks.

    • Zephir

      It could still mean anything – the discharged batteries or even
      supercaps behave in similar way without absolutely no external source of
      electric power. It can be simply rebound of discharged battery.

      • Ged

        More tests and we shall know if that idea is accurate. If a good monitoring of the trickle charge can be rigged up, then we can watch for decay in that as a telltale sign of electrochemial/battery, long before discharge is complete.

        Hopefully Frank can get past that glue and then we’ll know a whole lot more about what’s inside.

  • Sanjeev

    Well just extend the duration to 2 weeks or months, whatever exceeds the capacity of known sources. (1 week was just an example).

    The claim is like an everlasting bottle of wine. You need to keep pouring out till you know.

    • DrD

      Sorry, my post(s) were delayed a couple of hours so, please ignore the reposts. Anyway, according to Anon2012_2014 it would need to be 5 years at 1mW which becomes almost 6 months at the 12.2mW that Seppo estimated. A long time to wait but I’m sure it’s not just a giant battery. Opening it up would confirm. Maybe (hopefully) it will be better than 12.2mW and maybe the battery version will be better still but where are those two charging measuring points, accessible when the backs removed?

      • Sanjeev

        Just add more load, extract more power. There is no reason to remain at milliwatts.

        • Ged

          That’s a good idea, but untested till we open it. Supposedly it shipped without its battery, and the capacitor can’t store as much energy (obviously), and that is why the lower performance. Peeking inside and further power draw testing will show which idea is right.

          • txt29

            The performance of the Orbo cells does not depend on the missing battery. The Orbo pack alone is supposed to generate 0.4W of continuous power all the time, regardless if it is plugged to a battery or to a capacitor. That was clearly told in the webinary videos of Steorn. From Frank’s results it is clear that it is not the case, and that there is only several order of magnitude less energy available. So few energy can be easily provided by a conventional source. The conclusion is: Frank’s Orbo does NOT work.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Wait for a test with a <= 0.4 W load. It might be that the electronics of the OCube switches the connection off when it detects possible overloading.

          • This is my first comment here. I’ve been following Steorn for many years also. It is inconceivable to me that after all of this time, knowing this is a very significant event, that Steorn would send out something like this. They appear to be “insane”. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about the case. I think Steorn owe’s you a new outer case. If you want to get into it, I’d just use a drill, hacksaw and whatever to get the thing open. I wouldn’t worrying about destroying the case. Is the case aluminum? If so, it should be easy to saw and drill through. Those people at Steorn sure have a way of irritating a lot of others! They don’t need a sexy chick selling their items and they don’t need Apple-like packaging. All they need to do is actually deliver what they keep promising!

          • SG

            Thanks for your comment. I’ve seen more new commenters here as a result of the recent Steorn events than I’ve seen in a long time. The more insights the better. That said, I’m not sure that Steorn ever guaranteed that opening the case would be easy. In fact, it is probably in their interests to make it hard. And as for appearing “insane,” I’ve always viewed them as more quirky than anything.

          • Zephir

            And what would you expect Frank with his zero equipment could find inside it? At the best case he will manage to open the unit somehow and during this he will accidentally destroy its electronics inside with some static discharge, so we will get nothing anyway. With his subliminal experience with electronic circuits he should rather focus to nondestructive measurements.

          • Ged

            That is probably the case, but there are caveats. An LED light lamp requires a voltage threshold to operate, not simply constant power (though it needs 1.5 W). The Ocube, even as advertized, cannot power the LED lamp continuously, it must do so via a buffer, and that buffer must build up to a high enough voltage. We see this in action when he plugs in the lamp, and the internal LED light remains on briefly after the lamp fails due to voltage drop.

            So, it could actually be working fine, but with just a capacitor for storage, it would never build up enough energy to do much powering of this particular LED light. To know for sure, several have put out ideas to use resistors in series and directly connect to the wires of the USB port, which would work to give a definite answer.

            Still, so far by all data it isn’t looking good for the Ocube, but the data is not yet complete and we cannot prove or disprove any of the competing ideas yet.

          • txt29

            No, the LED’s working voltage does not matter. The ratio between the rest at 0.4W charging, and the work at 1.6W discharging, still has to be be 4:1, regardless of the size of the capacitor or the working voltage. If the capacitor or the voltage were too small for 5 minutes of light after 20 minutes of rest, it would still work for 1 minute of light after 4 minutes of rest, or for 10 seconds of light after 40 seconds of rest. Or it could simply blink for a second every 4s. It does not. It behaves as if a really tiny power source charged the supercapacitor with an extremely low current. Once it reaches the desired voltage, the lamp blinks for a fraction of a second, and the many minutes long charging cycle starts again.

            Let’s move over. This box simply does not work.

          • Ged

            The lamp stays on for over a second, not a fraction of a second, and I don’t think Frank has ever left it just sitting in the port. We also don’t know how much if any meaningful current bleed this LED lamp device has (the current that flows through it even when “off”, which could keep the capacitor discharged below the needed voltage, since this device doesn’t look like it has an on/off switch), nor do we have a solid idea of recharge time and time on. Let us keep everything in proper perspective. We just don’t have enough information to make leaps to conclusion.

            I have to agree with the other commenters who replied to you, it isn’t quite that simple, but testing with a 0.4 W load, using resistors for instance, would make this easy enough to measure.

      • Ged

        Anything electrochemical loses performance the closer to full discharge/reaction it gets. That’s why Li-ion batteries shut down long before their full discharge (and a full discharge can actually destroy their ability to recharge). If this is electrochemical in nature, then monitoring the trickle charge rate should show a slow decline with time, long before it is drained.

    • Nicholas Cafarelli

      http://goo.gl/r9IDuR
      Link above describes security bits; they are tamper-proof T-drive.

      • ecatworld

        Thanks Nick, I got those off quite easily. See the video above for the hard part.

  • Sanjeev

    Did you just made up the “ever declining” bit? I recommended testing before jumping to conclusions.

    • Sanjeev

      Never say never ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Let the tests decide.

    • Zephir

      The web cam should be placed at fixed stage during filming.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Let’s see how it works before we break it even for 1 week.

  • It’s absolutely strange that no one except Frank has received an orbo yet…
    Where are these 1000+ buyers??

    • Ged

      Actually, Frank got his pretty quickly for the mail system, based on when he got confirmation and when the post system contacted him for delivery. But, I would expect others should be getting theirs today or tomorrow if several shipped out in one batch. If they don’t, then that will be odd, particularly too since this unit shipped incomplete, without its battery and unable to perform its primary function there-in (lucky for Frank’s testing, though!).

      • Zephir

        IMO Steorn already knew about problems with charging electronics inside the units, so that it sent one Orbo unit hacked with supercapacitor specially for Frank as a

        provisional

        measure.

        • Ged

          Hmm, that is certainly possible. Then claiming it was a mistake to just keep the real point of known battery problems hidden. What is odd, is how there is such difficulties with the Ocube, but the Ophone seems to be going out so far (maybe), and should be based on the same tech, as far as we know.

  • Hans Moog

    It does not have a battery inside – only a 5f capacitor.

    1F = 1ampSeconds / Volt
    5F = 5ampSeconds / Volt

    Since the leds operate at 5 Volt that makes 1 seconds at 1 ampere. Since the leds consume about 0,3 ampere (1,5 watt) they could produce light for a maximum of 3 seconds no matter how long you let the unit charge. Since a capacitor also looses voltage when it discharges it might be way less time since the leds need a certain voltage to operate.

    So the facts that the leds only lights up for a short moment is by no means a proof that the technology does not work.

  • Frank, you might get some luck prying with an Exacto knife. Make sure you wear safety glasses.

  • ecatworld

    I don’t think it was a case that they forgot to put the battery in. Seems like this unit was deliberately designed to work with a capacitor.

    • Hhiram

      Their “mistake” is incredibly suspect and discouraging. That said, I see no reason why ALL units should not have a 5F ultracapacitor to function, at least in part, as a trickle-charge voltage/flow regulator. We don’t yet have any idea how variable the power output of the actual electret/whatever is. Capacitors are designed to charge and discharge extremely quickly – “ultra” ones all the more so. Li-ion batteries are not.

      So the story of “the li-ion battery is missing” is plausible, even if HIGHLY suspect. I would fully expect your second O-Cube to contain both a 5F ultracap AND a li-ion battery.

      It also now sounds like they’re going to have to add additional components to regulate the power flow, since some units are generating excess voltage.

      I’m still extremely skeptical, given how shady the role out is. But I’m willing to abide by Hanlon’s Razor for now and chalk it up to incompetence rather than malicious scheming.

      • Bob Greenyer

        Too funny

  • snowvoardphil

    HACK SAW !!

    If you want to go the ”pull on it” way. You could use 5 minute epoxy (sold at the dollar store) and glue some handle on the back and front of the Orbo.

    The larger the glued surface area the better. But if steorn glued surface area is larger than yours, the epoxy or the handles will just break off.

    • mike wolf

      Frank, orbo told you it wasn’t glued, but if they used thread lock on the
      screws, that may be acting as a clue st the holes. So if you are going
      to use a hammer and chisel hehe, pry it at the area near the holes.

      • FC

        Frank,
        Do you have any lock-picking thief friends? You’d be amazed at the things that some guys can pry open.

        • Gryphon

          I think you are right that the red OCube is supposed to deliver 0.4W, however I was basing the 20mW on the estimates made by other commentators on here which were a result of the testing Frank had done so far with the LED array. If it were giving out 0.4W then it could charge a phone like mine (Galaxy S5) just under once per day, which would be quite acceptable. Sadly, if the initial estimates of between 10 and 50mW for this unit are true then it must be considered a failure.

          • mike wolf

            Frank have you tried the light? Has it lasted longer than a few seconds after sitting all night?

          • SG

            That is not a proper testing method. See comment by Hans Moog below. We really just need to get the cover off and measure at the terminals of the Orbo power pack itself.

          • But why not exhaust other possibilities first?

          • SG

            I’m not necessarily opposed to it. The problem is, however, that you have a capacitor in-between and it is evidently clear that most here do not understand basic operational behaviors of a capacitor. If you can take that out of the picture, and go directly to the power pack voltage source, then we can more quickly understand the characteristics of the Ocube.

            Hook a small resistor up to the terminals of the Orbo power pack and measure the current through the resistor. With that, we will know whether the power pack delivers the claimed 400 mW, some other value, or nothing.

          • Yes, you are probably right. As the case is probably going to be a write-off anyway I suppose its just a question of finding the least potentially destructive (to the power unit) means of removing the casing.

          • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

            Id probably have already taken a hacksaw to it.

          • Zephir

            It also requires some manual skillfulness and the feeling for strength used. The usage of Dremel rotary saw seems to be more safe for me.

          • Zephir

            The things may not be so simple, as the polarization from capacitor or lithium battery may be required for proper function of the Orbo powerpack. I’ve similar experience with it from captret testing – this device doesn’t generate power without sufficient external voltage. Which could mean, the powerpack may not be able to generate sufficient voltage by itself.

          • mike wolf

            Yes, but proper ended when Frank put the light on it I think. I was curious. But I agree with you. When Frank gets the fully prepared Orbo from Steorn. He should test it as Steorn intended it to be used. But I figured Frank had nothing to lose, and maybe we could find something out quicker than using it the way it was intended. That will take months I think.

            I think the anxiety got the best of Frank as it would have most of us. But we all felt the same about the light when Frank connected it. It wasn’t til the light wouldn’t work for more than a few seconds that we started to tell him to crack it open. I have no business having a say on the technical aspects of testing it. I am just excited to see something interesting going on.

          • ecatworld

            Right, I feel like there’s really nothing to lose. My main concern about breaking into the ocube is that I don’t want to break anything. Heating/freezing makes me a bit nervous for that reason. Same with taking a hammer and chisel to it. Steorn is encouraging me to get it open for testing purposes. So I just want to do that safely.

          • Omega Z

            Hey Frank-
            “Steorn is encouraging me to get it open for testing purposes.”

            Has Steorn given any indication as to why it wont open.

          • Sanjeev

            The lights remain on only for a second or two because its too much load for a partly charged 5F cap, IMHO.
            If the load is reduced to say, 2-3 leds, it may behave better.

          • ecatworld

            No, it still comes on for just a few seconds, and you have to wait for a while before the charge builds up enough voltage to light it again. Checking the USB port with my multimeter after the light has gone off shows a voltage of about 2.5 V. for a few minutes, then the voltage can go down to zero after a few minutes. This is manual testing and it’s hard to hold those pins in place for a long time.

            Waiting for some equipment to do Anon’s test suggestion. It should arrive today.

          • Zephir

            /* This is manual testing and it’s hard to hold those pins in place for a long time */

            While I appreciate your dedication, it’s more than evident, you’re amateur completely unequipped for the mission, which you collected money for. If you have some spare money, you should visit the electronic shop and buy some basic equipment for long term measurements of voltage and current from USB port.

            Anyway, the behavior of your unit is rather depressive and it doesn’t indicate, it could be able to charge some device like the mobile phone or even iPad. With such a results you even may not need any equipment at the end.

          • SG

            I’d say easy there Zephir. Frank is dedicating his time for the benefit of us all. He isn’t getting paid for this. Quite the contrary, he is putting himself out there in a very public manner like few would ever dare.

          • Zephir

            You also don’t pay for bridges, elevators and another public services – yet you expect some minimal quality from it. While I do appreciate the management of this forum and the whole site, the testing of Orbo is stuff of different category, which requires different attitude and qualification. The willingness and dedication of Frank cannot fully substitute his complete lack of quantitative attitude to Orbo testing so far.

          • SG

            I think these first couple of days have been more about getting a feel for it. The quantitative testing has now begun. We have lots of time to think up of all kinds of tests to run, and Frank seems to be very open to suggestions from the crowd.

          • ecatworld

            Ok the Ocube is plugged into the power meter now. The readings at the moment are:

            0.0478V
            0.0000A
            0mWh

          • SG

            Well, at 0 A detected, I think we can safely say that 1Kohm is too much resistance.

          • ecatworld

            Removed the 100 Ohm resistor and inserted a 10,000 Ohm resistor.
            Readings are 0.3888V, 0 Amps, 0 mWh

          • SG

            If you have a single LED, try inserting it into the same holes that you are inserting the resistor, and check to see if the LED produces light–even for a moment. I suspect that the circuit is not closed, or something. These readings make little sense.

          • Ged

            Does it still light up the USB lamp? Could be a circuit is failing to form as SG suggests, as surely something should be being detected by this if it can drive a 1.5 W lamp (if it still is able to do so).

            Glad you got this testing set up going, Frank!

          • ecatworld

            To answer your question, yes Ged, the LED lamp still lights up. I just put it in and it came on for about a second.

          • SG

            This seems to indicate that the meter setup is not forming a circuit given that every reading has shown 0 A.

          • ecatworld

            Testing the same meter setup with the USB cord plugged into a wall charger (instead of the ocube)

            These are the readings:

            100 Ohms 5.0214 V, 0.0526 A
            1000 Ohms 5.0385 V, 0.0063 A
            10,000 Ohms 5.0406 V, 0.000 A

          • Wishful Thinking Energy

            This implies to me that our test setup is working as we intended.

          • Bob Greenyer

            Can we not build a charge accumulator from the 5F capacitor – like it charge dumps into an accumulator and then switches off.

          • Paul Harmans

            If I had a miracle component generating free energy, for sure, I should glue that thing to
            bottom and top of the casing. Imagine what a Chinese company will do if they ordered an Ocube. The glue on both sides of the miracle component will tear it apart. So, be careful!

          • Adam

            My guess, if you ever open it up, is that it will contain a USB port & board, 5v voltage regulator/DC-DC, either a Cap or Li-ion cell. The orbo cell(s) won’t be in there, mysteriously not included due to some ‘production’ error.

            It’s clear it’s not recharging, and the result you’re seeing are just the affects of an empty electrochemical cell as described by @fritz194:disqus

            “We have shipped two ocubes and have received reports back that the
            lithium ion battery in the devices is charging to somewhere in the
            region of 8V”

            BS, so someone else managed to get the back off and measured the Li-ion????

            Please get that damn back off the thing soon. ta

          • So, to get this clear, Steorn have sent out two of three fake ‘O-cubes’, knowing that at least one will be dissected, exposing their scam, before completing their sales drive and then dropping the hammer on their mass of buyers by absconding to Panama with the money?

          • FC

            I think I remember Shaun McCarthy saying in one of his videos that the orbo power cells are manufactured in China.

          • SG

            Okay, good, so that rules out the open circuit theory. I think the problem is the capacitor. At 1K Ohm, the meter is not sensitive enough to pick up the ~ 48 microamps, and thus showing a current reading of zero. Even more so for the 10K Ohm resistor. Using the 100 Ohm resistor, the cap likely drained so quickly that you were not be able to get a good reading, thus showing a current reading of zero yet again. Seems like this is consistent with the LED bank lighting up for only about 1 second. A similar thing is likely happening with the 100 Ohm configuration–too fast for the meter to get a reading.

            This makes it all the more evident why Steorn are using batteries rather than capacitors, and also why Shaun is encouraging the removal of the lid to gain access to better measurement points.

            For those wondering why the LED bank only lights up for a second (or sometimes up to a few seconds), as previously pointed out below (with some light editing):

            1F = 1ampSeconds / Volt
            5F = 5ampSeconds / Volt

            Since the LEDs operate at 5 Volt that makes 1 seconds at 1 ampere. Since the LEDs consume about 0.3 ampere (1.5 watt) they could produce light for a maximum of 3 seconds no matter how long you let the unit charge. Since a capacitor also looses voltage when it discharges it might be way less time since the LEDs need a certain voltage to operate.

          • Blue Energy

            Wait – somethings odd about that. Didn’t Frank operate the light for quite some period of time when he first got it? Like… hours? How could that jive with a max run time of 3 seconds?

          • SG

            I don’t remember Frank reporting that. He was using a smaller LED bank at first, which could have run for longer. But the large LED bank that drew 1.5 W should only be able to run for max ~ 3 seconds because the cap will drain in that period of time.

          • Blue Energy

            Ah! Smaller LED earlier. That would account for it.

          • Sanjeev

            Craig Brown will receive an Ophone as a bonus from Steron in addition to the OCube, which will be delayed. They want to keep their customers happy.
            http://steornnews.com/every-ocube-has-a-silver-lining/

            So now in some days/weeks we will see a public testing of OPhone too. (Hopefully).

          • Sanjeev

            I guess the meter is not suitable for measurements in 0-10V and uA to mA ranges of voltage and currents.
            It says 0-50V and 0-5A. So I don’t think it is very reliable. I recommend normal Fluke multimeters.
            The usb meter you had is also not suitable, as it will draw a good amount of power itself (for its own circuits and display etc).

          • I think it’s quite likely that there may be intermediate circuitry such as a DC-DC voltage amplifier and/or a charge regulator of some sort between the electret group and the capacitor that is making readings taken at the USB port fairly meaningless. It’s even possible that such circuits (probably ICs) may have already been damaged by having a load repeatedly put directly on them without the protection of a buffering battery.

            Either way it may be time to resort to a Dremel and screwdriver to get to the ‘gubbins’.

          • georgehants

            Morning Peter, now your moving into my expertise, as a builder I can give advice on using a chisel and club hammer.
            But then as we where into retail TV, Hi-Fi sales and repairs for many years all this is very familier.
            We used to say when things where fiddly etc. that you need Japanese fingers.

          • Hi George. Been there, done that! One of my ‘between jobs’ enterprises was as a specialist designer and builder (listed building conservation) and I’ve spent the last few years building a three story extension in ‘period’ style (still not finished). I hesitate to take the back of anything electronic though – my ‘skills’ are definitely more suited to wielding hammer and chisel.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Maybe they connected two Li-ion batteries in series to reach a sufficient voltage. Otherwise, it might be difficult to charge a cell phone, I guess.

          • Sanjeev

            You may be right, the figure 8 is exactly twice of 4V – the nominal voltage of a LI battery. Can mean two small batteries.

          • Sanjeev

            The possibility of an intermediate circuit is there. Its best to ask Steorn how to test their “customized” device without opening it, as its now clear that they sent it just for the purpose of testing.
            (Its also clear that you can’t charge phones or tablets with this one, its not meant to do that)

          • Zephir

            Now you can see it yourself: your powermeter looks fancy, but it’s not sufficiently sensitive and as such suitable for measurement of currents lower than say 0.003A, i.e. 3 milliAmperes. It already interprets them as a zero… ๐Ÿ™

          • Sanjeev

            Your are right and that’s what I said above.
            We know that I=V/R, so at
            100 Ohms 5.0214 V, I should be = 0.05021 A
            1000 Ohms 5.0385 V, I = 0.00503 A
            10,000 Ohms 5.0406 V, I = 0.00050 A

          • Ged

            Thank you for checking, Frank. The adventure continues!

          • Zephir

            Which would just mean, it’s nearly completely discharged by now.. am I right?

          • ecatworld

            With a 100 Ohm resistor the reading is 0.000V, 0.000A, 0mWh

        • ecatworld

          I don’t run with that crowd ๐Ÿ™‚

          • FC

            Haha
            I’m sure you don’t, Frank.
            Just teasing you a bit to lighten things up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • ecatworld

            Ok, very little change with the 10,000 Ohm resistor testing (got up to .3895 V), so I am shutting off the tests for tonight as it’s getting late here.

  • Gerard McEk

    Frank, did you try to move a credit card (I suggest not yours) into the small gap, or is it too narrow?

    • mike wolf

      A piece of sheet metal like coil stock would work better. is can cut the glue better. But I thought he saiid Orbo told him there was no glue.

      • If the ‘guts’ of the device are potted directly into the casing, and the back was put on before it was completely cured then turned over, it could be stuck on by that. If so then probably the only way to remove it is by using a brief application of heat and simply prying it off with a small chisel or screwdriver hammered into the gap. Risky though.

  • mike wolf

    I have another idea Frank. That top just has a hole for the usb port. If you cut a small piece of wood that size like 4-6 inches tall. put it in the top hole and turn it upside down and press the top downward towards the table. Could damage the usb but you can put a great deal of pressure that way.

  • SG

    You have a misunderstanding about how capacitors work.

  • ecatworld

    Also posted on another thread. Someone sent me this email from Steorn:

    “Hello, firstly we would like to apologize for the delay to shipping your ocube. As we are sure you can appreciate, bringing the ocube to production has been a huge task for us all and we are grateful for your support.

    We have shipped two ocubes and have received reports back that the lithium ion battery in the devices is charging to somewhere in the region of 8V, which is well in excess of the safe level of 4.2V. As a result, we have had to halt any further shipments while we address this. We are currently testing a new configuration with a battery charge controller; these tests are expected to take another several days. Once we are satisfied that the units are operating as they should we will provide another update concerning shipping etc.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to resolve this issue.

    Best regards

    The Orbo Team”

    • Matt

      Like I said before. The old game is being played. Or as someone wrote in another forum, Lucy pulled the ball away from Charlie Brown, AGAIN.

    • FC

      Thank you, Frank.
      at last we get a plausible explanation for the delay. I’m glad to see that Steorn are starting to be open about their production problems and humbly asking for some patience. Now they can count on mine.

    • Private Citizen

      That 100% of units shipped overcharge the battery or have no battery at all does not say much for Streon’s quality assurance and/or possibly its engineering if the overcharging is a design defect.

      Either incompetence or deliberate deceit are the only explanations that come to mind. “Honest mistake” might be a kinder way of implying incompetence.

      Hard to conclude what’s going on here. Selling a few dozen bogus chargers and facing legal consequences from that does not make sense for any kind of fraud, neither does buying a little time with shenanigans like gluing on covers or shipping delays.

      • snowvoardphil

        I guess their strategy is to lure people into thinking they will get a product at some point.

        This could be done to get people that are on the fence of believing Vs not believing, to go ahead and order their unit because they now can see they will receive some actual physical object.

        Of course, once momentum of buyers would be built, they hope to reach a point where they could run with the money.

        To do this, you need a certain mass of credulous buyers and you can help them make the bad decision to invest, by showing off that :

        – you’ve got 300000ths facebook fans, your product was so popular that they got sold out in no time, the amount of orders was so overwhelming that manufacturing problems occurred, etc…

    • Teemu Soilamo

      Make no mistake, it was no accident that one unit was shipped to Frank, a very visible person in the alternative energy media. Moreover, it was no mistake that it was a ‘defective unit’. Why ship anything if it’s just a fraud, you ask? The point is to create plausible delays for as long as humanly possible while making everything look sort of legit and concrete at the same time, thus maximizing the number of orders. Eventually, the units will go out and operate for as long as a battery of the size of the Orbo would normally operate, which is to say, for some weeks. Then, they will take the money and run – or, maybe issue a recall with full refunds in order to avoid prosecution, hoping that not everyone will do it. It’s the reason why we have online rebates, after all.

      • Or, they could have hand assembled a few in a hurry to get out to highly visible people like Admin, without testing the system thoroughly, and now find themselves with an embarrassing delay and a lot of work – especially if they need to get the backs off a few they’ve already assembled.

        When it comes down to it, surprisingly few entities in the known universe are engaged in elaborate multi-year ponzi scams.

        • ecatworld

          I pity those guys who have to get the backs off!

        • Gryphon

          Hopefully that Pharma fella isn’t on the board of Steorn

        • _Jim

          “Or, they could have hand assembled a few in a hurry to get out to highly visible people …”

          IN WHICH CASE they are highly incompetent. Highly. Incompetent.

          I have agree w/others on this, this looks to be a scam. OR Steom has NO idea what he/they are doing …

          • BillH

            Try validating the CE certificate here, I found no reference to Steorn on it’s own:-

            http://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/our-services/certification/certificate-and-client-directory/

          • LukeDC

            That won’t work. Steorn are in the republic. That will only get you companies located in Britain and the Northern Ireland.

          • BillH

            It should work the CE certification is EU wide, this is only the UK portal. It’s there to verify an EU CE mark, not just a UK-CE mark. As SG says above you can self-certify, however you still have to register before you can legally use the CE mark. No register, no likey.

          • SG

            Manufacturers can self-certify the CE mark. They must retain the self-certification certificate and produce it if required by an authority, but need not “register” it elsewhere.

          • There’s a world of difference between fraud and amateurishness. Steorn seem to be a small group of inventors and engineers, trying to launch at least three products simultaneously (orbo charger, orbo phone, hephaheat) and getting their knickers in a twist in the process.

    • Sanjeev

      Not encouraging at all. This can take a lot of time.
      Fortunately you have one to experiment with. The one with battery will be delayed I guess.

      Once again, there is no need to open it at this time. It can be tested as it is. See my post below. Opening it forcefully can damage it, and in that case, you will need to wait for a long time to start on another one. (only if they do not cancel all shipments due to “technical and safety reasons”)

    • Andreas Moraitis

      If it is true that they received feedback about the voltage it would seem that other tests are currently underway.

  • Obvious

    FWIW,
    My main go-to method for opening manufactured items that were not meant to be opened is putting them in a freezer for several hours, then slamming them flattest side down sharply onto a counter or work bench. This breaks most glues and sonic plastic welds at the seams, and pops epoxied items from their enclosures without much extra damage.

    • ecatworld

      Steorn told me to try using “mild aggression” — maybe that counts!

      • Zephir

        That cover is apparently very robust and prepared for next nuclear war, when only perspective technologies will survive. I’d recommend to cut off the cover completely with Dremel circular tool without usage of any excessive force.

        https://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/Pages/CategoryProducts.aspx?catid=2013

        • Obvious

          A heat gun or hair dryer might expand the cover just enough also.

          • Zephir

            Yep, I also considered it.

            But the massive aluminum cover provides only little opportunity for localized heating. Once you’ll melt the electret wax inside the powerpack, then the whole device could be destroyed for ever.

          • Obvious

            I’m just offering some more tools from the toolbox.

            Personally, I wouldn’t attempt to open it until I tested it quite a bit.
            Then, once it is opened, whether the opening procedure damaged it in some way could be better assessed.
            It it doesn’t work after opening, the opening procedure will be blamed almost certainly as the cause for that unless it can be shown otherwise.

          • And soften the potting compound if the cover is stuck to that. It would need to be a brief application though, to avoid potential damage to the potted components (hair dryer, rather than paint stripper gun).

      • Pweet

        And they’re Irish so that would certainly begin with bad language. Have you tried that?
        You have? oh,.. righteo then.

        • fritz194

          I assume it was “dead” on arrival; LiPo fitted, but Electret disconnected due to “dead” charger circuit.

          • SG

            This is unlikely given that it lights up a bank of LEDs for an expected period of time (until the 5F cap completes its discharge). Then, wait a little while, and it can be done again. So either:
            1) There is a standard battery behind the cap that is re-charging the cap; or
            2) There is an Orbo power back behind the cap that is re-charging the cap

          • fritz194

            This behaviour is quite normal for an electrochemical cell (primary or secondary).
            If a battery/accumulator is almost empty – you can drain certain charge until the internal resistance goes up – empty. After some time internal resistance recovers and you can drain almost the same charge again… this is not OU – just draining charge which is not available in “normal” operation.

          • fritz194

            The 5F cap might be in parallel with the LiPo – to maintain a low source resistance for deep discharge. There is the need for a DC/DC regulator to provide the 5V USB from the 3.2-4.2V from the LiPo. A cap in parallel might help to keep the DC//DC converter operating – approaching 3V.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Or perhaps

            3) There is an electronic switch that interrupts the connection for a while if parameters are not in a predefined range.

  • SG

    We’ve waited 10+ years. Another few weeks or months isn’t going to matter much.

    • Sooner or later they need to put up or shut up. There is no end to their delaying tactics. We’ve witnessed 10 years of them. We could see another 10 years of them. Somebody needs to force them to be accountable otherwise this thing could continue on indefinitely. Isn’t 10 years long enough?

  • Patrik Wiksten

    I am troubled by three things in this thread.

    1. The “thing” about being the first who dared to judge this as bullshit.
    2. The focus on how to open the bastard.
    3. The CE discussion.

    I have full and complete understanding of the anxious approach toward this thing. It is a “ballsy” claim as Shaun put it. But, what the **** are you peeps doing???

    Where’s the “Wow, this is fucking interesting” – discussion? Where’s the “Wow this is radical” – discussion?

    Calm the **** down… This will be a test over several months. There is no need to speculate. These tests will definitely prove if this is “Wow” or “Scam”.

    Did I say “Calm the **** down”?

    Let this thread be a thread with positive, constructive and out of the box thinking, thinking, until Frank has proven this as Bullshit or Batman. Always try to be Batman. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • There does seem to be a minor storm of negativity, but some of the contributors concerned have ‘form’ in this respect, and others may be just trolls.

    • mike wolf

      Amen.

    • Zephir

      It’s not secret for me, that the worlds of free energy and mainstream physics are sharply divided socially: just the people, who understand the electronics well usually have not any doubts about impossibility of overunity. So what you can find at overunity forums are merely layman amateurs – well, and our Frank is just the king, who is their leader.

      • Blue Energy

        It’s too bad you didn’t buy one yourself, Zephir. Then you could have accomplished the investigation *exactly* the way you wanted to – and we wouldn’t have to listen to you moan and complain. But… you didn’t. Lesson learned for next time for you.

        • Nah, he’s not interested in “wasting money”. just sitting around on a comfy chair and telling everyone they’re “doing it wrong”.

        • Zephir

          I already ordered the OrboPhone, where the ratio of price per utility value appears more advantageous for me. Once it will arrive (if ever), I’m prepared to make public measurements with it powerpack separately.

          • Blue Energy

            That’s very good. I hope that you will report on it here when you get it, rather than just keeping it to yourself (although, like you, I have some question as to whether it will arrive…). We’ll be happy to give you our opinions on what you should be doing with it. If you’re fortunate, and our mob personality doesn’t overwhelm us, we won’t belabor it too much if we think you’re doing it all wrong.

  • Patrik Wiksten

    Tell me, why are you here?

    • mike wolf

      Yea baby. If all you got is criticism, Go and create something to change the world and see how you like being trolled. Bravo Pat.

  • ecatworld

    I don’t think it’s glued to the case . I can feel and see some vertical movement when i squeeze it.

  • mike wolf

    No man, the studs are on the top cover. You can see them in the Steorn video.

    • Bob Greenyer

      I think he is saying to tap the back cover and use oversize screws there

      • mike wolf

        It isn’t a cover bob. It is the exact shape as the top. but the bottom is a little smaller to fit inside the upper part. So really the top is the cover. The back is the insert. If he wants to tap the back or bottom then he doesn’t understand how it is put together. The studs that the screws anchor to are on the top piece.

      • mike wolf

        Sorry bob, looking at it more closely it does seem to have a plate for the bottom piece. It should fall right out unless it is glued. I guess we will see when he does get it apart.

  • mike wolf

    yes, very good idea. The tool has to be smaller than the screw hole to allow it to bottom out giving you the leverage needed. and since it will bottom out against the metal, a lot of forc could be exerted without damage. You could even use the same gauge screws, but longer so they can bottom out and stick out from the device. flip it over onto the screw heads and push down on the top cover.

  • The dielectric relaxation happens within seconds after the load is removed. On the video, there was no charge/light achieved after the 22 seconds between disconnect and reconnect. Recharging happened later. And, remember, there is no battery so no rebound of discharged battery either. – But we do not know what is inside and this is all speculation.

  • How about using a lot of double sided tape on the bottom of the device and attaching it on the table or something? Then you will be free to pull the cover up as hard as you can. – Just a thought.

  • SG

    If you didn’t help contribute to the purchase of Frank’s Ocube, then there is really is no basis for expressing outrage. You have not been harmed in any way. Even those of us who did contribute, acting in an un-calm manner will not make things move any faster. Testing takes time–particularly when one is testing a thing as mysterious as the Ocube. Patience.

    • Sanjeev

      Michael Ferrier, an Ocube customer, thinks something strange is going on at Steorn.
      http://dispatchesfromthefuture.com/2016/02/new-delay-for-ocube-shipments/
      And I think he is right. There is no way to charge an LI battery to 8V except if some very gross mistakes were made during the design and manufacturing. Or the matter is something else entirely.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Looks as if the output depends on the environment. Perhaps they did not test their device at different locations. That might be an option for Frank, too.

        • Mats002

          He can always go to the local pub ^^

          • Bob Greenyer

            That should loosen things up!

      • damn_right _man

        For sure. Let us wait. Later on they will say, all ocubes were sabotated because of those minicams which were found in their office

        • Gryphon

          I would probably use a hand drill and be careful ensure the bit didn’t intrude any further into the case once it had gone through, but I don’t think it would be any more damaging than sawing the base off. If you could get a few holes it may even be possible to illuminate the inside and have a peek at what might be preventing it from coming apart.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        If that device collects somehow energy from the ambient, it would be logical that the output could vary when you change the location.

    • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

      when delivery has been botched this badly, I thing everyone is entitled to a little outrage.

      • ecatworld

        Ok moving now to 100 ohms resistance. When I took the 1k resistor out, the voltage jumped up to over 5 volts, and now has dropped to 1.7081 V (no new resistor in yet)

  • Absolutely. And we do not know if it has been glued or not.

  • ecatworld

    Tapping the Ocube. The chin feels very solid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rsfrto2bbo

    • damn_right _man

      Embarrasing.

    • That’s probably where the ‘potted’ electret group is located then, so any more ‘aggressive’ attempts to open the case should probably be directed at the ‘top’ end. Confirm by resting the unit on a pencil located halfway between the top and bottom ends to find the centre of gravity?

  • ecatworld

    No there is no screw under it.

  • I would suggest placing a gold coin near the Orbo with lights out, when the leprecauns open the lid from the inside to go out to snatch the gold quick take the lid away.

  • ecatworld

    Ok I’m getting set up to run the first formal non-destructive test of the ocube. It will run all night and through tomorrow, starting in about half an hour. Details will be posted above soon

  • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

    Fuck for something that the makers knew people would want to open, they tried to make it as hard as possible didn’t they.

  • Pweet

    Just looking at the picture posted above with the resistor sticking out of the USB plug,
    The outer housing of the usb plugs is usually conductive metal. If the resistor legs are touching that, then the output will be shorted out. i.e. an effective load of 0 ohms. Thus no output to measure.
    Can you get a lead with a usb socket from an electronics shop so you can cut it back and connect to the pair of wires with the power in them?
    Either that or make sure the inside of the metal usb plug is insulated with some sticky tape, all the way to the base of the connector. But a usb socket with wires attached would be far better.

    • ecatworld

      I know the picture is not great, but the resistors were not in a USB plug. The plug used had screw-down terminals suitable for testing with resistors.

  • builditnow

    Frank, sometimes something very thin, finger nail thickness, run around the joint can start to create some separation. There might be small plastic catches that could release if the outer case is separated out repeatedly. Once you get the gap started, you can go up to a larger item like a butter knife or other blunt knife that is just a bit thicker than the initial gap.

    Best if your opening device has some length to it and a gentle taper to a fairly sharp point.
    Screwdrivers are usually too blunt and taper too quickly.

    What will we find inside?

  • Guru Khalsa

    Hi Frank about opening the Orbo, if those holes in the back go all the way through you can get some long screws of the same thickness and thread count as the originals so that they screw the back of the front plate forward.

    • Guru Khalsa

      OK thats not going to work. Try taking a steel wood screw and if you get one the right size you might be able to jam it into the back plate without catching the screw housing and pull.

      • Yes, I like that. A ‘self tapping’ (PK) screw would be much better. Two could be used to attach a drilled steel bar as a lever.

    • Pweet

      Even if you open it up you wont see anything. Anything of any technical value will be potted in resin or silicon and would need to be destroyed to see inside it.
      I think it’s the potting resin which has glued it shut. They probably put a bit much in it either on purpose or by mistake.
      My advice is still not to open it. It wont get you anywhere. Maybe in a months time if all else has failed you can have a grand opening ceremony like opening king tuts tomb.

      • ecatworld

        Thanks, Pweet. This is my thinking. This version of the O-Cube is obviously no good as a charger or for powering any kind of USB device. With the output so limited, as we have seen, I think the best benefit for people interested in getting to the bottom of what this technology is, is to open it up. Steorn says inside the cube there are built in ports for testing purposes which they say can provide useful information. Even if everything else is potted, the ports should be accessible, providing Steorn is not making that up. So that is my goal. I have an appointment to see someone this evening to look at the cube, who should have the tools and hopefully know-how to get the lid off.

        • FC

          Good luck, Frank!

        • ecatworld

          When I first opened it up, I was trying it out. I would say I had it running LEDS for about 2 hours continuously. I wasn’t even thinking of doing a formal test at that time, or keeping track of time, since I was just trying it out to get a feel of what it was capable. However, it was not able to charge any mobile devices via USB for any period of time at all. They would start to charge, then the charge sign went off after about 1 second.

          • Dieter_G

            Ah, ok.
            Well, 2h is a lot of time. Even if it was only 1 hour, that rules a supercap out. Such a capacitor wouldn’t fit into it.

            The behavior of the mobile devices can be explained (as a possibility) by them drawing too much power. They surely won’t be satisfied by 300mA, like the LED-Light

          • Sanjeev

            2 hours of on time surely does not compute.

          • Blue Energy

            Frank, when you say, “…I had it running LEDS for about 2 hours continuously…”, which LEDs were those? Do we know what they draw?

          • ecatworld

            Hold on, I’ll do a quick video and show you.

          • ecatworld

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OucEOPZI81Y

            I used them both when I first tried out the cube, approximately equal amounts of time. BTW the 2 hours is a guess based on my memory, I just wasn’t timing the runs.

          • Sanjeev

            It consumes about half of the big ones, 0.75W.
            It should light up for more time if you connect them to Ocube.

          • Blue Energy

            Well… even if your time estimation were off by quite a lot – I just don’t see how the capacitor in question could have powered it. There must be something else in the circuit capable of storing power.

        • It could be that Steorn sent out those units just to see how difficult it would be for recipients to open the case.

          • ecatworld

            Here’s a theory, based on what Shaun McCarthy told me. He said that the Orbo pack itself has its own capacitance (in addition to the 5F cap) — as a byproduct of what it is, not the main effect. If it is indeed a self-charging technology, that capacitance could have been building up for a long time (maybe months) until I discharged it all when I first was using the cube.

          • Sanjeev

            You are assuming here that the source that is charging the 5F cap is always at 5V. You really don’t know the voltage of the source when connected to a cap, which is discharging into a load.
            Remember that the “orbo core” electret had an open circuit voltage of 5V. Open circuit is the key word.
            Its all my opinion anyway, I’d let the detailed tests speak before I conclude anything solid.

          • txt29

            The voltage does not matter for the ratio, just for the discharge/recharge time. If you only discharge it to certain voltage, the less you then need to recharge it again. In other words the shorter the discharge, the faster the recharge. The ratio between the times of discharge by 1.5W and recharge by 0.4 will always be ~1:4, regardless of the voltage range, or the capacity.

          • DrD

            Yes, I agree, I also wondered about that but it’s not obvious how that extra capacitance could provide so much extra discharge time. It could be that they charged it before shipping, maybe when it had the battery inside. OR did it pass through an energetic charging field in transit. Lots of idea’s, few answers I fear.

          • ecatworld

            BTW, I did get a weight for this unit: 1101g

          • ecatworld

            Size:

            The circumference is 420 mm.
            From the top of the skull to the bottom of the chin is 144 mm.
            From ear to ear is 118 mm.
            Depth is 39 mm.
            Thickness of top casing is 3 mm.

          • FC

            Thank you very much for the weight and dimensions, Frank.

            The volume seems to be in the order of 0.5 liters, give or take.

            By weight, the maximum energy capacity that we could expect (if the ocube was just a battery) is around 300 Wh.

            By volume, the maximum energy capacity that we could expect (if the ocube was just a battery) is around 400 Wh.

          • DrD

            Nice. AND, given that Franks supposedly has a missing battery which means the complete unit would weigh more, then 400 is just possible. So it would take along time to prove it’s not a battery by wating for it to discharge at the low rate Franks observing, A tear down would answer it much faster. I’d be amazed if it is just a big battery.

          • FC

            I totally agree.

            On the other hand, for a fully operational ocube, it would take in the order of 40 smartphone recharges (maybe a month?) to rule out the battery hypothesis.

            Luckily, we mey get an answer this very evening.

        • Zephir

          If you have a bench vise, you could glue the Orbo Cube between its jaws with epoxid glue and try to open it by turning screw to left (i.e. by pulling instead of pressure). This could be the most gentle way

          http://www.irwin.com/uploads/products/large/bench-vises-1052.jpg

  • ecatworld

    Short video from this morning posted above.

    • FC

      Good stuff, Frank.
      I tried pausing the video when you plug the LED lamp into the ocube in order to read the usb meter and it seems to give very similar voltage and amperage readings to the wall charger.

      • FC

        4.97 V vs 4.52 V
        0.37 A vs 0.32 A

        • Sanjeev

          Good detective work. I can barely see anything, too blurry. Frank should do another video of discharging, this time ensuring that the meter is in focus.

        • Ged

          USB ports usually have a current regulator to keep them around 4.5-5V. This is not always the case! I have personally seen USB connectors that aren’t regulated like a class B, leading to very different behavior. At any rate, it looks like the USB port on the Orbo is the regulated sort (like the wall charger) which means it just won’t pass an active current for anything under 4 V, which makes sense of those results you posted.

          • SG

            I think this explains why the resistor tests were showing zero ampere–even for the 100 ohm test. Once the cap discharges below 4 V (which would happen quickly as the voltage drop curve is exponential on discharge of a capacitor), the USB PCB likely stops passing current. I think you nailed it Ged.

    • Pweet

      How long was the orbo left off load before inserting the lamp in the above video?
      The ‘on load’ time still looks to be between 1 and 2 seconds, and that’s the same time we got in the earlier video when it was left off load for only 2 minutes.

      • ecatworld

        That was after leaving it overnight.

        • ecatworld

          About a 1/2 hour later I did another test and it flashed on for a shorter period of time — not enough time for the Volts and Amps to register on the meter.

          • Pweet

            All indications are now that the small apparent recharge is more a function of the capacitor reforming after discharge, rather than it actually being recharged by an external circuit.
            Whether a lithium battery is installed or not should not affect whether the unit actually recharges. It will only affect the length of time it takes to come to the conclusion the thing is not recharging itself, due to the fact that a fully charged lithium battery will take a long time to discharge at the low power output available from the device.
            That’s a bit disappointing.
            Oh well,.. back to the tv. I wonder what’s on?

        • Pweet

          Dear oh dear,.. that’s not a good sign.
          If there was any recharging happening the level of recharge should be proportional to time off load, and that has not happened.
          Since it was off load all night it looks like that is not the case.

          I think that pretty much seals it. It does not recharge or at least, not to any usable level.
          You can cancel all my previous advice on tests because if there is no recharge then all tests will all arrive at a dead end. Sorry.

          • SG

            > If there was any recharging happening the level of recharge should be proportional to time off load

            That statement is incorrect.

            1F = 1ampSeconds / Volt
            5F = 5ampSeconds / Volt

            Since the LEDs operate at 5 Volt that makes 1 second at 1 ampere. Since the LEDs consume about 0.3 ampere (1.5 watt) they could produce light for a maximum of 3 seconds no matter how long you let the unit charge. Since a capacitor also loses voltage when it discharges it might be way less time since the LEDs need a certain voltage to operate.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            (5 As/V * (5V)^2) = 62.5 Ws. That would theoretically allow 41.67 seconds of operation at 1.5 W, but it could be less if the voltage would drop below a critical threshold.

            However, these figures cannot explain why the LED worked initially for 1-2 hours.

          • Ged

            Those were smaller leds, not the 1.5W lamp apparently.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Should read “(5 As/V * (5V)^2)/2”

          • SG

            And even then, this doesn’t tell us much because the operating voltage drops exponentially on discharge of the capacitor. One cannot assume that the operating voltage remains at 5V.

          • Sanjeev

            You have no idea how a capacitor works ๐Ÿ™‚
            You can’t charge it more than its capacity even if you keep it for a year.
            It seems it gets charged in few minutes to its max.

          • ecatworld

            Which may give some credence to Shaun’s statement that the Orbo pack itself has capacitance.

          • Sanjeev

            I’m really puzzled, to be honest. LEDs lighting for 2 hours on internal charge of the “orbo core” is mysterious. It must have a HUGE capacitance, like 1000F or something. Can someone calculate please?

          • Sanjeev

            Oh, I remember now, you said those were tiny LEDs, not this LED table lamp.
            So I may be mistaken here.
            Can you try those tiny ones again?

          • Andreas Moraitis

            The โ€tiny onesโ€ are rated at 0.8 W, which is still twice as much as allowed. It might be that the LEDs have been powered by the Orbo chip for a while until the latter got damaged due to the overload.

          • Sanjeev

            I remember that SM demonstrated shorting out of the orbo electret, to show how the voltage jumps back to its original value. So I guess overloading or even shorting it won’t damage it.

          • Guy Mann
          • Pweet

            2 hours run time on a load of 0.75 watts (the small led) would require a capacitance of 732 farads, discharging from 5 to 3.2 volts.
            I don’t think it would fit in the available space. It would require two cells because the maximum voltage per cell for ultracaps is only 2.7 volts ( I think,.. without checking.)
            Or,.. a lithium battery with a 500mahr capacity.
            Or, a 1000mahr lithium battery would run the small 0.75 watt led for about 5 hours.

            From the fence I’m sitting on I see what looks like an embedded lithium battery even though it is reported there isn’t one.
            The problem then becomes, why isn’t it recharging.?
            The answer could be, that it isn’t the rechargeable type.
            (Or, there is a current shortage of dark energy at the moment.)

            Actually, to be more precise, from the fence I’m sitting on I see a tin of worms.
            Most assumptions are ending in indeterminate and/or inconsistent conclusions which are not really being backed up by what we see.

          • As you might expect from an electret-type device, although this would normally be a relatively small value.

          • Pweet

            As it happens, I do have a little knowledge on how capacitors work, and also of their discharge characteristics. I completely agree that once the capacitor is full you can’t add in any more.
            The energy available for each discharge cycle can be calculated as the energy in the capacitor at full charge voltage minus the energy left in the cap at the discharge switch off point. The problem here is that we do not seem to be getting the energy out consistent with the stated size of the capacitor, which is 5 farads.
            Lets look at a few figures.
            We don’t know what voltage the circuit drains the capacitor to before it switches off but we can make an educated guess on the basis of what would be a safe level so as not to damage a lithium battery if one was fitted. That would be around 3.2 volts.
            So, without boring you with the calculations,
            Energy in a 5F cap at 5 volts is 62.5 joules.
            Energy in a 5F cap at 3.2 volts is 25.6 joules.
            That means we have 36.9 joules to use to light up a .75 watt led for the small led and double that for the bigger led lamp.
            36.9 joules would equate to a power drain of 1 watt for 36.9 seconds.
            or .75 watts for 50 seconds. (small led)
            or 1.5 watts for 25 seconds. ( led reading lamp)

            From the video we are not seeing that or anything like that. After a 1 hour recharge it runs a .75 watt load for 4 seconds.
            Even if we take more conservative figures of say a 4 volt discharge switch off point the figures are still way off the mark.
            For 36.9 joules of energy to consumed in 4 seconds it would require a load of 9 watts. We have a load of .75 watts.
            Explanations are,
            1/. we do not have 36.9 Joules of energy there. or
            2/. the USB dongle consumes the difference of more than 8 watts.
            Option 2 is highly unlikely.

            These figures assume the cap was fully charged to 5 volts.
            You would expect if it was left overnight it would be, or even after a few hours it would be. If it’s not then the recharge rate is very much in deficit of what is claimed.
            In any case, for the low load placed on the device, there should be some correlation between the run time of the load and the charge time in between running it.
            From what I can see there is none, and that cannot be explained by saying the capacitor is being fully charged and can’t take any more energy. If it was, the small led should run for around 50 seconds and clearly it does not. It’s more than an order of magnitude short.

            I will again say, and have previously mentioned, the almost constant 5 volts at the output of the orbo would be achieved through the use of a small switchmode supply inside the unit.
            The output of the orbo is not directly connected to the internal capacitor or battery so you can’t take the output voltage variation as an indication of the depth of discharge of the capacitor.

          • Sanjeev

            Quote:From the video we are not seeing that or anything like that.

            Exactly. Your calculations are right and I arrived at more or less the same numbers. What I see in videos is that it gets charged to about 5V as checked many times now. The question is where is that energy going then?
            I honestly don’t know and I’d prefer to not to jump to any conclusions and will remain on fence. The meters are not accurate, the internal hardware is unknown, all I have is speculations.
            I’m a fence sitter skeptic. Even for the E-Cat, more so for OCube.

          • ecatworld

            One more video above showing 2 attempts with the small LED stick

        • Zephir

          Maybe the output electronics is somehow crippled by static discharge or somehow else. Maybe it draws too much juice from Orbo powerpack. The behavior of unit which refuses to provide voltage, once the voltage falls bellow 4 V is not quite normal.

          The last resort would be to open the unit, dismantle it and to measure the powerpack output without any electronics attached.

  • Pweet

    It might be assumed by some that we’re not getting anywhere but every test which doesn’t work tells us something, and it will help us zero in on what works and thus how it works.

    Assuming the device switches off when the internal cell is discharged, I was wondering what sort of trigger circuit would be used to turn it back on.
    I think maybe it could rely on the load being disconnected and then reconnected some time later, as per what you were originally doing when plugging the lamp in and out. You did mention that the lamp still lights up so we need to duplicate that effect for it to work. That would indicate it senses a load change to activate the ‘on’ state.
    So,.. perhaps if you disconnect the power meter for three or four minutes and then plug it back in with the 100 ohm resistor already attached as in the above picture, and see if there are any readings for volts and milliamps.
    If there isn’t, it would indicate that the device only switches on the output if a significant load is presented to the cube, such as when charging a phone or running your lamp.
    If that is the case, running the lamp gives us a starting point for what sort of load is required to keep it turned on. If it’s 2.5 watts then that equates to a current of 500ma at 5 volts for an equivalent resistance of 10 ohms. I think that’s a bit low but you could try something around 22 ohms maybe?

    So first off we need to know if removing the power meter and later circuitry for a few minutes and then reconnecting it will make it turn on with the 100 ohm resistor in place. If yes then you can proceed with whatever measurements you planned, such as longer off periods to make longer on periods maybe.

    If not, disconnect power meter and circuit for a few minutes, say 5 minutes,. fit a 10 ohm resistor to load plug, and then reconnect power meter with 10 ohm resistor in place. It should start up but discharge in a second or two like it does with the lamp.
    If still no action, I’m all out of ideas and more thought is needed.

    I very much doubt it just a box with a battery and usb port in it. A con like that is too easily busted and there would be no point in sending it to someone who they knew would do just that.
    I think it will be a large pick up coil of about the same diameter as the orbo unit, plus a bit of circuitry to rectify and store the energy in an ultra capacitor or previously a Li ion battery, plus some sort of sense circuit to detect when the cell or battery is flat and disconnect it from the output circuit.

    The output circuit will be a small switchmode power supply which converts the variable cell voltage to a regulated 5 volt output with a small current limit of about 80ma or less, to make .4 watts output. They are very common in all sorts of pocket devices which run off small batteries and are now dirt cheap to buy ready made.
    The stated output will not be the recharge current to the cell but the output capability of the cube when the cell is charged. The actual recharge current to the cell will be significantly lower than the orbo output specification, probably in the order of 10ma or less. Thus 8 hours off load should give about 1 hour on load, if it works.

    You might have to go back to the original test configuration of a long charge cycle with no load, say 60 minutes, and then measure the energy output for as long as it takes to switch itself off, as you were doing with the lamp plugging in and out. Longer ‘off’ times should result in longer ‘on’ times and thus a more accurate measurement of output power.
    This is what you were doing with the lamp and it did work, except with such short times of discharge, the measurement errors formed an unacceptably high percentage of the results. So if all else fails we can go back to testing it with that method but with longer periods.
    It will still be reasonably accurate so long as you measure times accurately.

  • I’m sure the contributors to this site want to believe that the claims of Steorn are true. I do too – maybe more than many of you because I’ve spent thousands of hours on trying to develop similar things myself. However, I have a nephew who was at the top of his class in a Minneapolis High School of over 700 students, went to Cal Tech and then on to MIT to get a PhD and now is one the head professors in the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Minnesota, and he says he would bet his entire career that what Steorn claims in untrue. No matter how much any of us would like to believe their claims are true, there is just no evidence to indicate that their claims are true.

    • “there is just no evidence to indicate that their claims are true”

      Admin has one device in hand and another one coming, so why don’t we wait until there is some evidence on which to make an assessment, rather than relying on negative conclusions offered by highly qualified (in Chemical Engineering?) Professors.

      • To the best of my knowledge, every Physics Department of every University on planet earth teaches that what Steorn claims is impossible. What are your credentials?

        • I have not made any assertion that needs to be backed up by credentials, other than that a rational assessment requires evidence which is currently lacking, and that the assumptions and opinions of experts in irrelevant fields are immaterial.

          • You are saying the same thing I said. “There is no evidence to indicate that Steorn’s claims are true.” Remember 7-8 years ago they had a jury of experts conclude that Steorn has no energy producing device or method. Since, most-likely, essentially every expert physicist who has ever lived or is living today, including Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman (if they were alive today) and Stephen Hawking would say Steorn’s claims are impossible, the only rational thing for non-experts like myself to do is to assume Steorn’s claims are false unless and until someone irrefutably proves them to be true. As I said before, I wish Steorn’s claims were true, but for Steorn to send out what they sent out to prove their claims, to me, almost proves they have nothing. Why would any group of rational people do what they’ve done in the last couple of months? As someone suggested earlier, they could have spent about $2 and connected an LED in series with a current-limiting resister to prove they have a valid power generator, but, instead, they’ve spent millions on stupid, unnecessary advertising and promotional crap. Plus, why don’t they focus on one thing and get it to work? They’ve bounced around from water heaters, to motors, to chargers to phones – none of which most-likely work as they claim and none of which are creating any revenue or profit. Everyone is free to believe whatever they choose to believe. You are free to believe the moon is made of cheese if you like.

  • Stephen

    Has Steorn indicated how long the device takes to recover if it is fully discharged (both the capacitor and the device)?

    Actually this could be an opportunity if they can help as perhaps we can see if it recharges faster in different environments. e.g noisy, vibrating, hot or cold, electromagnetic etc as well as different locations and altitudes etc, i guess zero g is not possible for any length of time unless someone takes it to the space station. Maybe that is also good information for them.

    Also when you get the new one it could be interesting to compare the responses from a fully charged and heavily discharged device

    • Stephen

      Hey Steorn… Thinking about zero g and other environmental issues wouldn’t this be a great way to prove your device: use it to power a micro-satellite in orbit around the earth. No way any one is going to interfere with it up there and there are already mico-satellites that are based on mobile phones. If it works up there for months or years I’m pretty sure you will get a lot of interest for that application too.

      • Guy Mann

        If they wanted to prove it, they could have just sold Orbo power packs connected to a .4 watt led that would run forever.

        • Absolutely.

        • Bob Greenyer

          Well – a 0.39W just to be sure… t b sure

          • SG

            Yep. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Let’s get the lid off, and do it.

        • Stephen

          Yup your right, but I’m thinking more about trying to proving if it is harvesting energy from somewhere or not. A self powered instrument that transmits self data about current and voltage, temperature etc. In space sound, vibration and gravity will be minimal. If it works in space and If it was harvesting energy it might prove to be an intresting sensor if it works and is not showing indication of harvesting energy that would be even more intresting and may prove to some extent some other Unknown process is occurring.

          If it works in space the technology could be very useful for self powered instruments and low powered or rarely used sensors etc.

  • Stephen

    in terms of possible tests:

    Once we have a well characterised working device, would it be interesting to put it in a thermally sealed box, to see if cools or heats the local environment?

    That could be interesting if we consider the conservation laws of thermal dynamics.

  • Blue Energy

    Purportedly, at least, there is no battery in the one Frank got. Those other two supposedly had batteries to overcharge. But, I think it’s interesting that when Frank allows the capacitor to build a charge overnight – he doesn’t end up with anything like the two hours of run time at .75 W that he got when he first plugged it in. It took, roughly, a week to ship it to him. Presuming that it was mostly uncharged before it was sent, it would seem to have charged at a much higher rate while it was traveling than it has while sitting on Frank’s table. Maybe the source of the power Orbo taps into is distributed evenly in space and moving through it causes a greater accumulation and conversion into electric charge. Essentially – Orbo runs on jet lag. You heard it here first! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • DrD

    I think not because they demonstrate it recovering from a long period shorted out and also it’s not fit for purpose if that happens. However, the charge control circuitry most likely disables the charging once it detects a full battery, i.e. about 5V which, in the absence of a battery and only capacitance, it might reach very quickly. Possibly explains why it doesn’t charge very much. Indeed, I think Franks display did indeed show about 5V but of course that doesn’t represent a lot of charge if it’s only on a capacitor, even 5F as pointed out by others and when driving LEDs only the charge between 5V and 4.5V is available and the V falls almost linearly with time over that small range. Which is why adding a battery may change the game completely, even NiCd’s.

  • ecatworld

    No, I haven’t used a variable power supply.

  • DrD

    Frank, on the two occasions when the LED didn’t light at all, had you done anything differently, like turning a light off, or anything?

    • ecatworld

      No, nothing obvious that comes to mind

  • Esko Lyytinen

    Frank, can you leave the measuring dongle inserted to the O and loosen the led from it only. When the internal charge gets enough for the inside electronics to open the route out, the voltage should get to about 5 V and the display become active and then you know that you can insert again the led for a while. You can also better measure the time needed for this and for example follow if this keeps about the same or gets longer after successive periods of this.

    • ecatworld

      Hi Esko. I’m not sure I quite follow — let me see if I understand you correctly:

      You say insert the Dongle and small LED into the cube together, then take out the LED from the stick? Then put it back in again?

      • Esko Lyytinen

        Like that for example and yes better to test with the small LED.
        Let the Dongle be inserted in the cube. No need to take it away, in my opinion. When the LED stops, remove this only. The Dongle also appears dead, but I expect this to get alive once the Voltage again jumps up, which should happen itself without practically no load. And you will soon see this, IF watching.

        • ecatworld

          Ok thanks. I can try that, but I’ve left the dongle standing before for some time and I’ve never seen it come alive again after the cube has discharged. Seems like once you discharge the thing, you have to unplug everything and wait for the recharge.

  • ecatworld

    Another short video posted above, this time with the smaller USB LED stick

    • txt29

      Wow, 5s at 5V/0.15A, that gives full 1mWh charge in ~3 hours, instead of the expected 1.2Wh. That
      is only 3 orders of magnitude below the expectations.

      • Sanjeev

        The amount of energy a 5F cap can hold at 5V is about 17mWh only.
        Your assumptions are not correct. You don’t know if it took 3 hours to charge. It could do that in 1 hour or more or less.

        • txt29

          You forget the Orbo cell is supposed to have three orders of magnitude higher capacitance than the 5F capacitor (that’s supposed to be why it could keep such a large charge initially). But even if it was just another Stoern’s lie, the 17mWh would be recharged within 2.5 minutes at 0.4W of power. You need hours.

          • Sanjeev

            You don’t know if there is a cap inside with 3 orders of magnitude more capacitance.
            You don’t know if its producing 0.4W inside.
            Yes, it could be all lies, but you don’t know.
            txt29, your all posts contain too many assumptions, which you firmly believe to be true I guess. That’s not Science. Let him open and find it out.

          • txt29

            Which assumptions? I clearly wrote that even _without_ the extra capacitance of the Orbo cell (claimed by Steorn), the 0.4W charging time cannot be longer than 2 times the discharging time at 0.8W. It is no wild assumption, but a clear and simple fact that nobody can deny, regardless how big is the capacitance, and regardless how high the voltage threshold is, at which the LED turns on or off.

          • SG

            This is incorrect. The charging and discharging rates of a cap are not symmetrical.

          • SG

            > You need hours.

            Why do you suppose? There is video evidence of it taking far less time.

      • SG

        Wow, I’m not sure about that. Show me a 5 F capacitor that can store 1.2Wh!!!

        What is probably happening, as pointed out by Ged, is that the USB PCP is not passing any current once voltage drops below 4V, which happens exponentially on discharge of the cap.

    • Gerard McEk

      Hi Frank, It appears to charge, so that is good news. Still not able to open it?

      • Sanjeev

        It does seem to charge itself up. Now the question is how. Hidden battery?

    • Sanjeev

      Can you plug it in (after an hour) without the meter so that we can check if it lasts longer or if the meter is drawing power or has a cut off etc?

      • ecatworld

        Ok, I’ll do it again at 3:22

      • ecatworld

        At 3:22 I plugged it in and nothing came on, so not much point posting a video.

        • Sanjeev

          Probably needs more time.

  • BadgerWi

    Any word as to when you get the full factory completed device with the battery inside?

    • BadgerWi

      Never mind I just saw the other article.

      • ecatworld

        Yes I’ll have to wait along with everyone else.

  • SG

    This is actually a good idea, but not possible at the present moment, due to the likely presence of a current limiter on the USB PCB.

    But once the lid is off, and assuming there are terminals to which the meter can be attached, the voltage restoration of the cap over time should be observed.

  • SG

    > txt29’s statements are correct

    Actually, his statements are usually incorrect. But he does come up with a good idea now and then that should be tried.

  • Blue Energy

    It’s interesting that Steorn has reported that they sent three units out whose batteries became over-charged in transit, but Frank, or the existence of a unit sent without batteries, wasn’t mentioned. A couple of things come to me about this. The first is that, for whatever reason, Frank *was* chosen. Apparently four total units were sent out. Three out of three of them that contained batteries were sent to locations who could be counted upon to quickly measure battery voltage and report back. The web doesn’t know anything about any of those three other than that they all immediately reported their units initial battery voltage. Considering how difficult it is to get inside the case this seems suspicious to me. It also seems suspicious that, despite the Steornosphere generally going berserk – none of the three seem to have announced that they have received one.

    Then there is Frank’s. His purportedly was sent without a battery by mistake. But, unlike the other three, he was not ever asked to take his apart (using a very uncommonly owned tool…) to remove the battery nor asked whether he had the equipment to test it. They just sent it to him and later realized (somehow…) that his lacked a battery. If they were sending a test shipment of O-Cubes to make sure shipping worked as expected – why didn’t Steorn vet Frank the same way it apparently vetted the other recipients?

    What are the odds that there has only ever been one O-Cube shipped to any customer and that it was deliberately sent without a battery? I don’t know. And, what’s more I can’t imagine why. What could the end game possibly be? But – it does all feel peculiar in a familiar way.

    Once the cover has finally been pried off by Frank’s burglar friend, it will be possible to obtain and attach a suitable replacement battery to it and so ascertain if, over the course of a week or so, its voltage rises far above the expected maximum – thus verifying Steorn’s claim. And, I suppose that it will be at least possible to compare the contents of Frank’s initial O-Cube against the contents of his replacement, when it arrives.

    • SG

      Agree with your first paragraph. As to your second, Shaun actually *did* tell Frank that he should take it apart, and has actually been giving some advice along those lines. As to your third paragraph, everything Steorn has ever done has been peculiar and quirky. They certainly march to their own beat. As to your last paragraph, it is simpler than that: just measure at the terminals of the Orbo power pack over a set period of time, and we’ll know whether the Steorn claims are absolutely real, exaggerated, or bogus (assuming the unit has not been damaged).

      • Blue Energy

        On your response to my second paragraph – yes, Shaun has been advising Frank as to how to open it. No question about that. But he did not make sure that Frank was either willing nor able to do so before it was sent – which would seem important if one was attempting to assure that a test shipment arrived successfully and in good shape. The other three apparently already all had access to the tool required to remove the bolts and had no serious difficulty with whatever it is that is preventing Frank from getting inside his. Third paragraph – absolutely agree. Fourth paragraph – your suggestion will tell us whether the claim that the orbo produces .4 W continuously forever is true. Attaching a battery will tell us whether the claim that the units, as they were shipped, were prone to over-charging or not is true. That was what I was suggesting could be tested at some point.

        • SG

          Touche. Although I’d prioritize testing the claim over testing the possible shipment delay excuse.

          • Blue Energy

            Agree.

        • DrD

          “The other three apparently already all had access” How do you know that? I could be wrong but I expect the Li-ion is connected across the output. So all they did was measure the output voltage.

          • Blue Energy

            I hadn’t considered that. That would certainly make it easier and more plausible to believe that the three spontaneously measured and reported their devices output the day they received it without prior notice. If that were true then they would only have been expected to own a volt-ohm meter and know how to use it, as well as have access to the the pin-outs on a USB socket. I, at least, know people who don’t own one and wouldn’t know how to obtain pin-outs – but maybe that’s just my people. So, not assured but at least more likely.

          • Blue Energy

            No apology necessary – we’re just talking. And you make a very good point.

      • snowvoardphil

        Didn’t he do the testing with the powametre and the resistor ? It didnt give us much more insight to whats going on in there?

        • Ged

          Sadly, no. The meter just doesn’t work with the USB as expected. It won’t read while the leds will still work. So, had to use the led dongle thing instead which isn’t as good.

  • ecatworld

    Minor setback on the “open it up” project. The person who was going to help me had livestock killed by dogs, so has to deal with carcass disposal. So I had to move the appointment to tomorrow night.

    • Blue Energy

      Rats.

    • Ged

      I am sorry to hear about his loss. Always annoying to lose animals, especially to dogs.

      • DrD

        YES, Foxes just got my fathers (pet) hens and also my cousins and they were a rare bread (the hens). It happens a lot. The annoying thing is that they never eat them, they just tear them and leave them. Strange that in both the latest instances they left two alive having killed about 20.

        • Even foxes get tired I suppose. Last time a fox got into my wife’s enclosure it killed 15 out of 20 hens outright, and left 3 of the survivors seriously injured, two of which died later.

    • Sanjeev

      Obviously steorn sent those dogs to stop him from opening the ocube, which they advised should be opened.
      That proves it, it does not work.
      >>pathoskep mode off

      • Ged

        But it does prove Steorn has a highly effective dog training team.

        • Sanjeev

          Yes it does. Took 10 years to train them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • ecatworld

    See my note above.

  • ecatworld

    About the same it seems.

  • Wishful Thinking Energy

    Frank, if you use the portapow meter instead of the port powered meter then you can just leave it plugged in and the meter will not drain the Orbo since it has its own power source. The meter came with an additional cable that has two USB connector plugs on it. You can plug one of these into the Orbo and then the meter will give you a constant voltage reading and let you know when the Orbo has charged. Once the Orbo charges you can plug your LED into the other USB connector on the cable. See the image for an example.

    • SG

      This would be interesting to do for a couple of reasons. We can test the idea of whether the USB PCB has a current limiter. We can also test the time interval between apparent discharge and recharge. The reason I say apparent is because at this point, it is unclear whether the cap is fully discharging with each LED plug-in event.

    • ecatworld

      From what I have seen, it seems like every time you put something in the USB port the capacitor gets drained if there’s enough power to activate the USB.

      There’s a little blue light LED inside the USB slot that comes on until the cube is discharged. I have not seen the unit repower anything while it is sitting in the USB port, after an initial discharge.

      • SG

        Does the blue USB LED only come on when plugging something in? In other words, you have never seen the USB LED on when something is not plugged in, correct?

        • ecatworld

          The blue light comes on if you plug something in and there’s enough power to drive it. The blue light will stay on for a little while if you pull something out of the USB slot before the cube is completely discharged. I’ll try and make a video of it tomorrow.

      • Sanjeev

        The blue light would mean that whatever power is being measured is not very accurate as the light will consume some of the actual output. Perhaps the light is useful when the LI battery is there, when its draw will be negligible compared to the phone/tablet connected. But for this ocube it is a problem. There can be other circuits inside that take up power.

        I guess, the only way to test it is to open it and access the internal test point.

      • DrD

        what if you just plug in a “blank” USB cable? Like a USB extension cable with nothing else connected.

  • SG

    Incorrect. Here is a nice little tutorial about the asymmetry in charging and discharging phases. http://macao.communications.museum/eng/exhibition/secondfloor/moreinfo/2_3_5_ChargingCapacitor.html

  • SG

    You are again making the assumption that the charge and discharge rates of a cap are the same. They aren’t.

  • I don’t understand. If there is supposed to be a battery inside how can it be so impenetrable. Wouldn’t the battery eventually need changing. Still have a funny feeling about the Orbo.

  • FC

    FWIW, here’s my two cents.

    It appears to me that some recharging is actually happening. But we would need Frank to extend these tests for several months to reach a conclusion. Opening the ocube is quicker.

    Provided there is a 5 F capacitor inside, theoretically it should get fully charged in a few minutes, but in fact, more recharge time is needed for the ocube to break through the USB threshold.

    Therefore, it is possible that, in order to break through the USB threshold, some energy needs to accumulate (beyond the capacitance of the 5 F cap) in the orbo power cells. Remember what Steorn said about the cells having capacitance themselves.

    That could explain why there is instantaneous power but very little depth. But once again, opening the ocube would clear many things.

  • SG

    Incorrect. This provides an example of why he is incorrect on this point:

    http://faraday.physics.utoronto.ca/IYearLab/capacitor.pdf

    • Sanjeev

      Your math seems to be right.
      The consumption by the blue light needs to be accounted. There can be more circuitry inside, like limiters etc. There can be charging current regulators to make it charge slowly and not load the core suddenly etc etc.
      This “customized” ocube seems to be useless except for testing purposes, which can be done only from the internal access point. There is a reason steorn asked it to be opened.

      So its all a BIG speculation, nothing more. I’d keep the “number crunching and jumping to wild conclusions” act for the last scene. (which could take months and involve other testers).

  • Anon2012_2014

    Frank,

    I understand that apparently the unit will not run because of the high drain caused by the LED laps. I also point out that the in-line power meter (the white one) has its own draw.

    Too hard.

    Just get a standard radioshack digital multimeter. It has a 10 M Ohm input impedance.

    You can start by putting it across the Steorn output without a resistor. Should read something like 5 volts. Note that it may be slowly discharging the capacitor through its 10 M Ohm impedance.

    Then put a 1 M Ohm resistor across it. Read the voltage. Say it’s 5 volts still. you know then that the resistor is drawing 5/1e6 = 5 uA, and that the power is 25 uW. You can precisely measure the resistor with the ohm meter to within the accuracy of the multimeter to get a more accurate calculation.

    Drop down to the 100K Ohm. If you get 5 volts, then you have 5e-5=50 uA and 250 uW.

    Then go to 10K ohm, and so on.

    BTW, I had a brain fart when I recommended using two meters, one in series, and one in parallel, as one meter will due due to Ohms law when solved for current. Sorry. Also sorry for not feeding back last too days — been busy.

    I am having problems understanding why the Steorn device across the 10K resistor is still coming up some tiny voltage, unless the volt meter built into that power meter has a lower input impedance.

    At 10K ohms you should get 5e-5 = 0.5 mA and power of 2.5 mW, well within the supposed continuous power output of the device. If not, it’s not working to “spec” which I believe is 50 mW.

    • DrD

      Agree with this. It’s been said a few times that although LED’s may be dramatic and a real life application, for analysis purposes they’re not helpful. YES, a high impedance DVM is much more scientific or oscilloscope with a selection of resistors.
      I still say try also with an old (working) Li-ion battery across the output.

    • Anon2012_2014

      See my new comment above. It is apparent that there is a voltage regulator/booster between the capacitor and the USB output in Orbo, so that there is no way to directly measure the power output of the capacitor.

  • ecatworld

    No it doesn’t come on unless you put something into the USB slot.

  • DrD

    Sorry but white LED’s wont run below about 3.5 to 4V (unless they contain a buck booster or similar). In fact the threshold is possibly over 4.5V if, as they should, they also contain a series current regulator. Therefore you can’t use the charge on the capacitor below some threshold of about 3.5V (plus 1V for the regulator). Below 3.5V they are high resistance, like a soft diode below it’s breakdown voltage. They won’t pass much current, nor will they light up.
    So (1/2*5F*5Vยฒ) becomes (1/2*5F*5Vยฒ-1/2*4.5F*5Vยฒ) =62.5-56.25 = 6.25 (very approximately). However, I don’t believe you can trust the 1 hour because Franks videos show that charge time varies considerably, see his series of 30 mimute tests. Two didnt work, the others did. This isn’t surprising given that we’re trying to drive LED’s (which need a fixed voltage) from a capacitor which (unlike a battery) has a voltage that falls exponentially and furthermore, only starts just above it’s threshold.
    In summary, not a reliable way to estimate charge rate.

    • Sanjeev

      I agree with you. Some quick googling shows that white leds have a cut off voltage of 3-4V. That explains the behavior nicely.

  • georgehants

    I think it would be very useful if Mr. Steorn where to come on page and explain exactly what is going on and exactly what to do to check the output as they obviously must have done many times in their lab.
    Many people are following this page and it would seem self-evident that the Orbo people would like to see a good demonstration of their technology.
    Sitting on their bums giving clearly insufficient advice is not going to help their cause.

  • FC

    I have the suspicion that the racist joke didn’t help one bit.

    • mike wolf

      It wasn’t racist at all. It may have been an ethnic slight, but not racist. I am Irish and proud of it. Didn’t bother me.

      • FC

        Good to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Pweet

          Just looking at the last vid posted on 12th Feb re: the blue led.

          I think the blue led coming on indicates that the regulated 5 volt output supply to the Orbo USB socket has been ‘woken up’ and there should then be 5 volts supply available at the USB port.
          As previously said, the 5 volts wont be there all the time, only when it senses a load applied.

          The turning off of the blue led after 15 seconds or so does not necessarily mean the supply capacitor has exhausted. It would normally shut off a short time after it senses the load has been removed.
          That part looks to be be working correctly.
          That’s why you would see no significant voltage at the output port when you leave a volt meter connected to it. A voltmeter has very high internal resistance and is not detected as a load applied to the port.
          Also, once the port has shut down for any reason, it will not ‘wake up’ unless the load is removed, the capacitor has recharged at least a little bit, and then the load re-connected.

          It will also turn off when the load remains connected and the capacitor gets discharged, which is what has been happening mostly.

          The USB dongle would use a small amount of power, Does the blue light remain ‘on’ for longer when the dongle is left plugged in for longer?
          If not, does it remain on for longer when the dongle is left plugged in for longer with a 100 ohm across the output of the dongle? That would represent a load of 50 ma on the usb port, plus whatever the dongle uses, plus whatever the blue led uses. The blue led is not bright and would only use a few milliamps. 5 at most.

          You might have answered this already. So much written now I’ve lost track.

          • ecatworld

            Pweet — you said “Also, once the port has shut down for any reason, it will not ‘wake up’ unless the load is removed, the capacitor has recharged at least a little bit, and then the load re-connected.”

            That is exactly what I have observed.

          • SG

            If you do exactly what you did in this video (plug in and quickly remove), then wait for the internal blue LED to go off, then immediately repeat the process (plug in and quickly remove), then which of the following happens?

            1) The blue LED comes back on for about 15-20 seconds then goes off
            2) The blue LED does not come back on
            3) Something else

          • ecatworld

            Ok will try that.

          • Blue Energy

            I suspect it will come back on again.

          • Blue Energy

            Actually, I’m surprised that it wouldn’t come back on the last time.

          • ecatworld

            I just tried it again, this time putting the plug in and removing it as fast as possible. The light has kept lighting after 10 repetitions. I did not video it this time.

          • Blue Energy

            That’s good to know. Did it go out on the eleventh time or did you (reasonably) just call it good at ten?

          • Blue Energy

            OK – that was badly worded and I can’t edit. I should have said, “Did it not turn on on your eleventh try or did you (reasonably) just call it enough at ten?”.

          • ecatworld

            I just stopped at 10. It was still lighting. I could try to exhaust the LED but don’t know how long that would take.

          • Blue Energy

            No, I just wanted to be sure that it was still open-ended.

          • SG

            So with this series of tests, we know that the blue LED is not draining the capacitor, but rather, is a function specific to the USB PCB. Not a big surprise, but txt29 was proposing below that the Orbo power pack could not even keep a simple blue LED powered for more than 15 seconds.

            Of course, we still don’t know what kind of output the Orbo power pack generates, or even whether one exists in the container. But we will know soon once the cows are safe. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Pweet

            I would assume the total time the blue led was ‘on’ would still be about the same; that is about 60 seconds?
            It would be interesting to keep plugging in every 10 seconds or so, before the led turns off. The blue led should stay on for as long as you keep activating the output circuit until the storage is empty, be it battery or capacitor.
            My guess is again, a total ‘on’ time of 60 seconds or thereabouts.

          • ecatworld

            Video posted above of that test.

          • Pweet

            From the next video you posted with the multiple plug and unplug into the Orbo USB port, we see the blue led comes on each time for the same 15 second period, until after about five times it didn’t come on any more. The 15 second period is the period the Orbo stays on for before it turns itself off when no load is apparent at the output port. That part is all working fine.

            It didn’t light up on the 5th time a load was plugged in.
            That would indicate that just running the blue led for 4 X 15 seconds (60 seconds total) was enough to deplete the charge in the capacitor (or battery) to a level so low that there was insufficient charge to run the output circuit.
            The blue led would draw very little power so that is yet another indication that the Orbo is not recharging to any useful level.
            This is consistent with all previous tests running the small external led load and also the led reading lamp.
            Either something is defective in the storage or recharge system,
            or the design is defective,
            or the environment you are using it in is very deficient in stray emf’s. ( quite possible depending on where you are)

            You’re not out in a back shed somewhere are you? away from the normal household appliances etc?
            I’m still sure it works by harvesting stray emf’s, particularly mains frequencies or am radio band, so you could try moving the Orbo to different parts of the workshop or house, closer to things that might emit emf’s, like electric motors, loudspeakers, extension cords, etc. Wrap an extension cord around it and run the vacuum cleaner for a few minutes and see if that makes any difference.

            Also, having opened it up I don’t see any space that might have the lithium battery fitted which was supposed to be missing. Everything looks to be there, including the lithium battery. I think the lithium battery is the log boxy looking thing running side on to the case. I’m guessing two of those connection points would be for the battery.

            The fact that it initially ran the reading lamp for an hour or two would indicate it had some form of high capacity storage.
            It’s always possible the lithium battery is dead flat and that kills them, but internal circuitry should have prevented that. But then they apparently didn’t have any internal circuitry to prevent overcharging to 8 volts so who knows?

      • I knew it did not bother the Irish people, maybe a few, but it is just a joke and maybe it will trigger the guys at Steorn to give some useful info, they put the lid on, so they also know how to remove it.

        • georgehants

          Paul, there are 762 comments on page concerning the simple measurement of this device.
          Very few seem to think that the obvious answer is for Mr. Steorn to come on page and talk through the exact procedure on a battery-less product.
          If he cannot do this as impracticable, then the advice would be, throw it in the rubbish and wait for the complete unit.

          • ecatworld

            It’s not like new any more, George, and by the end of the day it might be more mutilated!

          • georgehants

            Admin, Ha, you may regret that when the Orbo is running the World and your example would be like a misprint of a 1840 penny black stamp.
            Don’t forget to keep the original packaging and paperwork on delivery etc.

        • ecatworld

          Thanks for doing this!

          • Is there a ledge (see pink marking), so you have to hammer the lid in place (sort of click system). Frank showed there is some movement, that is not possible if Steorn used glue. If this click system is the case, you need some small crowbar and some force. But again, you can ruin the components inside as well.

          • ecatworld

            Thanks very much for the picture, Paul. A very useful reference.

          • tchernik

            They apparently made it to be nuke-resistant.

          • Anon2012_2014

            This photo of the aluminum case came from the Steorn website??

          • ecatworld

            It is from a leaked video of a Steorn shareholder’s meeting in late 2015

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Hereโ€™s the video. Internals of the OCube are explained starting at 21:28. As has been suspected, there is a circuit inside that regulates the voltage:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oLR3l64bTY

          • ecatworld

            There’s a label on the inside that reads “Warranty Void if Removed”

          • Blue Energy

            I don’t understand – inside where?

          • ecatworld

            On the underside of the black plate

          • Blue Energy

            Oh, I see.

          • Blue Energy

            I guess it would be safer not to remove that label then.

          • SG

            It has taken me awhile, but I’m warming up to your sense of humor.

          • Blue Energy

            Yeah – definitely an acquired taste.

          • Rob King

            Energy stored = 1/2 CV2 = Joules (1 watt for 1 second)
            For example:
            0.5 x 5F x 2V^2 = 10 J
            0.5 x 5F x 6V^2 = 90 J
            So we can see that a rise of voltage from 2V to 6V = 80 Joules of energy added.
            Or 0.4 watts for 200 seconds.

            This does not seem a lot really, if the orbo can output 0.4 watts, it should only take it say 300 seconds to charge the capacitor – taking into account losses.
            So it would lead me to think the capacitor might be a lot higher than 5F.
            But hopefully we can calculate what it will be from testing by charging it.

          • DrD

            YES, They told Frank that there is extra to the 5F in there.

          • Obvious

            Well…..,there you have it.
            That oughta convince a bunch of other folks to not bother to open theirs….
            I think that is pretty much the embodiment of “No user serviceable parts inside”.

          • FC

            Thanks for the weight information, Frank.
            That’s a pretty heavy plate. Does it appear to you that the rest of the casing is as heavy as the back plate?

          • Anon2012_2014

            The two rectangle-oid boxes show to the right and the bottom of orbo assuming the monkey head is up look like possibly a capacitor or battery.

            I would do my best with a volt meter to measure voltage at the exposed terminals and try and draw come kind of electrical schematic. I would also consider exposing the conductor on the red wire, and possibly a black wire behind it to get more of the schematic.

        • Blue Energy

          I think its at least possible that the cover being stuck is a surprise to them as well. What if they filled the cavity with resin by hand, attached the lid and screwed it down, and then the O-Cube was tilted – causing the resin to contact the lid and setting in that state. I haven’t ever worked with potting resin, so I’m only imagining what its characteristics are. In that case, though, maybe it’s accidentally glued together with resin.

          • ecatworld

            A new video posted above based on the suggestion of SG. Good idea!

          • Sanjeev

            It charges up quickly.
            Note that the voltage required for blue led is about 3.5V, so it turns off as soon as the voltage drops below 3.5V. It may not be discharging it completely and hence it needs to only charge back to some value above 3.5.

          • SG

            That is a possibility. But another possibility is that the USB PCB is programmed to turn the blue LED off after a set period of time. I think it might be the latter but have no way to prove it.

          • Sanjeev

            Possible. In that case it will take many attempts to discharge it using this blue led. (Not worth trying I guess).

          • ecatworld

            Ok I’ve started

          • Blue Energy

            That gets my vote. My informal timing of the light turning off by itself was a count to 18 each time.

          • Esko Lyytinen

            If you do not remove the USB stick (without LED in this), after getting the blue LED started, does the LED still extinguish after the same period of time, or does it continue to glow ?

          • ecatworld

            Ok the video of this test is posted above.

          • SG

            Thanks Frank. The time intervals in which the blue LED are on are consistent with each other (17 seconds for each interval), despite there being progressively longer periods between plugging/unplugging events. This confirms that the blue LED is being controlled by the USB PCB based on an internal timer or some other internal control mechanism. In other words, the blue LED is not being extinguished based on a lack of charge in the cap.

          • Sanjeev

            That should settle the question.

          • Ged

            Great detective work.

  • ecatworld

    Morning all — thanks for the ideas, which I’ve just looked through! Will be in and out today so may not have access to try a lot of new tests, but I’ll see what I can do. Hopefully we’ll get the lid off this evening. Above is a new video showing the behavior of the internal LED I have mentioned.

    • FC

      Good morning, Frank. Thank you for the new video and for all your efforts. And good luck this evening with the surgery.

    • Sanjeev

      It lights up for 20 sec. That’s a record.

      • FC

        Maybe since the USB stick was removed very fast (as opposed to other tests), there was more charge left for the LED.

        • Sanjeev

          Yes, and its a single led so took less power.

          • Guy Mann

            The light may only stay on a set amount of time regardless. It only comes on when something is plugged in, so in its absence it may eventually go into standby mode and shut down.

      • Ged

        What’s interesting is that the circuit stays open to keep the LED on for so long, even with whatever was in the USB port removed. Does their cap have to drain once the circuit is triggered?

        Maybe their circuit is just really basic; I’ve seen plenty of “stick your usb plug in a usb port and a light comes on” wall charger devices that turn off that light almost immediately after removal. The longest wall charger with indicator light I have stays on about 5 seconds after removing a load, enough to make me blink suspiciously at it the first few times I used it, but still much shorter than this.

        • Sanjeev

          Yes, it stays on too long for a charging indicator light. Should turn off immediately once unplugged ideally.

    • Ged

      This is very useful, Frank, thank you again!

  • Sanjeev
    • FC

      Yes, apparently R&D of Orbo continues. So as the compaction method improves, new applications become feasible.

  • Ged

    Very interesting, and useful control!

    Careful though, a single LED light is a Very small load. I’ve seen where one can get a single non-white LED (0.3 V – 0.7 V threshold) to weakly light up just by touching it (the discussion about that seems to mostly come to the suggestion that the human body can act as an aerial for “mains hum”, which is picking up electromagnetic radiation from the main AC current of appliances or the building’s wiring, which explains how an LED activated by human touch is unaffected by polarity). So it’s possible that just leaking radiation around can keep it partly lit, especially if any part of the phone it’s in contact with can act as an “antenna” like the human body can. That’s what makes Frank’s 1.5 W lamp useful, as it is too large to be affected by ubiquitous “mains hum”.

    I’d suggest using more than just a single LED to do this control test to avoid erroneous noise giving you a false signal while the battery could be truly dead.

  • Sanjeev

    Not possible. Its solid metal case.

  • ecatworld

    Interesting Q&A on Facebook about the Ophone (latest update on its use here:https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryisdead/videos/10153527793007672/) — which according to Steorn here uses a capacitor:

    Michael Waskosky: I’m still unsure if this means that the phone is gradually charging the battery all the time or if it has to run out all the way to fully recharge. Or if it is from talking on the phone for a long period of time that causes it to drain all the way, in which case I wonder how long that period if time is?

    Orbo: The capacitor that keeps the ophone charged is constantly being charged by Orbo. But during extensive use the capacitor may drain below the level that can power the phone. To fully recharge the capacitor can take several hours, however enough charge to power the phone back on can typically be achieved within several minutes.

    Orbo: Hi Darren, the ophone contains a capacitor that directly powers our phone. During extensive use this capacitor may become discharged, however this capacitor is being constantly trickle charged by Orbo. So after a period of time the capacitor will be recharged and the phone will be functional again. In essence the phone is charging itself.

    Darren: So the battery meter on the phone is a representation of the charge in the capacitor?

    Orbo: Yes

    Charlie Stout: How could the battery meter show a full charge after a power down and restart over a period of only a few minutes? If it came back up after a few minutes of trickle charge wouldn’t it only show a low charge?

    Orbo: Hi Charlie – the charge characteristics of a capacitor are very different than those of an LI battery. The battery indicator on the ophone is designed for an LI battery, hence it can show fully charged even when the capacitor is not fully charged.

    • SG

      Interesting that they are avoiding LI, probably to reduce shipping complications. But if they want a good energy reservoir for hungrier devices such as smart phones, they are inevitably going to have to go LI, or otherwise significantly increase the energy density of the Orbo power packs.

      • FC

        IMHO, I don’t think it’s the orbo power cells’ energy density that they need to incresase, but their power density.

        Provided orbo power cells work as advertised and last several decades, their energy density is extremely high. What they lack is power.

        • SG

          Yes, you are correct.

  • Jamie Sibley

    the Orbo, since it was supposed to contain a 3.7v li-ion battery, and produce a 5v output. It likely contains a battery management and boost ic. I have a battery pack in my possession that acts exactly like the Orbo videos posted above. It contains this IC.

    http://www.active-semi.com/sheets/ACT2802_Brief.pdf

    • Anon2012_2014

      Bad news — this implies Orbo uses a battery booster to regulate constant 5V if the capacitor/battery is not too discharged.

      Thus, it will not be possible to directly measure the energy stored in the capacitor or the output of the charging circuit.

      From the video I get the follow for average power:

      5v * 0.15A * 3 seconds/3600 seconds = ~ 0.6 mW average over 1 hour charge. Not too useful if my calculation is correct. I am disappointed.

      • SG

        Too many unknowns, as covered extensively below. I think we all know there is only one way to get to the bottom of this. But with dog and cow troubles, we must wait a little longer. (Don’t mean to minimize the loss, it just amazes me how Murphy rears his head in the most intriguing sorts of ways.)

        • Anon2012_2014

          Agreed. ๐Ÿ™

  • Anon2012_2014

    See my comment above. It is apparent that there is a voltage regulator/booster between the capacitor and the USB output in Orbo, so that there is no way to directly measure the power output of the capacitor.

    Looking at the data Frank provided for 10K ohms, the regulator appears to have provided continuously 0.385 V which would be 38.5 uA or 15 uW. However, some of the power may be going to the LED, and a lot of the power is going to the regulator/booster which is unable to bring the power up.

    Therefore, trying to measure the power this way without opening up the unit is impossible.

    Suggestion would be to finish the testing on the regulator output and then take it apart and measure voltages inside Orbo.

    Finally, I get a volume of the whole unit of around pi*r^2*h = 3.14*6^2*3.9 = ~ 440 cc and Frank got a weight of around 1.1 kg, giving the unit an average density of around 2.5 g/cc; i.e. similar to solid aluminum, and higher than pure epoxy resin. Therefore, I would expect that there are some heavier components within the case that we haven’t seen yet.

    Someone showed an opened Orbo case made out of what appears to be aluminum. I am assuming that came from Steorn. Seems we are going to have to work to pry the case open, assuming it is not glued shut with potting epoxy. ๐Ÿ™

  • Well, Steorn has banned me on their facebook page and deleted my reactions and the links
    to videoโ€™s regarding the test here on E-Cat World (see image). I donโ€™t know what to think about it.

    • SG

      Well, you were being provocative (although granted just a little), and their facebook page is their playground. They may not want their general audience to get buried in the nuance and difficulty of testing the tech as is happening here. I can think of many reasons why they don’t want you there. But welcome to our playground. I’m sure you can assist in our efforts here.

      • O yes, you are probably right, and I do not have hard feelings about it, Iโ€™m a Steorn fan from the start, when they were experimenting with the John Bedini set up, like magnets and rotating coils. I still believe in the technology.

  • Blue Energy

    More likely it was Red Lectroids from the eighth dimension IMPERSONATING dogs trying to thwart Steorn from bringing humanity the technology that they know would solve all our problems and take us to the stars. And beyond. God only knows what they’ll do tonight… Keep your head on a swivel, Buckaroo.

  • Tobben Heibert

    Ok… Apologies for bad English, but how many times will a Led-lamp light up for ten seconds at the time, whit a small battery that fits in to the fxxxxxg thing?

  • Ged

    Hm, can x rays penetrate 3mm aluminum? I am pretty sure aluminum is a heavy enough metal to scatter x rays.

  • Rob King

    If 0.385V appears on the output, then yes this could have passed through the whole set of circuits dropping voltage along the way.

    So my guess is the o-cube is made up as follows:
    1. Orbo
    2. Energy harvesting circuit
    3. Charge controller
    4. 5F cap(Li-ion cell)
    5. DC-DC converter to 5V

    The energy harvesting circuit may not be required if the Orbo output voltage is say over 2V, so the Orbo can power the charge controller directly – albeit operating in a trickle charge mode because of the restricted input power.

    If the DC-DC converter has a small blue LED to show when DC-DC converter is in live mode then this too will draw about 10 to 20mA from the 5V supply, so here is 50 to 100mW lost through the LED.

    Once Frank can get inside the o-cube and at the orbo itself, then he will be able to measure the voltage and current as it charges the capacitor. Hopefully the orbo is working fine and its the electronics in circuit that is causing an issue.
    Tools needed to open the case(in case hitting it on a hard surface fails):
    junior hacksaw, pliers and a screwdriver
    Saw 2 slots 8mm apart, 8mm deep. Bend out the tab with the pliers, use screwdriver to lever the back off.

    • Anon2012_2014

      The blue LED is likely between the battery and the regulator, such that when current is draw from the battery the LED stays lit. Waiting for confirmation…

  • ecatworld

    Success in getting the back off.

    • FC

      Yes!!
      Any photos?

    • SG

      Excellent. Any suspected damage to its internals during the removal procedure?

      • ecatworld

        No none at all. The secret was sticking a some big screws in the screw holes and yanking with a small crowbar

        • Blue Energy

          So – you weren’t being subtle enough.

    • Blue Energy

      So – what was it that was preventing lift off? Was the resin stuck to the bottom or was the metal binding at the edges?

      • ecatworld

        There was some resin stuck to the underside.

        • mike wolf

          ah.

    • Ged

      Getting us all excited!

      • mike wolf

        pwhit pwhit pwit. lol

    • mike wolf

      AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

  • Blue Energy

    Can you see what to attach your multimeter to to measure voltage coming out of the orbo?

    • ecatworld

      Yes 2 sets of terminals

      • Blue Energy

        Hu ah! Do you have any plans to do so?

        • Blue Energy

          (this is nerd sarcasm, by the way…)

      • SG

        Wow, now let the discovery begin in earnest!

      • Ged

        Now the fun begins!

  • ecatworld

    Picture above

    • FC

      Thank you, Frank.

  • Blue Energy

    Huh… this one lacks a battery. Where would it have gone if it had one, I wonder?

    • mike wolf

      where the goop is

  • mike wolf

    what was jamming it up Frank?

    • ecatworld

      potting resin stuck to the back plate

      • FC

        Which appears quite unintentional. So Steorn wasn’t trying to prevent you from opening it, as some people suggest.

        • ecatworld

          No they encouraged me to open it.

          • FC

            I know. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Anon2012_2014

            Someone else showed a setup of an Active-Semi ACT2802 where the voltage does NOT directly pass through the inductor from the input to the output, but rather through the IC first and then through the inductor. So it is not certain if the voltage is the same on the capacitor as on the output; depending on where the capacitor is installed in the circuit.

    • ecatworld

      Very hard.

      • SG

        Now that looks kind of scary. Talk about making it hard to reverse engineer! At least they were kind enough to leave us two sets of terminals.

      • Rob King

        If we measure the voltage across the 2 sets of terminals, then plug in the USB lamp, then measure again, hopefully one of the 2 readings will have dropped.
        I am hoping the 2 sets are:
        1. Orbo battery
        2. Capacitor

        Then keep measuring the voltage every 30 minutes (do not plug anything into the USB) and we can work out the amount of charge going into the 5F cap by the change in voltage.

        I cannot remember the formula, but you can calculate the watt hours or energy by the change in voltage.

        Then when the cap is charged to say 4V then connect a 100 ohm resistor across the 5V USB output (with a milliamp meter in series) and at some point the current will shut off.
        Measure the voltage across the cap and work out the change in voltage and power lost.
        This should compare closely with the energy through the resistor.

        I say 5F cap, but we cannot be sure of this.
        There is a test that can be done to prove this by rate of charge with a given current – even with the Orbo adding its charge.

        • Anon2012_2014

          Rob — Orbo’s has what appears to be a 5V up regulator that takes charge out of the battery/capacitor and then boost up the voltage to a regulator 5V until the input runs out of charge and it can no longer boost up. The schematic appears worse than we thought.

  • Blue Energy

    What is the constancy of the potting resin, Frank? It looks hard.

    • Ged

      Boy, this thing is a goop monster, like Venom from Spider-Man fame. Hopefully some of the resident engineers here can make out at least a few of the… components… Huh. Well, anyways, now we can do direct measurements which means we can truly play. Should see about drawing up a plan of action tonight to do tomorrow–a solid set of testing protocols. I know there are plenty of great ideas floating around.

      • FC

        It would be nice if Frank could plug a potentiometer (or various resistors) in those terminals and monitor voltage at different levels of impedance.

        Crude, but direct to the point. I think.

  • Private Citizen

    Wonder if a sonograph could see into that potting resin?

  • Anon2012_2014

    Epoxy is about 1.7 gm/cc, aluminum around 2.5. It is clear to me that there are some heavy components hidden in the epoxy or the case as the total volume is around 440 cc. If the whole thing was solid aluminum, it would weigh 1100 gm as measured by Frank, and as a large part of it is epoxy, something must weigh more.

    (Assumptions are that Orbo is equivalent to a cylinder 6 cm in radius and 3.9 cm high.)

    Is it possible the case is made of steel and not aluminum?

    If you drill it or bend it, the shavings of aluminum are soft and ductile.

    As the back plate weighs 1101-853 = 248 gm, and it appears to me to be less than 2 to 3 mm thick, and thus has a volume of around pi*36*0.3= ~33 cc and an apparent density of 248/33 = ~ 7.5 gm/cc, it seems to me that the unit might be made out of steel. Assume a front plate of the same mass (248 gm) and that the sides weight about the same, thats about 750 gms leaving 350 gms for the rest of it including the potting epoxy.

    • FC

      Exactly.

      According to the attached chart, the maximum energy density (by weight) that we could expect from a 350 gram battery is in the order of 100 Wh. Therefore, if Frank can get 0.4 W out of this thing for 10-15 days (which is 96-144 Wh), we can pretty much rule out the battery hypothesis.

      Another thought. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if this thing is not a battery and it is harvesting ambient EM energy, it would be a terrible idea to encase it in a metallic shell, as the shell would act as a faraday cage.

      • FC

        Sorry, here’s the chart.

      • Anon2012_2014

        I believe it may be more like a ferrite loop antenna than a VHF antenna, and uses the induced current in the coil that is harvested from the magnetic component of E&M.

        • FC

          Excuse my ignorance. What is E&P?

          • FC

            Thank for the edit. It’s E&M now.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Discuss I normally proof read after typing and then edit on line. Unfortunately it sends the first unedited version to you to respond to. Cheers!

          • FC

            No worries.

            Unfortunately, I can’t edit mine, since I post as a guest. Otherwise I would have deleted the question after your editing. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • ecatworld

            At this point I don’t want to do any puncturing or scraping, I don’t want to do anything that could end up damaging something or interfering with how the ocube is supposed to operate

          • Anon2012_2014

            Typo for E&M, i.e. electromagnetic RF field.

            I’m guessing that the magnetic field can induce a current through a non-magnetic faraday cage. Need to review that to confirm. I am also guessing that the lower the frequency of the signal, the more the magnetic component counts, and that is why we can get VLF undersea submarine communications.

          • FC

            Right, but isn’t steel magnetic (at least most kinds)?

          • Anon2012_2014

            Austintic stainless is not magnetic

          • Ophelia Rump

            Put a magnet on it and see.

          • FC

            I hope Frank can do that. I don’t have an ocube. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • mike wolf

            yea steel is magnetic. stainless steel isn’t.

          • Hhiram

            Even if it could harvest energy from either EM or magnetic fields, what’s the source?

            Solar PV would barely get the power claimed (or that Frank is seeing) indoors if the whole face were covered with cells. And the energy from the rest of the spectrum indoors is orders of magnitude lower.

            That leaves magnetic. Maybe it’s leaching/inducting from magnetic fields indoors caused by household electricity? Maybe, but again unless it’s right next to an appliance there isn’t enough energy to explain the results we’re seeing. Same certainly goes for ambient magnetics (Earth’s).

            Ambient kinetics from seismicity is another possibility, but again orders of magnitude too little energy.

            Best guess among known effects is ambient magnetic fields from household electricity. Might also explain variation from unit to unit (I.e. Place to place indoors).

            Frank should do his testing in a garden shed, barn, or other outdoor area many meters from electrical supply or power lines.

          • No, aluminium provides good magnetic shielding. A varying field induces back-EMF which dissipates as heat. Even a thin layer (foil) will do. A non-varying magnetic field will pass through, but obviously wouldn’t provide harvestable energy.

          • JW

            Couldn’t help it ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Anon2012_2014

            If the frequency is low enough the magnetic field component does not induce enough current within non magnetic conductive materials to cancel out the wave on the inside and act as a reflector on the outside. Could be a lower frequency energy harvester, maybe harvesting the 60 Hertz hum or the Schumann resonance. Could have a big ferrite antenna in there explaining the weight.

          • Anon2012_2014

            “Aluminum provides good RF/EM shielding”

            Not on low frequency EM fields (below 100 kHz). The magnetism induces current right through non-magnetic conductors, only inducing a small amount in the conductive shell, so that the EM wave is not reflected back (to the outside).

            Device could be harvesting the 60 Hz hum in the house or the 10 Hz Schumann energy. Weight could be large heavy ferrite wound antennas for the lower frequency coupling.

            Or, could be the vibrational energy harvester.

            Looking forward to the terminal test at 2.4 volts upstream (north) of the 5V up-convertor. If we can figure out the schematic, we want to cut the wire to the regulator so we can get its load out of the circuit and measure with just a resistor. Have to be careful not to overcharge and blow the cap or battery; of which I see two on the upper right area of Frank’s photo with the back cover off.

  • ecatworld

    I’m going to be heading to bed soon, and haven’t had much time for testing this unit yet, so just a brief informal report for now.

    Based on the picture up above I have had my multimeter measuring voltage across the two terminals on the left for the last half hour or so. It started out reading 2.31 V and has been gradually rising and now is 2.44 V.

    The other two terminals on the right are reading 0 V

    • ecatworld

      now 2.45

      • mike wolf

        I guess the charge is sped up by the LI battery. seems to me they should have put in 2 sets of capacitors. So that one charges while the other is in use. The phone seems to have an issue with longevity with heavy usage.

        • SG

          LI battery?

          • mike wolf

            The unit Frank got was without a LI battery. No? if there are 2 systems inside, one can charge while the other is in use. 2 capacitor set ups. Maybe I should have said it that way.

          • SG

            Yes, we are told that it shipped with a 5F capacitor rather than an LI battery. I see what you are saying now with the 2 capacitors.

          • Blue Energy

            SG, you say ‘…with a 5F capacitor rather than an LI battery’. I did not realize that the capacitor was there *instead* of the the battery. Are you sure you know that’s true?

          • SG

            I might have made that assumption myself due to the reported challenges of shipping LI (as posted by Shaun on his facebook page). You are right, I don’t remember if we have a direct statement from Steorn with respect to whether an LI battery is also present or not in this unit.

          • Ged

            Steorn directly stated it does not have the battery, but only a 5F capacitor, and that this was a testing unit (battery-less for that purpose) that was shipped to Frank on accident. A second actual unit with the battery, they directly told Frank, will be shipped to him at no cost due to their error.

          • Blue Energy

            I recall most of that too: that it was accidentally shipped without a battery; that a second unit would be shipped to Frank and that he can keep the first one. And later, when there was a charge after all that diminished over time and there was some question as to whether it actually did have a battery, Steorn was consulted and it was reported that this was due to a 5F cap that was in the unit. What I don’t remember was that it was a 5F cap *instead* of a battery. But, it’s possible I missed that. Are you sure? My working understanding was that it would normally have both – but, again, that might have been my presumption.

          • Ged

            I don’t think it’s ever been said it’d have both, but it’s possible. The implication was that the cap was there instead of the battery, but that part may not have been directly said.

          • Blue Energy

            I missed the part where Frank’s unit was a test unit that was accidentally shipped out. What I remember was that the battery had been removed for testing and then the unit was accidentally shipped without it But, once again, there has been a lot said in the last few days and it’s hard to separate impressions from fact.

          • Ged

            That’s equivalent to what I meant ;). However… There’s no way a battery could be put back in! Look at that epoxy, the entire thing is filled in. So, it was never meant to have a battery, unless they have some special way to remove that stuff without destroying everything else (unlikely).

          • Blue Energy

            LOL! Yeah, I concur that there is no reasonable way to add a battery later to Frank’s unit. I was shocked when I saw the picture the first time. To tell the truth I fully expected for there to be a small compartment for the battery to slip into so that it could be replaced. Steorn had indicated that battery replacement would be possible. If the battery was immersed in resin like the rest of the components – I don’t see how that would be a reasonable statement. When I first saw it, I mentally attempted to find a way to allow Steorn’s statements to live reasonably in the same universe with the picture of the inside of Frank’s unit. The only thing I could come up with was that there was a table with a bunch of O-Cubes that all had their loaded battery compartments installed. And then someone, who couldn’t immediately tell, by looking, that the entire battery compartment was missing from one, was tasked with filling them with resin. That person didn’t notice that one was different from all the others. Similarly, I would have thought they’d have to dry for a day or so before the cover was put on and that would have been another opportunity to notice – but clearly the covers were put on long before the resin had dried, allowing the resin an opportunity to stick to the cover of Frank’s.

            But, of course, that was back when I also presumed that hundreds of these had been shipped out too. With the current tally being (a maximum of…) 4, I’m more incredulous that it wasn’t obvious that one didn’t have a battery. And further, if the truth is that really only one was shipped – that makes it even harder to comprehend.

            That resin looks a lot like a railroad tank car full of solidified polyester resin that I jack-hammered out one hot summer between years of college. If it’s anything like that it will be tough and yet chip and fracture like sharp glass. Getting to the components without damaging them would be very hard sledding – at least without dissolving the resin somehow.

    • SG

      So, the two terminals on the left side are probably directly connected to the cap, and you are seeing the cap being slowly charged (probably went without saying, but someone may as well say it). What is unclear is whether those terminals are also directly connected to the Orbo power pack (or to a battery for the skeptics in us). There could be a step-up converter, voltage regulator, or other circuit components in-between. With the all the potting, hard to know.

      Although better than what we had, there are still some unknowns, and we’ll have to continue doing some sleuthing to try and get to the bottom of it. It may be that we just have to setup a long term test (e.g., 3 months) to try and rule out a battery.

      • Blue Energy

        Yes. And let us not forget that HUG is willing to do that broadcasted live with collected periodic data from a controlled, isolated, environment.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I agree that Frank should forward the device to HUG as soon as possible.

          • Yes, no reflection on Admin but this has become a job for some specialised equipment and knowledge.

        • Stephen

          Eeee Oooh wow! I like the brains! Looks like brain surgery will not be easy.

          I wonder if the potting resin is more than it seams? Is it thermally insulating or conductive or permeable to or insulating to electric or magnetic fields?

          Great Frank that you finally got inside getting really intrigued now. great also Steorn are helping, this makes me more and more confident.

          • Zephir

            Under situation, when another testers reported similar problems with capacity of Orbo powerpacks like Frank, I am afraid this story is nearing exactly the opposite outcome. I’d like to express my thanks to Frank and his donators, who enabled the public test here. I don’t think, Steorn did ever act maliciously on purpose, as McCarthy is convinced supporter of free energy technologies and he deserves credit for it – but I don’t think, this technology is sufficiently mature, reliably tested the less before its introduction at the market. Maybe some new physics really is behind Orbo technology but so-far all the effects observed can be explained with poorly defined chemistry inside the mixture of wax and carbon/graphite filling.

          • Ged

            “Poorly defined” doesn’t explain much unfortunately.

          • Hopefully we still have the functional unit to come (or a refund). Then it’s only necessary to keep charging and discharging a phone battery until either the orbo dies, or the total power out exceeds maximum possible chemical energy density.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Zephir,

            I think it uses conventional physics to harvest what may be a useful amount of energy for a low power device; just as the shake flashlights make a useful amount of energy for that device. I use to have hand grip generator operated incandescent flash flights, so I could imagine those with a efficient LED bulb and a voltage regulator and storage capacitor such that 3 or 4 good squeezes gave us a working flashlight for 1 minute.

            The problem here is the mystery — OK for Steorn but not for us looking for break throughs

          • Anon2012_2014

            Maybe its thermally conductive and it works off the temperature difference between the top and the bottom plates??

      • DrR

        Regarding the low charging rate: ” — Don’t forget they told Frank that there is additional (additional to the 5F) internal capacitance. I would be surprised if it’s orders of magnitude > 5F but if it is then it explains the small delta V.
        Charging rate might also be position dependant (i.e. needs to close to some field.

        • DrD

          Another thought: If those terminals are across some part of the mysterious energy harvesting circuit and not directly connected to the 5F then that might also explain the small delta V

        • Gerard McEk

          Big ultra capacitors have considerable leak currents. I do not think they are being used.

        • SG

          You have a good point. The resistor testing at the terminals of the cap should shed some light on this because if Orbo itself is building up capacitance, that charge along with the charge in the conventional cap should contribute to the power delivered to the varying sized resistors. Start with the large resistors and move down.

    • Gerard McEk

      There seems to be very little space for the Li-ion battery they said would have been’ ‘forgotten’ before transported to you Frank, is there?

      • None at all, so as some have guessed that story was evidently BS. Either this unit was made especially for ECW with a capacitor fitted for some reason, or they all have a capacitor rather than a battery, and this one wasn’t tested properly.

        If lithium batteries are used, they would need to be replaceable as no-one is going to accept their $1300 toy dying after a year or so when the battery fails, as they inevitably do even under optimal conditions.

        Odder and odder…

        • Gerard McEk

          This apparatus is useless without Li-Ion battery. You could be right that it looks like a 9V battery. So it might be included anyway. I would guess that it simply generates too little, maybe just enough to intrigue but not of any use…

          • Pweet

            Lithium batteries are usually sold with only a small charge in them. You have to charge them up yourself. Safety issues in that earlier ones had a tendency to self immolate. Not often, but it’s not a thing that has to happen often to ruin a reputation.
            When it arrived it did have a charge in it sufficient to run the reading lamp for an hour or two. That would be consistent with a part charged 9 volt battery of some sort, probably lithium. It would not be consistent with a 5 farad capacitor.

        • Pweet

          You can now get 9 volt rechargeable lithium batteries in that same battery pack.
          That would explain how Steorn said they were getting 8 volts across them and why it hadn’t blown up.
          I think Mr. Steorn has not told you all the fine details.
          But then why should he?
          Typically the 9v lithiums in this config are around 500mahrs capacity, although some are less.

          • As you say, that would certainly explain the 8V+ reported. But 8 or 9 volts would be inevitable given time, even if the charge voltage was limited to say 5V, and Steorn would know that. The red wire is key to confirming or not this surmise.

    • When you get back Frank, maybe you can reveal how you finally got the back off, and what was keeping it in place. I guess the ‘nibble’ on the lower RHS means some careful drilling of the plate so it could be prised off with a screwdriver?

      • anon

        See below ecatworld ECW Admin SG โ€ข 10 hours ago

        No none at all. The secret was sticking a some big screws in the screw holes and yanking with a small crowbar

        • Thanks. I (obviously) hadn’t got that far.

  • Oystein Lande

    Put it through an X-ray machine and see what’s inside the epoxy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rob King

    Hi Frank, thanks for the data.

    You will need to clarify with Shaun what the 4 terminals are. It might be the terminal showing 0V might be one of:
    1. USB output (showing it currently in offline mode).
    2. Shunt resistor for the DC-DC converter (final output).
    3. connection to the storage cap via a blocking diode – for external charging.
    If the terminals with a rising voltage are across the storage cap, then you could perform a couple of tests to determine the charge rate and capacitance of the capacitor.
    You might need to find some fine thread screws that fit the terminal holes so you can attach test leads. Try find and old terminal/chocy block and take the screws out.
    (Test board I am send has a couple of spare screws you can use).
    Or use some whittled down match sticks as pegs to hold the wires in place.

    Test 1
    To determine how quickly the capacitor discharges over time to determine the capacitance. This does not take into account the charge rate from the orbo.
    Require: stopwatch, voltmeter and 100 ohm resistor.
    1. Connect a volt meter across the terminals.
    2. Connect a 100 ohm resistor across the terminals.
    3. Write down the voltage – wait 1 minute and repeat.

    Test 2
    To determine the charge rate from the orbo.
    Require: voltmeter and a selection of resistors.

    1. Connect a volt meter across the terminals.
    2. Connect a 1000 ohm(1k) resistor across the terminals.
    3. Write down the voltage – wait 1 minute and repeat.
    4. Do this for about 5 minutes and check if the voltage is rising or falling.
    5. Connect a different resistor: higher value if voltage is falling, lower value if voltage is rising.
    6. Repeat until the voltage stays constant.

    Hopefully from the above tests, this can provide a baseline for further experiments.
    I would expect a 100 ohm across the terminals with 2.4V to allow the capacitor to keep rising as this is a load of just 58mW.
    Power = V^2/R or (V x V) / R

    Rough guide for Orbo output for 2.4V:
    1000 Ohms @ 2.4V = 5.8mW
    200 Ohms @ 2.4V = 29mW
    100 Ohms @ 2.4V = 58mW
    50 Ohms @ 2.4V = 115mW
    40 Ohms @ 2.4V = 144mW
    30 Ohms @ 2.4V = 192mW
    20 Ohms @ 2.4V = 288mW
    15 Ohms @ 2.4V = 384mW
    10 Ohms @ 2.4V = 576mW

    The calculations will need to be adjusted for the terminal voltage but you can get the idea.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Box like battery on the top of admin’s open back photo is longer than one on right.

    With the back off, is the center of mass of the unit in the middle, or clearly moved to one side, i.e. is there a hidden high mass something in the epoxy.

    I also see under the epoxy a round disk like object with a bump in the middle. That thing is probably the energy collector, either an antenna, or as hypothesized by others, a vibrational energy collector.

    Do the black rectangle-oids look to anyone like LiI batteries or capacitors that they know of? The red wire sitting between the two capacitors/batteries is waiting to have its insulation scrapped off with a pocket knife to measure it’s voltage.

    Finally, it seems to me that most of the up-voltage convertors have the negative side go to “ground”. If that is true, we can start measuring everything relative to the ground (negative) on the USB plug on the otherside.

    Orbo is a reverse engineering dream come true, particularly with the black potting epoxy. Makes it more challenging.

    • Pweet

      Re: the above comment;
      “Finally, it seems to me that most of the up-voltage convertors have the negative side go to “ground”. If that is true, we can start measuring everything relative to the ground (negative) on the USB plug on the otherside.”
      Don’t count on that.
      Usually with switchmode supplies the secondary side is completely isolated from the primary or input side.
      My guess is the Orbo usb output is using a separate ground rail unique to itself.

      • Dieter_G

        “Usually with switchmode supplies the secondary side is completely isolated from the primary or input side.”
        This is only done when necessary, normally for insulation against mains. On low-voltag-circuits such a design is normally not used, since it has a tendentially lower efficiancy and is more costly to build.
        So, the common ground is very likely indeed. And that would be very usefull for testing as Anno2012_2014 said. A very good suggestion.

        • I would like to see the voltage between the visible red wire adjacent to the ?battery? and ground. If that’s common I guess we could use the RH contact of the USB port for all tests, or look for zero ohms continuity between this and the test terminals.

          • Ophelia Rump

            You might want to test with a Geiger Counter to make sure it does not contain an atomic battery.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery

          • Just turn out the lights and look for blue glow…

          • Anon2012_2014

            (“look for the blue glow” — That’s was a joke I am sure.)
            You need a radiation detector like a Geiger counter to measure radiation. If it glows blue from ionizing the air, you’re probably going to die of radiation exposure. It would also be illegal to ship in most states via mail or Fedex. I think there is a 0.000001% chance of this being a radioactive decay power source.

          • Feeble joke confirmed.

          • Anon2012_2014

            “A blue glow flashed from the sphere and the Geiger counter clicked furiously. Slotin, exposed to nearly 1,000 rads of radiation (well above a lethal dose), reacted instinctively and knocked the spheres apart.”

          • Gryphon

            Tickling the dragon’s tail?

          • Ophelia Rump
          • The guys at Steorn had in their first years of experimenting knowledge about the technology
            of John Bedini, such as rotating magnets and copper wire coils to pulling energy from the vacuum. There was/is a set of DVDโ€™s about Bediniโ€™s and Tom Bearden’s work, for sure, Steorn had those DVDโ€™s. One DVD they watched:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6pJXXaqz3E

            And of course, this man had their full attention:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNU3MLqyzPk

            The full set of Energy from the Vacuum Science Series Dvd’s:
            http://www.energyfromthevacuum.com/DVDListforpurchase.htm

          • mike wolf

            I am leaning towards them selling before it was ready. Like the shipping debacle.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Have to be careful about shorting out a battery or big capacitor through the ohm meter.

          • Barbierir

            It seems all the mistakes in delivery and the exposy glue could prevent a conclusive testing for longer than expected, is that true or do you think it’s not the case? Also this blog has some not reassuring news: http://dispatchesfromthefuture.com/2016/02/updates-on-ogirls-ophone-and-aclands-ocube-and-an-open-plea-to-steorn/
            My scam-meter has been in yellow range since the beginning and it’s now tilting decisively to orange.

          • Ged

            Someone needs to tell the author of that blog they have made a serious factial error. The statement “it has gradually been reduced to lighting the lamp for
            shorter periods and now just brief flashes, and requires longer
            intervals between attempts in order to produce any light at all”, is
            completely incorrect and needs to be fixed.

          • SG

            I agree, it is factually incorrect. But it is based on a kernel of truth: that Frank reported running the smaller LED board for approximately 2 hours (plus or minus) in a more or less continuous fashion. The details are vague because Frank wasn’t in record-keeping mode at that point: he was just trying to get a basic feel for the ocube’s capabilities. I think the author of dispatches then extrapolated from there, although in a somewhat inarticulate fashion. So I wouldn’t really say his statement is completely incorrect. But he certainly took some liberties in his description.

          • Ged

            That was only once, at the very first time, so it remains a mystery. Since then, the performance has been constant. That’s the kicker. At least -so far-.

          • SG

            Agreed. Which is why dispatches could certainly clarify as to not cause more confusion then there already is. I’m always amazed at how difficult it is to get the bottom of something. I’ve heard that it takes around $20,000 to establish the truth of a single fact (in the American legal system). I’m sure it is less in other jurisdictions. But the point is, it is very difficult to discern truth in this world.

          • Ged

            Indeed. All the more reason accurate reporting is so essential.

          • ecatworld

            I don’t know what was different at those readings. I just took them at random times. Nothing was plugged in when I took them.

  • Dave Lawton

    I used Nitromors paint stripper years ago it crumbled the resin.

    • It contains methylene chloride which dissolves most epoxy resins. There is a danger that it might dissolve several of the inner components as well, possibly including the supposed electret charge generator.

      • Sanjeev

        I think, there is no need to mess with the resin, if all you need to know if what the “orbo core” is made of. The resin is stuck to commonly available stuff like PCBs, battery or caps. These can be just cut off and trashed. We can see the orbo there. (Check the videos from Steorn, its about two fingers width in size and length). Simple cutting it out and examining the material will reveal the IP.
        There are some very, very smart people in the industry, and I think it will take very less effort to reverse engineer it. I feel Steorn just wants to delay it or wants to add a fear in the minds of people that they are stealing something. Eventually if a lot of OCubes are sold (F9) it will be hacked.

      • Dave Lawton

        Yes may it do that when I used it is was to remove metal cased diodes.

    • Sanjeev

      And how safe was it for the components?

  • FC
    • Ged

      Just a quick comment here. The statement “it has gradually been reduced to lighting the lamp for shorter periods and now just brief flashes, and requires longer intervals between attempts in order to produce any light at all”, is completely incorrect and needs to be fixed. There has been no reduction in the length of time the LED Lamp is lit for, nor have the intervals been getting longer. At least not yet. Frank has reported no such thing, and the videos show that is not the case either. His first LED lighting used the small, black bar of 4 or so LEDs, and while it did get the most life time, most of the work has been with the large LED Lamp that draws far more power. So, just need that factual error amended, and the rest looks pretty good in my skim though.

      Unfortunately, we can’t learn all that much from those tests simply since the voltage cutoff for the USB.

      • FC

        True.
        I’m really looking forward to Frank’s attempts at plugging various resistors in the terminals. That should give us a lot more information than we have so far.
        What bothers me is the two terminals that don’t give a reading. Something maybe damaged.

        • Ged

          Agreed, that’s where our meat and potatoes will be. Could be the Li battery -is indeed- missing as stated, and those two terminals would have been tied to it? I dunno, it’s hard to tell what the circuitry inside that thing is and what those terminals correspond to. What’s interesting is the voltage is increasing on the ones that can be read, which does suggest energy build up of some sort?

          We’ll know more as more tests roll in; it can’t resist our scrutiny due to the fickleness of USB standards anymore!

          Edit: Looking more at the picture, the two terminals on the right that have no reading are also higher in the device, and where one would espect a battery to go, roughly, while the ones reading a voltage are leading my deeper and into the center. Doesn’t mean that’s where the wires are coming from, but it suggests the left ones are the actual Orbo core.

          • FC

            Certainly.

            One first important datum today will just be the open circuit voltage across the “working” terminal. Could it go up to 4.5-5 V?

          • I did wonder whether a cavity is normally left in the ‘chin’ area for a battery, but in this case they’ve substituted a capacitor – but I don’t understand why they would then ‘pot in’ the capacitor. Mind you, that would explain the uncured potting compound in that area resulting in the stuck lid.

          • FC

            Maybe since there are no compartments within the casing and uncured resin is quite fluid, it’s just hard to keep the resin from filling all available space until it levels out.

      • Zephir

        /* There has been no reduction in the length of time the LED Lamp is lit for, nor has the intervals been getting longer. */

        But is it really true? After all, even normal chemical battery behaves so at the end of its complete discharge.

        • Ged

          Yes, it is, so far. The big LED lamp gets about 1-1.5 seconds every time so far for all this testing over days. But if you watch the internal LED test, we know this is a limit of the USB controller more than anything.

    • All fair comment.

      • FC

        Indeed.

  • ecatworld

    Morning everyone. Absent any guidance so far from Steorn about what the sets of terminals are, I’ve been doing a little exploring. Set of terminals nearest the top of the skull are the most active, but the voltage readings vary widely. As high as 3+ Volts, and as low as 0.01 Volts. I am going to leave the cube for a while. I need to get some more supplies.

    • Zephir

      The chaotic voltage output would support the behavior of electret as demonstrated at first Steorn videos – its output voltage also fluctuated wildly. Now I’m afraid you should invest into an oscilloscope or to lease some for to get more info about it.

      • FC

        To me, what this would indicate is that these terminals come straight from the orbo cells, not the capacitor.

        • Ged

          That is what it physically looks like, too.

          • FC

            Agreed.

        • So, is this device just an antenna that picks up electromagnetic pollution and uses that energy to charge a battery that then later charges your cell phone or tablet? I remember a guest on the Tonight Show claiming that when he visited a major broadcasting studio in NYC that you could light up a lightbulb with just a coil. In Russia they foolishly constructed a TV broadcast antenna on top of the recording studio and the EM waves from the broadcast antenna made all the recording equipment useless, so they had to tear the whole thing down. With cell phone towers, TV, and radio bombarding us, that represents a lot of EM pollution. You would just need an antenna that picks up many frequencies to make it work.

          • Ged

            I think it’s pretty well figured that is one of the least likely possibilities, simply due to the 3mm aluminum (or steel) shell which would block most, but maybe not all as some commenters point out, of the EM radiation. It is possible it still plays a role, but that metal shell really messes with that idea so far. Doesn’t rule it out completely though.

          • Anon2012_2014

            The metal shell would block out almost all EM radiation > 100 kHz. Below that, it requires calculation and measurement.

            My rough search shows that the 60 Hz AC magnetic field in a typical house is around 2 milli-Gauss = 2e-7 Tesla. It’s E&M, so it probably induces in free space an electric field at right angles and out of phase with the magnetic field. It’s been a while since I took E&M, so I quickly tried to convert that to an energy density:

            Energy Density = B^2/(2*mu0)

            Where B is the magnetic field strength and mu0 is the permeability of free space
            or 1.25e-6.

            Then it depends on how large the energy collector effectively is to take the energy, and how often it is applied. I made up that it could be collected in a 60 hz field 60 times per second, so that the power density would be

            60*B^2/(2*mu0) = 1 uW/cubic meter

            I don’t think the Schumann resonance energy density is any higher (as that doesn’t interfere on your audio jack), so I question the entire approach.

            Waiting for a younger guy who can probably correct the above in 10 minutes without having to crack his old E&M books. Help out please.

            Last out of the box theory — could the metal case somehow act as a magnetic field concentrator, much as in how a bar magnet has magnetic field lines running well out of the poles, to catch more magnetic field fluctuation. My gut feel is I don’t think it would induce any magnetic fields inside the Orbo cube case, but that is without working on it rigorously. Again, someone who has more recently taken freshman E&M should be able to answer this question.

          • FC

            Sorry to intervene here. I’m definitely not the young guy you’re looking for. :-p

            But if orbo power cells need a thick metal shell to work, they wouldn’t be suitable for portable electronics (like the ophone), which seems to be the aim of Steorn.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I am looking for proof of a new energy concept for collect energy, even if it is on your roof or in your basement; or instead at the Orbo Farms run by the electric utility. I don’t see it here. If it was a somewhat useful energy harvester, at least it is not fraud. I am not sure if Orbo makes a useful amount of energy for any phone at all other than a super-low power and obsolete dumb phone.

            I use to have toy 20 mW VHF walkie talkies from ancient times. They worked but were not useful.

          • FC

            I think that all of us here are looking for such a proof and (at least some of us) are hoping to find it. I agree that, so far, the energy outputs that we’ve witnessed from this ocube are far from being useful (maybe due to the interference of the USB circuitry). But I also think that a few more tests are necessary in order to draw any final conclusion. Furthermore, according to some people, new and improved versions of the first generation orbo power cells are in R&D.

          • Sanjeev

            Harvesting is ruled out (IMHO). Imagine if harvesting was possible at such power levels, all kinds of generators would be already there and people would be using them everyday. This table from the linked paper gives an overview of energies available for harvesting. (Kindly provided by txt29). See attached pic.
            http://users.ece.gatech.edu/etentze/Procs14_Sangkil.pdf

          • Anon2012_2014

            I did some calculations that showed ambient RF could provide 1 mW continuous. Not far off, and could maybe be done with 60 Hz power.

            Let’s take his examples in table 1 — he says that ambient Rf could do 1 uW/cm^2. Unit is about 110 cm^2, so that would be about 0.11 mW.
            Here’s another paper:

            “We conducted many experiments with various
            off-the-shelf inductors and current carrying conductor
            combinations. The results are promising in that with easily
            available components, up to 1-2 mw of power can be harvested.”
            https://users.ece.cmu.edu/~vikramg/docs/hotemnets11.pdf

            Could be a thermal energy harvester, would do 60 uW/cm^2 — that gets us up to 6 to 7 mW in the case.

            I could imagine the unit needs the thermal mass of the case to absorb a temperature change from the environment, and it has another thermal mass inside the case. Natural normal variations in temperature could result in changes that are then harvested: about 1 mW/15 degrees delta T. See:
            http://micropelt.com/thermogenerator.php

            I could also imagine having a pendulum on a spring that shakes when you pick it up and put it down, and then transfers its energy to a piezoelectric generator, i.e.
            http://www.gizmag.com/brother-vibration-energy-cell-batteries/15804/
            Combine with a battery and you get your shake flash light.

          • Sanjeev

            The claim is 0.4 W, which is about 100x higher than the best of the best harvesters.
            And this whole project is to test the claim. The game will be interesting. Who wins, lets see.

          • ecatworld

            First readings of today,

            At 6.06 p.m. Sun Feb 14:

            Upper terminal reading .5595 V

            Lower terminal reading .000 V

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank.

            I take it it’s 6.06 am, not pm?

          • ecatworld

            Right! Thanks — corrected.

          • ecatworld

            I got an email reply from Steorn saying that they would be releasing a video tomorrow with the discussing the insides of the Ocube and showing tests I should be able to replicate. So I’ll hold off from doing any serious testing until then.

          • Blue Energy

            Oh – well, that’s a score. I’ll look forward to watching that.

          • FC

            Sounds good to me, Frank.

            In the meantime, could you please test the bottom plate’s reaction to magnets?

            And if you could do the same for the main casing with a small magnet or magnetized needle, pin, or paperclip, that would be very useful.

            Thank you.

          • ecatworld

            I tested as you suggested, FC, and neither the main casing or bottom casing seems to be magnetic.

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank.

          • Cast, machined and anodised aluminium then, as originally supposed. Expensive to make, compared with, say, polycarbonate plastic, so intended to last. You wouldn’t invest like that in a fraudulent product I think.

          • Blue Energy

            Yet also apparently completely irrelevant to Steorn’s stated goal, which is to prove it’s technologies reality. No-one would buy it because it would charge their phone for sixty years – if for no other reason than because USB will be obsolete within less than 10 years. Plus, and I might be wrong here because I never visited their Facebook page, if the products longevity were the reason – I would expect that they would have advertised it as being aluminum – which I don’t think they did. Until it actually arrived, I presumed it was plastic. I think the choice of aluminum is hard to understand.

          • In my clumsy hands its rare for a much used USB port to survive 3 or 4 years, let alone 10. I guess the heavy ally is intended to convey a feeling of quality commensurate with the price, but anodised finishes (especially red ones for some reason) generally look quite shabby after a year or so. Perhaps they intend to switch to plastic after the initial hand-assembled run.

          • What if the case is the antenna? It is a strange shape.

          • Ged

            Hmm… I don’t think so. Antenna would need a proper trace size and/or fractal pattern to catch the right frequencies. We’d expect to see some metal traces running along the outside/inside independent of the case housing, and leads going in to connect to the cap/battery for storing the energy. Doesn’t seem to be the case here; the shell is just simply solid metal it appears.

        • Zephir

          I meant the Orbo cell with powerpack actually. But the fact, this cell still remains connected to voltage step-up buck makes the whole thing more complicated. This circuit may run in irregular intervals, once the voltage at the Orbo powerpack increases above certain level, thus discharging it fast bellow another threshold level and whole this process may repeat irregularly.

          • FC

            Ok, I see what you mean.

    • georgehants

      Morning, the most telling point is —- “Absent any guidance so far from Steorn about what the sets of terminals are,”

      • It does seem a bit bizarre. If McCarthy wants ECW to confirm his claims then he needs to issue some advice on doing this. Otherwise apparently inexplicable results are inevitably going to lead to various negative speculations and accusations, just like the orbo motor fiasco. There’s also the distinct possibility that by poking about without known which connection goes where, the device could be irreversibly damaged.

        • Anon2012_2014

          We can only really measure the energy output per unit time including charging at the USB port. Best I am getting is 3 seconds at 5 volts and 0.14 amps after an hour.

          Average power output = 3/3600*5*.14 = 0.6 mW continuous equivalent.

          Typical smart phone probably needs on average 200 mW. Am I missing something. And at those low powers of 0.6 mW, conventional batteries would last a long time.

          Without taking it apart the net result in the field is not interesting, even as an energy harvester. Not economically useful.

    • Sanjeev

      I guess one is from the orbo pack and second from the cap.
      There is nothing else there to monitor.
      We can see only two major components. Rest seems to be PCBs and stuff related to USB interface or current regulation etc.

      • Pweet

        Can we be sure there is a capacitor in there?
        From the picture shown with the lid off, that definitely looks like it has a battery in it and since it’s supposed to have a lithium battery, it would be fair to assume it is a 9 volt rechargeable lithium cell pack. Since it ran the reading lamp for an hour or two it definitely must have either a lithium battery or a lithium battery plus a capacitor, because the 5 farad capacitor would not carry that load for an hour or two.

        The main question now is, is it recharging even a little bit or not at all.

        • Blue Energy

          It didn’t run the reading lamp that long. It was mostly a smaller light with half the draw. But, Steorn says that the orbo within also carries capacitance. And we have no idea what capacity that might have.

          • ecatworld

            I don’t recall exactly now, but I think I ran the reading lamp at least half the time of my initial use of the ocube. I’m pretty sure it was longer than when I used the small lamp because looking at that tiny stick really hurts the eyes!

    • SG

      I’m confused. Last night these same terminals were showing a gradual increase in voltage from 2.31 to 2.45 V over the course of 30 minutes. Now they are showing random voltages between 3 and .01 V ?

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Could you bridge the contacts with your 100 Ohm resistor and check how the voltage behaves? If it does not break completely down we had at least some power.

  • SG

    Could be, although without knowing the resistance of such a resistor, it would be hard to draw any conclusions about power coming from the cell. Instead, we would again be speculating.

  • ecatworld

    No problem.

    At 5.37 p.m. Sat Feb 13:

    Upper terminal reading .4058 V
    Lower terminal reading .0000 V

    • Ged

      Maybe we should set up a live Google Doc to keep a community log of all the data flying around the thread.

    • Ged

      Do you know what happens to the terminal readings after plugging in the LED lamp to the USB?

      • ecatworld

        No I haven’t tested for that yet. Certainly something to do in the future, but for the time being I’m going to leave the USB port alone and watch to see how the cube behaves when it’s left alone — just testing for voltage on each terminal.

        • Ged

          Sounds like a plan.

          • FC

            I did some calculations of the ocube’s total capacitance using the attached formula, and the results are quite interesting.

            Assuming that the orbo power pack is charging the system (cap+cells) at a rate of 0.36 V per day (as appears to be case right now, approximately) and that it has a power of 0.4 W at a rated voltage of 5 V (as stated by Shaun McCarthy in some of his videos), the capacitance of the system would be roughly 40,000 F.

            Considering the ocube’s size and weight, this capacitance is beyond the energy density of the most advanced supercapacitors (around 50,000 F per kg for a 5 V supercapacitor). So unless I’m doing something wrong or the actual power is much lower, the orbo power pack is actually storing energy more like a battery than a capacitor.

            Any thoughts?

          • FC

            Sorry, here’s the formula.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Yes, at least at first sight it looks like that. Maybe Steorn spoke of โ€œcapacityโ€ in a more general sense. In case that the power ship uses some electrochemical effect as conventional batteries do, these figures would not be a big surprise. If not so, this might turn out to be interesting, independent on the question how the energy is collected or produced.

          • FC

            Right. But supposedly, orbo cells can last several decades. And that should be incompatible with any electrochemical process.

            I’m perplexed, I must confess.

          • FC

            Ok, with today’s first voltage reading, it seems that the charging rate is roughly twice as fast as the one I used (0.6 vs 0.36). That would bring the total capacitance down to “only” 20,000 F.

            Still quite incredible numbers.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Should read โ€žpower chipโ€œ. Seems not ready yet to power a shipโ€ฆ

          • FC

            Apparently not. ๐Ÿ˜€

        • ecatworld

          At 7:37 p.m. Sat Feb 13:

          Upper terminal reading 0.4393 V

          Lower terminal reading 0.000 V

          • SG

            Does this mean that the behavior the you observed last night (voltage gradually increasing from 2.31 to 2.45 V) is changed? Is there no such gradual increase anymore–does it seem more random today?

  • Ged

    I have made a lame google doc for tracking the new data. I -think- anyone can make comments which can then be used to add data, so please feel free. Otherwise, I’ll just do what I can to keep the record somewhere safe so the data won’t be lost in this thread.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GK0m2UhHObiZQ7VNI7tPQlpsHmka0vvuQSeLae-RN6I/edit?usp=sharing

    If anyone wants to make a better doc, please feel free!

    • FC

      Good job, Ged.

    • MileHigh

      Well, I don’t believe that your unit is “missing” the battery and only has a capacitor. It’s just a stalling tactic by Steorn. It’s almost literally impossible that they “forgot to insert the battery.” The device is behaving _exactly_ like a device with a discharged battery in it that manages to recuperate a bit when not powering a load for an extended period of time.

      • SG

        You cannot short out a battery and have the voltage drop to 0.01 V in such a short period of time. It must be a capacitor.

  • ecatworld

    At 9:37 p.m. Sat Feb 13:

    Upper terminal reading 0.4705 V

    Lower terminal reading 0.000 V

    • FC

      This looks like a gradual increase again.

      • ecatworld

        I’m pretty sure the voltage drop to 0.01 was my fault by making a short across the terminal.

        • FC

          That would make sense.

  • ecatworld

    Last measurement of the evening:

    At 11:13 p.m. Sat Feb 13:

    Upper terminal reading 0.4918 V

    Lower terminal reading 0.000 V

    • FC

      Good night, Frank.

      And thanks again for your parience and dedication. You’re doing a terrific job.

  • SG

    The gradual increases in the voltages are interesting, but tiny. There must be more than 5 F capacitance in the system as Steorn have suggested (due to additional capacitance of the Orbo power pack itself). Either that, or the output of the Orbo is much less than 0.4 W.

    • Blue Energy

      Hopefully, all will become clear tomorrow.

    • Pweet

      Has the lithium battery been dismissed? It looks like it has a battery and it very well could be a lithium battery. If it is then that explains the slow charge rate with is inconsistent with only a 5F capacitor.
      It could also be that the lithium battery has been discharged so low that it is now in an internal resistance range where the input charge current is totally consumed by the battery resistance.

      If we could be sure that a pair of those terminal were going to the battery I would be inclined to jumper another ordinary 9 volt battery onto the terminals via a 100 ohm resistor via some jumper wires with alligator clips, and see if that adds any charge to it.
      This comes with some risk though, if the terminals do not connect to the battery; but with a 100 ohm resistor in series it would limit the current to 9ma so it should be safe. If you do this, make sure the polarity is correct. + to + and – to -. Anything else will make trouble.
      The idea is not to charge it right up; just to move the battery into a chargeable state. That would be a voltage of about 5 volts, assuming the battery is a 2 cell pack. Is it? I don’t know.

      • SG

        Frank believes that he accidentally shorted the terminals, which caused the voltage to drop to 0.01 V. That indicates capacitor not battery, which is consistent with Shaun’s statements as well. I think the two possibilities are 1) just as Steorn have stated (5F cap + significant capacitance of the Orbo, or 2) power output of Orbo far less than 0.4 W. Based on the limited information we have at the moment, those are my best guesses. But, hope springs eternal, and we should know more from Steorn’s promised video. Happy Valentines Day from Steorn!

        • DrD

          I agree, It doesn’t make sense that Steorn would inform Frank that they sent one without a battery if in fact it did have one and will send a 2nd one free. Also we are assuming that those test points are across the capacitor. That may be wrong, they might be monitoring part of the “Generator”. The voltage at that point might not be expected to change nuch as the charge being generated will be upconverted to charge the battery/capacitor.

          • SG

            Possible. Although Shaun has also stated that it would be possible to monitor the charging of the capacitor once the cover was off. It is still part of the mystery, which makes this all the more enjoyable.

          • DrD

            Furthermore, because we are dealing with a capacitor and not a battery the capacitor will reach full voltage in a much shorter time than if it were a battery and at that moment the regulator circuit ought to “shut down” somehow so as to prevent overvoltage – overcharging. Just read your last post. I agree but it might be that we are indeed seeing it charge but indirectly. As you say, we just don’t know so much and it’s a very interesting mystery. Also Frank could do with an oscilloscope as it might even not be DC.

      • Pweet

        oops,.. an error has been made!
        “but with a 100 ohm resistor in series it would limit the current to 9ma ”
        should read 90ma, not 9ma.
        Hey it’s only a factor of 10 and that’s less than the error in performance we have here so far so no big problem,.. really,.. It is? oh,. I’m sorry then.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      And the voltage alone does not mean very much. For example, one can reach huge voltages by electrostatic charging, with only tiny amounts of energy involved. Checking the voltage is a logical first step. However, conclusive results will only be obtainable if a load is attached, so that power and energy can be measured.

      • ecatworld

        Some new closeup photos posted above.

        • FC

          Good stuff, Frank.

        • Pweet

          The closeup pic of what we thought was the battery shows something which looks like 2 cells, side by side and strapped together. It’s still far from sure if it’s two lithium cells which would look like that, or something else.
          If it was two lithium cells, that would make the maximum voltage 8.4 volts, which might be why Steorn was showing some concern that it had reached 8 volts.
          Not that it makes a lot of difference at this point because whatever it is, it isn’t charging up.

          HAve you tried moving the Orbo to a place where there might be more emf radiation? like under a flouro tube?, or next to a loudspeaker thumping out a beat?, or next to an am radio transmitter? or wrapping a mains extension cord around it? or just anything different?

          • ecatworld

            No, but I could. How about right next to a wifi router?

          • Ged

            Wifi router would work very well for the test. Those generate a ton of waste energy.

          • Pweet

            Yes, so long as the Orbo picks up something in the gigahertz range. I sort of imagined it would be dredging the low to mid frequencies, say 60 hz to a maximum of am radio frequencies, less than 1 mhz, but I really don’t know. (obviously)

          • Ged

            Putting it near an electrical socket would test that 60 hz possibility, I suppose. Or anywhere near a hub of a lot of appliances/outlets/wires, or a bunch of active incandescent lights? Gotta be an easier way for that frequency than the standard “mains hum”.

          • I hate to think what I’m exposing myself to – the back of my desk looks like a rat’s nest.

          • ecatworld

            Ok after the next reading at about 10 am, I’ll set it next to the router and see how it acts.

          • Unfortunately I have to agree with that. One seems to have be strapped in position before potting, and the other does look as if it’s wrapped in insulating tape as you say. I would also be inclined to gently pick the epoxy and tape away from the ‘face on’ unit, at least as far as confirming a wrapping of tape. I would think that the risks to the device would be minimal.

          • ecatworld

            2.09 p.m. February 14th

            Upper terminal reading .6281 V

            Lower terminal reading .000 V

          • SG

            Didn’t seem to have much if any effect looking at the period between 10am and 12 pm.

          • I’m pretty sure it would be too high frequency to pass through the ally case though, in normal operation (i.e., with the back on.

          • Ged

            Totally agreed. But, with the back open, if it is sensitive to EM at all, in a general radio and not a narrow specific frequency range, then it should pick that up. A lot of assumptions, but never know till we test.

          • It would be good to put that possibility to bed.

          • Sanjeev
          • SG

            First things that jumped out at me. Each Orbo power cell is said to have some capacitance and can store ~1500 J. The Ocube is stated to have x8 Orbo cells, which would mean a storage capability of ~12000 J (in addition to the energy stored in the 5F cap). Our suspicion that the USB board cuts off at a certain voltage is confirmed, although the cutoff is said to be 2.9 V.

            Still ruminating on the implications and whether this helps our efforts to confirm or refute the Ocube claims.

            Too bad we did not get an explanation of the exposed terminals. But with Frank’s new determination to map out various voltage readings from the different terminals over time, we are inevitably getting closer to an understanding of how the terminals map to the components demonstrated in Steorn’s latest video.

          • ecatworld

            I’ve been in touch with Steorn just now. It is late in Ireland but they said they would be in touch with me via Skype tomorrow when we’ll have a chance to discuss this particular cube. So if people have questions I’ll be happy to ask them.

          • Sanjeev

            It will be nice if they can provide a circuit diagram clearly showing the components and positions of the terminals with expected voltages. (Specifically for your ocube).
            This should save a lot of hit and trial.

          • DrD

            Hi Frank, Please disregard this if it is wrong (I can’t view the video on FB).
            They use two alkaline batteries to provide 18V bias.
            My question is: why don’t they use an additional simple upconverter (or even charge pump) given that even alkaline batteries don’t last for ever. Or are they only needed at initial start up but if so, surely there’s enough charge generated without them to generate the 18V initially?
            It’s really good news that Steorn are so helpful.

          • FC

            I like that idea very much, DrD.

            And in case the orbo pack gets depleted to such a low voltage that it fails to trigger the upconverter, they could also install a small 18 V capacitor (since the current draw is so low).

            Getting rid of the two 9V batteries would solve many problems and suspicions.

            I wonder if Steorn have thought of that. Or maybe they have, but can’t implement it. Somebody should ask them.

          • DrD

            Cheers.
            And guess what — if that fails, why not add a manual button that creates a charge to “kick” the capacitor into life. I can imagine a few simple ways to do it, e.g. those piezo ignition buttons. as you say, it only needs a tiny charge to start. Given the choice I think I’d prefer that to the alkalines. Even add an LED to tell you when the capacitors energized. (on second thoughts, the LED would drain that valuable charge).

          • FC

            Absolutely. Or even a small PV cell. There’s millions of ways.

            You need to make sure that this idea is conveyed to Steorn. It’s buried too deep into this thread now. Why don’t you make a new comment at the top to make sure that Frank reads it? Or wait until his first comment today and include it in a response?

          • DrD

            Indeed, Yes to both those. I’ll wait for him to digest breakfast. I wonder if he had nightmares about measuring Orbo’s, I did. hehe.

          • FC

            ๐Ÿ˜€
            I must admit this puzzle is monopolizing my attention too.

          • ecatworld

            I have started a new thread for week 2 of testing. Please add questions you’d like me to ask Steorn on that thread.

            http://www.e-catworld.com/2016/02/15/ecw-orbo-o-cube-testing-week-2-feb-15-post-questions-for-steorn-here/

          • Anon2012_2014

            Fell asleep twice!

            So he claims 18 volts of field batteries across the orbo charge packs of which he has 8.

            Claims to use rig to charge Li-Ion battery.

            So

            1) can the packs do it (create > 50 mW);
            2) Is 0.86 volts across a partially or mostly discharged Li-ion battery normal?

            Each power pack could be a ferrite core antennal. Could be an electrochemical cell that captures acoustic vibration as electricity. No word yet.

            I’d love to have overall benchmarks without the Li-Ion battery in parallel, without the USB load, i.e. see what the powerpacks make themselves.

          • SG

            2) Is 0.86 volts across a partially or mostly discharged Li-ion battery normal?

            See above for my conjecture on this.

          • Anon2012_2014

            And it measures a different voltage depending on the impedance of the volt meter. The battery might be towards the fully charged size, but if we are measuring it through a 1 megohm resistor and if the impedance of the powerameter voltmeter is only 10K ohm, we are lowering the load to ground and hence voltage on that part.

          • Pweet

            Having watched the video, I think I can see now how it works, or is supposed to work.

            The Orbo power cells are just a number of ultracaps connected in series, probably 4.
            The two alkaline batteries are the power source and are used to trickle charge the ultracaps. (alias the Orbo cells)
            The video says the batteries are only a reference source, but you will notice that when the orbo is charging a phone, the voltage on the so called ‘reference source’ slowly drops until the phone is disconnected. It eventually dropped to 3.4 volts, and yet the ‘reference source’ should be putting out a constant 18 volts if it was only being used as a reference voltage and supplying no current.
            For the voltage to be lower than 18 volts and slowly dropping as the orbo discharges, clearly it has to be supplying current. Very little, but at least some. ( works out to be about .3 milliwatts which is consistent with the very slow recharge rate we are seeing)
            Obviously it must be used as more than a reference if the voltage drops during the discharge process. A ‘reference source’ should be just that, a constant voltage to use as a reference for another device.

            Also, when the load load on the Orbo is removed, the ‘reference voltage’ slowly increases.
            That can only be the case if the reference voltage is actually charging up the Orbo ( i.e. capacitors) and thus making the voltage across the 1 megohm current limit resistor decrease.

            There was no sign of any induction coils anywhere on the video as previously assumed by me so it is highly unlikely to be harvesting any emf’s from anywhere. I think we can now discount that possibility to zero. In fact, for myself, having seen whats inside, and the video of it supposedly ‘working’, I can now discount the possibility that it is harvesting anything other than the energy out of the two alkaline batteries.

            Another point; The voltage measurement taken at the inside test points will have been highly unreliable due to the 1 megohm resistance in series with the two batteries.
            The input impedance of a voltage meter can be around 1 megohm even for a half descent meter, thus straight off that would mean the volt readings would be halved. So, my previous assumption that one of the batteries might be flat is probably incorrect. It would only be correct if the input impedance of the volt meter was say 10 megohms or more. (and a good meter would be that or better).
            Depending on what the input impedance of the voltmeter is, both batteries might be ok.

            The voltage reading at the USB output port would be accurate however as the output impedance would be very low compared to the meter impedance.

            I’m surprised anyone would include two 9 volt alkaline cells in a device which is supposed to last forever. They are notoriously unreliable due to the fact they usually have six x 1.5 volts cells inside connected in series to give the 9 volts, and the connections to each is only by way of a contact pressure connection.
            Six cells in series means only one cell or its connection has to be defective for the whole battery to stop working.
            Reliability is inversely time dependent. The older they are the more unreliable they get mainly due to corrosion of the end contact points.
            Since the design does not allow for them to be easily replaced, that alone makes it worthy of a ‘fail’ assessment.

            All up, I’m really not at all surprised. I would have been much more surprised it it actually worked and was getting some unexplained energy from somewhere,.. anywhere.

          • Anon2012_2014

            They could have an inductive ferrite rod energy harvested in each of the blue shrink wrapped “Orbo Power packs”. Or it could be as Zephir says the first commercial version of Maxwell’s Demon or of an Electret energy harvester. Let’s see what it can do before passing judgement yes or no. I doubt it uses unconventional physics — hence I think it is most likely an energy harvester. I am building one at home to prove it.

          • Pweet

            If it actually is an energy harvester, the question is then, why put in two alkaline batteries as a reference source?
            It would be far more logical to bleed off a very small amount of the output power, via an isolation circuit, of which it already has one, store it in an ordinary and cheap tantalum capacitor, (because it’s only a reference voltage and doesn’t need to supply any significant current) and use that as the reference voltage.
            There is nothing technically difficult in that other than, it would remove the magical ‘free energy’.
            I’m happy to wait and see what it can do, but in the first instance, with the device supplied and the explanation as to how it works, I think the first assessment has to be that it does nothing. We certainly haven’t seen anything other than it was originally sent with a small initial charge.
            If that conclusion was contrary to expectations I would be a bit slower to lock it in, but I have to say, it is pretty much consistent with initial expectations.
            Most other people with engineering experience would have the same expectations and not even bother to look at it. I’m usually a sucker for new ides and until something is shown to be unworkable, I’m quite happy to look at it, just out of curiosity.
            Mostly people wont let you look at their brilliant ideas but in this case, Steorn was, which gave me some hope that it might actually work.
            Also, if everyone else reported their units worked perfectly I would be more inclined to believe this one was a rare exception and the idea still might work, but that does not seem to be the case. From what is reported I suspect there is not a single device anywhere which is working to specifications. Even at the officially reported failure rate, it does not look good, and I suspect the rate is higher than reported.
            Given that it has been ten years in the making one would expect all the minor bugs, such as overheating, loose connections etc would have been worked out long ago.
            They probably have, and it still doesn’t work.
            I take that as an indication that the underlying idea is not valid.
            I would be very happy to have it proven otherwise but so far it hasn’t been.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Your skepticism is fair.

            The batteries could be to bias the diodes close to the conduction point thus making the energy harvester more efficient at low input voltages from the antenna.

          • Pweet

            Possibly, but then it still isn’t working. Why not?
            The explanation I give above is consistent with what was in the Steorn video and what we are seeing from the supplied device.
            If we start to see anything different, my explanation will then be proven to be incorrect.
            Unlike the Orbo so far,. I will stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Blue Energy

            With the exception that this *particular* O-Cube might be faulty beyond repair, that’s the great thing about this situation compared to all the other Steorn-related situations in the past 10 years. There is no need to feel compelled to come to judgement before everything is known. The motives of Steorn in doing one thing our another are up in the air and may never be fully known. But, the device itself is available to test. We will ultimately know whether this particular O-Cube generates more juice than it uses – or not. I take great satisfaction in that.

          • _Jim

            This whole thing looks to be a Rosemary Ainslie device, and we know that did (not) work out …

          • ecatworld

            I’m checking out for the night. Thanks to all for the support in this interesting project. Crowdsourcing at its best!

          • FC

            Thank you for giving us the chance to watch and participate in this most exciting project.

          • DrD

            I second that.

          • SG

            I disagree with you on many levels. I’ll expound in a follow-up.

          • SG

            >> The Orbo power cells are just a number of ultracaps connected in series, probably 4.

            Highly unlikely as you would need caps that together have a capacitance of about 960 F to explain the behavior observed by Frank in the first couple of hours following unpacking and testing. This part is still a mystery and cannot be explained away with conventional super caps.

            >> The two alkaline batteries are the power source and are used to trickle charge the ultracaps. (alias the Orbo cells)

            Highly unlikely as we have a zero potential measured across L1 and L2–the two terminals across the 1Mohm resistor. This indicates an open circuit. With an open circuit, you will have zero current flowing from either of the series-connected 9V batteries. This was not the intended configuration as expressed by Steorn. This part is still a mystery and cannot be explained away as being the power source for the Orbo cells. Even so, we would at most have about 5-6 charges of a smart phone if the two 9V batteries were the primary energy source. So we will eventually be able to rule this falsify this conjecture fairly handily.

            >> The video says the batteries are only a reference source, but you will notice that when the orbo is charging a phone, the voltage on the so called ‘reference source’ slowly drops until the phone is disconnected.

            This is due to the placement of the probes. Run the
            loop and apply Kirchhoff’s. Just because there is a voltage drop across the Orbo power pack, which decreases as it empties its charge into the phone, does not mean that any significant amount of current is flowing between the two 9V batteries and the Orbo power pack. And indeed, with a 1Mohm resistor in series with the two 9 V batteries, the current draw from the two 9V batteries would be minuscule.

            >> It eventually dropped to 3.4 volts, and yet the ‘reference source’ should be putting out a constant 18 volts if it was only being used as a reference voltage and supplying no current.

            Again, look at the positioning of the probes in the video. If you were to place the probes on either side of the 1Mohm resistor, you would see a higher voltage.

            >> For the voltage to be lower than 18 volts and slowly dropping as the orbo discharges, clearly it has to be supplying current.

            No, that is not so clear, IMHO, at least any significant amount.

            >> Very little, but at least some. ( works out to be about .3 milliwatts which is consistent with the very
            slow recharge rate we are seeing)

            There is currently no current flowing through the 1Mohm resistor (not even .3 milliwatts). So we cannot attribute the recharge rate to that. And the amount of current that would flow through the 1Mohm resister were there a proper circuit would be in the micro ampere range. We have seen recharge rates as high as 1 milliamp, and that was assuming only 5 F of capacitance. So even in the “broken” state, this Ocube is delivering *more* than can be explained by the two 9V batteries (assuming they are connected to the circuit–which it appears they aren’t). In short, all of the evidence points to the opposite of what you presume.

            >> Obviously it must be used as more than a reference if the voltage drops during the discharge process.

            See above.

            >> A ‘reference source’ should be just that, a constant voltage to use as a reference for another device.

            It appears to me that is what it is.

            >> Also, when the load load on the Orbo is removed, the ‘reference voltage’ slowly increases.

            No, the voltage across the Orbo power packs slowly increases.

            >> That can only be the case if the reference voltage is actually charging up the Orbo ( i.e. capacitors) and thus making the voltage across the 1 megohm current limit resistor decrease.

            Incorrect. Even if the reference voltage was connected in a closed circuit with the Orbo power packs (which currently it appears that it isn’t), the microamps of current can not account for what we have observed, even with our “broken” unit.

            >> There was no sign of any induction coils anywhere on the video as previously assumed by me so it
            is highly unlikely to be harvesting any emf’s from anywhere.

            I think it might harvest a little, but agreed, very little if any. It is not constructed as one would expect a harvester to be constructed. At least not an EM content harvester.

            >> I think we can now discount that possibility to zero. In fact, for myself, having seen whats inside, and the video of it supposedly ‘working’, I can now discount the possibility that it is harvesting anything other than the energy out of the two alkaline batteries.

            I agree it is unlikely to be harvesting EM energy content, but disagree on the alkaline battery conjecture for reasons stated above.

            >> Another point; The voltage measurement taken at the inside test points will have been highly unreliable due to the 1 megohm resistance in series with the two batteries.
            The input impedance of a voltage meter can be around 1
            megohm even for a half descent meter, thus straight off that would mean the volt readings would be halved. So, my previous assumption that one of the batteries might be flat is probably incorrect.

            Agreed. I believe both 9V batteries are fully charged.

            >> It would only be correct if the input impedance of the volt meter was say 10 megohms or more. (and a good meter would be that or better). Depending on what the input impedance of the voltmeter is, both batteries might be ok.

            Agreed.

            >> The voltage reading at the USB output port would be accurate however as the output impedance would be very low compared to the meter impedance.

            Agreed.

            >> I’m surprised anyone would include two 9 volt alkaline cells in a device which is supposed to last forever.

            Shaun gave an explanation. We can now test his claim. I don’t think Steorn have ever claimed the Ocube will last forever. They have promised a 1 year warranty.

            >> They are notoriously unreliable due to the fact they usually have six x 1.5 volts cells inside connected in series to give the 9 volts, and the connections to each is only by way of a contact pressure connection. Six cells in series means only one cell or its connection has to be defective for the whole battery to stop working. Reliability is inversely time dependent. The older they are the more unreliable
            they get mainly due to corrosion of the end contact points.
            Since the design does not allow for them to be easily replaced, that alone makes it worthy of a ‘fail’ assessment.

            That might contribute to the expected “25% failure” rate.

            >> All up, I’m really not at all surprised. I would have been much more surprised it it actually worked and was getting some unexplained energy from somewhere,.. anywhere.

            I’m not convinced one way or the other. This require much more testing before we can draw any firm conclusions. It is useless, IMHO, to jump to conclusions. Far too many unknowns at this point. But we are getting closer to answers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Pweet

            I don’t think any of the test points are on the 1 megohm resistor. Where did that info come from? Not from the pics in the video.
            From the video, two of the test points, and I think it’s the two points which show the highest voltage, are across the output of the two batteries.
            The circuit looks to be tp1 -> bat 1 negative, bat 1 positive -> 1 megohm res, other side of resistor to bat 2 negative,then -> tp2.
            Thus any voltage measurement at these two test point have to give an indication of voltage across the resistor, providing there is 9 volts in each battery.
            That is consistent with the variable voltage measured by different meters, depending on their internal resistance.

            In the video the volt meter always remains across the series battery / resistor / battery connection. It is this voltage which is almost 18 volts open circuit ( it would have shown 18 volts except for the internal resistance of even his good quality meter.) and drops to 3.4 volts when under load, so the remaining 18 volts minus 3.4 volts must be dropped across the resistor. So long as there is 9 volts in each battery.
            A 15 volt drop across a 1 megohm resistor means a small current is flowing.
            It just has to be.
            Even Mr. Kirchoff could not disagree with that, if he were still alive.

          • SG

            >> I don’t think any of the test points are on the 1 megohm resistor. Where did that info come from?

            Sorry, I could have been more clear. We are developing a fairly rich history of testing of Frank’s Ocube and much of my post pertained to that. I’ve since edited my post to indicate when I was talking about Frank’s Ocube versus Shaun’s latest video.

            >> The circuit looks to be tp1 -> bat 1 negative, bat 1 positive -> 1 megohm res, other side of resistor to bat 2 negative,then -> tp2. Thus any voltage measurement at these two test point have to give an indication of voltage across the resistor, providing there is 9 volts in each battery. That is consistent with the variable voltage measured by different meters, depending on their internal resistance.

            Agreed

            >> In the video the volt meter always remains across the series battery /
            resistor / battery connection. It is this voltage which is almost 18 volts open circuit ( it would have shown 18 volts except for the
            internal resistance of even his good quality meter.) and drops to 3.4 volts when under load, so the remaining 18 volts minus 3.4 volts must be dropped across the resistor. So long as there is 9 volts in each
            battery. A 15 volt drop across a 1 megohm resistor means a small current is flowing.
            It just has to be. Even Mr. Kirchoff could not disagree with that, if he were still alive.

            Agreed–in Shaun’s video. Kirchoff would agree. And that is actually what Shaun states is the intended configuration. That is not how Frank’s Ocube is behaving. So we think Frank’s Ocube is “broken” in this sense. And when the proper electric field is applied, the expectation is that the charging rate will go up. Not due to 15-18 micro amperes from the two 9V batteries. No, that minuscule amount of current cannot explain what we have seen–even with a “broken” configuration.

          • Pweet

            That’s true.
            But I think the results we are seeing with Franks Orbo probably indicates it actually does have a Lithium battery fitted, as per what should be there and what Steorn said in the video.
            That would fit perfectly what we are seeing.
            Lithium batteries, along with most others, have a small regeneration capacity when the load is removed, even when caned half to death.

            It seems very strange to me that a production facility would assemble a device to send out to a customer and forget to put one of the major components into it. Specially since it actually has so few parts. Sort of like sending out a new car but forgetting to put the motor in it. But hey,. anything can happen I suppose.

            Rather than get a refund, I would be more inclined when all else has failed, to carefully cut it all up to see just what is in it. Specially the Orbo cells.
            Most likely options which would fit what the thing looks like are-
            ferrite rod with a coil around it and a capacitor to resonate, plus a diode pump to take off a milliwatt or two.
            Or,.. 4 small ultracaps,
            Or, eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog; Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing.
            Well maybe nothing that complicated but just some of it?

          • SG

            >> Franks Orbo probably indicates it actually does have a Lithium battery fitted

            We have all wondered the same. But I’m inclined to think it is as Shaun has stated with respect to Frank’s unit: that it was shipped with a 5 F cap instead (aside from the two 9 V batteries–separate matter). The reason is that Frank believes that he accidentally shorted out the terminals of the Ocube power pack one time. The voltage quickly dropped to 0.01 V–not the behavior of a battery. The voltage then began to gradually climb once again. In that sense, it didn’t behave like a battery. In addition, Shaun’s estimate that each Ocube power cell can hold about 1500 J of energy (x8) correlates quite eerily to Frank’s observation that initially for ~ 2 hours he could light LED banks that ranged from .75 W to 1.5 W. Do the math. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

          • Pweet

            Lets say an average of 1 watt for a combination of the two lamps. Just an approximate figure to check feasibility.

            Energy required for 2 hours run time;-
            1 watt for 2 hours, -> 3600 X 2 = 7200 Joules.
            We only need to find a possible source for 7200 joules.
            It wont be a 5F capacitor. 1/2 X CV^2 even if we can drain it completely.
            5 X 5 X 5 / 2 = 62.5 joules. It’s miles too low. ( sorry,. mixed units)
            And eye of newt is definitely out due to a shortage. of such. (And the maths is still unproven.)

            But,..
            Let’s say it’s a lithium battery with a rating of 1000 mahrs. at 3.7 volts
            1.0 X 3.7 = 3.7 watt hrs X 3600 = 13,200 joules, provided it was fully charged. More than enough to run the lamps for two hours.

            And a half charged 1000 mahr litihum battery would fit perfectly.

            Regarding shorting out two terminals;-
            Even a lithium battery has some internal resistance, and the better ones have a current limit to guard against damage and possible explosion if accidentally shorted out when fully charged.
            Even if it was shorted out, I don’t think it would be the end of the battery.
            I’m still for the lithium battery.

          • SG

            Do you still believe that U1/U2 are across terminals of a lithium battery? (Just curious given the measurements and experiences of today.)

          • Dieter_G

            Now this video really convinced me – that it is scam !
            I guess I know why it took 8h to produce it. Not because of any 8h test as they claimed (which test, where is it in the vid ?). But now they knew their 9V batteries (which powered the device during the first two hours) are just a small cut through black electrical tape away from detection so they had to create a story that would explain their existence.

            This reminds me of dreams, where everything is morphing and transforming, like: at one moment you have a hammer in your hand and the next time you look at it, it became a screwdriver.

            Now all of a sudden their “tech” needs a push start from batteries. No mention of that ever before.
            How often did they say the following in previous vids :

            “again, as the short is removed, the voltage immediately bumps back, which is a behavior different from any known electrochemical cell”.

            And now, all of a sudden the behaviour of their “tech” changed and it takes extended periods to “charge up”, with its voltage slowly rising. Also it now has a seriuos ammount of capacitance to it and became kind of a storage device also.

            This video aims exactly at explaining what we have seen here with Franks O-cube (and in case of the batteries, what was about to be seen). Unfortunately it contradicts some of their older claims.

            The tissue of lies starts to collapse.

            Sorry for beeing so negative and sarcastic. Not meant as an offense against anyone here of course. I’m just very disappointed at the moment. Even a scam could have been done alot better than that.

          • SG

            Funny how I had the exact opposite reaction. My understanding of the circuit post-video and post-email is much richer.

          • Pweet

            Well anything different is a start since wherever it is now, it’s not working.
            I would just try moving it to a number of different locations next to any electrical appliance, motors, cables, wi fi, or radio speaker, old type CRT computer monitor, Actually, yes,, an old computer CRT monitor has nice big magnetic deflection coils so that would radiate heaps of magnetic field.
            Anyway,. whatever you have available, right down to a simple electrical extension cord which has power running to something working.
            It’s quite portable so all real easy. Just a few minutes near something radiating energy might be enough to show an indication and if anything looks like it’s working then leave it there for half an hour.

          • catfish

            If you have a local amateur radio club near you, see if they might get involved. If there is anyone there with microwave communicatin, they may have highly directive 2.4ghz, 5ghz, and 10ghz communications equipment that can give you far more concentrated EMF than you will get from militwatt FCC part 15 devices. As long as they are conducting beacon tests or two way communications tests, its perfectly leagal, and hams are licensed to use far higher power levels than just consumer products.

            That said, I don’ believe the orbo is an EMF harvester. There is so little energy in background RF that it would not be enough to collect and do any meaningful work with, thank God. I believed the ORBO is a scam and I still do. I suspect it has a small CMOS battery or something like it embedded in all that potting, couplled with a supercapacitor to just leak out enough juice to blink now and then. It’s a $1200 blinkenlight. That wiring and potting is incredibly sloppy. I would not call it amateurish because makers and electronics experimenters would take far better care and pride in their work. But if you want to verify if it’s harvesting RF energy, get a ham.

            If you’re near Newington, CT, the American Radio Relay League has a substantially large faraday cage room for testing radio components. Presumably, if the orbo “worked” by harvesting, it would just die in there.

    • Anon2012_2014

      I still go with something under 50 mW from whatever energy harvesting system they are using.

      Note that the back cover may act as a thermal mass or magnetic concentrator, such that orbo doesn’t charge as fast with it open.

      • FC

        The entire shell seems to be non-magnetic.

  • georgehants

    So Mr. Steorn has communicated, well done, that did not take to long.
    So far not the most successful release of a product, I think.
    Lets hope things improve and that Mr. Rossi’s big day is not the same kind of mess, with him coming up with some very good reasons why conformation must be delayed.
    Look forward to the Video that hopefully will contain sufficient information for Admin to determine if the unit is able to function as announced, or a clear instruction to wait for the complete and tested new unit.

  • ecatworld

    It’s a good idea, but right now I’d prefer to do one test at a time and watch the charging operation in isolation without doing anything with the USB port.

  • ecatworld

    Ok just heard from Steorn who said they were just about to start shooting the video, and it will be posted to their Facebook page in about 8 hours (length of the test). They also said that I’d be refunded the full cost of the ocube, and also be sent a new one for free “when we are happy with the correction to our charge controller chip.” I will of course refund those who kindly supplied funds for the initial purchase of this cube.

    • georgehants

      One could not ask Mr. Steorn to be fairer than that, well done him.
      The sooner ECW can confirm a working device the better for everyone.

      • Adam

        You blew up $1k lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • georgehants

          Ha, well noticed, will not change it now.
          Thanks to everybody who really did donate, it has given us all lots of interest and in the end, hopefully, all you guys will prove the Orbo genuine.

    • Xavi29

      So at the end the worst predictions are confirmed. Such dilatory tactic was predicted by some (not me, cause I really wanted to believe): they said Steorn would deliver just a few units, then announce that they had some technical problem that required some fixing, to afterwards vaguely promise future deliveries. And in the process he would refund the money, because his objective is not to get a few thousands, but to make good publicity and eternize the R&D phase and get financed.

      My scam alarm is red, already. Pretty sad.

      • FC

        At least we have something in our hands that we can test. Rather than jumping to conclusions based on elaborate theories, let the tests determine whether Steorn’s claims are valid or not.

        • Blue Energy

          Well said. There is no reason to guess. We can actually know the truth (eventually) if we just do great testing.

        • Guy Mann

          The 5F capacitor isn’t in the regular units, only the ‘accidentally shipped’ one for Frank.

      • Zephir

        You shouldn’t assume bad intentions when assuming stupidity is enough…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor

        • Zephir

          Maybe it could be possible to extract it from the pot, because whole upper surface appears to be accessible

      • Ged

        Looking closer at the timestamps of the data, you are right, and I retract the criticism and apologize.

        The internal blue LED light testing threw me off compared to the USB port, as there is no trend on the USB controller’s activation light (so far) no matter the time interval contrary to the USB devices. There are some odd wrinkles with USB ports when it comes to voltage, so one should still use caution when extrapolating based only on the USB port testing, as it could give false negatives as several commenters described. The internal testing however, may give much better arguments for you.

        • ecatworld

          Yes, that’s correct.

      • SG

        I disagree with your elaborate conspiracy theory. Stuff happens. Problems must be corrected. If you have ever been involved with taking a product to market, then you would have a deep appreciation for this. It is never easy.

        That said, I actually agree that offering a refund where none was requested is a red flag.

    • Blue Energy

      Wait… what? They’re going to give you two of them for free now (one with battery and one without)? Are they doing that for all their customers? I thought they counted on the revenue from the O-cube to finance future Steorn efforts and that they had sold all 750 of the O-cubes they intended to sell (with 250 set back for replacements to faulty products). Will they not survive then?

      • I think it may be important to Steorn that a truly independent test is carried out on the Orbo charger by a basically friendly but unconnected party, and the cost of three units probably looks like a worthwhile investment from Mr McCarthy’s POV.

        It also displays confidence that the results of such tests will be positive and helpful to sales of the device – assuming of course that they follow up on their promises.

        • Blue Energy

          So, your theory is that they are only refunding Frank’s money and everyone else’s will just be late in arriving. I suppose that could be true. As an advertising scheme e-catworld has gone well. And I do still trust that Frank will arrange to get to the bottom of the claim – so if Steorn has a perpetual energy generation technology it will be confirmed here. But, I wonder what all the other customers will think about that plan?

          • I don’t have any theory, and said absolutely nothing about late or absent refunds.

          • Blue Energy

            Oh, sorry. I guess that was my presumption.

  • ecatworld

    It *seems* there could be a wire — but the casing is red, too, so it is hard to tell for sure.

  • ecatworld

    At 8.08 a.m. Sun Feb 14:

    Upper terminal reading .5747 V

    Lower terminal reading .000 V

  • Anon2012_2014

    Seems it is charging, i.e. gained 0.152 V in 122 minutes. I am curious about what appears to be battery packs in the unit.

    If C = 5F

    E[606am]=.5 * 5 * .5595^2 = .7826 J
    E[808am]=.5 * 5 * 5727^2 = .8257 J

    Delta-E = 0.0431 J
    Average power = 5.89 uW

    Seems too small compared to what we were getting out of the USB charger (of the order of 1 mW).

    I think there has to be batteries in there which were discharged and are now slowly recharging. Hopefully Orbo can bring them back up.

    • FC

      The voltage dropped from 3+ V to 0.1 V as a result of inadvertently shorting the terminals. Batteries should not discharge so quickly.

    • DrD

      Except that the regulator ought to reduce or even stop Orbo charging once it sees the USB output reach the target 5V which with no load and no battery (just capacitance) it should do quickly. So maybe that’s why we are seeing a low charge rate. I don’t think the USB voltage has been measured for a long time? Just possible.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      As FC has pointed out below, the Orbo chip appears to have an own storage capability that is much larger than that of the cap. So it might be possible that the chip charges both the capacitor and itself โ€“ which would mean that the amount of energy is significantly higher.

    • Anon2012_2014

      MF (AM band) energy harvesters do 1 mW 9 km from transmitter:

      http://uobrep.openrepository.com/uobrep/bitstream/10547/333416/2/JOE2.2013.0126.pdf

      Has to at least meet the MF harvester performance. If there is a wide band method to capture everything below say 2 MHz with a ferrite or something, I think we could get 20 to 40 mW. That at least be deserves a place in Sharper Image catalogs for people who want chargers that are not near wall sockets, and it is just cool. If they are harvesting light and thermal as well, maybe they could do 40 to 100 mW. The device is at least useful even if it has no new physics and Steorn is just a good marketer.

  • ecatworld

    At 10.00 a.m. Sun Feb 14:

    Upper terminal reading .5884 V

    Lower terminal reading .000 V

    • DrD

      I don’t suppose the lower terminal has ac across it?

      • ecatworld

        I just tested for that, and no it doesn’t

    • Ged

      Thank you for doing this consistent tests, Frank. It’s very helpful for the data collection.

  • ecatworld

    I’ll do that test, but not during the current test as it might interfere.

    • OM

      OK. Thank you.

  • ecatworld

    At 12.01 p.m. Sun Feb 14: (After sitting for two hours next to a running wifi router: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipN2o_b31Lt-oUgwdKNxwO6JCpBaLm_4QzGysSLM4z2C8TbRIsks5cN56ENWoOoUkw?key=Z1k2R2prckJ2cUN5eV8zNE95Y3RGZFRzdE5Gc2tB)

    Upper terminal reading .6088 V

    Lower terminal reading .000 V

    • Stephen

      Hi Frank. Is that 12.00 pm?

      • ecatworld

        Yes.

    • Blue Energy

      That’s interesting. Of course it’s only one data point, but it does represent a larger than usual delta compared to the previous 2 hour gap readings. We’ll have to see whether it keeps up the relative increase.

      • Blue Energy

        Oops – I only looked at Sundays results. It was more dynamic yesterday.

        • SG

          Yes, I don’t see any significant difference in the reading with it next to the WiFi router.

    • Sanjeev

      The usb port showed ~5V and the orbo pack is supposed to show 5V too. I’m puzzled.

      I guess we must wait for the video because the readings don’t make any sense.
      Personally, I’m not happy with the mess they created by potting it. Its wasting so much time and effort. They could have gotten the validation in 1 day if they wished.

      • Ged

        Question then is if it can still run the LED lamp.

        • Sanjeev

          Easy to check.
          Probably once this round of test is finished.

      • DrD

        The USB output should not be the same as the orbo output.

        • Sanjeev

          Why?

          • DrD

            Because we know orbo charges a battery (or capacitor) which can’t be 5V if it’s Li-ion. Maybe it’s not Li-ion? Some one mentioned a few days ago that there’s probably a voltage regulator to give an accurate 5V output.

          • Sanjeev

            5V is nominal voltage for a Li Ion battery charger.
            My phone charger says the same on it and a quick google search confirms it.
            May be you mean to say something else?

          • DrD

            NO, it’s 3.6V for most Li-ion when under load. Open circuit might be up to 4,2V (possibly a little more). Your charger has to be significantly > then the maximum voltage as for any charger/battery type. When charging you will measure much more than the open circuit or under load voltage. Google it again “output voltage”, not charger voltage.

          • Sanjeev

            Thanks. Now I get what you are saying.

          • Zephir

            The controller chip is seriously undersized for 1.5 W load and higher. The problem is in its poor cooling once it gets covered with epoxy resin, I’m afraid Steorn did underestimate the consequences of flooding the intestines of Orbo with epoxy resin. Maybe it tested the circuit on air, when everything went normally and he resorted to epoxy just before final shipment.

          • SG

            Likely, yes. The potting did seem to happen fairly late in their testing cycle. I didn’t hear about it until shortly before shipment of Frank’s Ocube–and that was from a post on Shaun’s facebook page.

          • Zephir

            IMO it could be a fatal mistake for sales of OrboCube. But it still doesn’t quite explain the failures of Orbo Phone, where the load should be lower.

          • SG

            The failures of the Orbo Phone have been attributed to phone parts–e.g., disconnected speakers.

          • Zephir

            OGirl actually talked about replacement of battery, but she probably isn’t expert in this matter…

          • SG

            Where? I don’t ever remember her saying the battery was replaced. But agreed, not an expert in this matter. Perhaps an expert in other areas.

          • Zephir

            Here. She said: “The speaker wasnโ€™t really working, so I came in to the offices today to get it fixedโ€ฆ As for the battery, same as last week, every time it runs off, couple minutes later it turns back on, Iโ€™ve got full battery
            again. I love my OPhone.. ”

            https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryisdead/videos/10153527793007672/

            I misinterpreted it like the replacement of battery by Steorn.

          • Ged

            Yes, nothing wrong with the battery according to her at least. She’s saying it recharges in a few minutes after it runs out.

          • SG

            Right, not entirely clear, but I take that to mean the speaker connection was repaired. Of course, there are those who claim that what really happened is that Steorn replaced the battery. But that is not what was stated by Ogirl.

          • Hhiram

            The resin poses two other serious problems too. The first is heat dissipation from the battery and capacitor. The second is that it can move wiring and contacts because some types of resin shrinks as it cools.

            Steorn’s thinking is probably that the resin will prevent tampering and provide shock-resistance. But it might be more trouble than it’s worth.

          • MWerner

            Yes, Since we don’t know the native voltage out of the orbo and whether or not they are using one or two batteries in series, its a mess to guess.
            I suspect there is a boost/buck converter in there somewhere to end up with the 5V output. Quite possibly two voltage regulators, one to control the charge on the battery and one to create the 5V for the USB.

    • Stephen

      Is this the charging voltage from the orbo inner device as opposed to the out put voltage from the capacitor? Would this slightly increasing voltage imply the capacitor charging is increasing slightly with time? Would we be able to derive the cpacitance of the device itself from this data? Forgive me if the questions are missing something I’m not really expert on electronics.

      • ecatworld

        I don’t think anyone but Steorn knows for sure what these terminals connect to so far, Stephen. Hopefully we get some answers today.

        • DrD

          Yes, unfortunately only Steorn know.
          However, we can fairly safely assume that the USB output is not the same as the Orbo output because the Orbo must charge a battery (in the proper unit). Because Li-ion is not 5V there must be a buck type or similar up converter and regulator. I think this has been said before.

          • Rechargeable batteries are available in ‘PP3’ format in Ni-Cad, lithium polymer and Ni-MH forms. If that is what is in use (along with a 5F capacitor for some reason) 9.2V could be the charge level prior to a DC-DC charge regulator cct.

          • ecatworld

            Hopefully we’ll get answers today. Steorn told me they were rendering the video.

          • DrD

            Can’t wait. They must be working late, Sunday aswell, it’s 8.30 pm here. It proves they’re trying hard.

          • DrD

            Yes, Indeed. Do we actually know what type of battery they use? It’s hard to imagine a rechargeable of any kind that will last many years.
            I would still expect a voltage regulator be used to stabilise the output at 5V in which case the orbo output can’t go directly to the usb.
            Simultaneously measuring all terminals and the USB might reveal something. USB should always be 5V when charged, irrespective of the other voltages,
            Very Intriguing.

          • They offer a 1-year RTB guarantee so perhaps they just got a few out to testers with non-interchangeable batteries and will replace these units in due course with units fitted with ‘proper’ battery compartments.

  • ecatworld

    Ok, something interesting. When I measure voltage between the lower terminal of the upper pair, and the upper terminal of the other pair, I read 9.2 volts.

    • Sanjeev

      Now you have my full attention !

      • That is surely a battery, but I’m not sure how you would confirm it. Maybe just put the 1.5W LED across it – if it goes out quickly its probably a capacitor or output from a DC-DC voltage amplifier, if it stays on it must be a chemical battery.

        • Sanjeev

          Easy to do if the multimeter has a capacitance measurement function.
          Probably the meters Frank is using don’t have it. (From the pictures)

          • SG

            You would need to disconnect the cap and drain it before attempting to measure the capacitance using a multimeter. Not practical in this instance.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          The โ€žbatteryโ€œ inside might be the Orbo chip itself. From what we currently know it will hardly be possible to predict its behaviour.

          • Although in the Steorn demos, each electret only outputs 0.4/0.5 volts at milliwatt levels.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Maybe the higher voltage is just the output of the circuit (about which Steorn said recently that it did not work as intended).

    • ecatworld
      • ecatworld

        Sorry, I may have been a bit inaccurate with my first post. 9.53 with one meter (cheap digital multimeter), 9.62 with the other (Portapow)

        • Sanjeev

          It can mean that the pairing was wrong. The pair showing 0V is ground and the pair showing 0.6 is more or less at the same voltage. 9V can be from the correct pair.

          • Dieter_G

            yes, could be

    • ecatworld

      BTW, to get the +9.6 V, I had to reverse the polarity. So it was black lead on upper pair lower terminal, red lead on lower pair upper terminal. Otherwise it was -9.6 V

    • Andreas Moraitis

      I guess that one of these pins is connected to a common null line. That one which you had used before to measure (supposedly) the voltage of the capacitor. Did you try to check the voltage to the remaining pin from that position?

      • ecatworld

        Just did– it reads 4.75 V

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Thanks. It might be an idea to record the readings for all the six possible pairs. But now itโ€™s perhaps easier to wait for the video.

        • Ged

          Which combination gave that reading, Frank?

          • ecatworld

            Just doing a quick video so it’s clear.

        • Bingo – ‘universal’ phone trickle charging voltage. We need to see if that stays the same under load (resistor).

        • Sanjeev

          That makes the picture more clear.
          Assuming both the orbo and the cap are approx at the same voltage (which they should be, if one is charging the other), then 4.75V is the voltage across each of them. Now 9.5 V is double of it, which means its the voltage across both of them in series.

          • SG

            Interesting conjecture. Would be useful to construct a diagram of the various voltages being reported, and from which pins.

          • Sanjeev

            Possible. But now the video is almost ready. Hopefully that will explain it better.

          • MWerner

            Sorry we can’t draw pictures here, but for one to charge the other they are likely in parallel, not series.
            (actually if you have two, two terminal, devices connected to each other they are by strict definition, both in parallel and series.) Not enough detail here to make a serious determination.

          • ecatworld

            You should be able to upload images into your comments via the small picture icon. Or put a link in to an online image.

          • Sanjeev

            You are right. Frank has taken the 4.75V reading back (probably some error somewhere), so above reasoning by me does not apply now.

          • Pweet

            In series via a high value reisistor

    • Pweet

      Probably indicates one good 9v battery and one dead 9v battery.

  • ecatworld

    A short video posted above showing the readings we’ve been discussing. Sorry about the poor quality. Video was shot about 2:30 US central time.

    • OM

      What about the other combinations?
      1-2 = -0.63v
      1-3 = ?
      1-4 = ?

      2-3 = +9.62V

      2-4 = +4.78V
      3-4 = 0V

      BTW, 3-4 is not equal to 2-4 minus 2-3. Very interesting.

      • ecatworld

        Good questions. Hold on.

      • DrD

        AND the USB output Voltage

      • Esko Lyytinen

        There most probably is a diode in 4 to allow the current flow only in one direction, allowing NOT 3-4 to be negative.

    • Ged

      Very interesting. There is a lot to learn here from something so simple. Thanks for the video!

  • ecatworld

    Ok I’ve made a spreadsheet of various readings. These are measured with the Portapow DC Power Monitor
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit?usp=sharing

    • DrD

      Frank, Sorry to be a nuisance but we don’t know the output voltage (on the usb). It should be 5.00V but maybe it isn’t.

      • ecatworld

        I’m not going to measure the USB port just yet. I think it could interfere with the testing because in the past putting the probes in the hole has triggered the blue LED and that could interfere with this part of the testing. Will certainly do later.

        • DrD

          Ok,Understood. You’re quite correct as your meter might ALSO draw current.

    • Sanjeev

      Can’t see the 4.75 value. Has it increased ?

      • ecatworld

        I did these readings with the portapow meter. There’s a big discrepancy between the two meters for U2-L2. With the Portapow meter it’s 0.815 V, with the other meter it’s 4.78 V. Not sure why that is. When I measure with my analog meter on the lowest setting it moves the needle but barely.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I would be careful with the analog meter. It could pull too much current and thus partly discharge the capacitor or even the Orbo.

        • Sanjeev

          Strange.
          So what is the ETA for the steorn’s video? About 10 hours have passed since you commented about it.

        • Zephir

          This is just because of 1 megaohm resistor mentioned above – the analog voltmeter at lowest setting drains too much juice for measuring of the voltage across resistor, so that the voltage drops (see also Andreas Moraitis comment bellow). It’s a normal behavior.

          • Pweet

            Yes. Precisely that.

        • Anon2012_2014

          Input impedance of the portapow meter is probably 100K ohms, vs. input impedance of common radioshack multimeter is 10 MegOhms.

          Portapow is probably simply draining the output as mentioned by Zephir. Use your multimeter and get back to us what the specsheet says the impedance is of the multimeter on volts scale.

    • Ged

      Hm. Previously the bottom of the two uppers (U2) and the top of the two lowers (L1) gave the 9.6 V reading (visible in video too), but now it is U1 and L2 that give 9.6 V and U2 and L1 give 8.9 V?

    • SG

      Will be very interesting to observe these six readings over time.

      • Dave

        I agree: Old analog meters are usually rated in ohms/volt.

  • Sanjeev

    Here is a still from the video showing how it is wired.

  • ecatworld

    Email from Steorn posted above.

    • Ged

      Curiousness. Why would they want an applied voltage at one of the terminals?

      So it seems the two upper terminals are indeed the Orbo core, and it was shorted out but is regenerating? This unit seems to be a “mess” compared to how it “should be working”, based on what they say.

      • SG

        It is explained, somewhat, in the latest video. They are using two standard 9V batteries (likely the two rectangular items that were already suspected to be such in our OCube) to provide an electric field across the Orbo cells, albeit with nearly no current draw due to the 1Mohm resistor.

        The terminals that measure across the 1Mohm resistor should show 14 V (i’m assuming it is less than 18 V due to a voltage drop due to being connected to the Orbo cells). Ours is showing 0 V. Houston, we have a problem (quite fitting).

        • Ged

          I definitely argue for doing a test of the USB before messing with anything they want us to do. That is, put something in the USB port, monitor if it lights and how long, and then measure the voltage at all the points to see how they change. Then we can compare that to after whatever jump starting they have Frank do.

        • Sanjeev

          I suspect the 1M in Frank’s Ocube is disconnected or damaged.
          He is getting the 9V from both batteries and a (tiny) voltage from orbo, so these three components are ok, but I guess the orbo is not getting the needed electric field. Steorn is suggesting that Frank can apply it externally through the terminals. (That’s how I understand it at the moment, but can be wrong)

          No mention was made of 5F cap though.

          • SG

            Add a 1 Mohm resistor across L1 and L2?

            Frank, might be worth picking one up at Radio Shack, lest we have to wait a moment more once Shaun tells us to try this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Sanjeev

            Can be tried.
            If the meter is connected to U1U2 while this is done, it should show a rapid rise in voltage, and if not then the problem is somewhere else.

          • ecatworld

            Actually I have some right here. But that won’t provide the voltage would it?

          • SG

            It would complete the circuit, which we suspect is an open circuit relative to the applied electric field. There is some uncertainty about how the terminals relate to the two 9V batteries. Shaun says the terminals are across the 1 Mohm resistor. Assuming the 1Mohm resistor is damaged or disconnected, then we should be able to add the resistor ourselves, across L1 and L2.

          • Sanjeev

            The assumption that 1M is open has one problem.
            If it is, then we should see about 9V across U2L2, but we see 0.8V. This is strange.

          • SG

            Could be a voltage drop across the Orbo power pack. But I wouldn’t expect such a big drop. So, yes, strange.

            Edit: wait, one of Frank’s meters showed 4.78 V across U2L2. That value makes more sense. 9 V minus a voltage drop across the Orbo power pack.

          • Private Citizen

            It would be great if you could get a Streon rep to participate in answering questions on E-CatWorld in an Ask Me Anything thread. Perhaps Frank could limit the questioners to the few here who seem to know electronics best.

            The rep doesn’t have to disclose IP secrets, but can answer questions on validation testing. Couldn’t take that long, maybe fun for his/her lunch hour entertainment. The rep has to be super excited about making this product and should be eager to engage.

          • Pweet

            Straight off you could ask why the 18 volt output from the two 9 volt batteries in series drops to 3.4 volts if it is only being used as a reference voltage.? (from the Steorn posted video)

          • SG

            I would suspect it is because of the placement of the probes. Run the loop and apply Kirchhoff’s. Just because there is a voltage drop does not mean that any significant amount of current is flowing.

          • ecatworld

            I think it’s best to wait, at least until after consulting with Steorn.

          • SG

            Certainly no harm in that, particularly given that Steorn have promised a Skype by tomorrow.

          • Ged

            Probably be good to test the USB part again, and see how components react, before we start really messing with things per Steorn. A bit of “before” comparisons of the dynamic nature of the voltages in response to a load.

          • Ged

            Yes, asking them about that supposed 5F cap would be a good idea. The details of this Ocube keep changing.

          • Pweet

            Resistors are very very reliable.
            With only 18 volts maximum across it, a 1 megohm resisitor would never generate enough heat to damage it no matter how well it was encapsulated.
            Power dissipated would be 0.324 milliwatts, that’s milliwatts, not watts,. even if the whole 18 volts was dumped across it.
            It would be at least a .25 watt resistor; that’s 250 milliwatts, so 0.3 milliwatts would be nothing.
            It’s not at all likely to be a faulty resistor.
            It’s far more likely to be a faulty battery, and probably just run flat.

          • SG

            Agree with your faulty resistor assessment. But disagree with faulty battery conjecture given that Frank is measuring ~ 9V from each terminal (check spreadsheet).

            What likely happened is that the soldering between the resistor and one of the batteries came loose.

          • ecatworld

            Right that is something I definitely will ask about (the cap)

        • Zephir

          IMO this powerpack is shorted with burned chip from buck-boost
          converter which now represents the hidden shunt / load of the whole device.

    • SG

      Excellent. This is very helpful information. I’m glad Shaun is taking an interest in our efforts.

  • Zephir

    /* That is to provide a permanent electric field that causes the Orbo cells
    to recharge faster and to a higher voltage level than they would with
    just their own inherent electric field */

    This comment strongly supports my theory about function of Orbo powerpack as a quantum battery, where the potential barrier serves as a Maxwell daemon for rectifying thermal voltage fluctuations. The captret behaves in similar way: it doesn’t charge itself, until it has some external voltage source connected – so it’s always used in connection with battery.

    • Zephir

      IMO it’s not all so bad as it looks at the first sight. The poorly cooled electronics probably did short-circuit the internal powerpack, thus preventing it to supply some usable load at all. Of course it’s still bad for McCarthy, as he improvised badly with epoxy potting, but the technology itself still hopefully works.

      To put it clearly: if he really developed perpetuum mobile, then the initial 99% failure rate is still tolerable…;-) We already did pay millions of experts, who didn’t invent nothing like this during last century.

    • Ged

      What tests could we devise to prove or disprove this directly? Do you have any thoughts, beyond what Steorn appears to be proposing soon?

      • Zephir

        Steorn itself proposes to put some voltage at the second pair of test terminals, which would speed-up the charging of internal powerpack. But IMO it may not help, as this powerpack is still shorted with burned chip from buck-up converter. This chip must be somehow removed from circuit first.

        • SG

          I’m not convinced that the the step-up chip is burned in Frank’s unit. What makes you think that it is? It is supposed to take the 1.6 V output of the Orbo pack and step the voltage up to 5V. The first set of terminals measure across the Orbo pack. We see the voltage increasing. We get power out of the USB port (although significantly less than expected).

          If our Ocube has an issue, it is likely due to an open circuit involving the 18 V reference voltage.

          • Zephir

            IMO the OrboPack should be polarized with 9 + 9 V battery via 1 MOhm resistor. What such high voltage should be otherwise good for? We need to draw and share some wiring.

          • SG

            Agreed. And I think that is the component that is broken or disconnected.

          • Pweet

            I agree. Because we are seeing the internal blue led light up in the Orbo USB port, the dc to dc converter must be working ok. We established this earlier.
            If there was not 5 volts available to the port, the Orbo USB port would not turn on.

            The whole problem is there is not much energy being produced at the 5 volt level.
            Even a small load drains out all the available energy much too fast.
            If there was any storage across the 5 volt output as claimed in the video, be it a lithium battery or ultra cap, we should be seeing more energy available than this.

          • SG

            Agreed. What is up in the air right now is why we are seeing 0v across L1 / L2 when Shaun states that we should be seeing on the order of 14 V.

          • Pweet

            Maybe wrong test points?
            Do any test points have 14 volts across them when checked with a very high impedance voltmeter?
            If so, they will possibly be the ones across the battery/ resistor / battery circuit.

          • Zephir

            /* dc to dc converter must be working ok. We established this earlier */

            There are two circuits in the Orbo unit. Didn’t you see the last Steorn video? I’m not talking about output unit connected directly to the USB socket.

    • SG

      Plausible. I’ve always thought the Maxwell daemon was a path to intriguing possibilities.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Could be an RF energy harvester that needs a certain amount of voltage to keep the processor running or to keep bias on the transistors or electrolytic capacitors.

      • Zephir

        Yes, but it’s an extremely implausible theory given very low energy density of RF energy harvesting and massive aluminum cover. Nobody sane would construct RF harvester like that…

  • ecatworld

    I must apologize — just been going over my spreadsheet, and my labels were messed up. I’ve corrected now. There is some missing data in one of the columns now, however.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

    • Ged

      This makes a lot more sense, as I noticed the U2-L1 was mislabeled compared to the video.

    • SG

      Going forward, would you mind taking measurements using both digital meters? The U1-L2 0.8 V measurement makes less sense to me than the U1-L2 4.78 V measurement (that you noted previously using the other digital meter).

  • Anon2012_2014

    portapow is a combo power meter and not designed as a voltmeter or multimeter. That’s why it’s impedance is likely lower.

  • Casual_Observer

    Hi Frank,

    Some of your regular posters are rather disrespectful and spiteful of the mainstream scientific establishment. Now that you are going through a formal testing process yourself, I’m sure you are seeing firsthand how difficult it really is to do things methodically and accurately from the start, without making mistakes. I’m sure you are also seeing how easy it actually would be to make an error, if you didn’t have dozens of people monitoring and scrutinizing your every move.

    My hope is that by seeing you genuinely struggle to be rigorous in your testing, that your readers – especially those who are hard on the scientific community – might gain a better appreciation for how difficult even the simplest scientific work actually is!

  • Anon2012_2014

    We have to see now that it does more energy than 2 9 volt batteries, eh?

    I always leave open the hypothesis that there is no effect here.

    I suspect this is a conventional energy harvester. I have heard now a Maxwell’s daemon approach to modeling. I need to be disproven and frank may be able to do it. I will therefore reserve judgement on the master level of bull* till later.

  • DrD

    Here’s a theory:
    It explains
    1) How Frank managed to power the LED’s for hours initially.
    2) Why it couldn’t be repeated.
    3) Why Franks Orbo doesn’t seem to have the 18V reference.
    4) Why the other shipped units showed over 8V output.

    Just suppose they made a small wirring mistake. It’s hard to believe but clearly something is wrong.
    Just possibly one of the 9V battteries was innadvertantly linked to the output via a low resistance route.
    If so, In Franks “no Li battery” version, power to drive the LED’s would, initially, come from this 9V battery which would discharge after a few hours. Maybe someone could check that. Once discharged, the Orbo would no longer work efficiently (9V bias, not 18). It would still work a little. In fact we would observe exactly what I listed above. The other units would also see the 9V from the same alkaline battery over riding the 5V from the orbo. i think it would also discharge soon.

    I apologise if this is nonsense. I wasn’t able to view the video as I have just arrived at work where fb is not accessible. Could some one help by pasting the video here?

    Finally, I have to say that it’s incredible they would make such an error but clearly they’ve made some kind of mistake. Also, it’s hard to believe that a wirring error would take so longs to detect and correct, a design flaw makes more sense and conceivable but how ever could they have missed it up to the point of shipping.
    One other concern — alkaline batteries don’t last for ever!!!

    • Omega Z

      “but how ever could they have missed it up to the point of shipping”

      You should retract that statement. ๐Ÿ™‚

      A million widgets recalled yesterday. A million gadgets recalled today, Tomorrow a million……

      • Andreas Moraitis

        And millions of cars as well. Obviously, nowadays many companies tend to outsource testing procedures to the end-user. However, this strategy will only work out if they are able to cover the costs of possible call-back campaigns. I am not sure if small start-ups like Steorn are well advised to try it the same way.

        • DrD

          On our despatch boxes we have in big bold print:
          “the customer is the next inspector – quality matters”
          ๐Ÿ™‚

  • fritz194

    … almost as expected.
    What concerns the 9V Blocks – a lifetime of more than 5 yrs is pure fiction. 18V on 1Meg gives 18uAmps, if shorted – this would give a duration of more than 16.000 hrs, thats 2 years. In this setup, the battery operates on a load around 2.9V – 8 V – so its more than 2 yrs – otherwise there is a self discharge – and the available amp-hours are cut by 50% after 5 yrs. So I would think about 3 yrs. If the orbo cells can be charged up to 16-17V – maybe 5yrs.
    The energy provided by those batteries is 300mAh x 16,5V – around 5Whrs – thats less than you need to charge a smartphone. (And keep in mind that it takes more energy to charge a smartphone – as what is printed on the battery – you have to power the phone during charging… ).
    The LiIon-cell in the video looks like its composed of 4 cells in series – but who cares.
    BTW there is lots of room to improve this “tech” – if it really works.
    I would buy a single orbo cell for $100 – but not this molded tinker-mess.

    • Dieter_G

      “I would buy a single orbo cell for $100 – but not this molded tinker-mess.”
      Word !
      but at the moment, not even that.

    • Rob King

      This is what I think the layout of the circuit is. Hopefully Shaun and confirm this.

      • FC

        Thank you, Rob.

        Mine is almost an exact copy of yours. Good to know that somebody understood Shaun’s video the same way that I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Let’s wait for confirmation.

      • Sanjeev

        This is how I pictured it too.
        Only thing that’s different is, the orbo terminals should be reversed (negative up). But I can be wrong here, pure guess.

      • I can’t see yours for some reason. This is mine (probably the same):

        http://www.health-answers.co.uk/orbo.png

    • SG

      My understanding is a cap is in place of the “main” LI. The reference voltage LI is a separate part of the circuit.

      • Blue Energy

        I have previously questioned that – but you seem to be correct. The explanation in the video seems to be that two 9 volt batteries, in series, provide a voltage charge to the electrets that respond by producing power that trickle charges either a li-ion battery (or a 5F cap in Frank’s only) that then accumulates enough juice that it can be used, up to twice a day, to charge a phone. The 9 volt batteries are prevented from providing power to the li-ion battery or the phone by a million ohm resister. If true, this would truly appear to be significant energy from nowhere – although it will still need to be tested in an environment that prevents changes in temp, magnetic field, etc. At the very least it would indicate a big advance in environmental energy harvesting.

        Hopefully, Steorn’s solution to the failure in Frank’s device, if it requires an additional power source to replace the 9 volt batteries, will also include a million ohm resister to make it clear that the voltage source from the outside does not contribute directly to the power being sent to the capacitor.

  • georgehants

    Very good that Mr. Steorn is now involved, it would seem best to just wait for him to give clear instructions on any procedure that will show this device is working as stated.
    If he cannot give the advice to easily check this unit, then there is a problem that only the new complete and tested unit should solve immediately on arrival.
    Any news on delivery of the new unit?

  • Sanjeev

    The new (corrected readings) by Frank make more sense. It seems something is wrong around the L2 terminal, perhaps one of the battery drained off, got shorted or something.
    Today’s experiments and troubleshooting will make it more clear.

  • ecatworld
    • Dieter_G

      where have the 4.5V gone you measured yesterday ?
      Did you check if you can confirm the 1MOhm that should be on the lower terminal ?

    • Dieter_G

      according to them, thats what the circuit should look like, with the path on the right probably beeing broken.
      When you measure L1 – U2 you are basically measuring the voltage of the battery. If you measure L1 – U1 you are measureing [the voltage of the batt minus the voltage of the Orbo-pack].
      Anyway, you should measure about the same from L2 – U2, because (compared to L1 – U2) there is only is the additional 1M-resistor. As you measure only 0.8V from U2 to L2 it indicates that the 1M-resistor is broken.

      • FC

        “the 1M-resistor is broken.”

        Maybe it’s just loose, as some people have suggested.