ECW Orbo O-Cube Testing Week 2 (Feb 15 β€” Post Questions for Steorn Here)

The Week 1 O-Cube Testing thread has become very long, so here’s a new thread to start out the new week.

For reference:

Week 1 thread

The Google document started by Ged which summarizes key information from testing so far .

The Spreadsheet with the terminal readings from the ocube

The video posted by Steorn yesterday showing some of the inner workings of the Ocube

I will hopefully be talking with Steorn via Skype this afternoon, so if there are questions that you would like me to ask please post them in this thread and I will compile them.

Here’s a quick video of the wiring setup using stuff I have collected. As you can see, it’s quite a patch-up job. I would welcome any suggestions.

Meter readings on either side of the resistor in the unattached circuit

Feb 16 2016

It’s been a long and involved day and there is a lot of information that has been shared in the comments section below. But I thought I would give a quick recap of what has gone one.

According to the video Steorn put on Facebook on Sunday, for the Orbo cells to charge effectively, they need to be exposed to what Shaun McCarthy calls a “reference voltage”, and this is why the ocube has two 9 Volt batteries inside with a 1M Ohm resistor across them. This means that despite the relatively high voltage, the current is tiny. Shaun determined from information I sent him that the ECW Ocube was for some reason not getting this voltage, so he recommended that we apply it externally. So today, I built the circuit with two 9 volt batteries and a 1M Ohm resistor in it. A photo is below:

New photo by Frank Acland / Google Photos

After applying this circuit to the ocube, the charging time of the ocube has appreciably increased. See the spreadsheet linked to above to see data on charging times. You’ll also see that the test was interrupted when while I was out I think one of my cats dislodged one of the screws used in the terminals and a short was created.

I have been in touch with Shaun McCarthy today. I asked him how long he thought it should take to charge with this circuit applied:

Not sure to be honest, shorting the unit will have fecked the domains up, the purpose of the applied voltage is to keep the domains pointing in the correct direction (or rather encourage them to return after a discharge)
I think the first step here is to see if there is any rise in voltage, that will tell us if the circuit is ok

Its tough to say if the applied voltage is really across the power cells if its still rising itself – the rise is very non linear, it goes through a BH curve type of shape, I think leave it for 12 hours and lets see.

Feb 17, 2016

Some more comments from Shaun from a Skype text conversation between him, myself and Rob King:

Q: What sort of voltage climb will we see at this low starting voltage?

A: I don’t know the units them selves are never below 2.9 volts, and the short out will have effected the domain structure. The applied voltage will reinstate the domain structure, but the time frame I really don’t know to be honest.

Q: At what voltage will the charge controller kick in and start charging the cap?

A: the cap is on our side of the controller board, so it will be at the same voltage as you are currently measuring, with the obvious note that something in the circuit is wrong and its unknown what is wrong at this time

Q: so is the cap and orbo in parallel?

A: yep, pre controller board

Q: so there is no controller board and the cap and orbo are connecter to the USB board

A: no, there is a controller board in this non li version between the powercells and the USB board
In fact there are a bunch of them in parallel to allow a strong current draw

Q: so the controller board takes a wide range of input voltages and outputs 3.7 or 5V?

A: it outputs 5v from 1.6v up

Q: the 5V then feeds the usb board

A: yep

Q: what triggers the blue light on the USB board to light up?

A: when a cable is plugged in, if it stops charging then the cable needs to be plugged in again

Q: so it detects a load being attached, and when a load is detached

A: yep

Q: but does not step up any voltage?

A: no

Q: I can see what looked like and inductor but might be a shunt resistor

A: its a standard board we buy in

Q: so the USB is 5v in and 5v out

A: no, sorry, in fact its 3.2 to 5 in, and 5 out

Q: ok, so it must have a boost converter on board

A: yep

Q: the new controllers are true li-ion chargers?

A: there is no LI in the revised cube

Q: what is in the revised in place of it then?

A: with the appropriate number of cells we can store 20k joules, hence no battery

Here’s a link to nice chart that has been put together by Sanjeev providing data at a glance from the readings I’ve been logging:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/pubchart?oid=1920631363&format=interactive

Feb 18, 2016

Here are some comments from Shaun McCarthy today regarding the current issue:

If you short the cells you destroy the domain alignment – we normally just throw them away, never tried to realign the domains before

In a way, however they have not been shorted – that huge spike of voltage is going to feck the domains around – not saying that we cant get them back alaigned, just saying that we have never tried

February 19, 2016

The day started off with something of a surprise. For some reason, there was a sudden spike in the voltage readings across the terminals U1-U2, which according to Steorn measures voltage across the Orbo powerpacks. See the spreadsheet above for the readings. Since the spike to 2.96 V, the reading has gradually decreased. Below are photos of the most recent readings

New photo by Frank Acland / Google Photos
New photo by Frank Acland / Google Photos

Here are some more Q&As with Shaun McCarthy about the current situation:

I showed him the chart of the voltage rise this morning:

SM: Its very strange behaviour, not sure what to make of it, maybe a couple of the cells are destroyed, I think leave it and see, the rise and then decay is strange

Me: Here’s a question about shorting. In the video when you showed the ability for the orbo material to bounce back from a short — you had it shorted out for over 1/2 an hour without any apparent degradation. Is it different in these packs?

SM: yes, but that was without an applied field, as you can see in that video its low voltage. We apply the field to ‘upgrade’ the output – so a short with a lot of energy can really feck around with the domains, so in a way it may seem the same but its like comparing falling off a bar stool to falling out of a plane. The strips in the video have no capacitance so there is no huge amount of energy stored, in the production cells there could be 1500J in storage, you short that and you are going to have a minimum of a couple of hundred watts spiking the domain structure

RK: So this is a common problem you have seen, that shorting the production cells does them no good or kills them

SM: Well it can hurt, that’s for sure – we try not to do it, the heat generated can be very high, a simple measure of the amount of energy stored is the amount that frank took out on his first charge, the only storage in the system is a 5f cap and the cells, so it will give you some idea of how much energy is released in a short, the difference being that in a short the energy is dumped in an instant, that simply causes issues.

Feb 20th 2016

Below is a video that I made this morning of a quick test using an LED that Rob King has sent me for testing purposes. We tested it out using the new multimeter and its rating is 0.22 W on the lowest setting (there are three settings) which I used in this video.

Here’s an explanation of the steps I took.

1. Measured voltage across points U1-U2 (apparently the voltage of the Orbo packs)
2. Measured voltage across the USB port.
3. Plugged in USB light until it was depleted
4. Measured voltage across points U1-U2
5. Measured voltage across the USB port.

The video was made at about 9:25 am, and you will see from the spreadsheet that the voltage acorss U1-U2 has climbed since then — no circuit has been applied to the ocube.

I repeated the test at 11:57 — video below:

Here’s another test. This time we have a 100 Ohm resistor across terminals U1-U2 for one minute, with voltage being measured.

Feb 21, 2016

I did another test this morning. Overnight I put on a reference voltage circuit off 18 V with a 100k Ohm resistor which brought up the voltage measurement from 2.85-3.18 V. When I took off the circuit, the voltage across U1-U2 f dropped from 3.18 – 3.169 Volts over a period of about 16 minutes. I am interested to see whether putting a load on the ocube can actually stimulate the “self-charging” behavior of the orbo cells.

Feb 23, 2016

Below is the first video of the charging test started yesterday. More to follow. In this video there is a 9V battery with a 220 Ohm resistor charging the ocube via the U1-U2 ports.

This is the second part of the test done this morning continued from yesterday. This time I used a 100 Ohm resistor with the 9V battery.

Part 3 — still with the 100 Ohm resistor. You will see the battery is losing power.

  • Guy Mann

    Why aren’t the Orbo powerpacks for sale separately?

    • Zephir

      Because they require external voltage and another circuits for their work, I guess. The selling them potted into resin cannot prohibit the inquisitive people in their study – on the contrary, I guess…;-)

  • DrD

    Goodmorning Frank.
    Here is a question pasted from the previous thread. It was added to by “FC” with additional interesting points but here is the Jist:

    Hi Frank, Please disregard this if it is wrong (I can’t view the video on FB or google).
    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 being so helpful.

    We went on to discuss alternatives in case the Orbo just can’t start without initial charge.

    • Something like this perhaps?

      http://www.health-answers.co.uk/orbo2.png

      • FC

        I think there’s no need to complicate things with two 9V upconverters. It’s simpler to have just an 18V one.

        Adding a small 18V capacitor would be a nice touch, in case the orbo power pack is so depleted that it can’t trigger the converter.

          • FC

            I’m sorry, but I can open it. Can you attach it to a comment, please?

          • FC

            I meant I can’t open it, πŸ™‚

          • I think I might have typed the link incorrectly on the first attempt. Could you refresh the page and see if it’s visible?

          • Sanjeev

            .png is missing from the filename.

          • Yes, that’s what I missed, but I added it fairly quickly. I’ll try replacing the contents of the post.

          • FC

            Yes, sort of.

            But I don’t think it would work like that. I think there’s too many loops. I wish I had a computer at hand, but I don’t.

            Anyway, I hope Steorn get the idea and figure out if it could work.

          • Yes, possible loops were what I was trying to avoid with the twin DC-DC converter version. As you say, I’m sure Steorn will get the idea if asked to comment on the possibility.

          • FC

            Yes, I see what you mean.
            Good job, BTW.

          • Just don’t magnify the image too much!

          • FC

            Why? It’s looks fine to me.

          • SG

            First and foremost, what reasons does Shaun have for the voltage reading across L1 / L2 being 0 V ? Can it be repaired by placing a 1 Mohm resistor across L1 / L2 ourselves ?

          • DrD

            yes, I think that works, assuming we interpret their circuit correctly and they might need some isolation but that’s not a show stopper.

          • Yes, a diode in either 18V feed leg before the DC-DC chip input might do that.

          • Added – but not showing yet for some reason (browser caching probably).

      • Stephen

        Maybe intersting to ask if the resin serves some essential purpose in the device such as thermal insulation or conduction, EM field insulation or conduction, to dampen or transmit acoustic vibrations, or to dampen or control other vibrations that may be essential to the device?Or perhaps simply to protect the device from external shocks?

        • georgehants

          Going by their researches, how long would Mr. Steorn estimate that a working unit would go on producing the stated power output.

          • Private Citizen

            Not for Mr. Steorn to answer that question, only independent judges could put forward their conclusions.

          • georgehants

            You seem to want to show your trouble making side.
            Unlike your question mine is simply giving a figure to compare the time working of a new working unit with his estimate.
            I am not asking him to give a definition of the time needed to prove no inner workings that on this page alone we will receive thousands of different estimates.

          • Private Citizen

            when faced with a contradiction, introduce a false distinction and continue

          • georgehants

            That may be your way.but that is not the scientific way.

          • Private Citizen

            was that a distinction?

          • georgehants

            You decide.

      • DrD

        Yes, that’s about it.
        Also agree with FC: one might be good enough and yes, needs a capacitor.

        Frank, I suppose it’s not so much a question as a suggestion.

        My original “question” was aimed at understanding how can it be as good as “everlasting” but I understand they answered that by saying it’s a compromise (1 year warranty).

      • Private Citizen

        Also, please ask Sean to ship the made-in-Ireland O-Girl and the comely pub manager to the USA ASAP. No doubts about quality control there πŸ™‚

        • Roberto Siquieros

          I think they’ll be staying in western Europe the v. much πŸ™‚

  • Rob King

    Hi Frank,
    please confirm with Shaun that the diagram below is correct and the terminals on the back are aligned correctly. I am not sure if the power pack you refer to is the Orbo pack or the Ultra Capacitor pack.
    Because we now know about the 1M ohm resistor, then you will need to revert to the digital multimeter to do the readings, this is so it uses a resistance across the probes of around 10 M ohms for reading voltages. I am certain that one of the batteries has now become disconnected and Shaun may be able to confirm this with the same test in the lab.
    Hopefully we can re-complete the circuit with an external 9V battery.

    • Anon2012_2014

      I suggest we request a full schematic. I don’t think the 18 volts is across the Orbo powercells, yet on the same terminal as the output for the charge controller.

      Anyway, if this schematic is the case we should see pretty much 9V from L2 to U2; and 9V from L1 to U1, and we can measure the current output of the batteries by the voltage across R1.

      • FC

        This may not be directly related with the tests on course. But going back to devising a way to do without the two 9V batteries in future products, why don’t Steorn design a specialized Orbo cell that outputs a high voltage with low power to provide the “regular” cells in the power pack with the desired electric field, or reference voltage?

        In fact, it may even be possible to introduce this concept into the very architecture of every Orbo cell, making it unnecessary to provide such “external” electric field anymore.

        • DrD

          I can think of a reason but they might not admit it:— expediency. Meaning it’s cheaper, easier and lower risk (to them) and if the guarantee is only a year then they gain nothing for their extra design and development cost.

          • FC

            Sure. That would be a short term solution. But in the long run, if they really want to power portable elctronics, they need to think of a more permanent and less bulky solution.

  • Pweet

    You could ask;-

    Why the 18 volt output from the two 9 volt batteries in series drops to 3.4 volts when the Orbo is being discharged?
    If it is only being used as a reference voltage as stated in the recent video then the reference voltage should remain constant.

    Did he mean it was a bias voltage perhaps?

    and if so,
    Why wasn’t this voltage sourced internally from the circuit rather than from two external batteries, which must surely act as a life span limit?

    Are there any test points across the lithium battery ( or ultra cap if it is a capacitor) on the feed to the output circuit?

    • Anon2012_2014

      9 volt alkaline batteries can be trickle charged to maintain their state. If he has a source of 2x 9V within the energy harvester, he could keep them going forever. They wear over time, but it is essentially like replacing the internal leakage current on a battery maintainer. If he is really only taking 18 uA out of them for short burst, he should be able to put that back in during the maintenance mode.

      What we need is a schematic that explains the entire behavior. Because Stoern potted the whole thing makes that a real pita and is a red flag.

      • DrD

        Yes, that should work. It’s a shame though, a potentially ever lasting product encumbered with consumables (atleast 3 of them) even though they might last a few years. i would want many years for !000 Euros.

        • Anon2012_2014

          By maintaining the 9V with only small amounts of discharge, it would last as long as most chemical batteries.

          But that still doesn’t prove the device harvest energy nor how much.

        • Anon2012_2014

          Shame — I don’t care about the retail product.

          I just want to know if they have

          1) A revolutionary energy product;

          2) A low power and boring energy product;

          or

          3) Fraud.

          I discount 3 to a low probability out of respect, but out of science, I have to leave that hypothesis open until disproven.

          (2) makes it to the Sharper Image store in the Mall. But I don’t care how soon it fails, as I am not buying one. At least Stoern then is a respectable business.

          (1) Makes a difference to me. To find that out I need to know the true performance, not the performance of something with a lot of alternative explanations hidden in epoxy.

          I like sleuthing for something in our little ECW community. But this is really just too hard for what looks like at most a 50 mW energy harvester. I am building one here at home on a breadboard to see if this is worthy of anything.

          • DrD

            I think that’s where I am too. Hope and favour (1) but can’t discard the others for the same reasons

          • Blue Energy

            What are you using for the electret?

          • Anon2012_2014

            Building an RF energy harvester to prove for myself that Orbo is NOT an RF energy harvester.

  • ecatworld

    Ok, just to be clear. The questions I’ll be asking Steorn will be pertaining to the technical aspects of the Ocube we’ve been discussing here, not their business model or marketing plans.

    • Sanjeev

      Yes, lets concentrate on testing first. If this thing does not work then business questions are moot…
      At what time are you expecting the conference ?

      • ecatworld

        Not exactly sure. He said there’s a meeting this afternoon in Ireland, and they’ll be in touch after that is over.

    • Perhaps you could ask Shaun exactly what test purpose replacing the lithium battery with a 5F capacitor served, and how we might take advantage of the substitution (assuming that we can ‘fix’ the problem, whatever it is).

  • Guy Mann

    You wouldn’t have to get rid of the black goo, if they sold the Orbo power pack separately. I’m not saying sell them so they can be replaced in the O-cube. I’m saying, you could just sell the power pack and let people test them, and see what they can make with them. Of course, they might not be selling them, because they don’t actually do anything.

    • damn_right _man

      Seems like they aren’t doing anything.

      • Zephir

        Yes, but we still aren’t sure, if it’s because the Orbo power packs just don’t work, or because their surrounding electronics got broken

      • You mean apart from having meetings to try to resolve the issue, and communicating with Admin to try to sort out the ECW unit. What do you expect, exactly?

    • Sanjeev

      Because anyone who signs papers with steorn are on their side. The trust is lost. It has to be completely independent.
      Probably they have done that already and especially the investors have done that before investing, I suppose. Now they are looking for consumer testimonials to go beyond prototyping into mass production stage and are also probably field testing it.
      I know, too much speculation here, but thats what I could think.

    • Private Citizen

      Please ask what test we can do to prove Orbo is being recharged by something other than a battery that some skeptic might try to claim is hidden somewhere in the potting resin.

      And how long would that test take to be conclusive?

      • georgehants

        Not for Mr. Steorn to answer that question, only independent judges could put forward their conclusions.

        • Private Citizen

          disagree, he should be able to specify how to validate a product essentially shipped as a black box

          • georgehants

            What good would that do as he is biased by definition, it would be like trusting a banker to tell the Truth.

          • Private Citizen

            No, more like asking a fellow who claims he sold you a hidden energy harvester what scientific test openly can determine it actually harvests energy

          • georgehants

            Only independent researches could answer that question.
            It would be like expecting a banker to tell the Truth.
            Please try and follow a logical argument.

          • Private Citizen

            disagree

          • georgehants

            Illogical

          • georgehants

            Why have you changed your reply without pointing that out?
            Why do you think ECW is testing the Orbo when according to you we should just ask Mr. Steorn if it works and leave it at that.
            Illogical

          • DrD

            Bankers/politicians and engineers are very different animals. Not that engineers are always trustworthy but — here’s hoping we will soon know the answer to this one

          • georgehants

            Agreed but I am sure you agree that one does not ask a person to evaluate their own performance one uses exterior criteria.

    • Without the 18V ‘driver’ p.d. they may generate next to nothing. It’s difficult even in hindsight to make suggestions, but I would have gone with just one product, the ‘O-phone’ – each one thoroughly tested before shipping. A jack or two could have been provided for experimenters

  • FC

    According to Shaun McCarthy, it stimulates the orbo power pack to recharge faster than by means of its inherent electric field alone.

    • Gryphon

      Thanks FC. Would it be the case then that there’d be a couple of 9v batteries crammed inside the ophone too?

      • ecatworld

        Here’s a comment from Orbo on FB today regarding the ophone:

        “Hi Roberto – we had previously stated that the ophone contained two Orbo power cells. This has been reduced to one power cell.”

        So may be two 9V batteries are not needed.

        • Zephir

          So that Steorn is sending Orbo Units with random number or type of components? He isn’t even sure, if your Orbo contains lithium battery or not.

          • SG

            That might be a little harsh. I think the product has evolved over time, and is still evolving due to some problems in the field. Not out of the ordinary for any kind of product, really.

          • Blue Energy

            True. Nothing exposes problems in what you thought was a thoroughly scoured new product like delivering the first one. It’s almost magical.

        • Roberto Siquieros

          They did say in the webinar previously that ocube wld have two cells, didn’t they? Now it has 8. That’s a big difference and they didn’t attempt to answer my question.

          • FC

            I don’t think they ever said the number of orbo cells inside an ocube before.

            They did say that an ophone had two. Now they say it has one.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I think the schematic looks like this. The batteries I believe are in series and the resistor is between the batteries and ground. I think some of the low voltages Frank was getting was due to a low impedance on the voltmeter that was attached to the Portapow, i.e. the Portapow acted like a shunt on the resistors in the circuit. When the 470k resistor was put in parallel with the current limiting resistor, the current went up by about 3x and I believe the Orbo “charged” faster. Sorry about the character based line drawing.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Trying to make the schematic bigger…

          • Anon2012_2014

            Please note that I am being gradually persuaded that this above schematic is wrong and I think that the OM schematic, showing the resistor between the batteries and a break between the top battery and the orbopacks is correct. Shaun seems to have confirmed this talking to Frank. The break lets us test with our own 9V batteries and takes the batteries out of the circuit. Simply cutting the red wire should make double sure that the battery circuit is not part of our circuit and lets us careful measure the power input from the 2 9Vs into the orbopack and the downstream power converter.

          • Blue Energy

            I think he shows us in the video that the resistor is in series between the two 9 volt batteries.

          • Anon2012_2014

            In that test rig of his in the video the resistor IS between the batteries . But the data or Frank’s orbocube fits better the way I drew the schematic and it wouldn’t matter for current limiting the setup where in series the resistor was between the batteries or between the batteries and orbopak.

          • Blue Energy

            No, that’s true – it shouldn’t matter.

          • ecatworld

            I’m actually still up (barely). I’ve just used my analog meter to measure on its lowest DCV setting to measure U1-L2, U2-L2 and L1-L2, and there is not a hint of movement from the needle in any case.

          • ecatworld

            3 different meters, 3 different readings. I hope the one coming Thursday will be more reliable: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EYYJQOO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          • Rob King

            Hi Frank,
            The analogue meter will have a much lower resistance on the lower voltage readings because it has to move a needle – perhaps 50K ohms. The digital will be the best for accurate measurement across the 1 M ohm current limiting resistor, this will be around 10M ohms. Not sure about the other Portapow meter but again, a different resistance will be applied across the circuit altering the true measured voltage.
            Not sure why people keep thinking the 1M Ohm resistor is between the second battery and ground – it would make no sense. With L1 and L2 across the resistor and the batteries either side, you get the check the state of the batteries via L1 to U1 and L2 to U2. Even the video shows it.
            The 2 black blocks exposed through the potting, are these the batteries?
            They appear to be covered in black PCV tape. You could try to peel the tape off to see what is under it – might say Energiser 9V.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Rob,

            From frank’s video, I showed 1 megohm on the yellow vs 100 kohm on portapow, vs offscale low (maybe 10K ohm) on the analog meter.

          • SG

            >> I believe the Orbo “charged” faster.

            To the contrary, the Orbo has been “charging” more slowly since adding the 470k resistor in parallel to the 1Mohm resistor.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Not certain, but I know that the voltage U2-L2 increased, which I believe is the voltage across the orbopak and ground. Still going up, while it appears to me that the U1U2 battery is slowing gaining at the expense of the U1L1 battery. I’m having some problem with the L1L2 measurement in the sheet — is it really zero or is that an artifact, i.e. why is U2L2 different than U2L1 is L1L2 is zero??

          • SG

            Fairly certain, though. The last two readings across U1/U2 are two of the lowest average per minute increases since readings began on 2/14/16.

            >> I’m having some problem with the L1L2 measurement in the sheet — is it really zero or is that an artifact.

            This needs to be definitively answered. We have a better digital multimeter on order. Frank should have it by this week.

            >> why is U2L2 different than U2L1 is L1L2 is zero

            Because of the voltage drop across the parallel resistors.

          • Anon2012_2014

            “>> why is U2L2 different than U2L1 is L1L2 is zero

            “Because of the voltage drop across the parallel resistors.”

            I think because of the voltage drop across the low impedance Portapow voltmeter. Anyway, to be continued tomorrow. I feel as if this project is getting somewhere using our combined efforts.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Where would you put the terminals L1-L2 then? If they were attached to the resistor as has been proposed below but there is no voltage between them (at 1 MOhm/16 microA one could expect 16V), a second resistor in parallel would have no effect.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I think the 0 volts was a measurement error on the low impedance volt meter that comes with the Portapow. Portapow is not designed as a voltmeter, its designed as a power meter. As such, it doesn’t really need such a low impedance when we are measuring watts and milliwatts. I think his yellow portable multimeter is probably a higher impedance (10 megohms) like the radioshack job I have here at my home.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            But the other digital meter reads also 0 volts, according to the spreadsheet.

          • Anon2012_2014

            We have to ask Frank to verify after he gets up. It’s weird as U2L2 != U2L1.
            Essentially this equality should be true: V[U2L2]-V[U2L1] = V[L2L1]

            Calling it a night. TTYL… Space Invaders!

          • SG

            It would be weird for a closed circuit. But the conjecture (best as yet in my opinion) is that we have a faulty connection between U1 and the anode of the battery connected to L2.

          • SG

            Correct. And we have yet another (better) digital multimeter on order, which Frank should have by this week. We can then triple confirm the 0 V reading.

          • FC

            IMHO, we are all here to test Steorn’s claims. Therefore, we need to assume that all the information that they give us is correct, which not only is essential for the testing of their claims, but will also allow us to keep a common mindset so that we can understand each other’s comments.

            That means that, until Shaun rejects our circuit schematic (the one that some of us have developed independently overnight based on Shaun’s video) or Shaun provides a different one, we should assume that it is correct, like the rest of the information he has given us.

            If and when Steorn’s claims are proven wrong, then we can let our imaginations loose and start proposing all kinds of hypotheses about orbo and the ocube. In the meantime, I believe that we should stick to testing Shaun’s words and ideas. So I will refrain from discussing any hypothesis the goes counter to what Steorn is telling us, like the ones that permeate most, if not all, of your comments.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Please note that I am being gradually persuaded that this above schematic is wrong and I think that the OM schematic, showing the resistor between the batteries and a break between the top battery and the orbopacks is correct. Shaun seems to have confirmed this talking to Frank.

          • SG

            Yes, the evidence points this way. But I think the robust discussion helped all of us hone our thoughts.

  • LesioQ

    You should ask for a graph of the voltage at 1Meg resistor during whole replenish process. This will allow one to calculate energy drained from battery set.

  • Matt

    A simple question: it what time frame will customers get their OCube?

  • Esko Lyytinen

    I would ask, if and with what terminals you can apply some actual load and measure power without the control electronics applied into the USB port. If it will become clear how to get the USB working as planned for a sustained time, then this question may not be needed.

    • According to our current understanding of the circuit, a load could be applied directly to the electrets across the upper test terminals, unless the charge controller is shorting across it’s input. Of course, if that’s the case, or if the resistor is loose and/or one PP3 battery is flat as has been suggested, then we are jiggered (as my father used to say). Out with the cutting tools.

      • SG

        I think your last sentence should read “. . .
        across L1-L2.” The resistor is across L1-L2 not U1-U2.

        • Yes, that would be the case if just the resistor is A/F, in which case a 1M resistor across L1-L2 would do it. However if one battery is flat, AND the resistor is open circuit (as possibly indicated by test readings to date) then the whole driver cct would need substituting across U1-U2 per my post. I should have covered all three possibilities – my bad.

          • SG

            Yes, it is possible. There is still some uncertainty in my mind about the 0.8 V and 0.87 V readings due to suspected limitations of the Portapow meter. It would be great if Frank could start taking the periodic readings using both of his digital meters.

          • Sanjeev

            Is that battery chargeable?

          • It is possible to at least partially recharge a standard PP3 alkaline battery, but it must be done through a current limiting diode or it could explode. No idea what the max. safe charging current is though.

          • Sanjeev

            Well then the option of charging it to check if the orbo kicks in is too risky.
            I have a feeling that more destruction will be needed to fix this thing.

          • Could be worth trying if a safe current is known. I suppose that (overcharging from a fresh battery – bang) would be a danger if a new battery was connected across L1-U1 or L2-U2 as I suggested, if an apparently dead battery is still in circuit. Perhaps I’d better put together a disclaimer denying all responsibility for the suggestion, asap. (actually I think someone else suggested it previously!)

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, it will be necessary to disconnect the old (faulty?) battery before you try to connect a new one. That’s why I said more destruction.

          • I suspect that the only way to do that is to dig ’em out of the goo and connect fresh batteries to the wires. Yet more destruction.

          • ecatworld

            It looks like the Skype meeting won’t be happening to day. I heard from Shaun who said today was the AGM and he wasn’t able to get to the office. He asked me to supply readings from the terminals which I did. Not sure about the reschedule yet, I suggested if not today, tomorrow.

          • Sanjeev

            I have a better suggestion. Connect a new assembly of 9V-1M-9V part of the circuit across U1U2. (The old one is across U1U2 too and will be effectively isolated because of 1M there).

          • Yes – as per my suggestion for case (b) in my post above.

          • Sanjeev

            Good. And as a step-1, a 1M should be connected across L1L2, just to check. If no change then go with whole assembly of “reference circuit”. Frank will need to spend some more on the batteries.

          • SG

            Agreed. Absent any further information from Shaun in the next day or so, this should be the course of action, in the stated order.

          • Sanjeev

            Well go ahead then. And yes, disclaimer – I’m not responsible if the whole thing explodes πŸ˜€ I’m just a commentator πŸ˜‰

          • ecatworld

            In an email exchange with Shaun just now he asked me to put 470k Ohm resistor across L1 and L2. I did and it still measured 0

          • Omega Z

            disclaimer: Not my fault, it was someone else’s Idea… πŸ™‚

          • You got it.

          • ecatworld
          • SG

            Certainly a change with U2/L2 and U1/L2 readings. Not a significant uptick yet with the U1/U2 reading. Will be interesting to see the next reading and also to know Shaun’s thoughts.

          • SG

            Several comments have been made by several contributors here that feel the internal impedance of the Portapow meter is likely too low to get an accurate reading across a large resistor (e.g., 1 mohm or 470 kohm)–thus the zero potential that has been consistently measured across L1/L2. One person speculated that the Portapow has an internal impedance of no more than 100 kohm. Shaun is giving us feedback based on the reading of 0 V. I think we need to resolve this ambiguity by acquiring a standard Radio Shack quality multimeter with a high internal impedance. I for one am willing to contribute to that purchase. I’m sure others here would be willing to do the same if it meant more confidence in the measured values.

          • MWerner

            Get a Fluke. Costs more, but a very high quality product.

          • Blue Enmergy

            I’m not saying it isn’t be worth waiting until Steorn chips in but, if the schematic is correct, then adding a megaohm resister in series with your additional 18 volts would make it seem safe to me.

          • Should be – but I definitely didn’t suggest it first πŸ™‚

          • OM
  • BillH

    Questions:-

    1) Why would you think 2 9V PP3 batteries were suitable to provide a reference voltage?
    2) What is the reference voltage and it’s tolerance? and what happens when it goes outside of it’s specification?
    3) Does the use of the resin make this product essentially unserviceable? If it doesn’t work you just have to throw it away?
    4) What can be measured from the test points?
    5) Was any testing on the units done in the 6 weeks prior to dispatch?
    6) Does the complete design include the 2 PP3’s, the 8 Orbo cells and a Lithium battery,
    if so couldn’t the orbo cells just be 8 thermocouples wired in series and a lithium powerbank?
    7) What measures are you putting in place to insure Quality Control?

  • FC

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that an average smartphone recharge requires in the order of 36,000 J (10 Wh, or 3,000 mAh at 3.6 V, approximately).

    If each orbo power cell has a total capacity of 1,500 J (as some commenters are already assuming here), then the whole powerpack (8 cells) can only store 12,000 J, plus an additional 62.5 J from the 5F cap at 5 V. This capacity would be insufficient for a full smartphone recharge.

    Therefore, either the OCube needs a Li-ion battery to be fully functional or what Shaun meant in the video when he spoke about the 1,500 J charge was that a voltage drop in an orbo power cell from a little over 5 V to 2.9 V (the USB cutoff voltage) is equivalent to 1,500 J, but its total capacity is higher.

    Can Shaun please clarify this issue?

  • Sanjeev

    Blame the resin.
    After all design decisions were made and testing done, they added that in 11th hour. Now its un-testable and non-repairable.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Frank, could you carefully ask them if they were willing to provide a single Orbo cell for testing? You could commit yourself not to disassemble it etc. Funding from ECW readers should be no problem if required, I think.

    • Dieter_G

      good Idea

      • OM

        I’m sorry, something wrong with image hosting. Please, remove my previous post.

        http://i.imgur.com/fO7IFw6.jpg?1

        • SG

          Yes, just checked, and I think you are correct. Frank’s latest readings with the digital multimeter support this theory.

          • FC

            Then, what we would need to do is plug a 9V battery across L2-U1. Don’t you think?

          • SG

            Yes, carefully making sure polarity is lined up correctly. Would be nice to get thoughts from Shaun before trying it. πŸ™‚

          • FC

            Exactly. πŸ™‚

          • FC

            For safety and double-checking purposes, before we do that, we could also plug a (high resistance) resistor across L2-U1.

        • Anon2012_2014

          OM, you might be right, but I think the batteries are in series with the resister between the anode of the bottom battery and the negative input into the Orbopak. I think the upper battery is between U1 and U2 is nearly dead — down to 0.8 volts. It appears to be coming back to life on Frank’s spreadsheet. The thing to do is to find a way to replace it or to charge it up again with another battery between U1 and U2. If we could only cut the wire and put a replacement in.

          But what we really want to do is to extract a single orbopak for benchmarking.

          • SG

            OM, FC, and I are in agreement that the 9V battery should be placed between U1 and L2. The U1/U2 was accidentally shorted by Frank at one point, which quickly discharged to 0.01 V (we think). It did not behave like a conventional battery.

    • Worth a try.

  • OM

    Is there a charging controller between the 5F capacitor and the Orbo power pack?
    Or they are connected directly to each other?

  • SG

    I suggest sharing the Ocube Voltage readings table (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0) with Shaun and ask him to explain:
    1) The 0 V reading across L1/L2
    2) The ~ 0.8 V reading across U1/L2
    3) The ~ 0.87 V reading across U2/L2

  • ecatworld

    He’s now asked me to leave the resistor over L1 and L2 for a couple of hours and then check voltage.

    • SG

      Might be worth double checking with both digital meters as well.

    • If L1-U1 and L2-U2 are both 0 volts then the batteries are either dead or disconnected. I am guessing that Shaun is thinking they may be nearly dead, but that putting a lower resistance across L1-L2 may allow just enough current flow to kick start the electrets.

      Does he want you to check voltage at L1-L2, or U1-U2 (or both)?

  • ecatworld

    He wrote:

    basically it seems that there are two potential problems:

    The first is that the strong voltage is not being applied across the cells (in which case we would see a voltage on test point 2)

    The consequence of this is that the dipoles in the cells are getting dealigned with every discharge and hence the recharge is to a lower level every time).

    The second problem (or potentIal problem) is that I’m normal use the cells would never discharge below 2.9 volts – that’s the cut off voltage of the USB interface. It must have been shorted while taking the back off. It’s probably not a problem, since I have done this myself many times.

    Anyway let’s see if we can get the domains aligned first. I hold out little hope of we are measuring zero across the R you just put in.

    If the voltage is not rising anymore we have one final option with that cube which is to try and put a strong v across the cells from outside the cube. My concern in doing this is that it’s unclear as to why the current voltage source is measuring zero, and that implies that the circuit somehow is not as it was, and injecting a voltage across a suspect circuit would always be a last resort!

    Let’s see if v rises!

    • SG

      You should maybe share with him our readings across U1/U2 over the past couple of days, which do show v rising gradually. But perhaps not rising nearly fast enough or as expected.

      • ecatworld

        Yes, I did, He said he’d look at the spreadsheet

        • SG

          So maybe when he said “Let’s see if v rises!” he means let’s see if the rate of increase of v rises…

          • ecatworld

            Ok, I put a fresh battery in my digital multimeter and included a new set of readings on the spreadsheet — quite a discrepancy.

            https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

          • SG

            Do you happen to know the internal impedance of your digital multimeter? Can you perhaps post the make/model? (Maybe you did already but can’t seem to find that at the moment.)

          • ecatworld

            No I’m sorry to say there is no make nor model listed, nor impedence. It does not seem to be terribly high end equipment.

          • SG

            Here is one in stock at Radio Shack that can measure up to 40 Mohm.

            https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-29-range-digital-multimeter?variant=5717083781

            I’d like to cover the cost of it. If you are willing to go pick it up, I’ll paypal the total cost of it to you. You are already giving enough to this project with your time.

          • ecatworld

            Thanks SG, can you email me so we can discuss?

          • SG

            Just sent you one (actually two) emails.

          • Pweet

            Careful,, it says it ‘measures’ up to 40 megohms. i.e when measuring ohms it can measure up to 40 megohm resistors, which is unusual. That says nothing about the input impedance when measuring in the DC voltage range.
            The two are completely different.
            I would add though, most digital voltmeters these days have very high input impedances when measuring voltage because the inputs are buffered by very cheap but effective FET buffering circuits.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Frank,

            I don’t think it was the battery in the digital MM. It looks of decent quality regardless. I think that the voltage on U2-L1 and U2-L2 have been quickly jumping higher since you put the 470k resistor across L1-L2.

            My hypothesis is that the 9V batteries are U1-L1 and U2-L1, and that they are discharging into whatever is U1-L2 and U1-L2. My working hypothesis is that the L1 circuit is the input to the orbo powerpacks, and that the L2 circuits is the output across the 5F cap or the Li-I battery that should have been installed. I think we are massively discharging U1-l1 battery which is now down to 8.8V, while somehow more slowly discharging U2-L1.

            Finally, I think the U1 battery feeds the U1 powerpack, and the U2 feeds the L2. That is because the voltage changes before going to the 470k resistor are roughly proportional (at least right direction), i.e. a loss in U1L1 resulted i a loss on U1L2.

            This whole thing is like an IQ test puzzle. We need the schematic.

          • SG

            While I like the creativity of your theory, I think OM’s is correct. Take Frank’s latest readings and run Kirchhoff for each terminal combination. Remember R is now R=1/(1/470+1/1000) due to the two resistors in parallel. I think OM has identified the break in the circuit.

            I do agree, however, that confirmation of the schematic is needed.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I think there are still too many degrees of freedom to get a solution from a Kirchoff analysis. I say why not run a Kirchoff, but there are a lot of hidden active elements in the machine.

          • SG

            Agreed that we’re running a little blind here, but we have some fairly good known data points to work from. Enough to observe that if the circuit is as expressed by Steorn in the latest video, then the break in Frank’s Ocube is likely where OM identified it to be. If the circuit is different than expressed by Steorn in the latest video, then all bets are off.

        • FC

          Frank, I don’t know if anyone agrees that the 470 Ohm resistor across L1-L2 has served its purpose.

          What I would now suggest is placing that resistor across U1-L2. And if the voltage readings across L1-L2 immediately gives a reading, then we would have a closed circuit again and the orbo power pack (i.e. the voltage across U1-U2) should start charging a lot quicker.

          • SG

            I’m not sure I agree with this approach because the reference voltage would be half of the 18 V apparently needed to sufficiently align the dipoles in the Orbo cells to boost the rate of U1-U2 increases. If we suspect OM is correct in his identification of where the break is (which I happen to believe he is correct), I say we just go ahead and connect a 9V battery (carefully paying attention to polarity) across U1/L2. We should probably get Shaun’s thoughts before trying it.

          • FC

            I agree that your suggestion will work. But I think that my approach is safer, as it would confirm our assumptions first. Then, we can plug the battery.

          • ecatworld

            Shaun’s warning was: “and injecting a voltage across a suspect circuit would always be a last resort!” I hope it works, but I suppose we could end up with a brick.

          • FC

            That’s why the resistor approach is the safest, because it would inject a lower voltage with very little power to damage anything.

            But Shaun knows his device better than anybody else.

          • ecatworld

            I have sent OM’s diagram to Shaun for his opinion. I have the supplies ready to do the battery test, but would prefer to get his okay first.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I think the battery between U1 and U2 is simply discharged. You can probably put a fresh 9V batteries in parallel across U1U2 without too much harm or risk. Best would be to cut the wire if we are lucky and that is the red wire and simply hook a new one between U1 and U2, if Shaun can confirm we are doing this right.

            We need to benchmark the cells, and if Shaun hasn’t hidden anything from us in his video demo (can’t prove, only can hope), it might actually be a good harvester able to put 1500 joules into an orbo pack overnight; i.e. 50 mW per Orbopack or 400 mW for the 8 packs in the cube. It would be useful and up to Steorn’s spec. Like to know how it works if that is the case, but at least we would know that it does work if we can rule out a chemical battery hidden in the orbopak.

          • FC

            Sorry, I meant 470 kohm.

          • Anon2012_2014

            The 470k resistor just increases the “field” current/voltage across orbo by by about 3x in an attempt to get it working. I don’t know where the extra energy came from in Shaun’s video, but it looks to me to be about 750 joules (2.5 watts for 5 minutes), and the batteries can’t be putting out more than 320 uWatts = 0.1 joules over that 5 minute period. So the energy is coming from somewhere else. Part of it is the capacitor in the Orbo powerpak, but at a starting voltage of 5 volts to get 750 joules would take 60F. That’s a lot of capacitor. Possible. I believe that our Orbo cube has 6 of them in there. But it would take forever to recharge against a 18 volt battery on a 1 Megohm resistor: about 1 month. So That can’t really be it. We have to prove that the orbo packs don’t have a big battery in them and observe its actual charging time.

            A good thing, if Shaun can confirm the schematic, is that the device does not discharge when the USB is not activated, allowing us to do some better energy measurements IF we can confirm the schematic.

          • SG

            The Ocube is said to have x8 Orbo cells.

            >> We have to prove that the orbo packs don’t have a big battery in them and observe its actual charging time.

            Yes, this is key to furthering our understanding.

          • Anon2012_2014

            OK, will revise above post with the 8 cells.

          • FC

            I’m sorry for being so blunt, Anon, but I think we live in different realities.

            If the field across the orbo power pack had increased x3 (and I don’t know where you get this from) we surely would have seen a higher charge rate (the U1-U2 readings in Frank’s spreadsheet).

            And if you don’t know where the extra energy comes from in Shaun’s video, that means that you haven’t understood the video at all. Please watch it again with open ears and an open mind.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Hi FC,

            Be blunt, it is ok for me. I prefer polite rational discourse however.

            To answer you questions:

            1) I think the field across the orbopaks is U2-L2. I think this was measured with a volt meter that acts like a 5K resistor and shunted most of the voltage to ground during measurement. So I think the 3X increase across the orbo is a measurement artifact, and in fact it was always near 7V after putting in the 470K resistor in parallel with the 1Mohm. The 2.3 that was measured I believe was a measurement artifact of the poor circuitry in the Portapow power meter that is NOT really a volt meter, but a power meter and included a voltage measurement as an afterthought.

            2) U1-U2 I believe is the voltage across one of the 9V batteries that I believe has been badly damaged (discharged) down to 0.64 volts. I believe it is SLOWLY recharging and now is at 0.84 volts.

            3) I am a person who believes in scientific method and I do not know where the energy comes from until proven by the scientific method. I hypothesize that the energy comes from the orbopaks, but I haven’t proven it yet.

    • Sanjeev

      If you check the brainstorming we did below, it seems connecting a new 9V-1M-9V branch across U1U2 is mostly safe.
      If the 1M is disconnected the old branch is totally isolated and if one of the battery is dead, its almost isolated because 1M is a very high value.
      If someone can find a risk in this or has a better idea, please share.

      • SG

        And I think Shaun is alluding to trying this as a “last resort.” He is taking some baby steps up to that, which I think is prudent.

        • Sanjeev

          Lets see if the rate of charging rises in next few hours. Currently its about 6.4mV per hour.

    • If the electrets are losing dipole alignment then that is not reversible, except by taking out the stacks and repeating the electrostatic alignment part of the manufacturing process (obviously impractical).

      As far as the ‘shorting’ theory goes, that could take place if a low resistance meter was repeatedly put across U1-U2, but not during the case opening process as suggested (all other possible contacts are potted or isolated). It’s far more likely that the charge controller has gone short circuit across the input. The USB card is isolated from the electrets by the charge controller, and in any case the blue light indicates that it is working.

      Both possibilities are therefore terminal.

      • SG

        If the charge controller has short circuited (no evidence for this yet), then the voltage applied to the cap would be on the order of 1.6 V (the natural output voltage of the Orbo power pack). This doesn’t comport with our earlier tests where > 2.9 V were being passed through the USB board (the LEDs did light up, even if it was just for mere seconds). I don’t think the charge controller is damaged. I think it is either i) a faulty connection between the Orbo power pack and a terminal of one of the batteries, ii) a faulty connection between a terminal of one of the batteries and an exposed terminal, or iii) a faulty connection between a terminal of one of the batteries and the 1 Mohm resistor.

        • Hopefully so – then we can bodge around those problems with a few loose batteries and resistors.

        • DrD

          If the block diagrams are correct (e.g. Rob Kings) then locating the problem shouldn’t be that difficult unless it’s not just a single fault.

  • Hhiram

    Is there a formal testing plan with a decision tree yet?

    At some point it must become clear that the O-Cube Frank received is simply broken. If that’s the case, there is really very little use in testing it further. What DOES make sense is to try to extract the actual Orbo power-generating units from the potting resin and test them separately from the other components.

    Right? Because nobody really cares whether this thing actually works as a phone charger. What we really care about is if the actual Orbo units are indeed magical energy-producing gizmos. Testing a broken phone charger isn’t going to get us any closer to answering that…

    • ecatworld

      I think the last resort may be to apply the voltage from an external source.

      • FC

        Agreed.

      • Sanjeev

        And in case that also fails, one of the eight orbo cells must be either accessed or removed out of the resin somehow. I don’t think we should simply throw away the monkey before we do a postmortem.

    • Frank, if you could ask how a battery would possibly function with a unit that is so hard to open. If there is a battery that never needs replacing, it would be a greater invention than the O-cube.

      • Anon2012_2014

        I think that the battery between U2 and U2, I call it “Bat1” has drained.

        • SG

          Please clarify… between U2 and U2?

          • Anon2012_2014

            See my “space invaders” ugly schematic. BAT1 is between measurement lugs U1 and U2. I think that is one of the 2 9V batteries in series and it is only putting out 0.81V as we speak. I think it has been ruined a long time ago. Maybe from over charging, maybe from over discharge. Who knows. Never liked 9V batteries.

          • SG

            Oh, I see, you meant between U1/U2 not U2/U2. I’m fairly certain this is across the Orbo power pack. But reasonable minds can differ.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Right, fixing typo above.

    • Anon2012_2014

      +1 +1 +1

      I am thinking the same. Just get one orbo power cell out of the mess. We don’t need to chip the whole cell out, just expose one set of electrodes. I am going to go back to Shaun’s video to see what they looked like

    • SG

      I think the idea is that if we can fix the broken phone charger, then there are some meaningful tests that can be performed before resorting to a tear down. For example, we know the weight and dimensions of the Ocube and therefore can determine how much energy could possibly be stored in such a unit using conventional storage technologies. Then, by measuring output power over a period of time, we can quite easily determine whether the Ocube defies conventional storage technologies. This can all be done (maybe) without risking further damage to the unit.

      On the other hand, I’ll argue against what I just wrote by conceding that Frank has been promised another Ocube, and so maybe it does make sense to gut this one. But I’d be inclined to wait until Frank actually has the second Ocube in-hand.

    • Having just rejoined the conversation I left 10 hours ago, from what I can see, we are not too far from the point where that mat be the best course,barring a few more obvious test strategies to include direct injection of power.

      If it proves possible to extract the electret stacks or at least reach their wiring, then we can obviously perform some simple direct tests without any doubts about bad connections and faulty components.

      It may require the skills of a brain surgeon though, I think to free the electrets of resin without damage, and there is still the possibility that the electret dielectric material itself may have depolarised, leaving just some home-made capacitors.

      • FC

        Right. Or simply connecting a 9V battery across U1-L2, to bypass and replace the one battery that isn’t working (probably because of a faulty connector).

        But before we do that, I insist that we remove the 470k resistor from its current location (across L1-L2) and connect it across U1-L2 just to test with a lower voltage and power that the circuit gets closed. We don’t lose anything by doing that and, if it works (and L1-L2 starts giving a reading), we will be much surer that nothing blows up when we connect the battery (or batteries).

        • There would be some small risk attached to applying 9V across a depleted battery (overheating, gas build-up in the cell). I would go straight for replacing the whole chain across U1-U2 as we would be assured that the chain is complete and working, and the 1M resistor would provide protection against internal shorts or overloads.

          I don’t think there is anything to lose at this point, even if Shaun doesn’t confirm our ‘working’ circuit.

          • FC

            Do you think that a depleted battery would short the circuit? I’m not so sure. For that to happen, the battery would have to be severely damaged. I’m more inclined to think that the problem is in the connections of the battery. But we’re just guessing here. We’ll probably never know the truth. πŸ™‚

            In any case, I agree that the two-battery plus resistor option is inherently safer.

          • Er, no I don’t think that. There are a number of possible failure scenarios including dead batteries, open circuit internal connections, depolarised electrets, and a remote possibility that the charge controller cct. is shorted or low resistance at the input, causing excessive battery drain even through the 1M resistor, and absorbing any output from the electrets. That’s the ‘short’ I was referring to (very unlikely however).

          • FC

            Oh well. Who knows.

            The positive thing is that we have those four test points that allow us to locate the problem (even if we never get to know what it is) and to bypass and replicate the missing sections of the circuit so that hopefully it goes back to normal. πŸ™‚

          • Yes. If that doesn’t work, then either the electrets are no longer working, there is (another?) open circuit somewhere other than in the biasing circuit, or the charge control IC is blown. In all these cases dissection would be the only remaining option.

          • FC

            I really hope we can fix at least the leftmost loop (where the reference voltage is supplied to the powerpack). That should be enough to test the orbo cells’ characteristics. I don’t care that much about the rest of the circuit. There’s nothing extraordinary about it. It’s just conventional electronics.

            But if we can’t make the leftmost loop work as specified, that would mean that there is something wrong with the orbo cells. And in that case, I don’t have much faith in the results of a dissection procedure. πŸ™‚

          • Me neither. I have a growing suspicion that the electrets may require a permanent bias voltage across them in order to maintain them in working order. Without it they may degrade (depolarise) relatively rapidly.

            If so, then the ‘Orbo effect’ remains very interesting from a research POV, but is next to useless in practical applications.

          • FC

            Hopefully we’ll find out today about the condition of the orbo cells and see what Shaun has to say about it.

            Regarding the usefulness of orbo, I’m more inclined to think that the problems that we’re seeing now are integration issues with ancillary circuits, wiring, and components, rather orbo-related issues. I think that the jury is still out. But only time will tell. πŸ™‚

        • georgehants

          Any news of when the new tested and complete unit will arrive so that testing of an Orbo can begin?

        • Anon2012_2014

          A faulty connector on a battery would be an open or simply a very high resistance connection.

          You are suggesting that the battery circuit is open. I don’t see why not put a resistor across the hypothetical open.

          That would explain the zero voltage in L1-L2 as no current is flowing in it.

  • FC

    Agreed.
    Contrats, you figured it out. (Provided we are using the right diagram).

  • ecatworld

    Morning all, I’ve been talking with Shaun this morning. His proposed solution is to put 18V on U1-U2. I have to go out for a bit and I’ll get some supplies so we can do this test. I’ll be back in 2-3 hours.

    • … with a 1M resistance in series of course.

      • ecatworld

        yes — that’s right. Sorry left that part out.

        • ‘Do or die’ (the unit is a write-off if this doesn’t work).

          • Rob King

            I am confident that as long as the converter circuit has not failed then this will be fine. If all else fails, it might be a case of digging the orbo pack out of the potting – hopefully it should not come to that.

        • Blue Energy

          Good. I think this is the right plan. I’m glad Shaun thinks so too. I’m sympathetic with those who want to think outside the box that Shaun has described (since our whole purpose from the beginning has been to test whether what Shaun says is true). But, I think we have to go this way first. If it turns out that the unit still does not perform as claimed then more extreme things can be tried. But, it’s not going to be easy to dig those electrets out of the resin without damaging them. And it would almost certainly be very slow (I’m thinking solvent on cue tips…) to avoid immersing them in solvent.

          And, after all that, as has been said many times, it may be that the electrets have already gone fruit – in which case a positive result from all that effort might be doomed from the beginning. If, having dug the electrets out and created our own circuit with them matching Shaun’s design, we don’t get the hoped-for result – there is tenable doubt left that lets Steorn off the hook. So, the only way that anything is proven is if it *does* work. As a skeptic looking for a decisive result, I’m very disappointed about that.

          • Blue Energy

            Not that I’ll be disappointed if it *does* work, of course…

    • Rob King

      Frank, you can clip the + from one battery to the – of the other, leaving 2 free terminals (- and +) from the joined batteries. Obviously do not connect + AND – from one battery to the – AND + of the other or they will short each other.
      This will simplify your connections to U1 and U2 via a resistor.

      • SG

        The batteries should not be directly connected to each other. The resistor should be connected between the batteries (see diagrams below, except for Anon’s).

        • I don’t think the order of connection makes any difference, so long as we end up with 18V and a resistor in series.

          • SG

            Yes, the resistor will limit the current no matter where it is placed in the loop.

            But to maintain fidelity to Shaun’s latest video, I think we should just hook it up the same way.

    • SG

      Shaun’s suggested approach cuts to the chase and will let us know if the reference voltage apparatus was the problem. On the downside, the approach will make it difficult to discern which of the two primary failure theories proposed by our community was the correct one. But I’m willing to accept that if it means we can get the unit operating according to expectations.

    • Anon2012_2014

      If it is an open between the battery and the orbopack, this simply replaces the batteries and resistor. If this is what Shaun thinks it is even better because now you have isolated the orbopack input from the battery.

      Just in case, you could cut the red wire between the batteries to make sure that they are not in the circuit.

  • ecatworld

    Video posted above showing my wiring setup. It’s not attached to the cube yet. I would welcome any suggestions for testing this out before we attach it.

    • FC

      Good job, Frank. πŸ™‚

      I trust the batteries are 9 V and the resistor 1 MOhm. So I’d be happy if you could just measure the current through this thing, as a double check.

      • ecatworld

        Yes 2 9V batteries and a 1M Ohm resistor. Amps read 15.9 on the 200u setting on my meter.

        • FC

          Looks fine to me then.

          Did Shaun advise you regarding the polarity?

          • ecatworld

            No, I should double check.

          • FC

            Definitely. We may only have one shot at it. πŸ™‚

          • ecatworld

            BTW, Volts without the resistor in the circuit is 17.1, with the resistor in the circuit is 0.14 — does that sound right?

          • FC

            Not at first blush.
            Can you double check it?

          • SG

            Where did you place your probes for these readings?

          • ecatworld

            I’ll do a video, easier to explain.

          • 0.14V from first battery to output of resistor suggests a bad connection to the resistor or to your screw ‘probe’ to me. 17.1V for the batteries in series suggests that the batteries are none too fresh.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            In case that you mean the resistor between L1 and L2 I would guess that you have chosen the wrong polarity.

          • Blue Energy

            I believe he means his external resister.

          • ecatworld

            Yes, that’s correct. Video almost ready

          • Anon2012_2014

            Which meter? I would use your multimeter and not Portapow. I think Portapow has a low impedance input that throws off your measurement.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Disregard. I think this has something to do with the load of the portapow voltmeter.

          • ecatworld

            Video above now.

          • 0.14V across the assembly suggests a bad connection to the resistor or to your screw ‘probe’ to me. 17.1V for the batteries in series indicates that the batteries are none too fresh (should be 18V assuming high meter impedence).

            If you follow Rob King’s suggestion below about clipping one terminal on each battery together, that would simplify the arrangement enormously.

          • FC

            I’d say it’s due to poor contact.

            Can you attach the alligator clip back to the loose side and measure on the clip?

          • ecatworld

            Measuring on the clip gives the same readings.

          • Can you check the battery voltages separately? It’s just possible could be nearly flat. Bad connection more likely though.

          • ecatworld

            Batteries are 8.71 and 8.68 V (yellow meter)

          • FC

            I don’t think there’s anything wrong, Frank. Personally, I’m satisfied with the setup.

            I would focus on getting advice from Shaun regarding the polarity.

          • Anon2012_2014

            If your OM diagram with the break at the batteries is correct, would not we expect the polarity on the orbopack to match the polarity on the battery input?

          • Mmm – I’ve just measured voltage from a brand new PP3 alkaline battery using an identical digital meter and (slightly surprisingly) get 9.92V (20Vdc setting).

          • Blue Energy

            Shelf life.

          • Yes – Frank’s batteries are a little suspect. Hopefully they’ll provide enough juice though.

          • ecatworld

            Ok email comment from Shaun

            Hey Frank, it’s pretty simple, connect the positive to the positive of the two terminals you are measuring the voltage across and the negative to the negative. And then leave it to see if the cells are regaining their charge.

            No guarantees on this thing, the internal wiring has clearly got itself fecked up – anyway the good news is that the tests on the modifications to the cube are still testing very well so we will hopefully be in a position to ship a new one to you soon.

          • FC

            There you go. Do you think you can do this, Frank?

          • ecatworld

            Ok I’m getting ready to put the paddles on the heart patient!

          • FC

            Anyone has any last wish?

          • Blue Energy

            Anyone notice how much this discussion resembles the cast of The Big Bang Theory putting together Ikea furniture?

          • Anon2012_2014

            LOL

          • I’m inclined to agree. Suddenly there is too much rush and confusion.

          • Blue Energy

            Well… there’s a certain fervently herding cats feeling to it. But it also resembles every engineering discussion I’ve had where the participants are mostly on the same page and headed for concurrence.

          • We can still get some more useful data first, by monitoring U1-U2 for voltage decline and/or regeneration before applying the bias voltage.

          • Anon2012_2014

            “the internal wiring has clearly got itself fecked up”

            I believe there is an exposed red wire between the two 9Vs in the orbocube. If that is coming from one of the 9V battery anodes, we can simply cut it and tape it with electrical tape to take the batteries and internal resistor out of the circuit for sure.

          • FC

            That’s actually a very good idea. πŸ™‚

          • Blue Energy

            IF that is a battery…

          • ecatworld

            Ok I’ll do that surgery first

          • SG

            Frank, I recommend not doing this. One change at a time is a good engineering practice. Unless you get clear direction from Shaun, let’s do it later.

          • Blue Energy

            Me too.

          • ecatworld

            Too late I’m afraid, still, it can be repaired.

          • SG

            I say repair it. Otherwise, it will be harder to attribute our next set of results to which change.

          • Blue Energy

            Exactly.

          • FC

            Haha, no worries.

            Let’s move on.

          • Stephen

            Hmm would it make sense to check the voltage/current on the cut wires before proceeding?

          • Blue Energy

            But, against what? Where do you put the other probe? We don’t know for sure what the red wire represents.

          • ecatworld

            It’s 0

          • SG

            What is 0? Where did you put your probes?

          • ecatworld

            across the severed red wires

          • No there won’t be any reading there, You could try each end of the cut against L1, L2, U1 and U2 in turn (20V setting)

          • ecatworld

            Ok before we do the “last resort” test, I’ll add one final set of readings into the spreadsheet.

          • Prolly doesn’t matter. It won’t affect the test.

          • FC

            To me, it would make more sense to check the voltage across the powerpack (U1-U2), to make sure it is intact.

          • ecatworld

            U1-U2 is 0.8659

          • FC

            Great. Let’s move on.

          • SG

            Okay, that is good.

          • Blue Energy

            And that means it probably is a battery.

          • Odd. If the batteries have been isolated, this must be Orbo output.

          • FC

            It always was, since the reference voltage loop was shorted.

          • SG

            Well, actually open.

          • FC

            You are right. πŸ™‚

          • Blue Energy

            …and/or cap.

          • Theoretically the output capacitor is isolated by the charge controller, but the Orbo stacks themselves have capacitance. Perhaps we could leave the meter connected to supply a small load, and see if the value declines steadily or remains level.

          • Blue Energy

            Oh – yeah. That makes sense.

          • ecatworld

            According to Shaun U1-U2 is measuring the Orbo pack

          • Blue Energy

            But, it’s not isolated from the capacitor – so I don’t see how you can tell them apart.

          • Yes – but if the reading stays constant (see my post below) its the first time we are sure that the reading can’t be generated by leakage from the battery circuit.

          • It may be a bit late but it would be very valuable if we could get Shaun’s confirmation that the red wire is (was) a battery connection.

          • Anon2012_2014

            It was probably connected from the first 9V to L1.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Orbopack (assuming it is U2-U2) has been slowly charging it appears for the past 24 hours into the capacitor. It may be that it is charging a capacitor and the rate of charge might accelerate after the bias field is applied.

          • FC

            Orbo is the capacitor. The cells have huge capacitance.

          • SG

            Well, we think there is also a separate 5 F capacitor. But yes, Orbo cells seem to have some pretty amazing capacitance themselves.

          • FC

            Orders of magnitude greater.
            5F is just a buffer.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Apparently, since the LEDs were working for 1-2 hours initially. Except if the 1 MOhm resistor had a short, which does not seem likely.

          • FC

            Exactly.

          • SG

            Yes, I estimated around 960 F in total at one point. Some serious capacitance. This in itself is quite mysterious.

          • FC

            Indeed. Orbo cells actually outperform supercapacitors in every sense, especially energy density.

          • Yes, so there might be a residual charge. Leaving a voltmeter connected would either discharge it, or confirm that the voltage is actively produced. Likewise any regeneration after discharge.

          • FC

            Orbo cells never stop recharging themselves. Only the charge rate varies depending on the voltage of the electric field. Says Shaun.

          • Right, but the purpose of our efforts is to see if that actually takes place. Having no batteries attached gives us an opportunity to do so.

          • SG

            Yes, there would be value in pausing and gathering some additional data points before moving to the next step.

          • ecatworld

            I Put the latest data in the spreadsheet about 1/2 an hour ago
            Should I do one last measure?

          • SG

            Yes, would be good to have.

          • ecatworld

            Ok will do

          • FC

            It’s been a while since there’s been any batteries attached, if there ever was any. That’s why the rate is so low.

          • True. The only difference is that now we know for sure the batteries aren’t connected.

          • Anon2012_2014

            The yellow voltmeter is a 1 megohm load. Assume Orbopacks have 5F at their output and zero load going to the USB charging circuit, they have been putting in about 3 to 7 uW from the beginning. at 0.87 volts on 1 MOhm we get 0.8 uW, so it should keep charging if we leave the yellow meter on, only more slowly.

          • OK, an additional load might be necessary to cause a discharge then. However it seems that such tests will need to wait until after the bias voltage has been restored.

          • Anon2012_2014

            If there is 900F in the orbopacks answer would be about 900/5 times more power and energy = 0.5 to 1.25 mW (without the battery field charge).

          • SG

            Yes. Our prior calculations have always been very conservative when assuming only 5 F of capacitance.

          • I’m not sure why we are assuming such high values. I wouldn’t have thought that the surface area of the foil in the Orbo cells would provide more than millifarads of capacitance at the most.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Let’s call it β€žstorage capabilityβ€œ. It must not be a capacitor in the usual sense.

          • FC

            True. But they discharge pretty darn quick for a battery. πŸ™‚

          • Andreas Moraitis

            On the other hand, charging takes apparently a lot of time. No competing product for capacitors so far.

          • FC

            Self-charging, you mean?

            We don’t know about charging from an external source. πŸ˜‰

          • SG

            Frank loaded the ocube with between .75 W and 1.5 W more or less continuously for about 2 hours after unpackaging it. In Shaun’s latest video, ~ 1500 J of energy is discharged into a phone from a single Orbo cell. The Ocube contains x8 Orbo cells. With this data, one can make some estimates of what kind of aggregate “capacitance” the Orbo cells have in the Ocube.

          • I assume the video you refer to is on Steorn’s facebook page – I’ll take a look. However AFAIK, the energy output to a phone always comes from the lithium battery (or a capacitor in our case) that is separated from the Orbo packs by a charge controller. We don’t have any evidence that power is stored in the Orbo packs.

            The electrets are in effect just home-made foil capacitors in which the dielectric is replaced by a material that can be made to retain a polarised electrostatic field, foil to foil. I would expect capacitance in the region of a few hundred microfarads, unless some real magic is taking place (in addition to the self-charging, that is).

          • FC

            The latest models they are preparing for production have no Li-ion battery. Only a 5F cap. Where do they store the energy then?

          • In the 5F capacitor?…

          • SG

            Well yes, some of the energy. But this accounts for a fraction of what we have observed. More testing needed of course.

          • SG

            There are some claiming that the two 9 V batteries used as the reference/bias electric field is supplying the energy. Based on our probing and understanding of the circuit, I find such arguments to be implausible.

          • SG

            There is a link to the video above in Frank’s main posting.

          • Worth watching it for while before doing so, I would have thought.

          • I’m not sure that is a great idea. We don’t know for sure that the red wire is a battery connection.

          • FC

            Ok, Frank. Let’s follow the majority’s vote. πŸ™‚

          • SG

            I’d be reluctant to do this at this point. One change at a time.

          • DrD

            That would be a very good move but only after Shaun’s suggestions completed. Then can use a new resistor and new 9V batteries. I didn’t dare suggest it. It eliminates the “fecked up wiring” including any “fecked up” batteries and resistor.

          • Too late DrD – the deed is done and the bodge applied! Read on…

          • DrD

            Hehe, I’m lost. Yes, I just found the rest of the comments but have the new batteries and resistor been connected across the orbo cell? Do the last measurements represent this set up? Sorry I’ve been away and lost the thread

          • Yes, and yes. It looks like a charge is building across the electrets. I don’t think we know yet whether this is being reflected by a growing charge in the output capacitor.

          • DrD

            Thanks — Magic — (or maybe black magic)

          • Blue Energy

            No magic to a charge building up in the electrets. We do have them connected to batteries. But, if that translates to usable output – that will be pretty amazing. I’m hoping against hope.

          • DrD

            Agreed, not magic– but the “new physics”. Exciting times.

          • Blue Energy

            I don’t think so. It at least looks as if we might ultimately get to test this unit for the manufacturers claim after all. That’s pretty exciting.

          • ecatworld

            Yes for about an hour now. See the SS for data.

          • DrD

            Thanks Frank.
            Do we have a corrected block diagram?
            The last one by Anon2012_2014 doesn’t seem to work with the SS data. According to the block diagram the new batteries and resistor should be across the orbo (electrets).that is across U2 and L2. U2 is the orbo (positive) L2 is the ground. The other terminals are no longer relevant if the wire between the old batteries was cut.

            Sorry to ask, I may have missed an update to the block diagram?

          • Blue Energy

            I haven’t seen an updated diagram. I don’t think we really know where the L1/L2 taps are. But, it’s pretty clear that Frank cutting the red wire left that sub-circuit cold anyway. The new hardware (two 9V batteries in series with a 1M resistor between them) replaces it. We’re getting an increase in output portion of the circuit which we think indicates that the electrets are charging at a faster rate now. But we don’t know yet whether they are charging faster than could be expected given the input of electricity from the 9v batteries.

          • DrD

            Cheers for that explanation. that’s good news so far. It’s fairly important to know the connections though as we might have the new components still feeding through part of the potentially “fecked wiring” which might inhibit the field.

          • georgehants

            I will be very pleased to see the new unit arrive.
            It is a good job that we don’t have guys marooned in space waiting for a solution to this problem, they would be fossilized by now, I think.

          • FC

            Does it improve at all if you press a little harder?

            Also, as suggested above, use the yellow meter.

          • Yes, definitely use the yellow one if not already doing so.

          • SG

            Are these Lithium Ion 9V batteries? Recently purchased?

    • Blue Energy

      Deep breath…

  • Anon2012_2014

    I think the video shows the yellow multimeter has the highest input impedance. This is as expected. I would use it as it throws off less of the voltage measurements.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Yes, that was obvious from the previous measurements. The analog meter is junk, it would be better not to use it any longer.

      • Rob King

        Hi Frank,
        Just check the current, it should be around 17uA for 1M Ohm resistor.
        Then it should be OK to test, just make sure + goes to U1 and – to U2, monitor the voltage and watch to see if it rises, if it falls you got it the wrong way around.

        • FC

          That’s already been done. 15.9 uA

  • FC

    Yes.

  • SG

    It is less about “simulating” and more about testing the claims related to the Ocube.

    • Blue Energy

      There are two general parts to the circuit. One of those is suspected to be broken. It is the one in which the two 9 volt batteries stimulate the orbo cells to produce extra juice. Luckily, there is outside access to that portion of the circuit. Frank is going to attempt to replace the two 9 volt batteries and the 1 megaohm resister in the circuit by attaching new ones to that access point. If it works, then the O-Cube should begin producing power that will be captured by the 5F capacitor.

  • If this works, the output capacitor will charge and the USB port should be able to sustain a modest load such as an LED.

  • ecatworld

    Ok one last picture before the operation. I put some tape between the terminals and along the side to prevent an accidental short
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipORlbW-l7DzUYbKG0dyCI5lEO00V_h3ntF4ibf3LsG4CmgRld5dtEMUAkM7STN7sQ?key=NjliQTdPY1VQbFNKYkp1MXpxN2xzT191Rko3QkVB

    • ecatworld

      Anyone see anything untoward. The last reading across U1-U2 is 0.85 (yellow meter)

      • Blue Energy

        It looks right to me – as long as you know the correct polarity of the O-Cube patch points.

    • FC

      Are you sure about the polarity?

      • ecatworld

        Well, I assume the left is the positive and right is the negative, since if I measure the opposite way I get a negative reading on my meters

        • Blue Energy

          Well – there you go then.

        • FC

          What about U1 and U2? Same sides for positive and negative?

          • ecatworld

            Right, that’s what I meant, U1 is positive and U2 is negative

          • FC

            Then, what about the battery setup? Same sides for positive/negative?

            Sorry for my insistence. πŸ™‚

          • Blue Energy

            That’s OK. Measure twice, cut once.

          • FC

            πŸ˜€

          • ecatworld

            Yes, the battery set up is aligned correctly.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Good luck. I think you have polarity right. Let us know as soon as you can.

    • Blue Energy

      If a black hole forms – we’ll be alerted by your lack of additional correspondence.

  • ecatworld

    Sorry to leave you hanging, just been texting with Shaun on Skype. He recommends leaving the batteries on for 12 hours and then checking the voltage.

    • ecatworld

      Putting the clips on now

      • SG

        Bang!

        • ecatworld

          remarkably uneventful actually

          • SG

            πŸ™‚ Couldn’t help making the reference to the pub video. If you haven’t seen it, worth a watch.

          • FC

            Right! I remember now. πŸ˜€

          • ecatworld

            Oh yeah, I remember!

          • FC

            Frank. Could you please make a reading, just to make sure that everything’s alright?

          • Might be worth checking the voltage across U1-U2 with the batteries connected, and repeating at intervals.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Agreed. U1-U2 is all that matters now.

          • FC

            I don’t see any harm in taking voltage readings every now and then.

      • ecatworld
        • Anon2012_2014

          This photo link is 404ing for me. Working for anyone else??
          Frank, please make the photo shareable by the public.

          • Blue Energy

            It wants me to ‘sign in’.

          • SG

            I get a 404 too.

          • ecatworld

            try the link again

          • SG

            Yes, works now. πŸ™‚

  • Anon2012_2014

    Frank, the sooner we can get a voltage reading across U1-U2, the better we will have a baseline for our charging rate and hence power input into the device.

    • Anon2012_2014

      please use the yellow high impedance meter.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Strongly recommended.

    • FC

      Frank has disappeared. I hope he hasn’t had a heart attack. πŸ™‚

      • ecatworld

        No I’m here.

        • FC

          Good. πŸ™‚
          So, what’s the reading?

          • ecatworld

            Hold on, I’ll update the spreadsheet

          • FC

            Thank you, mate.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Or disappeared into the modified space time!
        Watson, come here, I need you!

  • Dieter_G

    Hehe, you are slowly becoming an technician in electronics, Frank πŸ™‚

    • ecatworld

      A crash course!

      • FC

        Haha!
        That spreadsheet looks great, Frank! Everything looks fine to me. Now let’s wait 12 hours. πŸ™‚

  • ecatworld

    I updated the SS — do you mind if we just measure U1-U2 from here on out, since that’s all that we really care about now?

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

    • SG

      Yes, I’m fine with that. Although once you receive the new multimeter this week, getting a reading across the 1 Mohm resistor would also be nice to have.

      • Perhaps we’ll be running the 1.5W LEDs on negligible input from the batteries before then.

        • SG

          Perhaps so. Would be nice to find an LED with a load of .3 -> .38 W (to allow for a bit of margin), plug it into the USB port, and let it run for a couple of months. But only after we think the Ocube can handle it. Or better yet, send it to MFMP and let them track the load via HUGnet.

          • Old style filament flashlight bulb?

          • ecatworld

            I am getting some sent to me for that purpose

          • Blue Energy

            I still think it would be a really good idea to log regular (read – like every 30 seconds) readings of the wattage being drawn. That way if there are periods of time when the light shuts off and then turns back on we won’t not know about them. I think this job needs computer monitoring with a database on the backend to store the data. Don’t forget that HUGNet is still available for that. Alternately, Frank could also use a setup like the one I recommended when it first became apparent that a product was actually shipped – using MariaDB database or something for storage. That one wouldn’t be environmentally isolated, the way that HUGNet’s would, but it could still grab useful data on a constant basis – while shopping, showering, sleeping, etc. If Frank needed help with coding or setting up the database I could help with that. But, HUGNet would (presumably) be more professional and foolproof – plus they’d broadcast to the web so we’d all have access to the output.

          • SG

            All good suggestions. I suggest that Frank run a medium-term test in some form that is convincing enough to put most of our doubts to rest. Should probably be done in a Faraday cage. Then, I am supportive of sending the unit to MFMP for broadcasting over HUGNet.

          • Blue Energy

            That seems OK to me. Although, at this point we know that the orbos are shielded from mag interference by thick aluminum. Not a good design decision if it was harvesting changes in EM fields. To me the jury is still out though on temperature, for instance, though.

          • SG

            Yes, agreed that EM field (both electric and magnetic) harvesting is not it. It is clearly not constructed as such, and even if it was, you would not be seeing anything near what we are seeing now. That said, putting it into a Faraday cage and mu metal box would allay any lingering concerns we might have here, and would also go a long way for others who are not as familiar with the device as we.

            Thermal and vibration are still in play, but seem unlikely as well given the high energy and power densities involved.

          • Blue Energy

            I agree that they’re not likely. They would imply a complete breakthrough in environmental energy harvesting. But – we haven’t even demonstrated high energy… yet, at least. So far there’s just a tiny charge building up in some electrets that we are purposely pumping electricity into. I haven’t done the math to determine whether the charge that is accumulating is more than what we’re feeding it.

          • SG

            It would probably make sense to let it do a full “recharge,” which apparently takes about 12 hours (although we are running on assumptions here). Then use the 1.5 W LED bank to drain down to 2.9V via the USB port. The USB port will automatically shut off at that point. Measure the time this takes, and we’ll have a rough estimate of the energy storage capacity (although in reality it would be much higher since we are only draining it down to the 2.9 V level). So, we would have a very conservative estimate of what the capacitance of the unit is as a whole. Then turn to longer term tests with lower wattage (.3 -> .38 W range).

            Edit: at 15-20 micro amperes, the reference / bias voltage circuit is not adding an amount of energy to the system of any significance.

          • DrD

            White LED’s won’t work below 3.5V. In fact 4.5V if they contain a driver chip which they should do. Below their cut off voltage they go high resistance, like a soft diode below breakdown. Use a resistor.

          • SG

            Yes, resistors good. But in my post, you will see that I’m suggesting a quick and dirty test to give us a basic idea of the storage capacity of the unit. Then, we need to find the the right-sized resistor to draw between .3 -> .38 W of power over a longish period of time.

          • Anon2012_2014

            We don’t know how it works on the inside, just measuring the energy storage rate. Some people have hypothesized electret converts heat into vibration and then harvest it there; while another hypothesizes some variation of Maxwells demon applied to heat, while others hypothesize its a VLF energy harvester that penetrates aluminum. If it works, we can go to the next step. I might even order one if it works.

          • Blue Energy

            I think it’s too late to order one. Didn’t they purportedly sell all 750?

          • Esko Lyytinen

            In my opinion most of the small current trough the outside 1 MΞ© resistor goes to increase the voltage of the inside empty battery. which happens very slowly with this small current I would recommend this resistor to be much smaller, maybe as small as 1 kΞ© only, or something like 10 kΞ© could be first tested. But this should be asked from Steorn before actually applying.

          • SG

            We are talking 15-20 *micro* amperes of current. There is little correlation between that and the charge rate we are observing. It might help to take a look at the circuit diagrams lower down in this thread (or watch Shaun’s latest video, linked to above).

          • Esko Lyytinen

            I made my reasoning according to this circuit diagram by Anon2012_2014
            http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3215/4575/original.jpg
            , which I think makes sense,but may contradict what the Admin wrote: “According to Shaun U1-U2 is measuring the Orbo pack”
            In that diagram, there is in between U1 and U2, mainly the assumed dead battery. Of course also affects the Orbo pack but can not much rise the voltage in this, if not getting the battery also somewhat “recharged” (even though/if not rechargeable).

          • SG

            That circuit diagram has been more or less disavowed by its creator (Anon). I suggest you look at the other ones.

          • DrD

            Could the “correct” (or more correct) diagram be pasted into the excel sheet alongside the data? Only I understood we still don’t know the correct diagram?

          • Esko Lyytinen

            I have seen some others but considered this best to correspond the actual behavior. Maybe I have missed the “more correct” even though have tried to follow all this.
            Yes, I also recommend to paste the “more correct” into the spreadsheet, to be found easily, please.

          • SG

            We don’t have an official circuit diagram–would be nice if we did. Three individuals independently produced a common diagram, which happens to track with Shaun’s latest video as well. Maybe someone can pick their favorite and put it in the spreadsheet, but we are still just speculating. What is clear is that from our probing of the circuit, and review of all of our data points, Anons’ diagram was not matching up. Then again, there are still some huge unknowns even with the diagram that the community believes is the closest.

          • Ged

            Dieter_G/Rob King’s definitely seems the most accurate so far, as the created circuit Steorn had Frank build mimics the design there. It’s in the google doc until an official diagram, or a community agreed on superior one turns up.

          • Sanjeev

            I too vote for Rob’s diagram. OM’s is identical. My own (not posted) is same.
            I posted a screen capture from steorn’s video which shows exactly the same setup.
            So that one is most probable so far.

          • DrD

            Did Frank ask Shaun?
            I suppose all that matters now is to know which contacts go to the orbo and their polarity,

          • Sanjeev

            Don’t know. Probably there was a brief skype chat where he could only get the most essential advice.

          • Blue Energy

            There’s also the content of an email, which is copied in here somewhere. Do a text search for ‘ecatworld’ and you’ll eventually find it.

          • ecatworld

            We did have an exchange over Skype. Fairly brief, but some interesting details that I’ll share when I get some time.

          • SG

            Shaun said this to Frank:

            Hey Frank, it’s pretty simple, connect the positive to the positive of the two terminals you are measuring the voltage across and the
            negative to the negative. And then leave it to see if the cells are regaining their charge.

            No guarantees on this thing, the internal
            wiring has clearly got itself fecked up – anyway the good news is that the tests on the modifications to the cube are still testing very well so we will hopefully be in a position to ship a new one to you soon.

          • Esko Lyytinen

            The diagrams by Rob and OM look reasonable, but are not consistent to what is measured. According to the measurements U2 is connected the positive pole of the assumed battery (about 9 V) BUT to the negative pole of the Orbo power pack. Maybe the batteries were originally switched wrongly in error ?

          • Sanjeev

            Perhaps Frank is ignoring the polarity. But I agree more information is needed.

          • Esko Lyytinen

            Actually comparing the columns U1-U2 , U1-LI, U2-L1, there is some inconsistency in the signs. Probably the U1-U2 should be given as negative. Then I agree to Rob’s and OM’s diagrams.

          • Ged

            I am pretty sure Frank is ignoring polarity. Recall back to when he first started measuring, as well as his video, he was switching his leads on purpose otherwise he was measuring negative voltage.

          • Anon2012_2014

            I am persuaded that OM’s circuit schematic more accurately models the behavior than my deprecated circuit. Only way to know for sure is if Shaun would help us out with a schematic; or if we x-ray the Orbocube.

          • Esko Lyytinen

            I see that this diagram by OM
            http://i.imgur.com/fO7IFw6.jpg?1
            could indeed represent the measurements IF the battery polarity (then both probably) were reversed. U2 to LI and U2 to L2 are measured positive. But then there is the problem that the Orbo power pack polarity would be the reverse to what the batteries would generate into it, if there were not the assumed break. I find this odd ?
            I think this was not the case in the Shaun’s video.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Sorry, that circuit has been deprecated in favor of OM’s circuit. It is essentially the same EXCEPT that U1 and U2 are across the orbo power pack, and that the old circuit in the orbo had an apparent open (broken wire) between the top battery (battery 1) and the orbo power pack input. This may have been broken when Frank pried the back cover off.

            Frank’s experiment only uses the U1 and U2 terminals to send voltage from substitute batteries to the Orbopack. He replaced the batteries and the resistor with his own. The resister is in series and happens to be between the two batteries, but it doesn’t matter if it is between the batteries or at the top or bottom as long as it is in series — it will current limit at the ( (V_9v1 + V_9v2 – V_orbo) /R. Frank is using a 1 Megohm R. The highest current would be if V_orbo was discharged, i.e. 0 volts and you have the entire two batteries driving the resistor. Hence the 15 to 20 uA max. (18V/1e6).

          • Anon2012_2014

            750 orbo cubes. I doubt it. Maybe 20. If our test our positive, they will definitely sell out this production run and have to find a way to make more (and cheaper too). Note that 750*1200 = a lot of Euros.

          • DrD

            The non-linear characteristics of LED’s make them unsuitable for this. They may look impressive but you can be easily mislead. Use a resistor,

          • SG

            Touche. LEDs are good for a rough estimate or initial testing. Resistor-based testing is the way to go for serious tests (particularly medium to long term ones).

    • Anon2012_2014

      U1-U2 is fine. It’s charging about 3x faster but not conclusive yet. I have that it is putting in about 1.6 mW into a 900F load compared to about 0.54 mw before. If it is 900F — no way to know for sure.

      Shaun’s video it recharged FAST after the load was removed. I estimated that the single orbopack cell was doing 40 mW. I’d like to see something like that.

      • Anon2012_2014

        And good work Frank! Thank you.

        • Blue Energy

          Yes! Frank – you did a great job. It’s really hard being the tip of the virtual spear with a bunch of people demanding that you follow their direction *immediately*. Not only did you do the job – you did it with calm and patience.

          • Blue Energy

            Well… except for when you cut the red wire…

          • SG

            Yes, that made me jump out of my seat a little, but I need the exercise, and it turned out fine in the end. We were able to take a few more measurements, remove some uncertainty from the circuit, and then move to the next step.

          • Blue Energy

            It might have actually been the piece that will assure success since it removes the old exciter from the circuit. So, it worked out. But – we didn’t know that at the time. If it had been the other half of the circuit we might have been toast now.

          • ecatworld
          • SG

            Is your timestamp correct?

          • ecatworld

            Yes, it’s 2:33 pm US Central time. One hour after the previous one this time.

          • SG

            I was confused by the prior time stamp–but see that it is corrected now. Thanks.

    • FC

      Thanks for everything, Frank.

      I’m logging off now. It’s been great to share with you all this exciting and (maybe) historical moment. I hadn’t had so much fun in a long time. Cheers.

      • Me neither. We probably both need to get out more.

        On edit: “Me too”

        • Blue Energy

          I didn’t eat or shower until afternoon because I couldn’t bear to step away. I miss sharing moments of discovery with smart people.

          • DrD

            And I watched all morning from the uk and complete silence! Then had to leave and it all happened, missed it all and still trying to catch up.

        • GreenWin

          Just checking in. Anyone care to summarize the experiment and spreadsheet results? Is the Orbo reborn?

          • SG

            Little too soon to claim that the Ocube is reborn, but we were able to make a repair after much deliberation and some consult with Shaun. We have a much better understanding of the circuit (see below thread for excruciating details). Now, we are waiting for a 12 hour “recharge” of the unit, and the testing can then begin in earnest.

          • Blue Energy

            The portion of the circuit which provides the volts to excite the electrets has been re-routed outside the unit to replacement parts. It seems to be working, as the output is increasing. There are still a number of things that could go wrong. We expect for the charge on the electrets to increase a great deal more – and to begin to accelerate as well. If it stops going up, for instance, then we will be left wondering whether the electrets were damaged or if the claim was bogus all along. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen because it would mean that after all this effort we still just don’t know and have no way of finding out whether the claim is true or not. But, on the other hand, if it does continue to rise then we can start to think about the testing we were planning to do on it before it arrived – and that’s pretty exciting.

      • ecatworld

        Thank you, FC — your input has been very valuable to me.

        • OM

          If you want to “shock the domains” then charge 2000uF capacitor to 4V and then discharge it to U1-U2. But this is a bad experiment. πŸ™‚

  • Anon2012_2014

    LOL

  • ecatworld
    • SG

      3x increase in charge rate and rising.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Square the voltage and multuple by 1/2*C where C is whatever you want, and you can see the increase in joules/sec (watts) going into the capacitor. It is now about 4x higher than the rate before the battery went in. Everything depends on the capacitor size.

        I think the obvious test is to then setup to discharge through a load resistor instead of through the USB charger and measure the voltage across it vs time so we can calculate the capacitor size and hence energy stored and charge rate in watts.

        I would pick a resistor that discharges slowly enough for Frank to be able to take a meaningful measurement every 5 minutes such that the caps are discharged within say 1 hour to the rated low voltage (i.e. 2.9 volts). The multimeter can be left turned on and hooked in during the test, as the load of the multimeter is negligible compared to the load resistor. Let’s say the unit can do 1500 joules, we start at a discharge rate of something like 100 joules per 5 minutes = 100/300 seconds = 0.33 watts. Frank would need a half watt resistor. If he only has quarter watt resistors we could go with a slower discharge, say 0.200 watts. We will have to adjust the algebra for the fact that orbopacks are also recharging during the discharge. If Shaun is correct and the unit can do 1/2 watt, we are going to need bigger resistors to sustain 0.33 watts + 0.5 watts = 0.83 watts. Frank might have to order them. I like this test better than using the LEDs because the current and hence power is a simple function of voltage via Ohms law.

        • DrD

          Sounds like a plan. As for power rating just parallel larger values. Or maybe Frank doesn’t have buckets full.

        • Blue Energy

          You might have trouble getting Frank to sign on for readings every 5 minutes.

          • DrD

            We should build him or donate him a data logger.

          • Blue Energy

            If you read through you’ll see that it has been discussed. Another option is that HUGNet has offered to do long-term testing for us and post the constant results online. They can also environmentally isolate the unit for testing. But, SG would prefer if Frank did enough intermediate tests to convince most of the skeptics among us that there is something there worth testing first. And – that does seem reasonable. Frank has done great work so far (not the least of which is putting up with our demands) – and I think he’s enjoying it.

          • Anon2012_2014

            if he has 2 beers and it only takes 90 minutes, why not?

  • ecatworld
    • SG

      A small pullback, although still at a higher rate than at any test point taken prior to adding the bias. Is it possible to display 4 significant digits on the multimeter (like you have with the portapow)?

      • ecatworld

        I will try next time, off for a break — back for the next round of data.

        • Rob King

          By about 11pm it should pass the 1V milestone.

    • Sanjeev

      12.5mV/hour , the charging rate at present.
      Looks like the external bias has worked.
      Did I miss the party? πŸ™‚

      • SG

        Yes, the fix seems to be “working” but with still many unknowns, of course.

        • Sanjeev

          If you believe the last video from steorn, it should start charging at a very high rate once it reaches 3V something. If it doesn’t, then more troubleshooting.
          We should be able to predict the charging trend after a few more readings.

  • ecatworld

    Ok, there’s been something of a setback

    I went out for about 45 minutes, came back and found that one of the terminals had been dislodged. I blame one of our cats (I left the door open to the room where the experiment is running) In the process there seems to have been a short, because the voltage has dropped back to around .30.

    However, the rate of charging now seems to have accelerated.

    I will log the rate over a one our period. Taking measurements every 10 minutes.

    • SG

      No worries, stuff happens, especially when it is Orbo-related, and particularly by cats, dogs, and cows. πŸ˜‰

      We’ll get thing back on track and know soon enough.

      • Blue Energy

        “…especially when it is Orbo related…”

        Amen to that!

      • Ged

        Steorn’s trained attack cats have struck again!

        • Sanjeev

          And this cat knew the circuits well enough to cause a short at the right place.
          Steorn has trained their agents very well.
          Next they will send trained rats to cut the multimeter cables.

          • SG

            We ought not suppose they are Steorn-trained agents. After all, I’m sure the trillion-dollar oil interests have very well-trained cats.

          • Sanjeev

            Possible. We are seeing a serious war going on here.
            I suspect some other agents have fiddled with all the three meters to cause different readings to send us off track.

            Or may be steorn orbo has a curse on it.

          • ecatworld

            Ok a heads up: I have to go somewhere this evening, and I will be taking the experiment with me. So after the next reading I’ll disconnect and reassemble probably in about half an hour.

          • Sanjeev

            I’m guessing you are taking it to a lab?

          • DrD

            That’s dedication.

          • DrD

            Maybe they resurrected Schrodinger’s or perhap it was never dead and trained it to go for the Daemon (which I think is really Shaun’s leprechaun).

        • Blue Energy

          Meanwhile, I’m still partial to the Red Lectroids from the eighth dimension explanation.

          • Blue Energy

            Frank – you haven’t seen anyone who looks a lot like John Lithgow in or near your house have you?

          • Blue Energy

            OK, clearly no-one here remembers Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. Very disappointing, people.

          • DrD

            or
            Leprechauns

    • Zephir

      Never mix E-Cat and Orbo technologies!

    • DrD

      Sorry to hear that Frank,
      I charted the record but can’t seem to paste it. It shows a very slight upturn after adding the new batteries, as expected. Supper time now.

      • ecatworld

        Since the Cat incident, there’s been an acceleration — note the 10 minute intervals over the last half hour.

        • SG

          Yes, very curious. Dipole alignment memory?

          • DrD

            Yes, curious and interesting. Exactly what I was thinking, a memory effect. If so it should slow down again at about 0.9V, I wonder?

          • SG

            That would indeed be interesting. Looking at Shaun’s latest video, the recharge rate of the single Orbo cell is quite high. Probably a similar effect at play given that he had recently discharged the cell.

          • DrD

            And maybe this one will re-charge faster once it’s been reconditioned back up to its working voltage, which might take a few days. IF it’s recoverable at all.

    • Anon2012_2014

      I have found in the past that both cats and dogs like to chew on electrical wiring. I think they like the rubber of the insulation. We had a puppy once who was fond of an old CRT type TV set chassis that was being repaired. We would chase it away, but he got to it anyway while it was plugged in for testing. He chewed it and got zapped, let out a yelp, survived (to old age), and never did that again. All I can say is that your cat is going to like to play with your toy in the lab. It’s their nature to be curious.

      • DrD

        Mice too. I once found a shrivelled mouse with it’s teeth into a 230v mains cable.

  • DrD

    From the spread sheet.

  • ecatworld

    It’s all put back together now. The break was from 17:37-18:09
    I’ll try to do hourly readings through the evening.

    • ecatworld

      I measured after the interruption — it seems to have been charging during the time the battery/resistor circuit was disconnected. See the ss

      • SG

        Because Orbo.

      • Blue Energy

        Wow. OK, that *is* interesting. The old 9v battery sub circuit should be dead. Where could the additional juice be coming from? And it’s not a subtle difference either. It wasn’t plugged in for all that time – right Frank?

        • ecatworld

          Right, between 17:37-18:09 there was nothing external attached to the cube. I took the measurement at 18:14, so there were 5 minutes when the circuit was attached.

          • Blue Energy

            Cue the spooky music…

          • ecatworld

            And remember, the red lead is still clipped

          • SG

            In hindsight, clipping the red wire was the right call (even though some of us were sweating it–I know I was). We could not see the native reference voltage apparatus, and thus, we really had no way of knowing for sure whether a 1Mohm resistor was in series with the two 9 V batteries.

            Now there is no question that it is, because we constructed it, and it is right there external to the unit for all to see. We have taken the prior voltage reference apparatus out of the picture. There is no question that the reference voltage section of the circuit is not responsible (in terms of electrical current) for the recharging. We know dropping an electric field bias across the Orbo cells causes a significant boost. We know that without the electric field bias, it continues to charge. We know without a doubt that certain things happen now and some of the causes. We don’t know the reasons yet. But frankly, neither do Steorn by their own admission.

          • Blue Energy

            We still can’t say for sure that there isn’t another power storage device (battery, cap,…) buried in the resin. But, if there is there is a limit to how long it will continue to produce juice. And it’s very peculiar that it seems to be gaining steam.

          • SG

            Yes, agreed. Longer term testing will be the only way to rule out other possible hidden storage devices.

          • Blue Energy

            It’s the gaining steam part that makes that seem unlikely to me though. I don’t know of any batteries that get stronger as you drain them.

          • Blue Energy

            Actually, I can think of a way that could happen. If the unit moved from a cold room to a hot one – that might make the battery more lively. We know O-Cube has been traveling. Maybe it has warmed up too?

          • Sanjeev

            Can’t say, but the question is why didn’t the buried (if any) source charge it during the last two days, that is before the repair work was done.

          • Blue Energy

            Yup. Well.. something did. A little bit, at least. But, now it’s getting stronger?

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, I mean the buried source should have charged it at the same rate (more or less) at which its doing it now.
            Another guess is, its getting the charge from 17V,1M source (after its connected). Its difficult to check this because we do not know the exact capacitance between U1U2. We need a good meter that can measure up to, say,100F.

          • SG

            You won’t be able to measure directly the capacitance with a multimeter without disconnecting the “capacitor” and draining it first, which is impractical in this instance.

            But with the better meter on the way, we will at least be more confident in our voltage measurements. We can determine the total capacitance (or at least get a good estimate) by integrating the power over time (i.e., determining energy) from a “full charge” to something less. I’m thinking that maybe we drain it from a full charge down to the 2.9 V level, run the numbers, and at least get a baseline. It would be a very conservative number.

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, a direct measurement can be done after the tests are over.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Measure capacitance by discharging it across a known load with resistance far smaller than the internal load in the charging circuit. In theory, 3 data points of V[t] when discharging across a known resistive load right across the terminals is sufficient to solve for capacitance and the rate of charge of the unit by the battery + orbopacks The rate of charge by the battery is just the voltage difference between the battery stack and orbo divided by the 1 meg resistor.

            I’m tired — do I have a mistake here?

          • Sanjeev

            Sounds like a good idea.

          • SG

            Probably because there was a loose connection and an open circuit.

          • Sanjeev

            Just to clarify, Blue Energy is talking about the possibility of there being a buried/hidden energy source inside the resin, not about the “reference” one.

          • SG

            Ah, thank you for clarifying. You present a good question. I guess there was some charging prior to the repair, but it was quite a small trickle.

          • Sanjeev

            Very interesting.

  • ecatworld
    • SG

      I’m surprised at the high rate that it continued to charge while disconnected for transport. This latest reading does show a boost though once the bias was reapplied.

      • Ged

        Perhaps this has indeed re-invigorated the cores. More data required.

        • ecatworld

          what do you think about taking the battery/resistor circuit off for a full hour?

          • Blue Energy

            Let’s charge it all the way up and then see what it does.

          • ecatworld

            Ok, however I’ll have to disconnect it when I take it back home later. So I’ll test immediately after reconnecting everything.

          • Ged

            Good idea, that’ll be a great test of its solo activity, again.

          • Blue Energy

            Oh – I didn’t realize you weren’t at home already. Frank – is there a noticeable difference in temperature between this house and your house? Could batteries be warming?

          • ecatworld

            It is probably warmer here than at home. I need to measure temperature wherever I go.

          • Blue Energy

            I think that’s a good idea. If it charges faster when it’s warmer – that will be good for us to know.

    • FC

      Well done, Frank. πŸ™‚

      Glad to see that everything has worked out according to plan (except for the cat incident, which will only cause a few hours delay). It may be a good idea to insulate the outstanding portion of the screws that go into the terminals to prevent future shorts, since they are very close together.

      It’s plain to see now that:

      1. Orbo cells can recharge on their inherent electric field alone (as they were previously doing, anyhow), and
      2. A higher externally applied electric field increases their charge rate.

      Tomorrow, we should be able to start discharging the power pack in order to characterize its capacity. I’m more inclined to do this directly from the terminals by means of a resistor (as using the USB port would bring potential distortions from other elements in that side of the circuit). The community could decide on the appropriate resistor, to give you a relatively short discharge time, but long enough to make good voltage readings all along (as we may have to do some plotting to find the total energy spent).

  • Pweet

    Just looking at the three voltage readings of the three different meters in the above video clip;-
    I take it the high readings, around 17.5 volts, are across the two batteries, and the low readings are taken across the two batteries in series with the 1 megohm resistor, (brown black green it should be; the color is a bit indistinct in the vid.)

    Form these readings you can see how much the meters distort the actual voltage due to the internal impedance of the meter loading up the circuit you are trying to measure.
    If the internal impedance of each meter was infinite the two voltage reading would always be the same.
    But the internal impedances of the meters is finite and varies with the meter type.
    So what are they ,. roughly?

    As expected, the analogue meter completely overloads the circuit you are measuring, hence what should be a 17.5 volt reading shows as a 0.4 volt reading. It presents a load of around 25kohms to the 1 megohm circuit. All readings are grossly distorted. You can only use this meter on the low impedance circuits such as the USB output voltage or across any of the batteries or ultracaps if fitted.

    The portapower meter also loads up the 1 megohm source impedance to the point where the 17.6 volt source reads only 1.5 volts. This represents an internal impedance in the meter of around 85kohms.
    That still makes it unusable except for the low impedance circuits such as the USB output and battery voltages.

    The yellow meter shows a voltage of 8.77 volts which indicates the meter is of a similar internal impedance to the voltage source, that is, 1 megohm.
    That makes it sort of usable so long as you DOUBLE the voltage readings taken on that circuit while you know there is a source impedance of 1 megohm, which you do because you fiitted it and we can see it there.
    This only apples to this exact circuit. We can’t apply this to any other circuit readings unless we reliably know the source impedance, and we don’t.
    It also wont apply IF the orbo can backfeed into the circuit and thus lower the overall circuit impedance.
    However, since it was said the batteries supply a reference voltage, that would be inconsistent with any backfeed into the battery.
    All indications from the Steorn video was that the Orbo loads up the circuit, not feeds back into it.

    An oscilloscope typically presents an input impedance of 1 megohm, similar to the yellow meter.
    That should be marked next to the probe connection.
    If used with a X 10 probe they present a load of 10 megohms. That is a function of the probe, not the oscilloscope.
    Some of the better digital meters also have higher input impedances, but only depend on that if it specifically stated.

    • SG

      We have a higher quality multimeter with a stated input impedance of 10Mohm on its way to Frank as we speak. He should have it within the next couple of days or so.

      • Pweet

        That should do the job pretty well.
        At the low voltages presently being measured, even the yellow meter will give a reasonable accurate measurement because the Orbo is apparently loading up the battery / resistor circuit to the point where the meter impedance is only small proportion of the total load. It’s probably reading only around 10% low. ( a guess, I haven;t bothered to work it out)
        If the voltage ever gets up towards the 7 or 8 volt readings then the meter impedance becomes much more significant and the real reading will be closer to double.
        The 10Megohm impedance meter will solve all that.

    • Anon2012_2014

      My old $39 radioshack meter has a book input impedance specification of 10 M Ohm. However, now that we know the yellow meter has 1 M Ohm and the Portapow had 100K ohm, we can use the yellow meter as long as it is across a big capacitor for only a short time.

  • OM

    Of course, this is not the actual capacity.

    But the result surprised me.
    It turns out that 2F capacitor could be charged pretty fast with such a small current.
    And 2F is comparable with 5F.

  • FC

    Quite intriguing, isn’t it? And it appears that these particular Orbo cells aren’t yet working at full charging capacity (pun unintended).

    I can’t wait to corroborate those numbers with some empirical results.

    • OM

      I will not attempt to draw conclusions yet.
      The voltage increases without batteries too.

      • FC

        That’s its main feature, according to Steorn. The voltage reference from the batteries is only a stimulus.

        Or do you mean that there may still be a hidden source of energy beneath the resin? That possibility will have to be tested over the coming weeks by extracting enough energy out of the ocube. I’ll be satisfied with 100 Wh.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Yes, that would be a good benchmark. We should not forget that there are two 9V batteries on board (each of them could provide about 5Wh, I suppose). Even if Steorn says that there is a 1 MOhm resistor between them – in reality the wiring could be more complex, and possibly allow withdrawing a significant current. In any case, the device should be dissected after the tests have been finished.

          • FC

            Anon2012_2014 once estimated that the weight of components inside the ocube’s shell is around 350 grams (including the resin). And the most advanced batteries in the market have an energy density of 300 Wh per kg (see attached chart). Therefore, it seems fair to assume that if the ocube can output 100 Wh, then it’s not a battery (and that includes the two 9V batteries). πŸ™‚

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Agreed, provided that the β€žifβ€œ will work out. With a much lower output dissection would be unavoidable, I think.

          • FC

            Agreed.

          • Sanjeev

            Seems to be easily falsifiable or provable then.

            If it supplies 1 W for 100 hours we have something.
            I will personally get excited if it does this for 50 hours as I know the weight is mostly of resin and other stuff.
            BUT the weight needs some confirmation. Can you tell us how was it measured? (My numbers don’t add up)

          • ecatworld

            I measured it with the bottom plate removed on some digital kitchen scales.

          • Sanjeev

            That would be the weight of resin+skull without bottom plate.
            We are interested in the weight of resin only (with embbeded stuff). I was wondering how that figure of 350g came.

          • ecatworld

            Oh, ok — that wasn’t mine. Someone must have calculated it somehow.

          • Sanjeev

            No problem. Then perhaps its safer to take the whole weight (without bottom plate) for energy density.

    • Anon2012_2014

      They might accelerate after they get proper bias voltage on them if the electret alignment hypothesis is true.

  • ecatworld

    I just disassembled the circuit after the last round of measurements, and will put it back together when I get home. I’ll take readings before I reattach everything.

    • Sanjeev

      A plot of readings so far.
      (attached)

      • SG

        Interesting shift from exponential to what appears to be a linear increase.

        • FC

          “the rise is very non linear, it goes through a BH curve type of shape”

          Shaun dixit.

          • SG

            But our curve doesn’t correspond to a BH curve. Wait, maybe it does if you “flip” a typical BH curve putting H on the y-axis and B on the x-axis. Then you could curve fit ours to that, and predict that there will be a somewhat flat charging period for the next little while, with a “hockey stick” exponential type curve toward the end of the charging cycle.

            I think Anon might have mentioned somewhere above that he thought the inherent electric field (within the Orbo cell itself) will become self-reinforcing at some point and boost the charge rate. Time will tell.

        • Sanjeev

          Ya, its unlike a typical capacitor charge curve (which is exponential and flattens out in the end).

      • SG

        Would it be possible to add the latest data point and then put vertical shaded areas for the time periods in which the unit was disassembled (i.e., reference / bias voltage removed)? Or is that asking too much. πŸ˜‰

        • Sanjeev

          Sure. Give me a few minutes.

        • Sanjeev

          Here it is:
          It keeps charging while disconnected, but the rate is slightly slower.
          (attached)

          • FC

            Good job. πŸ™‚

          • SG

            Thanks Sanjeev. Nice to put a visual to this.

      • DrD

        How do you paste these?
        I tried to paste the same chart from “day 1” even coverted to a “.jpg” but it wouldn’t take it.

        • Sanjeev

          There is a tiny picture icon below the text box where you type the comments. Just click on it an select your picture (jpg or png). It will be attached to your post.

          • DrD

            Thanks a lot Sanjeev — silly me, well it was bedtime. I might try again when I get home tonight assuming I saved a copy. It’s essentially the same as yours but goes back to zero hour “day 1”
            “A picture says 1000 words”

          • Sanjeev

            Now the 5F cap is in scene. This makes things a bit complicated.
            I found a nice online calculator to compute charging time/power etc etc. This link should take you there and also load the numbers for you.
            http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=0.3872&vto=0.7615&vs=17&c=5&r=1M
            As you can see it should take 31 hours to charge 5F ALONE via 1M resistor if you use the read voltages. However we see it do that in 17 hours approx.
            I’m playing with it now.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Schrodinger’s Cat seems to have shorted out the capacitors between 15:26 and 16:37. Bad kitty!

    Frank had to start again. If Orbopacks behaves as Shaun suggests, it should start accelerating after getting a field voltage ~2.9 volts where he cuts off the USB charger circuit. If we were running 900F of capacitance, it was putting out a steady 2.8 mW between 13:26 and 15:26. I suspect it does better than that, but need to wait for data.

    • SG

      An alternate theory that we tossed around is some kind of dipole alignment memory. We noticed that after the cat shorted the circuit, the recharge rate was significantly higher, as if the dipoles had some “stickiness” to them. It even recharged at a high rate during a time period in which Frank disconnected the reference / bias voltage. This seems to comport with the high recharge rate observed in Shaun’s video shortly after discharging the single cell Orbo.

      Under this theory, might we actually see a slow down in the recharge rate once we reach ~ 0.9 V? That is about where we were before right prior to the feline disturbance.

      • FC

        That would make sense. As the orbo pack’s inherent electric field becomes stronger, the sum of the stimulii (internal+external) becomes greater, and the charge rate becomes faster.

        But I suspect the capacity is greater than 900F. According to Shaun’s latest video, one orbo cell can output around 1,500 J with a voltage drop from a little over 5 V to 2.9 V. So its total capacity may be closer to 3,600 J (1 Wh, or 288 F at 5 V). And since there are 8 cells in the ocube, the total capacity may be in the order of 8 Wh or more (2,300 F at 5 V).

        This means that the power pack in an ocube can probably store enough energy to charge a smartphone in one sitting (even taking into account that the voltage upconverter cuts off at 1.6 V), once again, according to Shaun’s latest video.

        • SG

          2300 F in those relatively small x8 Orbo cells seems unfathomable. Even 960 F does (as I had estimated earlier). But they do seem to act more like capacitors than chemical based storage. For me, that is the biggest mystery.

          • FC

            For me too. πŸ™‚

          • SG

            What strikes me as well is Shaun’s almost nonchalantness when mentioning that “oh, by the way, the Orbo units have some capacitance as well” sort of gig. You don’t say? Maybe he is just so used to being around them.

          • FC

            True.

            And we don’t even know how orbo cells charge from an external load, as regular capacitors. We could be surprised to find that they match capacitors in this area as well.

            Maybe Steorn should consider selling orbo cells as supercapacitors. πŸ™‚

          • FC

            Sorry, I meant external source, not load.

          • ecatworld

            I posted some comment from Shaun on the post above.

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank. That last email is extraordinarily interesting, as it gives a gist of the internal working of the cells.

          • georgehants

            Any news on the arrival of the new and tested Orbo so that ECW can simply check the output for the next five years and hopefully confirm an output in excess of all the people who will suggest (hopefully wrongly) that the resin is a chemical producer of electricity etc.
            If over all the years we had businesses repairing TV’s and HI-FI etc. one of the engineers had taken this long to work out such a simple circuit he would have been sacked a week ago, first for not waiting for a circuit diagram and then for not understanding the readings.
            Very glad though that everybody is enjoying the game.

          • ecatworld

            Just that they seem to be happy with the testing of the new setup — no Li batteries in the next batch apparently.

          • georgehants

            Ha. Admin I have not seen so much interest and fun on these pages before.
            Poor old Mr.Rossi has definitely taken a back seat.

          • Who?

          • ecatworld

            Things change when there are real products to work with.

          • Sanjeev

            All the usual suspects are here on chat.

            Except I can’t see any of the MFMP guys. I’m hoping that Bob is trying to source an OCube for their own experiments while remaining backstage. I’m sure Hunts group will love to have one.

          • georgehants

            Sanjeev, maybe those guys are very busy on their Cold Fusion work.
            One can I think be sure that many very “professional” organizations are waiting to get one of these onto their billions of pounds worth of test equipment to discover (if genuine) it’s magic properties and then claim they knew about it all the time, just as will happen with Cold Fusion.

          • Easy enough to test, in due course.

          • FC

            Agreed. I’m just not sure that we would have Steorn’s support for doing that. πŸ™‚

          • Anon2012_2014

            I think the benchmarking orbo cube has capacitors. I think the device on Frank’s desk might have a Li-I battery. Capacitors are easier for us to benchmark with.

          • FC

            We should always assume the correctness of Steorn’s statements, so that we can test their validity. IMHO, testing alternative hypotheses is an inefficient approach.

          • Anon2012_2014

            FC,

            “We should always assume the correctness of Steorn’s statements, so that we can test their validity. IMHO, testing alternative hypotheses is an inefficient approach.”

            I was responding to SG’s “2300 F in those relatively small x8 Orbo cells seems unfathomable. Even 960 F does (as I had estimated earlier). But they do seem to act more like capacitors than chemical based storage. For me, that is the biggest mystery.”

            Didn’t Steorn say he sent us an ocube without a Li-I battery? And didn’t he say that the specification for 1 orbopack (out of 8) was 1500J at 5V to 2.9V. Wouldn’t that be 180F/orbopack, which looking at the video, was about 1 CM in diameter and 6 CM long, or about 5cc? EDLC supercapacitors have an energy density of up to 10 Wh/liter, so 5cc gives us .005*10Wh = .05 Wh = 180 joules. I guess it could be a capacitor, but it doesn’t leave a lot of space for the Orbopack’s charger.

            I’m in favor of the simplest test that we can devise using the orbocube we have. How are you suggesting to measure the capacitance in it, and how are you suggesting to prove there is no battery (and hence throwing the test based on capacitance off? If it is a capacitor or a battery, I think a discharge into a know resistive load is the best. What am I missing in this kind of test protocol?

          • FC

            “Didn’t Steorn say he sent us an ocube without a Li-I battery?”

            No. They said it has a 5F instead.

            “it doesn’t leave a lot of space for the Orbopack’s charger”

            There is no orbopack charger. The orbo cells are both the charger and the storage device.

            “How are you suggesting to measure the capacitance in it?”

            As I’ve previously said today, by partially discharging them through a resistor.

            “How are you suggesting to prove there os no battery?”

            By the extracting 100Wh from the Ocube during a series of charge-discharge cycles.

            So you see, we’re basically in agreement. We just need to make sure that we start from the right information. πŸ™‚

          • Anon2012_2014

            How does Steorn get 1500J from 5F?

            1500=.5*5*v^2

            V=25 volts

            This doesn’t seem right as the voltage on the Orbopack in the video was 5V.

            My gut feel says that the device may work (I’m now about 50/50) and I will need a hypothesis to explain it.

          • FC

            “How does Steorn get 1500J from 5F?”

            In the video setup there’s no 5F capacitor. The energy come straight from the charger/storage device (i.e. the orbo cell).

            In Frank’s ocube, they don’t get it from the capacitor, but through the capacitor, which is only a buffer between the variable voltage orbo cells and the desired 5 V output.

          • Anon2012_2014

            So in your model the Orbo cell acts like an energy storage device as well as a charger, putting out most of the 1500J per cell in a short period of time, maybe 5 to 30 minutes. That is a lot of power per Orbo cell, i.e. 1 to 5 watts per cell during the discharge time. I think it could be measured with the resistor regardless.

            Last question, why then do some units need a Li-I battery if the Orbo powerpack cells can put out all this power so fast? I presumed Li-I batteries were acting as an accumulator so that the cellphone could get charged in a reasonable time (about 1 to 2 hours). This model of Ocube doesn’t seem to need them in your model of its behavior.

          • FC

            In response to your first paragraph, yes, that’s what orbo cells appear to do based on the information provided by Steorn. Therefore, you may consider orbo cells to be extremely high capacitance supercapacitors that have the ability to recharge themselves (albeit much more slowly than using an external source). This is a very easy model to test.

            In response to your second paragraph, I suppose that initially Steorn devised ocubes as a two-step charging device. In other words, the orbo cells would recharge themselves while the battery was charging something else. But apparently, Steorn has ditched that deisgn in their latest test models and, most probably, the final production model won’t have a Li-ion battery, but a 5F cap instead, like Frank’s ocube.

          • “There is no orbopack charger. The orbo cells are both the charger and the storage device.”

            A simple way of checking this might be to test continuity between test points U1/U2 and the end contacts of the USB port. Two continuity pairs would confirm.

          • FC

            Yes, that may be true.

            But personally, I couldn’t care less about the “electronics” side of the ocube, which is currently isolated from the orbo power pack anyway by the voltage converter, that needs at least a 1.6V input from the power pack to start dumping a charge into the 5F capacitor. And even when the power pack’s voltage rises above the converter’s trigger point, there is only so much energy that can be stored in a 5F capacitor. Once the capacitor is full, there will be no current passing through the converter either, unless we plug something in the USB port.

            I think we are much better off just ignoring the electronics side of the ocube and focusing on U1&U2 as if it was a black box. And then, it doesn’t really matter whether there is a charger and a separate storage device or just one component doing both things at a time. Although from Shaun’s videos it’s obvious what Steorn is telling us: there is only one device.

          • I was misunderstanding your words anyway. I assumed that you meant that there was no longer any voltage converter chip and the orbos were just feeding the 5F capacitor directly, as additional storage.

            As you say, hopefully we can learn quite a lot by observing the behaviour of the orbo units on their own, but at some point we will want to look at what is available at the USB port, and so will need to be clear about the downstream circuitry in order to understand results.

          • FC

            I see. Sorry about the misunderstanding. πŸ™‚

            Regarding the USB port, I totally agree. It’s just that right now, at least to me, what is imperative is testing the orbo power pack in isolation. But of course, once it is characterized and if Steorn’s claims are validated, the next step would be to test its functionality as a mobile charger. Although I suspect that Frank may receive another ocube soon and we may be able to run both tests in parallel.
            πŸ™‚

          • Our little cups are running over! As you seem to have a very good understanding of what is probably happening, it might be a good idea if you could propose a test schedule for Admin, to include testing USB output and direct capacitor storage in the electrets (and anything else you can think of!).

          • DrD

            Try a capacitance meter. Or calculate the impedance with an ac signal. (assuming you have the equipment of course).

          • That seems logical, at least for starters. A capacitance meter could be tried, but as several commenters (including myself) have noted, simple capacitance seems entirely inadequate to explain the observed apparent storage capacity, and some other principle – maybe something entirely new – must be at work.

          • FC

            Electrochemical processes inside the orbo cell would prevent it from having a life of several decades (as per Steorn’s statements).

          • Yes I imagine it would.

          • FC

            It’s quite a puzzle, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

          • FC

            “I think the device on Frank’s desk might have a Li-I battery”

            This is an alternative hypothesys inconsistent with Steorn’s statements.

          • SG

            It’s also inconsistent with our observations.

          • FC

            True. I forgot to mention that. πŸ™‚

  • ecatworld

    Reassembled the circuit at 22:51 See the spreadsheet for charge during time of disconnection.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

    • FC

      I think it’s well within previously observed ranges (both pre-surgery and post surgery).

  • Anon2012_2014

    I believe your calculation only holds approximately true if the current going into the capacitor, I, is that coming out of the battery through the resistor. If however additional current is being supplied by the orbopacks, then your calculation is low.

    Also, I believe the use of U1 and U2 for the voltage V across the capacitor is correct, but it is not correct to say that U2 = 0.51. That is actually U2-U1 measure at 19:17.

    The relationship C = q/V is always true. I believe the relationship q = I*t is only true if I is the average current going into the capacitor. In most cases, the current I will drop as the capacitor charges according to an exponential curve.

    I don’t think we know , as the amount supplied by the battery at <17 uA is much too small to charge up orbopacks unless they have a tiny capacitance. At 5F, and a constant 17 uA, it would take q of .03*5=.15 Coulombs to increase the charge by 0.03 volts, and that would take 0.15/17e-6 = 8823 seconds = 2.45 hours. It's charging 2.5x faster than that, so either orbopacks are contributing current, or the capacitor is small and orbo packs do nothing to charge.

    I think we have to arrange a discharge test through a load resistor to determine how much charge and capacitance is in the orbopacks, at a rate at least 10x the rate of charge,

    • SG

      Agreed. We have made some assumptions about aggregate capacitance based on 1) Frank’s experience of loading the Ocube with ~ .75W to ~1.50 W more or less continuously for two hours open unpacking it, and 2) Shaun’s latest video. We need to run our own discharge test (after it is “fully” charged), and come up with our own value for C. Then we can better understand the recharge.

  • ecatworld

    off to bed now. Ill update again in the a.m.

    • FC

      Great job today, Frank.
      Cheers.

  • damn_right _man

    So, it is my time again.

    1) First I really have to admit: Frank, thank You for all Your effort, time and enthusiasm, by which You want
    to share Your experience with all of us, I really appreciate that and I wish You all the best and a lot
    of fun with that, and hopefully the next ocube won’t be like this one.

    2) Your cat made a short ? What the hell are You doing there, are You kidding us? Lock the f…g testlab,
    please.

    3) You need to buy two batteries to simulate those li-ion battery, which they did not sent to You in
    this first, incomplete ocube? If so, what are You RIGHT NOW able to tell us about the charging-
    capabilities of the ocube ? Does it charge the batteries, if they are uncharged after being
    used for let’s say, two smartphones ?

    4) The idea with the x-ray at the airport seems to be a nice trick… I would try it and ask for the pics, or
    take a pic from the pics on the screen.

  • Zephir

    The OrboCube is indeed broken, but we can still analyze it and get a new info about its internals. I do appreciate Frank, he is willing to do so for us.

    • FC

      Nice comparison. πŸ™‚

  • ecatworld

    Good morning everyone. I took the first readings and put them in the spreadsheet. Also I posted above a Q&A with Shaun McCarthy from yesterday. Rob King was in the chat and the questions are his.

    • FC

      Good morning, Frank.

      Looks like the charge rate is slowing down a bit.

      Thanks for the Q&A with Shaun. If I understand it correctly, we’re going to have to modify our circuit diagram, since he now says that the 5F cap is on the orbo side of the voltage controller (which doesn’t make much sense to me, BTW).

      • Just additional energy storage then, it seems, with no role in output regulation.

        • FC

          Or maybe they just want to feed a more stable input into the charge controller than would come straight out of the power pack itself.

          But anyway, I’m afraid that this is all irrelevant given the problem that we have with the orbo cells’ charge being so low.

          • Yes, it seems that it may have been damaged after all, possibly due to extended lack of external voltage across the electrets.

          • FC

            Agreed. That and the accidental short. Tough luck. Let’s hope Frank gets a new ocube soon.

          • ecatworld

            Shaun said it takes time for the domains to realign, so we just have to wait to see if that happens.

          • Could we enquire whether 18V is actually the optimum value for the process of re-alignment/polarisation? (or does it just reflect the maximum number of 9V batteries they could fit into the box).

          • Sanjeev

            Very good question. If it can be fixed by applying, say, 100V across the orbo cells for say 10 mins, then it is doable.

          • ecatworld

            The answer is “probably, but you could also damage the cells (short across the materials)”

          • FC

            And what about charging them externally? Can this be done?

          • Sanjeev

            So that experiment can be postponed till after postmortem (which is taking out 8 orbos from the resin, if needed at all).

    • DrD

      Much appreciate your dedication Frank and all the other contributors. Intrigueing isn’t it.
      You know what:
      We’re learning much more than if they’d sent you the correct working unit!
      “This cloud has a silver lining”
      We also owe Shaun a vote of thanks for being so honest and helpful.
      Maybe it’s a bit early yet but I have a good feeling.
      So thanks to all for this journey.
      Dave

      • FC

        We’re also having a lot more fun than if we were just watching Frank doing charge/discharge cycles, don’t you think? πŸ™‚

  • Sanjeev

    Its an electret. I recommend digging into previous blog posts and videos etc for more info.

  • Sanjeev

    He cut the wire, now they are obviously not connected. Risky but end of speculations !

  • Andreas Moraitis

    20 kJ (5.556 Wh) is approximately the energy content of a single 9V alkali-manganese battery. So the storage capability does not exceed the β€˜chemical limit’. Anyway, it would be interesting to learn more about the mechanism behind it.

    • FC

      I find 5.6 Wh relatively low for the charging needs of most smartphones on the market today. Maybe it’s a compromise, as time is running out for Steorn to deliver a working product.

    • georgehants

      My question below, if it is dumb, please tell me.
      ———
      Would isolating the stack from all connections and components and just read any raw output not give the required answer.
      Just like reading a trickle charger or battery.
      Does the stack produce an output is the only question of interest.

      • SG

        Can you rephrase your question? Not sure I understand what you are getting at.

        • georgehants

          SG, sorry but I cannot rephrase it any clearer, maybe my mind is to simplistic. ha.

          • SG

            I guess your use of the term stack was throwing me there a bit. πŸ˜‰

            Oh, you mean what Shaun did in his video? Yes, that would be useful to try ourselves, were it not for all the resin.

            I’m not sure that a single isolated Orbo cell would tell us too much, but certainly it would give us some information.

  • Another quiet time, so another schematic, based on Shaun’s comments:

    http://www.health-answers.co.uk/orbo4.png

    • Sanjeev

      I guess you need to change lowerupper.

      • You’re right – I’ll change it in a moment.

    • ecatworld

      Feedback from Shaun on you diagram, Agaricus:
      “in that version of the cube there are 5 boards – but other than that it seems pretty accurate, however, its pretty obvious that the cube that frank has is not actually wired in that way”

      • OK, thanks Frank. # IC’s updated to 5. The schematic is not much use though if SM thinks ours may be connected differently, although perhaps we’ll be able to figure it out from tests. I wonder which part he’s unsure about?

        • ecatworld

          I think he means that it seems broken inside.

          • Sanjeev

            ya, fecked up is the technical term he prefers πŸ˜€
            BTW, charging has slowed down significantly since morning.

          • ecatworld

            I had it disassembled for about an hour. Had to take it with me again.

          • Sanjeev

            I see. Makes sense now.
            Its back to the normal speed now. Slightly slower than yesterday.

  • Rob King

    Revised diagram:

    • The common line you assume may be more likely than my multiple-parallel arrangement for the ICs.

      • Rob King

        I will clarify this with SM, but it was an assumption on my part.

    • DrD

      I’m not sure that the USB board contains another boost coverter. My understanding of what he said was that the “chrg ctrl” (of wich there are multiple) takes an input of > 1.6V (later corrected to >3.2V) and outputs 5V to the USB (board). I may be wrong as it can be taken both ways.
      The new versions won’t have the CAP (nor a Li)

      • Rob King

        Check the Skype transscript, SM did correct himself and say it did boost the voltage, besides – there are too many components on the board to be a simple USB socket and on/off logic. You then have to ask, why 2 boards to boost voltage to 5V – makes no sense.

        • DrD

          yes, I saw that and agree it does read that way but I wondered if he actualy meant the controler board. As you say, why a 2 stage boost, especially as he needs multiple in parallel to handle the power. It’s a minor issue anyway and I think we get the idea.

          • The PCB board is probably just an off-the-shelf component, perhaps bulk purchased before incorporating a charge control board. The boost function certainly seems redundant, although it’s hard to see why some other recipients of O-cubes were getting overcharged lithium batteries if they had two layers of protection against this.

          • DrD

            Right, yes he did say that so that makes sense.

  • Gerard McEk

    I hope the output voltage of the Orbo electret exceeds the 18 volt of the batteries, otherwise they are constantly drained. Is it known if a diode exists between the upper 9V cell and the Orbo electret? If the Orbo electret generates a voltage in excess of 18 V, than that may be needed. If the Orbo electret or U1-U2 voltage is much lower than 18 V than the batteries are constantly drained, and the Orbo will stop supplying energy in the not too far future.

    • SG

      The native output voltage of the Orbo cells is 1.6 V, we are told. The 18V batteries will not be fully drained for about 5 years because of the in-series 1 Mohm resistor.

      • Gerard McEk

        Negative? You mean the difference in output voltage of the Orbo Cell is and the two batteries 1.6 V? (so 16.4 V?)
        A standard Duracell 9 V battery has a capacity of about 500 mAh. If the Orbo has no voltage, or is often fully drained than the two batteries may last 3 years. See http://www.powerstream.com/9V-Alkaline-tests.htm. But if the Orbo is 16.4 Volt, that the batteries may last a lot longer.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    How about quick loading the capacitor up to the 1.6 V threshold? That should take a few minutes with a 100 Ohms resistor – provided that the Orbo cells will not pinch most of the current.

    • Sanjeev

      I like the suggestion.
      Frank, if possible, please ask SM for his advice on this.

      • SG

        Worth asking, although these “capacitors” may not load in the same fashion as we expect capacitors to load.

      • I would vote for giving the current process another 24 hours or so (assuming no further feline incidents), trying a few tests on the output available at the USB port, and then declaring an ‘anything goes’ status to include the suggestion above, increasing the bias voltage and anything else we can come up come up with which won’t actually cause the device to catch fire.

        If the gadget is as SM puts it, ‘fecked’ then there doesn’t seem to be much to lose. Even if we blow it completely, the corpse might still be subjected to a post mortem, using a mini-drill etc.

        • georgehants

          Would isolating the stack from all connections and components and just read any raw output not give the require answer.
          Just like reading a trickle charger or battery.

        • Sanjeev

          I agree.
          And I think all these mad scientist experiments should be done only after securing a few orbos. They are a precious resource. So say, you can sacrifice 4 out of 8 available.

          • Right. We do have a sort of unspoken contract with Steorn, though, and should be careful to avoid going too far towards anything that might publicly reveal their IP.

          • Sanjeev

            I think doing that would reveal only as much as steorn has already revealed in their last video.
            Now if you try to analyze the electret materials or try to reverse engineer it in public, then I’d put it in the category of going too far. That cannot be called as a test or validation.

          • georgehants

            Peter, if the secret in the core is decipherable, then it will be found in no time just like Mr.Rossi’s nightmare of having to have a million patents to try and monopolize something just for profit, in the worst possible way for the benefit of those that need the technology most.

          • Hi George. Nevertheless I for one would feel very uncomfortable if I thought that we were repaying Steorn’s helpful co-operation by publishing something that could damage their interests. Let’s let someone else do the reverse engineering.

          • georgehants

            Understood, the question then becomes if this technology is genuine and Mr. Steorn wanted to protect it, why has he not acquired a patent?

          • SG

            The have said that they have patent pending status on the latest version of Orbo. They had also pursued (and were granted) some earlier patents, but they don’t appear to directly related to this embodiment.

          • georgehants

            Mystery then.

          • I suspect that Steorn don’t want to put their full IP into a public document, as the function, once understood, can probably be replicated in a number ways that would sdestep any patent. They may plan to rely on just keeping their special goo (the memory-retaining wax stuff) secret for long enough to make some money through licensing.

          • georgehants

            Again, if you guys can manage to decipher the core, then I think there is no hope that others with slightly better equipment etc. will not do so in 10 minuets but I take your point as very honorable.

  • ecatworld
  • SG

    Based on our observations, there is much more than 4 F capacitance overall. OM was doing more of a thought experiment. But, a definitive discharge test from a “fully” charged cube is in order, which will firm up our understanding.

  • ecatworld

    Ok, chatting with Shaun just now. He sees the current rate of voltage increase as “awful” and is suggesting we try to shock the domains by applying a brief high voltage.

    • ecatworld

      “Get a bunch of batteries in series, positive end connected to the positive terminal, then with a wire to the negative side of the batteries, move the wire closer to the negative terminal and try to get a quick spark (which will be very high voltage, but for a very short time)”

      • As previously suggested here, PP3s can be clipped together, positive to negative, in chains of any length to make higher voltage batteries. In the absence of further guidance I would stick to 45V or so, and be fairly careful with it.

        • ecatworld

          Would that make a spark?

          • It would weld small bits of steel! So, yes.

          • ecatworld

            It’s Frankenstein time!

          • If that doesn’t do anything, you could try putting the ‘super-battery’ across the terminals in series with the 1M resistor for a while (a few minutes). That might give the orbos the kick they need.

          • ecatworld

            Maybe try that first

          • Sanjeev

            Did he tell you to use a 1M in series with the high voltage?
            Because connecting it directly would cause a huge current for that brief period. There is a 5F there.

          • ecatworld

            I asked and he said: “no for this, we are trying to spike a high fast voltage for a short period of time to see if we can kick the domains into alignment”

          • ecatworld

            Then I suggested we try with the resistor on first, and he said it was worth a try. So I think I’ll do that first.

          • Sanjeev

            Ok. And..Safety first.

          • ecatworld

            Yes.

          • Vis a vis that, if/when you come to the sparking bit you need to make a ‘brushing’ contact, maybe more than once, and be ready to knock some other contact in the chain apart to break the circuit as quickly as possible. 45V DC really can weld metal together, even at the relatively low amperage available from small batteries.

            However the internal resistance together with the presence of several Farads of capacitance should prevent anything drastic resulting from a welded wire in the short term though.

            Good luck!

          • SG

            I’d suggest try Shaun’s approach first. I believe the dipoles of the Orbo cells are better aligned with an electric field rather than an electric current.

          • Blue Energy

            Right. We want the volts – not the amps.

          • ecatworld

            You men Agaricus’s approach above — resistor in the circuit?

          • SG

            Yes, I thought Shaun had suggested the in-series resistor, but see now it was Agaricus. That is the approach I suggest too: limit the current, but with a strong field. Low amps high volts.

          • DrD

            I tend to agree, unlike a Li, volts probably more important but the 1Meg will limit the volts as well as the Amps but it’s the safer approach, work up to it gradually reducing resistance later if it doesn’t work.

          • When I read the original description of how they lock in the electrostatic field, I had assumed they used van der Graaf type voltages, perhaps generated by an old CRT EHT pack or similar. I guess we are just attempting to put a bit of Humpty Dumpty back together, avoiding potentially lethal voltages.

          • Blue Energy

            Van der Graaf generators produce thousands of volts at very low amperage. Another advantage of using the 1M resistor is that you can use more batteries in series, thus increasing the voltage, without the otherwise attendant outsized amps.

          • Blue Energy

            …and the amps are what’s lethal, not the volts.

            You know, this might be a terrific application for a taser.

          • ecatworld

            Yes, and I really don’t want to totally fry this orbo. While it is showing some results it is useful for research purposes, even though it isn’t working as the product was designed to do.

            I know there is a replacement coming, so I hope we’ll be able to test one in normal operation.

          • DrD

            Indeed, what will we all do if “we” fry it now.

          • I agree.

          • SG

            Not a moment since 2/14 have I been bored. I tell you, there should be a warning label on Orbo that states something to the effect of “can cause addiction for engineers and technophiles.”

          • DrD

            It can. It’s the series resistance that matters which includes the batteries and it’s quite high which might inhibit the success. At the weekend I used a 12V car battery charger. The low resistance allowed nice big sparks. Worked well. Be quick though in case it overheats. Suspect Orbos will be different though.

    • Sanjeev

      How much voltage approx?

      • ecatworld

        See the comment below — “a bunch” . I asked how many volts. He said he doesn’t know but enough to get a spark.

        • Sanjeev

          Its needs to be DC, so you will need a DC power supply that can go to about 100V. Or you will need many more 9V batteries.

        • Interestingly, this is a process that is used to recover ‘dead’ lithium batteries in power drills and similar. I’ve done it myself, using a welder as the power source. In that case it is supposed to burn away fibrous lithium metal ‘dendrites’ that form between the plates in these batteries over time.

          • Blue Energy

            We don’t really want to burn anything away. I’m for limiting the amperage.

          • DrD

            Oddly enough I did exactly that at the weekend. successfully zapped and recovered a completely dead (zero volts and refused to charge).Li screwdriver battery. Not the first time either, yes it works. I wouldn’t know if electrets can be recovered but wouldn’t be surprised. Shaun should have a good idea.

          • Yes, better than 95% success when batteries have slowly declined over time in use, or have been left standing charged but unused for a long period. Obviously not much use when a battery has been cooked by overcharging (I have had some older two-pin ‘dumb’ charger batteries go that way in my time – they were all ‘goners’ as far as this method goes),

    • georgehants

      He’s bored with reading all this stuff and wants you to blow it to pieces, ha.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      You could easily destroy the supercap that way. Maybe you should clarify first what’s the maximum rated voltage of this particular type.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Not to speak of the circuits…I hope that he knows the risks.

      • ecatworld

        He says 5 volts

        • Blue Energy

          It sounds as if giving it 45 volts would ‘feckit fer sure’. Maybe its the limited contact time that he’s counting on.

          • ecatworld

            But the Orbo is designed to put out a constant 18 Volts via the internal cells anyway, and we’re doing that right now with our circuit.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Perhaps the reason why the device is (most likely) broken.

          • Blue Energy

            How many volts are actually getting by the resistor, Frank. Didn’t you measure that once?

          • ecatworld

            It’s in the second video in the post above. Different meters gave different readings

          • Blue Energy

            Thanks. I just watched it again. It looks like it’s either one and a half or eight – depending on the meter.

          • SG

            In reality, probably more like 15-16 V. The new meter will confirm that.

          • Blue Energy

            By the time the new meter gets there it will be too late, I fear. This train feels like it’s leaving the station today.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Frank, could you measure the current between the cube and your circuit, then disconnect the circuit, connect its ends and measure the current again?

          • Sanjeev

            Not clear what or why.
            But if you are asking to put the meter in ammeter mode across U1U2 then its effectively a short.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Not across U1-U2 but across the ends of Frank’s voltage supply. If the difference were close to zero, we could infer that there is most likely a partial short inside the Orbo.

          • Rob King

            Hi Andreas, you do not need to disconnect the circuit, just measure the voltage across the 1M resistor, from that you can work out the current through the circuit. 17V = 17uA, 15V = 15uA, etc

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Agreed. But then disconnect it, short it and measure the voltage again.

          • SG

            Assuming the measurement is taken with a meter having an internal impedance of 10Mohm (on its way). Otherwise, you’ll see about half that with the yellow multimeter and less with the portapow. πŸ˜‰

          • Andreas Moraitis

            For a comparison the readings should anyway suffice.

          • The actual applied voltage will be much lower due to the resistor and the characteristics of the Orbo cct. How much lower depends on resistance/reactance values within the O-cube, which will be dynamic.

        • Sanjeev

          And it has 17V applied to it (even for “normal” operation).
          Does not compute.

        • SG

          5 volts versus “a bunch of batteries”? Seems like we’re getting some mixed signals.

          • It is rather vague. He could at least have specified a large, medium or small bunch.

      • Apparently the over voltage failure mode of supercaps is unlikely to result in a short circuit, but in simple loss of capacitance (open circuit). We could quite easily live with that.

        http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/26366/how-durable-is-a-supercapacitor

        https://www.tecategroup.com/ultracapacitors-supercapacitors/ultracapacitor-FAQ.php#What_is_end_of_life_and_failure_mode_for_an_ultracapacitor

        • Andreas Moraitis

          That’s reassuring. I only hope that the electronic circuits will survive.

          • The ICs will be designed to take any reasonable input voltage (rated at 1.6V upwards) There are five IC’s anyway so a high level of redundancy from our POV.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            There should be some data sheet where the possible maximum is specified. As long as Frank does not use a defibrillator we might have a chance.

          • Like the supercap, we could live without them anyway.

          • Sanjeev

            Unless, something melts in there and causes a short. Usually things just evaporate leaving an open circuit.
            Now I’m thinking whether this procedure can be delayed for some days.
            According to my calculations, at this rate (mostly its linear now), it can take about 10 days to reach 5V. IF it continues at present speed and does not flatten out.
            Of course, Frank has to decide finally.

          • Yes, if anything goes short circuit, its Dremel time.

          • SG

            It might actually start to swing up if it follows a BH recharging curve, as suggested by Shaun earlier.

        • Sanjeev

          Good info there.

    • Anon2012_2014

      I think if we are careful not to short it out it should recover to 2.9 volts in about 100 hours, i.e. one week. I would leave it locked in the kitchen closet and simply take measurements when you’re home and awake about 1 per hour until it gets recharged. That will hopefully repolarize the “domain structure” on its own.

      I would also check that the two 9Vs still have around 9V each when open circuit to make sure they are doing the job. To me the results look encouraging as long as we don’t short out the unit again.

      • SG

        There is something to be said about the patient approach. Maybe we should consider it.

        • Sanjeev

          Well it looks like we have 4 votes for patience.

          • OK, I’ll make it five. Impatience isn’t a virtue.

          • Blue Energy

            Six. It still seems to me that if it is capable of producing more juice than is going in for long enough to determine that it can’t come from a conventional power storage component(s) – then we have proved that orbo is real. Ideally, that involves regular automatic measurements that are stored and lack of change in environment. Otherwise, we’re just playing with it.

            Conversely, if we burn it out in the attempt to hotrod it’s performance to what it’s supposed to be – the experiment is over and, in spite of all the interesting new questions we have, we’ll have lost the opportunity to accomplish the one thing this cabal was formed to do (determine whether orbo is real).

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, we have discussed this thoroughly below and it looks like the general view is that risky things can be tried only after its totally dead. Its still breathing now.
            Once the other OCube arrives, this one becomes disposable anyway.

          • Blue Energy

            I think we need a longer term plan as how to test this unit. It’s time we declared that the new has worn off and stop randomly poking it. Personally, I would rather we didn’t think of it as ‘disposable’. I think the chances that Frank will lock his new O-Cube into a serious scientific regimine, in which it is environmentally interacted with as little as possible for several months, are small. This one could fill that void. Right now our data represents a lot of hard work for Frank, but also changes in temperature, motion, and location. Data is only being collected, at best, hourly, and never overnight. At the latest when the new one arrives, I think this one should be sent to Hughes for scientific analysis. And we can just hope that in its crippled state it is still capable of proving THE test case, one way or the other.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        That looks like a wise suggestion. Most of us here (I would not exclude myself) are simply too impatient. There will be enough opportunities to blow up the cube later.

  • The IC board should tolerate considerable voltage across its input so it’s only the supercap that is at risk. Frankly I don’t think it would be any loss, as we would then be able to view the orbo stacks more or less in isolation.

    Empty capacitors will offer some protection, so it’s probably worth deliberately discharging all stored energy before each procedure, by plugging in the LED light before each process (sparking or applying a large bias voltage) until the lighs go out.

    The 1M resistor should reduce the voltage to a low enough level to avoid damage in the short term, but I think may actually carry more risk to components than the sparking contact as we don’t know how far the applied voltage will fall.

  • ecatworld

    Can’t do much in the way of experiments just now. It will have to be later.

    • You never know, Frank, it might rise off its deathbed while you are away if you leave it ‘charging’.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Tell your cats not to keep playing around this time…

  • ecatworld

    Ok, thinking what to do next: Just asked Shaun about whether increasing the voltage on the current circuit would help. He said:

    I think you have only two options, leave it and see what happens or try to kick start the domains

    I think, that other than the obvious wiring problem, the shorting has killed it – so yep, I think hit it with a spike

    • SG

      I think a consensus was starting to form below that perhaps patience might be the best approach. It is charging, and at the current rate, should reach 2.9 V in about one week according to Anon’s estimate.

      I think the thought can be summarized as a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. If we had the replacement Ocube, then I think you would see more willingness to go with the spike attempt. But without that, we are not entirely certain that we will ever have another one to experiment with. We don’t (presently) have the luxury of several Orbo units lying around where we can shift our testing to another if this one completely fails. There have been enough intriguing observations with the one we have–enough to warrant further investigation.

      And we are still gathering useful information given that it continues its relentless (albeit somewhat subdued now) increase in charge, with no apparent explanation. We are building an interesting charge graph. Will it end up corresponding to a BH curve in the end? Would be interesting to see and find out.

      I’m not entirely opposed to the spike approach. Just think we should carefully consider the alternative.

      • When Frank blames this recent trouble with Orbo on his cats is he speaking of e-cats? And second as this seems to be the flip side to ‘the dog ate my homework’, in which case shouldn’t he be referring to d-cats? Are the Li batteries in the ‘standard’ Orbo there just to provide the ‘reference’ voltage?

        • SG

          Yes, the two 9V batteries (alkaline I believe) provide a reference / bias voltage. Only about 15-20 *micro* amperes are passing from those two batteries to the Orbo cells.

          • Ged

            That’s about 0.36 mW, well below the measured output.

          • SG

            Yes, and that is probably very conservative. It depends on aggregate capacitance of the system, which we have several estimates for, but no definitive data on yet.

          • Ged

            Indeed. I used the highest possible values for that, so likely it’s much lower. A good sign that if there’s nothing hidden, the cores are indeed releasing energy (still no where near being able to prove or disprove if they make/harvest energy however).

          • SG

            What estimate did you use for C?

          • Ged

            Oh, I just mean I used the voltage of the two 9V batteries in series (18V) and the max amperage you quoted above (20 uA), then it’s just P=IV. Nothing fancier than that, just a quicky calc using the highest values there.

          • SG

            Ah yes, thanks for clarifying. We went through several (somewhat) detailed estimations below of the kind of power that might be required to see the rate of charge we are seeing. The 20 uA from the reference / bias batteries cannot explain it under any plausible scenario. Nor can any known environmental harvesting levels of power. Still very mysterious. And this even with our “broken” Ocube.

    • FC

      Frank, I agree with SG that consensus should prevail. I just want to offer a third option (other than patience and a voltage spike) that hasn’t been explored yet. Can you ask Shaun if increasing the current (by reducing the 1M resistance) is feasible? It will discharge the 9V batteries over time, making an eventual replacement necessary. But it *may* charge the orbo pack faster, much like a battery or capacitor (IF this is feasible at all). Thank you.

      • ecatworld

        I think it’s worth a try. I don’t see it being too destructive.

        • FC

          Do we have consensus, guys?

          • ecatworld

            You and me — just like cutting the wire πŸ™‚

          • FC

            LOL, right.

          • SG

            I prefer the “patience” approach, but then again, cutting the wire turned out to be okay (even better) in the end, so who knows, you might be able to say told you so on this as well. πŸ˜‰

          • FC

            Look, we may start by halving the resistance to see if there is any noticeable change. What do you think?

          • SG

            Can we get a shipping/tracking # from Steorn on the replacement Ocube first? πŸ˜‰

          • FC

            You are a staunch conservative, aren’t you? (Just kidding you).

          • SG

            The Ocube is politically neutral. Careful and deliberate steps, especially since we have the only publicly known Orbo Ocube device in the wild.

          • FC

            Agreed. I just think that increasing the current from 15uA to 30 uA is hardly a risky endeavor.

          • ecatworld

            Right.

          • FC

            But as you say, Frank, there’s no harm in waiting until tomorrow.

          • OM

            BTW, I hope that the meter is not connected to the circuit permanently.
            It definitely interfere with circuit parameters.

          • Zephir

            /* with the appropriate number of cells we can store 20k joules, hence no battery */

            This is really impressive – the Orbo cells may serve as a supercapacitor in addition to power selfgeneration. One can hardly see, where this technology can lead, once it will get developed seriously.

          • SG

            Pending verification, but yes, quite remarkable really if true.

          • First ‘reviver’ experiment under way – it’ll be fascinating to see what changes (if anything, of course).

            As SG suggested yesterday, voltage (and hence field strength) may be more important than current in helping realign the electret material (possibly ambient temperature may also have an effect, but maybe that’s getting altogether too complicated!).

            So, if reducing resistance doesn’t have a positive effect, I would advocate trying three or four batteries (27-36V) daisy chained and connected via the 1 Meg resistor as for the pair. Just 30 seconds or a minute at first, then back to 18V through the large resistor. As someone mentioned yesterday, it’s also probably worth re-checking the PP3 batteries at some point, as they didn’t seem too healthy initially.

            If either option proves more productive than the other, we can go further down that road with longer exposures. If neither, then its time for the ‘defribrillator’ (sparking across the input using 45V or so). We may lose the supercap in the process at some point, but so long as it fails open circuit that might actually be to the benefit of our experiments.

          • ecatworld
          • Thanks – early days as yet, but looking hopeful.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Somewhat less than DNI’s prediction, but voltage might have slightly dropped. Measuring it again would be helpful.

          • Maybe at shorter intervals for a bit, so we can see any trends developing.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Voltage of the (unconnected) source, I meant.

          • ecatworld

            Voltage across the batteries is 17.64 V

          • Sanjeev

            This gives a capacitance of 5.7F, which is considerably greater than 5F.
            http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=0.975&vto=1.08&vs=17.64&r=100k&time=3600

            But it says nothing about whether the orbo is generating any energy. It only shows that there is some extra capacitance and the 5F is working fine.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            The lower loading rate could also be due to a current leak, while the capacitance is still 5F.

          • Two words: voltage regulator.
            Why not use a simple voltage regulator to stabilize the voltage so that it can be use used to charge a Li battery? No reference voltages needed or nothing. Soo much simpler yes?

          • Frank Acland

            I’ve been told that the next version of the Ocube will not have a Li battery or Capacitors inside — just the orbo power packs.

          • DrD

            They do.

          • DNI

            I think it is within the accuracy of our setup and measurements. For example A 2% error in measuring of one of the the voltages would give 4,7 F. But i don’t think thats very important right now.

            I think the important thing is that this, in my opinion, shows that we have a capacitance in the order of 5 F. And if any self charging or charging from an internal source occurs it must be very small. Much smaller than the charging from the 9 V batteries with the 1 Mohm resistor.

            If the capacitance is much larger as for example 2 300 F as FC claims below. Then any self charging must be directly proportional to the charging from the external source. And I find that very unlikely.

            But to be 100 % sure I think we have to test draining the OCube through a resistor. For instance 1 kohm for an hour. And the voltage would drop approximately 0,5 V if the capacitance is 5 F.

          • DrD

            DNI, I think part of the problem here is that we are using a broken unit. I beleive we all agree that there is almost no internal charging because of that (at the moment). I laso supsect (but I really don’t know) that what you dismiss as very unlikely may actually be the case. I think most of us agree that there is no way that those cells can contain those huge capacitances. Therefore, either Shauns statement’s wrong or we missunderstood it OR the capacitnce is a kind of virtual cpacitance. in which case, once the units working as intended, which currently it isn’t, THEN and only THEN will you see it act as if it has 2300F or therabouts. Even then it might not register as 2300F on a cpacitance meter but may still store charge as it it were 2300F. Fact is theres a lot we don’t know. We are all learning but I try to keep an open mind. It violates my physics background but hey, Science has been wrong or inadequate so many times.

          • FC

            “If the capacitance is much larger as for example 2300 F as FC claims below”

            I didn’t exactly claim it. My exact words were:

            “2300F (my estimate of the power pack’s capacitance based on Shaun’s latest video)”

            So it would be more appropriate to say: as estimated by FC based on Steorn’s claims.

          • DNI

            You are right FC. Sorry for misquoting you.

          • FC

            No worries at all. πŸ™‚

          • OM

            You can kill DC-DC converter circuit.
            I admit that the high voltage can help, but this mode is targeted the electret alone.
            But we have electret in a circuit with other components.

          • DrD

            Yes, the gentle step by step approach is the safest way. When do get the next reading?

            However, it’s also good to see your “last resort” comment “its time for the ‘defribrillator’ (sparking across the input using 45V or so)”. Because
            I was a bit concerned that the distinction between on the one hand Shauns suggestion to zap it and on the other hand, the safer application of more volts (OR less R) had been lost.
            The two methods are quite different and the latter a bit less risky.
            BTW, The discussion around do we apply more volts or more current (less resistance) is flawed. The two are identical. I understand the reasoning but whether you add batteries or reduce Ohms is the same thing (until you run out of ohms or volts of course).
            Unless the electret is significantly non-linear over the 0 to 2.9V range the volts and amps will follow ohms law, even if its made up of LCR.
            That does NOT apply to the sparking case (fast spikes) as C (and L) affects the ratio.
            Actually even if it is non-linear you can’t alter the ratio of I to V across and through the electret.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            You are right about the role of voltage and resistance. But using a higher source voltage could lead to problems when you leave the device unattended (for example, overnight) – because then the voltage could indeed β€œrun out”, as you correctly say. So I think that the considerations below were not flawed but legitimate.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Just had to consult my dictionary regarding β€œto run out”. What I meant was that the voltage could rise too much when the capacitor approaches its full load.

          • Bob Greenyer

            They will stop printing them and everyone that comes into a bank will be destroyed.

          • DrD

            I agree. The “flawed” referred to the impression I get (could be wrong) that the rejuvination effect will be better with more volts rather than more amps when in fact you can’t affect the ratio acros the cell. To a steady state DC, it is what it is.

          • ecatworld

            Yes, that is what Shaun thinks. He reckons more current won’t do much to realign the domains. He’s asked me this morning if we’ve sparked it yet!

          • DrD

            YES, by sparking it you can get lots of volts across and still the keep power dissipation low because its a very short duration. Incidentally you will also get more amps but he’s saying, in his opinion, its the volts that matter. Sounds reasonable.

          • DrD

            At first i read spanked lol

          • ecatworld

            Well maybe that would shock it back into good behavior!

          • ecatworld

            Ok I think I’ll stop at 7 batteries. I never did see a spark.

          • So long as you are getting a small spark, that’s good enough. Please also see my comment somewhere below about charging the capacitors first to facilitate sparking at the lowest possible applied voltage.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Which means that there is still a significant inner resistance – basically a good sign.

          • Sanjeev

            There you said it,….
            Lowering the R would only charge the 5F, it won’t affect the orbo cell at all. Moreover, it will discharge the batteries, lowering the bias. Which means the orbo will produce even less power (assuming it does any).
            So this test was useful anyway, because it shows that there is a 5F there in healthy condition. I wish there was another red wire so that we could get rid of it for once and for all.

          • ecatworld

            That’s what Shaun said. He doesn’t think there’s much point in lowering the R

          • Sanjeev

            Agree. Better to keep the 1M there so we don’t lose the batteries. Lets find some way to increase the voltage. Add more batteries?

          • ecatworld

            I’ve disconnected the circuit temporarily. We can see if there’s any improvement in the self-charging rate. Check in 1/2 hour.

          • ecatworld

            Voltage is dropping across U1-U2 now with everything disconnected. Numbers in 10 minutes,

          • DrD

            hmmm All is not lost.
            It might fall to a new equilibrium level and then exhibit a slow rise (self charging) but at a higher rate than before.
            That’s hopefull thinking btw– lets see.

          • DrD

            I agree it was-is useful and safe. When you add the extra voltage with the 1Meg in series means you need to add a lot of voltage to get a significant increase (V) across the cell because the 1 Meg consumes much of that added voltage. Easyenough to calculate. But as I said the ratio of V and I across the cell can’t change, it is fixed. Increasing one increases the other.

          • Anon2012_2014

            One model says sufficient voltage must be across the orbopack to repolarize the electret dialectric (or something like that). So temporarily “jump starting” the unit may get the orbopack running more efficiently. If the voltage is only a 5F capacitor in parallel with orbopack, at 1 Meg it looks like 2x to 3x of the charge was coming from orbopack and not the batteries.

          • ecatworld

            No it’s not. Just used at measuring times.

          • ecatworld

            I don’t see the harm in letting it sit overnight without any intervention. It will be interesting to see what happens if it hits the .9 V mark since that’s where we were at the time of the short yesterday.

          • FC

            Agreed.

          • IMHO, voltage may be more important than current. I would advocate trying three or four batteries daisy chained (clipped together) and connected via the 1 Meg resistor as for the pair. As someone suggested yesterday, it’s probably worth checking your PP3 batteries, Frank, as they didn’t seem too healthy when you started.

            Actually, why not try both for comparison, with a suitable interval in between – just 30 seconds or so in each case). If either option proves more productive than the other, we can go further down that road with longer exposures. We may lose the supercap in the process at some point, but as I’ve said before, that might actually be to the benefit of our experiments.

  • ecatworld

    I’d like to point out that Sanjeev has put together some new sheets in the spreadsheet where I’ve been logging the ocube data. If you go to the bottom of the first page you’ll see sheets named “Analysis” and “Info” which he has created. Thanks very much for the help, Sanjeev!

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

    • Sanjeev

      Most welcome.

      • SG

        Really great Sanjeev, thanks. Does or should the graph automatically update when Frank adds another data point?

        • Ged

          Seems like there’s almost an asymptote around 0.9 V to 1 V, as it looks like it’s starting to slow as it approaches that.

          Edit: Or rather maybe it was just slowed mostly from the disassemblage, and is slower while charging through “new” territory rather than when it recharges through values it already reached pre-short?

          • SG

            That is a meaningful range since it is about as high as we got after the first short. Will be interesting to see if it levels off or marches straight through.

          • GreenWin

            I’d like to commend participants here in the analysis of Orbo O’Cube. You’re doing yeoman’s work and setting an example of constructive group consciousness. This goes far to demonstrate what AI geeks call ‘parallel processing.’ Contributing to and accessing collective knowledge is an evolutionary step IMO. You guys are making it palpable. :>) RoqueOn!

          • FC

            I totally agree. πŸ™‚

          • Frank, do you (and others) think it is useful to set up a trust poll about the Ocube/Orbo?
            Just to see how trustworthy visitors/testers of E-Cat World estimate this technology, and how this will develop over the weeks. You have to reset the poll every week or so. It can go as low as possible when the test shows it is al bogus, but maybe in the end it raise the roof.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            IMHO, to trust or not to trust makes no sense as long as the device has not been thoroughly tested. The first question that will have to be discussed in this context is whether one can β€˜trust’ the measurements and calculations. Polls will not help much in this regard, since majority opinions can never be a substitute for arguments.

          • Well, see it as fun, why not?

          • Sanjeev

            More points added. The rate is somewhat constant.
            The dips happen whenever the batteries are disconnected. It still keeps charging without them but at a slower rate. Its remarkable that it does it at all.
            You can notice a slight rise in rate when the batteries are reconnected, and then it tapers down to the usual rate. Perhaps a jolt of voltage causes that.

          • ecatworld

            Yes, I have noticed that too, Sanjeev. Maybe why Shaun wants us to give it the spark treatment.

          • Sanjeev

            This gives some hope that the spark treatment will benefit it.
            I’ve added a zoomed-in chart which shows this behavior clearly. Last disconnect pushed the rate a bit higher.
            I wonder what will be the result if battery connection/disconnection is done rapidly.

          • ecatworld

            Let me try an experiment with that over the next half hour.

          • Sanjeev

            Ya worth trying. The last disconnect almost doubled the charge rate.

          • ecatworld

            Ok, I charted it. I disconnected the circuit for 10 minutes, then measured at 10 minute intervals afterwards. Not sure if that’s a long enough time to be meaningful though. We can try similar things, but not tonight — off to bed.

          • Sanjeev

            It caused a big dip and the old rate was restored. Not much gain.

          • georgehants

            Morning, with all the work so far is there any Evidence that the this Orbo is producing energy?

          • FC

            Good morning, George.

            Personally, I would say that there is pretty good evidence that it recharges constantly. But given the small amounts of energy that we have been able to extract from it so far, we can’t yet discard the possibility that it is being recharged by some conventional source (e.g. battery) hidden beneath the potting resin.

            Unfortunately, at the current charge rate, it would take a long time to complete the charge/discharge cycles necessary to discard the hidden energy source hypothesis. That’s why we are trying to boost the charge rate by replacing the damaged internal voltage reference loop with an external one and by patiently waiting for the orbo cells to recover their normal operational voltage level (above 3V), that was lost on 13 February due to an accidental shorting of the test terminals.

          • georgehants

            FC, many thanks for such a clear explanation, hopefully when the new unit arrives you guys can relax and just measure the output.
            Open science in action, well done.

          • FC

            You’re welcome, George. And thank you for your kind words.

          • DrD

            Agree with that —- So 3 of us awake

          • DrD

            Goodmorning George, I think we’re waiting for them on the other side of the atlantic to awake. Nothing much seems to have happened overnight. I was looking forward to seeing a re-invigerated O-Cube but I gather they got cold feet over the zapping that Shaun proposed. I can see their reluctance as if it did go badly wrong (unlikely but possible) then we have nothing to experiment with. Atleast there was nothing to be gained by doing late night (in the US) when sleeping on it will give it a few hours to do something (OR NOT).
            I think the answer to your question is “YES” but It’s broke (technically “feked”) so only a trickle and barely more than is being put into it from the bias batteries. Certainly not on the order of the half watt that is expected.

            Watch this space —

          • georgehants

            DrD again many thanks, just a little positive news is better than nothing.
            The new unit should solve a lot of these problems, Mr. Steorn should jump on Concorde and fly it direct to ECW, ha.

          • DrD

            I get the impression that Steorn are THOROUGHLY testing a modified version before shipping it to Frank. I can understand that because it would be a big embarrassment if the replacement didn’t work or failed. I think they reported a 40% fail rate so far. Concorde? hehe, what a shame.

          • ecatworld
          • Rob King

            Hi Frank,
            Excellent news – so with the 100K resistor, we will charge at 0.1V per hour and by the end of the day we should be up to around 2.5V.
            Shaun said that 2.9V was meant to be the lower limit, so hopefully if we graph the progress we should see a steep rise once the domains start to align.

          • DrD

            Excellent excellent. I can’t view the spreadsheet so thanks for the report Rob.

          • OM

            I suggest connect 30-50 ohm resistor to the U1-U2 for 30 seconds while continuously measure the voltage to get the voltage graph.
            We will be able calculate instantaneous impedance and capacity.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            I second that, except that I would start with a higher resistance. It could be lowered stepwise if necessary.

          • OM

            I agree.
            But if we want to calculate the impedance, the resistance must not be too high. 100 Оhms is acceptable.

          • Frank Acland

            Ok, so take off the reference voltage circuit, and put a 100 Ohm (not 100k Ohm) resistor across U1-U2?

          • Esko Lyytinen

            Do you now have the correct polarity in the connection of the circuit? Is going down quite fast in spite of the 100 k Ohm resistor. You just took it off.

          • Frank Acland

            Thanks Esko — just checked and you are right! Sorry for the mistake everyone. I’ll amend the spreadsheet to reflect that.

          • Ged

            On the other hand, now we know the rate the cores were draining into that reversed circuit?

          • Sanjeev

            That will discharge it to 0 in a second or so. Better to connect it on usb side, you will be always left with at least 2.9V.
            This will ideally need a data logger or you will need to keep the meter connected and record the readings more frequently. For power we need the amp readings also.
            This all assuming that the orbo will self charge itself in reasonable amount of time.

          • Frank Acland

            I don’t think we can get a reading on the USB side for 30 seconds. Maybe no readings right now, since voltage is only 2.6 Volts, and nothing happens until it reaches 5 V

          • Sanjeev

            If the load R is connected to U1U2, it must be removed manually as soon as the voltage reaches, say 2V. It should take about 200 sec to get there from 3V according to the formula. The actual time can be anything.

          • OM

            Yes, 100 Ohm (not k Ohm).

          • Morning George. Nice sunny day for a change! Replied, but in moderation for some mysterious reason. As DrD says, I suppose us Brits and any Europeans among us will have to twiddle our thumbs for a few hours.

          • georgehants

            Peter, your comment was there, I wrote below reply but it said cannot reply to dead comment, strange.
            ———–
            Hi Peter, thanks again for update, I do know that all you guys have had a great time with this project, very hands on.
            I think you would all be happy to continue.
            My only thought is that if the core stack is still operational then a way must be found of determining it’s output, so carry on the good work.
            Best

          • Ah, right. I haven’t a clue why that post triggered the censor, but there you go. I’m going to have a bite to eat then go for a walk in the sun. Catch up later.

        • Sanjeev

          No its not automatic.
          Since he is reading it manually, it will take a lot of effort to measure exactly at regular intervals. So he measures and records time. I then copy the measurements on a regular scale for the graph.

  • FC

    Absolutely.

  • Huge

    The setup is interesting. Here’s my novice guess as to how this works. Essentially we have a set of thin film electrets that provide a permanent electric field. However their use as a power source is limited as the free electrons and holes in the anode and cathode are a finite supply. What I think Steorn have done by applying the two 9v batteries to the electrets is to provide both an external electric field (with negligible current flow) but way more importantly they provide a supply of donor electrons and holes for the electret plates to electrostatically charge like a capacitor. The electrets field pulls the electrons / holes from the pole of each battery and they charge like a capacitor. The batteries thus provide a source / sink of free electrons / holes. When driving an external load the electrets are disconnected from the batteries by the controller and discharge like regular capacitors through the load. Though little current flows between the two batteries an oxidation / reduction half reaction would still be expected to take place at one pole of each battery as they donate / accept electrons to / from the electrets. I wonder if this is avoided by reconnecting the electrets to the 9v batteries with opposite polarity on each (probably high frequency) cycle, thus just using the batteries as charge buffers, alternating sources and sinks of charge? I am sure we will all find out eventually!

    • FC

      Thanks for sharing your theory with the rest of us.

      Regarding your suggestion to cycle the batteries periodically to increase their life, that could possibly work (although apparently, Steorn don’t see a problem in keeping them in the same position for 5-10 years). But from a practical point of view, IMHO the savings wouldn’t justify the bother, since I reckon that those two batteries cost Frank around $20. And assuming that they last 5 years, that would translate into a cost of 1 cent per day.

      • Huge

        The thing is a battery like these 9v ones normally runs out when the anode or cathode are fully oxidised/reduced. The cathode cannot act as a free electrons source after that has happened. There would have to be a trick to avoid it…

  • DNI

    I have made a spreadsheet that shows the expected charge rate in a circuit with R = 1 Mohm, C = 5 F and V = 18 V.

    I have made it editable so that you can change some of the values and see how the chart change. For instance it is possible to change the time increment. But please restore the original values when you are done. The sheet use the formula Vc = Vb – Vb*exp(-t/RC).

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EhJ3AwE9uHhQ7FKCoY7r7En3uAjEzuvGQwjCngPB664/edit#gid=1403492574

    In the sheet you can see that the expected charge rate in such a circuit is 0,0125 V/h at Vc = 0,75 V. If we take a look in the Sanjeevs chart above we can see that Vc increase from 0,6 V 16/2 22:00 to 0,9 V 17/2 23:00 which gives us a charge rate of 0,3/25 = 0,012 V/h. Which almost exactly match the calculated value.

    To me this seems to show that there is no internal charging from the Orbocells at the moment.

    • FC

      Thank you for the spreadsheet, DNI.

      There is substantial empirical evidence that the cells also recharge when the reference voltage loop (i.e. the batteries) are disconnected, albeit at a slower rate. This would disprove your conclusions, which probably stem from an incorrect initial assumption, that C = 5F.

      I don’t have access to a computer right now, but maybe you can try and set C to 2300F (my estimate of the power pack’s capacitance based on Shaun’s latest video), to see what you get. Thank you.

      • DNI

        If C is 2300 F then there must bee charging from some internal source.

        But wouldn’t you agree that it is a bit strange if it was just a coincidence that the present charge rate match very well with C = 5 F and no internal charging taking place.

        • DrD

          Hi DNI, I think FC is correct because as he points out — the charging continues with no bias connected, or seems to. Not much is 100% known yet. Also, as he says, Shaun has stated that the electrets have their own Capacitance and lots of, in fact that also is too much to explain.

          • Sanjeev

            Something strange happened last night. When disconnected for 10 mins, it actually discharged. (See the negative charge rate in the plot)
            So it seems it starts discharging as soon as its disconnected, but gains some charge back if left for an hour. And if its connected back after an hour, it jumps to a higher charge rate, which falls back slowly.

          • DrD

            So it did. I suppose the moral of the story is we should be careful generalising conclusions from a broken Orbo.
            I should also emphasize that even when it is self charging, it’s minute (in its broken state). I think the battery current will swapm an internally generated current at the moment.
            Also, the big electret capacitance that Shaun describes — well, I wonder if it’s only “seen” when the electrets are functionable. Means if we attempt to measure C on this broken one we might only measure the 5F until its recoverd.

          • Sanjeev

            I guess it will have more capacitance if the domains are all aligned properly, but I don’t know much about electrets and less so about this magic orbo one.

        • FC

          “If C is 2300 F then there must be charging from some internal source.”

          Either that or Steorn claims are correct and the Orbo cells recharge from an unidentified energy source.

          “But wouldn’t you agree that it is a bit strange if it was just a coincidence that the present charge rate match very well with a C of the stated 5 F and no internal charging taking place.”

          True, it’s a strange coincidence. But since a 5F cap rated at 5V (like the one that Steorn say is inside this Ocube) becomes fully charged with 62.5J of energy (or 17.36 mWh) and the reference voltage loop outputs in the order of 0.3 mW, then the capacitor should be full in 58 hours since Tuesday’s accidental short. Actually in a little less, since the voltage at that time was 0.38V. That point in time will come this evening.

          And since the voltage will not have reached 5V by this evening yet, and will most probably continue to climb beyond tomorrow, we can be pretty sure that the capacitance of the ocube is greater than 5F.

          • DNI

            I didn’t exclude an unidentified energy source in internal sourer in my statement above πŸ™‚

            I would take proximally 420 hours to charge 5 F capacitor to 5V from 0,38V according to http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=0.3872&vto=5&vs=18&c=5&r=1M (thanks Sanjeev).

            Your calculation of 58 hours is incorrect since most of the energy from the reference voltage loop ends up in the resistor. Only a small portion of the energy goes to charge the capacitor.

          • FC

            We definitely have a discrepancy here.

            The voltage of the battery setup is around 18V.
            The current is around 15 uA (verified by Frank).
            Therefore the power actually going into the ocube (V*I) is around 0.3mW, independently of the energy lost at the resistor.

            And the time to charge a capacitor from 0V is given by the attached formula. This is where I had a mistake. By applying this formula we get:

            0.5*5*18*5/0.0003 = 750,000 seconds = 208 hours

            So according to this formula, Sanjeev’s calculation (420 hours) is wrong too.

          • DNI

            The voltage over the terminals connected to the Ocube is approximately 1 V in the last reading by Frank. The current is around 15 uA. Hence the power “actually going in” to theOCube is approximately 15 uW. And the power entering the resistor is 255 uW. No offense but this is basic elctronics.

          • FC

            No offense taken. But if the power going in to the ocube is 15uW, as you say, then you are assuming that the supply voltage is 1V. If that is the case, then why is Sanjeev using 18V as the supply voltage in his calculations?

          • DNI

            If you look at the schematics on http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=0.3872&vto=0.9011&vs=17&c=5&r=1M you see that the supply voltage is connected in series with booth the resistor and the capacitor.

            This is the normal way to calculate charging in a RC-circuit.

          • FC

            Ok, I see what you mean.

          • ecatworld
          • Sanjeev

            Its discharging now. May settle at its previous value of 0.9V.

          • ecatworld

            Ok, I’ve got six nine volt batteries hooked together. Should I try a spark?

          • georgehants

            I’m going to stand away from my monitor.

          • GreenWin

            I could swear that mushroom icon next to Agaricus’ post winked at me.

          • Rob King

            Try with 1 first and see if it makes any difference. If it does, then repeat a few times. Then try 2 and see if the difference is greater. Repeat a few more times. Measure the voltage and put this in the spreadsheet after each attempt.

          • ecatworld

            Ok. Good plan Rob.

          • Sanjeev

            Video please if possible.

          • ecatworld

            Made the connection at 10:48 with one battery. No spark seen

          • Sanjeev

            It will be good to have 1M in series, else the cap will charge up and drain the batteries.

          • We only need momentary contact for a spark, but the capacitor may prevent sparking at any reasonable voltage, at least until it’s fully charged.

          • ecatworld

            No spark with 4, going for 5 now

          • Ged

            At this rate we’ll need a car battery.

          • A string of them.

            It may be necessary to fully charge the cap with one battery and possibly a small resistor first, or it will tend to prevent arcing by absorbing momentary currents.

          • Sanjeev

            Got a good one there.

          • Ged

            A bit of mad science going down by the sounds of it!

          • Sanjeev

            Steorn made us all mad.
            With 6 batteries, there is a upward reading finally.

          • SG

            Let’s hold steady at 6 for now. In other words, try it a few iterative times at this level.

            Good morning all (from west coast USA)!

          • Ged

            Wow, it is actually working, and the Orbo hasn’t been launched into orbit yet. Too bad though, Frank could have made his claim to fame being the first to do so.

          • Sanjeev

            No it fell. Sorry I spoke too soon.

          • Ged

            Well, this is making for a great drama, something we’ve all missed since ER went off the air.

          • Sanjeev

            I see. Did more number dances, and I now think its better with no R, like you said.
            The supercap will have some internal resistance (100 ohm may be), so it will not be a disaster.

          • Yes, when it’s fully charged its reactance will be at a maximum, and also it won’t be able to absorb more current. It may be that that finally allowed a spark, rather than the hefty DC voltage.

            If no change, there doesn’t seem to be much to lose by repeating the sparking repeatedly, in case movement of the (assumed) electrostatically polarised molecules in the wax is slow. Warming the whole thing (but not melting the wax!) might mitigate this.

          • I think you’ll need at least 4 or 5 with no resistor (you need the current) to get a spark. The capacitor will absorb most of the momentary energy, and you may need more. Even with a ‘brushing’ momentary contact there is a chance that the wire or probe may stick to the terminal, so be ready to break the circuit some other way.

          • ecatworld

            Going for 4 now

          • Ged

            Be safe, Frank!

          • I’m decorating, so I can do you one of the paint drying if you like…

          • Sanjeev

            Now that will be more interesting than this dead Ocube thing !

          • dak

            If the circuit diagram in the spreadsheet is correct, why is not the voltage across U1-U2 18V as this measures across the batteries?

          • Andreas Moraitis

            As far as I understood it, Frank removes the source before he measures the voltage at U1-U2. But it would certainly be interesting to know the voltage and current when the batteries are connected.

          • Anon2012_2014

            “But it would certainly be interesting to know the voltage and current when the batteries are connected.” Agreed, but I am paranoid we are destroying some electronics or the orbopack with 35 volts in.

            I would always put a current limiter to about 1, maybe 10 mA max, and I would make sure the observed voltage never goes above the 5V design voltage of the device plus the normal 20% or so overage.

            My recollection of 9V alkaline batteries is that they have internal resistance so that shorting them out would only make the smallest of sparks. Some stuff on the net says it is 1 to 2 ohms per battery, so putting them in series is like 2x, 3x, or 5x. Still, for some electronics, their 18V or worse 27V or 36V total current is enough to fry the component. That would indicate the max current it could supply is around 4.5 to 9 amps. This is small so not much of a spark, but we could at least now measure it if the multimeter has a 10 amp scale.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            What I actually meant were the data for the setup with the two batteries and the resistor in series. I agree fully with regard to the β€œKamikaze” method. However, if it’s already too late we will anyway not be able to resuscitate the broken parts.

            About the question if sparks from the batteries are possible – that could be tested by shorting them for a brief moment. But I could go without it.

          • FC

            Regarding your previous comment, I think that Frank doesn’t remove the source to make the readings at U1-U2, unless he tells us otherwise.

            What happens is that the voltage across the batteries is always around 18V (both in open and closed circuit conditions). On the other hand, the voltage across the batteries and the 1M resistor in open circuit conditions is around 18V, but in closed circuit conditions, it is whatever U1-U2 is reading (e.g. 1.3467V at 17:24 today).

            The difference in voltage between the open and closed circuit conditions is the voltage drop across the resistor when we close the circuit, which is when current starts flowing and the resistor starts to do work dissipating energy in the form of heat.

            So in response to dak’s question “why is not the voltage across U1-U2 18V as this measures across the batteries?”, I think the correct answer would be: because there is a resistor in between. Therefore, the voltage just upstream of the resistor has to match the voltage of the batteries (i.e. 18V) and the voltage just downstream of the resistor has to match the voltage of U1-U2.

            I hope that makes sense.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            So maybe I misunderstood Frank. Obviously, one would expect a lower voltage also with the connected circuit. Anyway, it might be helpful to know as well the current in this case.

          • FC

            That, I believe, can be calculated as V/R (V being the voltage drop across the resistor and R = 1M Ohm).

          • Frank Acland

            I repeated the same test at 11:57. Video above.

          • Sanjeev

            Looks strange to me. Did the reading remain same even after the discharge through LED?

          • Sanjeev

            Its your monkey Frank πŸ˜€
            Do as you please.

          • Ged

            Asymptote! I shake my fist at your mathematical wall like nature!

            But seriously… Hopefully a jump start can fix this. Interesting it seemingly has a max build up potential, but far lower than expected.

          • Sanjeev

            He is zapping the monkey now. Lets Hope πŸ™‚

          • Anon2012_2014

            I vote let it charge up to 5V and then discharge it with a resistor under recorded conditions, and then do it again about 5 times. We will quickly see if it makes more energy than the batteries or a conventional energy harvester. If it doesn’t work, we can have a new orbopack sent to Frank, without the USB connection, batteries, or capacitor, and then we can create a controlled experiment under Shaun’s specifications.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      That could be underpinned by trying a quick loading sequence with a 100 Ohm resistor at <= 5V, for example. Or with a 1kOhm resistor to facilitate manual data recording.

      • DNI

        If we want to make a safer experiment Frank can change R to 100 kohm. And measure the charge rate during one hour. If 5F and no internal charging the charge rate will rice to approximately 2 mV/min or 0,12 V/h.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Yes, the higher the resistance and the lower the voltage, the safer. But it would take many hours again.

          • DNI

            I think one hour is enough. Frank can measure the expected rise in voltage of 0,12V.

          • Zephir

            /* In fact there are a bunch of them in parallel to allow a strong current draw */

            This is also rather naive and risky design. The voltage controller behaves like the voltage stabilizer and when you connect many them in parallel, you should be perfectly sure, that all voltages perfectly match, otherwise the controllers will fight each other for stabilization under formation of parasitic oscillations and similar unwanted effects. And because they’re quite hard voltage sources, the balancing currents may get quite high across parallel circuit, despite their output voltages are similar. Which would mean high evolution of heat at circuits, which may become fatal, especially when all circuits are potted into resin.

          • ecatworld

            I just put on a 100k Ohm resistor in place of the 1M Ohm. I’ll measure in one hour

          • DNI

            That will be very exciting. I anticipate a rise in voltage of 0,12 V/h. If the capacitance is 5 F and no internal energy is produced or used.

          • artefact

            THE TEST OF 350 DAYS IS FINISHED

            “Andrea Rossi February 18, 2016 at 4:31 AM
            Gerard Mc Ek:
            The charge size has beene refined with the experience in thousands of experiments and, obviously, also on the base of theoretical considerations.
            Yes, the test of 350 days is finished, yesterday the ERV has completed his tests.
            Now it will take about a month to know the results from his report.
            No more information about the 1 MW E-Cat that made the tests from now until the publication of the results will be allowed.
            Warm Regards,
            A.R.”

          • DrD

            Wow —-

          • georgehants

            Hallelujah, a solid timetable, Now will I be able to use that bottle of Champagne that has become vintage waiting for a conformation of the Rossi Effect.
            New page please Admin, for us to savour the run-up to what must be the most momentous scientific announcement since, well a few candidates.
            No games from Mr. Rossi Please.
            .

          • DrD

            Amen but Alas, not for another month.
            Curious though, why was the estimate given to Frank (allowing for down time) so pessimistic (40 days left yet). A very minor issue all the same, better early than late.

          • georgehants

            DrD, well strangely if we take Admins estimate as that for the promised announcement it should be almost to the day.

          • DrD

            Is that an old estimate George? The latest shown at the top right is 40 days 12 hours 21 mins to go according to his clock.

          • georgehants

            DrD, no sorry I am just thinking that Admins estimate, allowing a 31 day month before the announcement is pretty close.
            Just hope that “the announcement” is forthcoming anytime around then, it has been a long wait.
            Also hope that Mr. Rossi (IH) rethink their positions and at the same time release the basic method of replication, allowing the World to start in earnest to Research and practically use the technology (if shown to be genuine)

          • Bob Greenyer

            I guess that once the data has been analysed (which should take a day – unless they want to include ash analysis) they have to all agree on what will or will not be made public.

          • georgehants

            Bob, agreed, but I think both of us have no time for profit beyond a fair reward for everybody that has added to the knowledge.
            All job loses in a sane World would be celebrated as without capitalism they are just a befit for all of technology.
            Just my usual Utopian musings being aired.

          • Bob Greenyer

            Agreed. The answer needs to come, whatever it may be and loud and clear – as the military industrial complex and the banker benefitting/run governments of the world are gearing up for both war and a cashless society (so that they can install negative interest rates to pay their ways).

            EU CB voted to stop printing E500 last week (nearly half of all EU cash) and there drums are beating for the $100 bill to be banned ($1t of something like $1.3t of dollar cash in circulation). This was all agreed at DAVOS, and is being justified by a former top bankers report – an individual I personally worked with for best part of a decade.

          • georgehants

            I don’t know what to say, you are so correct, anything to keep the bankrupt crazy system going.
            We can only hope that in time a better system is introduced.
            .

          • Ged

            It’s pretty frightening. What will people pay with if the power goes out or the government goes crazy? Also makes the whole system wide open to virtual attack, as all money would no longer physically exist, but just be numbers in a computer. What are these people thinking?

          • Bob Greenyer

            Watch the nutters line up:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/comment/11602399/Ban-cash-end-boom-and-bust.html

            Gordon Brown accepted advice that led to the world-wide banking bail out from the same man that wrote the ‘thin end of the wedge’ on banning cash.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adEwEhxX5AQ

            It has already started in Italy and Spain.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2015/05/28/farewell-to-cash/#1317f0907927

            The problem (For Banks) was being discussed last year

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-10/citi-economist-says-it-might-be-time-to-abolish-cash

            and been gaining momentum…

            https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/109727

          • The manipulation depends on guiding the efforts of both useful idiots and the corruptible. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell them apart.

          • EEStorFanFibb

            There are plenty of good reasons for getting rid of cash. I’m sure there are a bunch of BS/bad reasons too but what about these:

            http://www.businessinsider.com/why-cash-is-bad-2014-2

          • Its a pity a few more people can’t see what is going on behind the usual bread and circuses entertainment. If even 25% of the total populace shared this awareness of where we are being taken, the puppet politicians wouldn’t feel quite so free to carry out their string-pullers’ orders.

          • Bob Greenyer

            So… let’s hope at the end of the analysis – all parties agree for all or key test data to be shared…

          • ecatworld

            Thanks very much artefact! I’ve updated the “Long” post. That will be my last update, thank goodness!

          • Bob Greenyer

            haha – was getting a bit long winded – but it a good summary of events.

          • DrD

            Goodmorning Frank,
            Will your clock be adjusted to show time to release of report?

    • Sanjeev

      Good job ! Thanks.
      I’m using this online tool to play with the numbers.
      http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=0.3872&vto=0.9011&vs=17&c=5&r=1M
      It shows that it should take about 43 hours to reach the latest recorded value of voltage. However the data shows that it did that in about 31 hours. Not very encouraging but there is a discrepancy.

      If I recall correctly the voltage was 17V, but even with 18V, it should take 41 hours. 10 hours of difference. Anyway, I agree that the charge rate is more or less same as charging a 5F cap.

      • DNI

        Thanks for the link.

        It would be strange if the voltage over both batteries were only 17V. Normally new 9V batteries have around 9,5V. If the voltage drops to 8,5 V without load I would say that they are almost drained.

        • FC

          17V was the reading before connecting them to the ocube, mind you.

          • DNI

            I guess that was with the 1 Mohm resistor in series. Then Vb (the voltage from the batteries is 18,7) with an imnpedance of the voltmeter of 10 Mohms. That sounds resonable.

          • Sanjeev

            Now you need to consider that 10M for other readings as well. How does it look with such corrections?

          • FC

            Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until now.

            Actually, 17V was without the resistor. With the resistor, each meter gave a different reading (from 0 to 8V, if I remember correctly).

          • ecatworld

            A replacement meter, courtesy of SG (thank you!), should be here today.

          • FC

            Great. πŸ™‚
            Thanks SG.

        • Sanjeev

          Voltage is not an issue, it should take 24V to match the behavior.
          The real issue is the signal is not strong enough, its well within error margins. Its difficult to trust that meter. For example if its reading was 0.1V more than the real value then its totally possible to explain it as 5F charging. However, then we must reduce the initial voltage by 0.1 V and the discrepancy returns.
          Another issue is that the charging current is almost equal to the leakage current of the cap. The leakage is mostly a few uA for supercapacitors (google), which is comparable to the max current that the online tool shows. So one can say that its discharging via leakage as fast as its recharging. That leaves an unaccountable energy source.
          Yes, more clear signal is needed.

  • ecatworld

    I have a total of eight 9V batteries at my disposal

  • Anon2012_2014

    1) I believe that Frank measures the voltage U1-U2 when the 1,2,3, or 4 9V batteries in series are disconnected. True?

    2) When the 100K resistor was in the circuit, it charged maybe 20% faster than would be expected by pure charging of a 5F capacitor, i.e. V = Q/C = t*I/C

    3) If there is no internal resistance between the 5F capacitor and U1-U2, I would have expected both a spark and much faster charging of the capacitor. Something doesn’t fit the model of a capacitor in parallel with orbopack across U1-U2.

    4) The capacitor, and for that matter probably the orbopack, have a maximum rated voltage before they will internally damage themselves, by shorting in the case of the capacitor. Charging without a resistor could exceed the voltage or current capacity of the components. I prefer the resistor and I think the 100K resistor test was doing great. We were gaining about 0.1 volt per hour and it would only take from now 39 hours to get to the rated 5 volt output voltage of a fully charge orbopack as shown in Shaun’s video.

    5) I would expect that as the voltage increases the electret media repolarizes to make charging more efficient under the electret energy production/harvester model.

    Good work and I would suggest a bit of patience.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Also, if possible if we could have a small resistor (2 ohms for 18V), we could limit the current in the circuit to under 10 amps and measure the current with a meter instead of a spark. Admittedly the time constant is low, about 10 seconds for 5F, but should be enough Frank can get a momentary reading if the capacitor in parallel model of the circuit is correct.

  • OM

    Guys, any voltage above 5-6 volts and with high current will kill the device.
    Do NOT do it. The 5F capacitor itself may have a fairly high resistance (tens of Ohms)
    It will NOT protect the rest of the circuit.
    The voltage and the current, that can shake the electret at the same time kills everything else.

    It is better to disassemble the device.

    • SG

      I agree that we are risking the device and would have preferred to take Anon’s approach and sit it out a week. But I think attempting a dismantle of the device is also premature. Looks like we have gone down the path though of trying Shaun’s spike / spark suggestion. Much has been tried while I was away. If you snooze, you lose.

      • The supercap and the voltage regulator ICs are not important. We just need to avoid damage to the orbo components, The reactance of the capacitor should be very high once it is charged fully.

        • OM

          Voltage regulator ICs, when die, simply shorts all the other permanently.

          • DrD

            Not true if it’s a short pulse

          • OM

            If it is a short pulse, it does not reach the electret.

          • DrD

            YES that’s correct, the 5F alone will damp it almost completely.
            But that is exactly what Shaun suggested (sparking it with high voltage).
            Even if it didn’t damp it there is NO risk at 5V (100V might be a risk).
            Modern ic’s, (inc low voltage ones) are increasingly being guaranteed (and tested) to typically 400V machine model, 1000V human body model on all terminals. Some are more, some are less and some don’t yet specify. We don’t know which ones Steorn use but it’s inconceivable that they won’t survive much more than 5V for a short pulse (spark).

          • OM

            ESD protection of ICs can suppress the pulses of very high voltage but from a source with a VERY high impedance.

            This is not the case.

          • OM

            NO risk at 5V. This is correct.

      • OM

        Then, no more than 5v and 1000-2000 uF capacitor.
        Sparks will be visible. πŸ™‚

        • SG

          Frank, any chance you have such a capacitor handy? Would be easy to charge it up and discharge with an expected spark, but without running with the high voltage of multiple chained batteries. Could pick one up at an electronics surplus store, if you happen to have one of those nearby.

          • ecatworld

            No I don’t have anything here, and I doubt I could find my immediate vicinity — aka the middle of nowhere!

          • ecatworld

            Anyway I have to head out for a couple of hours and leave the Orbo at home.

            What should I do — let it sit and see if the orbo pack reaches an equilibrium after all we have put it through lately?

          • If possible I would suggest putting the 18V bias cct back on while you’re out, noting volts then seeing if there is any sign of improved charging rate when you get back.

          • SG

            Second this. I’m curious to see the rate of increase, if any, after these battery of tests. πŸ™‚

          • ecatworld

            Ok no problem I can do that.

        • DrD

          its 5F! 2000uF is irrelevant. also 5V is nothing to worry about, even if you could force the 5F above 5V.

          • OM

            5F supercap has larger impedance than 2000uf electrolitic capacitor.
            So, for the short time, full voltage will be on electret and DC-DC converter.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      As soon as the voltage at U1-U2 exceeds 1.6V, it might be informative to test the USB jack. That would tell us at least if the circuits have survived. (I’m not so optimistic with regard to this, but we will see…)

  • OM

    It is necessary to disconnect the electret from the rest of circuit.
    Otherwise we will not be able to sue him high voltage.
    Other components of the circuit will not allow this.

    • Dissecting the unit definitely is a last resort. I would like to see it going to HUG when we’re done, as intact as possible.

      • OM

        Good. Then let, we will burn it and then cut it into parts.
        It will be better this way?

    • Esko Lyytinen

      I agree to this last conclusion.
      IF the voltage of say 5 V across the electret MAY correct it, I can not see any alternative (If not being able to disconnect) than to load up to this voltage either very slowly (possibly even by itself) of more quickly, say with the 100 k Ohm resistor.
      ( Maybe the electret (and also resulted the assumed lost contact) suffered in the trans-Atlantic flight of the low outside atmospheric pressure.)

      • OM

        I think that Shaun meant a much higher voltage value, when he said “huge spike of voltage is going to feck the domains around”.

        Unfortunately…

  • ecatworld

    Some more comments from Shaun McCarthy posted above:

  • ecatworld
  • Marcus W

    An idea to charge it again with 18V /100K Ohm circuit? That worked alright before the sparking.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Gained 0.0342V in 69 minutes @ 5F = 0.171 Coulombs = 41 uA using 18V of battery and 1M resistor which should supply 18 uA; thus charging about 2.2x faster than can be explained by batteries assuming all above information is correct. Maybe orbopacks are picking up steam. Gaining 0.03 V/hr so (5-1.34)/0.03 = 122 hours to rated 5 volts; i.e. 5 days.

    Once at 5V I’d like to see how unit recovers doing a duplicate of the Shaun test where we load the machine (with a big resistor) to take about 3 to 5 watts out, i.e. a 5 ohm resistor 10 watt power resistor. We can plot the discharge curve. Assuming it behaves like the single orbopack, we should get a nice discharge data set, and then we can observe recovery time which hopefully will be accelerated if the polarization of the diaelectric theory/model is correct.

    • SG

      This 17:24 / 1.3467 data point is interesting relative to the prior reading given that it is the highest rate in quite some time with only the reference / bias voltage in place. Are we observing an acceleration in the rate?

      I like the 5F baseline (at the present moment) because it gives us something to work with, but I think it is more likely than not that the unit as a whole has much more than 5F. We cannot otherwise explain either Frank’s initial experience on unpacking the unit or Shaun’s video.

      • Ged

        Perhaps Frank did spark some sense into it.

      • ecatworld

        I’m afraid the next reading will be a few hours away. I had to be out this evening and left it cooking at home.

        • Anon2012_2014

          I’m afraid [Frank takes a well deserved break] a few hours away.

          Frank — no problem. We can’t afford to pay you anyway. Good work so far in the lab.

  • Anon2012_2014

    See this patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US8611067

    I don’t know if it works or not, but perhaps Orbo is a related (sister) technology.

    I believe if it works it is doing a more efficient job of harvesting energy from the VLF magnetic field fluctuations (who’s magnetism would move electrets through the aluminum case), or perhaps it is a type of efficient Seebeck device. For that, it would need a cold side though. I don’t think a Maxwell’s demon device that violates the 2nd law of Thermodynamics is likely, but if it works and is widely available, we will have to come with a model for the physics later.

    Frank, I’m watching…

  • FC

    Frank,

    In my humblest opinion ever, I think that Steorn are making a fatal mistake by placing the 1M Ohm resistor between the two batteries, instead of placing it between the batteries and the Orbo pack + capacitor, like our present circuit.

    The reason is because the battery downstream of the resistor (the one higher up in the attached diagram) has to match the voltage of the Orbo pack + capacitor (i.e. from 2.9 to 5V under normal operating conditions). But since it is a 9V battery, it would have to start from a negative voltage to finish at 2.9 to 5V, which is not the case.

    This is putting that “unprotected” battery under severe stress, having to act more like a resistor than like a battery, which may be the reason why it failed in your OCube and opened the circuit as shown in OM’s diagram (the one you sent to Shaun).

    • FC

      To avoid confusions, it is the +side of the battery higher up (not the battery itself) that has to match the voltage of the Orbo pack + capacitor.

    • DNI

      In my humble opinion I’m definitely sure you are wrong πŸ™‚ It doesn’t matter if R1 is placed between or after the batteries. If we consider U2 as ground the potentials when we traverse clockwise will be L2 +9 V, L1 -4V, U1 +5. If we see the Orbo as a 5V battery. And if I understand you correct you think that it is a problem for the second battery to be connected between -4 and +5V. But this is not true. The battery doesn’t care where we decided to put the ground point.

      • FC

        Yes. You are absolutely right, DNI.

        I made the wrong assumption that the lowest voltage in this circuit is at the bottom horizontal line, and that it can’t be penetrated. When in fact the lowest voltage point is L1.

        I realized after making the comment, but by then it was too late. (I couldn’t delete it because I post as a guest).

        Thank you for your continuos corrections. My rusty notions of electronics are slowly coming back to me. πŸ™‚

        • DNI

          No problem. Nice that everyone contribute with their knowledge and that we all learn from each other.

  • Anon2012_2014

    Rate of charge slowing down again between 17:24 and 22.41 — merde!

    Then Frank sparks it with 27V at 1 meg for 7 minutes and it starts charging again at 0.013V/hr — back to the old slow rate.

    Maybe should run with the 100K resistor instead to get it to charge in 2 days instead of two weeks. I don’t understand the variation unless the external energy the unit is capturing (harvesting) is higher, maybe due to a solar flare?

    • Andreas Moraitis

      The charging rate is anyway no longer a reliable parameter (if it has ever been reliable), since the supercap might have lost capacitance due to the over-voltage.

    • SG

      It slowed way down during that time period. Why? And why such a marked increase in rate during the time period immediately prior? I’m starting to think it might be, well, fecked up. Somewhat disappointing. Any word from Shaun on expected shipment of the second unit?

      While we may not be the most important early customer / tester group to Steorn, there is something to say about our collaborative group effort, fairness in the way we approach the testing, engineering expertise, and willingness to lay our findings open for public inspection: we will confirm the effect if it is there. Not sure Steorn would get that from any other group in quite the same way.

      I welcome and encourage them to send us the promised second unit as expeditiously as possible.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        And then, before anything is done, a solid experimental
        protocol should be set up.

        • DrD

          Goodmorning guys.
          I think these are your latest comments?
          Rather dampened my excitement.
          I think there’s one very important possibility here that you touched on. Namely:
          “charging rate is anyway no longer a reliable parameter”.
          This is a very real possibility. Shaun said that the cells themselves contain a lot of capacitance. I don’t think any of us really understand the nature of this. It is possible that this capacitance only appears when the cell is functioning. If so, (AND its a A BIG “IF”) then effective cpacaitance will increase and the observed voltage rise rate will decrease as they begin to recover!
          So, you are correct, this is not a valid method.
          The only valid test that I can think of is to measure the discharge current (or rate) from the 5V USB.
          Good nights work!

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Yes. Voltage and current should best be monitored continuously, so that the data can later be integrated. The people from HUG could do that easily, providing a live stream at the same time. Nothing against Frank, but he has simply not the ideal equipment. I am sure that there would still be enough stuff for discussions here on ECW.

          • FC

            Wow, that’s a great hypothesis, that the capacitance of the cells is coming into play. And a very positive prospect indeed. Too bad that the self-charging ability of the cells doesn’t seem to have awakened together with it.

          • DrD

            Well it’s still posssible they have re-awakened if the cells capacitance is increasing becuse it means C is increasing rather than V. It’s only a theory though.
            It would be a shame to pass it on until Frank is certain it can’t be recovered and I don’t think we are there yet.
            All good stuff though.

  • DrD

    Goodmorning all.
    I woke with anticipation again.
    Is any one there?
    I’m sorry I can’t access the spreadsheet or I would be checking it out.
    Speed reading through the history I can see you had an active night.
    Congratulations:
    You zapped it with high voltage I think? and you also bypassed the 1MEG? Excellent.
    I had my doubts you would risk that but I was sure it would be safe and necessay as the 1Meg will slow any pulse considerably. Has everything survived?
    Also, the 5F is a problem as it will dampen any voltage pulsle, bypassing the cell(s) but I see you discussed this too.
    The internal charging is increased?

    • Basically the spreadsheet shows little variation from the 1.29x – 1.3x V achieved during the course of zapping the core, regardless of what external voltage is applied, or even if this is removed. In the movies this would be accompanied by a high pitched whining noise and an image of a flat oscilloscope trace.

      • DrD

        Haha, so the patient passed away. Thanks for that information, sorry I can’t read it myself.
        Well not necessarily dead yet.
        I’m grasping at straws a little bit but note my comment below regarding the cell capacitance.
        I repaste part of it here:
        ” It is possible that this capacitance only appears when the cell is
        functioning. If so, (AND its a A BIG “IF”) then the effective
        cpacaitance will increase and the observed voltage rise rate will appear
        to decrease as they begin to recover!
        So, you are correct, this is not a valid method.”
        Maybe Frank could ask Shaun.

        • If you can suggest a test protocol I’m sure Frank will oblige if it is in his means and ability to do so.

          IMHO though, unless the performance of the orbos can be increased, the observed barely detectable rates of ‘charging’ can be put down to all sorts of possibilities, including changes in the supercap spec. during zapping. Shaun’s latest comments don’t sound too hopeful either.

          I think our best bet may now be to just wait for the replacement unit, as Frank doesn’t have the equipment necessary to investigate much further. As far as the corpse is concerned, perhaps it may be best to call it a day and with Shaun’s permission, forward this to HUGnet, for further examination, including removal of the supercap or its connections, assuming they are willing to do this.

          • DrD

            I think Frank already planned to evaluate the USB output but didn’t want to do it till near the end so as to not undo all the charging.
            That would be the acid test.
            Yes Shaun’s last comments are not encouraging.
            However, I also think he has underestimated the effect that the 5F will have on the “huge spike”. I wouldn’t mind betting that an oscilloscope would show that the highest voltage spike has been damped to little more than a “tickle”.

          • It would take a very long time to get to the input threshhold value of 3.2V of the USB PCB – even the 1.6V required by the regulator ICs could be a struggle.

            I’ve copied below the last few entries on the spreadsheet so you can see for yourself: (time; voltage; comment, if any)

            16:15 – 1.3125 – 16:14 Put the circuit with two 9V batteries and the 1 M Ohm resistor back on the U1-U2 circuit.

            17:24 – 1.3467

            22:41 – 1.3489 – 22:44 Removed the circuit from the ocube

            23:06 – 1.348 – 1 23:07 Put the circuit with three 9V batteries and the 1 M Ohm resistor on the U1-U2 circuit.

            23:13 – 1.3497 – 23:14 Put the circuit with two 9V batteries and the 1 M Ohm resistor on the U1-U2 circuit.

            23:23 – 1.3514

            23:33 – 1.3518

          • DrD

            Yes, you make a good point there. I agree.
            I still think there’s hope though.
            Like even lower bias resistor.
            even higher zapping voltage without the 1MEG

          • DrD

            And it’s a shame we can’t castrate the 5F LOL

          • If we knew how many volts the orbos could withstand, we could apply 80-90% of that for a while and hope to blow the supercap. A dremel and burr might be safer though, working from the battery end.

          • Alan Smith

            Poor Steornites are now losing heart:

            My O-cube is falling apart

            Seems the products I sell

            Are starting to smell

            But resurrection is part of my art.

          • Curbina

            Alan, don’t be so cruel. LOL.

          • Jimmy H

            Bottom line – PLEASE – it doesn’t work!!!!!

          • Ged

            Seems to be starting to work now though, oddly.

          • rich

            brilliant! Couldn’t resist a reply:

            says Sheorn: the domains, are all fecked
            by shorting, all the magic’s escaped
            eighteen extra volts
            provides bigger jolts
            because the output’s been upgraded

          • My last comment has disappeared for some reason. Nothing much of note, anyway.

          • DrD

            Yes, it’s funny, I get the email long before the post appears. In fact I have your missing comment here. Not to worry.

        • Frank Acland

          It seems to have revived somewhat. At 22:33 it was reading 1.3518 and at 5:48 today it was 1.4072

  • georgehants

    Morning, thanks again for the recent good updates, saves having to read through what has become a very active thread.
    Lets hope the new unit is a little easier to measure so that the conversation can be more optimistic and able to argue against those that will be maintaining that it has a hidden mouse driving a wheel inside. (always possible I suppose)
    The problem will be how long it has to run to be able to reasonable discount all such possibilities.

    • Morning George. Looks like our mouse has died. RIP.

      • georgehants

        Peter, ha, but regarding the Orbo, the King is Dead Long Live the King.

      • I eat my words – it’s reviving! 2.96V so far.

        • georgehants

          Peter, lets hope it is not a Vampire risen from the corpse, he.

    • DNI

      A non rechargeable lithium battery has an energy density of 1,8 MJ/kg. If the OCube weight 1 kg then we have 1,8 MJ which is about the same as 500 Wh. If we can drain the OCube with 0,4 W constantly the test would have to last for at least 50 days to definitely rule out a big Lithium battery.

      Of course not all of the weight can be Lithium batteries so in reality it should do with less days. But 50 days would convince me. If there isn’t some more energy dense sources that could be used. I’m not sure of fuel cells.

  • DNI

    I have a question about shorting the Orbo cells. I’m sure it’s been discussed before. But I canΒ΄t find it.

    If I understand Shaun above the cells gets destroyed if shorted. But in film Shaun has shown that after shorting the cells they immediately regain their voltage. What am I missing?

    • It’s conceivable that having the supercap across the orbo cells is preventing recovery by absorbing any voltage generated by the orbos. If a reasonable potential is required for ‘repolarisation’, maybe disconnecting it would allow regeneration. Either that, or the orbos are ‘fecked’.

    • FC

      Good point.
      It’s been bugging me for a while too.

      • DrD

        Note the voltage across the Cell(s) is constant at approx 3V currently.
        The three recent cases all have the same 3V across the cell but the current through the cell(s) differs significantly as follows:
        1) 18V with 1Meg gives current = (18-3)/1000000 = 15mA
        2) 36V with 1Meg gives current = (18-3)/1000000 = 36mA
        3) 18V with 100k gave current = (18-3)/100000 = 150mA

        • DrD

          50k won’t work!
          It represents 1Watt into the orbo which is excessive and I doubt the batteries can cope.

    • Zephir

      The electret needs to be polarized for being able to generate power. The electret microphone also works only until its internal capacitor remains charged. Which is why these microphones contain built-in voltage follower (MOSFET), which enables to drain some output power from it. Because as you may imagine – once we would attach the microphone to some amplifier without MOSFET, we would effectively short it too.

      • DNI

        But Shaun didn’t have any polarization in the video. Just a handmade Orbocell that immediately after shorting for 30 minutes regained its voltage. Shaun even made it a big deal that this is a thing that makes it differ from an ordinary cap or battery.

        4:30 https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryisdead/videos/10153398806872672/

        • Zephir

          But you cannot know, how he prepared his electret sample. I presume, they’re made by cooling (crystallization) of wax (with carbon dust) under external voltage. Of course, Steorn will not you show this at the video.

          • DNI

            It seem like we talk about different things. In the video Shaun short an orbocell for 30 minutes and then shows that it delivers full voltage immediately after the short gets disconnected. But now he say that the orbocells in Franks Ocube got destroyed because of shorting. I don’t get it.

          • Zephir

            At which time of video this 30-minutes shorting was mentioned or documented, please? Anyway, the brief shorting may not destroy the electret immediately / completely.

          • Zephir

            Shorting with burned transistor circuit, which behaves like low resistance shunt, once the USB port gets loaded. Now this circuit is not loaded and it represents nearly infinite resistance instead.

        • Zephir

          But you cannot know, how he prepared his electret sample. I presume,
          they’re made by cooling (crystallization) of wax (with carbon dust)
          under external voltage. Of course, Steorn will not you show this at the
          video.

    • Dave Lawton

      An Electret is a analogue of a permanent magnet with a keeper across its poles, the
      same with an electret it is kept with a short or a load across its terminals.

  • Rob King

    Frank, can you re-connect the 100K resistor and start pushing the voltage towards the 5V.
    I think we need to accelerate the charging process to get the voltage up to the normal operating point again to see if the domains re-align and it starts charging rapidly.

    As mentioned below, I do not see why shorting the cell should cause an issue as Shaun showed us a sealed bag in the lab with a test cell that was constantly being shorted and it re-charged itself. I will ask this to Shaun later on.

    • DrD

      Was he shorting the cell or the USB output? I remember one where he did the latter. Don’t remember the former.

  • Frank Acland
    • FC

      Morning Frank.
      That’s 8.86 mV/h, if I’m not mistaken.

      • Frank Acland

        As you can see after coming home last night there had been barely any increase over a period of about 5 hours. So in an effort to stimulate it a bit, I took the circuit off for a while (for some reason that seems to have a boosting effect). Then for 5 minutes I put an extra battery on the circuit to give it a little more voltage, Then I put it back on the regular circuit and left it overnight.

        • FC

          Yes, I saw that live, as it was happening.
          πŸ™‚

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Frank, just to clarify one detail (there was a discussion about that point below): Do you always remove the circuit before you measure the voltage at U1-U2?

      • Frank Acland

        No, when the circuit is attached I keep it attached when taking readings.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          So FC was right with his hypothesis.

  • Frank Acland

    Something just happened — check the SS

    • Ged

      Never a dull moment around here!

      • FC

        Wow, what was that? Resuscitation?

        • Frank Acland

          Strange that it happened when the reference voltage was removed.

          • Ged

            Perhaps a pulsed voltage is more effective at aligning the core, or it finally hit a tipping point in internal voltage and one or more cores self aligned suddenly.

            As always, thanks for your fastidious work, Frank!

          • FC

            I subscribe that.

    • Frank Acland

      Reading is same from both meters. Including new the one that arrived yesterday (thanks SG)

      • 2.9 volts – that’s impressive by recent standards. It’s even past the input threshold for the voltage regulators, and close to the USB PCB board requirement. Slight decline on the most recent reading though.

        I wonder how we might amplify this odd ‘disconnection/reconnection effect’? Just keep repeating the cycle each time readings level off or fall?

        • 7:01 – down a bit more. Is the battery cct. still connected from 6:52 Frank?

          • Frank Acland

            Yes.

          • FC

            It may just be finding its new equilibrium point after a domino effect on the alignment of the domains.

          • The downward trend looks consistent unfortunately. It’ll be interesting to see what happens following the next disconnection of the battery circuit.

          • FC

            Actually, I would say it’s slowing down a bit. Let’s wait for the next reading.

          • Dieter_G

            Wow. that is really a suprise. A positive one this time.
            I really had given up the hope already, at least for this unit, but this is the first interesting fact since a while, clearly deviating from the “depleted alkaline batterie”-like behavior seen before.

          • FC

            Yes, excellent news.

            True. The ocube is not behaving like a battery or a capacitor. We can pretty much discount those two options, I think.

          • georgehants

            Morning, all seems a little confusing, Nice clear report somebody please.
            It seems the Phoenix has arisen in some way.

          • DrD

            Morning George.
            I’m sure we haven’t got there yet but there is hope.
            I hope I didn”t confuse.

          • georgehants

            DrD, good honest report, thank you.
            Where there is a will there is a way, ha

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Interestingly, 2.9 is the standard minimum voltage for the cells, see the Q&A above. So maybe the Orbo woke up for a moment but fell asleep again immediately.

          • FC

            I think it’s just bringing the 5F up to speed. Once it is, we may be surprised again.

          • Andreas Moraitis
          • FC

            Right. But that would be assuming that the capacitor is charged by the batteries, not the orbo pack. Let’s see how long it takes the orbo pack and the capacitor to find a common voltage now, without batteries.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Yes. Either

            1 – The Capacitor is defect, or
            2 – There is additional energy coming from somewhere, or
            3 – There is some other reason (to be discussed).

          • FC

            True, and we may never know what’s really happened and what’s happening right now.

            I would assume that when the orbo pack jumped to 2.9V, the capacitor remained at 1.4V. And also, that now the orbo pack is filled with energy that is spilling over to the capacitor. Hence, the decreasing voltage reading, which may stop dropping when the orbo pack and the capacitor find a common voltage.

          • DrD

            But I thought they were connected in parallel with nothing between them but wire resistance (less than an ohm)?

          • FC

            That’s very true. But we don’t know much about the orbo cells’ characteristics. So I’m making a guess.

          • DrD

            Right. If they’re connected with a wire it wouldn’t be an Ohm but using 1ohm would suggest 1.5A is flowing through it to give a 1.5V difference so I would say it’s very unlikely or else it’s not a wire connection.
            It’s very strange all the same.

      • Sanjeev

        Its clearly anomalous and is now off the charts.

        I wonder what happened after removing the batteries. It cannot be an accidental connection of batteries directly to the U1U2 without the R. It would take a long time to charge it via an accidental connection.

        Did the meter settings change? Can you please take a pic of the meter connected so we can cross check the settings or range etc.
        Anyway no hope for getting my office work done today also πŸ˜‰

        • Frank Acland

          Photos posted above, Sanjeev.

          • Sanjeev

            Thanks. Nothing unusual. They are in auto mode.

      • Rob King

        Wow!
        Jump to almost 3 volts is an amazing climb in voltage.
        What happened there? Looks like there is hope for it yet.
        After you removed the circuit at 6:17, did you measure the voltage or before?
        Do you think you may have knocked something?
        One possibility is removing the circuit caused the domains to align – even with the tiny amount of current.
        Another possibility is static electricity when you touched the clips to remove them – do you have a carpet in the same room?
        Or perhaps a change in temperature has re-connected a lose wire/solder joint.
        At around this voltage the charge controller will be active so it might explain the drop off again.
        It might be worth re-connecting the circuit again – because in a normal setup it would be connected.

        • Frank Acland

          I did nothing noticeably different. I was in a room that has carpet and was wearing just socks at the time.

          • Zephir

            Maybe you just polarized the electret with some accidental voltage spike of static electricity, which restored its normal function. Or your E-cat did it inadvertently.

          • Anon2012_2014

            This is too hard. Shaun should send us an orbopak with NO capacitor and NO USB power supply circuitry. Just the blue cigar tube thing in his video with some wires coming out. He can pot it in epoxy if he doesn’t want us to take it apart. He can ship it with a load resistor solder in to prevent overvoltage.

            He should then give us a circuit schematic, specifications, and instructions to create the effect on the unit, including maximum voltage, resistive load required during discharge, etc…

            Having to guess at the characteristics of the downstream circuitry is not practical for the 10 of us that are working collaboratively on this. We are guessing that the downstream circuitry has failed, but really don’t have the access to the circuitry to debug it because it is all potted in epoxy.

          • Frank Acland

            Just got some good news on that front, Anon.

          • georgehants

            Tell, Tell.

          • Don’t keep us in suspense, Frank…

          • Frank Acland

            I have been chatting with Shaun and it sounds like I could be getting some internal parts to test.

          • FC

            That’s awesome! πŸ™‚

          • georgehants

            Surely the only part worth having is a naked Orbo generator with no extra wiring or storage, that can be directly connected to a recorder.

          • Sanjeev

            What can be better than that. Cool.
            When are they sending it and is there any NDA etc involved here?

          • Frank Acland

            Not sure just yet, Sanjeev.

          • Zephir

            Actually only the powerpack (and its actual wiring) is what is interesting about the whole device.

  • Frank Acland

    Ok circuit off. Will check back in about 1/2 hour

  • DrD

    Been away, WORK! but this all sounds encouraging. If only I could read that SS.

    • FC

      I hope this gives you an idea. (See attachment).

      Maybe someone can send the whole chart. I dont have a computer.

      • DrD

        It’s ok, ill see it when I get home. Am just a bit impatient. Thanks a lot for trying though. the news sounds good.

      • Zephir

        Couldn’t this be an artifact of the switching scale at the cheap multimeter?

        • Ged

          Both multimeters and the new one provided by SC agree. Seems to not be a measuring error. I think Frank provided a pic too.

          Edit: yes, pic of new meter and portapow reading this new voltage now in main post above.

    • Frank Acland

      Here’s a screenshot, DrD

      • DrD

        Thanks Frank, I can’t see the screen shot for some reason though. Any way please forgive me. You have more important things to do. Not long now before I’m home.

        • FC

          Have you tried refreshing the page?

          • DrD

            yes but nothing then it just appeared. I always get the emails well in advnce.
            I see your post aswell now, quite amazing.
            What is happeing.
            Thanks again.

          • FC

            No worries, Doc. πŸ™‚

      • DrD

        Got it now.Thanks a lot. Dont knoiw whyit was so slow.

      • DrD

        Very interesting, as always.
        As you say, it’s as if it likes having the circuit removed occasionally.
        Gives me a crazy idea —- maybe it would like being pulsed (slowly).
        NO I’m not suggesting we try it.

      • DrD

        Frank, I can’t tell from the picture but does your new DVM have capacitance range?

        • Frank Acland

          I’m not sure — don’t have the manual on me. Can you tell from this:
          https://goo.gl/photos/8qzZdkfGUBnVqmUU7

          • Sanjeev

            There is cap measurement (left of Hz). But I think it needs a fully discharged and disconnected cap.

          • DrD

            You may be right, must admit I’ve never used my meter for that. The manual will answer it.

          • SG

            Correct. Also, we don’t know if measuring the capacitance of an Orbo cell “capacitor” is akin to measuring a capacitor as we know one to be.

          • Sanjeev

            And it can always be indirectly measured by discharging into a known resistor for a known time.
            We are yet to reach the discharge stage.

          • SG

            Yes, this will be the most definitive method. If we could just ever get to this point. πŸ™‚

          • DrD

            thats why i suggested it a few days ago because you will probably find that the C measured by storing charge is nothing like the ac capacitance but it doesn’t matter, forget it.

          • DrD

            Yes, I think there is. I expected a no. I’m a bit embarrassed now as it gives you the option to do some measurements. I’m not sure you would all want to go down that right now. Still, it’s an option youmight consider later. One thing I’m intrigued with is what capacitance the cells have and does it vary.

  • SG

    Well, never a dull day with the Orbo. Can we detect a pattern in the voltage jumps? Try as I might, I’ve yet to discern one. Sometimes it happens after a removal / reconnect of the bias voltage. Sometimes it happen upon removal only of the bias voltage. Most of the time, there is no significant jump. Does this thing have a mind of its own?

    • Ged

      Variables we are unaware of…

      • FC

        And after all the carefulness in testing it that you advocated, SG, the orbo pack has turned out to be remarkably sturdy, withstanding all sorts of mistreatment, wouldn’t you say? πŸ™‚

        • SG

          I’d say it is more perplexing than the sturdy. Looking forward to the stripped down parts from Steorn. Like Anon says, what we have now is simply too hard.

          • FC

            Me too, but I still think that there is much to learn from this unit.

    • Sanjeev

      Yes, the connect/disconnect cause some unusual behavior. Perhaps its effective only when there is a large time gap, like 12 hours or more.
      Frank is trying this with a time gap of 10-30 mins, and there is no significant change in the charge/discharge trends. We may see something similar tomorrow after leaving it alone for a night.

  • OM

    Frank, could you please measure the voltage on USB port with your new meter?

    • Frank Acland

      I’m afraid that could trigger a charge and we could be back to square one.

      • OM

        If you use the new high impedance meter, may be it does not happen.
        In the worst case, let’s see how it discharges.

        (BTW: something wrong with the link to “Week 1 thread”)

        • Frank Acland

          Ok I did it: 2.307V

          • OM

            Oh, nice.
            Thank you!

          • SG

            It seems to have survived. The cap must have really provided a damper.

          • OM

            Maybe I missed something, but it seems to me that 2.9V cutoff was only planned by Steorn. In fact we have about 0.7V cutoff.

          • SG

            Where do you get the 0.7V value from?

          • OM

            U1-U2 measurement at the beginning. 0.643V

          • SG

            I’m pretty certain that measurement was taken after the lid was off, not through the USB port.

          • OM

            Sure. 0.643V we saw on U1-U2 after the device was fully discharged through USB load.

            The DC-DC converter turns off when input voltage dropped below 0.643V. In shutdown mode it translate input voltage to the output.

          • SG

            I’ll have to look back, but I believe that Frank shorted out the system after taking the lid off, and then eventually took the 0.643 V reading. I don’t think we can assume that the device was fully discharged through the USB port.

            Edit: Yes, I’m confident that I’m correct on this one. Please look back at Ged’s document for a fairly good sequence of events (link in main posting above).

          • OM

            I can not say with certainty.

          • Ged

            The 0.6V was on U1 and U2 after a short was caused at those terminals when the makeshift circuit plugged into them was dislodged by probable cats. The USB was not involved, and this was not due to the back coming off.

            The Google doc has all your needs for historical timeline info ;)!

          • OM

            “Post at 12:15 a.m. Sat Feb 13:
            Upper terminal reading range 2.31 V – 2.44 V”

            You are right!

          • OM

            Thank you!

          • OM

            “Upper terminal reading range 2.31 V – 2.44 V”
            Yes. You are right!

          • Ged

            Don’t forget that handy Google doc history reference! Which… I have to update with the latest today when off work.

          • OM

            The USB circuit did not catched the fact of measurement.
            So, the DC-DC converter does not start and we see its input voltage.

          • SG

            Yes, that might explain it. Frank, did the little blue LED stay off when you took this measurement?

          • OM

            If he does start, we would see 5V.

          • Zephir

            Yes, this is IMO how this stuff is working.

      • Zephir

        I do perfecly understand your concerns.

        If I understand it well, due to break & burn in circuits we essentially have the Orbo powerpack detached from the rest of device by now. This could be even better than the fully working Orbo Cube: now we can simply apply the load to the OrboPack directly without any internal circuits (which may serve as a short circuit to OrboPack due to their damage) – so we could measure the current and voltage “cleanly” without any interference of internal circuits (both good, both damaged).

        What do you say about this proposal?

  • Frank Acland

    Some new Q&As with SM above.

    • SG

      I think Shaun provides a reasonable explanation for the presumed discrepancy between shorting a single Orbo “strip” in the video and a pack of Orbo cells. It had been bugging me as well for awhile. He also brings up a good point by alluding to Frank’s initial experience. We know that Frank was able to discharge between 0.75W and 1.5W continuously for about 2 hours after unpacking the Ocube, which corresponds to about 5400 and 10,800 J of energy.

      Now, we probably never recovered a full charge after that due to the likely faulty connection in the voltage bias circuit, but we were hovering at least around (probably slightly above) the 2.9 V level when the first short occurred. We know this because we were right at the inflection point of the USB voltage controller, which cuts off at 2.9 V. Let’s be conservative and use the 5400 J value above, and assume 5 V rather than 2.9 V (so we are being doubly conservative)–then we can calculate an aggregate capacitance of 432 F. (W=(1/2)(C)(V^2) and solve for C.)

      Then, we can conservatively determine an amount of charge that was stored at the time of shorting to be ~ 1252 coulombs (assuming 2.9 V). That is a large amount of current surging through the system in a short period of time. Yes, seems like it could realign some dipoles and do some other nasty things.

      • Sanjeev

        There is a picture in the Week-1 thread which shows a bluish transparent bulb of gel oozing out of the resin. My theory is that the orbo cells were fecked up after the potting. The cap was charged fully before the potting and passed QA.

        Second theory is that the LED lamp drew too much current and burnt one of the controller ICs (he said there are 4 in parallel to supply a high load). During this burn out some of the cells were toasted while shorted and finally causing open circuit. The ICs must be of low rating and that’s why they needed 4 of them (bad design actually) and one couldn’t handle it.

        We do see some tiny self charging and occasional strange behavior, which suggests that some of the cells must be ok there and can be recovered. The faulty ones are somehow interfering with the self charging. Only a theory…..

        • The odd behaviour definitely indicates variable interaction between components, some of which are probably damaged, and I don’t think its likely that we’ll get much data that can be reliably interpreted.

          I suppose all we can do (by ‘we’ I mean Frank of course) is keep doing random things in the hope that something changes. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be much to lose by dropping it in boiling water, connecting it to a van der Graaf generator or putting mains power through it.

          I see the latest reading shows a slight uptick after zapping for 9 minutes with 36V, so perhaps my suggested experiments should be left on hold for a little longer. –

          • DrD

            18V 100k no?

          • There may be no connection to the ‘uptick’ at 13:10, but Frank connected 4 batteries via the 1 Meg resistor between 11:20 and 11:29, then disconnected all externals then put 2 batteries back on through a 100 Ohm resistor at 12:10. AFAIK the latter ‘boost’ is still attached. The uptick probably just represents capacitance charge from the 2 batteries.

          • DrD

            Its got a mind of its own, I favour the 100k as the driving force or, more likely still it’s just random.

          • The leprechaun theory someone proposed seems as good as any.

          • Yeah, it’s a ‘Maxwell Leprechaun’ device, Irish demons and tricky little buggers… never know what they will do.

        • Zephir

          As I already wrote bellow, the wiring of well stabilized voltage sources in parallel without any resistors may lead into their damage even without any external load. These circuits could simply “fight” for their voltage each other once their voltage outputs will differ just a bit. Once one of circuits will die out, then the others may smash current into it for to balance the voltage drop and burn too in avalanche like way. It’s a very bad design and also a bit nonsensical if all of it got potted without good cooling opportunity.

          • DrD

            good point. Iwonder if steorn have realised that.

        • I think you can not just put 4 of the USB output circuits in parallel ! They must be probably decoupled from each other at least via diodes or so… This could probably cause big problems, if they have put just 4 circuits in parallel with no additional circuitry or decoupling… Very bad design…so if one circuits goes to 0 Volts and the others still supply +5 Volts you have a full shortcircuit, which could kill all output circuitry !…. Very bad design…

          • Sanjeev

            I think SM said there are 4 current controller boards and only 1 USB board. I recommend you see the last video from steorn and there is some more info in the above bog post (Q&A part).

  • Frank Acland

    I just put the circuit back on, this time with 100k Ohm Resistor

    • SG

      So, after the anomalous surge to +2.9 V, the subsequent decay could only be reversed by the 100k + 2 9V configuration. Give it juice. Maybe by simply adding charge, we can bootstrap some dipole realignment. Or maybe I’m just daydreaming.

      • If Frank could find a suitable wall adaptor somwhere we could just leave the thing with 5V dc on it overnight and see what happens.

        • Frank Acland

          Right now I’m thinking maybe the best thing to do is throw various things at it just to see what happens. I am encouraged to think we might be getting components more suitable for testing purposes while we wait for the real ocube to be ready, so we can be a bit more ambitious with the things we try with this one.

          • OK, we need some ideas then.

            To kick off, my suggestion is to attach a single battery through the 100K and leave it overnight (the battery will be sacrificed).

            Backing theory: the supercap is leaking charge and preventing charging beyond 3V or so, while realignment of the electrets may require more volts. The battery will keep both capacitances fully charged, and replenish leakage.

      • DrD

        Yep, looks like that to me

        • SG

          The daydreaming part you mean? πŸ˜‰

          • DrD

            LOL — no —- the 100k bit, forcing high current, opposite to what Shaun suggested, see my brief calcs at the top. Maybe it’s doing something (coupled with occasional disconnection) Or am I dreaming —

  • Frank Acland

    Here’s another data point using the new meter: 11.1 mV across the cut red wire.

    • Ged

      Well, that is a very interesting measuring point!

      • DrD

        where did Franks last comment go?

        • Frank Acland

          Which one?

          • DrD

            Sorry Frank, I must be seeing things but it did prompt me to look and saw the last interesting reading (rise).

          • Frank Acland

            This is the only one I’m aware of, Stefan.

          • Are you shure ?? Were you the only one, who ordered such an Orbo Cube ??
            Why did Shaun then speak of 40 % damaged units out in the “field” ?
            Did they also ship a few O-Phones already ? Other than to their 2 Photo models ?

          • Roberto Siquieros

            I think Sean said there’s 30 units out there. I had one on order, but got the same email as Frank about delayed shippage while they sorted out the new control board. When I saw what a train crash franks cube is I got cold feet and asked for my money back. They did this straight away which is very good as it disproves any theories folk may be harbouring that orbo is about fraud.

          • FC

            Thanks for the info, Roberto. Quite valuable.

          • Sanjeev

            Good to know that. But with 1 year warranty you could have taken a chance, you could have returned it back in exchange of a good one (if you got a faulty one) or you could have asked for a refund.

            With the huge 40% failure rate, I recommend that only those who plan to test this tech purchase it. Its a white elephant if you simply want to charge your phone. Anyhow, I guess these prototypes are produced just for that purpose – to create enough interest and curiosity. They are not very useful as a product at this time.

        • DrD

          I must be seeing things. I thought he said that’s an interesting new reading so I looked and indeed is, it showed an increase after the 100k change and you and I both replied agreeing.Or maybe your reply was to the 11.1mV one? I’m losing it.

    • DrD

      Agreed, was wondering if that might happen. Dare we try 50k?

  • DrD

    aaaah, yep, typical of me. Thanks for the correction. In which case 50k Will work.

  • SG

    What happened between 15:01 and 17:02? Did we just get a 0.73 V jump with no bias applied? Is this another anomalous surge in the voltage? Or is there a more mundane explanation?

    • Frank Acland

      See my comment below, SG

    • Frank Acland

      Between 13:47 and 17:02 there was no bias applied.

    • Sanjeev

      I saw the last steorn video again and there is a strange behavior there, the orbo pack jumps back to ~5V instantly as soon as the usb controller cuts off the output (at 2.9V).
      However while discharging the pack drops slowly in voltage (took 6 mins, counted from the iphone display). So its unlike any capacitor or such.
      If you treat it as a cap, then assuming 1A charging current (typical for an iphone), its capacitance comes out to be about 130F. Using the 1500J energy stated in the video, its about 120F.
      At present I do not know how useful these numbers are, but throwing them here as a food for thought. Its not conventional in any way.

      • SG

        I just re-watched it and yes, indeed, there is an instant jump from ~2.9 V to ~4.2V, which quickly climbs to ~4.5V and then keeps climbing relatively quickly thereafter. At least that is what I could make out (the video quality isn’t great). Agree that a conventional capacitor does not behave this way.

        Edit: maybe instant voltage jumps are par for the course for Orbo cells. We seem to have witnessed a couple ourselves, although under considerably different circumstances.

        • Ged

          How does a current behave when being forced through a dipole aligned substance? Assuming each core is a set of massively parallel, massively serial dipole cell chains, like a honey comb perhaps? I guess could it could act like an enormous number of tiny batteries. Of course, this isn’t even considering if the Orbo core can actually self generate energy (harvesting from some source, conventional or not), but perhaps even then, the energy generation is due to the dipoles aligning.

          Would it then be best described as a capacitor AND resistor, at the same time? Resistance being against the current moving along serial dipoles (increasing voltage), and capacitance being the number of parallel dipole chains storing energy in the ordered structure caused by their alignment (capacitance, or energy generation).

          • FC

            So, according to this model, and going back to the two strips of metal that Shaun showed us in one of his first videos, would you say that both strips have dipoles, but they are aligned in opposite directions? Or one of them is neutral (no dipoles) and the other one has aligned dipoles?

          • FC

            Ok, I just watched that video again, and it clearly shows that one of the strips is made of conductive metal and the other one is made of a specially treated material that is non-conductive (high-resistance). I would assume then that this is the one that contains the aligned dipole structure (honeycomb).

            But I still don’t see why putting them in contact releases energy in the form of a DC currect. I guess I need to keep on thinking about this. Any help is welcome. πŸ™‚

          • FC

            BTW, the non-conductive strip also has a conductive metal strip attached to the other side. So, the actual setup is more like a sandwich where two conductive metal strips are the bread, and a resistive strip of “very specialized materials” is the meat.

            This is starting to make sense. πŸ™‚

          • Ged

            That sounds like the standard CMOS, or other integrated circuit, design. A conductive metal on an insulating oxide surface (or sandwiched between). Every electronic motherboard and chip is based on that. Hm…

          • FC

            But this particular insulating surface has an electric field frozen into it by means of a massive dipole structure. And this is what makes the electrons on the two metal strips loop around when both metal strips are connected in a circuit. Right?

          • Ged

            Actually, this hypothesis is starting to come into more of a focus. Great thoughts, FC.

            Let as assume then, that the two metal conductors are working like an anode (positive potential) and cathode (negative potential), as one would see in any battery. Then, let us assume that the “specialized material” insulating between the two is some sort of polar polymer. We can also speculate, that it may be a fibrous or glass like design, and thus free for limited movement and able to realign, similar to metal rubber or self healing plastics.

            Then, when a potential is applied to the two conductive -odes, that static electric potential could align the polar polymer, setting up a honeycomb of dipoles, that act as both serial and parallel battery paths that electrons can jump, with resistance between each “fiber” through the space between them. That would allow electrons to tunnel through the insulating like material as if it were some sort of solid state electrolytic cell.

            But… then it loses focus, as that would allow a large voltage to form as well as current, and capacitance; but it does not answer where energy would come from in and of itself. It would perhaps function like some sort of resistor/capacitor–allowing charge separation and energy storage between the -odes, and resisting but still allowing flow between the two when under load. There could be energy stored in the structure and order of the fibers, and thus putting a load to them allows them to break down and become misaligned, releasing the stored energy of the ordered dipole matrix as it becomes entropic.

            But that would just be a solid state battery more or less, and wouldn’t generate energy, or recharge itself. Something more would have to be going on in addition to all that. Using heat to realign the dipoles in the presence of the electromagnetic field of the bias voltage? Or other mechanical stimulation wiggling the fibers and letting them realign, only to become chaotic again when their energy is released by a load?

            A short would probably overheat and damage the molecular structure of the material itself, which is what Shaun was worried about. That is, if the structure becomes -too- chaotic, it can’t be revived by just a voltage bias (would need a lot more direct… whatever it is they do to prep the cells). It needs some inherent magnitude of order to allow dipole alignment to begin (bias the bulk fibers to create a charge separation), otherwise the scrambled structure will just be neutral and not polar in the bulk sense (the fibers would cancel each other out) and act like a normal insulator.

            Since the material is only somewhat free to move, being solid state, again like metal rubber, it won’t break down just on its own sitting there. It needs some sort of stimulation to release energy, as well as stimulation to slowly align and accumulate a charge. But that stimulation to align could be, again, just the bias voltage giving a magnetic B field to align to, and then anything from heat to shock to galactic rays providing the energy needed to do the alignment to the B field… And voila! A self recharging, never die, battery thingy.

          • FC

            Wow Ged, thanks a lot for this information. It’s extremely valuable to me.

            So then, the reference voltage is what provides the bias for the dipoles to realign in the right direction, correct? And the source of energy to do the realignment is what we’re still missing, right?

          • Ged

            Yes :D. And best yet, at some threshold, as I just mused above, the core would self cascade into alignment as long as its in the presence of whatever energy source (ambient harvesting, virtual particles, whatever) it is sensitive to. Once one core got ordered, it could then participate in forcing other cores into order through a small current, depending on how the circuitry between the cores are set up.

            But that threshold to sudden self alignment would cause a voltage spike, I think, and then if it slowly leaks current to the other misaligned cores, that would cause the voltage to degrade until those cores soaked up what they needed. And then, of course, there’s capacitors and batteries to also soak up this constant process until everything’s full and the core reached 100% alignment. Maybe there is some sort of release valve that keeps it at a set resting voltage once all this is said and done?

            Hmm… it doesn’t answer everything, but it at least is a working model, for me anyways.

          • FC

            Ok, so at 100% alignment, the cells would reach their inherent maximum charge/voltage and wouldn’t be able to absorb more energy, right?

          • Ged

            Exactly. Maximum order for the material.

          • Frank Acland
          • FC

            Thanks, buddy. πŸ™‚

          • EEStorFanFibb

            Thanks. all the talk of strips made me think I missed something. I see now what video FC was talking about.

          • FC

            I think this makes a lot of sense. At least it does to me. Thank you very much, Ged.

          • Ged

            One last cool thought prediction by this hypothesis that ties it all the more together.

            See, the real question after all this becomes what is it that it harvests from (energy it extracts for aligning to the internal B field) and how much power density is available through that source? If you know the answer to that, then you could extract a constant amount of Power from the Ocube, without ever letting the cores drop below the most favorable percentage range of order.

          • FC

            Right. So finding the source of energy is paramount now to find the limits of this technology.

            To me, from the beginning of this saga, everything has pointed towards the quantum vacuum as the energy source. And since that’s an unlimited source, the limits are in our ability to cram more dipoles into the same volume of material. But that may a little too wild a hypothesis. πŸ™‚

            What’s your guess?

          • Ged

            I’m not sure, actually. In this hypothesis, energy is being stored in a structural charge separation, and released like any sort of lightning/static discharge/what happens when you pull off scotch tape. But what source of energy would allow phase change and bulk rotations to create this alignment to a B field and charge separation in this capacitor/battery entropy hybrid device thingy?

            -Heat? Heat allows molecular rotation. The Ocube hasn’t been subjected to that big of swings in temp, so that idea hasn’t been fully tested.

            -Electromagnetics? Unlikely. Both the casing and the hypothesis about aligning to a B field preclude much harvesting by electromagnetics, as that may actually disrupt the alignment if they got too strong (that is, in this hypothesis an Ocube could be somewhat sensitive to an EMP or other sudden, strong magnetic fields that can overcome the internal polarity of the anode-cathode axis. Would a neodymium battery scramble it?). However electromagnetics can allow motion and alignment, through direct structural changes. Such direct structural changes in a molecule from light is how we -see- light (retinal changes shape when hit by light at proper frequencies, allowing its detection by opsin, which is exactly the sorta deal that could be harvested). However, tests next to the wifi router showed no effect, and apparently the Ocube has charged just fine in transit and away from “mains hum”, and light has to be of sufficiently high wavelength to pass off enough energy for a structural change in a molecule–it just doesn’t happen with radio frequencies really, but microwaves can bounce whole water molecules, so depending on the size of the filamentous material (wouldn’t work if it’s a glass like material), it may be able to be “bounced around” by radio waves enough to be allowed to align.

            Really, really doubt this though.

            -Anything else would be pure speculation.

            Virtual particles (vacuum energy) can create pressure, as well as charge(?), but it’s hard to see how they could pass on energy for alignment. Not impossible though. Just like with short wavelength electromagnetics, changes in charge and charge density can obviously lead to phase and structural changes in a receptive material, such as we use in LCDs and phase change memory and metal rubber, or again how our eyes work to see light.

            -Galactic rays? They can pass on a charge to a molecule, and would have no problem reaching the Orbo core unlike electromagnetic radiation, so are in the same bin as virtual particles. I don’t think they have a high power density though, and doubtful they would provide enough for the Orbo or anything to harvest–the activation energy alone to even start the process is probably more than GRs can provide.

            Any other ideas?

            So far heat seems the best contender. It is also on an appropriate order of magnitude with what we’ve been seeing the Ocube do, but so too might be virtual particles and GRs. Could also be a combination of things. It really depends on what the “special materials” are, and their geometry.

          • FC

            Well, I guess that the heat hypothesis is easy to test. Maybe “we” can do something in that respect, especially if and when Frank’s Ocube becomes fully operational again.

          • Lightning Mike

            Article with theory on how the EM drive utilizes quantum vacuum energy by polarizing the vacuum….maybe something similar at work here? http://resonance.is/quantum-vacuum-fluctuations-harnessed-in-a-propellant-less-engine-tested-by-nasa/

          • FC

            Maybe. πŸ™‚
            Thanks, Mike.

          • Ged

            Oh man, FC, the more I think about this, the more this hypothesis is coming together.

            We could basically picture the Orbo core as an entropy battery. The semifluid (fiber or glass state) polymer between the -odes is the energy storage and harvester all in one.

            If an Orbo was at 0% charge, then all of its fibers/polar groups would be scrambled in orientation, and cancelling eachother out. At 100% charge, all the fibers would be aligned with the charge field of the metal, conductive -odes, positive to negative.

            Discharging is by moving electrons between the two -odes through the polymer and allowing it to scramble (breaking its polar nature while the electrons flow), thus releasing energy purely through Entropy.

            But here comes the cool part of this hypothesis!

            This 0-100% scale of alignment of the polar polymer has a really cool effect–it has threshold! At say 0-30% alignment, the core is too scrambled to self align, but say once you hit 30% alignment, now there is enough polarization in the fibers to allow it to “see” the magnetic B field from the voltage bias exerting a force on the fibers. The aligned parts will want to twist the rest into alignment too, to minimize the free energy from the magnetic field, and since it is now past a threshold of alignment, there is no longer enough free energy released by scrambling to keep it happily neutralizing itself. So, it begins to move to be aligned with the B field whenever it is given the energy enough to do so, to twist the fiber and move the polar groups into the correct orientation.

            But, the coolest part is what happens next. As the percentage of alignment grows, it should hit yet Another threshold, say at like 60%. At this point, enough of the bulk polar polymer is aligned to the field that it is generating its own field due to the internal charge separation caused by the aligned polymer between the two -odes. If the voltage bias is removed, it can continue to twist into orientation and thus continue to recharge all on its own.

            That hypothesis, then, models the behavior of Frank’s Ocube. Discharging = randomization of alignment. Two thresholds affect the behavior in 3 distinct modes: 1) high entropy, self neutralizing and “blind” to magnetic fields, insulator mode, 2) semi-ordered, sensitive to magnetic fields, 3) highly ordered, creating its own magnetic field.

            But the real “magic” is in the structure of the polymer that would allow it to harvest ambient energy to align itself to a magnetic field in the first place and thus store energy, while still being able to carry a current and release energy through pure entropy of the matrix becoming disaligned.

            Simple and beautiful. And not trivial!

            But, again, this is just my crazy hypothesis, and it could be 100% incorrect.

          • The construction seems analogous to a simple electrolytic capacitor, with the charge-oriented material replacing the dielectric layer.

          • Ged

            Well, first one has to delve into what a dipole is. A dipole is formed from a molecule that has high polarity, like water, where a charge separation across the atoms naturally occurs into positive and negative ends. That is, one or more atoms are very electronegative (oxygen in water), while the other binding atom(s) are either weakly electronegative or electropositive (like hydrogen). That sets up polarity and all sorts of fun, interesting, electronic effects.

            Metal alloys can have dipoles through this means, which when all aligned cause a bulk magnetic moment, and thus magnetism. But metal is odd… the electrons in metal become disassociated, and flow as a bulk, so metal wouldn’t actually function at all in the manner I mean. The electrons don’t have to jump from one dipole molecule to another, thus having to go through positive and negative ends like how batteries are, they just kinda sail along on the material surface of a metal. So… I don’t think metal would work for this by itself. And if both strips were magnetized (bulk dipole aligned) they would attract or repulse like any other magnetic pair.

            The conductive metal piece… could be carrying a current, as that electric flow is required to generating an electromagnet. That electromagnetic field may then induce a bulk dipole moment in a non-metallic (thus the electrons are not a disassociated sea, but function as a normal cloud that has resistance through space between molecules) material… Maybe that coating on the other metal is actually the real secret sauce, and the underlying metal is just a support substrate that is favorable to allowing dipole realignment of the coating material, as well as allowing a current to be induced -under- the coating material and through the metal and out of the core, like an anode. Hm, actually, the two strips of metal do kinda sound like a cathod-anode pair, but in a dry, bulk setting.

            Then, where does the energy come from, as none of these ideas really explain that unless there’s something really funky going on at the interface of that unknown coating material and the underlying metal alloy (like some sort of crazy Casimir, virtual particle shenanigans dealing with the dipole aligned molecular surface and the metal beneath when in the presence of a constant electromagentic field due to all the potential energy of the dipoles wanting to randomize).

            Or, is there is some sort of filler material that is the real energy storing/generating (as Steorn claims) heart of the Orbo, and the metal strips are functioning as electromagnetic and non-conductive support respectively.

            All just wild, speculative ideas.

  • Frank Acland

    Ok, there’s been another voltage spike, and in this case I have to confess that I made an error. I decided to put two extra batteries with the 1 M Ohm resistor. I put that together, but I forgot to make a measurement before I put the circuit on. After I put the circuit on I took the measurement which was 3.4 plus volts. I then took the circuit off and did some more measurements, and then put it back on. So bottom line: I can’t be sure whether the spike was before or after the 4 battery circuit was applied.

    • SG

      Fair enough. What is interesting is that you had added the same 4 battery + 1Mohm combination a little while before with no such surge. And again at 17:16 with no such surge. Not much rhyme or reason.

      • Frank Acland

        Yes, and I have it on now, and the voltage is dropping again.

        • Ged

          So bizarre that it keeps jumping randomly after discharging unless… How many cores are in there? If one core aligned from all that sparking work, and is now systematically bleeding into the others till they too align one by one, that could explain the odd behavior. If so, we would only see as many surprise spikes as there are cores.

          • SG

            Maybe. And then the slow decay afterward could be the charging of the 5 F cap, although perhaps that would happen more quickly if connected in parallel. Hmmm, how else to explain the decay after the surges?

          • Frank Acland

            Well Shaun was puzzled by that decay, so it would seem it is not typical behavior.

          • Ged

            If aligning a core causes an invariant sized spike, it could be that the misaligned cores then start absorbing the excess energy till they too align. Utter speculation, but the cap should be long charged, and since the USB is working, then it must be charged enough already, and so shouldn’t be able to explain this, maybe.

          • SG

            But Sanjeev has estimated (according to his calculator) 30 hours to charge the 5F cap from 2.7 to 3.5V using a 36 V + 1Mohm charging circuit (see below). So under conventional circumstances, it’s going to take awhile to bring the 5F cap into equilibrium. What am I missing?

            Wait: the bias voltage was *removed* during this time (we think). If it was connected, it was only for a short period of time (like one minute). How can this be?

          • Ged

            Apparently not!

            U1-U2 are a complete loop through the cores, not the cap. But who knows. It’s such a crazy system, we still don’t know exactly how the circuit is, and the cores are not a normal circuit element, and thus could throw off any conventional calculations I guess.

            Edit: We also know the cap must be filled enough, because the USB is being driven.

          • SG

            So you think that in an event of a direct short of U1/U2 terminals (of which we have had two so far we think), that the cap could have possibly maintained most of its charge? Even though it is connected in parallel to the Orbo cells? We are told by Shaun that both the Orbo cells and the cap are this side of the charge controller.

          • Ged

            All I can say is what the data is saying. Obviously it doesn’t work like a normal circuit, at least not a circuit of the design we have been told it is. We’re assuming the cores work like a capacitor or resistor or something, but I guess not?

          • SG

            I guess I’m going back to your “domino” model in which one core is aligning, which kicks the voltage up, and eventually knocks another core. All the while, the cap itself is trying to catch up into equilibrium–thus the observed decay after the surge.

          • Ged

            That makes the most sense to me. Everything else is giving me a headache. We don’t know how this Orbo thing works, only vague talk of dipoles, so anything is possible it seems.

          • SG

            I can’t think of a better explanation of the data points at the moment.

          • Sanjeev

            Let me add to the confusion.
            From 15:47 to 17:02, the cap+orbo behaved as if charged by an external source of 330V.
            http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=2.7673&vto=3.4738&c=5&r=1M&time=10800

          • SG

            I’m pretty sure Frank doesn’t have such a source in his home. πŸ˜‰

            More mystery more fun I guess.

          • SG

            I think you meant 13:47 to 17:02, yes?

          • Sanjeev

            Yes 13:47

            corrected, thanks.

          • FC

            Thanks for the comment, Mike.

            Yes, I know about Nassim’s work.

            And I totally agree that life itself is the pinnacle of negentropic phenomena (those cases where order springs spontaneously from “apparent” chaos, like Orbo).

          • Hi Frank, do you still wait for a replacement unit or what ?
            Otherwise just drill out the black goop cement, so you will get out of the Orbo just the blue Powercells…
            then you can make your own circuit again and test it much better… well these other components are cheap
            on EBay and you can build yourself again afterwards a charger with some new DC2DC converters and some cheap USB output circuits…. but then you would already have the raw data of these
            Powercells..
            DonΒ΄t waste your time and measuring outside the goop, as you donΒ΄t know, what happened to all the connected circuits inside if you did blow them…or not…

          • SG

            “just drill out the black goop cement, so you will get out of the Orbo just the blue Powercells”

            This option has been discussed extensively here. It is a last resort–the final act. There is a high risk of damaging the Orbo cells in the process. The community felt that meaningful tests could be run prior to resorting to this. And indeed, we are gathering some very interesting data points, some of which are unexplained at the present moment. Would it be great to have some individual Orbo cells? Yes, of course, and Steorn have mentioned they would send Frank one.

          • Frank Acland

            Yes, I’ll wait on the next shipment — not exactly sure what it will be just yet, but from what I have been told it will not be a full cube, (no shell) but some of the insides we can use for testing purposes.

          • FC

            Looking forward to the delivery of those parts.

          • Sounds good, when do you expect the shipment to arrive ? Did Steorn already sent it ? Are you the only one, who have got an O-Cube already ?

          • Frank Acland

            I don’t know when the shipment will arrive. They say it will ship this week. As far as I know, no one else who has ordered an ocube has received one yet.

          • Sanjeev

            Some of the discharge is via the leakage current inside the cap which is a few uA.
            See:
            http://www.robotroom.com/Capacitor-Self-Discharge-4.html
            Unfortunately we do not know the make of the cap to estimate it. This is draining a part of the charge that orbo gathers. Orbos themselves must be leaking some charge, about which nothing is known.

    • OM

      Most likely, the maximum voltage for 5F supercap is 5.4V (2*2.7V).
      For LiPo – 4,23V.
      I think we must stop charging at about 4V.

      • SG

        Once we hit 4V, perhaps we should revert to the rated configuration of 2 9V + 1 Mohm and leave it be for a while–see if it maintains its charge.

        • OM

          It would be good to ask Shaun about overcharging.
          Is there any protection against overcharging?
          If no, then we should disconnect batteries.

    • Sanjeev

      It would take 30 hours to charge a 5F cap from 2.7 to 3.5V……..

      http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=2.7438&vto=3.4738&vs=36&c=5&r=1M
      Obviously you must have connected the 36V for only a minute or so.
      Does someone have a better explanation?

      • Frank Acland

        Right it was only a minute or so

        • Sanjeev

          Then it was already at 3.4V at 17:02. There is your missing reading. Miracle?

          • Frank Acland

            I’m not sure what you call it, Sanjeev. But it’s very interesting.

          • Sanjeev

            Lets see what the peers say about my estimate.
            It appears to be a long term phenomenon, you left it alone for 2 hours without battery and only then the spike appeared. It never does that in 10-20 min.

          • Ged

            The cap is fully functional if the USB is working (based on how we have been told the system works). Perhaps looking through the cores via U1-U2 does not give us any sort of indication of the rest of the system. Looking back at the readings when Frank measured multiple combinations, the U1-U2 was lower than most of the others by a considerable amount, so we may be making incorrect assumptions thinking whatever is going into the cores by U1-U2 goes anywhere else? I guess, we don’t know how the cores translate to the rest of the system?

        • There are no commercial supercaps that I am aware of, that go higher
          than 2.7 Volts in maximum allowed voltage… ! If you charge them higher you boil the electrolyte in an electrolysis process and destroy the supercap and it can blow up from the produced electrolysis gases !
          or do they mean these low Farad caps that have already 2 caps inside them , these button cell 1 Farad 5 Volts caps ? Maybe they have 5 pieces of them in parallel ??

          • Or do they have 2 caps in series ? DidnΒ΄t Shaun say, that they have 1 x 5 Farad cap ?

          • Maybe they have 2 of these then in series ?
            https://cdn.sparkfun.com//assets/parts/5/1/9/SuperCap.jpg

          • SG

            Time to re-trench. It seems that Frank has been able to revive the Ocube to more or less the point that we were at prior to removing the lid. This is roughly speaking, of course, since we’ve been through a lot since then. But the behavior at this point seems similar.

            Our next goal should be to conduct a discharge test through a resistor for a reasonable period of time. Back to Anon’s original instructions. Ideally, we would want to run this test through the USB port. If I recall, we had issues with that before. But we should try it again. If unsuccessful, we could attach the resistor directly to U1/U2, although being very careful not to cause further shorts.

            Prior to trying the discharge through a resistor test, however, we need the voltage across U1/U2 to increase, maybe to the ~4V range. Frank has had remarkable (and quite mysterious) success bringing the voltage up to its current level. Next step, IMHO, is for Frank to continue to try, through his various means, to boost the U1/U2 voltage.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Using the USB jack would be the best solution, but unfortunately is seems to work only for a few seconds. But how about connecting a single LED with a pre-resistor directly to U1-U2? One would need to find one with a low enough forward bias, though.

          • SG

            I think it works for only a few seconds because we are near the 2.9 V cutoff voltage. If we can get the U1/U2 voltage higher, so that we can have a longer run time for the test, maybe it can be done through the USB port. We also have a better meter now and so can trust our voltage readings across large resistors. I suspect that was part of our problem before.

          • Frank Acland

            I have just put on a new reference circuit with 18 Volts and 100k Ohms resistor — to try and boost the starting voltage. Most interesting to me was the test this morning where the U1-U2 voltage climbed after powering the LED for a short time.

          • artefact

            (Frank, have a look at the always open thread)

          • Andreas Moraitis

            This might have been a side effect caused by the circuit that switched the USB off. Note that the second time when the LED remained dark there was no subsequent voltage increase.

          • Frank Acland

            Funny, so far putting the circuit on seems to have had an opposite effect than I expected. Voltage is dropping.

          • SG

            Seems we have seen that before on occasion. It is certainly counter-intuitive.

          • Sanjeev

            The cap voltage can be taken to 5V via direct charging through U1U2 (with a battery and a suitable R). It will then drop down to some value around 4, guessing from the behavior so far. Whenever the cap was charged via 100K it stayed there mostly and dropped only a bit.
            Probably the higher voltage at the cap helps to keep the domains in shape.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Yes, I have proposed that repeatedly. A <= 5V battery and a 100 Ohm resistor would do the job. Only watch the polarity…

          • 5.5V 5F seems to be available – this is probably more or less what Steorn are using:

            http://www.gold-marketplace.com/product_686926/super-capacitor-5f-5-5v-gold-capacitor.html

            Running them at somewhat lower than rated voltage apparently results in extended operational life:

            http://www.cde.com/resources/catalogs/EDL.pdf

  • Frank Acland

    In attempting to take a voltage reading from the USB port, I triggered the blue charging light.

    • Frank Acland

      It doesn’t seem to have affected the U1-U2 voltage

    • SG

      What was the reading?

      • Frank Acland

        I didn’t get it, lol. A bit surprised by the light. I’ll try again.

        • Frank Acland

          Got the light again. Voltage reading was 5.209 volts

          • SG

            Ok, good confirmation that at least one DC->DC upconverter in the system is functioning.

          • Ged

            Considering what’s happened to this thing, with all the sparks and shortings and cut wire, that’s one heck of a miracle.

  • Frank Acland

    Since the two recent spikes have apparently happened without the unit being hooked up to anything, I’m going to leave the cube unattached to anything overnight and see where things stand in the morning.

    • Ged

      Isn’t science fun, Frank? Now you must know how Alan and co. feel!

    • Sanjeev

      There can be only two reasons (or guesses, to be honest) for the spike to happen – either self charging or the zap.
      So first thing in the morning, lets check the voltage first *without* connecting the batteries and if its higher, then we will know, else zap it again with 36V for a minute and measure again. No guarantees though.

  • DrD

    It’s working.
    Still some way to but its looking better.

    • FC

      Hi Dave.

      Yes, it looks like more cores are waking up. Hopefully we’ll get more surprises by the time Frank gets up in the morning. And who knows, maybe one day the whole pack will be fully operational once again.

      Otherwise, we will have to wait for Steorn to deliver to Frank a naked core (as suggested yesterday) or a new OCube.

  • FC

    I think that we now have a highly plausible model of the inner structure and inner workings of an Orbo cell (or core), courtesy of Ged.

    In one of Steorn’s videos, Shaun McCarthy explains that an Orbo cell is basically made of a strip of “very specialized material” sandwiched between two metal strips. The specialized material is non-conductive, so it acts like an insulator between the conductive metal strips, which in turn act like the anode and cathode respectively.

    Ged’s hypothesis is that this specialized material is a semifluid fiber or glass sate polymer that contains a large number of dipoles arranged in a honeycomb-like structure. These dipoles can be initially oriented in a particular direction by Steorn via some proprietary process, thus creating a strong electric field perpendicular to itself. See attachment. (Apologies for the crudeness of my hand-made drawing).

    When the anode and cathode are connected through a circuit, the polymer allows for the exchange of electrons between them via tunneling, so that a current is established. But over time, this current scrambles the dipoles and the insulator’s electric field progressively weakens.

    If the current flow is stopped before certain scrambling threshold is reached, the dipoles can be easily realigned by applying a reference voltage (or bias) and by waiting for the number of aligned dipoles to reach “critical mass”, at which point, there is a cascade effect that provokes the sudden realignment of the remaining dipoles.

    For a more detailed description of Ged’s model, please read his comments below.

    • FC

      For whatever reason, the attachment didn’t go through. So here it is.

    • georgehants

      Many thanks FC, does this mean that the core alone can never be successfully tested as without more circuitry the output would reduce continually?
      Of course thanks to Ged as well.

      • Frank Acland

        It seems it can be tested directly, George — as in this video: https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryisdead/videos/10153398806872672/

        • georgehants

          Thanks Frank, I am again confused by FC’s comment that —–
          “When the anode and cathode are connected through a circuit, the polymer allows for the exchange of electrons between them via tunneling, so that a current is established. But over time, this current scrambles
          the dipoles and the insulator’s electric field progressively weakens.
          If the current flow is stopped before certain scrambling threshold is reached, the dipoles can be easily realigned by applying a reference voltage (or bias) and by waiting for the number of aligned dipoles to reach “critical mass”, at which point, there is a cascade effect that
          provokes the sudden realignment of the remaining dipoles.”
          ——
          It would seem that a continual “current” is required meaning that the Orbo core is actually producing a little more than it’s eventual output.

          • FC

            Now that Ged is around, he can surely explain this to you much better than me.

            But I’ll just tell you that when the anode and cathode are connected, the orbo core starts working as a battery.

            I hope this makes sense.

          • georgehants

            O yes, but what all us open-minded geeks are most concerned with is is that “battery” coming from some explainable source or a new paranormal dimension.
            Using paranormal as reductionist science does for anything not covered by a steam-engine.

          • FC

            Think of the aligned dipoles as potential energy. As current is driven by the core and through the core, that potential energy is converted into an voltage potential across the anode/cathode.

            Where does the energy come from to realign the dipoles and endow them with potential? Nobody knows yet.

          • georgehants

            FC, AH, thank you, that is what I was getting at, a so far unaccountable source of energy, words to bring joy to any scientist worth the name.
            I expect you guys to have the full answer by tomorrow morning, ha.

          • FC

            We’re trying hard, believe me. Especially Frank! πŸ™‚

          • georgehants

            FC, I notice that Frank is still taking time out to sleep etc, I think this must stop.

          • FC

            Lol

          • Frank Acland

            I’m still at it, George — a new video of a test I did this morning is posted above.

          • Ged

            I think it’s just a voltage, with very, very low amounts of power (something around 0.3 mW was calculated for the two 9 V with the 1 Mohm resistor, or so). The voltage and small current are just there for one role: creating a magnetic field.

            We do this same principle in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR; and it’s daughter technology, MRI), where the applied magnetic field is strong enough to force individual atomic nuclei themselves to orient along it, giving them information we can use to “see” them. Here, it’s just a small field that forces the dipoles of the polymer to orient.

            The magic isn’t the applied voltage/current, the magic is where the heck it’s getting energy from for changing its orientation. This is, after all, a solid state material, not a liquid. None the less, even NMR can be done on solid state material, and materials like metal rubber and self healing polymers show how solids can reorganize when given sufficient input while still fully in solid phase. Fibers and glass (semifluid) are all able to fit the bill for this.

            The applied power is really too low, it would have to get getting energy from somewhere like ambient heat or vibrations, etc. Something this particular polymer material is sensitive to (like how piezoelectrics are often sensitive to vibration, and thermoelectrics to heat). That we could eventually test for, but it’s completely dependent on what this material is made out of and its shape.

          • georgehants

            Hey thank you guys for your explanations and the end mystery that makes life worth living.
            See my reply to FC below.

          • FC

            Ged, I’m sorry for dragging you back to the polar polymer model, but there is something that keeps bugging me. How would you explain that the handmade cells that Shaun showed us in one video jumped straight back to 100% charge right after being shorted for 30 minutes? Thank you.

          • Frank Acland

            From above — I asked Shaun about this:

            Me: Here’s a question about shorting. In the video when you showed the ability for the orbo material to bounce back from a short β€” you had it shorted out for over 1/2 an hour without any apparent degradation. Is it different in these packs?

            SM: yes, but that was without an applied field, as you can see in that video its low voltage. We apply the field to β€˜upgrade’ the output – so a short with a lot of energy can really feck around with the domains, so in a way it may seem the same but its like comparing falling off a bar stool to falling out of a plane. The strips in the video have no capacitance so there is no huge amount of energy stored, in the production cells there could be 1500J in storage, you short that and you are going to have a minimum of a couple of hundred watts spiking the domain structure

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank.

            Yes, I had read Shaun’s response. But still, it doesn’t seem to fit Ged’s 2-threshold model that explains our latest observations so well. (According to this model, if you scramble the dipoles beyond a certain level, like with a short, they will not realign all by themselves). That’s why I’m asking again, in case there is some angle that I’m missing. πŸ™‚

          • Frank Acland

            I spoke with Shaun yesterday some more and it turns out that he had decided to experiment with shorting an orbo cell. As you remember he had said that normally they just throw the shorted cells away, but he said that they totally shorted out one cell and left it overnight, and found that it was slowly coming back to normal.

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank.

          • FC

            Thanks, Ged.

            That was my guess too, that there was no actual current going through the short (i.e. through the polymer) and no scramble was taking place, because the voltage was simply to low to allow any tunneling to happen in the first place (right?).

          • Ged

            Aye. The model seems to predict that there will be some starting resistance of the material to disorder change that is proportional to the energy harvesting and B field that’s pushing it towards alignment. An activation energy threshold (in addition to the molecular resistance to movement; just like any chemical reaction) that a driving force has to overcome.

            It probably isn’t much of a voltage threshold, but just means a voltage through the polymer bigger than the internal resistance needs to be applied to cause it to start to release energy through scrambling the dipoles, rather than just capacitance discharge of the electrodes once they are connected in a short.

            Basically, passive shorting would just affect the electrodes as long as the internal polymer is past the ordered threshold to make its own B field to keep itself aligned (otherwise without the voltage bias which the short would remove, the semi-ordered polymer would slowly start to break down under the presence of the short and lack of a B field–again, that would be slow though); but shorting while -under a load- so that the activation energy is already met and passed, would potentially cause the polymer to discharge massively all at once and blow itself out like a bolt of lightning.

          • FC

            Hmm, interesting. Reminds me of the difference between static friction and dynamic friction.

          • Ged

            Definitely the same concept. Think of gasoline too. All that energy, just ready to oxidize vigorously, yet it sits there just fine… that is, until an energy source is applied that overcomes the activation energy barrier, and then suddenly, boom, all that energy is released. In chemistry, it looks like this:

            http://tinyurl.com/hzvwafq

          • FC

            Right. Exactly the same concept. Seems like nature’s ways are basically the same across disciplines. Which makes a lot of sense, BTW.

            I was also thinking that the BH curve that Shaun alludes to when he talks about the non-linearity of the cores’ charge rate looks similar to the charge-discharge curves of any battery. See attachment.

            Thus the three states of the polymer (and the two thresholds that separate them) can be seen in this chart as well. Wouldn’t you say?

          • Ged

            Agreed, that does probably look in general very similar to what we’d expect here. It is convenient how the reoccurring themes are reused all over the place in nature! Heck, that curve is exactly what one sees with pH (y axis) and a buffer (percent saturation on x-axis), which isn’t directly related at all, yet the exact same shape and concept.

          • FC

            True. πŸ™‚
            I can see that your background is in chemistry and/or materials. Right?

          • Ged

            Biology, actually, which happens to incorporate all the sciences–from electrical (excitable cells) to materials, from quantum mechanics to fluid dynamics, and of course chemistry :). Biologists have to take more diverse science courses than any of the other disciplines due to that, so it gives a good general knowledge base to make comparisons from.

          • FC

            Hmm, interesting. I never realized.

          • FC

            And also mimics Pareto’s law. Now that I think of it.

          • Ged

            Obviously we’ve never seen anything like that in our testing, and even Shaun seems to tap dance around that particular display.

            It all depends on what actually happens when sufficient current is flowing through the polymer. Usually that would break the field alignment, heat the material up, and allow the domains of dipoles to start scrambling, thus releasing the stored energy.

            But what he did there could have just been to collapse the static potential between the conductive -odes with a very low current without actually passing that through the polymer to any appreciable degree (polymer resistance too high for the short he does?). That then wouldn’t produce enough heat to actually allow much scrambling, and wouldn’t actually extract much of any power at all (did he measure power? I don’t recall). In that case, the shorting doesn’t actually do work, and so isn’t drawing from the core’s polymer directly, but rather just the low hanging fruit that is the metal conductor’s capacitance from the indirect effect that builds up in the conductive -odes over time from being subjected to the constantly aligned dipoles of the polymer (kept aligned by whatever energy harvesting it does, so a portion of that energy goes into the static charge on the -odes, particularly once the polymer is 100% aligned).

            Basically, that just turns the shorting event into an illusion, as the polymer isn’t involved and it’s a very small amount of potential energy released just from the metal conductors alone coming into equilibrium between each other once the shorting route is opened, without enough driving force to kick a current through the resistance of the polymer and affect it. Of course, if he measured power and it was appreciable, then my supposition is immediately falsified.

            So, anyways, that’s my best guess. That whole bit he demonstrates there just doesn’t really fit well with anything I can think of or have seen beyond just some inherent capacitance between the conductors irrespective of the polymer; so I am just hand waving, without further data. It’s not impossible for the polar polymer model in its current form to handle, but it definitely isn’t directly parsimonious and has to be side stepped as I do above.

          • FC

            Oops, I responded to the wrong comment. Sorry about that. Please see my response to Frank below. Thanks again.

      • Ged

        I guess that would depend on which of the three states the bulk of the material was in: disordered, semiordered, ordered. If it’s past the semiordered to ordered threshold, it could generate its own magnetic B field and force the rest to align as long it was pulling energy from… whatever it pulls energy for alignment from. And then that would store the energy in the charge separation between the plates like some sort sort of capacitor/battery, ready for harvest.

        If it’s semiordered, it doesn’t have enough bulk magnetic moment to continue the alignment process on its own, and needs an applied voltage to give it the B field to orient the dipoles to.

        But, if disordered, the dipoles are oriented to neutralize eachother (like hydrogen bonding in water), which would make it insensitive to even an applied voltage and B field. One would have to do something much more drastic to shock them into alignment (perhaps like high heat and an electrical zap of high enough current while cooling, maybe kinda like how permanent magnets are formed)

        This random mechanism idea thing is sorta, very loosely analogous to phase change memory for computers, but storing energy instead of data in the alignment and resulting voltage changes.

        • FC

          Morning Ged.
          Apparently, I wasn’t too far off in my response. πŸ™‚

          • Ged

            You were spot on, and more succinct than I! So, I think you’ve got this ;).

          • FC

            So Ged, I don’t know if you are familiar with Steorn’s HephaHeat technology and the principles behind it. Do you think that ambient heat is its source of energy as well? Because in that case, HephaHeat boilers (or whatever they are called) would be concentrating ambient heat into a metal rod, sort of like a magnifying glass concentrates light.

          • Sadly not I’m afraid. Hephaheat is a fairly bog standard industrial induction heater. It’s main claim to fame is using mains AC directly to heat a heavy iron core that retains heats and supplies hot water on demand (steam is used as an intermediary). It can also ‘charge’ on off-peak electricity, allowing substantial savings.

            http://truthfall.com/steorn-in-e50-million-a-year-hephaheat-bonanza/

          • FC

            Right. But I once saw a chart from Steorn showing HephaHeat’s induction heaters to be two orders of magnitude more efficient than the rest. This seems impossible unless it’s getting some additional energy from somewhere.

      • FC

        You’re welcome, George.

        As far as I understand this model, a single core can be tested on its own as long as its voltage doesn’t fall below a given threshold. In that case, it will have enough of an electric field left to pull the scrambled dipoles back into alignment and go back to a 100% charge all by itself.

        Below that threshold, the reference voltage circuit is needed to help realign enough dipoles to trigger the cascade effect (as shown in the video that Frank has just sent you).

        And below an even lower threshold (which may be the case of some of the cores in Frank’s Ocube), nothing can bring it back to full charge except whatever procedure Steorn uses to manufacture the cores in the first place.

        • georgehants

          FC, please see my response to Frank regarding that extra circuitry, seems to complicate the testing of the Orbo, but if now understood not by very much.

          • FC

            I just responded. πŸ™‚

  • Frank Acland

    New video of a short test posted above.

    • Frank Acland

      Voltage across U1-U2 has been climbing gradually since the test in the video, with no bias circuit applied.

      • Zephir

        The 3.2 Volts is impressive result by itself considering there is no lithium battery, because such a high voltage can be generated by common batteries without highly reactive alkali metals inside. It can be still generated with internal 2x9V cells which somehow remained connected with the Orbo powerpack,

  • Dieter_G

    hmmm, this really looks interesting. If it continues to operate from time to time, you may be able to draw mentionable ammounts of energy, at which point it starts to get interesting again (I mean really).
    I don’t like Β΅A-coffe ground reading.
    Also interesting, when the boost circuit has cut off (below 2.9V at U1-U2), you see the U1-U2 voltage at the USB-Port, minus about a diode drop from the boost-converter.

  • OM

    Actually, we need 4 voltage measurements on U1-U2.
    1) Immediately before connecting a resistor (100 Ohms to U1-U2)
    2) Immediately after connecting
    3) At the end of 30 seconds interval – Immediately before disconnecting
    4) Immediately after disconnecting

  • OM

    Of course, the 5F supercap is impeding to get correct measurements.
    Maybe it’s time to disassemble the device…

    • OM

      3V and 100 Ohm produces the current of 30 mA.

      It is not so much.

      • OM

        Time U_Begin U_End U_Mid Q=U_Mid/100*10 C_Instant=Q/(U_Begin-U_End)
        00-10 2,946 2,897 2,922 0,2922 5,962
        10-20 2,897 2,856 2,877 0,2877 7,016
        20-30 2,856 2,818 2,837 0,2837 7,466
        30-40 2,818 2,781 2,800 0,2800 7,566
        40-50 2,781 2,750 2,766 0,2766 8,921
        50-60 2,750 2,719 2,735 0,2735 8,821

        Q_total = Q1+Q2+Q3+Q4+Q5+Q6 = 1,6935
        C = 1,6935 / (2,946 – 2,719) = 7,460 F

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I’d make it so:

          60s /(100 V/A* ln(2.946V/2.719V)) = 7.48 F

          • OM

            I applied pointwise integration since the discharge function U(t) is unknown for Orbo Pack.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Seems to fit quite well.

          • OM

            Yes, it is.

    • georgehants

      Hope Frank does not mind, have moved up his comment from below.
      Important as it seems you guys are actually now helping with the development of the Orbo.
      ———-
      Frank Acland
      I spoke with Shaun yesterday some more and it turns out that he had
      decided to experiment with shorting an orbo cell. As you remember he had
      said that normally they just throw the shorted cells away, but he said
      that they totally shorted out one cell and left it overnight, and found
      that it was slowly coming back to normal

      • FC

        Thanks, George. I hadn’t seen this comment.

        It seems wise to test every possible scenario that a new product could go through, before actual delivery starts.

        • georgehants

          FC, This shows that just as it should be with Cold Fusion the more minds that are freely able to work and share on a subject the better.

          • FC

            Yeah, the old dichotomy of open source and closed source. Not that Orbo is exactly open source. But the collaborative work that’s happening in this blog is definitely a marvel to behold.

          • georgehants

            FC, ECW and all you true scientists are showing the way.

          • FC

            Thank you, George. I guess that we all bring to the table whatever we can, within the limits of our abilities.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Now we have two complementary proposals on the table:

    1 – Quick discharging, with 100 Ohm resistor.
    2 – Quick charging, with 100 Ohm resistor and ~5V source.

    (both via U1-U2)

    Frank, what do you think?

    • Frank Acland

      #1 is easier for me to do with what I have on hand.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        You could also use a 9V battery as long as the voltage at the terminals does not exceed 5V.

  • Frank Acland

    Ok, I’m getting ready to do a video. Our starting point will be about 2.943 V (I discharged a little getting the resistor setup in place).

    How about if we have the resistor connected for 1 minute?

    • Ged

      1 minute or a low voltage of say 1 V, as we know we can recover from that.

      Don’t want to get it lower than the 0.6 V it fell to that once, as we have no idea at what point exactly it’ll become totally scrambled, or if it can recover from any voltage. That would be a terminal test though, since it could kill the cores.

      • Frank Acland

        Ok Ged. I’ll see how it goes. If it looks like it’s dropping to dangerously low levels I’ll stop the test.

        • Ged

          Good luck, Frank!

          In theory, we may see a sudden downward voltage spike after passing a threshold of percent disorder, just like we saw the upward spike. But, we really don’t know much about how this acts under load, so can’t say for sure what we’ll find!

          • Frank Acland

            Test is done, just getting the video processed.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Thank you! This looks as if we had an 8.5 F capacitor. Maybe somebody can check again.

          • Ged

            That’s some pretty good capacitance. It would be interesting to see if capacitance of the core is a function of its resting voltage (and thus hypothesized, and Steorn claimed, polarization state).

          • SG

            Pretty good, yes, but not nearly as expected given what we see in Shaun’s video and Frank’s initial experience on unpacking the unit.

            With a conventional capacitor, you have a more or less fixed capacitance. Could it be that with an Orbo cell, the capacitance is variable? As the Orbo cell goes from a semi-ordered state to an ordered state, and accumulates charge, is it possible that its capacitance grows over time?

            Next step in my mind is to get the Ocube charged to 5V, preferably using the rated 2 9V + 1Mohm battery. It might take awhile, but maybe time is an important element in this equation.

          • Ged

            The capacitance increasing with higher ordered states is definitely a straight up prediction of that hypothesis; an easy, direct way to test if it has any validity at all.

            So, if we can get the Orbo core back to 5 V or higher, we should expect a lot more capacitance based on that prediction. How it scales, if it occurs, would take empirical testing, as I can’t yet see how to estimate it. We can see here that at 2.9 V, capacitance is only around 2.5 to 3 F based on Sanjeev’s calculation. But, there could be even higher ordered states reached in the core after having reaching max voltage if it’s left to sit long enough that gave Frank his initial results (and could be what drove the over-voltage reported by Steorn’s customers(?)). But one thing at a time!

          • Sanjeev

            Gives me 7.5F. Probably our voltages differ
            http://mustcalculate.com/electronics/capacitorchargeanddischarge.php?vfrom=2.946&vto=2.719&vs=0&c=&r=100&time=60
            But the good thing is its much bigger than 5F.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Yes, I had used 2.745 V for the end, for whatever reason.

          • Sanjeev

            That value is at 2:04 in video, 23 sec after removing the R. Get the one just after he says 3.2.1.

          • Sanjeev

            I meant its at 1:50

          • Frank Acland

            Ok, it’s posted above now.

  • Sanjeev

    So after the discharge, did it jump from 2.7 to 2.8V in self charging mode?

    • Ged

      I.e. You mean without any homemade circuit attached?

      • Sanjeev

        Can’t see any battery attached just after he says 3.2.1.

        • Ged

          I mean, just to clarify what you mean by “self charging mode” is it just it by itself, without the attached circuit? I just want to make sure I’m following the evolving terminology properly!

          • Sanjeev

            Yes by that I mean no circuit attached. (“Self charging mode” is not very accurate but I saw it mentioned a few times in comments).

          • Ged

            It’s good to get it all laid out so we can keep it all straight, as terms aren’t necessarily being used in the same way.

            Makes sense to me for “Self charging mode” to be when the cores are without bias voltage/attachments. And so maybe “assisted mode” would be with the circuit/bias voltage, to differentiate between the two setups..

          • Sanjeev

            Ok. Works for me.
            So any energy estimates?

          • Sanjeev

            My rough estimate is 4.8 Joules released in 60 sec.
            Now you can calculate how many secs it will take to release an amount equivalent to a traditional energy source of Ocube’s volume.

          • Ged

            It starts at 86.8 mW and ends at 73.9 mW in 60 seconds, for an average of

            80.35 mW for 60 seconds, or 4.82 Joules of energy released.

            Edit: Ah, beat me to it!

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Comes to 672 Wh in 350 days. I guess Rossi would not be satisfied.

          • SG

            πŸ™‚ No doubt about that.

            Remember: two entirely different niches. Mobile vs. everything else. Although Rossi has made some rumblings about miniaturizing the e-CatX.

          • Ged

            Well, in 45 minutes it gained back 2.42 Joules, if we use the discharge to find a 21.23 joules/volt relationship for the Orbo core. Not sure how that translates to anything, though.

            Edit: It does give 0.896 mW of self charging power, though.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Ged,

            That’s what I see, small Joules out over one hour = self charging <1 mW.

            To me success for the device would be 20 to 40 mW, and it is still just equivalent to an efficient RF energy harvester in performance. Might or might not use new science (i.e. electret based harvester, harvesting heat), but I don't see anything remarkable in its performance.

            36V at 100K = 0.36 mA, and if left on for an hour gives 1 coulomb which in 5F gives 200 mV and increases the energy stored assuming a 3V average level again of the order of … 1 mW.

            To be useful, this unit needs to charge at at least the 20 to 40 mW level and then it should be clear and obvious that the 9V batteries in series are not largely charging the unit.

          • Ged

            Completely agreed! Right now it just seems like some fancy, oddly behaving, (very if at all) weakly harvesting, capacitance system.

          • Anon2012_2014

            For now I will give Steorn the benefit of the doubt that maybe he has a 20 to 50 mW system that was delivered broken. But still not proven so far. Best…

          • Sanjeev

            My very rough estimates show that Frank must repeat this 1 minute experiment hundreds of thousands of times to reach the energy equivalance of 1 Kg of Li Ion batteries. (1 Kg=weight of ocube).
            Clearly, we need a better plan πŸ˜€

          • Ged

            Oh gosh.

            Well, we could try to find some sort of steady state power draw that holds the voltage fixed. Or let it continue to build voltage and see if its capacitance and behavior change, and if that can rule out certain types of energy storage devices.

            It’s a real pickle to test this thing to the point of using energy density to exclude possibilities, so we will have to get clever. If it was producing the 400 mW it was supposed to, instead of around 0.9 mW, this would be much easier.

          • Sanjeev

            Assuming that the fecked domain do not improve further, certain tricks can be used to get some useful data. Like you said, find a resistor load that drains it as much as it charges back, so we remain at more or less the same voltage and leave it producing energy.
            Second, most of the weight of ocube is metal case, 2x batteries and resin, which can be subtracted from the total. This will lower the criteria of total energy that must be produced and hence reduce the time by a lot.

          • Frank Acland

            I’d be happy to try a different resistance if anyone wants me to.

          • Sanjeev

            It will be a higher value and it will still take a month or more depending on how orbo behaves. I’m uncertain at this time. Hopefully some plan will materialize sooner or later.

    • Frank Acland

      Correct.

  • OM

    Impedance is too small compared with 100 ohm.

  • OM

    We have capacity of almost 9F at the end of 60s interval.
    Thus, the Orbo Pack is working more or less as 4F capacitor.
    That’s good.

    • FC

      Good job, OM.

      Yes, 4F isn’t bad at all. But I think it proves just how far this Orbo pack is from its theoretical maximum capabilities. Let’s hope it keeps recovering.

  • SG

    20:32 -> 20:56 2.85V -> 2.869 V
    Expected charge time (9F model): 1129 seconds
    Actual charge time: 1440 seconds
    ~27.5 % longer time to charge than expected

    20:56-> 21:36 2.869V -> 2.9 V
    Expected charge time (9F model): 1845 seconds
    Actual charge time: 2400 seconds
    ~30 % longer time to charge than expected

    21:36 -> 22:45 2.9V -> 2.944 V
    Expected charge time (9F model): 2626 seconds
    Actual charge time: 4140 seconds
    ~57.6 % longer time to charge than expected

    A conventional capacitor has a fixed capacitance. Ged and I had hypothesized below that the capacitance of the Orbo cells might increase with time and/or increased charge. We thought this would fit Ged’s model. As it turns out, the Orbo cells appear to be doing just that.

    Edit: someone please check my numbers.

    • FC

      Good job, SG.

      That makes a lot of sense. If that’s true, then I suppose that the next partial drain through a resistor should yield a higher capacitance.

    • OM

      In fact, the parameters of Orbo Pack can not be extrapolated from 60 seconds of measurement. It is good, that the Orbo Pack acts as 4F capacitor, because the Orbo Pack does not act as nothing, despite all that we did to it. We see, that we have not only 5F supercap. That’s why I say “That’s good”.

      • FC

        True. That’s already an extremely important step.

      • Zephir

        No supercap today can permanently hold voltage higher than 2.7 V. Only so-called ultracaps, which are combined with ion batteries can provide more.

        • I believe that series pairs of ‘supercaps’ in single casings are being offered as 5.4V or 5.5V rated components. I assume that’s what we have in the orbo.

          • Zephir

            Of course, you can buy the supercapacitor stacks of arbitrary voltage

          • Frank Acland

            Been out, had some car trouble. Home soon.

          • Ged

            Glad you are safe.

    • OM

      Actually, we see something like that: