ECW Ocube Testing, Week 3 Thread

Here’s a new thread for week 3 of testing.

For reference:

Week 1 thread

Week 2 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

February 23 2016

This morning I had a short Skype meeting with Steorn and I was shown a new testing unit that they said they would send on Wednesday. It is actually the insides of the ophone, and comprises of what they said was a full Orbo cell and a half Orbo cell. The full cell provides reference voltage to the half cell, which provides the power to the phone. In this setup there will be no batteries or capacitors — just the two cells and a 5V controller chip. Hopefully it will arrive in a few days.

Meanwhile, testing continued on the Ocube with various suggested tests. Much of today and yesterday was spent trying to increase the internal voltage of the Ocube by using a circuit with 9 Volt batteries providing external power. It has become difficult to get it much above 4.7 volts. Now the next test suggested was to discharge the Ocube by putting a 100 Ohm resistor across terminals U1-U2 which according to Steorn measure the voltage of the Orbo packs.

Below is a video of a discharge test where as you can see it is not easy to discharge it very much using a resistor.

February 24 2016

This is a longer discharge test I did this morning using a 100 Ohm resistor.

This is a second discharge test today, this time using a 47 Ohm resistor. Sorry, not in my usual workspace, so there’s no reference clock in the video.

A new experiment has been started. Thanks to DrD for the suggestion. An LED lamp has been plugged into the ocube rated at 0.22W. A bias voltage circuit has been applied to the U1-U2 terminals with a 1M Ohm resistor and 2 9 volt batteries. The start of the experiment is shown in the video below.

  • Dieter_G

    good morning everybody !
    Well, the discharge test was too short. One needs to have a measurable voltage-drop in order to calculate the capacitance.
    However, assuming a drop of 0.01V, 46mA of current and 60s discharge time I get 275F, as long as
    Adreas Moraitis argument doesn’t apply.
    The resistor should have become a little bit warm, next time you can check that, or, measure the current with a second meter simultaniuosly.
    So, it seems to really store the energy.

    Also, very very interesting is the fact that the voltage rose a bit between 2/23/2016 10:52 and 14:48 where no circuit was applied. Any kind of storage device that I know of, would not show such a behavior. Intriguing, indeed.

    One question Frank :
    At the end of charging-video 2 the voltage was at 4.51V. At the beginning of charging-vid #3 it was at 4.57V.

    Can this rise in voltage be attributed to self-charging or did you charge it a little bit [in between the videos] / [beyond the end of vid #2] ?

    • Frank Acland

      No, I didn’t charge it between the videos.

      • FC

        That’s pretty amazing.

      • Dieter_G

        interesting. As I said, I know of nothing else showing such a behaviour. Be it a supercap or any kind of battery, the voltage is going to drop a little bit if you stop charging it.
        Maybe we are indeed witnessing something special here.

  • Frank Acland

    I did a longer discharge test this morning. Video is above.

    • Ged

      Did the resistor get warm, Frank? I guess we may need to wait till it goes down clearly at least 0.01 V to do calculations, but boy this baby is now resistant compared to last time you did draining. Seems to confirm what was suspected about capacitance during the charging phase. Maybe there is a way we can test with a small load, like a single LED.

      Edit: Also, happy new, clean, not full of thousand+ comments thread day! I’m sure we’ll clutter this place in no time ;). Thanks for all you do for us, Frank! It’s getting very interesting.

      • Frank Acland

        I couldn’t feel any noticeable warmth.

        • Dieter_G

          Hmmm, the resistor should dissipate 0.22W of power. Not much, but it should be slightly warm…
          If this is the same resistor that smoked yesterday it may be defect. Resistors always die in open mode (no more connection) when overloaded.
          We should rule out this possibility. You can just measure its resistance for example.

          • Frank Acland

            No, it was a fresh resistor from my pack.

          • Dieter_G

            ah, ok. A defect is very very unlikely then.

    • DrD

      Frank, was Shaun’s 400mW spec the continuous output capabilty or was it just the peak output for a short time? The reason I ask is because if your unit has recovered substantially you will not see a decline in voltage until your discharge current is greater than it’s generating capabilty (which I calculated below).

      • Frank Acland

        For the ocube, 400 mW is what he has said the continuous output of the orbo cells is.

        • Frank Acland

          Or maybe it’s the average continuous output of the cells is.

        • DrD

          Thanks Frank. In that case you need to discharge with about 85 mA (about 50 ohms) before you see the output voltage falling IF it has recovered to 100% (I assume the 18V/1Meg bias is needed). IF it falls with a lesser output current then we can calculate how much it’s generating. Does you meter display another digit or has it over ranged at 4.6V?

          • Frank Acland

            I have a 47 Ohm resistor so we can try that, and the meter will do one more digit at these levels.

          • DrD

            Great, you should see it changing in literally seconds if you display tthe extra digit.
            Best not to run it longer than a few seconds, long enough to see it falling or not. just to save charge.

          • Dieter_G

            The treshold for the meter is at 4.0V obiously. It shows 3 decimals below and 2 decimals above that treshold.

          • DrD

            I thought it might be. There is a way round it. Use two 25 ohm in series and monitor the V across one of them. OR just wait long enough to see a definite delta, which with 47 ohm might not be very long. It would be good to find it is charging.

  • Frank Acland

    I don’t know about one of them, but I cut a red wire that was visible next to one of the cells.

    • Xavier Pitz

      I’m not an expert, but if this red wire was wired to one of those
      9V batteries, and if they are wired in series like we think they are,
      cutting this wire must have done the trick…

  • Dieter_G

    Hmmm, it seems there is not much self-charging, thought there have been signs of it on two occasions.
    Now that it is at only 4.3x V, even the high capacitance is heavily eroding.
    I doubt that a test as suggested by some -to try to find a load where the voltage stays at an equilibrium- makes a lot of sense, at least with the values of resistance that were mentioned (100 Ohms or below).

    Maybe it is a good idea to pump it up to 4.7x again and then try to load it slightly -like 10K for the first iteration- to find its “equilibrium-load”.

    • SG

      I like the “equilibrium-load” test idea. But I think we are seeing self-charging (with the rated bias assist). I think we should let it self-charge for 12 hours (with the rated bias assist) and see where it stands. There is another long-term discharge test suggestion in play below as well.

      • Dieter_G

        Yes, it even seemed to self-charge without the bias lately

        • SG

          Indeed it did. My interest remains…

  • Dieter_G

    Also strange, that the LED went off. Voltage is far above 2.9V, so why is that ? Is it the lamp itself maybe ?
    You could plug it into your usb-psu to check that Frank.

    • SG

      Yes, strange. I think it is unlikely to be the lamp. More likely, IMHO, an issue with the USB port.

      • Ged

        Definitely second this! Just have to treat the USB as dead, since the controller is not behaving properly.

        • DrD

          Morning Ged,
          See my reply above and below. It’s what you expect from an LED. The USB controller is probably OK.
          I’m a bit dissapointed it wasn’t able to deliver 200W without discharging though?
          Possibly efficiency losses in the upconverter and regulator.
          Or it really wasn’t generating enough.

      • Sanjeev

        Agree. The usb and other boards will consume some power, which cannot be accounted for, so its better to load it at U1U2.
        I guess its ready for energy tests, at least we will know how much can it output per day.
        What’s the protocol now?

        • SG

          I’m suggesting that we let it self-charge with rated bias assist for the next 8-12 hours, and see where it stands. In this mode, the voltage has already increased from 4.33 to 4.41 in the last ~4 hours.

          Then, run a longer-term test with a 47 Ohm resistor attached to U1/U2 until the voltage reaches ~2.9V and stop. Then let it self-charge with rated bias assist for another 12 hours and see where it stands.

          • Sanjeev

            Great !
            Although I don’t know if Frank is still motivated to do the long term measurements. The new parts are coming.

          • Ged

            That gives us a few days with this one before the new toys arrive, then.

          • Sanjeev

            This one can be sent to HUG for surgery.

          • Frank Acland

            We can try various things with this unit. There’s enough going on to keep things interesting, and we can have it running in the background when the new system comes. I hope that one is easier to work with! From what I have been told, there are separate ports to be able to measure the reference orbo cell, the active orbo cell, and the 5 Volt controller chip. They say they have also sent leads and connectors which will help a lot with setting up tests.

          • SG

            That is very kind of them. It really seems they are trying to accommodate our testing. This demonstrates their trust in you, Frank, and the community you have attracted here, to be fair and open about whatever results we arrive at.

          • Sanjeev

            Ya ECW seems to be a perfect place, open science, no mindless personal attacks. And great collaborators.

          • Sanjeev

            Good to know that. It will surely lessen the work and speed up the tests.

          • Omega Z

            Last I heard is they are going to refund his purchase cost, send another Ocube & an Ophone.

            At this point and time, I don’t think there is much to discuss. They appear to be working hard to rectify the situation.

          • Frank Acland

            Yes, I’m out this evening and the ocube is doing its thing at home with nothing attached.

          • DrD

            SECOND that !
            As you say, the upconverter and regulator can not possibly be 100% efficient, meaning if we get 400mW form the ORBO we can’t get 400mW from the USB
            Have to wait a few hours now.

    • Frank Acland

      The lamp is acting fine plugged into my computer.

      • Dieter_G

        ok, so the problem is related to the o-cube

    • DrD

      No it’s not strange It’s exactly whay must happen. There’s nothing wrong with the USB coltroller, at least not to cause this. It’s why I keep saying LED’s are dramatic but not very helpful analytically.
      I repeat:
      “Remember white LED’s need 3.5 to 4v to operate and if they contain a driver, that will require about a volt overhead.

      a good LED set up will use a constant current regulator like BCR420 range whichneeds atleast 1.2V” ontop of the 3.5V

  • Frank Acland

    BTW, got tracking information from Steorn today on the ophone insides that were shipped today. It may be here this week, or early next week.

  • Tony norris

    Isn’t it possible to boost the 5v output from the ocubes usb output and have it power itself.

    https://www.seeingwithsound.com/usb_powersupply.htm
    Sorry to dump a link but a 5v to 9v booster exists…

    • Sanjeev

      That’s a good idea. Only risk is that if voltage falls too low, it will cascade into a dead orbo with no bias from outside. Just guessing.

      • DrD

        I proposed just that (week 1?) only it’s 18v they used, not 9V. It was then discussed by many of us.
        However, their current solution is far better.

        It uses a second ocube stack to provide the bias. No need for an upconverter.

        It is really an excellent solution; no internal batteries or capacitor, at all. It’s based on the fact that an Ocube cell does in fact work without bias, just has a lower output current but it’s clearly enough to provide the bias voltage with negligible current (uA’s) to the main output cells so that these “big daddies” can do their full output. I wasn’t aware of this when I suggested a charge ladder or buck converter to provide the bias from the output. I have wondered if Shaun saw our discusion on the subject.

    • DrD

      We believe that their replacements now use another bank of ocube cells to provide the bias.

  • Jouni Tuomela

    This also is harvesting energy from the environment:
    http://www.ktvn.com/story/31260413/13-year-old-creates-energy-harvesting-device

  • Frank Acland

    I don’t think anyone here can speak for Steorn. We’re just dealing with what they send us.

    • DrD

      Goodmorning, Any one awake yet, OR still awake?
      How did it go overnight?

      • DrD

        Typical LED array, with driver.

    • pg

      Here is a theory I found on an italian blog about Orbo. Don’t understand it, but to some expert is quite interesting. I put it here as a discussion tool.

      If the Orbo (1200 Euros!) Contained simple lithium thionyl chloride batteries? Their energy density (I speak of those commercial standard size that you can buy everywhere as the SL2780 you pay 24 euro retail) is 700 Wh / kg and 1400Wh / liter. If the orbo has the volume of 1 liter and weighs 2 kg would contain 1400 Wh, whereas the full charge from 0 to a large cell is 10Wh, you can recharge 140 times, that is, before you realize that your Orbo is flat, here goes a year, the warranty is up(which is only one year from shipment, while the law should be 24 months from delivery) and you’re screwed. Not for nothing is completely resin coated (against moisture they say).

      • DrD

        pg, That’s exactly what the folks here are doing. Trying to prove or disprove it. Going back over the 3 weeks you will see lots of measurements, calculations, battery storage data etc. It looks highly unlikely that a battery could be the source but we need rigorous proof.

      • SG

        With the new parts, we will apparently have a better view because they are supposedly on a tray with some potting resin to attach each part to the tray (unless I misunderstood). If that is the case, we have an easier time determining the volume of the active parts, which will lead to better estimates for the maximum energy density using conventional technologies.

        • FC

          It would be nice if Steorn used transparent resin this time. But we’ll find out pretty soon.

          • Frank Acland

            No, it’s the same black kind.

          • FC

            Pity.

        • Frank Acland

          From what I saw on Skype it looked like the whole tray was covered in resin, so it actually looked like a large black rectangle with the parts hidden inside.

      • R V

        And all someone would have to do is dissolve the resin to show that to be able to sue Steorn and it’s owners for everything they have. I doubt they are that stupid.

  • SG

    Frank, I know it is getting late, but if you see this, I suggest that we put the rated bias circuit back on for the overnight. Looks like self-charging (without the bias assist) has stalled.

    • Frank Acland

      Yes, that’s no problem I can get that set up to run overnight. Btw, tracking on my shipment of the testing unit from Steorn gives the estimated delivery date of Monday Feb 29th. So we can start thinking of how to test that — hopefully it works as described!

  • SG

    As Frank said, none of us here collaborating at ECW have any connection to Steorn. We are just an interested group of individuals who have come together to test their claims, and will let the chips fall where they may. We are fair, but thorough, and will say it like we find it. The combined expertise of the collaborators here is quite remarkable. I think for these reasons, and for Frank’s open line of communication, Steorn has chosen to send some of the first units here for public testing.

  • Marcus W

    Goodmorning Frank, first reading of today : 4.41V

    • SG

      Yep, not much progress with overnight self-charging (with bias). I suggest today’s test be a longer-term resistor discharge test with 47 Ohm resistor attached to U1/U2. Keep the bias circuit in place. Discharge down to 2.9V and stop. Make periodic voltage readings during the discharge, noting the time. Then let it recharge for 12 hours with the rated bias circuit still attached.

      • Frank Acland

        Ok, that will be easy to do.

        • SG

          It discharged pretty quickly. My estimate is ~141 W*s of energy. Not too impressive, and does not correlate well to the nearly 2 hours of operation on unpacking the unit, nor to Shaun’s latest video. Although it does seem to be self-charging (with bias) to some extent after the test. Back to the “fecked up” domains hypothesis. Delivery of the next Orbo internals will help bring some clarity, hopefully.

          • Dieter_G

            “Delivery of the next Orbo internals will help bring some clarity, hopefully.”
            Yes hopefully. Another clot of epoxy, annoying.

            Don’t mind the quick discharge. The “capacitance” is skyrocketing at 4.6-4.7V. We were just below that.

          • SG

            Yes, the high capacitance at high voltage is intriguing. If the capacitance is variable with Orbo cells, however, I suppose it would also drop as the cells are discharged. But then where does the stored energy go? Dissipated as heat?

          • Frank Acland

            Maybe it goes back where it came from … 🙂

          • FC

            That’s definitely one possibility.

            Another one is that the energy goes to increase the order in the disordered cores of the pack, which are still too disordered (below 2.9V) to supply any energy in the discharge experiments.

            Remember that according to Ged’s model, the capacitance, energy stored, or whatever you want to call it, is simply the degree of order within a core, or pack of cores.

            In any case, great job today, you all.

          • Dieter_G

            well, there isn’t necessarily energy lost when a capacitance is variable. On low voltages -where cap is low- it charges faster (in terms of voltage change per charge) and discharges faster. at higher voltages -where cap is high- it charges and discharges more slowly. That is also inline with what was observed.
            Still could be a ordinary battery-pack as the variable capacitance is regarded.

          • Frank Acland

            Actually I took the bias off to do the discharge, and haven’t put it back on yet.

          • Sanjeev

            I’m calculating about 197.5 J. Please see the new sheet I added which shows the calc. Are there any errors?

          • Ged

            Indeed, we don’t know if all the core have revived or just a few, which may play a role. The new stuff will be great to have!

  • DrD

    Were all doing our best to prove it one way or the other. I agree the proof isn’t there yet.
    Yes, the flashlight was easy to debunk.

    • Jonas Matuzas

      How flashlight was debunked ?

      • GreenWin

        Here is a “49 hour test” video of ELFE for what it’s worth: https://www.youtube[dot]com/watch?v=YChhW002iAE

      • Sanjeev

        Yes, in normal operation its not meant to be recharged. But this OCube is dead as per Steorn, so some attempts were made to bring it back to life by charging the 5F capacitor which is also in parallel to the orbo power pack.

  • Dieter_G

    Hm, no discussion today ?
    Well, the latest test didn’t reveal something spectacular, I admit.
    At least it shows, that “it” seems to feel a lot more comfortable at around 4.7V.

  • R V

    .22W is 220 milliwatts.

  • R V

    Who would trust anything coming out of post Soviet Russia?

  • Sanjeev

    My rough calculations show that at the current discharge rate the OCube can charge a phone battery in 1 day as claimed by Steorn. IF it recharges quickly (in seconds), which a healthy OCube is supposed to do.
    The calculations are in a new sheet in SS. Please find out any errors, my math etc is not perfect 😀

    • SG

      I understood that the discharge test began at 11:25 not 11:22. If so, then the power calculation at 11:22 shouldn’t be incorporated into the energy mix. The power at 11:22 should be essentially zero. But I could be wrong on my understanding of when the test began.

      • Frank Acland

        Yes it started at 11:25. 11:22 was the last reading prior to the test.

        • Sanjeev

          Ok I changed it. The results are very different now. Still the total energy at the end of the test does not match with SG’s estimate. What else is wrong?

          • SG

            Well our estimates are pretty close now. It looks we took slightly different approaches, with yours being an average of two power readings over each 60 second time period, and mine using instantaneous power calculations as rough estimates for the energy calculation. Of course, to be highly accurate, we would need to integrate the power over the course of the experiment, but hard to do without a power analyzer.

          • Sanjeev

            Yes, pretty close. I thought 60 sec is too long duration to take instantaneous power as is.
            Anyway, the test seems impractical at this point as it will take many months to achieve the target at this rate of energy “generation”.

          • SG

            Agreed.

          • Sanjeev

            We can reduce the target by considering only the weight of orbo+cap , which is unknown. Its a bit of cheating but we know there is no other active source there, its all resin and metal.

          • Frank Acland

            All this should become easier with the next unit Steorn is sending, providing it works as they say. From what I saw on the Skype call, it’s basically a plastic tray with the two orbo cells and control chip potted into it. Yes there will be the weight of the resin, but no cap or case.

          • Ged

            They really love propping up the resin industry, don’t they.

          • Sanjeev

            So what have you decided to do with this one? Any communication with HUG?
            Perhaps they can rescue it from the resin and revive it by zapping it with KV of voltage.

          • Frank Acland

            I plan to continue to test with it for the moment. I wouldn’t want to send it elsewhere with it without the agreement of Steorn.

          • Sanjeev

            Sounds good.

  • Sanjeev

    Frank, can you ask SM the weight of one orbo cell and 5F cap. It can make life easier.

    • Frank Acland

      Yes, I can ask.

  • Frank Acland

    BTW I think there’s a chance the new cells will come tomorrow. Tracking shows the package is in the US now and they were pretty quick delivering last time once it landed. Here’s hoping.

    • DrD

      That’s good news Frank.
      As for the existing results, I think they are indicating that the Orbo cells are generating more energy once they get close to 5V (eg 4.6V yesterday), arguably about 400mW but difficult to say exactly. On the other hand they are not working very well once they fall below about 4.5V. Furthermore, the USB output can not sustain even 220mW(approximately) even when U1U2 is above 4.5V. This may be due to high converter/regulator efficiency losses. I can’t acces their fb so I can’t check what Steorn claim for continuous USB output current, it might be only a few mA?
      The 5V converter/regulator doesn’t seem to be regulating very well.
      Also — the 18V/1Meg bias doesn’t seem to make much difference?
      Is that a fair overal assesment or have I missed something?

      Useful charge does seem to be appearing from some where but we haven’t proven exactly how much and from where? That’s definitely a question.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Recharging the device again with a battery and a resistor until it reaches 4.8 V might be a reasonable next step. Subsequently, the LED could be connected directly to U1-U2 (requires a pre-resistor if not included). Of course, both voltage and current would have to be measured. In case that the LED remains stable for a much longer time than in the previous test we could infer that the cells work and that there is only a problem with the internal circuits Otherwise, we should forget this particular device and wait until the new one arrives.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I just notice that there had been other discharge attempts before the LED was connected. So it seems better to do the test twice, once via USB and once via U1-U2.

        • Dieter_G

          Yes, I’d also like to see it charged back to the 4.7V+ region.
          However, I would prefer a test with a very light load because I disagree with the assumption that this device generates meaningful ammounts of energy, as stated by some.

          There were a few interesting indications of energy generation, but nothing really convincing (from my point of view).
          I start from the premise that this device is severly damaged with regards to its power-generating ability, but maybe the are a few remains of this capability.

          If it can sustain its voltage with a slight load, or even increase its voltage a bit while under load, this would be a strong indication of some generating capability.

          With a 100 Ohm resistor it took several minutes until it lost .01V. If we now use a 10K resistor (to start with), this timeframe would expand 100 times, thus several hundred minutes to lose 0.01V. A day has 1440minutes, so it should loose a few times 0.01V per day if it doesn’t generate any energy. If it doesn’t, its interesing.

          I propose the high resistance in order to give it a chance to sustain at least this slight load, assuming a little bit of generating capability is left.

          • SG

            I second this idea/plan. Would be a great longer-term test to run in the background as we turn our main attention to the new Orbo parts.

          • Frank Acland

            Yes, I agree. I should be able to set this up this afternoon and let it run over the weekend.

          • DrD

            Why do you say it lost .01 V? I just checked the video and it was constant over the full 3 minutes at 4.68V. Frank pulled it down from 4.69 to 4.66 before starting but waited till It returned to 4.68 where it stayed. Nevertheless, I agree 3 minutes wasn’t long enough for a convincing test with only 2 decimals resolution and such a low rate of change. So lets see what happens over a longer time with the larger resistor.

          • Dieter_G

            Yes you are right. I somehow mixed the two videos (100Ohm discharge and followon 47Ohm discharge) up in my memory. Nonetheless, it lost 0.01V in 134s in the second video, so with a 100Ohm resistor in place of the 47 Ohm, It would have taken 285s.
            So, my assumptions should still be about right, I think.

    • georgehants

      It would seem that by sending new devices etc. Mr. Steorn has something to be proven that works as stated.
      Dafter things have been known, but no point in him sending more if he does not genuinely know that an effect can be shown.
      Good luck to him and all you guys in showing the new unit can perform.

    • Frank Acland

      It’s looking like we’ll have to wait until Monday — the package is still in Ohio, and may have missed the flight to make today’s delivery.

      • DrD

        What a shame Frank.
        Any update on the currrent unit? Sorry i can’t see the SS but I notice you were happy to continue the testing. It might be worth asking Shuan what the continuous output current (from the USB) should be if you get a chance.

  • BillH

    Here’s an idea, charge up the 5F capacitor fully from an external source. Then plug in a phone and see if it will charge it up fully in a reasonable time. If this fails it shows that it can never work, either,the capacitor or the USB chip is faulty or it could never have worked as designed.

    Here’s an even crazier idea, try “listening” to the orbo packs! It may be they are some sort of aerial.

  • Frank Acland
    • Matt

      Maybe it’s just me, but I would prefer positive third party reviews of working devices.

      • Frank Acland

        I don’t think it’s just you, Matt.

    • Michael W Wolf

      Yea, well maybe he should have sent you that one Frank. At this point, I would ask for a refund. Tell him you’ll pay for another one when he is ready to ship it. At least you’ll know something if he does or doesn’t return your money.

  • Frank Acland

    I started a long-term test with a 10k Ohm resistor across U1-U2 this afternoon
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SmmDLw9-g_Mamtk7qloWEeWNacHwEBpXxdwdTXnAZpc/edit#gid=0

    • FC

      The voltage hasn’t dropped one bit in 5 hours. So it can handle 2.2 mW without a problem.

      We also know that the voltage drops relatively quick when discharging through a 47 Ohm resistor (i.e. at 414 mW) and when driving a 220 mW load through the UBS port (which probably amounts to 350 mW when all internal losses are considered).

      So the Ocube in its current condition appears to be recharging at a rate somewhere between 2.2 mW and 350 mW. It’s just a matter of trying some intermediate resistors to find its actual recharge rate.

      I suppose you don’t want to start a new test at this time of the evening. But tomorrow, do you want to reduce the resistance one order of magnitude (to 1k), to see how it handles 22 mW?

      • Frank Acland

        Sure, I can reduce the resistance tomorrow.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      It would better to measure the current at least during the recharge phase. It is not possible to calculate the supplied energy without knowing both voltage and current.

      • FC

        It is fairly to common to infer the power using Ohm’s law when only the voltage and the resistance are known.

        Ohm’s law states that I = V/R

        I is the current,
        V is the voltage,
        And R is the resistance.

        Now, since power is P = V*I,

        then P = V*(V/R) = (V^2)/R

        This is how power is generally calculated knowing only the voltage and the resistance.

        Regarding the Orbo pack, and always according to Ged’s model and Steorn’s claims, the pack recharges constantly (at least when in good condition). This means that the recharging happens both when the pack is powering a load and when it isn’t powering anything.

        Sometimes, the recharging happens by means of the pack’s inherent electric field alone (i.e. unassisted) and sometimes it happens by means of both its inherent electric field and an externally applied field, or bias (i.e. assisted).

        Therefore, when the pack is powering a load and the voltage doesn’t drop (or rises), that means that the power output of the pack through the load is lower than the packs recharge rate (whether assited or unassisted). And when the pack is powering a load and the voltage falls, it means that the power output of the pack through the load is higher than the pack’s recharge rate (whether assisted or unassisted).

        For example, in our present experiment, the Orbo pack is powering a large load (a 10k Ohm resistor). The power output of the pack through this load is:

        P = (V^2)/R = (4.7^2)/10000 = 2.2 mW

        This means that the pack’s recharge rate is greater than 2.2 mW (unless we see a voltage drop overnight).

        But we also know from previous tests that when the pack is powering a smaller load (such as a 47 Ohm resistor), the pack’s voltage falls relatively quickly from a starting value of 4.41V. In that case, the maximum power output of the pack through the load was:

        P = (4.41^2)/47 = 414 mW

        Therefore, we also know that the pack’s recharge rate is smaller than 414 mW.

        This is in line with Shaun McCarthy’s statement, that a (healthy) Ocube power pack recharges at a constant rate of 400mW. And remember that Frank’s Orbo pack isn’t so healthy anymore.

        But note that Shaun also said that an Orbo pack’s recharge curve is very nonlinear, being steeper along the lower and higher voltage sections, and flatter along the middle voltage section. So depending on the pack’s voltage, we may find different recharge rates.

        I hope this makes sense.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          FC, I have been aware of Ohm’s law at the latest when I was 10 years old or so. When you charge the cube with an external battery and a resistor in series and you measure the voltage between U1 and U2, that voltage does not allow the calculation of the current, since we do not know the inner resistance of the device.

          Of course, you can argue that if the voltage does not drop when an external load is applied for a longer time one could assume that there is some internal production or harvesting of energy. But we are not yet at this point.

          Besides, I think it would be interesting to document the relationship between observed voltages before and after charging and discharging vs. supplied and withdrawn energy. I do not think that identical voltages at U1-U2 stand necessarily for equal energy contents, since there is likely a transfer between the cells and the capacitor (a possible reason for the apparent “self-charging”) which would have to reach an equilibrium before conclusions about the stored energy could be drawn.

          • FC

            Sorry Andreas, it was not my intention to upset you. Please, accept my apologies if my comment was inappropriate in any way.

            Regarding the current when the Ocube is recharging assisted by the bias circuit, since the circuit is in series, the current is the same everywhere. You can check this here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RC_circuit

            Therefore, if you can find what the current is in one spot, then you know what it is everywhere else. The easiest way to find it is by measuring the voltage drop across the resistor. Then, using Ohm’s law, the current is equal to the voltage drop across the resistor divided by the resistor’s resistance.

            Regarding the auditing of energy consumption while discharging through a resistor, if you calculate the instantaneous power as (V^2)/R and plot it versus time, the area under the curve is the energy consumed. This area can be approximated by multiplying periodic power readings by the time between those readings, as Sanjeev has been doing lately.

            And finally, regarding the auditing of the power input from the bias circuit while recharging the Ocube, exactly the same procedure applies (taking voltage readings across U1-U2 and R being 1M Ohm). But as you will find out, the power input is usually in the 10-15 uW range. So even after 24 hours of recharge time, the bias circuit would only have supplied in the order of 300 uWh of energy. This is two orders of magnitude lower than the energy consumed while discharging from 4.41 V to 2.9 V through a 47 Ohm resistor.

            I hope this makes sense.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            You do not have to apologize, FC 😉

            The problem that I mentioned is only relevant in external charging, not in discharging, and may indeed be insignificant with regard to the bias circuit.

            „The easiest way to find it is by measuring the voltage drop across the resistor.”

            Right, but this has not been done so far.

          • FC

            No worries, Andreas. 🙂

            Agreed, the voltage drop across the resistor hasn’t usually been measured during the assisted recharge phase. But then again, it’s fairly easy to measure it at any time (even in retrospect), since it must be equal to the difference between the voltage of the batteries (~18V) and the voltage across U1-U2. And since we usually know the resistor that Frank is using, you have all the necessary data to calculate the current using Ohm’s law.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            I am not convinced that this method would work, since the voltage of the batteries will drop as soon as you attach a load. We do not even know their off-load voltages in all cases. At least, you would have to live with a huge error margin if you did it that way.

          • FC

            True, it would be more accurate to have voltage readings across the resistor. But let’s assume that the error now is 20%, and the current is actually 12 uA instead of 15 uA. Even then, the energy output is still two orders of magnitude greater than the energy input.

  • Dieter_G

    good morning Frank !

    I just looked at the spreadsheet and saw you are doing a discharge test with a 10K resistor 🙂
    Is it correct, that from 8:14 am to 5:22 pm nothing was connected to the o-cube and yet the voltage rose by 0.02V ?
    I’m curious what the reading will be this morning.
    Can you tell us about how long the charging process with the 47Ohm-res took ?

    • Frank Acland

      No it’s not correct that nothing was attached to the ocube during that time. I was trying to charge up the cube to above 4.8 volts with batteries, also with a DC charger, which temporarily took it to 4.85, but after taking off the leads the highest I could get it to hold at was 4.71 V.

      Prior to the 47 Ohm resistor test I had the bias circuit (18 V, 1M Ohm) applied for about 13 hours with the

      • FC

        Morning, Frank.
        So there’s actually been a 0.01V drop in 12 hours with a 10k Ohm load. I don’t know what others think, but I’d be inclined to continue this test until a 0.02V per day drop is confirmed.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I agree that if the voltage drops with a 10k resistor it would drop even more at 1k. But dropping is actually not what we’d like to see. I think that these cells are simply dead, maybe due to overloading in the initial phase. So continuing this test, in whatever way, would likely not lead to any result. It might be better to wait until the new device arrives. The following tests should be carried out in a systematic way, without any superfluous additions. IMHO.

          • SG

            Right, I think the suggestion was to find the “equilibrium” point where the Ocube maintained its voltage with a load. If we observe that it continues to drop with the 10k ohm resistor, then we might want to bump up the resistance. But then, we are just confirming that this Ocube is either “fecked up” or that Orbo doesn’t work as claimed.

          • Frank Acland

            I have replaced the 10k Ohm resistor with a 2.2 k Ohm now

        • Frank Acland

          Hi Bayani, the reference voltages have been put on the ocube based on recommendations from Steorn. Apparently functioning ocubes and ophones always require a reference voltage to be applied to the active orbo cell

        • Sanjeev

          I don’t think xrays would go through that thick metal case.
          Actually I’m surprised that it passed the scanner. Its opaque to xray and looks suspicious, its unlike any common household object.

          • FC

            Agreed.
            But the effect of X-rays should be considered for Ophones and demonstration devices, which do not have a thick metal casing.

          • Sanjeev

            I recall that the electret is sandwiched between two dissimilar metals. So there is some protection. Anyway, I can’t say I know the effect of xrays on orbo. Somebody needs to experiment with it.

      • Dieter_G

        Thanks for the information Frank.
        So, no apparent self charging this time. The behaviour under the light load also is not very encouraging so far. This latest observations could indeed nearly (*1) be attributed to a pack of 4 NiCd/NiMH-cells as OM suggested above.

        (*1) The voltage doesn’t fit precisely. Should go above 4.8V easily when treated with a DC charger. However, the cells were deep dicharged for some time and could be a bit damaged.

        • Frank Acland

          Yes so far it seems that the voltage limit is 4.71 when you take off an external charging source.

          • Dieter_G

            ok

          • Ged

            Looks like the 1K resistor may be having a better impact.

          • Sanjeev

            Very stable with 1k also. Looks like the voltage dips at the time of connection, but then holds itself. Producing/consuming 22mW now.

          • FC

            I was just watching again Frank’s first video of 24 February (above). In that video, Frank tests the Ocube’s discharge through a 100 Ohm resistor. The test only lasts a couple minutes, but the result is similar to what we’re seeing now: an initial 0.01V dip followed by a stable phase at 4.68V. So this Ocube may be able to handle 220 mW too. If that’s the case (or even if the voltage only drops slightly over time), after 20-30 days of testing, the “battery hypothesis” would start becoming highly improbable, as far as I’m concerned.

          • Anon2012_2014

            That’s what I see. So we have only 1 megohm resistor in series with batteries providing (18-4.7)/1e6=13 uA, but we are taking out of it 4.7 mA; more or less steady state.

            I had predicted for a “good” yet conventional RF energy harvester around 20 mW. Maybe we are using new science here. 20 mW is good (useful), but it won’t replace LENR. If we can show that this energy is not coming from RF but from some other hitherto unused method of harvesting (ULF magnetic fields for example, or heat harvesting from the room), we have something. I’d like to see 500 mW average, but I am not as hopeful.

            At least the device is not fraud.

          • PT

            What would “a one page executive summary” be so far? What are the facts and what are the unverified assumptions? What are the results from the tests and what are the conclusions – if any?

            In regard to forthcoming tests on a new cell, it is worth remembering that Steorn’s support comes not only out of kindness, but ultimately from a desire to earn money.

            Steorn have a long and checkerd past with only failed demos so far. There is a very high probability that the next “test cell” will be just more of the same.

            Most of us hope for a breakthrough, but hope is subjective, and should not cloud objective observations and conclusions. Therefore the bar should be set very high.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            In a nutshell: The tested device does not work, maybe because it is damaged. Frank will receive a new unit within a few days, which will hopefully perform better.

          • SG

            Yes, I concur. We tested this Ocube from many different angles and the only conclusion, unfortunately, is that this Ocube doesn’t perform in accordance with Steorn’s claims. That said, stuff happens, and we shall give them the benefit of the doubt and test the replacement device, and as always, let the chips fall where they may.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Regarding apparent stability, we should not forget that a reading of 4.69 can mean anything from 4.685 to < 4.695. So there is a maximum error of almost 0.01 volts, which is also the minimum difference that we are looking for. That’s obviously a problem in this sort of tests.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Actually, the maximum error is +-0.005 V (plus the tolerance of the meter), but it does not seem to make a difference in this case.

      • Sanjeev

        I’ve added the latest calculations. 185 Joules consumed so far. There is no significant drop in voltage with 2.2k, so I think a lower value can be tried.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          I took about 12 hours until we saw the first drop with the 10k resistor. Possible rounding errors of the instrument must also be considered. So I think we should give the 2.2k resistor a chance.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            „It took…“ If we would have to wait again as long – well, that would be a surprise. But it seems more likely that we will see the next drop +- 3 hours after the 2.2k resistor was connected.

          • Dieter_G

            yes, I think you are right. I expect the same.
            Lets see…

          • Frank Acland

            I asked SM if shipping by air could have an effect on the cells (I was thinking of low temperature, not pressure), but he said no — they are shipped by air from China where they are manufactured.

          • SG

            The shipping causing a problem thought entered my mind as well (although I was thinking more along the lines of the x-ray scanners, mishandling of packages, etc.) There is always an outside chance of sabotage, given that if it works, it could be quite disruptive to many industries.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Or even worse things could happen 😉 Remember that movie?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_and_Day

          • Matt

            Hold on, manufactured in China? If those cells do what they are claimed to do it would be something never seen before. And such a thing they let produce in China? Pretty soon we will have cheap copies on Alibaba. If the whole story is true.

          • Dieter_G

            Hehe LOL, agreed !
            But then again, they desperately need to mess em in epoxy before sending em to their customer (I spare the plural for the time beeing) in order to protect their IP.
            I don’t know if this is what they say but it is BS from my point of view.

          • Dieter_G

            Ah ok, thanks for the info.

          • Sanjeev

            That’s a lowly sum. If it works and Frank becomes the first public tester to show that it does, it will be a priceless achievement. Historic.

          • Frank Acland

            I’m just glad to have the chance to do this testing, and am very happy that Steorn is sending a new unit that should be easier to test, and should tell us more than we can get from this ocube. If I got any kind of fee from Steorn it would take away from the independent nature of the testing.

        • SG

          The current test was with a 10K ohm resistor. Frank said he was just now going to switch it to a 2.2K. Am I missing something?

          • Frank Acland

            I switched to a 2.2 k Ohm resistor about 2 hours ago

          • SG

            Oh okay, see that now. So Sanjeev was on top of the latest when I clearly was not.

          • Sanjeev

            This OCube has been a good toy for hands on practice. Now that most of the mistakes have been already made and lessons learnt and a lot of internals and behavior is known, the testing of the new parts will be much smoother.

          • JK

            Frank, any news from Steorn about O-Cube updates in general? You seem to be the only one who has heard from them in the past week. I also ordered one.

          • Frank Acland

            Just that they are continuing testing on them, but nothing specific yet about delivery times.

          • JK

            Thanks, Frank. Have been hoping for some official sign of life outside of this blog, but no luck.

  • OM

    It seems to me, the device acts as 4 x 1.2V accumulators.

    http://img1.114pifa.com/2059/ZLatSBgHC_1398257698.jpg

    • FC

      Right. Most numbers seem to match this model very well. Except for two discrepancies:

      1. The Ocube has been drained almost completely and instantaneously 3 times (if I remember correctly) due to accidental shorts.

      2. We have observed two voltage spikes when the Ocube was recovering from one of those shorts without assistance.

      And as far as I know, batteries do not behave that way.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Your NiCads should be dead in 700/4.7 = 6 days.

      Lets see if the orbopack can’t maintain 4.68v.

  • FC

    In response to 1), if it was only the capacitor that was drained, and not the cores, I presume that the capacitor would have been recharged by the cores very quickly after the short, and that was not the case.

    In response to 2), the spikes were upwards, as if the cores were recuperating, not expiring.

  • OM

    Unfortunately, I do not see that the device can produce energy.

  • FC

    Good morning, Frank.

    Thank you for the late night and early morning readings. The Ocube has finally taken a hit overnight discharging through the 1k Ohm resistor (from 4.68V to 3.864V in 13 hours and 28 minutes). I will leave it Sanjeev to find a more exact estimate of the energy consumed, but right off the bat, I think it’s in the order of 250 mWh.

    Unfortunately, this Ocube is performing well below Steorn’s claims after the accidental short of 13 February. And at this recharge rate, we would need a year or more to extract enough energy from it to be able rule out the “battery hypothesis.” Not very promising. Luckily, the new device should arrive soon.

    • Dieter_G

      Regarding the initial accidental short, we should keep in mind that the device also didn’t perform as expected PRIOR to this short. For this reason, the backplate was taken off and only then this short happened.
      So for me, it isn’t a plausible explanation for its bad performance.

      • FC

        Agreed. It probably never performed according to specs. I only said that since the accidental short, the Ocube is performing well below specs.

        • Dieter_G

          yes.
          Lets see how the new one does its job.
          To bad that what was seen up to now pretty much resembles the “delay and excuse”-theme some have predicted.

          • FC

            True.
            The positive note to me is that now Steorn admit that they’re having preproduction problems and that they’re testing different configurations to try and solve those problems.
            Time will tell.

          • Dieter_G

            “…that now Steorn admit that they’re having preproduction problems…”
            Oh I missed that. Can you give me a hint where I can find this statement ?

            “Time will tell”
            At leat that one is for sure 😉

          • FC
          • Dieter_G

            Ah, sorry I got it wrong. I’ve read reproduction instead of preproduction

          • FC

            No worries, Dieter. 🙂
            I hope they’re not having reproduction problems as well!

          • Andreas Moraitis

            If they change the configuration they will have to scrap all devices that are already potted. Maybe they recognize now that using the resin was not the best idea.

          • FC

            Good point. 🙂

    • Sanjeev

      I think this round of discharge is over and it produced about 0.4 watt hours, nothing outstanding.
      The 2.2k seems to work better and I don’t see any signs of self charging once the voltage dropped below 4V. But above 4V, it behaved as if its a capacitor of infinite capacitance.

      • Ged

        Guess we may have to force charge it back above that threshold again.

        • Sanjeev

          Best if it charges back itself. If not then it needs assisted charging and this time some arrangement must be made to measure the charging current and voltage both, so that we get the amount of energy fed in. After the discharge cycle, we will be then able to compute the COP.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Simply measure the voltage across the resistor to get current. Measure the voltage across U1/U2 to get voltage. Integrate voltage * current to get energy in.

          • Sanjeev

            Can be done. The value of R must be measured precisely, it has tolerance.

  • FC

    Hmm, interesting. Thank you.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    This is what I would suggest for the test of the new unit:

    1. Take a 100 Ohm resistor, measure its resistance.
    2. Connect the resistor with the unit, ensure that your meter records the minimum voltage.
    3. Leave it untouched as long as possible (at least 2 weeks if the voltage remains stable).
    4. Record the voltage during that time (of course…).
    5. Before disassembling the experiment, check the stored minimum voltage.
    6. After disassembly, measure the resistance again.

    • Dieter_G

      Hmm, I’n not sure if these tiny O-phone cells are intended to deliver 50mA. Frank should ask what current they can deliver

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Yes, of course that should be clarified first, and if the parameters were different a higher resistance would have to be chosen. My idea is to stay significantly below the maximum load to avoid any potential problems.

        • Dieter_G

          “My idea is to stay significantly below the maximum load to avoid any potential problems.”
          Yes exactly.
          @Frank : 40mW, that means 625 Ohm resulting in 8mA of current, assuming the output-voltage is 5V.

          • Sanjeev

            Looks like 1k would be fool proof. That should keep the voltage at 5V, or whatever peak it rests at.
            I wish someone loans a data logger to make life easier.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            Frank’s instrument has built-in registers that can store the maximum/minimum readings. It would be enough to know the min to be on the safe side. This method could also ensure that there had been no interruptions when the experiment was left unattended.

          • Dieter_G

            but he needs to be able to disable the auto-power-off feature then

          • Andreas Moraitis

            He would need fresh batteries for the meter, or an external power supply. BTW: Some digital meters (not even expensive ones) record also the average. I do not know if Frank’s meter includes this function – it would be the ideal case.

          • FC

            I agree with everything you guys are proposing. Assuming that the device’s rated voltage is 5V, driving a current from the device through a 1k Ohm resistor is the quickest and most direct way to verify that the new device is recharging at least at a 25 mW rate. So depending on its weight and dimensions, it would only take a few days to extract enough energy from it to rule out the hypothesis that it is being recharged by means of a conventional source hidden within the potting resin.

            My only concern in this scenario is that, since the voltage is presumably going to remain stable (due to the discharge rate being lower than its claimed recharge rate) we also need to make sure that a current is actually going through the resistor. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to tell whether the circuit is properly closed or open due to a faulty connection.

            I also think I remember Frank saying that the new device has a USB port, but I may be mistaken. If it does have a USB port, it could also be a good idea to test the device by using it to charge a phone in a series of charge-discharge cycles. That way, there would be no doubt that it is outputting usable amounts of energy and self-recharging subsequently.

          • Frank Acland

            I don’t believe it does have a USB port, FC.

          • FC

            Thank you, Frank.

            Then, personally I think that we need to find a way to make sure that a current is actually going through the resistor.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            You can only be absolutely sure if you use an amperemeter. That would be the standard method which I have defended all the time. But I think that measuring the resistance before and after the test might be ok as long as the resistor is properly connected.

          • FC

            Right. I guess that a multimeter in series would work fine. But it would bring into the circuit its own impedance, and we would need to factor that into our calculations.

            True. I know that you have defended measuring the current directly, from the beginning. 🙂
            It’s just that in previous instances, the setup usually caused a visible discharge in the Ocube (i.e. a drop in voltage). That’s why we knew that the circuit was properly connected. But in the setup that you are proposing now, there may not be any voltage drop at all in the device. And that’s why I personally think that, in this case, it is necessary to check the current.

          • Dieter_G

            I’m also backing Andreas suggestion. AFAIK Frank has several meters at hand, so one can be omitted for current monitoring.
            However, it needs to be verfied that the meter also conducts current when switched off. Most of them do so, like the one called VC97 he is using lately. If you plug the red wire into the mA-Port, it conducts, regardless if switched on or off. However, there are some models where you do not have to plug the red wire in different locations when switching from voltage to current-measurement. There is only one Port for the red wire. I guess these models are most likely problematic in this regard.

            Frank : to check if the meter is conducting when switched of, just put two of them in series, both set at Amp-measurement and switch of the device in question. You’ll then see on the other meter if the current stays the same or not.
            You can do this test beforehand with a battery and a resistor to ease things.

          • Frank Acland

            All things that we can try — but first things first. Delivery is still scheduled for today, and the first thing I am to do is to contact Steorn and check with them to make sure that the device arrived in the same condition in which it was shipped. Assuming nothing untoward has happened in the orbo’s voyage then we can start testing.

          • FC

            Totally agreed, Frank.
            Looking forward to your news.

          • Frank Acland

            Yes, I figured out how to do that.

      • Frank Acland

        I did ask about that, the answer was around an average of 40 mW over the course of 24 hours with peaks up to 200 mW. SM showed me on a scope that the Orbo pulses as it delivers power required by the control chip. Btw, out for now, back home this afternoon.

        • Anon2012_2014

          I want to see the instantaneous power output vs. earth magnetic field fluctuations, i.e.
          http://geomag.usgs.gov/plots/

          It may be a ULF magnetic harvester working below 100 Hz so as not to be shielded by the aluminum. 40 mW would be impressive. Burst of 200 mW might be due to a geomagnetic storm. The nT variations that we see on the links charts are all <.1 Hz, so we may be missing some data. If this works, it may be economically useful — have to do some calculations to see how it compares to solar cells for example. Might be very useful in places where it is dark during the winter.

        • DrD

          Interesting.
          40mW is a lot less than the 400mW that Shaun gave you for the U1U2 output. Even allowing for losses in the upconverter regulator it’s diificult to reconsile the two.
          40mW calls for a 625 ohm resistor (from 5V USB).
          Is there a written specification?

          • Frank Acland

            Nothing written, no. But the new unit only has a “half” orbo cell as the active power source, as opposed to the eight full cells in the ocube. What I am receiving is apparently the power pack for the ophone.

  • Linda

    Oh my goodness, this thread is a mess. Please don’t make us read the whole stream-of-consciousness… does it work, or doesn’t it?

    • FC

      Unfortunately, this Ocube has probably never performed according to specs for various reasons (including a damaged internal circuit and a subsequent accidental short, plus other previous issues that we may never know about due to the Ocube’s internals being potted). Therefore, it is impossible to test Steorn’s claims on this Ocube.

      Luckily, a simplified, more user-friendly, replacement device is on its way, and Frank should receive it in the next few days. So hopefully, the new device will allow us to test Steorn’s claims in order to determine their validity, or lack thereof.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Linda — this “thread” is a work in progress — more like a chat channel. You can either join the work by making comments, or simply read them. At some point the collective agreement of the participants may be that we have come to a conclusion. If it is positive, I would expect a more concise writeup. If it is negative, this is all that you will get. Sorry that the group has not come to a more definitive conclusion, but no one is paid here. It’s just collaborative science tinkering.

      The data on the spreadsheet above shows the reading concisely if you want to skip the verbiage, but to understand what they are talking about, you have to dig. Sorry.

    • Blue Energy

      Linda, I’ve read them all and I’ve, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that we may never know for sure whether Orbo actually works or not. I expect that we’ll ultimately just have individual opinions about that: same as always. It’s being crowd-tested, so a number of different approaches are being taken – each in fits and starts. Sometimes advancing one approach sets the others back.

      As has been reported below, the original O-Cube was damaged from the very beginning – although it did produce *some* juice. Subsequently, its orbos were accidentally damaged some more. It was revealed by Steorn that the interior of the unit contains two 9 volt batteries and a large capacitor (at least… Steorn has filled the interior of the container with epoxy so Frank can’t see for sure). Steorn says the damage to the orbos on the inside is that they are mostly no longer polarized.

      Since then, there have been two general strategies: 1.) measure the current they still produce long enough to see whether a known electrical storage device could accomplish that. 2.) jump the damaged orbos to see whether they can be restored to original working order. Additionally, as interesting phenomena have come up, detours to the two general strategies have been taken.

      The result of strategy ‘2’ is that the either the orbos have been partially restored – or else an internal storage device has partially been charged up. Hard to tell. Also, other components within the epoxy may, or may not, have been damaged by the process. And, strategy ‘1’ has been either set back by the charging and damage – or advanced by apparently increasing the output – depending upon your perspective. Regardless, considering the unknown amount of juice that has been sent into the box and it’s current output, strategy ‘1’ would take so long to find out that the crowd is no longer really interested.

      Meanwhile Steorn has announced that, someday, a replacement O-Cube will be sent to Frank AND his consortium’s money will be refunded – which Frank is passing back to them. So, the new O-Cube will really completely belong to Frank. Additionally, Steorn has purportedly sent a new test unit which is said to be closer to the guts of an O-Phone – but, I think, without the phone? It will also be buried in epoxy so it’s contents will be unknown. It is set to probably arrive today. On the one hand, it’s terrific that everybody gets their money back. On the other hand, Frank now feels some understandable obligation toward Steorn to use them only as Steorn would want them to be used. So, whereas originally the testing was truly independent, Steorn has managed (albeit perhaps by kindness) to purchase some control over it. For instance, Frank will not send one of the devices to HUG who has offered to do rigorous (and singly-directed) public testing unless Steorn approves. I think that this development bothers one in direct proportion to one’s skepticism regarding Steorn generally. If you have always basically trusted Steorn – this is OK and reasonable. If not – this is unfortunate and may taint any result.

      That’s how it stands as of this morning. It’s possible that with the new unit a cohesive testing strategy will evolve that will determine whether orbo produces more energy than it uses without breaking it in the process. But the lure of probing virtually into the epoxy to try to discover things about it’s characteristics is so strong (particularly among those that already believe anyway) that I don’t think that will happen. So, you can probably expect a new large forum topic which will be just as convoluted as this one is. I predict that, if you have been a Steorn supporter, the new effort will convince you. Whereas, if you are not, the new effort will appear to lack rigor and questions will remain. So Linda, probably, in the long run, nothing will change.

      • SG

        Pretty good summary Blue Energy. But I would respectfully disagree with you that the independence of ECW and ECW’s community has been compromised in any way by the mere fact that Steorn is providing another device to test free of charge, with apparently no strings attached. This is quite standard for new technology gadgets: send samples out into the wild and await the reviews. ECW and its community will test and report, whatever the outcome, letting the chips fall where they may.

        • Blue Energy

          Well… I’ll say this: I don’t think that the independence of ECW and community are compromised. When our conversation originally started all of this I felt certain that we could trust Frank to be even handed. And I mostly still do. And since then the participating ECW community has swelled to include some very knowledgeable people. But, two other things have changed since then too.

          The first is that I did not anticipate the majorities primary desire to understand *how* it works – rather than first simply proving *whether* it works or not. That was what our conversation was about – testing to know *whether* it worked. In the meantime the crowd has become populated with people whose primary interest seems to be in the *how*.

          The second is that, initially, whatever responsibility Frank felt for providing him the opportunity to test an O-Cube was directed toward you and the other people who provided funds to test it. When Hughes offered to test the *whether* question using their superior environment and logging equipment you and I both were for it ending up there. Now that Shaun has bought it back and provided Frank with more for free, Frank has said that he would not consider sending anything to Hughes unless Steorn first approved it. I think you would agree that you are not completely objective unless you feel free to do whatever is in the best interest of coming to the truth.

          Also, in the meantime some testing parameters seem to have used information from Shaun as a priori knowledge. So – that’s changed. And, really, I’m not even saying that Steorn had anything to do with the change or would even object to Hughes getting their hands on it for a long term *whether* test. But, Steorn buying it back and providing information as to how to interpret findings has changed the dynamics of the test and possibly altered the result.

          My feeling is that if the original unit had just arrived in working condition Frank could have charged his phone with it twice a day until everyone was satisfied it could not possibly contain storage for that much electricity in a container that size. Or else he’d have done that for awhile and then loaned it to Hughes for a few months where it would have sat in an environmentally isolated place draining .4W while computerized logging equipment watched it 24/7. If either of those actually happened – then we’d have known – one way or the other.

          Now, there are lots of interesting things we do know about it – in particular orbo’s apparent incredible capacitance – but we don’t know whether it works as advertised, which is what all of this was originally about. And knowing that first would not have precluded other investigations later. But, I think that at this point the pressure for Frank to test other aspects of its replacement than just whether it fulfills its stated parameters is so strong that I don’t think the forum will answer that about the new ones either. It’s been terrific entertainment – but that’s all.

          • SG

            Fair enough. I’ll say this though: there has been no refund as of yet. So on that front, perhaps you can still consider the situation still somewhat beholden to the original funders. I actually never requested nor desired a refund, so won’t be upset if it never comes through.

          • Blue Energy

            There hasn’t been?! Oh – I didn’t realize that. It has been so long since Frank reported that Shaun offered that, and considering the utter failure of the original shipped unit – I had just presumed that had already occurred. At the time it felt… imminent. What advantage is there to Shaun of making such a magnanimous offer – but then not following through? Very confusing.

            At the same time, though, I don’t think it reverses the situation on the ground. Confuses and complicates it maybe. But ECW is taking suggestions from Shaun as to how to test the new kit. And, even though money has not changed hands, Frank is clearly operating as if Shaun deserves a say as to what happens to the equipment.

            I have noticed something promising in the week 4 thread though. ECW consensus seems to be trending toward testing the new unit’s longevity. I did not expect that. And the general plan to do so seems sound too.

  • The summary is easy…. Orbo arrived, it was said by Steorn to be a faulty one, testing confirmed it wasn’t working according to expectations, Frank being new to this bench poking allowed his “house cats” ( we don’t know if they were e-cats) to sleep on disassembled and vulnerable device while Frank was away, sleeping cats short circuited the already non-functioning Orbo, ‘fecking’ it as Steorn put it so delicately…. more testing proved it was well and truly ‘fecked’ by e-cats. That’s about it! If a bonafide working Orbo arrives soon as expected at least Frank is well tutored on his methods and knows to keep the cats and/or e-cats away.

    • This is way more amusing to watch than old episodes of Columbo!

  • Frank Acland

    Ok, the new Orbo pack arrived. I have spent some time putting it through is paces with Shaun McCarthy and he seems to think it has arrived in decent shape. I will start a new thread with some photos and a video and we can start a test recommended by Shaun this afternoon.

    • SG

      Good news Frank. Look forward to seeing more and launching in to some more testing!

  • Frank Acland

    New thread including a quick video of the new pack is up here: http://www.e-catworld.com/2016/02/29/ecw-orbo-testing-thread-week-4-new-power-pack-arrives/

    I’ll be back in about an hour.

  • At least the latest test with the 47 Ohm resistor shows the constant current draw of about 100 milliamps so this resistor gets about 462 milliWatts of output power… Frank does the resistor get warm already after 4Minutes ? It should ! How long did you let charge the Ocube up before with the batteries connected ?