E-Cat Quark-X LENR in 1956? (Alan Smith)

patent specification


Sources and background

This article is based on an extraordinary patent application that can be found here: A New Apparatus for Producing an Electric Current

It was initially posted on The Rex Research website. (For those who have not come across it before) This is an extraordinary ‘cabinet of curiosities’- an archive containing documents relating to hundreds of obscure, outrageous and extravagant ideas, some of which might turn out to be useful if re-engineered with current technology. Well worth a look.

A first look at this patent called to mind the brief descriptions we have seen of Andrea Rossi’s ‘Quark’ device, particularly in the way that it is claimed to produce heat and electrical energy. Limited further investigation has turned up little more information about the authors of this patent, but tracking other citations referring to their work turns up some interesting material. From time to time this has been raised as a topic of discussion on various ‘odd science’ forums, but I am not aware of any replication attempts. Readers who find relevant information they wish to share are urged to put links etc. into the comments section. As usual my own thoughts and comments are written in italics.


This invention relates to a new apparatus for producing electric current, such apparatus being in the form of a completely novel secondary battery which is considerably lighter than and has an infinitely greater life than any known battery and which can be re-activated as and when required in a minimum of time. It is a small, inexpensive, long-lasting and controllable energy generating device which produces 1kW of electricity (said to be DC) and heat, and becomes radioactive when stimulated with a magnetic field and radio-frequency waves for 15 seconds in every hour.

The Device Described

‘A New Apparatus for Producing an Electric Current’ was patented by Harold Colman and Ronald Seddon-Gillespie on 5 December 1956 (GB763062). Diagrams of the apparatus can be seen in the application pdf. The inventors claimed this tiny lightweight device produces electricity, using a self-powered electromagnet and easily available chemicals and metal powders. The working life of the device before needing refurbishment/refuelling is estimated to be 70 years with an output of about one kilowatt.

Energy production is triggered by a 300MHz transmitter which bombards a special mix of chemicals encapsulated in a small quartz tube around 45mm long x 5mm O.D. Bombardment with radio waves produces energy and radioactive emissions from the core tube for a period of up to one hour. To maintain output the transmitter needs to operate for 15 to 30 seconds once every hour. The operator is shielded by a lead screen around the device to prevent exposure to harmful radiation.

300MHz is now a frequency reserved in the EU for operating (amongst other things) wireless car locking systems, doorbells and so on.

The heart of the power generator unit consists of an electromagnet and the quartz tube containing chemicals. The nuclei of the elements become unstable as a result of the bombardment by short waves. This causes the elements to become radio-active and release electrical energy, the mixture being mounted between, and in contact with, a pair of different metals such as copper and zinc, and a capacitor mounted between those metals.

The mixture is described as containing Cadmium-112, Phosphorus-31 and Cobalt-59 in powder form.(It is described in the patent as costing 3 shillings an ouncesee recipe) It is layered into the quartz tube as described below and compressed between granulated zinc at one end of the tube and granulated copper at the other end, the ends of the tube being closed by brass caps. The tube is supported by a suitable cradle located between the poles of the magnet. The magnet is preferably an electromagnet and is energized by the current produced by the unit. The transmitter unit which is used for activating the generator unit may be of any conventional type operating in the ultra-shortwave band and is preferably crystal-controlled at the desired frequency with the ability to tune it around this frequency.

The system works best if the Quartz tube is made up of a number of small cells (layers of powders) in series. So starting at one end and in contact with the brass cap, there would be a layer of copper powder, then a layer of the chemical mixture, then a layer of powdered zinc, more mixture, then a layer of powdered copper, etc., with a layer of powdered zinc in contact with the brass cap at the other end of the cartridge. With a cartridge some 45 mm long and 5 mm diameter, some 14 cells may be included.

Radio waves are conveyed to the mixture by a pair of antennae (presumably a dipole antenna) which are exactly similar to the antennae of the transmitter unit for producing the waves, each antenna projecting from and being secured to the brass cap at each end of the tube. The transmitter unit which is used for activating the generator unit may be of any conventional type operating on ultra-short wave and is preferably crystal controlled to the desired frequency. (No RF output power is specified, nor the output waveform)
In the illustrations in the patent the unit comprises a base upon which the various components are mounted. The base has a pair of support arms adapted to form a cradle for the quartz tube, preferably made of spring material so that the tube is firmly held in position but can be removed. When in position the tube is positioned between the poles of the magnet so as to be in the strongest part of the magnetic field created. This magnet serves to control the alpha and beta rays emitted by the cartridge when it is in operation.

Also connected across the cradles is a lead condenser (?) which may conveniently be housed in the base of the unit and connected in parallel with this condenser is a suitable high frequency inductance coil. The unit is provided with a lead shield so as to provide protection from harmful radiation from the quartz tube as will presently be described. (The purpose of the HF induction coil and its uses are not clear – to this writer at least – from the patent description)

The quartz tube contains at one end a quantity of granulated copper, this copper being in electrical contact with the brass cap at that end of the tube and mounted within the tube and in contact with the granulated copper is the chemical powder form and which is capable of releasing electrical energy. Mounted in the other end of the tube and in contact with the other end of the powdered chemical mixture is a quantity of granulated zinc which is itself in contact with the brass cap on this end of the tube the arrangement being that the chemical mixture is compressed between the granulated copper and the granulated zinc. (See the earlier note about successive layers of materials being used) Projecting outwardly from each brass cap is an antenna corresponding exactly in dimension, shape and electrical characteristics to the antenna associated with a transmitter unit which is to produce the ultra-short waves required to trigger the reaction.

The cradles which hold the brass caps may themselves comprise terminals from which the electrical output of the unit can be taken. Alternatively terminals may be connected across the cradles, these terminals being themselves provided with suitable radio antennae of the kind previously described, and which replace the ones fitted directly to the tube-caps.


Harold Colman Ronald Seddon-Gillespie


The Recipe

The mixture which is contained within the quartz tube is composed of the elements Cadmium, Phosphorus and Cobalt having Atomic Weights 112, 31 and 59 respectively Conveniently these elements may’ be present in the following compounds and where the tube is to contain thirty milligrams of the mixture the compounds and their proportions by weight are as follows: Note- I have reproduced an image of the mixture exactly as shown in the patent document..





Operating the device

With the quartz tube containing the mixture located in position between the poles of the magnet the transmitter is switched on and the ultrashort waves emanating therefrom are received by the antennae mounted in contact with the copper and zinc respectively.  The waves thus pass through the copper and zinc and through the mixture bombarded it with short waves.

The mixture becomes radioactive and also releases electrical energy which is transmitted to the granulated copper and granulated zinc causing a current to flow in a similar manner to the currentflow produced by a thermocouple It has been established that with a mixture having the above composition the optimum release of energy is obtained when the transmitter is operating at a frequency of 300 megacycles per 125 second (sic).

A quartz tube is necessary as the mixture evolves a considerable amount of heat whilst it is reacting as a result of the bombardment by the short waves The tube will become discharged after an hour’s operation, that is to say the radio activeness of the tube will only last for one hour and it is therefore necessary, if the unit is to be run continuously for the transmitter to be operated for a period of some fifteen to thirty seconds duration once every hour.
With a quartz tube having an overall length of some forty-five millimetres and an inside diameter of five millimetres and containing thirty milligrammes of the chemical mix the estimated energy which will be given off from the tube for a discharge of one hour is between 100 and 110 volts at 10 amps.

The current which is given off by the tube during its discharge is in the form of direct current. During the discharge from the tube harmful radiations are emitted in the form of gamma and alpha and beta rays and it is therefore necessary to mount the unit within a lead shield so as to prevent the harmful radiations from affecting personnel and objects in the vicinity of the unit. The alpha and beta rays which are emitted from the cartridge when it is in operation are controlled by the magnet. When the unit is connected up to some apparatus which it to be driven by power obtained from the unit it is necessary to provide suitable fuses to guard against the cartridge being short circuited during discharge thereof, or when it is fully charged, for if such a short circuit should occur the cartridge is liable to explode.

The estimated weight of such a unit including the necessary shielding, per kilowatt hour output is approximately twenty-five percent of any known standard type of accumulator which is in use today and it is estimated that the life of the chemical mixture is probably in the region of seventy to eighty years when under constant use.
It will thus be seen that we have provided a novel form of apparatus for producing an electric current which is considerably lighter than the standard type of accumulator at present known, which has an infinitely greater life than any known type of accumulator and which can be recharged or reactivated as and when desired and from a remote position depending upon the power output of the transmitter.



I think it necessary to add to this that neither this writer or www.Lookingforheat.com accepts any responsibility for anyone exploded or irradiated while replicating this patent. This is merely an account, not a recommendation.


Alan Smith.  

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