WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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"Manhattan" the TV Series on WGN
"Will" on TNT is "Spot On"
Trump - Jackson Debate
Piliated Pear Tree


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Dear Diary
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WindTapper's Blog

September 2010

Research on Batteries and Capacitors

Just a note:
I am reading materials on the idea of using capacitors as batteries. Wikipedia and the Electropedia are setting me straight on this relatively dumb idea. Capacitors can discharge and charge much more rapidly than batteries, resulting in quick electrocution or fire when handled incorrectly. Thus capacitors would seem not to be appropriate for all-night flood lighting, where strangers and/or neighborhood kids and pets might run into same....
My next web surfing research might be trying to find ways to waterproof circuits and batteries. Also, I'll be looking into how circuit boards are made, modeled, and gerry-rigged.

Democrats Unite!

Volunteering for the Dems in Ohio is part of how I've been spending my time lately. Today after I spent more than an hour doing data entry at Athens Dems Headquarters, Frances Strickland visited our "pod" of workers. I got lots of photos and met lots of very nice people, including the Governor's wife, Frances.
Some handy links for Ohio Dems:
Ted's Accomplishments
Frances' Fun Factor

Inching Along

I cut my third Whacky Noodle and forced it over a plastic hoop from Oriental Trader. Third time's the charm for getting the length and angle of cut correct, but it takes time to see how things will self-adjust after threading to get the dimensions figured out better.
Then I painted the new foam hoop with watered-down wood primer paint. Two separate coats of paint were needed because I was painting, essentially, a sponge. After I put the first layer of aluminum wire windings onto the foam hoop, I will paint everything with a high-class enamel and the primer will help draw the paint onto the hoop, around the wire.
I also got 12 more 2" hair curlers although I had to purchase other curlers that came in the packages with them in order to buy them off the shelf. I also purchased some long hairpins for fastening the 17-gauge aluminum wire to the curlers long enough for the wire to retain a memory of the size and shape of the curlers.
Then, after getting paid by my first customer (see "Dear Diary"), I purchased a butane-powered mini soldering gun from Radio Shack for $23+ because I'll be needing a higher temperature soldering gun in order to connect aluminum wires together.
I tend to acquire the tools I will need for forseeable projects, over lengthy time intervals, a little bit at a time, so I can fit those costs into my household budget. I am doing research and development but I daresay I won't get tax credits for that. I am keeping receipts, however, so I can business expense them once I get paying customers -- a long time from now, probably -- for my wind electric generators.

Electronics Repair

I fixed a Hobart Ameri scale yesterday for a local store. It took all day and two trips to Radio Shack, but the owner paid me today. She is my first paying customer for electronics repair! I have repaired stereos and computers for friends and neighbors over the years since I graduated from an Adult Ed Electronics Servicine course in 1992, but finally I have a happy, paying customer!
It was only a Class M Co-Axial DC, Panel mounted jack, but I had to get the case open and make sure I got everything back together correctly. I never worked on an electronic scale before.
They said that a Hobart repairman would charge $150 just to come out to their store. I did it for $35, total. $3.50 was the part, $11.20 for two trips to Radio Shack -- my van only gets 14 MPG -- and $23.80 for labor. They were happy, though, to get their scale working, and that makes a lot of difference to both them and me.

Rethinking Stator and Rotor Designs

Today I reversed magnetic poles on every other magnet of my first rotor instead of having them all facing the same direction. I have another rotor to build and they will spin on either side of my stator. But since I can place them in a fixed position relative to each other, the rotors will still repel each other all around their circumferences. The two hoops will have approximately 14 sets of two high-powered magnets, each.
The stator also has a new design. I am still in pursuit of designing an aluminum wire stator to avoid being blatant targets for thieves who love to steal copper to sell. The design that uses two pieces of plastic fencing sewn to the inside and outside of the hoop with the Whacky Noodle, this design takes too long to sew. It is very frustrating and clumsy to sew, plus it is difficult to keep the fencing material exactly level.
Today I happened to catch the tail end of a How It's Made program showing the laquering phase of making bamboo fishing rods. It gave me an idea for insulating aluminum wire on the stator. I have 1/4 mile of 17-gauge wire that is usually used for electric fences, but it has no coating on in. I am going to try to wind it around a Whacky Noodle hoop, perhaps using toothpicks to keep the turns separated and to reverse direction. I could then paint the wire, let it dry, then maybe even wind a second layer of wire, or a third.
With the greater gauge of wire I will get more amps. And since I've alternated poles on the magnets I won't be required to make two more stators to provide the opposite pole on the electric conductor.

Oxinal Craftwires

Trying to order anodized aluminum wire from the Oxinal Craftwires department on their website presented a problem. The description in diameters of wires does not match the diameters when you try to order them -- per item number. I sent an email to them before I would blindly try to guess what I would be getting.
I am trying to build prototypes and I was trying to test anodized aluminum -- which comes in varying colors -- because I would prefer to use aluminum as it is not as attractive to thieves. These wind devices are meant to operate around houses where there are plenty of thieves.
One building in our town was vandalized because a thief or thieves pulled the wires right out of the walls. As one fellow said, "They did thousands of dollars worth of damage in order to get perhaps $50 worth of copper."
So anyway, I will get back to you on the Oxinal site problem.

A New Format for the Website

So far, I have had to post my blog onto individual pages. I have called it "Journal," "Journal Archives," and Archives or Arch #. How this blog will work is information that I have yet to discern. Will it allow us to post information and control the number of posts that each page will contain? This is important since many readers don't have infinite capacity to download pages. Most people, I think, don't have Road Runner yet....
If this blog feature -- which is brand new -- works well, then I will have to rethink the whole design of this website. I have been working so far to adapt my blogging to Vistaprint's website design....
Interesting features are added now, including RSS feeds, comment apparatus, etc. I just got to the editing feature for already posted material. Nice.
Gotta go right now. I share this computer with loved ones....
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