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WindTapper's Blog

March 2012

Magnetic Fields Investigations and Plans

The magnet rotor that I have has a ring of rectangular magnets with the north pole facing outward, the south pole facing inward. As per Howard Johnson's investigations into the north and south poles of magnets, each pole has two focal points, which is especially evident in this arrangement. Since all the magnets are oriented in the same direction, adjacent magnetic fields repel each other so that it is on the ends of the magnets that the magnetic flux lines can curve around to the other side of the magnet to get to the opposite pole. So, you have north magnetic flux lines curving from one half of the north side of the magnet in one direction while the north magnetic flux lines of the other half of the north side of the magnet curve away in the opposite direction from the other half of the north side of the magnet.

The central focal point on each north or south pole is halfway between the two poles on each pole and it carries virtually no magnetic flux, as per Howard Johnson's measurements -- or rather his associate's measurements. My Edmund Scientifics magnetic field detector, however, does not point to any access to the south pole of the magnets when approaching the rotor from outside the perimeter of magnets. This is different from what Howard Johnson predicted or measured, and I wonder about that. Are my magnets too close together, therefore?

Is Mylow's demo that has at least two very large gaps between the rotor magnets plus stator magnets that jump up and down, is that model using the gaps to propel it? Or is it using the two side-by-side focal points on each north magnetic pole, reacting to the stator magnets which are offset and cancel one half of the north and south poles' magnetic fluxes of the stator magnets?

I am considering making another experiment using a coffee can, btw, instead of the plastic hamster wheel. Since I have small coffee cans, I could double up the lengths of the rotor magnets to accept larger (wider) stator magnets as drivers. Although H.J. plans call for a non-magnetic drum or disk on which to mount the rotor magnets, they also call for a soft iron backing behind the magnets. Perhaps I could just situate the rotor magnets adjacent to the edge of the can?

Today's H J Motor Curved+Magnet Web Surfing Research

I plan to take notes here during today, so this entry will build line-by-line over this day's time.

References and Notes:

1. One of Mylow's motors with "dimensions checked by Rickoff" at PesWiki.

2. I had gotten to #1 above because it was behind a page I had gotten to after searching Google for the term curved+magnets. (That is a plus sign between the two words, "curved" and "magnets", in case your browser window is as white as mine is and you cannot see the upright mark in the middle of what looks like a dash.) Google had gotten me a link to an image of curved magnets at and I will have to see if I can drop this address into the browser as is, to reacquire that page. The page does not exist. It must have expired. This company apparently no longer has these magnets for sale.

3. Going back to the original "curved+magnet" search at Google... where the actual address for this image that apparently was captured during the now obsolete past: GoogleCaptured Image. So, that curved magnet availability from is in the past.

4. a.Off topic, an intriguing image from Italians at Intriguing Image, for example, while I was searching for "Like Images" at Google's feature related to the picture that I finally gave the link for in #3 above. The above link in this #4 comes from the Physics Museum of Sardinia which drops such also intriguing names as Oersted and Foucault in among photos of ancient electromagnetism devices, so I am going to stay there for a while.

4.b. Unfortunately for many of us, the videos associated with #4 images are 1. narrated in Italian; 2. If you re-click the image while the narration is still playing, you will end up with a second copy (I believe) that does not respond to "ending program" when you turn off your computer. So, if you click on the image and the video disappears, minimize the main website page because the video has gone behind the main image. Do not re-click the electromagnetic device image if the video disappears.

Rotor Tracing Plus Flowers

In the last few entries I referred to a tracing I made of my magnet rotor. I got a picture while I was out taking pix of flowers.
 The gap is on the left. High spot on the right.

Bottom arrow got cropped off. The point is above the "T" of this sentence. That is the second raised magnet. Ed Lenz of WindStuffNow dot com is sending me some silicon iron banding so that I can properly construct H.J. Exp. 1B. Hooray!

I will be able to put a proper backing to the magnets plus level out the playing field, so to speak, behind them.

The diameter of the wheel is 6.5 inches, by the way. The black marks representing the magnets are actually outside the furthest outside diameter of the magnets, but adjacent.

More pix, anyone?

You get the idea, right?

Spring Has Sprung!

I could not resist the tulips with the sun on them:

Howard Johnson Experiment 1 A & B

I built an experimental rig some 10 years ago (Exp 1 A), using a plastic hamster exercise wheel plus various wooden and plastic mechanical devices from a child's set of erector-type implements. That kit came with a little plastic hammer and wrench, lots of plastic gears, nuts and bolts, etc. Perhaps it was two sets because a lot of rounded wooden planks of various lengths came with it, too. Someday I might run in to the box or boxes so I could give you the name of the company.

Anyway, I also used the central bearing and platform out of an old vaporizer, with a long plastic bolt for the central shaft on which I could spin the hamster wheel easily, on its side. I put 42 little rectangular magnets around the outside perimeter, stuck to carpet tape, covered with shipping tape. Behind the magnets I had glued a layer of iron filings in among the plastic cross-members to substitute for the "soft iron" Johnson called for backing up the magnets.

I just made a tracing of the wheel and the magnets and found two magnets that stick out more than the rest. Also, from the tracing I was able to determine why I got an anomalous reaction from my compass when it passed by a certain magnet. The gap between it and the next was the largest gap on the wheel at 9 mm. The rest are between 6 and 8 mm.

The two magnets that stick outside the average perimeter are sitting on cross-members of the wheel. So, I am hoping to acquire some "soft iron" backing to wind around the outside of the wheel on which I could reinstall the magnets. Possibly I should also locate one or two more of these magnets so that I can fill the gaps that will be created by the larger circumference. I might have one or two on our fridge, lol.

I had no magnets 10 years ago to use for the stator. I tried to gerry-rig some using iron filings. Those are now not magnetized. And I'll have to wait til I find some soft iron banding before I can get a final reading -- after reinstalling the magnets -- on the size of the magnets that I need to acquire for Exp 1 B.

"Playing With the Pencils"

The title of this entry is a line from some Arlowe Guthrie song, I believe. The last couple days I have been working out dimensions such as inner and outer radii for curved magnets that must be between 3/4 and 7/8 inch long at their strongest edges in order to fit the wheel of magnets that I have already set up.

I had also to figure out degrees of the arc, and I bypassed one design that came out to 67.5 degrees because I wasn't sure the manufacturer would care to deal with half degrees. So, I opted for a 90 degree arc. Besides the whole degree requirement, it also gave a bit more substantial magnet. Since the neodymium magnets are "brittle" I decided I had better go with the weightier magnet design so that I would have more to hold onto when mounting or otherwise manipulating each magnet.

Delivery is a long way off, partly because I only just requested a quote for my last design. Actually I have been keeping them busy giving me quote after quote as I learn more about the magnets and consider different modification scenarios. I am hoping that my current design will require no modifications.

Oh darn. I just thought of something. Perhaps I should lengthen the magnets since the length is based on the spacing of magnets on my wheel and these magnets that I am designing are not exactly ON the outer circumference of the wheel magnets. They will be some distance away. I forgot about that. I will have to project the radius of where these stator magnets will sit in relation to the center of the wheel and take a measurement from that distance, instead of the rotor magnet distance.

Crap. ............. Back to the pens and pencils I go, but I was hoping to work on taxes today. ..........Crap. Least ways I had not yet ordered the magnets. This proves that it is good to sleep on the idea of an order before committing oneself. Sorry guys. I guess I'll need one more quote, yet again.

Later note: By the way, I turned the rotor magnets over last evening. They had the south poles facing outward instead of inward. This makes a difference because, as Howard Johnson showed, the north poles are stronger than the south poles.

So, I just took a tracing off the rotor, including the placement of each magnet, etc., so that I can make an accurate projection of the radii, to get a better reading on how long the magnets should be once I go back to my device to see how far away I had the stator magnets set and what range I might be likely to need.

Getting the neodymium magnets too close to the rotor magnets would stop everything because the pull is so great the stator would stick to the rotor.... I can see that we may yet have to order another batch after these if I don't get that estimate correct, too.

Howard Johnson Magnets

No one appears to make these magnets. Even Howard Johnson himself could not obtain them. However, on the "Discovering Magnetism" DVD (NTSC format) from Cheniere Media a group of magnets were shown that included some curved black magnets that Dr. Gerhard Beyer said were for the seat adjustment gizmo for car seats.

That got me to thinking I might find something on the web under car parts, or I might look to find such a magnet in an old junk yard. These are not neodymium, but I think this type of magnet was used by Mylow in his video that I mentioned a few entries ago.

I went searching on the web and found many curved magnets made in China for motors and fans, etc., through Alibaba. Alibaba has links to companies that manufacture lots of stuff. The AMC Group, Ltd. has several curved magnets for sale but their minimum is 1000 pieces. Yibin Jinchuan Electronics Col, Ltd has a minimum order of 500 pieces. The problem with these magnets besides not coming to a nearly knife edge as Howard Johnson's design shows is that they are far wider than I can use at this time. Made of Ferrite, though, they might be able to be ground on their edges, but cutting them to a smaller width would take a diamond saw, I guess. You know that metal sticks to magnets. I am afraid that even a miter box would be quite difficult unless some way were found to secure the magnets into the box....

At any rate, I am getting quotes from K&J Magnetics for arc magnets that I might have to grind to make them work, finally. Of course I will try them without grinding them first. But I found that I put the rotor magnets in upside down, all those 10 years ago. My wheel is a plastic hamster wheel. The rotor magnets are actually standing up, facing outward around the perimeter of the wheel as it spins on its side, as pictured below, next to our Roma tomato sprouts. Some 35 - 42 seeds from one Roma tomato apparently all sprouted here.

I am ordering magnets that will work with this set-up. They have only 7/8 inch width to work in, so they will be only 1/4 inch wide since I must put two of the magnets side-by-side but offset by half their length. K & J Magnetics has a $150 minimum for custom orders. I am ordering the small magnets for now because they could work with the model I have built, and perhaps someday with kits that I could have for sale if I can get the derned contraption to work the way Mylow's works. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

One day I will have to sit down and flip each of these magnets over, although, after 10 years, I might have to install a new layer of carpet tape first. Probably I should also find some soft iron to back them up instead of the iron filings that I filled the spaces behind them with here....

Among Other Things...

Spring is possibly the busiest time of year what with cleaning, gardening, taxes, political campaigns, and generally trying to start new projects. Among many other projects, I desire to hang two whirligigs from our swing set that I erected last year for just this purpose. The cement feet are definitely and solidly set by now, but I have some more measuring to do on this.

Believe it or not, I was holding the camera fairly level when I snapped this pic. Each of my narrowest whirligigs are 26 inches across. The space on the inside of the top bar of the swing set is 52 inches or a tad more, but the gigs will hang down at an angle because of the slants of not only the top bar, but also the legs of this contraption.

Complicating matters a bit more, the holes for the swings are nowhere near where I need to hang the gigs, either. So I must figure out how to add an additional crosspiece, given the holes that I have -- a crosspiece to which I might fasten the gigs securely and immovably, but also adjustably.

Surely I should shift the gigs to the left, but how by how much to the left? And how much can I possibly reduce their diameters?

H J Investigations Continue

I have been investigating Howard Johnson's magnetic motor, and I ran across a MetaCafe video showing a working model at Mylow's Working H J Motor Video Link and I hope this video stays up for a long time so that we all can discuss  it.

I hope I could do as well to actually build a working model, then develop a kit I could sell over the internet for educational and demonstration purposes.

Some things I learned today concern me, though. Watching a video about Howard Johnson, he says that his 1979 patent for the magnetic motor had 28 claims and he had to go to the Appeals Court to get his patent granted. All this time -- since 1993 -- I have said to myself, "Patents require a working model", but now I find that this might not have been the case for this motor. Johnson complains that he had trouble making the required stator magnets due to lack of funds, which also makes me wonder, now, if he ever actually built the thing.

Another site has a video of a working model with one similarity to Mylow's model, but I will have to find it again in order to report about it here.

Another site says they have never seen a working model, and they have a chat room, so I will go ask them about Mylow's video. Of course, one guy says that Mylow says it is a hoax, but I can not see how it could be hoaxed.

On the DVD about Johnson at minute 34 I thought I was going to see plans for building the magnetic motor. However, the plans were for a relatively standard generator for a windmill. It used, I think, 8 magnets times 2, with 6 coils sandwiched between the 16 magnets in a standard configuration. Johnson did get patents in wind power and other fields, but I was disappointed when I got back to the DVD at minute 34 to see the plans -- not what I had been hoping to see.

I will post some pix of the set-up that I built 10 years ago because this is the set-up upon which I will try again, with new stator magnets that I may be able to acquire in 7-9 weeks.

Greenhouse Woes and Howard Johnson Magnetism Studies

Our beautiful greenhouse from Lowe's has a problem. Preparing for a hard freeze I finally decided to zip down the doors to the greenhouse, but I have not been able to accomplish this so far. The zippers don't meet each other all the way.

I got the idea that since I had screwed the frame base down to two 5 by 5 inch wooden boards, that all I would have to do is to push the two base boards closer together. Nope.

I will keep thinking on this and get back to you.

Meanwhile I have a pot loaded with Roma tomato seedlings! I will spare you the picture, though.

Later Note: I made some progress. I got a board that was too long away from pressing the material out on the ends of the greenhouse. Then I unscrewed all the tap screws that allowed the length to contract. I still have to unscrew and re-screw the taps that control the width of the frame, but I got the zippers nearer to closing up the ends of the greenhouse.

The hard freeze is supposed to occur on Tuesday, I think, at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The lows recently have been near to 7 a.m., so perhaps I had better hurry up this process, although, I could just bring the planter inside tonight....

By the way, I have been investigating the Howard Johnson magnetic principles the last few days with the help of a book and two DVD's on the subject. I am starting to get an inkling of how the graphics relate to the 3-D magnet on page 29. Pages 38 and 39 of the book have a 3-D graphic plus a 2-D rendering of the Y-axis of a banana-shaped magnet.

Oh yes, and I think I found a way to get a custom sized, arc magnet. My original business idea was to make kits of Howard Johnson's magnetism powered flywheel and sell these kits on the internet. These are for demonstration purposes, but also for kids and such who like to build kits. Howard Johnson magnetic motors would be so much more practical for making electricity than wind powered generators, but either way I still should build a generator that has less drag than the ones that I purchased.

"Red in the Morning, Sailors' Warning"

A few red wisps of clouds reiterate the idea that we will be getting rain here sometime today. I must go out and work in the garden this A.M. to prepare the ground for our second planting of lettuce and spinach, plus get a head start on the weeds that blanket our little patch of ground.

Yesterday I was out there patching the fencing, sewing and stapling a deer fence patch over a hole I accidentally ripped at the base of one corner when I got too close with the lawn mower. Our tomato crop ended abruptly last August after a critter or two discovered the hole and targeted the few ripe tomatoes that we had left to pick.

Today I expect to have the morning hours to work outside before the rain sends me indoors again. I could then get back to viewing the DVD that arrived yesterday: Howard Johnson's Permanent Magnet Motor: The Plans of a Genius and the Future of Clean Energy. I viewed the first half yesterday. It has bits and pieces of Johnson's biography and refers to an article that I have a copy of, plus a patent that I also have a copy of. It also shows numbers of patents I hadn't known Johnson had gotten, particularly in the field of wind power. Next come plans for building the magnetic motor, after 33 minutes on the 1 hour playtime DVD.

I applied for a job and hope I get it because without the job I can no longer afford to pay to keep this website up and running. Wish me luck! I hope to hear that I got the job within the next half week.

Pear Blossoms

After further searching for videos of Howard Johnson Magnetic Motor demos on YouTube and further updating the entry that is two entries back from here, I could not resist the lovely weather and I took some photos of our adolescent pear tree in bloom.

Last year's bloom was very skimpy and the blossoms fell off quickly. This year's bloom is a bit better and the blossoms still live! Oh yes, and the Bearded Iris that I transplanted last year can be almost seen growing at the lower middle left in this photo. Those were stunted after I transplanted them last year, but now they are growing rapidly!

Spring Cleaning & Taxes & Gardening

I washed windows today. Yesterday I was cutting up gallon water jugs so they would not occupy as much space as they do whole. I have so many of them that I am discarding any that are milk bottles and any that are colored or opaque because most of the bottles that we have are the semi-opaque white ones.

Gardening, housecleaning, etc., etc., and doing taxes should all be occupying my time in the near future although I continue to work on designing generators. I mostly designed one set-up for the future, but I want to keep working on designs so that I will have several to choose from once I am ready to start actually making the prototypes. I am looking for the least expensive, easiest to build designs, and ones that can be regulated most efficiently. Designs that are least expensive will require the least wire and fewer magnets, but of course they will need to satisfy many other criteria, such as robustness.

Actually I work on designing generators practically all the time so that all the other stuff I have to do has to get squeezed in constantly...

"The Secret World of Magnets"

By Howard Johnson, from Cheniere Press at, I am nearly finished reading this book now.

After years experiencing various forms of cognitive dissonance from several directions concerning Howard Johnson's Magnetic Motor, at first blush, this books helps a lot to explain why the average physicist is blind to Johnson's ideas: the average physicist has not read this very thin, yet amply illustrated set of measurements of magnetic fields.

According to Howard Johnson in the book -- I also tried to understand magnetic field geometries using iron filings -- iron filings cannot display and record the complexities of magnetic fields as well as modern technologies can. Several asymmetries were evident, though, even by observing iron filings reacting to magnets, but this book explains how magnetic fields can be manipulated through short circuiting parts of them, manipulated so that two north poles can attract; a north and a south pole can repel each other; how like forces reinforce while unlike forces diminish magnetic moments.

On another hand, the graphics on page three of this book seem to me to mislay one of the dimensions. Graph One shows four curved lines with arrows on four corners of a cube (2-D representation of a 3-D) magnet. Graph Two schematic portrays "the over simplification of magnetic field" of most graphs. Graph Three on page three then supposedly shows four vortexes, with two vortexes on each pole of the magnet, but this graphic is in 2-D and does not show how the 3-D surface can be mapped onto the 2-D graphic so that we could locate the contour lines on the surface of the cube magnet. A dimension is lost in the third graphic, therefore.

Later Notes: I found a YouTube video of a demo model of the magnet geometry required to get a disk to spin using Howard Johnson principles at . I will look for more from MyLow and another model I saw working, although they did not go all around it with the camera to prove it had no hidden source of power, on the other video I am looking for....

OK. Now I found a site about the MyLow hoax at , and I cannot for the life of me know how or why MyLow would be intentionally hoaxing us, except for all the sites that sell Mylow's plans for making a magnetic motor.

Personally, I see now the mistakes I made when I tried to build a similar device, say, 10 years ago. I just now read Howard Johnson's book on magnets and I see that I took my clues from the 1979 patent to try to build the device, but had not understood the patent graphics as isometric and not depicting a literal scene. I forgot to offset two magnets for the stator. Now -- after reading Johnson's book --  I understand the purpose of the offset magnets. The offset aspect cancels parts of the magnetic fields of those two magnets, which causes an asymmetry.

Another video (referred to above as "another model I saw working" and "the other video") at is not as wonderful as I had initially hoped because the wheel is noticeably slowing down over time. The first video I listed above (Mylow's) was speeding up over time.

On Mylow's video, listed above, I still cannot be sure it was not a hoax. Mylow's dresser drawer could have had electromagnetism delivered at the base of the gizmo by taping wires to the underside of the top of the dresser. Plenty of room in the drawer allows for doubt.


One thermometer read 77 degrees today. A nice breeze also kept things pleasant instead of giving me heat stroke in our new storage area where I was assembling new shelving. Spring Cleaning is not all bad, therefore.

A couple pix to show you what I mean:    

One new greenhouse, complete with these flowers at the other end of it:

It took me a bit of time to figure out how to work the bungee chords that hold the greenhouse shell down. Attaching those bottom chords after loosening the other end chords at the top made the whole thing line up much better so that I could finish fitting the greenhouse shell to the frame I had been using to hang one large whirligig, so far.

One lady calls it "holding your mouth right" -- after what one of her sons said one day, I assume -- referring to what you have to do to finesse something into its proper place.

The shell comes in all one piece, so you need to have someone around who has some sense of three and four dimensions in order to pull it off -- er on, rather. All its windows (4 of them) and doors (2 of them) are open nowadays because it is so warm and because I have not yet planted seeds inside the greenhouse. I will soon, though.
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