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WindTapper's Blog

April 2014

Wire Cages

I made two wire cages so far for the electric generator experiment. The first one's the hardest, you know. I cut two 14 cm by 6 cm rectangular pieces of aluminum screen. I estimate 120 vertical strands of wire for each piece.

I am cutting eleven notches per long side of the rectangles. One side has 3 cm notches deep; the other is 2 cm deep. Then I can roll the rectangle up into a roughly spherical shape. My model was a 6 cm diameter Christmas tree bulb, btw.

Oh yes. I did some folds along the 3 and 2 cm lines to mark where to cut to. The aluminum screen is charcoal black and will not take a marker other than paint. I have no idea how this will affect its conductivity.

I decided on the shape to make the screen bulbs after drawing the magnetic flux lines around each end of a stack of 6 cylinder, Neodymium magnets that were packed inside a tube that I hung from a rafter of our makeshift porch roof, and under which stood a plastic table.

I had the North poles facing downward, marked in red, exactly like my little swivel compasses point downward naturally. Of course, they don't point exactly straight down, but closer than not. I should probably take that angle of difference into account each time I mount the whole contraption because it will affect angles and electrical output on that lower end, at least. So, I expect that anyone mounting such a contraption will need to make some sort of accommodation for their own location's deviance from the exact longitude of North or South poles. Ours is 7 degrees off, btw. 7 out of 180 isn't half bad.

The charcoal-colored coating makes this screen a bit "crunchy," but I think it is stronger than pure aluminum.

I am hoping to make 5 cages for each end of the six magnets; insulating the layers of cages; electrically connecting to each next layer so that the voltages add up. Needless to say, I am trying to connive ways to do all this plus finally figuring out a way to mount the two spheres in exactly the right places; and fixed. The magnets will rotate at their centers, driven by the wind turbine.

I am also getting ready to put up another whirligig, but I guess I need to make another blade layer for this next one. This one will have the plastic table, under the porch tarp, so I will finally have a comfortable place to build test generators where the wind blows, too.

And, by the way, I have no idea if this will work, even if I do figure out all the little technical glitches, because of the cross wires. I have no idea whether those cross wires will redirect the current too much, or will dissipate the current. Also, the wedges I cut for the first sphere were too wide. Will the missing fabric reduce the current? The second sphere has straight cuts rather than missing triangles, so their edges overlap laterally. Will this enhance or reduce the electricity produced? Testing is in order, therefore.


As I am planning on building my screen "coils" for my wind powered electricity generator -- test -- I find myself worrying about installing Ground for the circuit. And, finally, I realize I have set up my whirligig next to a tall tree that is connected to the base of a hill as well as being a few feet from power lines at its topmost branches.

What was I thinking? Was I thinking?

Oh yes. I was thinking about how in winter the air flows downhill, across this spot, not about environmental static or power that could forcefully intrude upon this spot.

Similarly, I had recently considered that if a family bought our house, who had a couple young children, the swing set could be used if its uppermost poles were very forcefully anchored, and not thinking about the swing set's proximity to a tree. This lightening rod effect of trees -- which are grounded by their roots and partly why they attract lightening -- makes this spot particularly dangerous. Although, from what I have seen about lightening along our creek and by our house, lightening is more attracted to the trees by the power pole transformer and trees by the creek.

So, as I am considering installing two grounding rods, I wonder exactly where the best places to put them in the ground is. By the creek? Certainly one would help there because we have had little fingers of electricity run along our back wall between the power pole and trees by the creek and the grounding rod that we have grounding our electricity before it enters the inside of the house.

Our microwave has a bit of gnarling in its display as lasting evidence of these little fingers of lightening attacking our back wall. Luckily, the microwave comes before the kitchen sink on the path to the fuse box. The microwave also came just before the dishwasher, too, thank God.

So anyway, a ground would also be nice to have on our back porch where I would like to do some generator experiments. Also, I suppose, the ground for the swing set might better come closer to the tree, rather than to be on the end of the swing set that is away from the tree....

Perhaps three grounding rods, then. I wonder how much they cost? Maybe I could combine two, but I am not fond of laying any wires across the yard. Oh yes. One could travel through a drain pipe, if only I could find the near end of the pipe. Oh yes. Again. There is more than one drain pipe, and I know exactly where it comes up....

This and That

A beautiful day weather-wise today, I got to finish the roof on the back porch, but had to trim a Norwegian Spruce to keep its branches off the telephone wire. I still have to trim further uphill, but I got the worst branch taken off the wire.

I almost got to sit down to start recording magnetic fields produced by a single #42 Neodymium, cylindrical magnet so I can then compare the field to multiply stacked, like magnets. I almost got all my tools gathered up to work in the basement where it is quite cool during the heat of the afternoon, but then I remembered I needed a table space without metal in it, which throws another wrinkle into the mix.

With the weather so wonderful on the back porch, and a newly re-cleaned and plastic table, I started building a recording station there. But other duties intervened, so, mañana, y'all.

Oh yes. I saw Transcendence, which turned out not to be as bad as I had feared it would be. It actually found a bit of hope instead of pure evil in computers and nano-technologies. The Grand Budapest Hotel was a very European sort of nested doll type of story, with the protagonist changing with each round about, so to speak.

Progress Report

Putting up a new roof today. Just a new tarp, but one that is large enough to cover a 10 by 12 foot porch. Hopefully this one won't leak like a sieve the way the inexpensive Chinese greenhouse did. Still, I am using the frame from that greenhouse with flying buttresses added to hold up the tarp over all.

I learned a lesson that sailors probably learn on their very first day: "Tie her down quick, lads!" I had gotten it tied at the topmost level and laid out across the rest of the frame, then a wind came up and blew it back over the top. I was upset for a little while because I was trying to make a show at the theater, but I made it.

As for generators, I think I have a great idea that still needs development. I'm working on it. It is a somewhat complicated geometry problem made more difficult by my desire to have the building of it easy and inexpensive -- not to mention needing it to be made of aluminum in order to keep thieves off it, lol.

I keep reading out of the three books that I have on static electricity, plus I am developing a generator with recently promising ideas. My whirligig is spinning in the wind, also, to keep it in the testing phase of wind turbine design. I am thinking of adding some very heavy duty anchoring to the uppermost legs of the swing set, just in case kids decide to climb up there someday....

More later. I recently discovered I had forgotten to hit the "Publish" button when I put my blog as the "Home Page/" Folks have been stuck with something else for I don't know how long. It's a wonder I have any viewers at all, but my statistics show over 88 thousand visitors. I can assume that many of these are returning folks, but I guess that because there are so many people in China, is why they are number one in the viewer category. Number two is the Netherlands, where my webhost is based.... Number three is the U.S. and I suspect many hits from the U.S. are those drug dealers in Beverly Hills who keep trying to post advertisements in my comments. Seriously, they are trying to sell all kinds of home remedy, skin care, and Viagra-type drugs online these days... I won't allow comments to be posted without my authorization for this reason.

LED technologies

With our electric rate doubling recently LED lighting looks better and better. Plus, flashlights of all shapes and sizes are becoming available from China relatively cheaply. Some of these work on 2 or 3 AA or AAA batteries each.

At these low voltages, I am reconsidering my goal of charging 12-volt batteries with wind powered static electricity generators. I just have to find a way to convert high voltages that static can produce into a bit of an increase of static's extremely low amperage production, lol.

Anyway, the smaller, 3 to 6 volt batteries make the idea of having them charging around houses seem like a safer bet than charging batteries of 12-volt batteries does....

Microsoft & Etc.

I cannot describe how frustrated Microsoft makes me feel today! They figure out a way to get more money from us, more information, more control over us, and now their website is flooded -- I suspect -- with what should have been success, but is probably making everybody very angry!

I am not going to give more details because that would further compromise my own security online. Just let me rant and steam a bit here....

Later Notes: As of Friday, after 24 hours of trying to purchase the new, updated version of a Microsoft program, but hitting stone walls, I was informed at their phone number that the tech guys said it would be another "24 to 48 hours" before the problem would be corrected.

I feel sorry for anyone who thought their computer's security was compromised by Microsoft's statement that they would stop supporting a certain program as of April 8th, while taxes are now due on Tuesday. The U.S. government seems to no longer send out printed copies of their instructions, so computers are the only way to get them for some people....

Later Still (4-14-14 6 a.m.): Still spinning wheels, trying to do business with Microsoft, but no luck yet. Good Luck on your Taxes, dudettes and dudes!

Another Day Goes By (4-15-14): I wonder if this inability of Windows to deliver product has anything to do with what seems to me to be a lack of law-abiding activities on Microsoft's part? You recall, I assume, that Microsoft was ordered to not bundle its Internet Explorer with its operating system after their lengthy Supreme Court case held them up for anti-trust activities? So, we get a new computer because Microsoft declared (for at least the second time) that it would no longer support Windows XP, and because the new Windows does not work on the old computer hardware platform.

And what do we get? We get IE bundled in the new operating system. Granted it was convenient to have IE. And I do not know if our OEM added the two together, but when we updated from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, the IE was updated, too -- I believe.

Perhaps this is why we cannot receive the newest Office. Or is it just too much web traffic, like one of the problems that Obamacare's online signup site experienced?

(4-16-14): Still waiting....Meanwhile the weather has gone back to Winter for a little while. Spring was glorious while it lasted! I even got a few windows washed, btw, as I continued Spring Cleaning.

Still working on designs for my wind powered static electricity generator, this time using aluminum screen disks revolving 'round a magnetic core that is vertically placed. These are still ideas, mind you. Currently working on grounding the inside holes of these stacked screen disks without producing noisy brushes. A column of a thin metal cylinder that would not block the magnetic flux? Or perhaps copper and iron impregnated silicon as a lubricant that could conduct electrons from ground?

The Dirod Manual is getting more interesting as it gives brief descriptions of its author's tinkerings, past the halfway point of this book....

April 20: We finally got Office 2013 started up. It turned out that we already had a free, 30-day trial version of Microsoft Office 2013 and when you try to download Office 365, it somehow messed everything up. Microsoft calls its Office 365 by the name Office 2013, so you can see why we were mixed up about that.

We still cannot get our email hooked up to Office, so we still have our Outlook Express running on our old computer. Life gets very complicated when new programs try to take over from old ones.... I have no idea what is going to happen. My husband never gives up his old system because he has many "old friends" whom he does not wish to cut off, you see....

It's a fracking conundrum, GD it!


I have been watching all the "Castle" and "Bones" episodes on TNT for what seems like a year now. TNT replayed its SteamPunk episode recently, and I finally connected the dots last evening. One of the books I am reading these days is on Static Electricity... and was first published in 1886.

Last evening I ran through a section that seems to think like I think, or have thought on many occasions: running through all the parallels among physical phenomena showing the transfer of energy in waves through materials. The book was likening heat and light energy waves which radiate spherically out from their sources to electricity spreading through materials. Specifically it was mentioning how polarized light can be blocked by a material that is out of phase with its waveform.

Also, the little metal balls suspended in a row, where you let the last one swing against the row and only the ball on the opposite end moves in response....

I am having a bit of fun, you see, because I think of the ether as getting short shrift (:-).

Dielectric Constant Again

Reading the two books plus Wiki articles mentioned previously, in no particular order I might add, I found an explanation for why "Dielectric Constant" is getting a bad rap now. Over 100 years ago, when experimenters were guessing where the charge rested inside the Leyden jar capacitors, their first guess was that the charge was kept in the water.

Then they guessed that the charge stayed in the two layers of foil on each side of the glass jar, since the Leyden jar worked as a capacitor without water, at a later date. Now the Wiki has a "Dielectric Absorption" term pertaining to a rebound of charge after the capacitors of various configurations regain charge after full draining of charge.

It seems to me that the molecules of a capacitor become polarized to some extent when the capacitor is charged, losing polarization after discharge, but some materials retain a partial memory of the polarization which reappears to a greater or lesser degree after discharge. The greater or lesser factor goes between 0% up to 15%, btw.

And so, some capacitors present a danger to people who handle them -- particularly electrolytic, high voltage capacitors. So these dangerous capacitors I will avoid, since I cannot control stray pets and/or children who might find my apparatus intriguing enough to sniff around, touch, or push or chase their companions into....

By the way, I find myself reading the first part of these two books because they are so old that they both deal with REALLY old research in their beginnings. So they progress in a sort of parallel fashion, yet from different perspectives....
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