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WindTapper's Blog

September 2015

Vacation Is Done

After a rather extended vacation from trying to design wind powered electricity generators I was back at it today. My latest rough outline includes hanging a doubled set of hoops -- one inside and one outside -- from the same hoop above it. Within the two circles would be a circle of circles. That is, a set of coils around the central circle.

I was thinking today of how a fellow squared the circle as I was cutting watermelon rind away to get to the fruit. I was thinking that housewives square the circle often while peeling fruit....

So anyway, the trick to this design will be to provide stable yet lightweight platforms on the two moving hoops in order to mount magnets that can be somehow waterproofed -- also in a lightweight fashion.

The central circle also needs to be protected from the elements while simultaneously not allowing much distance between the central circle and the circles on either side of it.

Ho hum. So much to do....

Oh yes. Another trick: keeping the two magnet circles from grabbing each other, even though the magnets should be pointed in exactly that direction. How to keep them apart enough to send their flux through the coils, without letting them touch the coils or each other? Have I chosen an impossible task this time?

Later Note (6 a.m. 9/24/15): Yes. This is impossible, given the horizontal wobbles inherent in the whirligig's spin. Even if I were to insist on rounded corners on the edges of my magnetic circles, and/or sides high enough to prevent the circles from cutting the central circle; indeed, even if wrapped in antistatic cloth, friction would fray the cloth and/or cause too much drag on the device. The cloth would also collect debris over time and be cut eventually.

So, I revisit old design ideas every so often with the effect that I recheck those designs in light of any new information I might have obtained during the interim. This is much the same process I have observed myself performing as I remember family events out of our past experiences. Dreams do this, too, I think.

I should make a separate entry for the following, but I already provided the segue. I am reading Developing a Social Psychology of Monkeys and Apes by John Chadwick-Jones. It provides -- so far -- a very organized review of research on this topic. I love how the topic shows the overlapping of Psychology and Anthropology in what we call in the states Physical Anthropology and Comparative Psychology. The somewhat new overlap here is between Social Psychology and Physical Anthropology.

This book should be sent back to the library from which it came, and I intend to do that after I have either read it or found a non-library copy. Bolton University of the UK seems to have lost it to an Amazon book-seller in the U.K.

(Later Note, 10/6/15: After being attacked by unseen but biting and roaming critters while first reading the second Appendix to the book over a week ago; and again experiencing the same event last evening after reading Appendix one -- after finishing the book -- I have decided to do my best to get this book incinerated by Waste Management. Sorry, Bolton University, but you do not want this book to return to you. I will send a note to them to this effect.)

Whirligig Lifespan

Two blades (out of 46) have deteriorated beyond repair -- not that we ever expected to be able to repair the blades. The sun destroys the cheap plastic that one gallon water jugs are made from -- at least the white plastic jugs -- in about a year, depending on how much sun they actually get per day.

Our whirligig lives in a place that gets approximately half a day's sun each day, although I suppose it gets more duration after the leaves are gone. Although, it lives very near and partially under a Norweigan pine tree.

Here's a photo from today, proving that it still is spinning. At the upper center you will notice a missing blade -- one of two on the upper hoop.

             This site is acting up. At least its photo editing and input are different today. I cannot post more than one, or enlarge as much as I used to be able to do.

Coming back to edit, I see I might be able to post a second photo, though out of the same order that I had originally intended.

This gig will be retired and replaced now that it is deteriorating, although, it still spins fine in 5 mph winds such as we are having and which the weather man predicts for the next four days to occur.

Spider Mite Treatment

Our spider mite infestation grew large enough around the back porch to chase off the bees who were living in the ground, next to our house. I figured that would happen if I laid off the Neem oil treatments for a while.

Watch out for Neem oil Extract. It has much less oil than you need to kill spider mites, btw.

So anyway, after leaving the furnace exhaust extender pipes in a pile next to the porch all summer, they had become infested with spider mites all through their interiors. I just sent a long scrubby mop up the pipes, soaked with the Neem Oil bath that they recommend for spraying on fruit trees, in preparation for a new heating season or two.

I have yet to cut all the grass, tree sprouts, and weeds that naturally grew up around the exhaust system. You see, the exhaust makes stuff grow faster, lol.

I still need to pull out all the stuff that accumulated in the tall grass before I can mow it.

Toot-a-loo for now, mes amies.
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