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


Algae CO2 Reduction
Art and Advertising
CO2 Reduction (see also Algae)
Dear Diary
Designing Prototypes
Electrical Matters
Howard Johnson's Magnetism
Investment in Windpower Devices/Parts
Library Research
Manufacturing Protocols
Serendipitous Art Reviews
Static Electrcity
Strength of Materials
Triboelectric generation
Website Design


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WindTapper's Blog


Health Tip

WebMD dot com gives oodles of health tips, delivered to your email.

Here's one of my own:

Find a way to securely raise up the keyboard for your personal computer so that you can type and play Spider Solitaire standing up. I find that three games at the easiest level adequately substitute for "The Daily Constitutional" if you get my drift.....

Retired persons and possibly students should take note of this. Active workers, probably not so much, as they are on their feet all day....

Cat Trapping

Last year I got a good deal on some live traps at Tractor Supply so I could help with Humane Society endeavors to help with local feral cat populations. We've been trapping cats, taking them to vets to be checked out for leukemia, and neutering them. Some have gotten adopted, while at least one was released back to where it came from.

That's what I am doing this evening, except the cat that I am trying to catch is sick. We want to take it to a vet to have it checked out. If it is terminal I suppose the vet will put it down. But so far, it is hiding. I hope it is just resting.....

Basic Research

I am getting ready to set up some crude experiments in conductivity and perhaps positive-negative comparisons of materials. I got a goodly portion of viscous silicon yesterday from cooking up a bunch of cut-up okra. It is in our freezer right now with a copper wire sticking out of it. I should have put two wires in before I froze it.

This gave me an idea about freezing a variety of materials in ice cube trays with copper leads sticking out of each cube of different materials. I have activated charcoal from our drinking water filtering system; Rooibos tea (for copper possibilities); lime, water; and of course, the viscous silicon. I could also test with other metals, and by coating metals with these substances to see what happens. Not to mention hydrogen peroxide, but I'd better be careful around the charcoal, don't cha think?

John O'Hara

Now where had I heard that name before?

Oh yes. My mother used to read his books. I preferred other writers, but I was plumb out of sci fi a couple nights ago and had consumed too much chocolate to sleep soundly. So, out of desperation, I combed through the bookcases I have standing ready for selling my used books on Amazon. Near the end of the whole shebang stood one old O'Hara book.

Oh yes. My mother had known she was dying and she knew I'd come to clear out the stuff from her room after her death. She had left me some stuff, you know. A few books, a few old letters with messages in them that she hadn't yet presented to me, a few antique knick-knacks, and especially, a few old books she had saved out of the millions that she had read over her lifetime.

I read the first half of the book two nights ago. Yesterday I consumed more chocolate -- even though I am tapering down on chocolate again -- to accompany my finishing the book last night. OK. Now that deed is done.

It had to be done eventually, consuming the one final message from my mother who died a few weeks shy of her 69th birthday, in 2000. I can't say that I was blind-sided, although, I hadn't actually been thinking of doing this deed before I did it.

I sort of -- in the back of my mind -- had thought of O'Hara as half hack/half genius at certain things, but old. He died in 1970 and published this book in 1967. I think that only three more books came out of him. He was born in 1907, I think Wiki said.

The book reminded me of some 1940's movies of people in New York City. I swear the book was about himself, just as I feelBirdman was written by Robin Williams, about himself (even though I know the movie has other credits than Williams').

The Instrument was not about a violin or piano, but about a writer. My mother was a writer.

'Nuff said.

Later Note(s), 10 a.m. EST:

OK. I feel John O'Hara was an ecologist of family relationships where the family includes all social contacts of individuals, perhaps only in New York City and origins of individuals of that town. Social psychologist, I guess is a closer term.

Birdman was written by people who knew Robin Williams, I am guessing. Or at least by persons to whom his afterimage loomed large. Perhaps the script was inspired by Robin Williams' interview with two Aussies -- one that you can find if you surf the web for it.

I feel my mother's soul resides somewhere in the vicinity of John O'Hara's soul. And I am half "Scotch-Irish-English" in that one of my grandmothers spoke Gaelic while her husband had an English-sounding name. I only met them as a newborn.

Kudos to Google Translate

Not that I am qualified to analyze a translator, I can't help but try to thank Google Translate for helping me out with a German comment on this site.

Google Translate lets you copy a whole passage, perhaps even a whole document, into its translator and gives an instant translation. Not only that, but phrases are highlighted between the two as you move your cursor so you can see which words refer to which phrases between the original and translated passages.

Gee. I wonder if it would work for Chinese? Oh yes. China has banned Google for its tracking. Too bad. Communication is good, in my humble opinion. Exactly what is being communicated may be the problem that China has with Google.

Climate Musings

So, now that The Dog Days of Summer are a wash -- please pardon the pun -- I wonder which way our year will go. Will the Dog Days merely be postponed, or does this portend a continuation of last Winter's harshness for the coming Winter?

Looking at the Weather Channel website, I see that last year's predictions for last year's Winter season did not come until October and November. But somebody must be working on this. Do I have to look at the Farmer's Almanac in order to get a clue? You'd think that somebody could make some sort of scientific prediction based on the current Jet Stream pattern.

I was hoping there was an easy way to send this question via the website to the Weather Channel folks, but so far I have not come across a question link. Perhaps I need to get hooked into their cell or Smart phone links?

Anyway, when I planted grass a few days ago, I knew that this was not the usual time to do such a thing. The Dog Days are typically very dry and very hot. However, we had about 24 hours of sprinkling and misting rain that -- by the way -- never showed up on the satellite pictures of radar on the radar channel.... Perfect for grass! Our little seeds are swelling up nicely!

Later Note (7-24-14): After I found our overnight temps are in the mid-50 degree range this morning, and the coming week is predicted to be relatively cold, I have decided that these events portend a cold, perhaps longer winter season. I sort of recall now that last July had some cool nights, more on the order of August, and that last winter was cold and long.

Also, we have not had much of a storm season in the Atlantic this summer so far. The Pacific is getting whacked big-time, though. Perhaps our heat has transferred itself to the Pacific? You know, the coal fired plants in China could be sending black smoke shading over to us in the U.S., thus cooling us.... But the normal 20-24 year cycle of warming and cooling of winters is, of course, also on track this year to deliver cold to us.

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!

Dear Diary -- Crystals and Dielectric Constants

In addition to reading about how to publish a book on Kindle -- a task that may or may not be possible for me to do since I need to be able to present many photos to well demonstrate how to build my wind powered generator -- I have gotten off on a sort of major tangent.

Lately I've taken up studying how to grow crystals. It doesn't sound all that difficult, btw. While studying dielectric constants of materials to help me decide which materials will hold the most electricity -- while my static generator is building up a charge prior to discharge into a battery -- I ran into the CaCu3Ti4O12 crystal which is represented as the most perfect. It has titanium oxide inside it, which in itself has a dielectric constant of 110 according to one such list.

Teflon may be the most inherently negatively charged compound on one list, but its dielectric constant is only 2, meaning that it won't hold a charge by itself. I know that I have read how one should not bother to try to make one's own capacitors, but a large enough capacitor could substitute for a battery, I think. Maybe not....

Distilled water has a dielectric constant of "76.5 - 80," too. I had been considering getting one of those vacuum sealers for freezing food so that it won't get freezer burn, but it seemed too expensive for my limited budget. If I could only figure out how to connect the inside and the outside of a vacuum-packed bag without losing the liquid inside. Oh yes. Freeze the liquid. But our climate is not that cold all year 'round....

Another reason I was reminded of the vacuum packing was that one company says the crystals can be grown in a vacuum....

Anyway, I've discovered some dandy websites for downloading the periodic table. Thomas Jefferson ... lab? I had thought that metals had their own column, but metals comprise most of the periodic table, instead. The Wiki is pretty darn fabulous for telling about chemical formulas and such regarding compounds....

Info on Static Electricity to Current Conversion

As I search through websites and YouTube demonstrations, I sometimes find something rather surprising and useful. This is not to say that I don't find unbelievable stuff, too, but yesterday I got hooked up with a string of EHow articles on static electricity conversion to electrical current.
One among these was actually gathering the voltage differences generated by radio waves, through an antenna hooked up to a battery through a spark plug, automotive coil, using a ground rod for the negative terminal of a battery. The little article says you can charge a car battery after three days of being hooked up to this system. \
What I like about it is that it is free energy, once you set everything up correctly. It does not even require wind to move it, or solar energy, lol. Find it at Antenna battery charger and check out the links EHow provides toward the bottoms of their pages -- links to like subjects that they have other articles about.
So far several websites have stated that static electricity chargers are impractical, but I continue to search. This research project -- I hope -- will yield far greater productivity results for my time spent on earth than the sink hole for my time which has been playing Spider Solitaire....
I wish someone would join me here on this site -- send me an email! Help me locate pertinant info!
Later Note (Oct. 20th): Another site describes what looks to be the same thing, developed by Hermann Plauson in U.S. Patents of 1921: A spark-gap oscillator with step-down transformer, at a Hub page on Tesla.

"The Great Deformation" Progress Report

Chapters 19 thru 21 were right on the money, as they say. Those chapters felt right except for Stockman's frequent disparagements of individuals. Stockman names names.
I am into Chapter 22, page 459 so far and feel that -- for whatever reason -- David Stockman is now a part of the seeingly unedited tell-all movement of these last few years. Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and the fellow who was recently taken to military court martial at Fort Meade Bradley Manning have all decided that for whatever reason, truth is the best elixir for our nation's health. Fallout from all of the above revelations is far from settled yet.
Hopefully, Stockman's book will guide U.S. policies slowly toward better regulation of our financial squeeze boxers, lol, so that the managers of our economies will have more and better information, models, smarter, computerized and dynamic simulations to help them make decisions. [MIT computer simulation;  At Santa Fe dot edu;
Similarly, I am getting fed up with the latest news from snake oil salesmen. "There's a sucker born every minute" is too true, especially in my case. I am swearing off all snake oil and other over-the-counter and newly minted remedies from now on, not to mention the latest toutings of hot stocks.
Exercise and fruit! That is my motto now. Oh yes. And pay off all debt ASAP! I had already learned that last from Hungarian descent parents of my earliest lovers. They were so right! Pay cash for everything. Save up and pay cash for that car.... Find a way to make due with used cars until you get a good enough job to save up for a new one....

Just a Note or Two

Finally, we made progress on the shower rebuild project when my husband was able to provide backup while I went into the crawlspace to sweat the copper drain and set  more
wooden braces for the shower floor onto the mudsill. Most of the floor bracing was already installed by a professional carpenter and his helper, but that was before I removed the cement shower floor and had a clear view from above the subfloor of all the water damage to the entire shower floor.
Surprise! The drain connects through the custom hole in the floor that I refashioned a while back! I still need to tack a couple parts of the floorboards down to the bracing to keep them from rocking as the new cement will be drying.
The other, long term project is an experiment with our furnace exhaust to see what happens to pelletized lime in tubs that either collect or let water drain from them. A lot of black surface area -- which appears even thicker now -- covers the pelletized limevats, even as the total amount of lime decreases due to the drains. Pictures at six. That's a joke. Pictures will come when the weather gets sunnier. We are having heavy wet snow right now, which is not the right environment for trapsing around in the yard with a Nikon digital camera.
I am also still working in my mind on insulating electric fence aluminum wire, reliably and economically for making generators coils for the wind powered electric generators I am still designing. Sorry it is taking so long but I have a limited budget and life happens!
Keep the faith, dudettes and dudes!

Al Gore on TWC Today

I only caught the last part of the Al Gore interview by Al Roker on The Weather Channel this morning. However, this interview will be repeated. Not sure how soon, but I imagine it will replay before noon at least once. The Weather Channel replays segments throughout the afternoon, especially when there are no major storms brewing.

Al Gore was talking about global warming, about the increase of storm frequencies these last few years. I think that it was one of the meteorologists who mentioned a few days ago about the effect of higher temperatures on the levels of the oceans. We often think of how the amount of water is increased as glaciers calve much more frequently near both polar regions. But did you think of how an increase of temperature also makes water expand in size?

Since three quarters of our planet is covered by water -- more or less -- more these days -- imagine how much more water we will have with each rise of one degree.

"Al Gore is joining us live at 40 past the hour," Stephanie Abrams just said on TWC.

Dryer Exhaust Heater for Greenhouse

It ain't purdy, but it's done. It only took me about three hours, what with tracking down tools and such, break time, and futzing around on the computer a bit.

So here goes:
Gorilla Tape, I do not think, comes in white. I have no idea how long this rig will last after getting wind and rain and possibly critters attacking it. However, we have rather long roof overhangs that keep things too dry for most plants.

I took the vent cover off first to see whether or not the flexible pipe would fit inside the actual vent. It did, so I threaded the pipe into the cover, then reattached the cover. Obviously, the above picture is the exhaust vent cover for our dryer in the basement.
I found a relatively thinly walled, approximately 8 or 9 foot, 4 inch plastic pipe under the deck, which I used as an extender for the flexible pipe. I had to nail a couple of thin boards up to the underneath to hold the pipe up near the floor where the crossbeams will deflect a bit of the crosswinds in the winter and hold a tiny bit of heat near the floor above it.

Underneath, by the exhaust vent.

Underneath, from the opposite side of the  deck.

Then up to the floor of the deck and into the greenhouse with a pink bucket to catch any heat that it can and shield that exposed part from the wind. I think I should insulate this section of the flexible pipe.

Inside the greenhouse the flexible pipe winds three times through cement blocks under a makeshift bench/shelf.

And finally the moisture is let out near the bottom of this picture with the white flexible pipe facing downward, very close to where I envisioned the ultimate exhaust for the furnace to exit the greenhouse and go to an algae culture.

We have much more algae growing on the north side of the deck's bannisters than anywhere else. The algae seems to love shade and red acrylic paint, although it will grow on pure wood, too.

Sorry the colors are washed out of this photo. And those are my high topped rubber boots drying upside down next the dryer exhaust, btw.

So now I only have to explain to my husband that I will prefer to dry clothes at night when the weather is at its coldest, during Fall and Spring. Probably Winter will defeat my efforts unless I get cracking with the furnace exhaust capture -- but safely.

Recent Acquisitions

Two two-piece angel food cake pans from Webstaurant dot com were $14+ plus over $11 shipping came to around $25. They are made from aluminum and so will not suffice as rotor platforms for the magnets because the magnets will not stick to them naturally.

However, they will make dandy forms for casting the resin around the coils. Except that the outer piece of the Teflon coated angel food cake pan that I purchased earlier is now looking attractive as a rotor platform, even though the coils would be cast with a wider circumference.

Someday soon I will have to locate the graphic that tells how to wire a 9 coil flat armature with 12 magnets in 3 phases. And besides committing its design to memory I will have to find the original source to prove that it is beyond copyright and patent protection due to its age. Probably I will consult Dynamos first. I made a digital copy of most of its pages, btw.

At Dollar General -- in the center aisle toward the back where garden nick-nacks sit --  I also acquired some round plastic picnic snack trays for $1.50 that sit inside each other at 10, 8, and 6 inch diameters. These could easily hold resin as it sets, but again, these will be too small to make the resin covering over coils of an 11 or 12 inch diameter.

I am realizing, also, that a frame my husband was going to pitch will work well for making a platform under the swing set because I can cut two legs shorter, since the swing set is on a steep hill....

High School Design Projects

In keeping with my belief that there is far more engineering potential in this country than we are utilizing, I have started to surf for high school projects and competitions in alternative energy engineering. Specifically, what caught my eye last evening was a PBS program advertisement concerning a high school team that designed a race car this year. I can not remember the name of their school or town, so I am "on the waves", searching....

For now, this entry will continue to receive links to interesting sites that tell about high schoolers who band together to engineer something. This is an activity I believe we MUST encourage!

4. Google "race car design high school teams" Images and you might get the following page:
Google Images for Race Care Design High school teams (Long Beach Solar Grand Prix 2012 was one interesting picture)
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