ECW Ocube Testing, Week 3 Thread

Here’s a new thread for week 3 of testing.

For reference:

Week 1 thread

Week 2 thread

The Google document started by Ged which summarizes key information from testing so far .

The Spreadsheet with the terminal readings from the ocube

The video posted by Steorn yesterday showing some of the inner workings of the Ocube

February 23 2016

This morning I had a short Skype meeting with Steorn and I was shown a new testing unit that they said they would send on Wednesday. It is actually the insides of the ophone, and comprises of what they said was a full Orbo cell and a half Orbo cell. The full cell provides reference voltage to the half cell, which provides the power to the phone. In this setup there will be no batteries or capacitors — just the two cells and a 5V controller chip. Hopefully it will arrive in a few days.

Meanwhile, testing continued on the Ocube with various suggested tests. Much of today and yesterday was spent trying to increase the internal voltage of the Ocube by using a circuit with 9 Volt batteries providing external power. It has become difficult to get it much above 4.7 volts. Now the next test suggested was to discharge the Ocube by putting a 100 Ohm resistor across terminals U1-U2 which according to Steorn measure the voltage of the Orbo packs.

Below is a video of a discharge test where as you can see it is not easy to discharge it very much using a resistor.

February 24 2016

This is a longer discharge test I did this morning using a 100 Ohm resistor.

This is a second discharge test today, this time using a 47 Ohm resistor. Sorry, not in my usual workspace, so there’s no reference clock in the video.

A new experiment has been started. Thanks to DrD for the suggestion. An LED lamp has been plugged into the ocube rated at 0.22W. A bias voltage circuit has been applied to the U1-U2 terminals with a 1M Ohm resistor and 2 9 volt batteries. The start of the experiment is shown in the video below.

  • http://www.overunity.com/ Stefan Hartmann

    At least the latest test with the 47 Ohm resistor shows the constant current draw of about 100 milliamps so this resistor gets about 462 milliWatts of output power… Frank does the resistor get warm already after 4Minutes ? It should ! How long did you let charge the Ocube up before with the batteries connected ?

    • Frank Acland

      Hi Stefan, it’s actually a 4.7 k Ohm resistor, not 47 Ohm.

      • http://www.overunity.com/ Stefan Hartmann

        Hmm, then why Didn’t you correct this yet in the article above where you write 47 Ohms ? Was the 100 Ohm resistor value at least correct ? Did it get warm in the longer test run ? Should get warm at around 200 MilliWatts at this size of the ressitor…

  • Frank Acland

    New thread including a quick video of the new pack is up here: http://www.e-catworld.com/2016/02/29/ecw-orbo-testing-thread-week-4-new-power-pack-arrives/

    I’ll be back in about an hour.

  • Frank Acland

    Ok, the new Orbo pack arrived. I have spent some time putting it through is paces with Shaun McCarthy and he seems to think it has arrived in decent shape. I will start a new thread with some photos and a video and we can start a test recommended by Shaun this afternoon.

    • SG

      Good news Frank. Look forward to seeing more and launching in to some more testing!

  • JK

    Frank, any news from Steorn about O-Cube updates in general? You seem to be the only one who has heard from them in the past week. I also ordered one.

    • Frank Acland

      Just that they are continuing testing on them, but nothing specific yet about delivery times.

      • JK

        Thanks, Frank. Have been hoping for some official sign of life outside of this blog, but no luck.

  • Sanjeev

    I don’t think xrays would go through that thick metal case.
    Actually I’m surprised that it passed the scanner. Its opaque to xray and looks suspicious, its unlike any common household object.

    • FC

      Agreed.
      But the effect of X-rays should be considered for Ophones and demonstration devices, which do not have a thick metal casing.

      • Sanjeev

        I recall that the electret is sandwiched between two dissimilar metals. So there is some protection. Anyway, I can’t say I know the effect of xrays on orbo. Somebody needs to experiment with it.

  • http://www.russgeorge.net/ russ george

    The summary is easy…. Orbo arrived, it was said by Steorn to be a faulty one, testing confirmed it wasn’t working according to expectations, Frank being new to this bench poking allowed his “house cats” ( we don’t know if they were e-cats) to sleep on disassembled and vulnerable device while Frank was away, sleeping cats short circuited the already non-functioning Orbo, ‘fecking’ it as Steorn put it so delicately…. more testing proved it was well and truly ‘fecked’ by e-cats. That’s about it! If a bonafide working Orbo arrives soon as expected at least Frank is well tutored on his methods and knows to keep the cats and/or e-cats away.

    • http://www.russgeorge.net/ russ george

      This is way more amusing to watch than old episodes of Columbo!

  • Linda

    Oh my goodness, this thread is a mess. Please don’t make us read the whole stream-of-consciousness… does it work, or doesn’t it?

    • FC

      Unfortunately, this Ocube has probably never performed according to specs for various reasons (including a damaged internal circuit and a subsequent accidental short, plus other previous issues that we may never know about due to the Ocube’s internals being potted). Therefore, it is impossible to test Steorn’s claims on this Ocube.

      Luckily, a simplified, more user-friendly, replacement device is on its way, and Frank should receive it in the next few days. So hopefully, the new device will allow us to test Steorn’s claims in order to determine their validity, or lack thereof.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Linda — this “thread” is a work in progress — more like a chat channel. You can either join the work by making comments, or simply read them. At some point the collective agreement of the participants may be that we have come to a conclusion. If it is positive, I would expect a more concise writeup. If it is negative, this is all that you will get. Sorry that the group has not come to a more definitive conclusion, but no one is paid here. It’s just collaborative science tinkering.

      The data on the spreadsheet above shows the reading concisely if you want to skip the verbiage, but to understand what they are talking about, you have to dig. Sorry.

    • Blue Energy

      Linda, I’ve read them all and I’ve, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that we may never know for sure whether Orbo actually works or not. I expect that we’ll ultimately just have individual opinions about that: same as always. It’s being crowd-tested, so a number of different approaches are being taken – each in fits and starts. Sometimes advancing one approach sets the others back.

      As has been reported below, the original O-Cube was damaged from the very beginning – although it did produce *some* juice. Subsequently, its orbos were accidentally damaged some more. It was revealed by Steorn that the interior of the unit contains two 9 volt batteries and a large capacitor (at least… Steorn has filled the interior of the container with epoxy so Frank can’t see for sure). Steorn says the damage to the orbos on the inside is that they are mostly no longer polarized.

      Since then, there have been two general strategies: 1.) measure the current they still produce long enough to see whether a known electrical storage device could accomplish that. 2.) jump the damaged orbos to see whether they can be restored to original working order. Additionally, as interesting phenomena have come up, detours to the two general strategies have been taken.

      The result of strategy ‘2’ is that the either the orbos have been partially restored – or else an internal storage device has partially been charged up. Hard to tell. Also, other components within the epoxy may, or may not, have been damaged by the process. And, strategy ‘1’ has been either set back by the charging and damage – or advanced by apparently increasing the output – depending upon your perspective. Regardless, considering the unknown amount of juice that has been sent into the box and it’s current output, strategy ‘1’ would take so long to find out that the crowd is no longer really interested.

      Meanwhile Steorn has announced that, someday, a replacement O-Cube will be sent to Frank AND his consortium’s money will be refunded – which Frank is passing back to them. So, the new O-Cube will really completely belong to Frank. Additionally, Steorn has purportedly sent a new test unit which is said to be closer to the guts of an O-Phone – but, I think, without the phone? It will also be buried in epoxy so it’s contents will be unknown. It is set to probably arrive today. On the one hand, it’s terrific that everybody gets their money back. On the other hand, Frank now feels some understandable obligation toward Steorn to use them only as Steorn would want them to be used. So, whereas originally the testing was truly independent, Steorn has managed (albeit perhaps by kindness) to purchase some control over it. For instance, Frank will not send one of the devices to HUG who has offered to do rigorous (and singly-directed) public testing unless Steorn approves. I think that this development bothers one in direct proportion to one’s skepticism regarding Steorn generally. If you have always basically trusted Steorn – this is OK and reasonable. If not – this is unfortunate and may taint any result.

      That’s how it stands as of this morning. It’s possible that with the new unit a cohesive testing strategy will evolve that will determine whether orbo produces more energy than it uses without breaking it in the process. But the lure of probing virtually into the epoxy to try to discover things about it’s characteristics is so strong (particularly among those that already believe anyway) that I don’t think that will happen. So, you can probably expect a new large forum topic which will be just as convoluted as this one is. I predict that, if you have been a Steorn supporter, the new effort will convince you. Whereas, if you are not, the new effort will appear to lack rigor and questions will remain. So Linda, probably, in the long run, nothing will change.

      • SG

        Pretty good summary Blue Energy. But I would respectfully disagree with you that the independence of ECW and ECW’s community has been compromised in any way by the mere fact that Steorn is providing another device to test free of charge, with apparently no strings attached. This is quite standard for new technology gadgets: send samples out into the wild and await the reviews. ECW and its community will test and report, whatever the outcome, letting the chips fall where they may.

        • Blue Energy

          Well… I’ll say this: I don’t think that the independence of ECW and community are compromised. When our conversation originally started all of this I felt certain that we could trust Frank to be even handed. And I mostly still do. And since then the participating ECW community has swelled to include some very knowledgeable people. But, two other things have changed since then too.

          The first is that I did not anticipate the majorities primary desire to understand *how* it works – rather than first simply proving *whether* it works or not. That was what our conversation was about – testing to know *whether* it worked. In the meantime the crowd has become populated with people whose primary interest seems to be in the *how*.

          The second is that, initially, whatever responsibility Frank felt for providing him the opportunity to test an O-Cube was directed toward you and the other people who provided funds to test it. When Hughes offered to test the *whether* question using their superior environment and logging equipment you and I both were for it ending up there. Now that Shaun has bought it back and provided Frank with more for free, Frank has said that he would not consider sending anything to Hughes unless Steorn first approved it. I think you would agree that you are not completely objective unless you feel free to do whatever is in the best interest of coming to the truth.

          Also, in the meantime some testing parameters seem to have used information from Shaun as a priori knowledge. So – that’s changed. And, really, I’m not even saying that Steorn had anything to do with the change or would even object to Hughes getting their hands on it for a long term *whether* test. But, Steorn buying it back and providing information as to how to interpret findings has changed the dynamics of the test and possibly altered the result.

          My feeling is that if the original unit had just arrived in working condition Frank could have charged his phone with it twice a day until everyone was satisfied it could not possibly contain storage for that much electricity in a container that size. Or else he’d have done that for awhile and then loaned it to Hughes for a few months where it would have sat in an environmentally isolated place draining .4W while computerized logging equipment watched it 24/7. If either of those actually happened – then we’d have known – one way or the other.

          Now, there are lots of interesting things we do know about it – in particular orbo’s apparent incredible capacitance – but we don’t know whether it works as advertised, which is what all of this was originally about. And knowing that first would not have precluded other investigations later. But, I think that at this point the pressure for Frank to test other aspects of its replacement than just whether it fulfills its stated parameters is so strong that I don’t think the forum will answer that about the new ones either. It’s been terrific entertainment – but that’s all.

          • SG

            Fair enough. I’ll say this though: there has been no refund as of yet. So on that front, perhaps you can still consider the situation still somewhat beholden to the original funders. I actually never requested nor desired a refund, so won’t be upset if it never comes through.

            • Blue Energy

              There hasn’t been?! Oh – I didn’t realize that. It has been so long since Frank reported that Shaun offered that, and considering the utter failure of the original shipped unit – I had just presumed that had already occurred. At the time it felt… imminent. What advantage is there to Shaun of making such a magnanimous offer – but then not following through? Very confusing.

              At the same time, though, I don’t think it reverses the situation on the ground. Confuses and complicates it maybe. But ECW is taking suggestions from Shaun as to how to test the new kit. And, even though money has not changed hands, Frank is clearly operating as if Shaun deserves a say as to what happens to the equipment.

              I have noticed something promising in the week 4 thread though. ECW consensus seems to be trending toward testing the new unit’s longevity. I did not expect that. And the general plan to do so seems sound too.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    This is what I would suggest for the test of the new unit:

    1. Take a 100 Ohm resistor, measure its resistance.
    2. Connect the resistor with the unit, ensure that your meter records the minimum voltage.
    3. Leave it untouched as long as possible (at least 2 weeks if the voltage remains stable).
    4. Record the voltage during that time (of course…).
    5. Before disassembling the experiment, check the stored minimum voltage.
    6. After disassembly, measure the resistance again.

    • Dieter_G

      Hmm, I’n not sure if these tiny O-phone cells are intended to deliver 50mA. Frank should ask what current they can deliver

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Yes, of course that should be clarified first, and if the parameters were different a higher resistance would have to be chosen. My idea is to stay significantly below the maximum load to avoid any potential problems.

        • Dieter_G

          “My idea is to stay significantly below the maximum load to avoid any potential problems.”
          Yes exactly.
          @Frank : 40mW, that means 625 Ohm resulting in 8mA of current, assuming the output-voltage is 5V.

          • Sanjeev

            Looks like 1k would be fool proof. That should keep the voltage at 5V, or whatever peak it rests at.
            I wish someone loans a data logger to make life easier.

            • Andreas Moraitis

              Frank’s instrument has built-in registers that can store the maximum/minimum readings. It would be enough to know the min to be on the safe side. This method could also ensure that there had been no interruptions when the experiment was left unattended.

              • Dieter_G

                but he needs to be able to disable the auto-power-off feature then

                • Andreas Moraitis

                  He would need fresh batteries for the meter, or an external power supply. BTW: Some digital meters (not even expensive ones) record also the average. I do not know if Frank’s meter includes this function – it would be the ideal case.

                • FC

                  I agree with everything you guys are proposing. Assuming that the device’s rated voltage is 5V, driving a current from the device through a 1k Ohm resistor is the quickest and most direct way to verify that the new device is recharging at least at a 25 mW rate. So depending on its weight and dimensions, it would only take a few days to extract enough energy from it to rule out the hypothesis that it is being recharged by means of a conventional source hidden within the potting resin.

                  My only concern in this scenario is that, since the voltage is presumably going to remain stable (due to the discharge rate being lower than its claimed recharge rate) we also need to make sure that a current is actually going through the resistor. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to tell whether the circuit is properly closed or open due to a faulty connection.

                  I also think I remember Frank saying that the new device has a USB port, but I may be mistaken. If it does have a USB port, it could also be a good idea to test the device by using it to charge a phone in a series of charge-discharge cycles. That way, there would be no doubt that it is outputting usable amounts of energy and self-recharging subsequently.

                • Frank Acland

                  I don’t believe it does have a USB port, FC.

                • FC

                  Thank you, Frank.

                  Then, personally I think that we need to find a way to make sure that a current is actually going through the resistor.

                • Andreas Moraitis

                  You can only be absolutely sure if you use an amperemeter. That would be the standard method which I have defended all the time. But I think that measuring the resistance before and after the test might be ok as long as the resistor is properly connected.

                • FC

                  Right. I guess that a multimeter in series would work fine. But it would bring into the circuit its own impedance, and we would need to factor that into our calculations.

                  True. I know that you have defended measuring the current directly, from the beginning. 🙂
                  It’s just that in previous instances, the setup usually caused a visible discharge in the Ocube (i.e. a drop in voltage). That’s why we knew that the circuit was properly connected. But in the setup that you are proposing now, there may not be any voltage drop at all in the device. And that’s why I personally think that, in this case, it is necessary to check the current.

                • Dieter_G

                  I’m also backing Andreas suggestion. AFAIK Frank has several meters at hand, so one can be omitted for current monitoring.
                  However, it needs to be verfied that the meter also conducts current when switched off. Most of them do so, like the one called VC97 he is using lately. If you plug the red wire into the mA-Port, it conducts, regardless if switched on or off. However, there are some models where you do not have to plug the red wire in different locations when switching from voltage to current-measurement. There is only one Port for the red wire. I guess these models are most likely problematic in this regard.

                  Frank : to check if the meter is conducting when switched of, just put two of them in series, both set at Amp-measurement and switch of the device in question. You’ll then see on the other meter if the current stays the same or not.
                  You can do this test beforehand with a battery and a resistor to ease things.

                • Frank Acland

                  All things that we can try — but first things first. Delivery is still scheduled for today, and the first thing I am to do is to contact Steorn and check with them to make sure that the device arrived in the same condition in which it was shipped. Assuming nothing untoward has happened in the orbo’s voyage then we can start testing.

                • FC

                  Totally agreed, Frank.
                  Looking forward to your news.

                • Frank Acland

                  Yes, I figured out how to do that.

      • Frank Acland

        I did ask about that, the answer was around an average of 40 mW over the course of 24 hours with peaks up to 200 mW. SM showed me on a scope that the Orbo pulses as it delivers power required by the control chip. Btw, out for now, back home this afternoon.

        • Anon2012_2014

          I want to see the instantaneous power output vs. earth magnetic field fluctuations, i.e.
          http://geomag.usgs.gov/plots/

          It may be a ULF magnetic harvester working below 100 Hz so as not to be shielded by the aluminum. 40 mW would be impressive. Burst of 200 mW might be due to a geomagnetic storm. The nT variations that we see on the links charts are all <.1 Hz, so we may be missing some data. If this works, it may be economically useful — have to do some calculations to see how it compares to solar cells for example. Might be very useful in places where it is dark during the winter.

        • DrD

          Interesting.
          40mW is a lot less than the 400mW that Shaun gave you for the U1U2 output. Even allowing for losses in the upconverter regulator it’s diificult to reconsile the two.
          40mW calls for a 625 ohm resistor (from 5V USB).
          Is there a written specification?

          • Frank Acland

            Nothing written, no. But the new unit only has a “half” orbo cell as the active power source, as opposed to the eight full cells in the ocube. What I am receiving is apparently the power pack for the ophone.

  • FC

    Hmm, interesting. Thank you.

  • FC

    Good morning, Frank.

    Thank you for the late night and early morning readings. The Ocube has finally taken a hit overnight discharging through the 1k Ohm resistor (from 4.68V to 3.864V in 13 hours and 28 minutes). I will leave it Sanjeev to find a more exact estimate of the energy consumed, but right off the bat, I think it’s in the order of 250 mWh.

    Unfortunately, this Ocube is performing well below Steorn’s claims after the accidental short of 13 February. And at this recharge rate, we would need a year or more to extract enough energy from it to be able rule out the “battery hypothesis.” Not very promising. Luckily, the new device should arrive soon.

    • Dieter_G

      Regarding the initial accidental short, we should keep in mind that the device also didn’t perform as expected PRIOR to this short. For this reason, the backplate was taken off and only then this short happened.
      So for me, it isn’t a plausible explanation for its bad performance.

      • FC

        Agreed. It probably never performed according to specs. I only said that since the accidental short, the Ocube is performing well below specs.

        • Dieter_G

          yes.
          Lets see how the new one does its job.
          To bad that what was seen up to now pretty much resembles the “delay and excuse”-theme some have predicted.

          • FC

            True.
            The positive note to me is that now Steorn admit that they’re having preproduction problems and that they’re testing different configurations to try and solve those problems.
            Time will tell.

            • Dieter_G

              “…that now Steorn admit that they’re having preproduction problems…”
              Oh I missed that. Can you give me a hint where I can find this statement ?

              “Time will tell”
              At leat that one is for sure 😉

            • Andreas Moraitis

              If they change the configuration they will have to scrap all devices that are already potted. Maybe they recognize now that using the resin was not the best idea.

              • FC

                Good point. 🙂

    • Sanjeev

      I think this round of discharge is over and it produced about 0.4 watt hours, nothing outstanding.
      The 2.2k seems to work better and I don’t see any signs of self charging once the voltage dropped below 4V. But above 4V, it behaved as if its a capacitor of infinite capacitance.

      • Ged

        Guess we may have to force charge it back above that threshold again.

        • Sanjeev

          Best if it charges back itself. If not then it needs assisted charging and this time some arrangement must be made to measure the charging current and voltage both, so that we get the amount of energy fed in. After the discharge cycle, we will be then able to compute the COP.

          • Anon2012_2014

            Simply measure the voltage across the resistor to get current. Measure the voltage across U1/U2 to get voltage. Integrate voltage * current to get energy in.

            • Sanjeev

              Can be done. The value of R must be measured precisely, it has tolerance.

  • PT

    What would “a one page executive summary” be so far? What are the facts and what are the unverified assumptions? What are the results from the tests and what are the conclusions – if any?

    In regard to forthcoming tests on a new cell, it is worth remembering that Steorn’s support comes not only out of kindness, but ultimately from a desire to earn money.

    Steorn have a long and checkerd past with only failed demos so far. There is a very high probability that the next “test cell” will be just more of the same.

    Most of us hope for a breakthrough, but hope is subjective, and should not cloud objective observations and conclusions. Therefore the bar should be set very high.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      In a nutshell: The tested device does not work, maybe because it is damaged. Frank will receive a new unit within a few days, which will hopefully perform better.

      • SG

        Yes, I concur. We tested this Ocube from many different angles and the only conclusion, unfortunately, is that this Ocube doesn’t perform in accordance with Steorn’s claims. That said, stuff happens, and we shall give them the benefit of the doubt and test the replacement device, and as always, let the chips fall where they may.

  • OM

    Unfortunately, I do not see that the device can produce energy.

  • OM

    The discharge current of 7ma is very low for 700mAh cell.
    Perhaps we are seeing the long-term chemical processes that go on in the cell, especially after charging.

    Characteristics of Rechargeable Batteries:
    http://www.ti.com/lit/an/snva533/snva533.pdf

    The flat discharge curve:
    https://www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/discharge-curves-4

    http://g03.s.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1QIVZGFXXXXaCXVXXq6xXFXXXk/200580468/HTB1QIVZGFXXXXaCXVXXq6xXFXXXk.jpg

  • Ged

    Looks like the 1K resistor may be having a better impact.

    • Sanjeev

      Very stable with 1k also. Looks like the voltage dips at the time of connection, but then holds itself. Producing/consuming 22mW now.

      • FC

        I was just watching again Frank’s first video of 24 February (above). In that video, Frank tests the Ocube’s discharge through a 100 Ohm resistor. The test only lasts a couple minutes, but the result is similar to what we’re seeing now: an initial 0.01V dip followed by a stable phase at 4.68V. So this Ocube may be able to handle 220 mW too. If that’s the case (or even if the voltage only drops slightly over time), after 20-30 days of testing, the “battery hypothesis” would start becoming highly improbable, as far as I’m concerned.

      • Anon2012_2014

        That’s what I see. So we have only 1 megohm resistor in series with batteries providing (18-4.7)/1e6=13 uA, but we are taking out of it 4.7 mA; more or less steady state.

        I had predicted for a “good” yet conventional RF energy harvester around 20 mW. Maybe we are using new science here. 20 mW is good (useful), but it won’t replace LENR. If we can show that this energy is not coming from RF but from some other hitherto unused method of harvesting (ULF magnetic fields for example, or heat harvesting from the room), we have something. I’d like to see 500 mW average, but I am not as hopeful.

        At least the device is not fraud.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Regarding apparent stability, we should not forget that a reading of 4.69 can mean anything from 4.685 to < 4.695. So there is a maximum error of almost 0.01 volts, which is also the minimum difference that we are looking for. That’s obviously a problem in this sort of tests.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Actually, the maximum error is +-0.005 V (plus the tolerance of the meter), but it does not seem to make a difference in this case.

  • FC

    In response to 1), if it was only the capacitor that was drained, and not the cores, I presume that the capacitor would have been recharged by the cores very quickly after the short, and that was not the case.

    In response to 2), the spikes were upwards, as if the cores were recuperating, not expiring.

  • Sanjeev

    That’s a lowly sum. If it works and Frank becomes the first public tester to show that it does, it will be a priceless achievement. Historic.

    • Frank Acland

      I’m just glad to have the chance to do this testing, and am very happy that Steorn is sending a new unit that should be easier to test, and should tell us more than we can get from this ocube. If I got any kind of fee from Steorn it would take away from the independent nature of the testing.

  • Sanjeev

    Yes, in normal operation its not meant to be recharged. But this OCube is dead as per Steorn, so some attempts were made to bring it back to life by charging the 5F capacitor which is also in parallel to the orbo power pack.