Originally Posted by Lidmotor
I worked on the copper and magnesium electrodes today---on a small scale. I took a 2" piece of copper wire and beat it with a hammer until it was flat and the same width as a strip of magnesium ribbon. The copper was heated until black and the magnesium was oxidized using the electrolysis method. I carefully dipped each electrode in distilled water and coated them with crystal electrolyte mixture. The electrodes were then carefully clamped together with a wood clothes pin. The voltage was about 1.4v but with less than a milliamp. There was no seperator just the two metal strips with a thin layer of crystals between them. The electrode preparation may or may not have been why this worked. I knew that as the water dried out the air was going to get in there and probably stop the thing so for grins I just sprayed the whole thing with WD-40. To my surprise it kept on working. I hooked Penny No.2 up to it and 7 hours later now she is still blinking away.
Tomorrow I will try making that star copper electrode using a drill chuck like you suggested. I have been going over your last posts and they really helped. Thanks.
Yes, it's amazing what JB and Chuck have put together at this stage now. The power they can produce now with their cells is practical usable as reading or emergency light, and already adequate enough to power portable deceives such as RTV, mp4 players and all those kind of things. In the place where i live, many people would be very happy already to have ONE or TWO of john's cells for the electricity demand for their whole house! (my neighbor has no electricity, water and gas at all). I'm the wizard around here and have gave away many of the simple light providers (earth battery, wire in the sky, metal plates placed on local hollow block etc etc.... very crappy things, but they work). So you might understand that these kind of cells we try to make now could do a lot of good here. Haha, I have been thinking to introduce your penny here also, as they can be made of virtually anything... they will still work to a better or lesser degree, but the flash freq must be at least 25Hz to make it usable. Led's are problematic here -cost wise- (the rest, I use often junk parts and left overs that I had myself), the lighters here have leds, and those are very handy tough.
As for the star cell shape, by increasing the contact area of the magnesium electrode, you would increase amperage, but amperage is greatly determined by the kind of mix and electrode deposit layer also. If the Mg layer is correctly made, your penny will continue to work for a long long loooong time :-)
I have been playing around with sprays also (conductive and non conductive, and they can do surprisingly things).
It's best to as quickly as possible have the layer build up on the magnesium, as this shortest the 'pitting' period -and thus build of bad layer- ... Optimally one should start with a very clean magnesium electrode, and place the layer on it in the shortest time possible... A 'good' layer on top of a 'bad' layer spells trouble on the mid long term. This has -in my opinion- little to do with lattice orientation -well it does still-, but the main factor of the zapping with energy here is to get that layer build up. Lattice orientation -better said domain orientation- is another thing that is beneficial also.
@ all & John,
I did a critical analyzing on my black coating earlier today, and despite the fact it 'looked' 95% okay, I measured many many defects on the layer still (the eye wont show it, but measurements do). It was a tedious process, since i mapped over 1267 measurement points, manually. The defects were not critical (well some of them were), but it will shorten long term reliability. Main problem basically is to increase the thickness of the black layer (Yes John, I *do* know why this black layer is so important, but there *are* ways to use binders without -to much- negative effects... It is a trade off however. I have also been thinking about high velocity sputtering, but this is not simple also, and again, that is something you can't do with the average house and kitchen tools - Luckily i have a special kitchen tough :-)
My brain and thinking is working in a very straight and orderly way (it might have to do something with a high sky fall&meet earth accident when i was young), sometimes I might appear crude (direct) towards people with my wordings/writings, but rest assured my intentions are nothing but good towards all and everyone here, and your research is highly appreciated.