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Issue 2, October 2009 - Page 1                                                                                                      Previous Issues     
  

Let's drop in on Wily and look over his shoulder at his latest project....

Fence Alarm

It seemed to Wily that frantic phone calls from clients always tended to come in the morning.  He had just taken his first sip of morning coffee when the phone rang.  It was from a cattle rancher in Montana.  It was deer hunting season in Montana and this rancher was fed up with hunters cutting his barbed wire fence, to gain entrance onto his properly. 

He called and wanted to know if there was any way he could receive an alarm signal whenever the fence was cut.  The rancher had looked on the Internet and couldnít find anything that seemed appropriate for him. 

con't page 7

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW is a....  PIGEON SCARECROW

I have an area on my roof where a large flock of pigeons like to roost.  Their nesting materials and droppings really make a mess, which often clogs my roof gutters.  Perhaps one way to scare them away is with a device mounted on the roof near their favorite roosting spot. 

The device could contain an infrared motion detector.  When it detected their motion, a spring loaded cover would suddenly pop up, like a jack in the box. The thing could be equipped with a small solar panel, which could charge up either a super capacitor or a long life battery.                   

story con't on page 6

Electrodeless Fluorescent Lamps
By: Dave Johnson  

Compact fluorescent lamps are quite popular these days.  They can offer more light for less power when compared to standard incandescent lamps. When made by quality companies, they can also outlast standard lamps.  But, many of the lamps coming out of China are poorly made.  Very few of the lamps I have purchased lately have lasted more than two years, even when the package says that the lamp would last 5 years. Iím sure many of you have had similar experiences.                            story con't on page 8

New Products 2008
New product announcements are made nearly every day.  I subscribe to many trade journals and each is filled with hundreds of flashy advertisements.  But, only a few of those product ads catch my eye.  Since Iím a circuit designer, I especially like those components that trigger many new application ideas in my mind.  Sometimes it is the smallest products that are the most useful.  I often discovered new products in surplus electronic catalogs.  The surplus companies often buy up stock that came from companies that went out of business.  Bad marketing or bad management may have killed a perfectly good product idea.  Their loss can be your gain if you can spot the bargain.                               
Light Powered Battery Charger
By: Dave Johnson

Iíve been thinking about another way to charge a cell phone battery without wires.  The usual method, as outlined in my ďwireless battery chargerĒ post, is with a magnetic field coupled circuit. This works but is somewhat complex and expensive.
                                                                                                                story con't on page 4

Vapor Pumping -- About three decades ago I was working for a company which manufactured and installed complex systems that measured the pollutants belched out from utility size smokestacks in large coal fired power plants. These probes were mounted toward the top of the stack and measured, temperature, gas flow, particulates, oxygen, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxides.                story con't on page 3

Bad Path Light Design

On one of my early morning walks, I spotted a broken solar powered path light, which had been tossed out into the weeds near a railroad track.  I picked up the thing and put it in my pocket.  I thought some of the parts may come in handy.  When I got home and I took a closer look at the thing, I noticed something strange.  As shown below, at first glance, the 1.75 inch by 1.75 inch photovoltaic panel looked like many of the other devices Iíve seen on solar powered path lights.  It looks like four overlapping solar cells with their shinny metallic collector strips
story con't on page 5    

Shippable Energy Container
Letís imagine a large cargo container, which would store electrical energy, and could be transported from a source of energy to anywhere it might be needed.  The containers could be shipped by truck, rail or boat and would provide electrical energy, much like a gigantic battery.
   story con't on page 2 


October 2009      Issue 2

Page 1 Back
Envelope
Circuit
Diagnosis
Experimenter's
Corner
Good Idea
gone Badly
New Products Rants &
Raves
What the World
needs Now
Wily Widget


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