I just noticed in an older post that you were first to recommend calcium chloride, that was a good call, it works quite nicely in crystal cells.
Hello everyone, time for an update! First off, my little blue led box is still working quite nicely. And my crystal cell flashlight is still working quite well. I've included another picture of it.
I've been making some efforts to put several cells together into one. So I took apart a 6 volt lantern battery, and built crystal cells out of the 4 zinc cylinders inside. Then I put it all back together, and wired them in series. At first it was putting out 4 volts at 3 milli-amps, then it suddenly died, like overnight, bam, after all that work...
I still believe this idea can work, I have some single cells I made from the interior cylinders from a lantern battery that are working just fine. So I must have messed something up with the cell formula for these 4. I've included some pics of the lantern battery and cells.
I've also included some pictures of a new heavy-duty rock crusher I built. Some of these crystals were starting to get the better of my wrist.
I just went to a home improvement store and messed around with the steel plumbing pipes until I got it to fit together like you see. I just pour the crystals or rocks in, and start pounding!
My latest cells are sitting in my room, and I have them shorting out, to try and make sure that they are going to last, and not die suddenly. I'm planning on building another flashlight with another D size cell I made using the formula below, this light will be like the one I've already built, except it will be smaller and more compact.
I finally got some new materials to build with too, Yay! Based on the performance of the cells that I have made so far, then my best and most reliable mixture is as follows.
Ingredients: Barium Titanate, Green Tourmaline, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Chloride, Alum (Potassium Aluminum Sulphate), Sodium Silicate.
The average output I get with this mixture is about 1.2 volts 1.1 Milli-Amps, that is with a zinc negative and carbon positive. I know my ingredients list does not have the amounts, I'm going to buy a small scale that will let me measure out the precise weight of ingredients, but I haven't yet.
Now naturally the big question is: Does this mixture produce a genuine, never going to quit, crystal cell?
Honestly, I don't know. All I can say is, it has lasted under constant load for days on end, and can be left on a dead short, but then cycles right back to it's original voltage once the short is removed. No matter how I've poked and prodded it thus far, this mixture has given me no reason to believe as of yet, that it is not a true crystal cell. However, I think the only thing that can tell you for sure is time. Which is why I'm going to put this cell in a flashlight, which will keep it under constant load, forever. And I'll be able to monitor how it's doing over time simply by flipping the light on. Because if that joule thief ever quits recharging the super-cap, with me using the light regularly, it's not going to be long before the light simply won't turn on.
You can find some info on the cell that is powering my current flashlight, on page 59 of this thread. It was made on May 31, 2010. At first I had it running a joule thief, then I got the idea for this flashlight. So all together it has been actually powering something, day and night for roughly 5 months. So it looks pretty encouraging to me that this is the real deal, just like Ian's cell that has been running that watch.
Oh, and one little oddity I noticed, I don't know if it means anything but, I included a picture. When I add crushed emerald to the mixture above, it gets all frothy...and just kinda strange looking, I don't think it affected it's output any, but I just found this odd.
Anyway, get well soon Ian, and take care everyone!