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New Battery systems => Other new battery systems => Topic started by: Clara Listensprechen on March 11, 2006, 04:22:10 AM

Title: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: Clara Listensprechen on March 11, 2006, 04:22:10 AM
As I visited museums in the Oklahoma City area, I visited a fairly new musem, the Museum of History in downtown OKC in which there was a section on historical Oklahoma radio stations.  In one display there was posted a schematic for pioneer station 5XT which was liicensed in 1921 as WKY, and this schematic used a power supply consisting of 3 pint jars containing a solution of borax and water and into each was placed a pair of electrodes (one was lead; I don't recall the other and I horrified myself by not making note of the other).

Each pint jar would deliver 25 volts, according to Raymond Lee Fish's notes on the schematic, and he was contemplating a 40-jar 1 Kv  radio station.

I guess I'm going to have to revisit that museum to get the details on what the other electrode material was...I'm thinking it was graphite...
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: Clara Listensprechen on March 16, 2006, 05:50:12 AM
Here's one that CAN be googled up:  the dry pile.

http://www.amasci.com/emotor/duluc.html
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: blindsangamon on July 11, 2011, 10:47:30 PM
Clara - what you saw was an electrolytic rectifier.  One plate was lead, the other aluminum, in a borax solution.  These were pretty common in ham radio stations through the Depression, until rectifier tubes became cheap. 
73 -
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: maw2432 on July 12, 2011, 12:11:51 AM
Here's one that CAN be googled up:  the dry pile.

http://www.amasci.com/emotor/duluc.html

Thanks Clara.    Nice history on the dry pile.

Bill
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: Clara Listensprechen on July 12, 2011, 01:45:54 AM
You're welcome!
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: Clara Listensprechen on July 12, 2011, 01:48:53 AM
Clara - what you saw was an electrolytic rectifier.  One plate was lead, the other aluminum, in a borax solution.  These were pretty common in ham radio stations through the Depression, until rectifier tubes became cheap. 
73 -
The diagram showed it as a power source, though. I suppose it could be used as a rectifier; they used some very strange stuff as rectifiers back then (a razor blade comes to mind).
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: maw2432 on July 12, 2011, 02:04:44 AM
You're welcome!

Nice to see that someone here has been to OKC.   I spent many years growing up just a few miles south of Tulsa, in a little town called Okmulgee.   

Best wishes.

Bill
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: Clara Listensprechen on July 12, 2011, 03:41:29 AM
I'm in Enid at present. I get to OKC occasionally. Pleased to meet you.
Title: Re: You Can't Google This One--WKY's Power
Post by: sm0ky2 on July 13, 2011, 04:38:53 PM
borax / boric acid / sassolite was commonly used as an electrolyte as early as the late 1700's - early 1800's when batteries were first being discovered. Although the design and size of the devices described from OK meuseum sound more like leyden jars.

boric acid (and its salts) were often used as electrolytes for jar-capaticors, which were simply boric acid and water, with one electrode in the center, and another metal on the outside of the jar. Or with both electrodes inside the water on opposite sides of the jar, depending on the application.

it can store a charge, but as an electrolyte, its only slightly better than tablesalt, so i dont see this as being a great power source.
Volta quickly swept boric acid under the table by using nitric, and hydrochloric acids. Which is why modern batteries use stronger acids, rather than weak ones.

The use of lead is interesting, only because it indicates an electrochemical process. Assuming of course that the other electrode is not, also made of lead.

It may be worth experimenting with, if for no other reason than knowledge that is rarely written about.
I only find it in very old writings, virtually nothing on the internet at all..
And in those days it was mentioned as a procedure, not much if anything about its functionality compared to what we use today, because that was all they had to work with back then.