* Posts by andre 2

37 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with two-year sentences for menacing posts

andre 2 Bronze badge

RE. Re. Re. trolls

I tried to post some notes on comparative physiology to Wikipedia but it was summarily deleted for being "Original Research"

Essentially the Gliese 581d inhabitants are 3 1/2 feet tall, grey and due to the low light conditions and primarily infrared spectra of the star have large eyes with internal lenses to focus the longer light.

The skin colouration is due to having to absorb energy for metabolism, much as Earth type reptiles do and this makes them highly dependent on temperature for survival.

As far as communication, the skin is biomimetic much as chameleons are and can indeed change colour and shade VERY quickly which explains a lot of the inconsistencies in witness reports.

They are able to communicate using this ability and exchange information as skin patterns which allows for massively increased transfer efficiency over speech.

I have theorized that at the time of the Wow! signal Gliese was in the right position for Jupiter's magnetosphere to act as a deflector and focus enough signal to Earth to be detected.

This is consistent with observation and as the signal was only focused on the Solar System for a very brief time due to the massive power requirements it was not repeated.

Superconductor research

andre 2 Bronze badge

Update 21-10-14

Should probably clarify, these are conventional LN2 superconductors.

It seems that making it work above 120K would require substantial modifications and due to the diminishing returns effect (ie Tc and Jc opposing in equal proportions) even a hypothetical material superconductive at 300K would still need to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures for most applications.

I have also discovered that many reports of "room temperature" materials are actually something else entirely ie temperature dependent magnetoresistance.

Worthy of a paper in their own right..

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re. Interesting hack

Also worth mentioning, a workaround for the lack of cheap oxygen cylinders is a crude electrolysis setup using old hard disk platters and a DC supply such as old PS3 5V@21A.

You need to vent the hydrogen somewhere safe though.

One idea I did have is to form the interference layers needed for reasonable yields with Y123 or BSCCO using a 3D printer loaded with the prepared oxides in an inert binder such as naptha (acetone is much too destructive to plastic parts) and an ultrasonic stirrer to keep the oxides suspended in solution.

andre 2 Bronze badge

Interesting hack

Turns out that a cheap IR thermometer (Masterclass) works well.

You just use a pinhole lens and a calibrated heat source using an LM35, opamp and power resistor to calibrate the IR thermometer with a given distance from outside the MW oven using a small hole in the roof.

The more expensive ones use an inbuilt parallax sensor to measure distance and compensate accordingly, but they also have inbuilt filters that compensate for heat up to some 900C.

andre 2 Bronze badge
IT Angle

Hi, I now have a FB page.

I've determined that a domestic microwave + silicon carbide from Ebay + fire cement makes an effective DIY setup, just need to regulate the temperature.

Maybe http://www.amazon.com/Generic-Accurate-Digital-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B00EQ1YRDK ?

Most MW ovens don't like working for hours at a time so additional fans will be deployed as needed.

Also relevant, its possible to fine tune mag power just by regulating the LV side of the transformer using a modified variac.

Other approaches also work, such as using triacs but I like the idea of Dial-A-Nuke (tm) :-)

andre 2 Bronze badge
Big Brother


I'm having issues getting the BaCO3 as (a) RM are getting twitchy about powdered chemicals in the post, and (b) the one and only supplier I found is on holiday.

Which leaves Sigma Aldritch, at least it will be NIST certified and known to be iron free.

Anyone here know of a source?

On the flip side, my graphite oxide showed up so thats 1/3 of the project ready to go.


andre 2 Bronze badge

Sure thing

Hi, I'm waiting on a few components, does anyone have a small desktop kiln they'd like to sell or trade please?

I've managed to source most of the chemicals, the BaCO3 is pyro grade but I've found a workaround to remove any ferrous contamination.

The really interesting work is dependent on a specific part which I've yet to source, but its well known and just a matter of waiting on the post or finding another supplier

Also useful would be an IR thermometer and/or a K thermocouple probe if anyone has a spare.

Kind regards, -Andre

andre 2 Bronze badge

Superconductor research

Hi, am I the only one looking at making high temperature superconductors at home?

Anyone else on here working on these?

Kind regards, -Andre

NASA eyeballs solar heat bombs, mini-tornadoes and nanoflares on Sun

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: What about

Yes, I saw the article.

It is intriguing to note that this discovery barely made page 6 of the Daily Mail yet it could be the most important discovery in history ie concrete evidence of dark matter.

Axions IIRC have been theorized to only manifest in condensed matter and by the X-ray production as they decay so finding them in the first place is a considerable feat of engineering.

It is also worth noting that the curves for anomalous solar X-ray flux and the curves for seasonal radioactive decay (either accelerated or reduced) 54Mn being one example almost exactly match.

D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: Judging an Experiment as a Commercial Product is Rarely Helpful.

Considering the QPU is cooled down to millikelvins, in a special room similar to the shielded one used for MRI scanners and shielded from everything including ambient radiation I would say that D-Wave do indeed have a quantum computer.

calling is a "physics experiment" is like calling Fat Man a "Sunshine simulation device"... Doesen't do it justice and D-Wave deserve serious funding whether their system is fully tested or not.

We can't afford to be left behind on this, China has its own version in the pipeline and South Korea even has a prototype under construction.

503 qubits is incredible progress in such a short time even if they are flux ones, ten years ago this would have been science fiction.

Neutrino SETI

andre 2 Bronze badge

Update 2 190614

If anyone is interested, please email me on mandoline@cwgsy.net with the subject "Neutrino SETI"

I have some knowledge of theoretical physics so would appreciate some pointers.

Also relevant, another parallel project to do with detecting the theorized solar axions, in this case a superconducting sensor of my own design utilizing off the shelf chemicals and hardware.

andre 2 Bronze badge

Update 1 230514

I've since determined that a lot of time could be saved by salvaging parts.

One good example is some old HP printers notably the Deskjet 550 series have a nice LM35DZ sensor on the lid PCB.

The Lite-Salt is actually the biggest problem to crystallize but so far I have around 60 grams here.

To separate out the magnesium carbonate is relatively simple and this can be used for other projects.

I've been looking into using a proprietry enrichment method which is currently undergoing a patent search :-) as this constitutes a novel and inventive step and TTBOMK has never been done before.

andre 2 Bronze badge

Neutrino SETI

Hi, is anyone interested in collaborating on a project?

Seems that the decay time of potassium 40 aka "Lite Salt" can be affected by neutrinos, at least one of the decay paths (ie the B+)

The method I propose is to purify down 1kg of LS using differential crystallization in order to harvest about a gram of enriched 40KCl which can then be wrapped around a Geiger tube and encased in wax to make a detector.

I have determined that this approach can be used with the typical Russian tube ie SBM series and after sorting through a few tubes found that some are much more sensitive than others.

Keeping the device at a constant 25 Celsius would avoid problems with tube temperature sensitivity and encasing it in a lead or composite bismuth block inside an aerogel shield would allow it to be shielded against all but the highest energy cosmic rays and/or gammas.

A network of these throughout the UK would provide very valuable data indeed and would also act as an effective "dark lightning" detector which would in itself be interesting.


andre 2 Bronze badge


Hi, who here feels that (insert agency) has crossed the line with regards to spying on innocent people using advanced technology including:-

Router resident spyware that logs searches corresponding to particular topics and sends them using a peer to peer network as an innocent log file or other normally harmless data packet

Hacked phones using malicious firmware updates and forged digital signatures with the full knowledge of the phone's designers who have been sworn to secrecy

ISPs being forced to hand over user details and search history under "national security" ie RIPA, CISPA etc without any sensible proof, ie "We have evidence of x but you can't see it"

Entrapment via stolen property to "persuade" people to hand over personal details of others under investigation to avoid a court appearance

Misuse of manufacturer diagnostics on returned digital media to extract personal data from failed hard disks and SSDs, having first "killed" the victim's device using compromised firmware.

Hardware fault?

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re. Macs

This has been caused before by "flaky n**d*a" chip syndrome, actually the problem is the interconnects not the chip itself.

It can also happen due to a bad LCD controller, I've had this happen to two 22" Macs before and it always started with intermittent glitches and lines followed by total catastrophic failure.

A slightly more common cause is bad RAM, as most of these use off the shelf SODIMMs this is really easy to check if you have an old laptop kicking around with a suitable slot.

I have also noticed that in some cases a bad LCD can be fixed by replacing the open fuse, although the cause is still there ie bad chip it will usually work long enough for the replacement to show up.

Apple are usually fairly reasonable if you explain the problem :-)

Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: Re. quantum decryption

Heh, very funny.

I decided that enough is enough, this is time to write a paper.

AFK for now, should have it done in a week or so but hopefully the NSA/etc won't classify my work.

Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: "Mad" scientists

Well 8% is "doesen't work".. which is also fixable.

I am writing a paper on this as we speak, will post on arXiv or similar asap.

A steam punk VDU ?

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: Re. displays


This guy is a genius, I learned about this effect from him and he was the one who originally suggested hooking up a memristor to an EL panel as a brightness control.

Articles with no comments

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re. comments

Yes, I agree Comments add character to the site.

By all means if it needed a muppet filter (tm) add one, but not just stop it entirely.

That would be unhelpful IMHO.


Pacemaker hack legend Barnaby Jack dies just before Black Hat revelations

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re. How did he die

The preliminary report seems to show he died of natural causes.

Possibly undiagnosed Long QT, as this can cause sudden cardiac death with little or no warning.

Even athletes have suffered from this, not so long ago it made the news after a footballer collapsed on the pitch from this affliction.

Sad news indeed, lets give the conspiracy theories a rest out of respect kthx.

Battery hacks

andre 2 Bronze badge

Re: Battery hacks

Interestingly, this page http://ma.ecsdl.org/content/MA2012-02/8/664.full.pdf details just such a beast.

They are using liquid metal ie indium/calcium alloy electrodes to get around many of the passivation problems, so if the price of indium were to drop or another metal were substituted for indium such as sodium (liquid at high temperature) it should still work.

For certain uses a battery whose electrodes freeze at 5 Celsius wouldn't be a big problem, such as e-bikes where a few minutes use will warm them up nicely.

Worth a look, as copper PCB feedstock could be used as the base plates.

Also viable is to plate a transition layer onto a sheet of glass ie ITO, then vacuum deposit silver or copper over that so all those otherwise useless sheets of glass from broken flat screens could be recycled.

Also worth mentioning is that controllers have moved on a lot since 2012, the advent of single chip 16 pin FPGAs means very complex algorithms can be used to overcome nonlinearity with temperature and charge state and pressure feedback via BMP085 etc.

andre 2 Bronze badge

Battery hacks

Hi all.

Has anyone here tried to DIY their own rechargeable batteries?

This covers:- buying "dead" packs on Ebay and reviving them, as well as scratch building cells.

I've heard that making lead acids is feasible but my latest research is into perfecting the calcium ion cell.

The plan here is to use calcium carbide, a known high energy compound familiar to cavers for lighting and convert it into a two stage electrochemical storage medium using intercalated graphite and iron phosphate.

The cell would consist of a CaC/C mix as the anode and FePO4 as the cathode which would then form the ion shuttle as in LiFePO4 technology.

It occurs to me that an electrolyte consisting of acetone and a few stabilisers would hold the acetylene stable until the cell is discharged; in its fully discharged state it would be essentially inert.

As the entire cell is anhydrous the reaction should be fully reversible and long term stable.

Acetone also happens to be relatively inexpensive though somewhat flammable but no more so than any other electrolyte commonly in use.

It has some useful properties such as dissolving acetylene so the cell would need to be minimally pressurised and in fact be ideal for high drain applications if failsafes are used.

Samsung set for compensation talks over staff death claims

andre 2 Bronze badge

Rumour has it

that this is why Solyndra and others bit the dust, not because they ran out of money but due to the pending lawsuits caused by airborne CIGS dust (cadmium is REALLY REALLY carcinogenic) and other toxic chemicals used in making solar panels incuding silane and trichloroethylene.

Was easier to pull the plug and blame the economy, than pay up.

Ask anyone who worked there, who is now suffering terribly because of corporate greed.

Don't even get me started on Area 51, that mess isn't going away any time soon.

The paints on the SR71 back in the 1980's were bad enough but the carbon composites are worse than asbestos and stealth paints use dibenzylfuran among other things which caused horrible side effects when burned on site.

LOHAN ideas..

andre 2 Bronze badge

Even more ideas

Its also feasible to make a small "blob" of low melting point gallium/indium alloy which melts at a relatively low temperature.

This is an order of magnitude more sensitive than the loop of nylon but has a breaking strain in the multiple kilos.

Also two electrically separate resistors, thyristors and batteries connected to the "base" means if one independent firing circuit breaks during ascent then the other should fire.

Use optical LM567 based triggering so no wire is needed, with the correct frequency being needed for it to fire.

As a second backup, have an altitude based trip which severs the connection to the balloon if the internal pressure exceeds a set limit, with three sets of rotors and a tilt sensor to keep the payload upright during descent so the rocket can fire.

andre 2 Bronze badge

Another idea

What about a good old fashioned nylon thread looped around a ceramic resistor?

This has the advantage of working 100% once fired if a thyristor is used.

Also an interesting idea to add to the balloon is a high altitude UV radiation monitor made from a clear epoxy encased Bluray burner diode (LED'd ones work fine) connected to a small op-amp and voltage to frequency converter such as a 555.

These are pretty accurate and sensitive to wavelengths between 395 and 375nm (UV-A) so could be used as a primitive ozone depletion sensor.

Could be attached to either the primary or secondary payload and useful science done with it as long as it has been temperature/intensity calibrated on the ground.

Also worth considering, a VCSEL based (0.4mA) atmospheric dust sensor.

Adding solar cells to boost the onboard power might be feasible as the wafer type aren't that heavy and provide about 150mA at 1V per 20cm on a side piece.

Adding a WiFi tracker would also be useful in case the main transmitter breaks.

Use silver demister paint sprayed onto a prepared pizza base :-) use clingfilm held on the surface with PVA glue, or use thin copper tape.

This can double as a 10.250 GHz antenna as the wavelengths are compatible with both systems.

Tri-ox compound invented (Trek) ?

andre 2 Bronze badge

Tri-ox compound invented (Trek) ?



Based on haemoglobin extracted from expired blood stocks, however seems promising.

If pre-oxygenated it would certainly save lives, like a super transfusion without the volume and consequent blood pressure increase.

(IIRC blood isn't delivered oxygenated)

It would also work even with minimal/non existent pulse in conjunction with ECMO, as it delivers oxygen to ischaemic cells first.


Neil Armstrong dies aged 82

andre 2 Bronze badge

Well our duty is now clear

To place Neil Armstrong's ashes on Mars, during the first manned mission.

Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later, if NASA joins forces with the Chinese and Russian space agencies for a joint mission in the spirit of international cooperation.


NHS diabetic gizmo will text for help if wearer is in danger

andre 2 Bronze badge

Seem to recall reading somewhere about

A variant of pulse oximetry that measured blood glucose by sensing the slight change in differential absorption of red blood cells as glucose varies.

Seems that by compensating for the (large) change caused by blood oxygen concentration it is possible to calculate glucose level by measuring it with conventional stick sensors, at a range of blood oxygen levels.

Sounds doable, I think the problem here is that the changes involved are very small and significantly affected by skin density which changes by location etc.

Perhaps using something like an optical shunt (my idea) implanted through the skin in much the same way as the OOKP device used for repairing the eye.

-Andre (B.Sc hons Med Elect)

Swede cuffed for cooking nuclear reactor on kitchen stovetop

andre 2 Bronze badge

Geiger counters

I discovered a while back that you can homebrew a relatively good alpha detector using:-

1 piece of pyrolytic graphite (Greedbay, £15)

1 cheap monochrome CMOS camera

A screwdriver

A replacement crystal, I used a 4.43 MHz one robbed from a defunct TV

A tube of slow epoxy

A paif of gloves

1200 grit sandpaper


Silica gel granules

Black CD marker

All you do is thin down the PG (you can use the other bits for levitators, etc)

Once a good thin piece is obtained, sand it down to as thin as you can make it with 1200 grit.

Clean up with your favourite solvent to get rid of any carbon dust.

Dismantle your cheap CMOS camera (I used an old B&Q one) and then CAREFULLY remove the lid to expose the bare sensor with attached fine wires.

Epoxy around the edge so the wires are covered but not the sensor.

I found that positioning the sensor at a 20 degree angle for each section helped here.

I also advise putting a single small blob of silica gel on the edge with no contacts with an air path to the sensor as otherwise water vapour will ruin it in short order.

Allow to dry, then retest camera. If all well prepare another tiny drop of Epoxy.

If you wish you can also add a strip of Xray scintillator film onto the bottom edge of the chip with the light emitting side facing downwards.

Epoxy your PG sheet down and then dry the whole assembly out at 50 degrees for two hours.

Test camera, as you will need to determine where any light leaks are.

Then paint the Epoxy with Tippex, dry out and retest.

Overcoat with CD marker and then paint the back and edges of the board as well leaving a gap around the crystal.

I also tend to disable the automatic iris pin if present with a 1K resistor to Gnd.

If all is well, replace the 13.5 MHz crystal (or 16 MHz) with your 4.43 MHz one.

Test camera, you should not have stable video BUT it will work fine on a 'scope.

The alpha sensitivity should be approximately 2.8* efficiency with 13.5MHz (!)

Particles show up as vertical spikes on your scope display.

This is also theorised to work on linear CCDs from old printers!


#include "donate_to_4HV.h"

Martian water slides caught on camera (maybe)

andre 2 Bronze badge

Well maybe now people will listen

to Charles Shults of Xenotech Research.

He found evidence of fossils on Mars, which NASA actively tried to cover up by editing of photos.

No idea why NASA would go to such extremes to cover up something like this, but perhaps there are reasons that us mere mortals are not aware of.

The continued existence of bacteria on Mars is now more likely than ever, if it turns out that liquid water is indeed present.

In fact, fossils would last much longer on Mars due to the thin atmosphere, although you would expect some erosion due to the constant dust devils which have also been seen.

AC/DC although a lack of the latter scuppered Beagle 2

Boffins build JELL-O memory for your brain

andre 2 Bronze badge


Isn't that expensive, I paid around £10 for 10 grams a year ago.

It IS messy stuff, gets everywhere. I found the best way to avoid this is to always handle it with gloves, and put it in a glass container.

The small amount of Ga-In I had left after my last experiment went awry went in said glass container and there is still about 0.3 grams left which is enough for dozens of experiments.

It also forms a nice alloy with copper while leaving the underlying surface intact so you can use a piece of protoboard of the solid tracks variety to make a duplicate of this experiment.

Silicone is best bought in the "acetoxy" variety as it doesen't contain acetic acid which would muck up the reaction. Its also probably not going to work without that special polymer, but Borax could work as a sub for the acid side at least and its easy to get hold of.

Some folks are making DIY ultracapacitors that last years so DIY memristors should be doable with some effort though you still have to refresh them as the "half life" is about 3 hours.

Simple timer and "copy location block A to location block B" should suffice, and you too can have your very own DIY megabyte sized memory that takes up about the same space as an Ipad2.



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