Capacitive voltage dividers and free energy

Recently on a circuit simulation mail list someone asked about simulating capacitive voltage dividers for a DC circuit. I couldn’t for the life of me think of why anyone would be attempting this. A number of list members responded and straightened the questioner out about capacitors and why not to use them for DC voltage division. After he was helped he thanked everyone and then pointed out what he was working on.

It would be hard to explain the circuit without a 20 page volume of concepts and math. But I will show it to you at Front Page (overunityenergy – Advanced Energy Technologies).

Now it makes sense, he was asking about a nonsense circuit. With a circuit this simple I can’t imagine it would take me 20 pages of concepts and math to fully describe its operation. I guess you would need 20 pages to make sure you have enough pseudoscience in there to fool people. Just check out this schematic from the home page:

[Update June, 2 2007] has been deleted but you can still see a version of the circuit here.

Ooh, they’ve been working on this for 12 22 years (1985-2007) thats determination. I love the Q=CV C=Q/V informational label, I guess if you work this long on these types of circuits you need a reminder of basic algebraic equation solving. Maybe the next revision will expand this to include the other form, V=Q/C, it should be a breakthrough for them. 😉 If you understand DC circuit theory you have to check out the “SFG 101 Course Of Study” for some good laughs. I’m not sure if the maintainers of the site are con-men or just pseudo-scientists with no real knowledge of physics (since they ask for money I’m leaning towards con-men).

A final note, while I was typing this up I suddenly heard a cuckoo clock sound from my PC. I hadn’t noticed the cuckoo clock on their website before, hmm, is this site a joke or are they [are] just too dense to notice the humor in having their page say cuckoo to visitors every hour.

[Update May 30, 2007] A couple of updates to this post. The person who posted to the LTSpice mail list is the owner and maintainer of the site, Dannie Ray Jackson. I misread the copyright dates on the picture of the schematic and noticed my error when Dan posted his Spice circuit to the LTSpice list. I think I just couldn’t comprehend how anyone could work on one simple circuit for 22 years without understanding what they are doing wrong. I had thought this was a young person who had started working on this at age eight and now at age twenty still hadn’t learned enough about electronic circuit design and basic physics to understand what he’s seeing, I was wrong.

Dan thinks he has some success because of the rigged spice schematic (it has multiple power sources). Other posters on the mail list have attempted to get him to see the error of his ways but alas I suspect he will just ignore them. In case Dan or anyone else reading this wants to understand what is really happening in this circuit I’ll give some hints. Although I haven’t seen Dan’s gathered data I suspect he has data showing that there is almost always an output voltage greater than the supplied voltage. However the amount of increase varies depending on many factors which he has not controlled for so he doesn’t have a clear indication of what is causing the phenomenon. I remember having similar results with circuits I played with 40 years ago when I was an 8 year old just starting to learn circuit design and analysis.

One key to understanding the potential sources of the extra power are in the common uses of diodes and capacitors in normal circuit designs. Diodes are very often, I hazard to say most often, used for rectification and demodulation, large value capacitors most often are used to store charge and filter AC signals to nearly a pure DC. The other thing to understand is that since the 20th century most places on earth have measurable electromagnetic fields originating from radio transmitters (intentional and unintentional) and AC power wires. This EMF is considered signs of ghosts by many ghost hunters and mysterious power sources by free energy seekers. The reality is that if you look at the spectrum with better instruments (e.g. oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer) instead of using simple detector circuits (e.g. EMF meter, home brew circuit) you’ll be able to actually identify the source.

All that is happening with the circuit from SFG Research is that the ambient EMF is being rectified by the diodes and stored in the capacitors. A simple way to prove this without expensive equipment is to mount the circuit in a well shielded enclosure. As long as you fully discharge the capacitors between tests, you’ll see that when the circuit is adequately shielded there is no increase in output over that provided by the battery. Keep in mind the increase in power when not shielded is very real it is just not all that useful as a power source. The power is useful in its RF form as it will allow you to hear a radio station without the need of external power (crystal radio set) and the low frequency form can be used to show the presence of live wires without actually contacting the circuit.

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