Friday, September 2, 2016

Forever Flasher

I was reminded this morning of a LED flasher I designed, which literally ran off "thin air", and caused quite a splash at the time. Here it is (pictured). Note that it is Copyright © Wimborne -- I have special permission to show it here (it also appears in my book). It is in two parts, which are wired together as shown: a diode pump (top), and a flasher (bottom). Wire terminal A to the coaxial cable of a TV aerial, or to several metres / yards of coaxial cable strung up in the air. I succeeded with as little as three metres, but this depends on location. I was also able to power the flasher off modestly sized burglar bars, and in some cases (depending where I was standing) off my own body. Connect terminal B to earth -- this is absolutely essential. Use tantalum for the capacitors, and use only those components exactly which are specified in the diagrams. The circuit would also run off a 9V battery with a 10M resistor in series, so if the battery were of a high enough quality, you would not need to replace it in your lifetime. Keep in mind that the diode pump will need several seconds to "pump up". OBSERVATION: What this really shows is the amount of electromagnetic noise that passes through us all day long. It is enough to flash a LED -- probably several LEDs. Wire a dynamic microphone or speaker to terminals A and B, and the noise of a party might power the flasher.

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