All you Electronics Hobbyists...

All you Electronics Hobbyists...

This is a discussion on All you Electronics Hobbyists... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Here's a fun one a guy discovered by accident recently: ( -- Last winter, inventor John Kanzius was already attempting one seemingly impossible feat ...

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Thread: All you Electronics Hobbyists...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Smack in the middle of wealthy on one side and dirt poor on the other

    All you Electronics Hobbyists...

    Here's a fun one a guy discovered by accident recently:

    ( -- Last winter, inventor John Kanzius was already attempting one seemingly impossible feat -- building a machine to cure cancer with radio waves -- when his device inadvertently succeeded in another: He made saltwater catch fire.

    A test tube full of saltwater fuels a flame.

    TV footage of his bizarre discovery has been burning up the blogosphere ever since, drawing crackpots and Ph.D.s alike into a raging debate. Can water burn? And if so, what good can come of it?

    Some people gush over the invention's potential for desalinization or cheap energy. Briny seawater, after all, sloshes over most of the planet's surface, and harnessing its heat energy could power all sorts of things. Skeptics say Kanzius's radio generator is sucking up far more energy than it's creating, making it a carnival trick at best.

    For now, Kanzius is tuning out the hubbub. The retired radio- and television- station owner says the saltwater stuff is interesting, but a cancer breakthrough is what he's really after. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, he began building his radio-wave blaster the next year, soon after a relapse. His lifelong fascination with radio provided further inspiration.

    Radio station antennas, he knew, can turn a bystander's metal eyeglasses toasty warm. If he could seed a person's cancerous cells with nanoscopic metal particles and blast them with radio waves, perhaps he could kill off the cancer while sparing healthy tissue.

    The saltwater phenomenon happened by accident when an assistant was bombarding a saline-filled test tube with radio waves and bumped the tube, causing a small flash. Curious, Kanzius struck a match. "The water lit like a propane flame," he recalls.

    "People said, 'It's a crock. Look for hidden electrodes in the water,' " says Penn State University materials scientist Rustum Roy, who visited the Erie, Pennsylvania, inventor in his lab in August after seeing the feat on Google Video. A demo made Roy a believer.

    "This is discovery science in the best tradition," he says. Roy thinks the sodium chloride in the water may weaken the bonds between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which are broken free by radio waves. It's these gas molecules that are igniting, he explains, not the liquid itself. tests show that the reaction disappears once the radio waves stop. Roy plans to conduct more tests to get to the bottom of the mystery.

    Meanwhile, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have made progress using Kanzius's technology to fight cancer in animals. They published their findings last month in the journal Cancer.

    How it works:

    1. A generator emits 14-megahertz radio waves.
    2. The waves bombard a solution of regular table salt and water.
    3. Exactly what happens next remains a mystery, but one theory posits that the sodium chloride may weaken the bonds between the strong oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water. Radio waves break apart the bonds and liberate flammable hydrogen gas molecules.
    4. A match ignites the hydrogen, generating an intense flame.
    5. The resulting heat powers a simple engine.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    I read this a while ago and thought it was pretty cool. I wasn't however able to get any info on how many watts it takes and how many BTU's worth of hydrogen fuel you get. In any case, its a neat party trick. Maybe more efficient at getting hydrogen that how we currently do it. I somehow doubt it, but again, I got no info.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    yeah, I remember this guy. Very cool, and I hope it gets developed more. With a very low-power radio and a high-efficiency generator, it just might have a net power output. We can hope...
    "A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
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  4. #4
    Member Array GotSig?'s Avatar
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    He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
    German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Very interesting if true.
    Les Baer 45
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  6. #6
    Member Array cs133atom's Avatar
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    Fredericksburg, VA

    How about some Coke

    Salt water is cool...check this out!

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Arid Zone A
    Personally I hope his proposed cancer treatment works.

    But it is a neat science demo.

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