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Perpetual Motion Delorean? 569

Posted by michael
from the only-needs-to-reach-88-mph dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An electric-powered Delorean that can supposedly go "hundreds of miles" at speeds over 100MPH without stopping to recharge will be tested today beginning at 8am at the Nashville Superspeedway. They claim the vehicle uses 12 standard car batteries, so the invention appears to relate to recharging the batteries." I found a website offering current updates on the demonstration of this perpetual motion device: it appears they've suffered mechanical difficulties and cancelled the test.
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Perpetual Motion Delorean?

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  • The first posts today are more exciting that this story.
  • by egg troll (515396) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:54PM (#4213301) Homepage Journal
    I understand that this car was created by two professors named Pons and Fleischmann, so it must be true!
  • from bad 80's jokes: isn't the Delorean the one that always follows the white lines better than others?
  • by Navius Eurisko (322438) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:54PM (#4213305)
    I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. :)
  • Hrmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wrexen (151642) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:54PM (#4213306) Homepage
    10:45 am. Greater Things News coverage has logged 1000 visits

    *insert sound of maniacal laughter here*
  • by BlindSpot (512363) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:55PM (#4213308)
    > it appears they've suffered mechanical difficulties and cancelled the test.

    They obviously forgot what happens when you hit 88mph in a DeLorean!
  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by cscx (541332) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:55PM (#4213309) Homepage
    They claim the vehicle uses 12 standard car batteries, so the invention appears to relate to recharging the batteries."

    Of course there is a flux capacitor to store charge and recharge the batteries, amongst other things, such as powering the radio.
    • How It Works (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Spy Hunter (317220) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:47PM (#4213513) Journal
      You can find this e-mail supposedly describing how the system works at the greaterthings.com site. IMHO it is the worst kind of self-important pseudoscientific garbage that is commonly found on the Internet, with the usual "of course, various large corporations are actively suppressing this technology," and "it is actually very simple but people are too closed-minded to see how it works." My favorite quote is, "...it does first require a dramatic change in the mindset of the experimenters and a completely different view of what you were taught as "conservation of energy." Riiiiiight.

      Begin e-mail quote:

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Bob Colvin
      To: Sterling D. Allan
      Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 8:06 AM
      Subject: TEV - How It Works !!!

      WARNING: THE FOLLOWING EXPERIMENTS ARE HAZARDOUS. DO NOT ATTEMPT THESE EXPERIMENTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED ELECTRICAL RESEARCHER, EXPERIENCED IN PERFORMING EXPERIMENTS WITH LEAD-ACID BATTERIES AND PULSE CHARGE AND DISCHARGE OF SAME, AND UNLESS YOU ALSO USE ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS SUCH AS GOGGLES AND PROTECTIVE GLOVES, SLEEVES, AND APRON. YOU MUST NOT HAVE OTHER INFLAMMABLE LIQUIDS OR OTHER SUBSTANCES PRESENT WHICH COULD BE IGNITED AND BURN OR EXPLODE. SURGED LEAD-ACID BATTERIES PRODUCE HYDROGEN GAS, WHICH CAN EASILY EXPLODE SINCE SPARKING ALSO CAN OCCUR. THE ACID FROM SUCH AN EXPLOSION CAN EASILY BLIND YOU IF IT GETS IN YOUR EYES, AND IT CAN BURN YOUR SKIN. IN ADDITION, LEAD AND LEAD COMPOUNDS ARE POISONS, AND ARE TO BE HANDLED ONLY BY EXPERIENCED RESEARCHERS. THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE NOT FOR AMATEURS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, BUT ONLY FOR EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS WITH PROPER KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING,

      More than one inventor has discovered or rediscovered a magic thing about lead-acid storage batteries powering circuits, usually without understanding precisely what it is that he has really discovered. The chemical and electrical actions going on in a lead-acid cell are quite complex, and involve interactions in both the positive plate, negative plate, and in the electrolyte itself. The usual chemical interactions primarily specify the overall changes of the plate materials from one form to the other (i.e., for charge and for discharge conditions). However, there are many other ions (including both H+ which are free protons, and free electrons) involved in the reactions.

      Particularly significant is the double surface and overpotential effects. We state without further elaboration that the proper use of the overpotentials in these double surfaces can produce current that moves against the voltage. In other words, there are processes available in the battery that allow -- under very precise conditions -- parts of the battery to perform as negative resistors. When that action occurs, the very notion of charge and discharge is reversed.

      Further, the multiple currents and many nonlinear mechanisms involved, allow various currents to move in opposite directions; some with the voltage and some against the voltage. Again, we leave further analysis along that line to the experts, only appealing to them that time-reversal effects must also be considered.

      In other words, in addition to the external charges of molecules and atoms that they normally consider, there are also ongoing a huge variety of nuclear currents and charging that presently do not appear in any book on batteries, at least any I know of.

      There are at least three major currents in such a battery: (1) the ion current in the electrolyte, (2) the electron current in the conductors (electrode materials, terminal connectors, etc), and (3) charge transfer reactions at the electrode/electrolyte interfaces. For our purposes we shall consider primarily only the ion current and the electron current, and we consider only lead-acid batteries. For an introduction to various kinds of batteries, we refer the interested reader to a fine little text by Vincent, and to other similar texts on modern batteries. For deep understanding of the electrochemistry, we refer the reader to the full series of 13 volumes by Bockris and Conway.

      We shall also rather ignore the double layer effects, which are in fact quite important because they are responsible for the producing overpotentials, phase shifting of currents, etc. The present analysis can be materially deepened by taking into account the double surface layers, their redistributions of charge, the internal resistances of the cell to the various currents, etc. We leave that for the experts and encourage that it be done. Here we just wish to get at the basic servomechanism overshoot mechanism that one can evoke, which usually does not appear in conventional analyses at all. This mechanism can be used to produce (1) currents (either ion or electron or H+) moving against the voltage, (2) opposition charge densities which are then volumetrically squeezed to produce large overpotentials not normally connected with the charge transfer interactions at the double surfaces, and (3) specific phase shifting of currents.

      It is our contention that, by achieving proper timing of these overshoot effects in battery in ionic current resonance, one can produce an asymmetrically self-regauging battery which charges itself and also powers its load. For the purist, there are also other mechanisms involved that are still unknown, hence accounting for the adjustments and tuning that usually must be meticulously performed.

      For an equal charge, the ions in the lead ion current (say, in lead sulfate) are several hundred thousand times more massive than the electrons in the electron current. They are on the order of more than 200 times more massive than the H+ ions in that ionic current. Further, the ionic current will resonate (and probably other currents simultaneously as well, since resonance in this case probably represents a coordinated resonance among different currents) as shown by Ahluktenko, usually in the multi-megahertz range. Since the battery is so highly nonlinear in its dynamics, subharmonic and harmonic resonance effects also are present, particularly subharmonic resonances. We believe that it is also possible to couple and synchronize molecular oscillations, ion current oscillations, and material lattice oscillations in the electrodes, in harmonic and subharmonic oscillation fashion, but that is a quite different subject. Such more subtle (but can be powerful) effects may occur onl

      So you can resonate the ionic current, or the coordinated currents. Relatively speaking -- that is a coordinated current dominated by massive ions with lots of inertia and overshoot when the current tries to change intensity or reverse direction, due to Lenz's law [fsu.edu] (an induced emf in a conductor is always polarized in a direction so as to oppose the change that causes the induced emf). In this case we have a multiplicity of Lenz's law effects induced when we try to change the ionic current. Some of the accompanying currents can be affected quite differently from the ion current. Because of this Lenz law complex dynamics, a simple back pop to oppose the ion current, or to accelerate it, is not a simple current and voltage matter at all. Indeed, the exact relationships in such are a quite worthy study for some exotic physical chemistry.

      So we just grossly summarize, with rules-of-thumb, and delay the precision to future detailed studies by very fine laboratory teams.

      Here's the rough secret: the chemistry of the battery is largely dominated and affected by the ion current in the absence of overriding electron current, while the external load is dominated and affected by the electron current alone. You can easily pick a point in the ion current resonance cycle (say, when the ionic current in resonance is in the battery-charging half cycle), and just instantly switch the electron current to oppose it.

      That's a bit of an oversimplification; you actually must get the phasing correct to properly form new and increased overpotentials, precisely at the proper times so as to charge the battery and/or powering the load. Note that with currents moving in opposite directions, the intention is for one current to predominate in the battery in charging mode, while another current or group predominates in the load in discharging mode. If you powerfully oppose the ion current, Lenz's law is evoked powerfully, so that the ion current actually increases its charge capability for a moment, due to its massivity. The Lenz law emf and the back-popped emf also produce a tremendous stress potential (a scalar potential by another name), energetically lifting the ions and particles to a higher potential state.

      That is, you momentarily increased the reaction cross section of those ions and electrons etc., and so you increased the collector systems' dipolarity. Thus they momentarily receive and collect excess energy from their increased asymmetry in their active vacuum exchange. In short, they momentarily asymmetrically self-regauge, which is taking on free excess energy from the vacuum. We note that the generation of the Lenz law emf effect actually comes from the atomic nuclei, but do not further explain it.

      The point is, you just legitimately extracted excess energy from legitimate environmental sources. You converted the system into an open dissipative system, removing any necessity for it to conform to classical thermodynamics because it momentarily is far from equilibrium with its active vacuum environment.

      Further, the inertia of the ions together with the Lenz law effects, causes the ions to continue in charging mode. This in turn volumetrically squeezes the opposing charges into a smaller volume, further increasing the charge density and thereby the potential magnitude (i.e., further increasing the asymmetry of all those charges in the vacuum exchange, and thereby absorbing more energy from the vacuum). The production of that charge density squeeze produces a new kind of overpotential that we can use to power the load (i.e., in electron discharge mode) at the same time that the ion current continues to charge the battery.

      You've just got yourself a true free energy or negative resistor effect, if you can master it and use it with proper timing. Note that by simple switching (very sharply, in 5 nanoseconds or less) and phase relationships, you can take power electron current in the external circuit in the discharge mode, by simply letting this overpotential be connected to the external circuit to energize the Drude electrons. And you are momentarily doing that while you are still charging the battery.

      Since you are going to be producing discharge pulses of Poynting energy flow from the overpotentials onto the external circuit in brief spurts, it is wise to use the pulse discharging to also charge a current smoothing capacitor of proper capacitance. Therefore you convert your overpotential pulses in the external circuit into smoothed rippling current through the load.

      If you elaborate on these processes and play with them for awhile (like several months!), you can also see how to phase things in either DC through the load fashion, or AC through the load fashion.

      But the point is, you really can induce one or more processes that allow simultaneously charging the battery (changing the chemistry in the charging mode) while discharging energy onto the Drude electron gas in the external circuit, powering them up and thereby powering the load.

      And you have not violated any laws of physics or thermodynamics, and the conservation of energy law is enforced at all times.

      Presently I know of no other book or paper that has such as its stated goal. The books and current research seem to all try to coherently organize and synchronize the various battery processes and currents to maximize charging and maximize discharging efficiency, while keeping the two completely separate. On the other hand, our purpose is to decoherently organize and synchronize the various battery processes and currents, to accomplish charging of the battery and discharging through the load to power it, simultaneously. In short, we seek to convert the battery and its processes into an open dissipative system capable of overunity operation, and all the way to self-powering operation while powering a load also.

      The ion current can only sluggishly slow to a stop for its reversal; it requires it a finite amount of time to do that. So it continues right on charging the battery for awhile. During that ion current hysteresis or overshoot time, you have a tremendous charge density squeeze occurring. This gives you an overpotential to use, and you can use it in dramatically different manners, simultaneously, on differing current types.

      So you produce a large overpotential in spike or very sudden buildup, essentially for free or nearly so. The other end of that overpotential can be connected (switched onto) the load to deliver a surge of power (sorry for the normal terminology!) in the load because of the surge of the overpotential across it. If you time it correctly, you can get a much higher voltage surge from that overpotential, across the load's impedance. And that means you generate a higher electron current through that load, which consequently produces greater power because of the overpotential, than what you yourself had to pay for.

      Clever devil that you are, you used that massive old ion current's overshoot to squeeze the charge density dramatically upward and almost freely form that overpotential for you. Then you adroitly (and quite suddenly) connected that overpotential near its peak, right across the external circuit electrons, to power the load, and let 'er rip.

      After all, applying a voltage V to a circuit is in fact asymmetrically regauging that circuit and changing its collected energy. The magnitude of D V or overpotential is a measure of the additional amount of asymmetrical self-regauging of the system you obtained. It's a measure of how much more the system was opened to receiving excess energy freely from its active vacuum potential environment.

      Who says you must have all the currents in the entire battery-external circuit systems all in phase or nearly so? Simply put, you wish the ion current in the battery to be about 180 out of phase with the electron current in the load. And as the ion current oscillates, you wish it highly overpotentialized in the charge mode, and very much less potentialized in its discharge half cycle (for resonance conditions).

      You need just the opposite in the electron current through the load. You need that current highly potentialized whenever it is flowing through the load. If you use DC power in the load, you must disconnect the overpotential formed by the back-popping squeeze and let the smoothing capacitor discharge to power the load, during the discharge half of the ion current

      Let me warn you that you must use microwave switching techniques, and you must switch in 5 nanoseconds or less; one nanosecond is better. The entire overpotential is likely to be over in about 20 to 40 nanoseconds, depending upon the specific battery, load, and other circuit conditions. Capacitance effects may extend this in some cases up to a microsecond. So if all you know is ordinary motor switching, go get the services of a microwave switching engineer first. The average motor switching fellow will be amazed at the notion of switching so suddenly. The microwave switching engineer will simply shrug his shoulders and say, Piece of cake! He does that every day without a second's hesitation.

      But as you can see, working your way through all this and getting everything timed just right, is still a significant undertaking. It's not a simple thing at all. You can also see why so many ordinary switching guys have failed at it, and why most of them were incapable of replicating John Bedini's little battery-popping self-powered motor system.

      If you are very clever with your measurements and timing, you can get that ion current to keep on resonating, and use it as a very stiff oscillating spring on which to store and release larger amounts of energy in terms of electron charges and potentials. You can manipulate the potentials, including the overpotential.

      You can essentially do what Nikola Tesla did in his circuits: You can shuttle potential and potential energy in different directions in different parts of your overall circuit, use multiple currents and multiple current directions. You can control what you do energetically in the various parts of the circuit. And you can eliminate the back-emf phenomenon that in the normal current loop with single current type is responsible for always killing the source dipole. Now you can continually restore the dipole and power the load independently, simultaneously.

      There are many variations on the above, at least four major ones. There are many additional ones when you apply other timed oscillations (LC oscillators), inductors, etc. to the circuit. In all, there are at least a hundred or more major variations you can make to this basic circuit operation. All have something to be said for them. Various inventors have discovered various ones of them.

      The end result is the partial removal of the Lorentz condition that is normally restored by forcing the killing of the source dipole. Now you can dramatically reduce the amount of killing, and in fact have a net restoring, while at the same time increasing the power in the load.

      A Recommendation to the Department of Energy

      We urge the experienced electrical laboratory teams in the DOE to give this one a real try. It's nearly all just ordinary theory, only with multiple currents having dramatically different response characteristics, all in the same circuit loop. There is also a little servomechanism theory involved, as well as the charge density squeeze to provide a large overpotential. You need microwave switching, and asymmetrical self-regauging thrown in. It's quite straight forward, it can fairly readily be made to work by an experienced lab team, and it's not expensive. But it does first require a dramatic change in the mindset of the experimenters and a completely different view of what you were taught as conservation of energy. If you cannot get past that orthodox practice of accounting only for the dissipated Poynting energy component, you will never understand it or do it. You are also treating and using a battery as the highly nonlinear system it really is, not just as

      We again strongly warn the reader against casually experimenting with this, unless you are an experienced researcher, know what you are doing, and take proper precautions! This is for experienced lab people only. Even then, they must use all the proper procedures and precautions. You experiment with this at your own legally assumed risk.

      Still, big financial empires don't give up their empires without a real fight -- by fair means or foul. And that fight includes the ruthless suppression of true negative resistors. Such as the really excellent battery poppers.

      Bedini's Battery-Popper Motor

      http://www.icehouse.net/john1/john.html [icehouse.net]

      John Bedini is one of the most creative inventors on this planet. He is also a close friend and colleague. It was my great privilege to be able to work with John for several years. Though it was sad that he had such an inept pupil!

      John built several experimental motors (both electrical and magnetic) in the overunity area, and performed successful transmutation experiments. John is a recognized genius in high-end sound amplifier development. Many audiophiles worldwide still swear that the Bedini amplifier is the best and sweetest-sounding audio amplifier ever built. Even the test engineers for leading audiophile magazines have said so.

      One of John's battery-powered electrical motors, e.g., ran continuously off its battery for about five years, and kept the battery charged. When you realize that such a small electric motor is only about 35% efficient, then you realize that about 65% of the energy flowing out of the battery was being dissipated in the motor as heat, core losses, etc. So the unit was continuously performing work for that five years. The 1/8 hp motor represented a load in which the continuous rate of work being done (the rate of energy dissipation) was about 0.08 hp.

      The little device was a battery-popper, and we have already covered the theory of such units in the treatise above. We need not repeat it here.

      John built a variety of other motors and generators, some of extremely novel design. Several of these units did work at overunity performance.

      John also was active in assisting other young inventors to get started.

      I can assure you of one thing. If I personally ever succeed in this area, then there are a few people who are going to be endowed. John Bedini is right up there at the top of the list.

      Nelson's Self-Regenerating Back-Popped Battery Power Unit

      WE CALL THE READER'S ATTENTION AGAIN TO THE PREVIOUS WARNING IN BOLD PRINT. DO NOT EXPERIMENT WITH THIS UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED EXPERIMENTER, PROPER QUALIFIED, AND TAKE ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. YOU EXPERIMENT AT YOUR OWN ASSUMED RISK.

      Microwave switching engineer Bill Nelson and a colleague became interested in Bedini's little motor. So they met with John several times, discussed the theory of its operation at length, and even called me a time or two to see what thoughts I had... Once they thoroughly understood the principles, they reasoned that the motor was just a load, and all the action was in the battery as controlled by the switcher. Bedini confirmed that this was correct.

      Being expert microwave switching engineers and not motor engineers, they just used an ordinary lamp for the load. In the theory of such battery poppers below, we will see that microwave switching techniques are required. However, that posed no problem for Nelson and colleague.

      Before very long, they had a battery-popper working in the overunity, self-powering mode. It would keep its battery charged and also power the lamp.

      Nelson took his little demonstrator to his work (a large aerospace engineering firm) and showed it to his fellow engineers and scientists to test their reactions. He stated that (1) a few were naïve and would believe anything anyway, (2) some would instantly become hostile and disturbed and promptly leave, (3) some would become agitated and immediately wish to argue, even in a tirade, and (4) a few would closely examine the unit, with real scientific curiosity and open-mindedness though skeptical...

      At one time Nelson investigated putting a little kit on the market, but legally it was inadvisable. Popped lead acid batteries produce hydrogen gas and can explode. Someone very naïve would have hurt themselves, and entered a lawsuit.

      So there the matter rested. We corresponded sporadically for a few years, then that was that. But Nelson and colleague had demonstrated both the necessary and sufficient things to prove the concept and mechanism: (1) independent replication and (2) independent qualified testing which showed overunity operation.

      Watson's 8 kW Battery-Popper Motor

      WE CALL THE READER'S ATTENTION AGAIN TO THE PREVIOUS WARNING IN BOLD PRINT. DO NOT EXPERIMENT WITH THIS UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED EXPERIMENTER, PROPER QUALIFIED, AND TAKE ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. YOU EXPERIMENT AT YOUR OWN ASSUMED RISK.

      Jim Watson successfully replicated Bedini's device (with direct advice from Bedini). Watson made improvements and modifications, and eventually was able to build one and adjust it as he wished. He demonstrated an 8 kW device at the first International Tesla conference in Colorado Springs.

      Later Watson was moving toward development and marketing.

      Then Watson and his entire family disappeared. Neither Bedini nor I could locate him. Neither could his financial backer, the late R. J. Reynolds III. This was a researcher and friend whom I was in contact with several times a week. Then bingo! Nothing further.

      He abruptly and completely broke off all communication with everyone. A squirrelly message was left on his answering machine for a few days, saying he had moved (but not in Jim's voice). Then it too was removed. And that was that.

      Eerily, it seems that if you call the police in the town where Jim Watson lived, they will tell you he still lives there on the same street in the same house. At least that's what they told a friend of mine who checked a few months ago, which is years after Jim and his family originally disappeared. And that check may be the oddest thing of all. The police implied on the phone that Jim and his family never disappeared. Everything fine. AOK. And that's a bald-faced lie. He and his family did disappear. No one could find them, regardless of how they tried. His financial backer couldn't even find him.

      The clear implication is, stay away from that one. Somebody from the dark side may have made Jim the offer he could not refuse. One may never know what really happened, whether or not Jim ever surfaces again -- or has already surfaced again and is living there very, very quietly. But Jim's entire overunity motor effort ended abruptly, even though highly successful. And even though the motor was almost ready to be put into production.

      Watson has not been seen at an energy conference since that sudden mysterious disappearance. No one has had a phone call from him. I have not found anyone I trust who has seen him again.

      You have not seen a Watson overunity power system go to market. You almost certainly never will.

      Yet Jim's device was perfected to the point where he could make the things like pretzels, adjust them readily, and they worked every time. They could have been put into mass production very easily. Obviously that made him a grave threat to the Energy Cartels around the world.

      At rare intervals, the Energy Cartel does suppress an invention and an inventor by making the inventor an offer he cannot refuse, in Mafia terms. Presently the going price when that offer is made, is $10 million. You take your $10 million, quit all research, quit your contacts, and you live. But you live very quietly, although you live very well financially.

      The engineers who measured Jim's 8 kW machine there in Colorado Springs are still alive. And they know what they measured.

      There's one other little thing. At that same International Tesla Conference in Colorado Springs, the folks who were in charge (for the energy barons) of suppressing all successful overunity devices in the Western world were also there when Jim demonstrated his 8 kW device. There is a certain effect which happens in a battery sometimes for a large overunity battery popper unit like that, if the device is for real. Time-reversal operations and wave transductions can occur, resulting in time-excitation charging inside the battery materials, in a negative time charge sense (remember, the overunity operation is a negentropic operation). After a machine of that type and with that particular internal effects has been used to furnish energy for quite a while, you can make a definitive test on it. Simply hook it to a normal battery charger for that size battery, and start to charge it. You then may find to your surprise that the power will just seem to disappear in that batte

      The reason is that wave transduction occurs of your charging spatial energy into time-energy, and so you have to furnish rather enormous energy to get a little bit of that negative-time charge reversed. After you fill that seemingly bottomless pit, then suddenly the negative time-charge will have been eliminated, and at that point the battery will start to charge up in quite normal fashion.

      It is significant that Jim's battery was stolen right out of the machine. Whoever did it, almost certainly knew how to test it to find out if Jim's generator was actually a true overunity device. If so, then they tested it and found that indeed it was genuine.

      And there was only one group there who would have known that little tidbit.

      Dated: 1999

      • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @06:03PM (#4213554)

        Well...there's this one.....
        Again, we leave further analysis along that line to the experts, only appealing to them that time-reversal effects must also be considered.

        And there's also this one......
        under very precise conditions -- parts of the battery to perform as negative resistors. When that action occurs, the very notion of charge and discharge is reversed.

        And of course...my personal favorite....
        energize the Drude electrons!

      • My favorite exerpts:

        On the other hand, our purpose is to decoherently organize and synchronize the various battery processes and currents,

        Decherently. Organize. Um, yeah. Is that like an orderly scramble?

        The other end of that overpotential can be connected (switched onto) the load to deliver a surge of power (sorry for the normal terminology!)

        Translation: I wish to apologize to my fellow crank inventors for making a statement someone might almost understand... it was late, and my bullshit generator had run low (damn thing was supposed to work perpetually!)

        And, of course, no crank science screed would be complete without the paranoid ranting:

        Still, big financial empires don't give up their empires without a real fight -- by fair means or foul. And that fight includes the ruthless suppression of true negative resistors. Such as the really excellent battery poppers.

        Are battery poppers anything like jalapeno poppers? Man, I bet they would pack quite a kick...

      • by zephc (225327)
        "YOU MUST NOT HAVE OTHER INFLAMMABLE LIQUIDS OR...."

        "Inflammable means flammable?! Boy, what a country!" - Dr. Nick, The Simpsons
      • by cybercuzco (100904) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @09:57AM (#4215541) Homepage Journal
        From http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

        THE CRACKPOT INDEX
        A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics.

        1. A -5 point starting credit.

        2. 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.

        3. 2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.

        4. 3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.

        5. 5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction.

        6. 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.

        7. 5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).

        8. 5 points for each mention of "Einstien", "Hawkins" or "Feynmann".

        9. 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

        10. 10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this were evidence of sanity.

        11. 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it.

        12. 10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be stolen.

        13. 10 points for offering prize money to anyone who proves and/or finds any flaws in your theory.

        14. 10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in terms of equations".

        15. 10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.

        16. 10 points for arguing that while a current well-established theory predicts phenomena correctly, it doesn't explain "why" they occur, or fails to provide a "mechanism".

        17. 10 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Einstein, or claim that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

        18. 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm shift".

        19. 20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.

        20. 20 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Newton or claim that classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

        21. 20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if they were fact.

        22. 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to your past theories.

        23. 20 points for each use of the phrase "hidebound reactionary".

        24. 20 points for each use of the phrase "self-appointed defender of the orthodoxy".

        25. 30 points for suggesting that a famous figure secretly disbelieved in a theory which he or she publicly supported. (E.g., that Feynman was a closet opponent of special relativity, as deduced by reading between the lines in his freshman physics textbooks.)

        26. 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate.

        27. 30 points for claiming that your theories were developed by an extraterrestrial civilization (without good evidence).

        28. 30 points for allusions to a delay in your work while you spent time in an asylum, or references to the psychiatrist who tried to talk you out of your theory.

        29. 40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.

        30. 40 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is engaged in a "conspiracy" to prevent your work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or suchlike.

        31. 40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.

        32. 40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated, present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will be forced to recant.)

        33. 50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.

  • by crea5e (590098) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:56PM (#4213316)
    but due to some mechanical related problems it is now invisible.
  • Amazingly enough, Delorean One [deloreanone.com] sells reconditioned ones for as little as $62,500. Why take the Tilley Foundation's word for it when you can play the Marty McFly home game?
    • I guess the reconditioning is to mint condition, because you can buy old Deloreans for less than $10K.

      • I've seen lots of crappy DeLoreans that I wouldn't pay any amount of money for, so I would imagine ones that are still in decent condition are in pretty high demand. I also understand that there weren't a whole lot made.
  • by jsimon12 (207119) <tzzhc4@NoSPAM.yahoo.com> on Saturday September 07, 2002 @04:58PM (#4213330) Homepage
    Seems to be nothing other then an electrically powered Delorean? People have been converting gas powered vehicles to Electric for years. If this is some sort of perpetual motion machine is doesn't say how it works on the site, in any detail. So that would lead me to belive it is a hoax.
    • by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:16PM (#4213409) Homepage Journal
      If this is some sort of perpetual motion machine is doesn't say how it works on the site, in any detail.

      That's because the only person who mentioned perpetual motion was the Slashdot Editor. Michael put it in the title of the Slashdot story - neither the article nor the site says *anything* about perpetual motion. The stats related in the article are:

      'hundreds of miles without recharging'' and can reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

      Which is scientifically plausable, if exteremely unlikely. It may well be a hoax, but they seem to be putting their money where their mouth is. We'll see when the thing is finished being demonstrated. It certainly would be a breakthrough, and while very rare, they do happen at times.

      If it were a perpetual motion device, I wouldn't even give it the benefit of the doubt. As it is, I just give it doubt. :)

      --
      Evan (no references, but I think the car's stats might be SciFi)

      • by Nanoda (591299) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:22PM (#4213428)
        Not claiming to be perpetual motion?

        "...can run coast to coast without ever relying on the battery being charged from an outside source."

        and

        "The very essence of the technology to be demonstrated is the capability to keep the batteries "topped up" at all times with the "on board" device invented by Carl B. Tilley."

        and most importantly

        " In fact, as the demonstration will prove, at the end of the allotted time period the battery bank will still register a FULL CHARGE condition!"

        This is not a solar vehicle, people. This is a perpetual motion machine, and it's a sham.

        • D'oh - you are, Nanoda, totally correct. Break out the wet noodle for me; I goofed. They are appearing to claim that it is a perpetual motion device. I read the coast to coast as a (possibly overblown) statement of how efficient it was. The other two quotes point towards them claiming greater than 100% efficiency, and in my mind spin the pointer from "probable hoax" into "utter sham". Ah, well.

          --
          Evan (no reference)

        • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday September 07, 2002 @08:10PM (#4213933) Journal
          As the parent post observes, this is obviously a sham.

          I want to know--why has nobody on Slashdot mentioned the most important point?

          If the car "can run coast to coast without ever...being charged" and "at the end of the allotted time period the battery bank will still register a FULL CHARGE condition", why does it need a battery bank in the first place?

          If, as the Tilley Foundation web site states, "Your battery system will be fully charged at all times while in use", why do we need the batteries at all?

      • Michael is right. If you look at the details on the site, it becomes obvious that what they are describing is equivalent to a perpetual motion machine. They describe an invention that somehow runs off of batteries, provides enough power to run a large motor, and also recharges the batteries it is draining. This is completely impossible without a source of free energy, and with free energy you have perpetual motion.
        • Well, you do have inertia moving the machine forward.

          Althou I doubt one could build an effecient enough machine to not lose massive amounts of energy in the recharge phase, but it could be a more effecient way for an electric vehicle to operate.
          • It is more efficient to recapture the inertia of the car while braking, and most efficient electric vehicles nowadays already use this method. You can never recover the large amount of energy spent combating friction though, and you can only recapture the inertia while braking, because recapturing the inertia slows the car down.
  • Read the details, it starts an electric motor, and then recharges itself from this motor. Laws of physics say you will still run out of energy, period! Electric motors are not very efficient, 50-70% for normal motors and maybe up to 90% if you are lucky for a decent 3 phase brushless design. and secondy, wtf is up with using a Delorean?? It is a car that is finicky and breaks often at best, and that is the normal dinosaur burning model... I keep expecting to see a 'Mr fusion' strapped on the back!
    • by jkirby (97838)
      I almost laughed my arse off on this one. This is the quintessential "Snake Oil" hoax. First and foremost, there is absolutly nothing, whatsoever, on any of the pages that discuss any technical aspect of the TEV. Nothing. Not even a hint at anything remotly scientific. Secondly, it is too well written and thought out. And thirdly, as all of us graduates of "The STar Fleet Academy" know; entroy rules.
  • by Quixote (154172) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:00PM (#4213341) Homepage Journal
    it appears they've suffered mechanical difficulties and cancelled the test.

    There's a name for such "mechanical difficulties": friction. Get used to it.

  • by jjeffries (17675) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:01PM (#4213349)
    They get it going up to 88, travel back in time a day or two and leisurely drive to their destination, perhaps seeing some sights along the way. They top off the gas tank and arrive an hour or so after they left, fooling the Newtonian masses by substituting one physical impossibility for another.
  • This story screams for stupid Back to the Future jokes.

    Please folks, save your dumber ones for the sequel.

    On a related note, they got all this hype and crowds up....but didn't think to beef up the suspension, motor, drive train? Odd.

    It seems the website is proud of their 1000 hits too. Wait til /. gets done with you. You'll be begging for...{insert stupid joke here}
    • I can't imagine what the freaking problem is. They say the car can't take the stress on the track going that fast. I'd be quite impressed if they ran their distance at 30 mph. Surely, if it's capable of pushing itself along at >100, they can pick a lower speed and take a groove that doesn't stress the bearings.
      I think he's shooting for credibility amongst idiots. He'll come around after the failure, looking for "investors", claiming he was sabotaged by "big oil" or whatever.
      Here, you want perpetual motion - use the casimir effect, and lcds efficient enough to open and close one of the mirrors, and let that drive a piston, slowly. It's not really perpetual motion, but should be free energy, though at a low output.

  • Seriously... if his system works as he says it can, this will be quite an important milestone (once they have the bearings issue worked out). We should be *encouraging* this kind of research, not laughing at it.

    Considering this is a website "for Nerds" I'd expect a better reaction out of people. Tesla had a lot of breakthrough concepts regarding electricity and the ability to sucking power out of one's environment.

    We should be promoting this kind of reasearch (you know, the kind large corporations might not take to kindly to). WTF is it that we'll bitch about the **AA putting down the little guy, but we're pooh-poohing someone who's trying to stand up to Big Oil and the Automakers?
    • by Hans Lehmann (571625) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:28PM (#4213450)
      Tesla did some interesting work, but he never "sucked power out of the environment" without spending far more energy than he ever got back. The reason we Nerds poo-poo these stories is simply because they defy the laws of thermodynamics. This inventor shows all the usual symptoms of a perpetual-energy kook:

      "The Government/Big Oil/Big Auto knows that this really works, but they're trying to suppress it."

      They create mumbo-jumbo terms like "electromagnetic vacuum", that sound plausible to the average sucker investor that never bothered to take a high-school physics class, but are nothing but a bunch of crap.

      They're constantly stalling, while promising that their invention will be ready after "just a few more tweaks."

      When they are asked to demonstrate it under controlled conditions, they'll always come up with a story about "bad vibes from all these skeptics", or in this case "we've just got some bearing problems."

      Anyone that invests in this company deserves to lose every penny they own.

    • I seem to remember hearing about this guy a few years ago. He apparently found out that more windings on a motor = more turning power! Wow! Except, of course, that this also adds to the self inductance of the coil, etc. (Meaning it takes more energy, and just because you have a motor with 100000 coils, running on a double A, doesn't mean you've done something cool).

      I may have read it in one of Andreas Schroeder's [google.ca] highly entertaining books about outrageous scams and fraud artists.

      I suggest you read one of them - this kind of "oh, we were all ready to prove it to the world, and then cruel fate stepped in oh no please send your financial support to..." stuff happens all the time with this kind of stuff. The only time stuff like this doesn't happen is when you aren't allowed to inspect the device afterwards. (ie, it's rigged).

      (A side note, what kind of "stress" do banked turns put on a car, anyhow? Answer: None! It relieves stress perpendicular to the motion of travel! Just more crap from this guy).

  • by unsinged int (561600) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:04PM (#4213359)
    * 3:40 pm: Still haven't heard from Ken
    * 2:37 pm: Still no word from Ken.
    * 1:48 pm: Still waiting for our reporter, Ken, to call in.

    OMG! They killed Kenny!
    • by guttentag (313541) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:14PM (#4213398) Journal
      Great Scott! I was afraid this might happen, Marty.

      By building and actually testing the impossible perpetual motion machine, they have created a paradox -- sucking them and half of Nashville into a rip in the space-time continuum. Mental note to self: cross Nashville off the list of places I planned to someday visit.

      • Mental note to self: cross Nashville off the list of places I planned to someday visit.

        Why the fuck would you want to visit Nashville? The only way I'd go is if Shania Twain was guaranteed to sleep with me on my first night there.

    • I think I see Ken's arm sticking out the back of the trunk.
  • by nizo (81281) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:04PM (#4213360) Homepage Journal
    "Hoaxes for nerds". Or is it "Hoaxes that matter"? Remember, don't let reality interfere with a good news story.
  • Not a hoax (Score:5, Funny)

    by Knife_Edge (582068) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:08PM (#4213374)
    Look, I have seen a lot of comments to the effect that building a self-recharging vehicle that will run forever cannot be done. Well, Tilley has done it. I could not be more certain. Why? Because they have a web site. Go there now. You will soon see that they are completely credible, just like everything else on the web.
  • ''I don't think the oil or car companies understand what a significant breakthrough this is,'' Meland said...
    If Tilley succeeds, it ''completely changes our whole picture on energy, how to use this energy to free the planet from fossil fuel.''


    I bet you anything that we don't hear another peep about this (except maybe a repeat) again.
  • Go figure (Score:5, Funny)

    by 00_NOP (559413) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:10PM (#4213384) Homepage
    Perpetual motion car - Delorean, built in Belfast

    Unsinkable ship - Titanic, built in Belfast
  • What is this about? They say they have invented some method [tilleyfoundation.com] of producing electric power without wind/solar/hydro or fuel? It all seems like snake oil to me. Anyone have any insight into this? I just seriously doubt people who make claims like this and then give absolutly NO evidence or even a suggestion of how it is done.
  • I read Tilley's web site a bit, and they seem to be making a small industry out of perpetual motion. Its clear that they really did modify a DeLorean to use an electric motor, but beyond that their claims are vague at best. They do claim a "power source" that "uses no inputs", which sure sounds like PM. They do claim that the DeLorean does not use the PM source.

    One thing is clear: they at least have the guts to show up at a public demonstration, even if they blew out a wheel bearing (no surprise on a DeLorean). Now if they would let a couple of qualified engineers take a look at the car before and after the test I'd feel better. For all I know they have a little gas powered generator hidden in the vehicle recharging the batteries.
  • You built a time mach... I mean perpetual motion machine ... out of a Delorean?

  • Young lady, in this house we follow the laws of thermal dynamics!

    I was obliged to; sorry
  • There's no way they could have recorded over 100 MPH in a Delorean. Once you hit 88 MPH, you go back into time. Everybody knows that.

    "gotta get back in time.... gotta get back in time..."
  • by kwishot (453761) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @05:31PM (#4213456)
    I'm sure there's someone out there who can tell me why this wouldn't work, but here's a little theory of mine on perpetual motion (guessing it's been thought of before, but oh well):

    Magnets always repel or attract...using a complex scheme of magnets, wouldn't it be possible to harness any of this free energy?
    I remember reading on a Slashdot story how you could make your own mini-railgun. If you accelerated something to a high enough speed, could you not harness that energy to "re-set" the magnets and even have some energy left over? I remember that the velocity of whatever you're accelerating increases exponentially -- however adding more and more magnets does not increase the "resetting factor" exponentially. I'm not an astrophysicist or anything but isn't there a way this could work?
    Another thing along the same concept is gravity...
    Stupid friction =P
    • Re:Perpetual Motion (Score:2, Informative)

      by PdoX (601064)
      In short, No.

      The magnetic force is much like using a rubber band in reverse. Lets say you had a gun with a permanent magnet. It would take a significant amount of force to load the projectile into the gun (forcing two similar poles near each other). This stores potential energy. When you then fire the weapon, the potential energy that you gave it while loading the projectile then becomes kinetic energy. (ie, the projectile is ejected).

      Alternatively, using an artificial magnet, you can load the projective with little or no effort and then input a large amount of electrical current which then creates a magnetic field, launching the projectile. In any case, you don't get something for nothing. You always get back less than you put in.

    • Re:Perpetual Motion (Score:2, Informative)

      by mwr (12650)

      At least for the "complex scheme of magnets" option, see this page [phact.org], particularly the "Machines which use magnets" section.

      As to the rail gun version, you'll end up giving less kinetic energy to the projectile than you put into the magnets (resistive and heat losses, friction, etc). When the projectile hits something, some of the energy will be lost in friction, heat, coulomb damping in the projectile, etc.

      Plus, if you were talking about kinetic energy as far as exponentially increasing velocities are concerned, I think you mis-remember the equation: K.E. = 0.5*m*v^2 ; or, put in rail-gun form, v < sqrt(E/(0.5*m)), that is, it takes 4 times the input energy to double the speed of an object.

      I'm pretty confident that any perpetual motion or free energy method that ever becomes workable will be using situations not covered in classical physics: Casimir effect, or whatever.

    • I'm not an astrophysicist or anything but isn't there a way this could work?

      Maybe, under exotic circumstances. But if anyone on /. could figure out how to make it work so as to be worthwhile, they wouldn't posting on /.--they'd be changing the world with their brand-new free-energy device.
    • Even if you did this in a space environment, you run into one big problem: it take energy to assemble the entire magentic system. You have to fight the resisitive force to put it together. And harnessing the energy/motion means subtracting out energy from the system. So you might be able to keep it in motion but it would just be an impressive piece of artwork floating next to a GPS satellite.
    • Re:Perpetual Motion (Score:3, Informative)

      by GigsVT (208848)
      This has been tried, proposed, hashed out, given up on, for years.

      One simple early proposed perpetual motion machine had a small ramp, with a hole at the top, and a groove for a ball bearing to ride in. The idea was to put a strong magnet at the top of the ramp, the ball bearing would roll up the ramp, attracted by the magnet, then fall down the hole at the top, and roll back to it's initial position to be drawn up the ramp again, forever.

      Unfortunately, magnets do not work this way. Magnets are, as someone else pointed out, like rubber bands. Any energy you get from two magnets attracting each other (or in this case, attracting a ferrous metal) must be spent at least equally in energy to seperate the two. Friction and other real world losses guarantee you will never get overunity on a device like this, and even if you could eliminate all parasitic losses, they best you would ever get is unity, which is useless.
    • I'm not an astrophysicist or anything but isn't there a way this could work?

      No.

      Magnets produce forces, not energy. If I put a 50-pound weight on a chair, that chair will produce a 50-pound force, indefinately! Only one problem: it isn't producing any power. Magnets are just the same.

      It's guarenteed to take as much (actually, more) energy to reset the magnets.
  • Excuse my French but this is just a load of crap.

    Just take a look at their website for a start...

    Not only do they have a totally sadistic site that insists on reloading a lame 288K flash animation every time you sneeze, but the home-page link titled "Check "Validation" page for information on the Tilley Electric Vehicle" takes you to the Nashville Speedway (Detail? Detail? We don't need no steenken attention to detail!).

    Did Delorean build the site as well as the original car?

    I suspect the shonky state of the website is just a small window into the attitudes and abilities that are behind the Delorean "Scammobile" they're ranting about.

    Anyone with a few minutes of spare time can trawl through Google and find half a dozen or more similar scams that are supposedly based around systems that cause electric motors to also act as a generator that can recharge the battery.

    Not a single one has ever been proven to work by a certified independent testing authority -- and I don't see the oil companies trembling in their boots either.

    But hey, if you believe this Delorean works as advertised then you probably already have one of these stainless steel supercars in your garage -- having believed GM's claims too.

    And, if you've got more money than sense, why not visit these sites for some similarly great investment "opportunities":

    Free Electricity [freelectricity.com]

    Psitronics [earthlink.net]

    Ain't it a shame that so many really clever people just never seem to get an even break eh?

    ROTFL
    • "But hey, if you believe this Delorean works as advertised then you probably already have one of these stainless steel supercars in your garage -- having believed GM's claims too."

      John Delorean once worked for GM (he was a manager on the GTO project), but the car called "DeLorean" was not a GM product.
  • Lets see - they plan to test drive a production car on a race track designed for much high performance vehicles... Real smart...

    Should have just put the thing up on a dynamometer type rack and hooked up some display for showing 1) the car, 2) speed and 3) mileage on a web-cam dohickey. Have some experts (advocates & opposition) to witness and document.

  • The thing is really powered by a "Mr. Fusion" in the trunk.
  • ... supposedly go "hundreds of miles" at speeds over 100MPH without stopping to recharge
    Don't be so keptical! This project will sound more feasible with just a little white powder [tripod.com]!
  • ..carried out on a Delorean? Seriously, there's the obvious Back to the Future refernece, this experiment, and I remember several early solar powered car experiments being conducted with Deloreans. The car hasn't been built in *years*...surely it's easier to grab a 2nd hand Honda Civic than find some vintage 80s sportscar and retrofit it. Maybe it's the "coolness" factor...plus they can't afford Ferraris.
  • by Krueger Industrial S (606936) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @06:09PM (#4213569) Homepage
    1. DeLorean 2. Batteries 3. ??????? 4. Profit!!!
  • by Hugonz (20064)
    They just travel back in time to recharge the batteries....
  • Shoot... (Score:4, Funny)

    by chazzf (188092) <cfulton AT deepthought DOT org> on Saturday September 07, 2002 @06:45PM (#4213694) Homepage Journal
    ...we can't moderate the story. Even if we could, there's no (-1, Crackpot) or (-1, Scam), so all we could is mod it funny.

    ~Chazzf
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @07:11PM (#4213784) Journal
    Build a perpetual motion machine
  • by Mr.Sharpy (472377) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @07:33PM (#4213843)
    There is more info on this on another website about zero point energy. It seems a little fantastic to me. Check it out, and search for "Carl B. Tilley" on google for other dubious resources. Zero Point Energy [zpenergy.com]
  • It's called Mr Fusion. Makes you wonder why they need all those batteries. Does kind of make you wonder why other cars don't come with one though.
  • Ok, let's see here:

    100's of miles at 100 Mph. => 2 hours @ 70 horsepowers (very low estimate).

    70 hp => 70 hp * 700 W/hp => 50kW.

    50 kW * 2 hours = 100 kWh.

    1 car battery is 500 Ah (very high est) @ 12V = 6 kWh.

    100 kWh required / 6 kWh per battery = 16 batteries.

    I hope I didn't get my math wrong, but this doesn't look totally unrealistic as far as the energy goes. The real numbers would probably come out much lower though. The batteries would probably weigh around 500 kg, adding significantly to the horsepowers needed. And I don't think the batteries can sustain hundreds of amps for hours...
  • Why are so many smart people such complete dorks? They come up with a car that handles electricity so well, and what do they make it out of? A fucking Delorean. How lame is that? They probably could have done it with an Accord or a Camry and have earned a great sponsorship with parts that wouldn't break down, and could be easily replaced, but they choose a fucking Delorean... sigh.
  • by timholman (71886) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @07:50PM (#4213881)
    ...and watched the demo.

    First, a little background. Tilley's "miracle" electric vehicle has been getting a lot of media coverage here in Nashville over the past week, and it's been a topic of conversation at work. One of my colleagues and I decided to check it out for ourselves, out of pure curiousity.

    This is not the first time Mr. Tilley has been in the Nashville news. About a year and a half ago he got some publicity by claiming that he and another inventor had created a "free energy" machine, a la Tom Bearden, Dennis Lee, and Joe Newman. When people tried to follow up on his claims, he dropped out of sight. Now he had resurfaced with a claim that he was using this machine to power an electric car. What really made it interesting was that Bobby Allison was apparently promoting Tilley's claims, both on his own web site (http://www.bobbyallison.com), and by driving the car at the Superspeedway.

    Being firm believers in the second law of thermodynamics, my co-workers and I expected one of three things to happen:

    (1) Tilley would attempt to hide an internal combustion engine somewhere in the Delorean, and prevent people from examining it up close (unlikely, as people would hear the engine running). He might also hide extra batteries to extend the running time.

    (2) The car would make very frequent pit stops in a screened area (so as to prevent the "secret" from being stolen, of course), during which the batteries would miraculously recharge themselves.

    (3) The car would suffer an unfortunate "breakdown" well before the distance limit imposed by the maximum energy storage of the twelve lead-acid batteries in his vehicle.

    As it turned out, #3 was the winner. In the middle of the 13th lap, the announcer suddenly announced that the vehicle had a bad rear wheel bearing. It looked to me as if the batteries were quickly reaching the end of their charge, as the car was running very slowly on that last lap. In the 12th lap, the car had zipped by fairly quickly, about 60 mph on the track, with no visible problems. Amazing how quickly a wheel bearing will go out on you, and how some people can diagnose it while the car is still moving. :-)

    Once the car had coasted into the pit, I left. I knew the demo was over, although some people in the crowd didn't (and apparently stuck around for hours afterwards!).

    A few comments: my co-worker arrived earlier than me and got to see the car up close before the demo. According to him, two men with guns were standing guard and preventing anyone from looking UNDER the car. He took that as a sign that either extra batteries or an internal combustion engine must be visible from the underside.

    I was in the stands with a crowd of about 50 to 60 people, maximum. Judging from the conversations around me, many of them were either investors or True Believers. I heard the usual claptrap about conspiracies, death threats by oil companies, etc., that get tossed around by the proponents of these scams.

    What troubled me, of course, is that many of the investors looked like normal middle class folks, using their own savings and hoping to cash in on a world-shaking invention. They, and people like them, were the true targets of Mr. Tilley's exhibition.

    As for Bobby Allison, he was there at the beginning and drove the first couple of laps, then apparently left. For his own sake, I hope he distances himself from Mr. Tilley as quickly as possible.

    Finally, for those who are interested, I made a Quicktime movie of the car making the final lap (out of the pit, around part of the track, and back into the pit). You can see for yourself how slowly the car was going before the "breakdown".

    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/wthwthwth/tilleyde mo .html (remove any spaces)

    Someone please mirror this! I have no idea how much bandwidth Comcast will let me have, but I'm willing to bet I'll find out. :-)
  • He forgot to mention that the magic TEV charger is a gasoline engine, remarkably similar to the gasoline engine of a delorean.
  • I remember an electric car with exactly these claims having been invented about 20 years ago. The now-defunct Omni Magazine had a story about it. In that instance, the heart of the "invention" was an elecric motor with some absurdly large number of turns.

    It shouldn't shock anyone that this other vehicle was always plagued by "mechanical problems" whenever it came time for a public demonstration as well.

    Does anyone else remember the Omni article? I can't remember the name of the "inventor" right now.

  • There is no such thing as perpetual motion. Didn't your parents ever teach you that? Given the choice of the transport module, with its stainless steel construction, it is obvious that they are powering the vehicle with energy stolen from... THE FUTURE!

    Work it out, it does not violate thermodynamics. In fact, it actually accelerates the rate of entropy expansion.
  • I did a search at uspto.gov, turned up nothing.

    Searching 1996-2002...

    Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
    (magic AND delorean): 0 patents.


    Guess I'm gonna have to be skeptical, too ;)
  • The photos on their website seem to show these guys indeed converting a Delorean to electricity, and they put up enough money to lease an actual racetrack. You gotta admit that puts them at least a notch above anybody claiming, for example, to have played old vinyl records through a flatbed scanner.
  • by A non-mouse Cow Herd (67426) on Saturday September 07, 2002 @08:38PM (#4214012)
    The little blurb on the web sit about how 'ordinary' wheel bearings couldn't take the stress of a banked track is 100% bovine excrement. Plenty of people drive stock and near stock vehicles on the track at speed for long periods of time. Even cheap ones like Datsun 510s and Honda accords.

    Now it might be that the 20 year old delorean bearing were already going bad, but you'd think that if they actually wanted to demo the vehicle, they would have done some informal testing to make sure that it was roadworthy. Which leads us to the obvious conclusion that they *didn't* want to demo the vehicle, they only want to make it look like they could. Gee, why would nice Mr. Tilly do that ?

    The whole delorean thing is funny too. Why use a rare, expensive collecter car to demo your technology ? A $500 ford escort would do just as well, and you could zip over the local NAPA autoparts, who would have your wheel bearings in stock, and you could swap them out in a couple of hours. OK, maybe the $500 escort is too ugly for publicity purposes. How about a $5000 Honda ? Maybe all that stainless steel is needed to sheild the dilithium crystals.
  • . . . they've suffered mechanical difficulties and cancelled the test."

    Yeah, they suddenly discovered the second law of thermodynamics. In an interview they said, " why didn't somebody tell us?"

    KFG
  • They didn't use 30 weight oil on the ball bearings in the Fetzer valve and......damn, wrong movie.

    Well then the problem was John BigBoote stole the Osillation Overthruster and.........crap.

    What movie had a Delorean?
  • This is what Slashdot says:

    can supposedly go "hundreds of miles" at speeds over 100MPH without stopping to recharge

    This is what the article says:

    the car can drive ''hundreds of miles without recharging'' and can reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

    See the difference?

  • I've heard of over unity devices for years, and everyone says they are a scam. But I have not heard of anyone actually building one to test. So, I did a quick google search, found some schematics. http://www.geocities.com/theadamsmotor/solidstate. html [geocities.com]

    -
    Fnord.

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