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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Self Powered Device
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2013 1:02:16 PM
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JimT, I think you're right about the curriculum and jhankwitz' astuteness. Stray RF as a power source was not widely known back in the day.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Self Powered Device
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2013 1:00:57 PM
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jhankwitz, those restrictions continued into the 60s and 70s, which is what all the screaming (and Title IX, among other things) was about. I still wish I'd been "allowed" to take architectural drawing along with the boys in high school. Good thing science and math weren't off-limits! And thanks for the Rosie the Riveter reminder. I guess we were supposed to forget that women had been doing all that stuff already.

Mydesign
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Re: Self Powered Device
Mydesign   9/6/2013 4:12:52 AM
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1 saves
"his technology could really help with in-the-field devices that are placed in places where batteries are hard to change. This also sounds like the ambient power sources is easier to harvest than ambient vibrations. Not all device placements are near freeways and bridges."

Rob, you mean that there are cells and its getting recharging by pulling signals from air.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Self Powered Device
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/5/2013 2:16:57 PM
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Laughing a little – Yah, I do know it was realized – Just not by OUR team. At the time (2007) we had a leg up, being ahead of the competition; but we collapsed financially, and the completion surged ahead.

78RPM
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Re: Self Powered Device
78RPM   9/5/2013 1:44:30 PM
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JimT, your dream in point number 3 might have been realized. Take a look at http://www.telemetrysolutions.com for their wildlife tracking solutions that include GPS tracking, tracking specific kinds of animal movement (feeding, nesting, moving), and capture of solar energy for battery life approaching the shelf life. They offer smart GPS which lets the device sleep in low power mode during times of inactivity, and remote download of data. There are other trackers from Lotek, Telonics, and Vectronic Aerospace but this one from telemetry solutions looked feature rich from the point of energy harvesting.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Self Powered Device
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/5/2013 1:29:32 PM
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Yeah, I was a 'shop' student in the 70's, too. Wood Shop, metal shop, auto-shop, drafting, both machine and architectural. 'Shop-Class' directed me to a career in Engineering. (Acknowledgement to Ann, also, that girls took Home-Economics. Quite sexist, in retrospect, wasn't it?) But the realization that stray RF was a potential power source was not part of the curriculum, and I think it was (and is) an overlooked and misunderstood phenomenon. I think you minimize your early realization of it. You were a smart kid, jhankwitz.

jhankwitz
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Re: Self Powered Device
jhankwitz   9/5/2013 1:19:51 PM
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You're so right Ann.  Back in the early '50s, just about the only acceptable jobs for women were teacher, secretary, or housewife/homemaker.  It was a whole different culture. The temporary "Rosie the Riveter" was no longer needed and had returned to homemaker status.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Self Powered Device
Ann R. Thryft   9/5/2013 12:26:17 PM
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Well, not "every" student. Those first two were what the boys got to do in wood and metal shop, at least in my school. Girls learned cooking and sewing. I'm glad I learned both, but I also wanted to learn all that stuff in shop, too. Not only did this help us--along with music and art for everyone--figure out what we wanted to do, it also gave us some excellent skills. And there was also PE, which helped keep us all healthy.

jhankwitz
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Re: Self Powered Device
jhankwitz   9/5/2013 11:55:19 AM
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No foresight on my part.  Every 7th grader learned how to use hand and power tools and built a table and chair, and every 8th grader fabricated an electric motor out of a coffee can in addition to a crystal radio.  Everyone also had to learn how to play a musical instrument as well as dance.  Back then, they prepped kids with a broad spectrum of activities to help them determine their interests and choose their futures.  

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Self Powered Device
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/5/2013 11:38:10 AM
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78RPM- You have lots of good points, spread over several posts:

1.     I remember the story of the Dairy Farmer stealing from the high voltage lines; an EE professor told that story in ~1980.  Suggested he probably would still be doing it today, had he kept his harvest to a smaller trickle.

2.     Different topic of power from road vibrations; An article was right here in DesignNews, a few weeks back.  See http://www.pavegen.com/ .  Great idea - Waiting for their IPO, on the London exchange!

3.     Last, on using Zigbee and sleep mode for extended battery life on wildlife tracking: I was on a team that developed such a device, but funding slumped and the product was never realized.  Such is the success of engineering.

Thanks for several very good discussion points. – JimT.

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