Small power source for one century

retrolefty: Most, really?

Well, I am also a product of NA. However, I am open to discussion. Given that the predominant culture in the Americas is well less than 600 years old, can you think of some other place of significance that is also significantly younger?

DirtBiker:

retrolefty: Most, really?

Well, I am also a product of NA. However, I am open to discussion. Given that the predominant culture in the Americas is well less than 600 years old, can you think of some other place of significance that is also significantly younger?

So the age of a culture is it's dominate attribute?

Lefty

"In Europe, 100 miles is a long distance. In America, 100 years is a long time."

There are two sets of answers showing up. One assumes that the device needs power (at least enough for "standby") FOR 100 years, and the other assuming that the device will be completely inactive, and only needs power AFTER 100 years.

BTW, I don't know that modern semiconductors are expected to remain operational after 100 years. Diffusion of dopants might render PN junctions non-working, and insulating gates non-insulating...

retrolefty: So the age of a culture is it's dominate attribute?

Age, type of bacteria, and whether the fruit is at the bottom, or stirred in.

retrolefty: So the age of a culture is it's dominate attribute?

Lefty

Well (at the risk for wandering too far off topic), by definition, quite simply, yes. It takes time to develop culture.

To take things to an extreme for purposes of demonstration, if I created a town tomorrow, how deep would you say it's unique cultural attributes would be, by say, Sunday, when compared to a place like Athens, or Lagos (current name not withstanding), or Alexandria?

SirNickity:

retrolefty: So the age of a culture is it's dominate attribute?

Age, type of bacteria, and whether the fruit is at the bottom, or stirred in.

Yes, quite! (LOL)

DirtBiker:

retrolefty: Most, really?

Well, I am also a product of NA. However, I am open to discussion. Given that the predominant culture in the Americas is well less than 600 years old, can you think of some other place of significance that is also significantly younger?

The Americas have been occupied for tens of thousands of years. Check your facts.

Tim

westfw: "In Europe, 100 miles is a long distance. In America, 100 years is a long time."

There are two sets of answers showing up. One assumes that the device needs power (at least enough for "standby") FOR 100 years, and the other assuming that the device will be completely inactive, and only needs power AFTER 100 years.

BTW, I don't know that modern semiconductors are expected to remain operational after 100 years. Diffusion of dopants might render PN junctions non-working, and insulating gates non-insulating...

Just being able to store battery power that can be used in 100 years seems unlikely. May I suggest a gold record if you want something that will last 100+ years as well as instructions on how to play it. NASA had this same problem to solve back during the Carter administration. Was sending a precious metal a good idea on Voyager? Maybe it's an advertisement? We have gold, this is where we are, come get it!

Tim

teckel: Maybe it's an advertisement? We have gold, this is where we are, come get it!

Battlefield Earth?

The Americas have been occupied for tens of thousands of years. Check your facts.

In fact, don't you have some sort of celebration of the fact that you super-ceded them involving pumpkin pie? :astonished: I first heard the 100 year/100 mile phrase a long time ago and it goes a long way to explain our differences. I was of course just leg pulling, but some very funny responses :)

Back to the topic in hand. It's interesting how such a mundane problem can throw up so many problems. My original idea of a ultra slow mechanical clock that effectively used the moon as a power source, and then activating the electronics at the last moment was intended to keep the electronics turned off until required thus preventing FWAT, this included the power supply.

Someone mentioned redundancy, well, yes of course, but one could take this a stage further and rather than simple majority voting, one could maybe use a learning (repairing) neural net that could "energise" new circuit parts as others failed. For time keeping, again use say a solar event (day) to count.

Power supplies are a problem if self contained, but, since we are in a loft of a house, why not use main power and indeed, every 10 years it could request human intervention to "swap-out" circuity.

A friend of mine has a small (electric) lamp that he keeps burning in memory his mother and is thinking of emigrating to Oz, and wanted to power the lamp during the the move and sea voyage. His requirements were very stringent the light must not fail! And yet when I asked him what currently happened about power cuts, or the bulb blowing, he went quiet and didn't have an answer.

0AlphaOmega: Going out on a limb here, but if it's in the loft of a house, why not tap into the house wiring? I've done some math, I think it could work.

I was just about to say that ^

If it's in a house then what's the chances of the house being a) abandoned without electricity and b) somebody being in the house to hear the siren?

Seems pretty small to me.

0AlphaOmega:

SirNickity: Seriously, though. It's going in an attic? Has anyone owned an attic for 100 years? Maybe I'm just American, but after 60 years or so, houses tend to get remodeled and/or demolished.

Seriously, we have cowsheds older than America ;) The pier I walked on this afternoon was built in 1867, it looks pretty much the same as when it was built. And the pub I visited after has been a pub since late 1700's, it was however remodelled then as it was formally a place where cider was made. Not everything is pulled down every 60 years. So I reckon, a European loft has a good chance of surviving another 100 years (we gotta keep our chickens somewhere!)

To be fair, a lot American houses are made out of wood.

Maybe it's time we let the "free-thinking" young upstarts in on the secret of the Imperial British brick.

teckel: The Americas have been occupied for tens of thousands of years. Check your facts.

Tim

I said predominant culture. Check what I wrote, and check your attitude.

fungus: To be fair, a lot American houses are made out of wood.

Maybe it's time we let the "free-thinking" young upstarts in on the secret of the Imperial British brick.

Sure, sure... but the shipping would be atrocious! XD

SirNickity:

fungus: To be fair, a lot American houses are made out of wood.

Maybe it's time we let the "free-thinking" young upstarts in on the secret of the Imperial British brick.

Sure, sure... but the shipping would be atrocious! XD

We could sell you the technology...

0AlphaOmega: We could sell you the technology...

America's kinda strapped for cash right now. Would you consider a payment plan? Perhaps licensing royalties instead? I hear you're a fan of royalty over there.

Clearly SirNickity, judging buy your name, a bit of a queen hugger yourself. This is purely between the two of us, so keep it quiet, but the patent on the mud brick has expired, so licensing may pose problems, although her Maj is quite keen that you pay something, she say's you've already had Light Bulbs & Jet Engines for free (actually she had quite a long list but I distracted her by telling her that one of the Corgi's had managed to get out and was humping a guards leg). Although, she did say, as a sweeter, that she'd be happy to have you as subjects again providing you get out the tea-pots, quid pro quo and all that. I suppose you could translate it as Bricks & Tea offor Tax & Coolness. Oh, and I suggested that you get the ginger tosser back.... for free.

I have been thinking in somekind of thermoelectric geneator for years that maybe can be used for this... There is a temp difference from the surface down as you dig a hole. Maybe placing some bi-metal rods can havest some of the energy from the difference and it will be electrical energy already. If you go all CMOS and sleeping mode most of the time maybe you can use that energy to recharge something while sleeping or have two sets of batteies... Problem will be corrosion... but what if the rods are protected with vinyl or something like ceramic painting (like ovens)?. Maybe they produce enough power to supply the thing without a storage device. Remember spacecrafts use thermopiles (with a nuclear capsule for heating) to generate electricity. You don't need that much energy so you don't need the reactor. Multiple rods in parallel and series (like batteies) may meet both voltage and current requierements even with small differences in temp. Maybe... Testing is the poblem. I also think semiconductors should last that long specially because there will be negligible amounts of heat generated.

Obereon: ...a mechanical watch mechanism might be a better bet for the timing - if you can find a power source with sufficient shelf life to wait to be activated.

That's probably the most "practical" idea! I THINK I've heard of mechanical clocks that only have to be wound once a year. One hundred of these mechanisims with one triggering another in series could probably work. And, for the "final action", probably a bigger spring-driven generator.

You'd have to make sure there's no corrosion and that the lubrication won't dry-out.

There are ways of generating electrcity with thermal differences, etc. But you still need to STORE the energy in a battery (or capacitor) to continuously supply the clock. It's the long-term reliability of the battery (with its nasty corrosive chemistry) that I'm worried about.

DVDdoug: I THINK I've heard of mechanical clocks that only have to be wound once a year.

Indeed, there are mechanical clocks that never need winding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmos_clock