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Categorie: DIY Projects

Driven by curiosity I want to create minimalist projects with simple materials and clear constructions. My goal is to make ultra low power, solar powered pendulums or motors that last a lifetime..

Soilurine battery; making, using and measurements

Is it possible to use earth or soil energy to power small homemade appliances? This research project gives an answer, although the battery endurance test is still in progress.

A soilurinebattery will not solve the world energy problems. But research into ‘Soil Power’ applications are very interesting because of the simple design and the easy to get, cheap components. I made two ultra-low power test devices as load . The basic battery consists of 4 soilurine cells. Enough to power kinetic devices for hopefully a long and moving life.


The video shows how this soilurine battery is made and used.

Circuit diagram

The simplest drive of a pulse motor on soil cell power.

Earth battery powers pendulum

Short video earthbattery and non-stop devices

With all the fossil energy hunger in 2022, In this project I want to use only the energy what earth and soil us freely gives. It may be negligible but you can easily harvest and use it.

Can I use an earth battery to power low-power devices? Yes, I did it. I made a simple battery with soil, coppertube and a zincplate. The cell voltage is 0.9V and a short circuit makes 200 microAmp. The pendulum consumes about 40 microAmp. A supercap of 10F is the buffering battery. Duration tests have still to be done. Also soilcell improvement is part of the project. I love low-tech minimalism.
My Non-Stop Solar Devices are running for month’s and some for years. More at YouTube.

A simple way to harvest microAmps from the soil
Schema of the earth battery

Energy Harvesting

This is a known way to harvest 24/7/365 energy from an antenna or in my case from the steelbase of a table. I wanted to check the amount of energy I can possible harvest between the table at the first floor and the ground pin outside. With 4 parts I made an circuit that charges in a day and a half a 10.000 microfarad electrolytic condensor to 7 Volt. Strange enough I could not measure any charge current with my multimeter, not one microAmp. Maybe I tap, beside electromagnetic energy, also ZPE, radiant and atmospheric energy; who knows? The speed of charging surprises me. See image below:

Test set-up to check the charging of the capacitor.

The energy harvest circuit has now a 3 farad capacitor. It charges slow but constant. The TPL5111 module uses ultra low current about 600nA. The voltage range is from 1.8V to 5Volt It has a potmeter for a timer setting till 2 hours. This circuit runs at 2.5V and has a 100 milisecond LED blink every minute. The circuit uses the same amount of energy than it can harvest. With this ultra low power device you can use E-smog at a very small scale. See image below

This is the energy harvester with the TLP5111 pulse-generator blinking every minute.

Kinetic Time Sculpture

Once in a hour, all in line
Extended clock hand shapes

It’s not difficult to make an ‘artistic’ christmas surprise for your wife and friend. Buy a Quarz clock device with hands. Get some balsawood plate 3mm thick. Make the hands at size. Make the desired shapes and glue them to the clock hands. When all is in place you can paint this kinetic sculpture. Clocktime is there but the shapes are also sails on the flowing river of Kairos time.

Tally Day Counter (new build)

A simple 4 NAND gate control circuit for the cheap, low power 5 digit tally counter.


Why a cheap digital tally counter not using for other purposes? i needed a day counter for another project i was working on. So I bought a tally counter and first measured the energy consumption. That was so low that I could feed the circuit with a supercap. A small solar panel could provide sufficient energy for a very long time. The only problem was the control. How do I convert the day / night voltage of the solar panel into a signal that increase the tally counter by one number? It was a long process that resulted in this simple circuit.

The Circuit

We follow the circuit from left to right. The 5V-60mA solarpanel delivers over the LDO LP2950 3V max. The voltage lost over the shottky diode BAT85 is 300mV. This charges the 10F super capacitor with 2.7V. max. The LDO MPC1703 has 1.5V out to power the Tally Counter.

The CD4093 is an ultra low power quad gate schmitt triggered NAND IC. Gate A is a comperator that makes a nice level edge with RV. Gate B makes an edge triggered pulse of 1 second. Gate C makes a 100 ms pulse at the beginning of the B pulse and Gate D at the end of the B pulse. Both, B and C pulse are connected with a 470nF capacitor to the count input of the tally.

The Tally Counter board has a minimalistic setup. The 14 pin display connector controls a 5 digit display.
One of the many test builds on a breadboard

Magic Mouse3; wireless charging

Magic Mouse3 is a non-existing mouse from Apple. When existing, it has certainly a wireless charger on board. When Apple doesn’t make one, we makers do. In reversible steps I went from Magic Mouse 2011 to version 2020. In this part 2 we see a way to modify the Magic Mouse to charge wireless a battery. Two parts are important; the Li-ion battery and the charge modules with the coils. Except the receiver coil all parts fit within the battery compartment of the mouse.

This video shows how the modification is done.

The connection pin from version 2 has to be replaced by an aluminium strip. Now there is enough place for the charge receiver module in the battery compartment. This module has a regulated voltage output of 5V.

The single cell Li-ion battery has a charge controller with protection circuit build-in at an extreem small surface. Only two holes have to be drilled in the battery compartment lid, one aluminium connection strip installed and a micro-usb connector has been made smaller. Also a plastic slide sheet has to be cut to protect the coil at the bottom. On the transmitter side only a usb2 plug is soldered at the 5V input pins.

Nearly all parts in the battery compartment.
Transmitter- and receiver coil transporting energy.

We start with desoldering the receiver coil from the module and stick the two ends of the coil through two holes in the battery lid. Then we solder the coil ends on to the board. With 2 sided tape the coil is connected to the lid and the receiver board to the strip. Now the micro usb plug has to be stripped, cut as small as possible, to fit within the battery compartment. The plus and the minus of the plug are connected to the board pins. After the micro-usb is put in the battery opening we are ready to test the charging procedure.

Before starting the load progress test all the parts have to fit nicely within the battery compartment. The wires have to come in place. When the lid is closed only the coil is sticking out. Now we connect the charge transmitter to a 230V netadapter with 5V-1A usb out. When both coils are put beside each other the red charging led of the battery lights up. When the battery is fully charged a green led light’s up. All the charging is done completely automatic. The rest current of the transmitter is about 50mA. Charging can start with 700mA, that goes quickly down to 200mA.

The charge slot and charger in at amazing small surface.

A downside is that the coil lifts the mouse in the back. That is no problem, as long the frontside stays on the same level. Taking away a part of the black sliders underneath the coil lowers the mouse. This modification works fine. The Magic Mouse reacts after this modification as usual. Only the battery level on the computer is always 100 percent. The charge transmitter can be build in a box or in the mouse pad. Make sure that when the mouse touches the charging pad, the transmitter only turns on. that saves energy. The costs of the charging set is less than $10, the same for the battery.

The all in one powersupply solution.

Magic Mouse made Rechargeable

With the charge slot at an other place

A mouse with 2 disposable AA batteries can be modificated in a rechargeable mouse in a simple way. With the introduction of rechargeable AA batteries we can use the mouse in a more sustainable way.

Information of the sizes of the mod.

With the arrival of a rechargeable Li-ion AA battery I could change the 2 disposable batteries for this rechargeable one in a simple way. Without touching the electronic circuit of the mouse, anybody can do this conversion in a quick and save way. Although the Li-ion battery has a voltage of 3.7V instead of 3V, it has been shown that my mouse can handle that voltage difference very well. 
What makes this modification easy is the build-in charger, protection circuit and a micro-usb charge port. You can say, this Li-ion AA battery is in fact a compleet power supply system. It is amazing how they get the charger, protection, usb slot in a 5mm thick and 13mm round surface

Video of how it all is done

With the arrival of a rechargeable Li-ion AA battery I could change the 2 disposable batteries for a rechargeable one. Without touching the electronic circuit of the mouse, anybody can do this modification in a quick and save way. Although the Li-ion battery has a voltage of 3.7V instead of 3V, it has been shown that my mouse can handle that voltage difference very well. 
What makes this modification easy is the build-in charger, protection circuit and a micro-usb charge port. You can say, this Li-ion AA battery is in fact a complete power supply system. It is amazing how the manufacturer makes a charger, protection and usb slot in a 5mm thick and 13mm round cylinder. 
There are 2 things to make: 
1- A 5mm long and 5mm thick pin or tube, to replace one disposable battery.
2- A hole has to be made in the lid of the battery compartment in the place of the micro-usb slot of the Li-   Ion battery. The micro-usb plug has to go with ease through the hole in the battery usb slot.
A photo is showing the sizes of the hole and tube. The video shows how in my case the Apple magic mouse is  converted to a rechargeable one. The downside is that the battery level is incorrectly (always 100%) indicated on the computerscreen.
Now you can charge the Li-ion fully automaticaly and save. A red charging LED and a green full  LED are also build-in. When charging; switch the mouse power off. 

Charging system at a very small space

Duo-Pendulums Interacting

The aim of this project is to cause a continuous swing of 2 pendulums. I discovered a nice interplay between an active and a passive pendulum. It is an interaction of permanent-magnetic and electro-magnetic force fields combined with gravity. The weight of the pendulum is a magnet hanging horizontally from a needle. A sharp steel point makes a very low friction at the magnetic suspension point.
To count the runtime days of the pendulum I use a 6 digit lcd counter module. If the pendulum stops the counter resets. This gives me a true record of the ‘swing time’. A solar panel, a voltage regulator and a super capacitor provides energy for the ‘everlasting’ power supply.

Pendulum solar circuit, building plan and day counter

As coil pulse driver I use my simple 2 transistor circuit. Variable resistor RV is set for a clean pulse. The LED lights up by the back EMF. NPN transistor 2N3904 is reversed connected; this works fine, try it! I have extended this circuit with a day counter. I use a low power Trumeter 7000AS as totaling counter with reset and up/down direction function. The count input C is connected with the solar panel and is negative edge triggered. By night the voltage falls below the 0.7 threshold and the counter will add one step. Reset at input R happens also on the negative edge.

In the active state the pulse circuit feeds a positive pulse (via C 100nF and the schottky diode) at C 470nF. Transistor T3 is in conduction and T4 is closed.

When the pendulum stops the basis of T3 becomes low and shall close this. After C 100uF is charged T4 is in conduction and this will reset the counter. The circuit uses as little as 30uA, inclusive day counter. The supercap will charge even in cloudy conditions and indoor light. The 3V regulator is an ultra low power SMD type.

The video shows how it is done
The active pendulum with solar panel, supercap, coil and daycounter

The duo pendulum project belongs to my investigation with micro- and nano powered moving devices. Before this I had to make many prototypes. It is important to make reliable electrical and mechanical connections. That sounds simple but is not. Double check is necessary. The active pendulum reacts jerky because of hidden magnets. There is no restpoint; the pendulum starts instantly. Watching a pair of pendulums ‘dancing’ is pure fun.

Spinning Sphere in a Glass Jar

Continuously Rotating Sphere in a Glass Jar

The best place for a rotating sphere, driven by solar energy, is in a glass jar. The electronic driver circuit and the mechanics consists of just a few components. The styrofoam sphere with a sharp needle as axis, rotates under a magnet bearing. The needle rests above against a small glass plate. Four magnets on top of the sphere, a solarpanel, a supercapacitor, a coil and a sensor are all the essential parts to keep the sphere spinning for a very long time.

Schematic diagram of the circuit
Short Video of the project

Parasite Pulser

This simple zapper has nice build-in features like a timer and a frequence sweep generator

A pulse device is often used in alternative medicine. Its primary goal is to boost the users immune system. It kills likely bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, etc. by applying very small currents through the body with a specific pulse and frequency. Dr. Hulda Clark promoted this method in the handbook for self-health and promoted the use of a Zapper. Dr. Royal. R. Rife made instruments based on a wide range of frequencies. This Parasite Pulser can scan some of Dr. Rife’s frequency tables. The various claims and counter claims about its effectiveness are all for what it’s worth.

Features of this Pulser:

  • Small case and a simple way to use. Low current, long battery life.
  • Wide frequency range from 10Khz to 200Khz, for multiple parasites
  • Sweep function around central frequence determined by the potmeter
  • Build-in timer what switch-off after 8 minutes

Activating the push button starts the circuit. By releasing the button the mosfet BS170 takes over the power line untill the 4040 disconnects the circuit after 8 minutes. The 4040 counter resets by start-up at pin 11. The counter clock is delivered by IC2a. 200 miliseconds (5Hz) is the time between 2 pulses. It makes (depending on the position of potmeter VR-1) a frequence sweep by the ramp generator build up around IC2a. The voltage controlled oscillator IC2b delivers a 1 microsecond pulse of 9Volt. The output current is limited to 9mA by the 1 Kohm resistor, that keeps operation shortcut save. The LED functions also as ‘on’ indicator for the device. The ground and the 1Kohm resistor are connected to the body by hand or wrist electrodes.

Potmeter position for frequency sweep: