Anyone experiment with free energy?

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Hey, been looking into a lot of old technology that Tesla patented and one of the devices is a bridge rectifier which captures ambient radio waves and turns the signal into DC low current stuff. I've heard people can get up to 35 volts out of these systems with good antennas and such however. On looking into this, I started finding people experimenting with Bashar Antennas and Rodin Coils. Anyone ever have any experience in doing this sort of thing? I'm college educated and from what I've seen on you tube and such, I've come to the conclusion that they're either all onto something big or that they're all coocoos and uneducated loons. I really wanna make a cell phone that never dies lol, the academic part of me tells me its impossible, the creative artsy side of me says why not? Anyone ever dabble in this sort of new age "science"?

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Well, whether or not you get enough to be useful depends on the field strength of the RF in your area. It varies wildly, from very low values to relatively high, sometimes in small distances. That makes it very hard to use.

As a point of clarification, the technical folks who work on this stuff usually call it "energy harvesting" rather than "free energy".

Linear Tech has a whole family of power converters that does energy harvesting. They are optimized for various sources (thermal, light, etc) because each one tends to have different power vs load characteristics.

Personally, I tend to ignore the exotic coils and antennas. Every thing that you add in to the power chain is a looser. Of course, you need to "capture" enough of the power to reach some threshold where conversion will work. But, there is usually a point beyond which you loose more than you gain.

Without reading a lot more, I suspect that the Bashar antenna is simply an implementation of a broadband antenna developed in the 1950s.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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ka7ehk wrote:

Without reading a lot more, I suspect that the Bashar antenna is simply an implementation of a broadband antenna developed in the 1950s.

Jim

See, I didn't even know they called it energy harvesting. I just named a few coils for example, it seems that when I get into this study, there are lots of different antennas designed with peculiar geometries. I don't see why they can't make an IC module (we're in the 21st century) embedded into everything. I don't think it'd be too much of an issue to power say a watch forever or something to that extent. I was hoping to hear that someone would have some experience doing this that returns a few milliamps or something at least consistently. Stars give off radiation, the sun does too, etc. Without sticking a solar panel on everything, there has to be a way to capture all these EM waves.

Good tip, I found microamp VINs to 5V vout boosters on that page, I ordered myself a bunch of free samples. Hopefully someone on here has had success doing energy harvesting, I'd love to get some tips from you guys as opposed to hippies on youtube =)

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Sure, sun and stars "give off energy" but, save for the sun, the power is almost vanishingly small. The sun gives off most of its energy in - guess what - sunlight. Dark? Sorry, you are SOL.

The real crux to any energy harvest idea is the power per unit area that you get from that source. Sunlight on a clear summer day can be as high as 1 kilowatt per square meter. Background radio energy is probably microwatts per square meter unless you are within a few km from a multi-kilowatt radio transmitter (AM, FM, TV, etc). Even cell stations are quite low power output - less than a few 10s of watts, mostly.

The one exception to this the use of thermocouples as energy sources. Its really hard to think of power per unit area with these, because a single one tends to be more of a point thing.

Just to give a clue to what you are up against. My cell phone is about 3cm by 6cm. That makes about 18 square cm on the largest face. One square meter is 10000 square cm. So, that 1KW/m^2 on a bright sunny day becomes 0.1W per square cm or 1.8W tops, on a bright sunny day with that face of the cell phone facing the sun. Thats not too bad, except for the fact that the best solar cells are about 15% efficient. that means an absolute max of around 0.27W (again, bright sunny day, cell phone facing the sun). Thats not trivial, but if you get just that much for a few hours, its not enough energy to run the cell phone 24 hours.

There are solar cell phone chargers one the market. They are a bit expensive and typically have about 0.1 square meters of area. They will give enough to charge a phone in a few hours and give a couple of days operation. But, if you are in some 3rd world location with little electrical power (but do have cell service), they can be a lifesaver.

Please, this is not intended to discourage you. I am simply trying to suggest some of the realities that you are up against. The critical issue is, for each form of energy, how much is available, when, and under what limits.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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..and if everyone would suck up radio waves from TV and radio stations then there will not be enough signal to go around.

Now if every one can turn their radio waves absorbing energy units on at the same time during commercials we may have something. :idea:

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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I have 2 free energy collection systems on my roof; a solar hot water heater and a 1KW solar PV system. The energy is free ... the collectors/processors are not :wink:

Cheers,

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Quote:
I have 2 free energy collection systems on my roof; a solar hot water heater and a 1KW solar PV system. The energy is free ... the collectors/processors are not

Most people have free energy collection systems all around the house - they're called windows.

- S

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mnehpets wrote:
Quote:
I have 2 free energy collection systems on my roof; a solar hot water heater and a 1KW solar PV system. The energy is free ... the collectors/processors are not

Most people have free energy collection systems all around the house - they're called windows.

- S

Yep, but I am not aware of any that can power the washing machine or the kettle. :lol:

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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If you put a Big Ol Coil o Wire under the secondary lines out on the street and put a bridge rectifier on the coil, and the volts/meter on the coil induces a voltage greater than .7V, you can put a supercap on it and run one of those low input voltage stepup chips from Linear Tech to charge a battery or something.

Imagecraft compiler user

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... and shortly afterwards, you are likely to be charged ... with theft.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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bobgardner wrote:
If you put a Big Ol Coil o Wire under the secondary lines out on the street and put a bridge rectifier on the coil, and the volts/meter on the coil induces a voltage greater than .7V, you can put a supercap on it and run one of those low input voltage stepup chips from Linear Tech to charge a battery or something.

I can always bury these devices underground and they have no way to know I'd imagine. I can bring a couple wires from buried devices to my house through the cellar. its a great idea actually....

Too bad there aren't devices that could resonant through all the bands of the EM spectrum simultaneously. Only solar cells to collect some light, thermopylae to collect a different band of light, and a broad variety of antennae to collect different short medium and long radio waves. High frequency supposedly has the most energy to give. What collects energy from an XRay or possibly from gravity or the Earth's magnetic field?

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js wrote:
..and if everyone would suck up radio waves from TV and radio stations then there will not be enough signal to go around.

Now if every one can turn their radio waves absorbing energy units on at the same time during commercials we may have something. :idea:

The BBC have, in the past, sent the boys round on more than one occasion for discussions with people who have put nice big coils in their attics. It all *sounds* nice, but there's a huge hole behind you in the signal and people tend to notice...

Near the transmitters, there's enough field strength to light bulbs directly across a few feet of wire.

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Jim,

As much as a KW/m^2?

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Ross,

How are you finding the electricity cost offset with the 1KW system?

How does it vary across the seasons?

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I have had a 1.5KW system since last July 2011. It has harvested almost 2000KWH since then with North facing panels.
In the summer months it has peaked at 12KWH/day and in the winter months it averages about 4KWH/day.
I have exported about 600 KWH @ $0.66/KWH =>$400 and used the remainder which I would have paid $0.22/KWH => $300, so that it has saved say $800 in 12 months. It will take four years to pay back and after that it will offset the bill by an average of $200/quarter.
A spin-off is that you watch your energy use a little closer and pick up some more savings that way. According to my bill, I have reduced my carbon footprint by 32%.
If I was in Queensland I would definitely install one, as your winter harvesting will be far better.

I initially shuddered when I saw the name of this post, as I have come across too many "free energy" nutters. Energy harvesting I am OK with.

Quote:
The BBC have, in the past, sent the boys round on more than one occasion for discussions with people who have put nice big coils in their attics. It all *sounds* nice, but there's a huge hole behind you in the signal and people tend to notice...

I have never heard of this before. Near field, which might harvest a little energy would have little effect on others,
Far field, there would be no point as the energy harvesting would be insignificant. I would not have thought that a loop antenna would have significant effect. But, I would like to learn more about that.

No-one has mentioned wind generation, or hydro generation.
My son has a small hydro system which charges a 12V battery which can be used for outdoor lighting.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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Quote:
No-one has mentioned wind generation
There are tablets for that now...... :?

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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It looks as if you have a similar system to the UK.

Whereby the power company has to pay you $0.66 for electricity that costs $0.22.

In the UK, they were paying £0.43 for electricity that costs £0.10.

Bear in mind that we are talking about retail prices. Presumably the coal or gas has cost the power station £0.05

You do not have to be that clever to realise that the sums do not add up. Everyone else is paying for your $0.44 subsidy, or £0.33 in the UK.

Of course you would never have paid the capital cost of your Solar system if you only got paid $0.22 or £0.10.

The UK has only just realised that it got its sums wrong. They changed the rules in December 2011.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that you have to subsidise Green Energy or else no one would invest in it. However you need to do your sums properly. i.e. make it attractive but not a windfall.

Note that the maths will be different for a sunny Australia.

David.

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I was about to tell him the panels should be facing South.

Imagecraft compiler user

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barnacle wrote:
The BBC have, in the past, sent the boys round on more than one occasion for discussions with people who have put nice big coils in their attics. It all *sounds* nice, but there's a huge hole behind you in the signal and people tend to notice...

Near the transmitters, there's enough field strength to light bulbs directly across a few feet of wire.

I think this is a bit like the TV detector van myth. There are plenty of things you could legitimately put up that would unwittingly harvest some of the energy by dumping it to ground or into light fixtures etc.

I have seen people run small LCD clocks from TV antennas pointed at transmitters 10 miles away.

Another option is geothermal. If you don't need much energy you don't have to get too far down (a metre or two).

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Yeah, about 50 years ago I built one as one of my first projects. I started with a crystal radio, and added single transistor amplifier to drive a speaker, that was powered by rectifier and filtered rf from a second loop stick tuning circuit. It needed lots of wire in the air. The finger stop on a rotary dial phone was a good antenna, somehow it was coupled to the phone lines. For ground I used the water pipe from the kitchen sink.

Later I bought a kit by Sinclare that was the smallest radio at the time. Clawson may know about it.

It all starts with a mental vision.

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 29, 2012 - 02:27 AM
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ignoramus wrote:
Jim,

As much as a KW/m^2?

Well actually it can be greater than 1 KW per square metre ... but I am being pedantic.

"Measurement of solar energy radiation in Abu Dhabi, UAE" by

M.D. Islam
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 2533, United Arab Emirates

Abstract
This paper presents data on measurement of actual solar radiation in Abu Dhabi (24.43°N, 54.45°E). Global solar radiation and surface temperatures were measured and analyzed for one complete year. High resolution, real-time solar radiation and other meteorological data were collected and processed. Daily and monthly average solar radiation values were calculated from the one-minute average recorded values. The highest daily and monthly mean solar radiation values were 369 and 290 W/m2, respectively. The highest one-minute average daily solar radiation was 1041 W/m2.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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ignoramus wrote:
Ross,

How are you finding the electricity cost offset with the 1KW system?

How does it vary across the seasons?

Unlike Lee, I didn't sign up for the 66 cent rebate because I knew that we would always be a net user of electricity. We just watch the meter spin backwards during the day and forwards at night. Since October 2009, we have generated 2.8MWHrs of electricity ... not a huge amount, but heating of water has probably saved us more dollars. Haven't done all the sums but I am still happy.

Peak reading that I have seen is 1235 watts according to the inverter's display on a summer day. 5.8KWHrs for a summer day is not unusual. Winter can get to 450 watts with no cloud, but hey its Melbourne.

I am still happy.

Cheers,

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Interesting numbers Ross.

And Yes... Melbourne... don't like the weather... wait half an hour.. it will change.

I used to live in Melbourne many years ago.

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SMK,

Simply judging by the magnitude of far-field RF energy vs permanent-magnet-thru-a-coil energy levels, I'd put my money on a "motion harvesting" system. Something like a magnetized ball bearing rolling around inside a toroidal tube with copper coils wound about it, and sewn into you pants cuff or waist band. I think you'd stand a better chance of charging a key-chain pen light or cell phone battery with this sort of thing than capturing those ever-elusive Tesla-Waves the Free-Energy-Freqs so fondly fantasize.

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Chuck-Rowst wrote:
SMK,

Simply judging by the magnitude of far-field RF energy vs permanent-magnet-thru-a-coil energy levels, I'd put my money on a "motion harvesting" system. Something like a magnetized ball bearing rolling around inside a toroidal tube with copper coils wound about it, and sewn into you pants cuff or waist band. I think you'd stand a better chance of charging a key-chain pen light or cell phone battery with this sort of thing than capturing those ever-elusive Tesla-Waves the Free-Energy-Freqs so fondly fantasize.

I have some of these boost regulators that take .2 volt inputs to operate coming in the mail in a few days. I actually did have the idea to put something in my clothes to harness wasted body temperature (my skin is always really hot). I remember doing academic research on MEMs devices which hypothetically can take a thermal gradient (one side hot, one side cold) to generate a current when I was back in college. Where do I get these things btw for cheap/free??? I paid nothing for the circuitry to harness electricity as Linear Technology has a great free samples program, and I have lots of stuff for making PCBs in my lab. I am picturing a portable box that can smart charge batteries of multiple voltages and which can harvest energy from multiple sources... Perhaps I could keep this in my pocket with some of the thermal energy harvesters, an ambient radio harvester, and even an electromagnetic KE harvester like you just described. I could slap an Atmega Low Power module in there and see if I can't get some sorts of returns.... I can imagine the day where all our phones are built with energy harvesters in them which would be combinations of thermal, KE, and radio.... I'd be more interested in solar however I remember paying big money for a couple of those high efficiency germanium cells. Seems like I could get away with making an embedded energy harvesting module for pennies by just stealing thermal, radio, and magnetic/kinetic energy... I figure the only reason I haven't seen one on the market is cuz I'm the first one with this idea or that it won't work but I'll find out

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valusoft wrote:
Peak reading that I have seen is 1235 watts according to the inverter's display on a summer day. 5.8KWHrs for a summer day is not unusual. Winter can get to 450 watts with no cloud, but hey its Melbourne.

I am still happy.

Cheers,

Ross

Kinda off topic now but where did you buy the device which syncs your inverter to the incoming AC from the power company? This seems to be the most expensive component to the system, at least here in Michigan where I've looked into it. I found an inverter and synchronization (idk if that's the right word) system but they were selling it for like 6000 dollars. I think I could do better than this if I built a similar system myself. What'd you do? Did you just buy a package and have it installed?

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SMK,

I like your enthusiasm!

My advice is to "run the numbers" before you get too involved in any one energy harvesting scheme. By that I mean try to attach some quantitative energy value to the potential sources and equate them to potential harvested energy by the Law of Conservation of Energy.

For example, how much energy (in Joules or BTU's or Calories ) can you actually expected to "harvest" from one square inch of your skin? Of course, there will be some practical "coupling factor" (how much of that energy you can get into your conversion device to begin with. Then there will be a "conversion factor" - how much of the coupled energy you can actually turn into your targeted energy form (joules of electricity).

Then, compare these numeric results to how many joules it takes to charge a cell phone or aflash light, IPAD, etc? Do the numbers "work"? Or, is there such a large difference quantitatively that the quest would be futile?

I think this is where many of the Free Energy Freqs fall flat - the numbers just don't add up for many of the proposed schemes in light of the Law of Conservation of Energy. BUT, the numbers probably do work for some of the schemes - that's what you need to discover.

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Quote:
I think this is a bit like the TV detector van myth.

That is not really a myth. It is/was quite easy to receive the local oscillator in the TV front end and it was done for both radio & TV in Australia, until 1972 when the then Labor government canceled the Radio & TV licence.

In the occupied countries during WW2, the Germans searched for homes listening to the BBC by looking for LO's corresponding with BBC. Maybe they were trying to run the war machine with harvested energy! :wink:

Peak power from my PV panels has been about 1600 watts which can occur early & late summer. Apparently it does not occur in peak summer as the panels get too hot & their efficiency drops.

bob wrote

Quote:
I was about to tell him the panels should be facing South.

Down under, we like to do things our way!

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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smkipus wrote:
Kinda off topic now but where did you buy the device which syncs your inverter to the incoming AC from the power company? This seems to be the most expensive component to the system, at least here in Michigan where I've looked into it. I found an inverter and synchronization (idk if that's the right word) system but they were selling it for like 6000 dollars. I think I could do better than this if I built a similar system myself. What'd you do? Did you just buy a package and have it installed?
I signed up for a commercial package including the "Sunny Boy" inverter/grid interface made by Conergy. I have six 175W panels as part of that system. It is illegal to connect a DIY system to the grid. If the grid goes down, eg because of a car accident into a pole, they don't want me feeding lethal energy back up the wires that some poor sparkie is trying to reconnect.

Cheers,

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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The Addding to Ross's comments, I have 8 X 180 panels & a 2KW "Growatt" invertor. It was all part of a package that attracts a Government subsidy.
The inverter must have mains available in order for it to work.
No mains=no output!
During the first few seconds of being connected to the mains the invertor detects the frequency, voltage and phase and the locks to the mains. The voltage of the inverter is slightly higher than the mains and from then on Millman's theorem applies.
If the mains is disconnected the inverter must reduce it's output to zero within the next cycle.

I assume that synchronization is achieved with zero crossing detection when the inverter disconnects for a degrees or so.

You can put inverters in parallel.

I think it would be bad news to try and use a solar inverter with an petrol driven alternator such as a Honda 20i, in case that crosses any one's mind.

The output from the 8 panels is about 275 Volts, so it is not to be trifled with. Several safety inspections were made to ensure that the system complied with all the regulations.

I believe that Ross's Sunnyboy inverter is the best. It is supposed to be more reliable and produces less RF noise.
My installation wipes out some MW AM radio stations, but does not cause me any grief on HF or higher amateur radio bands.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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I have heard the Grid-Tie inverters have to generate a sine wave with less than 5% THD. I think this can be achieved with +-7 bits. Ever scoped it? I also assume that the output is a full wave bridge rather than a big ol transformer. Ever looked under the bonnet?

Imagecraft compiler user

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mojo-chan wrote:
barnacle wrote:
The BBC have, in the past, sent the boys round on more than one occasion for discussions with people who have put nice big coils in their attics. It all *sounds* nice, but there's a huge hole behind you in the signal and people tend to notice...

Near the transmitters, there's enough field strength to light bulbs directly across a few feet of wire.

I think this is a bit like the TV detector van myth. There are plenty of things you could legitimately put up that would unwittingly harvest some of the energy by dumping it to ground or into light fixtures etc.

No myth. I worked for the BBC and I knew people who were involved in the prosecutions. You'd be amazed at the calculations that go on regarding the RF distribution patterns and the transmission engineers get very upset when reality does not conform to the theory - and also when lots of people suddenly start complaining their signal has gone strange.

The TV detector vans originally used the local oscillator and more recently the colour subcarrier radiation. Now they merely require your address to be notified whenever you purchase a TV; the shop sends that to the licensing agency and they cross-check. I don't know if the van is still used as a final check.

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@Bob

Quote:
I have heard the Grid-Tie inverters have to generate a sine wave with less than 5% THD. I think this can be achieved with +-7 bits. Ever scoped it? I also assume that the output is a full wave bridge rather than a big ol transformer. Ever looked under the bonnet?

I have a theory that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", especially when it is under warranty.
I believe it does not have a transformer.
I am on the lookout for a crook one for the very purpose you suggest though. Always handy to have a repaired standby!

@barnacle
I wonder what offense the perpetrators of such a dastardly deed could be charged with. I had a look at the UK OFCOM web site and could not find anything related to the offense of being an RF thief.

I am amazed that the UK still has such an antiquated license system. Is it one license/TV & one license/radio? I believe that Germany still has such a license system.
Collecting the fees & enforcing it must cost more that they collect. As I stated it was dropped here of 40 years ago and there has never been talk of re-introducing it. There are better ways of taxing people!
What is the story on license requirements say a scanner or SW receiver(without MW) capability or amateur radio gear disabled for transmitting by non-amateurs?

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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Re TV detector vans, I understand and believe that they do, in fact work.
However, the authorities used to send out letters warning of TV LICENCE detector vans operating in the area, so I once replied to them, stating that although I had a valid licence(I did), it was kept in a specially designed shielded enclosure that made detection almost impossible.
I never received a reply.

I also get irritated by sign that say "Police enforcement cameras" or "Speed enforcement cameras".
I guess it's a grumpy old man thing...

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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Quote:
I am amazed that the UK still has such an antiquated license system. Is it one license/TV & one license/radio? I believe that Germany still has such a license system.

How does the Australian system work?

In the UK you buy a new licence every year. It covers all broadcast TV and Radio. e.g. even if you only view / listen to cable or satellite.

Over 75s get a free licence. There are reduced rates for Black and White only TV. I am not sure if there is still a Radio only licence.

Personally, I do not begrudge the licence fee. I suspect that the rest of the world would appreciate a BBC equivalent too. Especially radio.

David.

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Australia's national TV/radio carrier, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, costs "8 cents a day" paid through federal taxation. Stiff bickies if you don't own a radio or tv or don't use the ABC!

The commercial stations are funded by ads. I think a very understanding politician decided that no one in their right mind would pay for a direct licence to watch or listen to the drivel that was planned for our diet 40 years ago. In my first year of marriage I remember very clearly arguing with the "revenuer" that I wanted to only pay the TV licence fee because we did not own a radio. The next year the licence system was abandoned. Good riddance.

And yes, I enjoyed listening to the BBC World Service in Jeddah each afternoon.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Quote:
I believe that Germany still has such a license system.

Although they are currently planning a redesign of the existing licensing scheme, the system itself in its effectiveness and craziness at the same time is unique in the world, but what do you expect from a country that is declared heaven for any master of bureaucracy in the world?

We do have an authority (the GEMA) whose sole raison d'etre is to validate everyone's right to watch tv / listen to radio. They even buy addresses from TV magazine issuers to cross check their customer base against the ones having subscribed those magazines. To be clear: i do fully respect the necessity to pay for such public services, but i totally disagree with the german way of implementing it. I.e. you basically pay a fixed fee for a complete household, including your kids. But, if their earning exceed a certain limit, they have to pay themselves for their PC, since a PC is classified as a device being able to receive video/audio content. Same is true for the PC in your office: since it theoretically can receive radio/TV, you have to pay license fees. The fact that you might run your customer database on that PC, or the accounting, or other business-related tasks, is totally irrelevant, you have to pay the licenses for such PCs as well.

Einstein was right: "Two things are unlimited: the universe and the human stupidity. But i'm not quite sure about the former..."

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Quote:
Australia's national TV/radio carrier, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, costs "8 cents a day" paid through federal taxation.

The UK licence is £145.50 ($232US or 223 AUD)

That is a lot more that 0.08 AUD per day.

I have no idea how efficient / inefficient the UK system is. The BBC is politically impartial by statute.

If it was funded by taxation, the politicians would have more influence.

You can tell that the 'impartiality' works quite well. All politicians whinge about it.

David.

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The TV detector vans going round looking for people with unlicensed TVs are a myth. No-one has ever been prosecuted using evidence from one, for example. Also it isn't illegal to actually own a TV without a license, only to receive broadcasts. In other words if you just have it connected to a games console or DVD player that is fine, and in fact many institutions such as schools operate license free TVs on that basis.

Even if they did have a van with equipment capable of detecting a CRT they would still need a way to determine if you were watching a broadcast. The old lie was that they could detect some kind of "transmission" being fed back into the antenna (despite many people having shared antennas). There are ways of detecting the picture from a CRT but back in the 60s when they were claiming to do it the technology, if it existed, wasn't van sized.

Furthermore everyone has flat screen LCD or Plasma TVs these days anyway.

They in fact rely entirely on their database of addresses without licences and just harass the people living there in the hopes of them paying up. If you don't actually need a license you will still get a letter once every couple of months warning you about pending court action and other dire consequences.

As for accidentally blocking transmissions it happened near me. I used to get a mobile signal from T-Mobile but then someone had some building work done and it disappeared. T-Mobile couldn't do anything about it. If someone builds a tower block and your TV signal goes to pot... tough.

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Quote:
Also it isn't illegal to actually own a TV without a license

That statement may be valid for your country, but at least not here in germany. Here it suffices if you own a receiving device to have to pay for it. The fact if or how often you use it, is totally irrelevant.

Same goes with i.e. Scanners (receiving devices that are capable of receiving non-public senders, like police etc.). You will get prosecuted for the mere posession of such a device, no matter if you ever used it or someone has just placed it under your bed.

Einstein was right: "Two things are unlimited: the universe and the human stupidity. But i'm not quite sure about the former..."

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This:

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/che...

says:

Quote:
You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast. This includes the use of devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder.

It costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence.


So it's not the display but the reception you are paying for.

(I do kind of wonder how long the BBC/govt. in the UK can keep up the pretence that the BBC must be paid for - it's really just another subscription TV service yet you get no choice about subscribing. I wonder, for example, can I tell them that I only ever watch the other 900 channels that arrive from my satellite subscription but don't watch the 6 TV stations the BBC provides)

I currently pay £12.50/month to get the 6 BBC channels I might be interested in and £60/month for the other 894 (actually I pay again to include the BBC ones there too). Those BBC ones would have to be pretty special to warrant that kind of cost! And now, to add insult to injury, they've said that BBC2 will be nothing but repeats as they cannot afford to make new programmes for it - that sounds a lot like an unsustainable business model to me!

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Cliff,

What you fail to mention is that a lot of the programmes on those 894 channels were originally made by the BBC.

A large part of the 894 channels' other content is shopping, religion, foreign news, soft porn, ...

I agree that the licence is harder to justify to the public. I get a basic Sky service. £240 per year + £145.50 licence fee.

If the BBC were to stop supplying Sky, Sky would lose significant content.

And you get Radio channels too from the BBC. What other countries get good Radio?

David.

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Many years ago, someone came up with a figure as to the true cost of commercial TV stations in the UK - i.e. how much extra we paid for stuff to cover the advertising costs.
This was at a time when ITV was the only example of the same.
Obviously, it was an estimate, but I seem to remember that the BBC looked to be extremely good value for money.
There are, of course, other considerations.
Some people think that the license fee allows the BBC to produce more "quality" programming.
Others think that this is a middle class elitist attitude.
I agree with both of these viewpoints.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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Quote:

What other countries get good Radio?

America!

In this day and age I just don't understand why the BBC cannot be funded by advertising or subscription or both? Also why should it be mandatory that we subscribe to their channels? It's hardly a "free market economy" is it?

A lot of what I watch is actually produced in America (House, The Wire, The Good Wife, Big Bang Theory, Two & Half Men (until Sheen left), etc. etc.) which rather seems to prove that good programming can be produced under a commercial based model. Also ITV don't do THAT bad with things like Midsomer, Downton and so on.

The days of starched collars and dickie-bows and Alvar Lidell reading the news have rather passed us I'm afraid, however much the BBC would like to cling on to that era!

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Quote:
The TV detector vans going round looking for people with unlicensed TVs are a myth. No-one has ever been prosecuted using evidence from one, for example. Also it isn't illegal to actually own a TV without a license, only to receive broadcasts. In other words if you just have it connected to a games console or DVD player that is fine, and in fact many institutions such as schools operate license free TVs on that basis.

I'm not convinced by this.
Barnacle seems to have a different opinion, and he used to work for the BBC. From where are you getting your information?

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

What other countries get good Radio?

America!

True! I regularly listen to AFNEagle (provided by a local station in Wiesbaden, Germany) when driving to work, and just today i had the pleasure to listen to "Time" from Pink Floyd and "Stairway to Heaven" in a row, you might have heard of it ;-) I have yet to find a german station to play that frequency of famous old rock titles...

Einstein was right: "Two things are unlimited: the universe and the human stupidity. But i'm not quite sure about the former..."

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 29, 2012 - 01:47 PM
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As far as I know there is 'NPR' in the US and that is it. I like 'Prairie Home Companion'.

Otherwise it is music, religion, or nutcase radio.

Yes. While I don't think that I have watched any of those shows (except Midsomer), of course there are good US shows. Most of the 'Discovery channel' type shows are produced in North America.

I suppose I would be less upset by losing BBC TV than BBC Radio. If tea was banned, now that would be really serious.

David.

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John_A_Brown wrote:

I'm not convinced by this.
Barnacle seems to have a different opinion, and he used to work for the BBC. From where are you getting your information?

Just do a quick Google search, there is plenty of information about it. Many newspaper articles have been written and are available to read online. You can search court records too.

No-one has ever been prosecuted using evidence from a detector van. TV Licensing have never gone to court asking for permission to enter someone's home based on detector van evidence. No-one has ever photographed one.

TV Licensing won't reveal anything about how they work. If they existed and worked back in the 60s and 70s they would have been highly advanced technology, better than that available to MI6.

They are an obvious lie. TV Licensing could prove they existed any time they wanted to, but don't.

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david.prentice wrote:
As far as I know there is 'NPR' in the US and that is it. I like 'Prairie Home Companion'.

Otherwise it is music, religion, or nutcase radio.


NPR is the only radio I listen to, unless my wife's in the car, in which case I either have to turn it off or change to something with music. The content varies from place to place, but in Nevada they rely on the BBC World Service for a lot of programming and, indeed, 9pm to 6am it's a direct BBC WS feed. That might have something to do with the British manager of our local NPR, whose voice sounds so much like Margaret Thatcher that it gives me flashbacks when I hear it.

On the subject of energy harvesting, my grandfather once told me that when the TV transmitter at Crystal Palace was first turned on in the 1930s, an enterprising neighbor put up a grid of wires in his back garden and collected enough power to light his house. He was quickly discovered by the reception shadow this caused on the far side.

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mojo-chan wrote:
John_A_Brown wrote:

I'm not convinced by this.
Barnacle seems to have a different opinion, and he used to work for the BBC. From where are you getting your information?

Just do a quick Google search, there is plenty of information about it. Many newspaper articles have been written and are available to read online. You can search court records too.

No-one has ever been prosecuted using evidence from a detector van. TV Licensing have never gone to court asking for permission to enter someone's home based on detector van evidence. No-one has ever photographed one.

TV Licensing won't reveal anything about how they work. If they existed and worked back in the 60s and 70s they would have been highly advanced technology, better than that available to MI6.

They are an obvious lie. TV Licensing could prove they existed any time they wanted to, but don't.

I guess this is imaginary then:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil...

And although it doesn't state whether they were detected using the vans there are people bing prosecuted.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...

The technology is simple - every TV since the mid 1950's has been a superhet and as such radiates at the local oscillator frequency as well as at the IF. They are easy to pick up with a receiver and from their frequency and content it is trivial to determine what TV station is being watched.

kevin

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Mojo-chan, would you care to cite evidence for your theory? I knew people who worked on those detector vans...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?...

Do the BBC run fleets of detector vans? Not as a rule, these days. Did they (well, the GPO, back in the day?) Yes.

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