I thought I'd give a quick update on my own research into crystal cells. By the way, I said before that they act like self-charging capacitors. That
may be inaccurate. I need to read up on capacitors, but I seem to remember they hold only tiny current. Depending on the particulars of your crystal
cell (amount of metal, conductivity and other factors of the mixture, size), they can be made to do some usable current, as can be seen in gmang's
linked video in which they seem to have perfected them for public distribution, and in ibpointless' videos.
So, I made a couple big ones (about 5" long), similar to Ibpointless' "Big Blue" cell, but without glue and with the addition of sand and water. And
instead of magnesium around the outside, substituted aluminum foil, because thats what I have. Also, I used not just the outside of the copper pipe,
but decided to take advantage of the inside space by putting a steel bolt through it as the negative. This was all extremely experimental, but so far,
it seems good. They've been drying for a few weeks now. I realized the need to maybe speed up their drying a bit, so I placed them for a night or two
atop my bedroom's oil space heater. I ran a small low-power led on them for about 6 days and it stayed on the whole time, but I've been noticing the
green spots growing on the copper pipe, so decided to wait until I'm sure things are dry before using it any more. But anyway, about 0.8 volts on each
and when I test current, they start at 50 milliamps and fall rapidly until stabilizing somewhat around the 20 milliamps to 15 milliamps area. To look at
them, it looks like dry concrete wrapped around the pipe. I'm sure they'd crumble if they were squeezed too hard. One extra thing, I realized from
other experiments that aluminum foil will let lose as these dry, so I ran a spiral of string about 1/2" spaced around the foil when I built them to keep it
together as the crystals form. Also, to help with the drying and crystal formation, I poked small holes in the foil before putting it on there.
I got the sand that I use from my yard and sifted it and microwaved it before using it. Yes, microorganisms were almost certainly harmed in the
making of these cells.
As for the mixture, i wish I knew. I can only say I've gotten this right a few times. I have a small cell that I made with a
copper fitting and a large steel nut that does 3 milliamps, which stabilizes around 1 milliamp and 0.75 volts after drying. I'll have to play with this a
bit. But, generally, I'd guess this mix proportion: 1 part epsom salt, 1 part salt substitute, 4 parts sand, and them put very little water and mix. If
too thick, put slightly more water. It's really easy to get it too soupy. You want it thick enough to hold onto something, like play-dough almost.
Make sure it's mixed well, then begin squishing it around onto the pipe (if you're doing a pipe-based cell). If you got the consistency right, it will
sort of stick to the pipe, but you'll have to hold what you have on while putting more on there, until you can go around and squish it all to get it to
drip some of the excess moisture out. Then you just shape it to be as perfect as you can make it, coming out about 1/8" or so from the outside
of the copper pipe. Then let it sit and dry for about an hour. Inspect and fix it up if it's sagging. Let it dry another hour, then cut foil to go around it
and poke small holes in the foil semi-uniformly to help it dry. Alternatively, maybe you have aluminum screen, or even much better, magnesium
ribbon. Ribbon, you'd just wrap it around, leaving some space between the wraps.
If all goes well, here's what will happen: The tiny crystals will grow and you'll see a sparkly look to the surface area of the mud on your cell that
you're able to see. It will start to harden as time goes on, but, depending on the type of sand you're using, it should hopefully maintain a darker look
to it for quite a while and it will lighten up a bit as it gets drier. I've noticed the ones that keep some darkness and a "slightly wet" look even after
dry are the ones that work better, but I don't know what I did or mixed different on those to cause them to be that way. You'll see tiny crystals
forming, I figure because of the epsom salts+salt substitute mix.
I forget, I've watched all IBPointless' videos and others here haven't. I'll spill out anything pertainant I can think of. Until these are dry, they are
acting in two ways simultaneously, as galvanic and crystal cells. The problem with galvanic is, it eats away the metals you're using and changes the
physical pathways in the mud of the cell, and most usually not in ways that benefit the functioning of the cell as a crystal cell. SO, it's best to not
use the cell until it dries. How to tell when it dires, that's a tough one I can't answer at this point. It never completely dries, since it will always
have SOME water. If it didn't, I don't think it would even function. There are tests that IBPointless did that seem to prove otherwise, but I didn't
get the same results in my experiments. Maybe I cooked them too much or maybe my mixture was wrong, but when I cooked mine, they were
dead. So, air drying until they're "dry enough" whatever that is, is hopefully enough. At some point I haven't decided on yet with my big cells, you
can then "seal" your cells to protect them. I've been using some epoxy paint I have here. I think that's aso what Ibpointless used. You can play
with different metal combos, but I don't have much to workk with here and stubbornly not buying anything extra, so I use different combos. Copper
and aluminum or copper and steel are good I think. Copper and zinc is even better. The best without going overboard I think is what IBpointless
does, copper and magnesium. The better combination of metals, the higher the voltage. The more metal in the cell, the more amps. I'm still a little
unclear what other variables affect what, like the distance between electrodes. I would know if I were better educated. I'll know in time.
I decided to try a mix without glue after watching IBpointless' "how to make a low power self-charging crystal cell" video, in which he omits glue
and instead uses paper which he rubs the salts and water mix into until it's transparent. And, sand, because it's the most easily obtained crystal
you can get. And I had some good results with tests I did with sand-glue cells. I'm not likely to be argumentative if someone were to point out to
me that I'm way off on the wrong track. There may be, for all I know, very good reasons why people aren't using sand much in these crystal cells.
Maybe something I haven't discovered yet. If so, I welcome comments or advice. And I'll answer what questions I can, but be aware, I'm no pro at
this yet. I'm at best an amateur researcher, as I'm sure the real pros on here are fully aware already.