Single-Wire Power Transmission


I have decided to do independent verification of some of the work done by Dr. Ronald Stiffler.  I was searching around for “cold electricity” and I stumbled on his website It showed an interesting circuit where a single wire connection could be used to power an LED or neon lamp in a current loop.

Being a EE I was taught that it takes a positive and negative wire to transfer current so this grabbed my attention with thoughts of Tesla’s radient energy and single-wire power transmission.

To demonstrate the basic concept we have a signal generator connected to a loop with 2 1N4148 Schottky junction diodes. There must be 2 diodes and other types will not work. These come in a glass package, cost about 5 cents,  have very low capacitance, and extremely fast response.

In the image below you can see the positive of my signal generator connected to the inductor.  The antenna is a loop of about 1.5 ft of wire.


The frequency 8.9 mhz brings maximum power after adjusting the pot to 1.2K ohms. The calculated power consumed by the LED and pot is about 72mW.


The 22μH inductor is needed for imedance matching. Dipole antenna theory tells us that at this frequency our wire would need to be tens of meters for the capacitive and inductive effects of the antenna to be balanced. At shorter lenghts the signal is capacitave and we construct a shortened dipole by adding an inductor.

Ultra Wideband Generator

Telsa’s radient energy concept used spark gaps that generate signals with very high bandwith content. This is useful because the additional bandwidth carries more energy and results in more power transfer. The design below is based on Stiffler’s SEC exciter.


In the example below you can see that I have added a heat sink to the transistor and you can see that blue variable inductor.


This generator does its job well. The image below shows sharp peaks at 110V.


One big problem I had was that RF was being reflected back into the power supply. This caused the voltage reading to show anywhere from 0-30V when it was set on 12V. The common mode choke reduced this effect. The following image shows my common mode choke constructed by wrapping the DC supply leads about 10 times around a ferrite toroid.


You can find chokes like this around the power cords of many electronics in your home that shield them from EMF in your wiring. They work like a transformer where the primary and secondary cancel instead of induce current. Any current that is common to the leads will be cancelled.

Single Wire Coupling

The following is an example of single wire power transmission using the UWB generator outlined in a previous post. A single wire is attached to the UWB generator to illuminate the LED.  When you start tuning the UWB circuit using the variable inductor you will find a number of harmonic frequencies at which the LED illuminates the brightest. While you do this tuning you should also tune the pot to avoid burning out the LED. You can connect multiple LED’s in series if you want.


The pot in this example is tuned to 121 ohms to avoid burning out the LED. The UWB generator is tuned to 2.9 Mhz. The power transferred in this example is estimated to be about 148 mW. In other tests the generator was shown to power over 9 LED’s using this method. In the image below you can see the white wire is a waveguide that carries the signal to the receiver that is completely isolated. The orange wire is an improvised antenna.


Some interesting observations:

  • The LED does not illuminate without the antenna or something to carry the RF. Without the antenna a human hand is able to conduct the RF and illuminate the LED.
  • I notied that a series as opposed to parallel reistance has little effect on the LED output. The voltage seems to be determined by the power consumption which explains why a neon lamp also works even though it demands much higher voltage.
  • I measured the power going into the UWB generator and I observed additional current draw when the LED is illuminated. Even though the circuit is not closed some power is being transferred from the transmitter to reciever.

Grounded Coupling

In this example I show wireless power transfer where current is being drawn from an earth ground connection. This reminds me of a Tesla patent where the reciever has an antenna connected to earth ground.


Tesla’s example has a condensor (aka. capacitor) that could be impedance matching the antenna. My example below uses inductors but if the antenna had extra inductance then a capacitor would have been needed to match the impedance.


In the below example you can see power being transmitted between the UWB generator and the reciever that is connected to earth ground. The white wire attached to the generator is an antenna that is impedance match with an inductor like a shortened dipole.


The copper wire attached to the reciever is connected directly to the earth ground of my 120V A/C power outlet.

Ferroresonance in a Typical Ferrite Core

I am beginning a series of tests into the ferroresonance phenomenon with off the shelf ferrite cores. Cores can be made from many different materials ranging from ferrite for high-frequency applications to high-flux for “big iron” applications to nanocrystalline for magnetic amplifies.

What is ferroresonance? Well it arises from magnetostriction which can expand and contract a magnetic material in response to a magnetic field. It is effectively a magnetic analog of the peizoelectric response and it is why we hear a hum coming from high voltage transformers. We are looking for a resonance where the mechanical expansion and contraction of the torid core is synchronized with the electromagnetic resonance of the circuit.

Why study it? Well it is quite possibly the key to understanding the Floyd Sweet VTA and a number of overunity magnet motors including the rotoverter.

We could hook up a signal generator directly to the core but this could be dangerous and ineffective because the load would be reflected back into the generator and it could burn it up. We  like the flexibility to amplfy the power as much as needed while providing bi-directional current so we can explore both ends of the hysterisis curve.

This is why I chose a push/pull design that provides bi-directional magnetic induction while providing enough protection so we don’t damage anything. I originally tried using a BJT for the inverter but it seems I get much better performance from an all MOSFET design.


The core I am testing with  (240-2526-ND) is designed for use as an RF choke and has a very high permeability of 5000. This makes it easy to work with because we only need about 10 turns of the wire for this test but it is probably not an ideal material for observing interesting phenomenon. This circuit includes a square wave generator and the transistor part numbers are listed in the diagram.


Here you can see the circuit in action with my homemade center tapped transformer. There are 3 separate coils around the core each with 10 turns. Here is a closer look:


I tuned the circuit until I heard the loudest hum coming from the core which is about 5.7 Khz square wave. Below is what I see on my scope when I measure the output of the coil.


What is perhaps instersting about this picture is that when the current shifts direction we have a capacitive spike followed by an inductive response. You can see the shift from the exponential decay of the peak to the linear decay of the inductor. Is this spike the result of ferroresonance? Is this the magic millisecond window where we can extract negative entropy?

Answering this question will require a fully resonant tuned LC circuit and it may likely require more exotic magnetic matierials like orthonol or vitroperm. Fortunatly I have some of these on hand that I intend to test with in the coming months.


Condenser Microphone Pre-amp


In the course of my research into ferrorresonant systems I found the need to analyze the small hum coming from my transformer. The most sensitive and easily obtainable microphone element around is the electret. In this article I begin by discussing what the electret is and then how to amplify its weak signal by 400 times using an LM358 op-amp. This page may be useful for hobbyists working on audio electronic projects.

The Electret

A condenser microphone is essentially a capacitor formed from a diaphragm and a backplate. As the diaphragm vibrates it varies the capacitance and modulates its electric field. Earlier microphones required a relatively high DC voltage bias but many modern versions contain an electret for the dielectric that automatically maintains this voltage bias. With a constant electrical field in the capacitor it only needs to amplify the weak signal coming out.
The electret is an interesting phenomenon that has so far found limited practical uses. It is known that some materials have a ferroelectric effect which is an electrical analog to the to the ferromagnetic effect. The effect is similar to magnetic hysteresis except that instead of maintaining a residual magnetic field an electrical field is retained.
In the case of the electret the material is heated while an electrical field is applied. As it cools the electrical field becomes frozen in the atomic structure just like a magnet has a frozen magnetic field. This effect was discovered back in 1775 by an inventor named Johan Carl Wilcke who experimented with a device he called the electrophorus. He was able to freeze an electrostatic field into a combination of resins and waxes and he could use it to repeatedly create a charge on a metal plate. I have heard rumors that you can actually use this principle to create an “electret diode” providing DC current but that is for another post.

Soldering The Leads

Before you get started testing the component you will need to solder positive and negative leads. For this example I am using a 270-090 condenser element obtained from Radio Shack for about $3. If you look at the photo below you will see that the negative lead is connected to the cylindrical body by 3 small contacts. The leads are 22 AWG solid wire.

Be careful not to heat up the element because you could melt the electret. First heat up the solder on the copper wire and then quickly bond it to the element lead.


I was hoping that I could simply use my oscilloscope to measure the very weak audio level I am working with but it is too noisy and requires amplification. I found an LM358 opamp in my component collection. The signal I am trying to amplify 400 times is about 5mV which requires sensitivity that pushes the limits of the op amp. If you are dealing with louder audio then you probably won’t need such sensitivity.
Update: This circuit uses a cascade configuration to increase the gain and bandwidth of the signal. We are amplifying by 400x and one amp in inverting configuration is not enough. It was pointed out in a comment that the noise can be reduced if this is changed to a non-inverting configuration. 
In this diagram you can see the 270-090 element represented as the pickup and an NFET amplifier. The NFET is actually inside the body of the electret and is needed to amplify its extremely weak signal for input in to the preamp. This is a 2 stage A/C amplifier. Because of the relatively low slew rate I needed to cascade 2 amplifiers to get descent bandwidth.
Gain =  R3*R7/R4 = 400
R1: This channels power into the NFET
C1: This is a ceramic capacitor. I tried tantalum but they don’t deal well with the weak voltage.

R2 and R5: These setup a voltage divider that provides a 4.5V reference offset for the signal.

R6 and R8: These are necessary to pull current from the op-amps so they operate correctly.



The completed prototype

The image below shows an input test signal of 5mV being amplified to 2V. The square wave reveals the frequency response of the amplifier. There is some distortion but the noise is a bigger problem. The ML358 will not deliver much better performance then this but for signals below 10 Khz performance is not bad.

Square wave test

Here you can see the results of putting a weak 6 Khz audio signal into the mic element. At this level of sensitivity even the halogen lamp on my desk adds interference. The blue trace below is so noisy you can hardly read it. The yellow trace is amplified 400x and can be properly analyzed by the scope.

6 Khz audio test