Twinkle Toes Engineering
Donald E. Fulton homepage -- EE design engineer (retired)
MIT 1964, Northeastern MS 1966, EE graduate courses at MIT 1967-69, 14 US patents
Science essays .................................................................... Engineering essays ............................... *** Photosynthesis (97 pages) --- Details of how many versions of
photosynthesis work with numbers and lots of diagrams.
** Neutrinos (48 pages) --- Physics of neutrino interactions with
matter, and how this led to many different types of neutrino
* Global Warming (36 pages) Hard data on carbon flows
underlying global warming
* Global Warming Physics (38 pages) All about the earth's green-
house effect due to radiation absorbing atmospheric gases
* Speed of Light (43 pages) Exploration of weird limits of the
speed of light
* Special Relativity (19 pages) ---- Esploring the weidness of
** Electrons (78 pages) --- Deep dive into the mysteries of the
electron, a point particle with four different diameters!
* Atoms (40 pages) Overview of atoms, size, electron orbitals, etc
** Astronomy (26 pages) --- Lots of interesting astonomy tidbits
** Cosmology (14 pages) --- Lots of interesting cosmology tidbits
* Cell energy (23 pages) --- How the cells process energy
* Glucose (20 pages) Sugar that feeds all the cells of the body
*** Wind Turbines (61 pages) --- Detailed discussion of how standard wind
turbines work and the many variations that have been invented
*** Hybrid and Electric Car Technology (94 pages) Detail discussion of
how hybrid cars work and review of models (a little dated)
** Hydrogen fuel cell car (23 pages) Overview and examination of
the many flaws in using hydrogen to power cars
* Peak Oil (22 pages) History and thesis of Peak Oil layed out. (Its
predictions somewhat under cut by success of horizontal drilling for
gas in shale.)
* BioFuels & Solar (25 pages) Good overview (little dated)
** Battery (68 pages) Detailed rview of how batteries really work at
the chemistry level. Many types of batteries analyzed.
** Telegraph (29 pages) History of telegraph from an engineering viewpoint
** Telephone (17 pages) History of telephone's development and potential
patent fraud swirling around Bell's key telephone patent.
* AC vs DC Power & Tesla's Induction Motor (24 pages) AC vs DC war
and the part played by Tesla's new AC induction motor, plus Sprague's
DC trolley motor.
* Quantum Hall Device (16 pages) Exploration of a fascinating quantum
device with real world applications as a super sensitive magnetic
** Technology of Baker Electric Car (20 pages) My learning excise as
an EE into how a century old electric car really worked.
** Technology of Owen Magnetic car with Entz electromagnetic transmission
(17 pages) I set out to understand how the clutchless DC transmission
of the century old Owen Magnetic car really worked, and succeeded.
* Philco 511 Vintage Radio from 1928 (5 pages) Details of the first production
radio from Philco that I own (for sale).
Computer related essays Theater and arts essays *** Window 7 dual boot, clone backup (92 pages) The advantages
of using clones to backup your operating system.
* Virus recovery in Windows 7 (45 pages) I learned a lot about
virus recovery when my password was stolen.
Virus Recovery in Vista using 'System Restore' (10 pages)
Kindle Tips, Tricks, and Flaws (& newer tablets) (46 pages)
XP to Windows 7 Upgrade, What a Freaking Nightmare
'Awake and Sing' essays are reminders (pictures and notes) of the many theater
productions I have seen in Boston, ME and NYC 2006 to 2016
Awake and Sing! Ia (50 pages)
Awake and Sing! Ib (56 pages)
Awake and Sing! II (113 pages)
Awake and Sing! III (118 pages)
Awake and Sing! IV (89 pages)
Awake and Sing! V (18 pages)
** Who wrote Shakespeare? (45 pages) My take on the long running
Shakespeare 'authorship' question
*** Shakespearean cryptograms (64 pages) Deep, deep dive into the exotic
world of hidden messages in Shakespeare. Mostly bogus, but one
or two are statistically interesting and could be real.
Mozart (6 pages) I like Mozart, especially his 27 piano concertos,
focus on his portraits
Photo Gallery (23 pages, photos) Just a few of my photos
Class of 1916 photo, Parlin Junior High, Everett MA (where I was born)
** 'She Loves Me' musical scn captures (60 images) (60 images) Hires images
from live 3 hr broadcase of the NYC Roundabout production (6/30/15)
* 'Billy Elliot' the musical scn captures (40 images) (40 images) 480 dpi
images from the London West End production of Billy Elliot
** Wells Auto Museum Tribute (16 pages, photos) Beautiful antique car
photos I took at the now closed Wells ME auto museum.
Cancer/Medical essays .............................................................. Consumer essays ........................................................................ *** My Muliple Myeloma cancer log (117 pages) Chronicling my multiple
myeloma cancer and chemo over several years with ALL my data.
** Medicare Part D and Medigap: What cancer patients on super
expensive chemo need to know (7 pages) An essay to help cancer
patients on expensive chemo learn from my Medicare insurance
** Drug Discount Cards --- Big Savings for Drugs not Covered by Insurance
Drug discount cards are the key to navigating the murky world of buying
erectile dysfunction drugs and other expensive drugs not covered by
insurance (21 pages)
** my Amazon reviews (100+ reviews)
** What banks don't tell you about online Bill Pay (10 pages) My bank
pays with 'Cashier' checks or Draft' check at their option..
Charity/IRA/Probate (26 pages) Random notes on the ins and outs of
tax shielded accounts and options to get funds out of IRA without taxes
Social Security & Work (10 pages) Misleading SS advice to seniors
about work penalty
Investing (6 pages) A little tutorial on index funds and diversification
Men of God (16 pages) No comment
Short science essays * Theater ticket buying rants (11 pages) Pissed by the grossly
excessive 'convenience' charges the national ticket agencies pile on
* Panspermia, Bugs Below Ground, & Abiogenic Hydrocarbons
(10 pages) Interesting ideas of late Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle
Human Body Cells (7 pages)
No Wonder Intelligent Life is Rare! (5 pages)
Nobody knows (7 pages)
CableTV Analog to Digital Transition (20 pages)
(what Comcast 'forgets' to tell you)
Stop encryption of Comcast expanded basic cable (an old rant)
Muckraking essays Disaster essays *** Ponzi - Madoff (133 pages) Madoff scandal with its many 'victims'
(including Jeffry Picower!) captured my attention, so I put together
this large data base.
** DBK Solar Scam (36 pages) An amazing, long running (national)
solar panel scam that I discovered (locally) and exposed.
* MIT Picower mini-campaign (20 pages) A rant on why MIT has
taken stolen Madoff money from Jeffry and Barbara Picower for
a new building and laboratory.
I enjoy reading accident reports. The first essay is about plane crashes,
the second about boat crashes.
EE professional papers and notes Links to my 14 US patents
*** My 1982 breakthrough patent 4,348,627 on induction motor
motor control is why Tesla cars today can be powered by an
*** New Current Sense Poster OverView (7 pages, poster, pdf)
Poster version of the IEEE paper below.
** IEEE Compel 2006 paper -- New Current Sense Circuit
A EE professional paper presented at an IEEE conference describing
a new high performance current sense circuit that I invented and
patented in 2006 (US patent 6,998,800). (4 pages, dbl col, pdf)
*** Quasi-first order filters -- a class of filters with very stable asymptotic
phase characteristics (submitted to IEEE circuit journal and received
favorable reviewer comments, but not resubmitted) (14 pages)
** Bode Diagrams -- a Detailed Tutorial (23 pages)
Negative feedback (4 pages)
Motor Rewinding mini-Tutorial (1 page, pdf)
Servo IGBT stall analysis (1 page, jpg)
Links to my 14 US Patents ( Fulton inventor or co-inventor)Cool Links
Thirteen of my patents listed with abstracts on the patent site: Justia Patents (Bloomberg News)
** 6,998,800 Current sensor for DC powered three phase motor control system (Feb 14, 2006)
An elegant new circuit architecture for sensing motor currents. Superb performance, continuous sensing, stable offset, accurate gain, yet simple and cheap. Limited to DC controllers. In commercial use. (filed 2003) -- see my IEEE Compel 2006 paper for additional information
Idealized, continuous current sense of one motor current from
Three phase, high performance, DC motor current sense circuit,
US Patent 6,998,800 (inventor Don Fulton, issued 2006)
4,868,479 Low loss permanent magnet motor (Sept 19, 1989)
4,862,049 Constant area pulse generating network (Aug 29, 1989)
4,670,698 Adaptive induction motor controller (June 2, 1987)
* 4,620,272 Line-regenerative motor controller with current limiter (October 28, 1986)
A newly developed circuit architecture for regenerating power from large decelerating motors back to the power line. Rugged, simple, and amazingly done without a carrier. A break through patent. In commercial use. (filed 1984)
Patent 4,620,272 -- Line-regenerative motor controller with current limiter
4,506,321 Motion control system with adaptive deceleration (March 19, 1985)
4,484,126 Induction motor controller (Nov 20, 1984)
An early, fully developed, high performance, induction motor controller. In commercial use. (filed 1982)
4,461,987 Current sensing circuit for motor controls (July 24, 1984)
4,455,513 Self-starting transducerless, brushless DC motor controller (June 19, 1984)
A significant advance in the control of sensorless PM motors. It describes a reliable method of starting this type of motor. [I recently found out that a decade later a patented (5,255,529) high speed auto air conditioner compressor was controlled using the techniques of this patent.] (filed 1982)
4,417,194 Induction generator system with switched capacitor control (Nov 22, 1983)
An advanced voltage controller for an induction motor used as a generator in a heat and electric cogenerator system
*** 4,348,627 Induction motor controller with rapid torque response (Sept 7, 1982)
My 1982 breakthrough patent on induction motor control is why Tesla cars today can be powered by an induction motor.
One of the major, break through patents in motor control. It describes a technique for controlling motor currents that for the first time achieved fast, accurate, servo-like torque performance from an induction motor, the world's most common motor. This realized a long sought goal in motor control. It laid the foundation for the induction motor to develop into the workhorse it is today of large computer controlled machines and vehicles. (filed 1980)
Patent 4,348,627 -- Induction motor controller with rapid torque response
4,275,343 Back EMF controlled permanent magnet motor (June 23, 1981)
4,266,176 Induction motor slip frequency controller (May 5, 1981)
3,667,031 Phase-Locked Resolver Tracking System (May 30, 1972)
A resolver tracking circuit with substantially improved performance.
Secret world of ballet -- company classMy Eyes are Fully Open to my Awful Situation Ruddigore patter song interperlated into
Royal Ballet company class (centre) 2015
Royal Ballet company class (complete) 2014
Royal Ballet company class (complete) 2012
(late) Elizabeth Parcells sings Blue Danube Waltz (1986 rehearsal, age 35)
Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux (Ludwig Minkus) (#2) danced by ABT principals Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella (1999, both age 24)
Svetlana Zakharova and Andrei Uvarov (2009) . Novikova and Sarafanov (Mariinsky, 2006)
Natalia Osipova & Ivan Vasiliev (2011) . Lali Kandelaki, Angel Corella (Georgia/ABT) .
Stacey Shiori Minagawa & Richard Landry ? (National Ballet of Canada, in Virginia, 2007)
Don Quixote Grand Pas Cinthia Harvey and Mikhail Baryshnikov (in his prime) (ABT/PBS, 1983)
man's variation . (#2) . (with cups) . Kitri Variation . (variation Act 1) . Coda
Katherine Healy (age 14, 1983) Varna International Ballet Competition (gold medal) .
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lyudmila Semenyaka (Russia 1968, prior to defection to west)
Tamara Rojo-José Manuel Carreno (dead) #2, with full company (Royal Ballet/ABT from Cuba) (dead)
Roberta Márquez- Iñaki Urlezaga (Royal Ballet) (dead)
Svetlana Zakharova Mikhail Lobukhin (Russia, 2010 Boshoi Ballet) (dead)
Irina Perren, Mikhail Lobukhin (Russia, 2009 Mikhailovsky/Bolshoi) (dead)
Nadezhda Pavlova Vyacheslav Gordeyev (Russia, Bolshoi Ballet) (dead)
Francesca Dugarte - Nerijus Juska (Montevideo Uruguay) (dead)
Adiarys Almeida-Rolando Sarabia (Cuba 1999, she is 15, he is 16) (dead)
Tetsuya Kumakawa (Japan, 16years old, Prix de Lausanne 1989) (man's Don Quixote variation) (dead)
'Song that goes like this' duet from Spamalot
Broadway #1, #2, #3 (CD), #4 (480), #5 (London) Regional/College #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 (HD), #6 (HD), #7 (HD)
#7 (pretty bad), #8 (really bad!), HS #1, #2 Millikan Middle school #1 (fun)
'Find your grail' from Spamalot
Tonys #1, Broadway #1 (CD) Misc #1, #2 Millikan Middle school #1
Spamalot, complete (2 hr+)
Broadway (with extras) #1 (240) Public Arts HS in San Francisco (HD) #1
"Alleluia" from Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate" (K165, 1773, age 17)
Bartoli (wow!) Buchberger . Damrau . Gruberova . Brock . Fleming . Fleming(w/organ) . Auger(9 min)
Parcells (audio) Kamenskaya (w/string quartet) . Maurey (student w/piano) . Yu .
Tesch (w/piano)(dead) . Battle (dead). . Brightman (audio) (dead). Movimiento (dead) , Gutierrez (dead)
Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" (K339, 1780, age 24)
Riccitelli . Cathedral of San Isidro . Atkins (w/piano) Csenki (student) . violin (w/piano)
Popp (1967 audio) (dead) . Kirkby (1993 audio) (dead) De Los Angeles (1964 audio) (dead)
Jenkins (dead). Vienna Boys (w/piano)(dead) Justman(w/organ)(dead) Phoenix Boys (dead)
Mozart concert aria "Chi sa, chi sa, qual sia" (K582, 1789, age 33)
Bartoli . Bartoli (audio, imeem) . Kiri Te Kanawa
Garanca (recording)(dead) Garanca(audio)(dead) Orgonosova(dead) . Gens (audio) Sumi Jo (audio)(dead)
Popp (audio, FireFox) (dead) Larsson (dead)
Mozart Magic Flute aria "Queen of the Night" (K620, 1791, age 35)
Popp (audio, not Bartoli as credited) . Damrau (German performance) Dessay . Watsham .
Miklosa . Popp2 . Scholtz (boy suprano) . Florence Foster Jenkens (40's recording, Jenkens is in a class by herself)
Serra (dead). Damrau (recording session) (dead)
Amazing coloratora sopranos of all time great collection of 20 or so great coloratoras (30 min)
Kathleen Battle -- Voices of Spring by J. Strauss II with Vienna Philharmonic (1987)
J. Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Adele's Laughing Song sung by Krisztina David
July 4th Fireworks on Desktop (dead)
scan of New Yorker cartoon (Sept 2010)
I love this cartoon
'Proof' is now a musical!
For the holidays
AR-15s in the woods
scan from New Yorker, May 5, 2013
Musical Angels, just two of 24 fantastically detailed, wonderfully preserved, early (1432) oil painting on oak panels at Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium by brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. In an NPR story some expert says, "It's arguably the single most important painting ever made", but I will admit that until I read an article about it recently in the New Yorker, I had never seen it or heard of it. But I love this degree of realism and detail in a nearly 600 years old painting.
Medal detail from image left above
Floor tile and scarf detail from image left above (not full magnification)
(source --- Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece (100 billion pixel image)
Even closer detail of hands and medal:
Close up of all 12 inner Ghent panels
Ghent altarpiece was recently cleaned and site below has
super hi-resolution images
Check out wonderful ballet pictures at the 'Scrawny Ballerina' site like these, dancers with real technique:
(source --- http://scrawnyballerina.tumblr.com/)
Most incredible dance studio ever (but no windows)
Very difficult to asses the grade of my coin from reference photos, but my coin has excellent detail and very little wear. Quality looks to be somewhere between extra fine and uncirculated. The most notable wear is on the breast of the eagle, which on my coin is bare, but mint coins show it feathered. I don't see any signs of wear on lady liberty on the front of the coin. This coin is not particularly valuable, probably because Morgan dollars were minted in huge quantities. Tables show 1881-O extra fine at $25 in the range of what I paid for it. Total mintage of 1881 Morgan was about 28 million, 5.7 million from the New Orleans mint. These images were done with a scanner [greyscale, 600 dpi].
1881 morgan silver dollar, scanned and owned by Don Fulton
IEEE Compel 2006 paper -- New Current Sense Circuit (4 pages, double column) Poster OverView (7 pages, poster)
Copy of a technical paper I gave at an IEEE electrical engineering conference at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY, July 19, 2006. It describes a fundamentally new circuit architecture for sensing motor current that I invented (US patent # 6,998,800, Feb 2006). Patent link
Class of 1916, Parlin Junior High, Everett MA
hi-res picture (1.5 mbyes) This is a wonderful photo full of great character faces of students now surely all dead. Looking at this photo reminds me of the opening of the movie, Dead Poets Society, where close ups of old student photos (like this one) are shown while Robin Williams pointing to them says to his students: "I don't think you've really looked at them ... their eyes are full of hope. Did they wait until it was too late? ... Because you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. Carpe Diem! Seize the day, boys, make your lives extraordinary!"
I went to Parlin Junior High as did my brother, father, and lots of my aunts and uncles. I found this photo stained, ripped, and neglected in a glass case in a dingy corridor in the Everett City Hall in early 2006. I photographed it (through the glass!) with my 7Mpixel Cannon S70 and did quite a bit of photo restoration work on it.
left side right side detail1 . detail2 . detail3 . detail4
Social Security & Work (10 pages)
Is there is a huge penalty if you work while collecting SS below full retirement age? Not really. SS early retirement work policy is usually described as 'You are taxed $1 for every $2 you earn above $12,000/yr', but this is extremely misleading. The money withheld ('taxed') is not lost, just delayed, you get it eventually. This SS policy is widely misunderstood because it is so poorly documented, and some consider this close to a scandal.
Attached file is basically my research notes on the subject, and while disorganized, it contains a lot of useful information.
Charity/IRA/Probate (26 pages)
Notes on tax efficient ways to give money to charity. Funds remaining in IRA accounts at death are good candidates to leave to charity, because if left to heirs a substantial fraction of these funds will be lost to taxes. Also info on the directed beneficiary route for bypassing probate.
BioFuels & Solar (25 pages)
Notes on ethanol and energy efficiency of biofuels. Ethanol from corn is of very limited value (if any) in reducing use of fossil fuels, and as Bernie Karl puts it, "You can't burn food, it's just stupid". Solar plants are still relatively small and a wide range of technologies are competing, but with an investment of large sums over many years the US could meet its future electrical needs from solar. Plus interesting articles on coal, geoengineering, methanol, etc.
Peak Oil (22 pages)
An oil extraction model proposed by Hubbert predicts annual oil production peaks when (about) 50% of the recoverable oil in the ground has been taken out. Applied to the earth this model predicts that peak oil production will occur 2004 to 2008, and it will never be as high again, ever! Maybe, just maybe, this explains why oil has recently tripled in price?
Panspermia, Bugs Below Ground, & Abiogenic Hydrocarbons (10 pages)
Subtitle: Interesting ideas of Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle
Did life come to earth from space? Fred Hoyle thinks so. He argues that DNA from bacteria and viruses that are constantly raining down on earth (from comets) are a major driving force of evolution. He has data, too, that indicates that dust in deep space may actually be dried bacteria.
Bacteria MV-1 on earth assemble atom by atom magnetic crystals of a distinctive shape. These crystals might turn out to be an extremely useful biological marker because as far as is known they do not form inorganically, and they can survive intact for billions of years. One very old meteorite from Mars appears to contain such magnet crystals. Does this indicate life on early Mars?
Thomas Gold has a very interesting (double) theory that one, huge numbers of microbes live in rocks deep below ground, and two, that they feed on primordial hydrocarbons that outgas from earth. Gold first put forward his underground bug theory in 1992, and fifteen years later the evidence is piling up that he may very well be right. Everywhere we look underground and in hot extreme environments we find microbes.
And amazingly Gold presents a good case that coal, oil, and gas we use for energy are not the remains of buried surface life, i.e. they are not fossil fuels.
* Window 7 dual boot, clone backup (92 pages) --- Add a 2nd hard drive configured as a 'bootable clone' of main drive
A simple robust way to protect your computer from failure of Windows is add a 2nd hard drive that is configured to be bootable clone. Unlike computer pros who switch over to clones by reaching into the case and switching cables, by using Windows dual boot capability the boot drive can be selected from the keyboard. No more weeks of work reinstalling Windows for me! When Windows is acting flaky or the main hard drive starts failing, I can switch over to the clone drive in minutes. The clone drive has an exact copy (as of date of clone) of my main drive. It has the Windows OS, my programs, data, and setting, plus it is bootable. The clone is created and kept updated periodically using clone software. Cloning is fast, takes only 20 min to copy 50 Gbytes between drives because both of them are plugged into the motherboard. (I use Casper 8 cloning software, and EasyBCD, a free utility, to make setting up Window built-in dual boot simple.)
While this essay was originally only about clones when I bought an SSD, bios complications led me to greatly expand its scope. This essay now also covers SSDs, new install of Windows 7 from downloaded xxxx.iso file, multiple drives in esata connected enclosures, flash drives, Windows 7 trial mode, Windows activation, improved way to keep Windows 7 running free forever.
* Virus recovery in Windows 7 (45 pages) -- FBI lock virus, Adobe install virus, Yield.manager popups, and more
I have been hit by a bunch of nasty viruses and popup ads recently (late 2012) on my Window7 desktop with the result that I am now quite good at getting rid of them. I have a bunch of anti-malware tools on my machine, and some viruses, like the nasty 'FBI lock virus', I can find and kill manually using only a good search utility.
With time the virus attacks got worse such that even essays I had written on my homepage began to be modified by the viruses. Google detected this and began flaggng my site in summer of 2013 as dangerous to use. The good side of these home page attacks was it allowed me to run some tests, and I identified the likely way the virus was getting in and blocked it. Not only did this immediately stop the corruption of my homepage, but to my surprise nearly all my virus attacks also stopped. But during the year or so that the backdoor was open I got so many different viruses that I was able to write a very comprehensive essay on virus recovery.
* XP to Windows 7 Upgrade, What a Freaking Nightmare (48 pages)
An essay based on a log I kept as I replaced my old XP computer with a new Windows 7 computer. For someone who isn't a computer pro the setting up a new computer and at the same time being forced to 'upgrade' to a new operating system is a (freaking) nightmare. Thanks Microsoft and HP.
* Virus Recovery in Vista using Microsoft 'System Restore' (10 pages)
I wrote this essay right after 'Microsoft System Restore' rescued me from a virus that captured my Compaq Vista portable. In my HP/Compaq computers F11 at boot (confusingly labeled 'System Recovery') provides access to several recovery tools, one of which is System Restore.'Microsoft System Restore' is a gem in Windows OSs (XP, Vista (yes) and Windows 7 (not!) that can roll back your operating system (files and registry settings) to a time before the computer was captured by a virus (ideally by just hours or a few days). It will not affect your files and data (it's even reversible), so it's a safe way to disable a virus. One trap is that it has a name almost identical to a destructive recovery program called 'System Recovery', which that must be avoided at all costs because it wipes out all your programs and data when it reinstalls the OS.System Restore does not work right in Windows 7
My experience is that Microsoft ruined 'System Restore' in its next operating system after Vista, Windows 7. Oh, it's still there, but it no longer works reliably (or at all). I find restore points routinely disappear, and even if a restore point it there, it may not roll back properly. I read similar complaints online. Three different times when my Windows 7 machine failed to boot I hoped System Restore would save me with this result: 1) fail (runs and reports successful roll back, but no boot), 2) fail (no restore point), 3) four repeated tries yields fail, fail, fail, (partial) success (4th time as before it reports an error, but system boots)
* What banks don't tell you about online Bill Pay (10 pages) or (hide in the fine print)
My bank's online BillPay service switches back and forth (unpredictably) between mailing out draft checks and cashiers checks. You can see in your account when draft checks are cashed, but not when cashiers checks are cashed.
* CableTV Analog to Digital Transition (20 pages) or (what Comcast 'forgets' to tell you)
* Stop encryption of Comcast expanded basic cable (19 pages) protest letter (pdf format)
Follow up Encryption/cable newspaper articles
There are dozens of digital and HD channels on the cable that can be legally received without upgrading to expensive HD service by using non-Comcast equipment
My cable provider (Comcast) recently changed expanded basic channels (ch 23 to 71) from analog to digital. If you followed Comcast instructions and used the Comcast provided (free) equipment, all HD channels you may have been getting were lost! Comcast never tells people that a huge number of the digital and HD channels on non-Digital service can be legally received without using Comcast equipment. Just hook the cable direct to newer TV's and do an auto-scan. For your computer you need an inexpensive (non-Comcast) analog/QAM digital tuner and some software.
Comcast's withholding of cable information during this transition was clearly abusive, a marketing ploy to force people with analog service to (unnecessarily) upgrade to more expensive 'Digital HD' service to hold onto their HD channels. Not using Comcast cable boxes with your cable can not only keep your your monthly cable bill from increasing, it may even allow you to substantially decrease it.
Encryption protest letter
Six months after the analog to digital transition a Comcast mailing says as part of the "cable enhancement" all TVs will soon need their own cable box. I know what this means, they are planning to encrypt (scramble) all the expanded basic channels (ch 23 to 99). Encryption is not a cable enhancement, as Comcast claims, it does not improve cable capacity or picture quality. It is a power grab plain and simple, a crippling of large screen digital cable ready (QAM) TVs and computer TV tuners. Customers are told to receive HD cable channels requires them to buy (expensive) HD service and rent (obscenely overpriced) HDTV cable boxes. It sounds reasonable, but it's not true! It's at best misleading and pretty close to an outright lie. Artfully concealed is the fact that all local HD channels on cable are likely to remain unencrypted and that most newer large screen HDTVs have built-in (QAM) HD digital tuners that can receive them with a direct cable connection by buying the cheapest Comcast services (Basic at $10/month or Digital Economy at $30/month w/internet).
Rants (11 pages) -- Tickets, Reservation Disasters
Monopoly control of online tickets by at least some ticket vendors has resulted in terrible service, hard to use web sites, and high prices. Read my rant against TicketMaster, the story of some reservation disasters, and my experience with Medicare billing.
Global Warming (36 pages) & Global Warming Physics (38 pages)
Two essays on global warming:
* Little primer on global warming with real data
* Technical essay on the physics and models of global warming
The establishment says ignore the sun, focus on CO2, but Svensmark of Denmark has been the pioneer of a tiny group that for a long time has been arguing that the influence of the sun on climate is important (maybe even dominant over CO2) via an indirect mechanism where the sun's magnetic activity modulates the cosmic rays hitting earth, which affects cloud cover, which affects the albedo (reflectivity) of earth. Enough people are now convinced that this idea has merit that CERN is going to mount a huge, multi-year, 60 scientist, cosmic ray/cloud experiment to check it out with particle beams playing the role of cosmic rays.
Awake and Sing! & Vienna Waltzes (50 pages) (First half) 2006 to June 2009)
Awake and Sing! & Vienna Waltzes (56 pages) (Second half) 2006 to June 2009)
Awake and Sing II (113 pages) (July 2009 to Dec 2011)
Awake and Sing III (118 pages) (Jan 2012 to Feb 2014)
Awake and Sing IV (21 pages) (March 2014 to
It's a pleasure to see really good acting in a classic american play. Awake and Sing! by Clifford Odets (1935), revived spring 2006, at Belasco Theatre, NYC. "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust" (Isaiah 26:19) Found 15 different biblical translations of this line! Only the King James Bible gets the poetry right.
A first row seat in the open air on a warm summer night in July 2006 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY for a glorious three hour performance of New York City Ballet in Vienna Waltzes, Divertimento #15, and Songs of the Auvergne.
This essay has evolved into running commentary & mini-reviews of many of the theater pieces I have seen since summer 2006.
Men of God (16 pages)
AC vs DC Power & Tesla's Induction Motor (14 pages)
The story of AC vs DC power and Tesla's AC induction motor, the world's most common motor. The huge range advantage AC has over DC power is explained. Initially AC was held back because no one knew how to make an AC motor, but Tesla to the rescue. Tesla's induction motor, the world's first practical AC motor, helped AC power overtake DC power in the late 1800's. How the induction motor worked was not really understood for nearly a century, and I played a role in finally understanding it.
Human Body Cells (7 pages)
It's a little known fact that most (majority) of the cells in our body are not human! They do not have human DNA. Collectively they are known as the fauna and flora of the gut
Atoms (40 pages) & Neutrinos (48 pages)
How were the size and basic structure of atoms figured out in the early 20th century without atom smashing machines? I never knew, I learned almost nothing about atoms in school. Here's some of the key developments plus some fun calculations. And an essay about neutrinos, including the reactions used to detect them in neutrino telescopes and nuclear reactor monitors.
Investing (6 pages)
How to invest explained in just a few pages (with a little bull).
Speed of Light (43 pages) & Light Vision (22 pages)
Why is the speed of light so special? Here's real data on the speed limit for electrons, and surprise, it' s the same as the speed of light in a vacuum. Maxwell in the 1860's found his equations predicted that electromagnetic waves could exist and would travel at 3 x 10^8 m/sec, which he knew to be the speed of light. How could the speed of light possibly have been known in the 1860's? How the speed of light was first measured accurately on earth (about 100 years ago). A discussion on how an electrical signal travels down a cable provides insight as to why light slows down in transparent materials.
Light Vision discuses how the eye sees color, and how cone cells are so remarkably sensitive that they can detect a single photon of light. (ref: First Steps in Seeing by Robert W. Rodieck)
Special Relativity (19 pages)
Who sees what contract? Whose time dilates? It can be very confusing. Here's an easy way to visualize and calculate the Lorentz factor and to remember how it applies (think muons). Plus real data on relativistic increases in mass, and a fun riff on the 'missing ½' in E = mc2.
Electron (78 pages)
There are four ways to measure the size of an electron. One size is zero. The other three sizes differ by exactly the same ratio (1/137) called the fine structure constant. The fine structure constant is the strangely named coupling constant in QED (quantum electrodynamics), and also important because it is one of only a few dimensionless constants in physics
Electrons are the source of (almost) all light (+ x-rays, radio waves, etc). Photons come from electrons, electrons that are accelerating, decelerating, oscillating, or jumping to lower orbits inside atoms.
Quantum Hall Device (16 pages) (quantization + magnetic field => Resistor Standard)
The quantum hall device is of interest to physicists, because it provides a measure of one of the fundamental constants of physics (fine structure constant), and to the electrical engineer, because it has been shaped into the world's best resistor. The unusual properties of this device are caused by very high magnetic fields forcing the conducting electrons into tight, quantized (based on wavelength) orbits around quantums of magnetic flux.
I ran into an incredible mystery with this device. The physicists 'proved', by writing out the equations, that the resistance of the conducting path is approaching zero. But the engineers who had extensive experience building, testing and modeling the device disagreed. They modeled the conducting path as having a resistance equal to the four terminal hall resistance (which thankfully both the physicists and engineers agreed on), and it is far from zero, typically 12.9k.
The engineers had data, and it showed the engineers had to be right. What the hell were the physicists talking about? I finally cracked the mystery, finding that there is a way that zero resistance applies. This is a classic case of how engineers and physicists view the same device and see something different.
HDTV Computer Monitor (3 pages)
If you want a computer monitor where text and images are big, consider using a big (720p type) LCD HDTV as your PC monitor. A 32" Olevia HDTV (for $650) makes a great PC monitor.
Who wrote Shakespeare? (45 pages) & Shakespearean cryptograms (64 pages)
I don't think most people are even aware that there is a controversy about who wrote Shakespeare's plays and poems, but there is. The leading candidate of the anti-Shakespeare crowd (which includes me) is Edward de Vere (17th Earl of Oxford) with Mary Sidney Herbert (Countess of Pembroke) up and coming. In the mother of all conspiracy theories it's the Statfordians vs Oxfordians & Pembrokians.
As a retired engineer, I know enough mathematics to understand that the recent claims that some early Shakespearean documents are really cryptograms is a statistically strong argument.
No Wonder Intelligent Life is Rare! (5 pages)
I would argue it's a very, very good bet that we (man) would not be on earth now except for one, totally random event in earth's history. I refer to the earth being hit by a (little) 6 mile wide meteorite 65 million years ago (creating the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary). It was just large enough to wipe out all the dinosaurs while preserving some mammals. A hit a little larger, smaller, earlier, or later and it's unlikely we would be here now. How does the God squad explain this?
The history of how we (civilized man) came to be is an incredible series of random, twists and turns occurring over an incredibly long time period. In this essay I review some of the arguments from astronomy, geology, and evolutionary history on earth as to why intelligent life in the universe is (probably) rare.
Photosynthesis (97 pages) & Cell energy (23 pages)
Two related essays on energy in biological systems:
* Photosynthesis generates high energy molecules using captured solar photons
* High energy molecules (from photosynthesis) are used to power cells
Photosynthesis is (arguably) the most important biological process on earth. Virtually all life depends on it for food, oxygen to burn the food, and organic compounds to build the body. It's the source for practically all the O2 in Earth's atmosphere. Not just plants do it, and therein lies an evolutionary tale. Some of the details are amazing, like a high speed rotary turbine machine spun by flowing protons. Yet the inputs for this life process are only CO2, water, sunlight, and a few inorganic minerals.
It's almost impossible (I found) to learn photosynthesis from the vague little diagrams biologists draw. I got my arms around photosynthesis by drawing up a detailed top level diagram in the manner of the engineer. It is, I modestly claim, the world's best photosynthesis diagram. The obscuring of photosynthesis by biologists is too bad, because I found in photosynthesis some great surprises.
Cell Energy essay is an overview of how cells in general use energy (obtained from imported high energy molecules) to control their ion concentrations, membrane voltage, water, and do various specialized jobs.
Astronomy (26 pages) & Cosmology (14 pages)
Two essays on select topics from the huge subjects of astronomy & cosmology that I find interesting. I often add to these essays after reading a new astronomy book and the details are still fresh in my mind. I aim for a good short summary, or I try to extend the material with a few calculations, or sometimes I just pick a subject I like and ramble on!
DBK Solar Scam (36 pages)
(DBK Solar => Lassen Energy => Natco International => P2Solar)
(Wind power scam => Astralux Ltd, Ukraine)
For two years a USA solar panel manufacturer has been making a claim that violates the laws of physics. They claim to have a 3,000 watt solar panel that outputs 2.3 kw/m^2, whereas the total power in bright sunlight is 1 kw/m^2 (approx @ earth's surface). For reference conventional solar panels that size in bright sunlight output about 200 watts or 140 watt/m^2 (14% efficiency).
Here is the true story of how I stumbled onto a million dollar solar scam/fraud, and how I pried open a look at the underlying crackpot physics when I discovered a recently published patent application by the DBK president.
Over the two years I have followed this scam the fraudulent 3,000 watt solar panel has mutated from an internet scam (DBK Solar => Lassen Energy), both run by the same man, into the public domain in the form of SEC registered penny stocks (Natco International => P2Solar, OTC symbol 'ptos'). This is a fraud that the law somehow does not seem to be able to shut down.
Ponzi - Madoff (133 pages) & MIT Picower mini-campaign (20 pages)
My take on the 50 billion dollar ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff. Bernie was the money manager it was said who never lost money, prima facie a genius or a cheat! A wild story with lots of angles, populated by a large cast of slimeballs, not so innocent victims and various co-conspirators.
Why is MIT taking money from crooks? The MIT Picower mini-campaign is my email trail, newspaper articles and original research by an MIT alumnus distressed that MIT has accepted tens of millions from Madoff insiders Barbara and Jeffry Picower. The Piocowers are honored with an MIT building and major research lab named after them, and their portrait hangs in its lobby.
Telegraph (29 pages) & Telephone (17 pages)
Two electrical histories from the 1870's:
* The patenting of the telephone, or how Alexander Graham Bell made a fortune
with the help of some crooked patent lawyers
* Duplex and quadruplex telegraph, or how Stearn and Edison learned to send
two, then four, telegraph messages over one wire simultaneously
Hybrid and Electric Car Technology (94 pages) & Hydrogen fuel cell car (23 pages) & Wind Turbines (61 pages)
A detailed primer on the electrical power designs of hybrid and electric cars by a (former) inverter designer. Includes my block diagram of Toyota/Ford/Lexus hybrids and a circuit sketch of voltages and currents in gen III 2010 Toyota Prius. For electrics the emphasis is on issues associated with lithium ion batteries. This essay tracks electric cars and quasi-electrics (electric cars with generator backup like GM Volt) as they move toward production. A related more recent essay, 'Hydrogen fuel cell car', tracks another type of electric car that may (or may not) make it to market in 2014-15.
Pictures, engineering, and economics of giant 2.5 Mw wind turbines including an overview of the specialized induction machine used as a generator. Just how are the thin, slow blades of a wind turbine able to capture 50% of the wind's kinetic energy? Curiously professors don't seem to know because the efficiency of real wind turbines exceeds calculated limits!
Battery (68 pages)
A primer on the how batteries work, the history of batteries and info on a bunch of different battery chemistries including the 'one terminal' zinc air battery. Plus info on MIT Prof Sadoway's terrific new idea for a self forming, very high current (> 100 ka) liquid metal battery. If the liquid metal battery can be made practical, it could be game changer for wind and solar power.
Kindle Tips, Tricks, and Flaws (46 pages) + 7" BB Playbook + 7" Nook HD
I really like my first kindle (kindle 3 from Amazon). It's an e-book reader (w/text-to-speech), audio book player, MP3 player (w/speakers), web browser (w/WiFi), picture display (BW), and 3 Gbyte USB memory stick in a small, thin, light package with an incredible one month battery life. A lot of technology for $139. I have been researching and playing with it to see what it can do. I find its user interface to be deliberately crippled and buggy. The result is this essay 'Kindle Tips, Tricks, and Flaws'.
A year later I bought my 2nd tablet, the 7" 32 Gbyte Blackberry Playbook ($250). Playbook, unlike Kindle, is a real computer that really works well for browsing online, yet is only 7" and 15 oz. Includes two cameras, two speakers, two microphones, GPS, Bluetooth, 1024 x 600 color touch screen, does 1080p video, multiplexes and plays Flash video neither of which Ipad does. I love this thing, so I have extended the Kindle essay to include info about the BB Playbook.
Another year (and as B&N were preparing to exit the color tablet business) for $129 acquired their 7" android Nook HD tablet with a fast, really sweet screen and access to the world of 700,000 android apps. This gave me access to big apps like Google Earth and Skype that were never ported to BB playbook OS.
Mozart (6 pages)
A few thoughts on enjoying Mozart.
Glucose (20 pages)
The human body, like plants, runs primarily on the sugar glucose, the king of sugars. Glucose is a basic food consisting of only three elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Photosynthesis in all plants and most bacteria makes only one molecule, a half glucose (C3H6O3). The sugar in your blood that feeds all the cells in your body is glucose. From its chemical formula (C6H12O6) glucose looks like six [carbon + water] stuck together, which 'explains' why it is carbo-hydrate. A few respected scientists argue that non-glucose sugars, specifically fructose the sugar in fruit & vegetables, can overload the liver leading to weight gain and diabetes. Is this true?
Costa Concordia Shipwreck (50 pages) & Air France 447 Airbus A330 Crash into Atlantic (72 pages)
A little essay on the mysteries of the cruise ship Costa Concordia shipwreck (Jan 2012). Was the captain really that crazy and/or cowardly ("I fell into a lifeboat") or did Costa lines after the crash buy him off to shift blame from them? Did nearly all the officers flee the ship leaving hundreds of passengers on board a (potentially) sinking ship? How did (nearly) all the passengers get off the boat when it was reported lifeboats on on one side could not be launched? How many went into the water, how did they get into the water, to where did they swim, how many swimmers died?
What about the repeated and sustained lying to passengers after the crash that surely contributed to some of them getting fatally trapped below? Does Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corp, take any responsibility for these needless deaths?
The mysterious disappearance in 2009 of an airbus A330 flying from Brazil to Paris over the tropical Atlantic interests me, because like the Costa Concordia cruise ship crash, it has an engineering aspect along with operational and pilot error. After a two year search, the plane's black boxes were found and recovered, and the final accident report has been issued, so it is now known what happened.
Many in the aviation community consider this crash to be a seminal event, because it exposed fundamental problems in the skills and training of pilots of the most highly automated planes like airbus. It also showed how difficult it can be to try and fly these planes manually in an emergency, that pilots of these modern, highly automated planes, which largely fly themselves, could not be trusted to take over and fly the plane manually at altitude when the need arose. The pilots of Air France 447 severely stalled the plane within 45 seconds after taking control and didn't have a clue as to how to recover! Very scary.
Photo Gallery (23 pages)
A few of the thousands of photos I have taken with my two Cannon miniature digital cameras (7 Mpixal S70 and 2 Mpixal S200).
Tribute to Wells Auto Museum (16 pages)
This essay is a tribute to the recently closed Wells (ME) Antique Auto Museum. The essay is mostly 45 beautiful photos I took of some of its collection of antique cars and musical players taken with my Cannon S70 camera in 2010 and 2011.
Motor Rewinding mini-Tutorial (1 page)
Servo IGBT stall analysis (1 page)
Nobody knows (7 pages)
Negative feedback (4 pages)
Lecture topics & grabbers (1 page)
Bode diagram tutorial
my 80's induction motor paper
(quasi-first order filter paper)
Galileo's arguments for Earth going around sun
Motor controllers (pictures, injection molding, split T snubber)
Procedure for reading DNA genome sequences
How can DNA polymerase copy DNA in a test tube?
good ref: www.wv-inbre.net/bioinformatics/
Publications (Fulton author)my Amazon reviews (100+ reviews)
Motor control application notes written for Pacific Scientific and later republished as featured articles in Conformity a leading EMC magazine (July, Aug 2004)
1) Reducing Motor Drive Line Noise (dead) (Conformity) (dead)
2) Reducing Motor Drive Radiated Emissions (dead) (Conformity) (dead)
3) Poor Man's Guide to CE EMC Testing (dead)
|Mathematics of Investment Risk|
- Standard Deviation of uncorrelated random variables varies as the SQUARE ROOT of the number of variables
- Stock Variation is modeled as a random walk
- Asian, Europe, Emerging, US, small cap, and large cap are reasonably uncorrelated (over longer term)
- Key Risk Concepts
- Standard Deviation goes down (ideally) as Square Root of Number of Uncorrelated Assets in a Portfolio
- Standard Deviation goes down (approximately) as Square Root of Time. Does that mean market risk goes down with time?
- Well, if you say risk is the % uncertainty in your assets, the random walk model says risk goes up with time. And, in fact, this is exactly what many financial experts and financial textbooks say, that market risk goes up with time.
- On the other hand, some financial experts say no, market risk goes down with time. This argument is based on the historical fact that over the long term the market does not look like a random walk because market values tend to (loosely) track the growth of the economy.
Historical Return/Risk Data
Asset Real Return (1926-1994) Real Return (1973-1994) Return (1926-1994) Return (1973-1994) SD (1926-1994) SD (1973-1994) 1 mo T-Bills 0.59 1.42 3.69 7.32 3.29 2.73 5 yr Treasury 1.88 2.88 4.98 8.78 5.49 6.87 20 yr Treasury 1.73 2.99 4.83 8.89 8.61 7.89 S&P Stocks 7.09 4.88 10.19 10.78 20.30 16.45 US Small Co. 9.12 9.28 12.22 15.18 34.52 23.87 Inter Small Co. 11.64 17.54 30.14 Inflation for 1926-1994 was 3.1% annualized; for 1973-1994 was 5.9% annualized.
Long term, remarkably uniform, REAL return for equities is 6.8% (1802-1996).