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Old 07-11-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
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Found my way back. Iridium!

...

OK, I was always using "pmbug.com" over the past week or so with no success arriving back here, Bug just told me to try "www.pmbug.com", so I am back and pleased to be back among my buds!

***

I just sent out a check for $709 for a toz of iridium (powder form), once I get it OK, I will let you all know where you can get it.

elementsales.com offers iridium as well (but at $980 in a "blob" -- however that is arguably prettier than metal dust). Some of you may recall that I bought an oz of osmium from elementsales.com.

Osmium is the rarest of the (non-radioactive) elements, it is also the heaviest, but is slightly toxic (when it oxidizes into osmium tetraoxide it is BAD).

Iridium is produced about 10 times as much as osmium and is (of course) more used in industry. It is very hard ("Mohs scale" (rocks, imperfect but well known measure) about 6.5, harder than glass, about the same as hard steel).

That makes four of the six platinum-group metals that I (will) own! All I lack is ruthenium and rhodium. I know that you can get rhodium in a 1 oz bar at kitco.

***

I am happy to be back! Best to you all!


EDIT: "pmbug.com" now works OK as well. Bug suggested I try it as well.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
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Yeah, the non-www. version wasn't working for a while after the server move. The server people supposedly fixed it a while back, but it took a few days before whatever lag/latency was involved in caching issues before it started working for me again. Glad you found you way back DCRB!

So how do you store the Osmium to prevent the oxidation/toxicity?

Congrats on your growing collection. Sounds more interesting than collecting stamps.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Hey Bearing glad you found your way back!

Since you are in to collecting the rare earth metals, I have an ounce of unobtanium I can sell you for the low low price of $1,000,000 per ounce.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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Unobtainium - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


unobtainium pre-dates the similar-sounding IUPAC systematic element names, such as Ununoctium. An alternative spelling, unobtanium, is sometimes used, based on a parallel construction to metals such as titanium ........
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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Rblong, yeah I admit my internal spell checker doesn't work to well sometimes!
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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Hope you get it DCRB - I wouldn't mind getting a little myself.

Sorry to have been gone from here so long. It's been just utterly nuts of late. Got a little too famous and had to deal with that (and yet another visit from the .gov guys worried fusion was going to do something bad). Divorce in progress, endless legal baloney. Health issues (both my bod and my network), and a new breakthrough on the fusor - not quite there yet, but getting to the exciting point (at least for me), after that long slog through the first 10^7 improvement, the now-required ~ 10^3 doesn't look so impossible anymore, not even all that hard. Yeah, the numbers are still sucky - but measurable now and positive - around 1.001w out for every watt in. Yup, "scientific breakeven" at this point. Now all we need is another whole bunch (say 238 out per 100 in) and we're good to go with steam plant kinds of scale. I think I might already be doing better than my bank account interest, though. Which I know ain't sayin much, but starting where we did....it could be worse.

Missed y'all.

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Old 07-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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either spelling is valid Unobtanium (-:

trying not to ponder which ounce of you might be worth $1000k though )-:
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Hey Fusor

thats 0.001% overunity you are talking !

Think Homer Simpson had something to say about that ..........

A big well done from me though and may your mind body and wallet be well.

Please keep us updated with your progress on all fronts.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Actually, the math goes the other way - I'm .1% over unity, but that neglects a few things, though it's a more honest number than most report. Most get X number with DD fuel - then multiply by 100 since they assume they'll run DT fuel (which has very nasty implications and problems and doesn't always give you that 100x anyway, while the higher energy neutrons it makes take your stuff into dust in no time), ignore losses in drivers (like LLNL's laser efficiency, JETs vacuum system) and so on - I don't, this is REAL.

But as I said above - I need another fat factor to overcome the losses in say, a steam boiler/turbine/generator for it to be really real, not just scientifically very cool. (or would that be hot?)

Sad part was when I discovered this breakthrough, I got 5 years worth of max pro rad worker exposure in under 30 seconds (for those who understand the numbers, about 1/10 Sievert). I was expecting the usual factor of 2-3 improvement I get when I plan for 5x, and got 2800x instead. Took me that long to figure out why all my sensitive safety gear just went totally blank and turn the thing off...I didn't feel too great for a couple weeks after. But since I'm not dead and am symptom-free now, we go on - but with one hell of a lot more and better shielding, a work still in progress before we turn that sucker back on. Don't worry - it's all written down and in safe hands just in case - this won't be lost to the world. It's been a bit of work sniper-crawling in the crawl space to put in further piers to hold all this new lead up, though.

Funny that a simple, accurate lens like that pictured here is the key, eh? No brute force, no tricks - just getting the basic things right (well, subtle might be useful wording...Turns out matching up with the shape of another part is key).
http://www.coultersmithing.com/forum...2&p=5090#p5090

I can think of a couple things that might be worth $1m/Oz. Million dollar baby anyone? Not the only possibility.

A friend on G+ mentioned they really are that expensive (in another sense than the song). He said, you can have a Ferrari, or a kid. It's about right, these days. And it doesn't even take an ounce.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Cripes Fusor,

x2800 improvement is huge but you took a big dose of radiation for your art.
Not dead sounds like a good outcome and now symptom free even better.

Aint gonna be any million dollar babies from your (lead?) underpants though.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:12 PM   #11
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Pretty serious oops, yeah. Well, I'm over 60 anyway and had no plans to procreate.

But if I did, you could bet it would be expensive at this point...you think the healthy ones cost LESS? I guess it depends. I'd already decided against that some time back. Don't want a teenager who has to push my wheelchair or something anyway. That's no kind of responsible way of procreation - it's too late to begin that kind of thing, it was already.

It was kind of a case of euphoria over a problem that was mostly nice to have. We'll just have to see if there's any serious longer term effects. Frankly, an additional few percent chance of cancer 30 years out doesn't scare me a bit - it would need a digger to reach me anyway, most likely. Small price if I pull this off, which is looking less and less like a crazy fantasy.

Not to hijack the thread or anything, but think of the potential payoff - and has there ever been one that large with no risk at all? So, we're just playing trade-off here. After 3 years of making all that improvement, and always being ahead on the shielding and other safety issues, so I only saw an additional 3 or so milliseiverts a year (well inside the standards), I get 100msv in a freak (well, it is repeatable now) "accident" that went at least in some sense, in my favor. That's not going to happen again, I promise! Even if waiting till we're truly safe is driving me nuts. After I had the upgrade well underway, I made sure it was no fluke - it's not, but I only ran it a couple seconds. It's real. I have more work to do on the shielding though - there's that other factor of 1000 or so I kinda need for this to be world-changing.

We already knew we needed more safety stuff, and were in progress with it already, it just wasn't enough, and in some cases, it was the "wrong stuff" (there are things that stop low energy X rays quite well, but also generate much nastier high energy gamma rays when hit by neutrons...oops - had to move almost a ton of that away from the building and lifting it all was no party). That's partially documented on my own boards in a rather boring thread...I'll link it after I finish the posting there that says what *didn't* work and actually made things worse, so as to leave an accurate record - and warning - for others.

What's now funny...is that first I got all the crazies coming out of the woodwork due to that silly fame, and now a bunch of people calling ME crazy - right on the cusp of proving I wasn't all this time. I guess it takes a certain type of humor sense to get all that.

Did you know, that among thousands of other things he never did, Tesla built a time machine out of insect parts and flew it to Jupiter? Neither did I, but by golly, people will swear to that...I had no idea they let those sorts have computers or that they could function well enough to type. And the man gets no credit at all for what he actually did that did change the world - AC power and multiphase motors made practical!

If I make a fraction of that change for the better - I'll feel like it was all worth it, no matter what else happens.

And I still hope DCRB gets his iridium. It's really neat stuff (AFAIK, it's not at all like it's described in the Avengers movie - it's nothing that special as far as nuclear stuff goes - just a really neato element on the periodic table - and quite beautiful in thin layers coated onto other things, hence the name).
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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...

Welcome back, Doug! Although I am distressed to hear that you got irradiated, if you have made a big advance, well that is likely well worth it (taking a longer view, betterment of our world and all).

Too bad there will not be any "Little Dougs" to help our world be even better, raise the quality of the gene pool and all... (Some of you know that our daughter will get married next May..., Little Grandkid Bearings?)





***

Yes, I will let you all know about the iridium upon arrival. Apparently it will be in powder form (60 mesh, so, what about 1/60th of an inch sized particles and smaller?), packed in a sealed container -- so I cannot open it and look at it or play with it should I want to sell it back (which I won't do). They DO sell it in smaller amounts, but the guy is on vacation, so I have no other details yet. He mentioned in an email that the per gram price would be higher (and that he would not take it back). But, a small amount of Ir would then allow me to re-think an idea that Doug already knows about.

The world demand for iridium is about 198,000 oz / year I read recently. (Sadly that is TOO MUCH use for us "pmbug-ers" to get together and monopolize.) Which is about 10 times the demand for similar (heavy) osmium -- the latter has a mild toxicity problem in osmium tetraoxide form. Osmium is the rarest of the stable elements, also the heaviest stable element.

There is another company that sells Os, Ru, W, Mo, and Re (maybe one or so others I have forgotten) in one toz sizes, with the chemical symbol, purity and mint name. They do not have iridium yet, but they say it is coming soon. Their prices are generally lower than elementsales.com, and since they mark their pieces of metal, I think that would be useful for collectors (or punters...).

Rhodium (Rh, Baird Mint) bars can be bought at kitco.com.

Ruthenium and rhodium would complete my platinum-group metals collection, so yeah, I will likely finish by buying those last two. It would make a nice picture at a blog article...

***

I have not contacted these guys, who are in the UK and "big" (relatively speaking) in rhenium (Re) and maybe ruthenium:

www.lipmann.co.uk

Rhenium, "almost" a platinum-group metal (white, very dense (about the same as platinum), located just "east" of osmium on the Periodic Chart) appears to be one Lipmann's fort├ęs, apparently Re will be (may already be) used in jet-engine turbine blades (part of a superalloy). Ruthenium may be used as well in the NEXT generation of turbine blades along with Re. Details at the above site, look around.

Lipmann also deals in some other "minor metals", not many rare-earths though. Many of the rare-earths, in pure metal form are not chemically stable (frown), so are not good candidates for wankers (is that a word from the UK?) to buy and hold as a possible "investment".
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DoChenRollingBearing View Post:
...

wankers (is that a word ? ) from the UK.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #14
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Sounds like you might be on your way to becoming an "element collector", DoChen. I know a few of those and should maybe hook you up with them - they seem to be able to find just about anything. Even I have somewhat succumbed to that, and have "way too much weird stuff" on a shelf. In my case, it's more like "substances" - I don't limit it to pure elements, but have all kinds of compounds for things like phosphors, isolated (not radioactive) isotopes and so on. I also have way too many very pretty - but deadly - rocks from the Oklo mine in Africa which was a natural fission reactor around 2 billion years ago. Legal to collect, and someone who had too many gave me, well, too many (stored now in another building as far from me as possible, in the far corner of that). They're pretty (big green crystals on the surfaces) but quite staggeringly nasty as well. Nice calibration source for a gamma ray spectrometer, since just about everything long-lived is still there.

Funny that my only contact with Re so far isn't even mentioned on Wikipedia. It is, or was, most demanded as an alloying agent with tungsten (W), for use in filaments and vacuum tube heaters. I also have some type C thermocouples here, which are WRe alloys (5% Re in one leg, 26% in the other - they work to white heat and beyond, far better than platinum/rhodium - and are available for a couple bucks/foot/wire from NanMac). There are some advantages to WRE alloys. Tungsten is normally too brittle to do much with - Re makes it ductile at normal temperatures - Tungsten is also prone to a catalytic cycle with water at high temperatures - which is why Edison couldn't use it in light bulb filaments, they couldn't get a pure enough vacuum (among other reasons). The tungsten reacts with a water molecule, oxidizing it and freeing hydrogen when hot. The oxide has a much lower evaporation point than the metal, so it evaporates to the glass walls of the bulb, where it meets up with the hydrogen and becomes metal again (reforming the water so it can do the deed over and over) - but in the wrong place. I'm sure you've seen parts of bulbs that had filaments where parts of the bulb were blackened (often just before failure) - that's why, and even a small amount of Re in the mix hampers that, as well as brittle fractures due to the shock of turn-on in both incandescent bulbs and vacuum tubes (that's valves for you guys stuck on the other side of the pond).

For money-no-object things - like the vacuum tubes that used to be used as booster amplifiers in undersea cables, extra Re was used, up to 26%, in the tube filaments because it increases the electrical resistivity of the tungsten. That allowed in thicker filaments to be used, with a concomitant life increase. Not exactly a cheap thing to diagnose and replace when they failed, so every effort was made in prevention.

Most of the sources of this oddball kind of thing I know of are not for those concerned with price - their bread and butter is dumb scientists with federal money....so while they have anything you could name, the prices, wow (the purity is often also awesome, but most people don't care past the first few 9's). We get most of that kind of thing by some flavor of scrounging. Universities especially will throw away or auction off lab gear with no thought to intrinsic value, and if there are no pros at the auction, you can often really score. Also, if you have or know kids at those places...you can tell them what to be looking for - often that stuff just goes into the dumpsters and they can grab it for ya. You might get a big piece of obsolete gear just to pull a part of a gram of the "secret sauce" out of it and put the rest back into the dumpster. It's kind of an art form, you have to be "into it". Luckily, I have a friend who lives for that sort of thing.

You can still often find Osmium in alloy form from the replaceable metal needles from the 40's and 50's for 78 and 45 RPM record players (often the wind up spring sort) - I've seen them at flea markets, in particular the almost world famous Hillsville one near me - 11 miles of 3 blocks deep (on either side of main street) vendors - we bought a box of Edison cylinder records at one. For $100.
A real scrounger victory, that. (and my feet still hurt from memory of all that walking) But you probably don't want to get tangled up with the pure form unless it's sealed in glass, it does oxidize and get around, and it's not friendly to humans.

Somewhere here, I have a 5km long piece of W-Re wire (2% Re) that was used for making filaments for battery powered tube radios - half a mil (.0005") thick. It's like a few miles of knife edge, since it has around a 72 lb breaking strength. If you could find handles that would take it, it would be the ultimate garrotte. I keep the tiny spool in a bag for that reason - the stuff is dangerous and will cut you to the bone before you feel it happening (you can guess how I found out), while being invisible without magnification. The entire length fits on a small spool, about 1.5" diameter...

I bet Ancona runs into some nifty stuff...
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #15
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Indeed I do, from time to time. I quite enjoy going to the DRMO auctions on the Cape side to dig through the different lots. No matter what, I buy at least one blind lot each and every time. These are the ones that are packaged in plain brown gaylord boxes that are stapled shut. Odd lots they call them, and only a few of us bid on them. I have found old vacuum, tube radio gear, an entire spool of silver audio wire and lots of gold plated connectors from the Mercury Redstone/Gemini days. That stuff was quadruple thickness plated and when gold and silver were going full retard, I sold a couple of paint pails full of them. In one lot I found an old school gamma detector, you know, the old yellow brick ones.

Some stuff gets put in by accident, so if you open a box and find something really crazy it's best to just call the man and let them have it back. One guy found a whole roll of det cord [for instance]

On the NASA side, they have an IDIQ contractor deal with all of the equipment salvage, but on my demolition projects the3 only thing I cannot keep is fluid filled transformers. That's too bad because I can get a pretty penny for working delta wye pole mounts. A while ago, some guy sold a transformer he got at the Space Center to a developer to replace a failed one over near Disney World on a resort. He forgot to remove the NASA nomenclature plate so when it exploded, and the oil was found to contain PCB's, the shit hit the fan.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:41 AM   #16
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So glad to hear that you are OK DCF. I was wondering about you - your absence was conspicuous enough. Figured you were probably doing another documentary (lol).

Cheers on your breakthrough. Exciting stuff! It's cool to read about men who changed the world (like Tesla). Cooler still to know folks in my lifetime walking those same paths.
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