Archaic Technology

  I have recently been attempting to seek out and learn more about technologies that have fallen by the wayside, been swept under the rug, or are simply not widely known by the general population. NEW and OLD!

  I thought in an effort to bring some knowledge to me I would try it out as a group here on AoM. There seems to be a wide knowledge base here, from a pretty diverse group of people. Some of you must have some "Remember when...?" knowledge passed down from fathers and Grandfathers.

  Do you know of, or have you heard of, are you privy to any type of information that fits this description? Please, share it with everyone. This can be any type of technology at all ie fuel energy, farming techniques, gardening, flying, math, education, etc. The possibilities are endless. I mean anything that has been altered, changed, bastardized, watered down, intentionally hidden, mangled with false information, out lived or surpassed by competing technologies, or simply forgotten because it's usefulness fell out of date, or even was considered too "crazy" by the establishment of the times.

   Feel free to include individuals and personalities, futurists and "mad scientist" type ideas that were introduced and never saw the light of day. 

  I think this could be very entertaining, fun and maybe even a little educational.

Wood-Gas Powered Vehicle

Location: Earth
Members: 12
Latest Activity: yesterday

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Comment by Karl Helweg yesterday

Just to go along with the crystal radio there is the spark gap transmitter:

There is a cousin to the crystal radio, the foxhole radio:

Comment by Karl Helweg on June 23, 2014 at 12:48pm

Ari White - unfortunately I cannot argue with your reasoning for why gassifier kits are not likely to be marketed at this time.  It does cause me to toy with the idea of converting my gasoline powered boat since there is lots of room to mount it on the back of the boat, we live in a rainforest where wood is plentiful along virtually all shorelines, there is room to feed a gassifier,  I tend to not be in much of a hurry when I am boating, and marine gas is outrageously expensive.  Just a thought although I can find surprisingly few examples of boat gassifiers(?)

Just so we don't beat gassifiers to death as the only worthwhile archaic technology, has anyone built a crystal radio:

Comment by Ari White on June 18, 2014 at 2:29pm

Here's a link to a folder I have on Google Documents. Most of the image files are for the html files in this folder. Just download everything.

Take this stuff with a grain of salt. This technology has been used by many people for many ends over the years. The FEMA gassifier makes notoriously dirty gas, and was suitable for very short-term use on the cars that were in widespread use in the 80s when it was written. The earlier stuff, from the 30s and 40s, is somewhat dated, but worked well enough for them. The title of Lutz's article makes me, as a Jew, cringe. It's still good information and, unlike the Nazis, I won't throw it away because of its source.

Like I said, take this stuff with a grain of salt. It's collected from many sources in many eras with many different agendas.

Comment by Ari White on June 18, 2014 at 1:38pm
Standardized kits for retrofit would be nearly impossible, as dimensions of many components change depending on the application. Regulatorily speaking, the matter would be far worse. The EPA likes to know exactly what fuel is being used by the motor for emissions standards. Selling a motor/woodgas generatorkit wouldn't fly. Selling a retrofit kit by itself is a very grey area, outside of the technical hurdles involved. There's a good chance the EPA will just shut you down.

For what it's worth, in my next comment, I'll give a link to my big collection of woodgas technical documents and articles.
Comment by Karl Helweg on June 18, 2014 at 12:08pm

Would folks be more likely to use wood/garbage gasifiers IF there were inexpensive standardized kits available for sale? 

Comment by Karl Helweg on March 6, 2013 at 6:24pm  This is another article on wood gas powered cars but the "Low-tech" online magazine that the article comes from might have other articles that you would like.  Wait a minute, on-line low-tech magazine.......

Comment by Liam S. on February 25, 2013 at 4:29pm

Stirling engines are not good at generating heat (they require a heat differential to work), but they are good at moving it around. A common usage would be putting one on top of a wood burning oven, driving a fan to distribute heat from that oven around the room. 

Comment by Karl Helweg on February 25, 2013 at 3:57pm

I understand that they usually lack acceleration for cars but this is a "cousin" that shows promise:

Comment by Shane on February 23, 2013 at 1:07pm

Solar thermal generators use them.  NASA looked into their off world applications, because they're a closed system.  That's all I know of.

Comment by Karl Helweg on February 21, 2013 at 5:06pm

Although not totally forgotten the Stirling engine has fallen out of common use:

I wish that these Whispergen systems were locally available (and affordable) for boats and a wood or wood pellet version would be great for remote cabins.

Basically it is a multi-fuel Stirling engine heater, hot water heater, and home generator. 


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