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Friday, June 24, 2011

Pickled Okra

Original Article

The gentleman decided to come over to my house to show me how to make his very delicious pickled okra, instead of me hauling everything over to his house. There's only a few ingredients, and the recipe can be adjusted from one jar to a hundred easily. Here's what we did.

Boil your jars lids and rings to sterilize them, and in the meantime gather your ingredients:

One clove of garlic

Dill seed

White vinegar

non-iodized canning salt (optional)

peppers (I used jalapeno)

Wash okra well and dry it. Stuff as many in one of your sterilized jars as possible, leaving enough room to add a few slices of peppers, a teaspoon of dill, and a peeled clove of garlic.

put 1 cup of vinegar to one cup of water PER JAR into a saucepan and add about 1/8 cup of canning salt per jar. Bring to a boil.

At this point it's a good idea to put your jars into a pan of hot (not boiling) water to help adjust for the shock of pouring boiling liquid into it.

Pour your vinegar concoction straight into the jar leaving as little headroom as possible and while it's still good and hot, use a towel to tighten the lids and rings on, then turn upside down and allow to cool.

Don't open or eat for 21 days.

In my case, I'm using pint jars and had enough pickle to make one more jar, but this is as much okra as I've picked yet.

The Gentleman invited me to his house to pick plums for jelly, so that's today's project.. Plum jelly, and jam (If I don't eat em all before we get done!)

This recipe makes very crisp and delicious okra pickles. The flash boil is supposed to stop the enzyme action while not making the okra soggy. The Ball canning guide I mentioned in another thread says that some of these practices are "inferior or obsolete" but this man has been making pickled okra this way for 50 years, and since I already ate two jars he gave me, I'm certain that this method works just fine.

Induction Generator Load Test

Original Article

As promised on the no-load vid of this induction generator, here is a video of the first load test. I have both a 120 volt and 220 volt connection; the 120 is powering the light bulb (which is 100 watts; these will soon be outlawed so stock up) and the 220 is powering a heating element from an oven. As you can see and hear, the single belt and lack of a belt tensioner is the limiting factor. When I switch on the heating element, the voltage drops to 160 or so, with a corresponding dimming of the light bulb. But when I shove the 2x4 in there to tension the belt, the bulb brightens again and the high voltage rises to about 210 volts. At this voltage, the current into the heating element is about 7 amps, which equates to a bit under 1500 watts. Add the 100 watt light bulb and you get almost 1600 watts, with no sign of any problems.
I ran this setup with both loads connected for about 20 minutes. The water was boiling, but that's ok. I didn't want to run it any longer without a larger cooling hopper, though.
One thing I neglected to check during filming was the frequency. I remembered to check it after I had put the camera away but while the generator was still running, and I found that it was only 54 Hertz. So I increased the speed of the engine, reaching 58 cycles and 218 volts under load into the heating element. Because I was checking the frequency with the same meter I had been using to monitor the amps, I didn't get a current reading at that voltage. But it was definitely increasing its power output, because I could not reach 60 cycles. When I increased the speed beyond the 58 cycle setting, the single belt reached its limit and started slipping even though I had pounded a short chunk of 4x4 between the motor and generator so it would hold tension.
So why am I out here messing with this thing in 100 degree weather (literally. I was gonna say something like it wasn't really that hot, it was only 98 degrees; then I went and looked at the thermometer to get an accurate reading, and it is 102 degrees outside)?
Because the electricity was off when I was shooting this. It was off when I woke up this morning, then it came back on for about an hour, then went back off again. Typical day here. So I really need to put this engine on the 7.5 KW generator that is sitting beside it, because I need a generator that can run the air conditioner, refrigerator, deep freeze and all that stuff, and the engine that is currently (no pun intended) on the generator needs a rebuild. So I needed to get this experiment out of the way to free up that engine. Don't worry though; I am sufficiently pleased with the outcome of this test to want to do some further testing and use it for some practical applications as well; just with a different engine. I have a little 6.5 hp Kubota diesel engine that is not currently employed...

Generator From Electric Motor

Original Article

Here I have a 208/220V; 440V, 5 horsepower 3-phase motor that I am experimenting with converting to an inductive generator, powered by my Changfa S195 Chinese 12 hp diesel engine. I'm learning here; I have never done this before. In both clips, the motor is wired for low (208/220) voltage. That means it is wired Wye-Wye (two sets of windings paralleled), whereas it would need to be wired Wye (both sets in series) for 440V. Does this mean I could produce 440 volts with this setup? Undoubtedly. Rectify that to DC and power the plate circuit of a tube linear amplifier without the big transformer normally required. Add a small transformer for the low voltage stuff, and this would make a good power supply for a legal-limit ham radio station.

So anyway, in the first clip I am using only one capacitor, and it is the only capacitor I could find in the microFarad range that was rated for high voltage AC. It has nowhere near enough capacitance; I think it was 0.75 uF or something like that. As you can see, it didn't work.
Digging around in cyberspace, I found reference to C-2C wiring for this specific purpose. Unfortunately the guy who was describing it didn't have a firm grasp of what he was describing, having simply followed someone else's directions. Thus, although it would seem that "2C" would imply double the capacitance of "C", the narrative did not leave me with a feeling of confidence that that was what he meant. Not disrespecting the guy or anything, just telling it like it is.
So I searched further and ascertained that, indeed, 2C means 2C and not merely C2. I found other stuff about it too, which gave me the confidence to actually spend a bit of money.
Basically, it works like this: imagine a delta-wound, 3-phase motor. There are of course 3 legs to which the power connects; L1, L2 and L3. L1 and L2 will be the output. C, the first capacitor, connects in parallel across L1-L2. 2C connects in parallel across L2-L3. Nothing connects across L3-L1.
2C can be either a single capacitor of double the value of C or, as you see here, two caps of the same value as C, connected in parallel.

So I went to everybody's least favorite online auction site and bought three identical, new, 55 uF 440V motor run capacitors. As you can see, this works; at least as far as producing voltage. Stay tuned, because next I plan to load it with some heating elements to see