Fun with Phase, and Going With the Flow

There are flurries of posts on LENR Forum about a potential error in measuring 3-phase power, and this post caught my attention:

ele wrote:

LDM wrote:

Reversing a clamp, for example on I1 inverts the polarity of I1

This is usual absurdity that have been heard many times.

AC current have no defined polarity ( is in AC !) so if you reverse a clamp the instrument will detect a 180 phase shift of the current but the power calculation will remain the same !

All your formulas are wrong.

Start reading e.g. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.…ase-electrical-d_888.html

This is one more piece of circumstantial evidence that ele is Rossi.

This cannot be said on LENR Forum because of how the rule against doxxing is interpreted (is that in the TOS? I don’t recall seeing it). Doxxing is prohibited on Wikipedia (anonymity is important to that community, even though it conflicts with other policies and the goals of Wikipedia), but evidence-based assertions of sock puppetry are allowed. Rossi has more than one account he has almost certainly used on LF, while his supporters (most notably Sifferkoll) have doxxed others without sanction (but much hand-wringing).

The claim about “ac” and “power calculation” is a Rossi trope. From An Impossible Invention by Mats Lewan (2014), about the Hydro Fusion test in 2012 (my emphasis):

The instruments Rossi was using to measure how much electrical energy was consumed to heat the device showed lower values than the instruments that the researcher from SP [Technical Research Institute of Sweden] had brought. The difference was not trivial— Rossi’s readings were between half and a third of the researcher’s measurements. If the researcher’s instruments were credible, the device was consuming two to three times more electrical energy than expected. It wasn’t producing three times more energy than the input but was delivering no net energy. It did not work. I believed the researcher’s instruments because I had immediately understood the source of the problem.

Rossi had a control unit that he used to gradually increase the input electric voltage. To regulate the voltage, he twisted a small knob on the unit, technology equivalent to a conventional dimmer used to turn lights up and down. The problem with a dimmer is that it delivers chopped values, not a clean, smooth ‘sine’ curve typical from an AC outlet but a curve that is cut off abruptly and repeatedly, a hundred times a second. [It is 50 Hz power there]. For this reason it is difficult to measure with simple measuring instruments of the type Rossi used. They simply showed wrong. How large the error was and whether they showed too little or too much was difficult to know in an advance.

… Rossi had promised to carry out a ‘control’ run — the same check the US group and NASA had also requested: running a unit in parallel without fuel, to see if it produced less energy with the same measuring methods. But when the Swedes arrived at the industrial premises Rossi had not prepared the second identical reactor without fuel for the control run. Instead he had prepared a welded box that he thought could be used for the control run, but since it was not at all similar to the reactor it was hardly a reasonable proposal.

… that Rossi refused to accept the issue with the instruments made things worse. He could perhaps have saved the situation by admitting that there must be something wrong and that it would be best to cancel the measurements and undertake the test on another day. Instead he persevered and insisted that his instruments were correct and that the device worked as it should. I knew that Rossi had little electrical-engineering knowledge but tried anyway to explain the problem to him. Rossi, on the other hand, called the person who had designed the control unit and who obviously supported him.

Rossi relies on experts who agree with him, and rejects those who don’t. And then accuses those who criticize the work of not respecting “professors” and “nuclear engineers.”

In his email to IH about this test, Rossi claimed to have deliberately failed it:

I made the test abort, maintaining the temperatures below the starting limit. Then I made up some discussions, I said they made a wrong test, they escaped, I am free. 

“Made up some discussions.” Indeed. Rossi is highly deceptive, one way or another. This account is distinctly different from the Lewan account. If Rossi was telling the truth to IH, and if his claims about ac power were correct, there would have been no issue of defective measurements, there would merely have been no excess heat. If his goal were to fail the test, so that the offer of investment (SEK65 million, or very roughly $11 million) would be withdrawn, the way he did it would, in fact, strongly impact his reputation. A set of Swedish investors and experts came away convinced he was a fraud (or, at best, ignorant and reliant upon deceptive evidence, with no understanding of “control experiments,” which was already clear from his comments in 2011).

But Rossi did not say, as he claims, “I made a wrong test.” The opposite. He said that the device actually worked and that the test was successful. And his arguments apply to these later comments about power measurement.

The issue here is a little different. The instrument being used is a PCE-830, which can, indeed, measure complex power. I am here treating the ele comments as if made by Rossi, because ele is promoting, clearly, a Rossi trope — and other evidence makes it even more likely he is Rossi, or, at minimum, a close associate.

ele (Rossi, then) here argues that reversing a clamp will have no effect, because AC has no polarity. In fact, what is important is phase relationship, and reversing a clamp will shift the current phase 180 degrees. A device like the PCE-830 measures power by measuring instantaneous voltage and current, with high frequency resolution, and the PCE manual requires correct polarity:

(This manual has “analyser” or “analyzer” mispelled and is, my opinion, poorly written, by someone not expert in English.)

(for a different type of probe) Make sure the current flowing direction is in inconsistent [sic] with the arrow marked on the probe coupling. If the flexible current probe is connected in the right orientation, the correct phase will be displayed in the oscilloscope. …

12. Power quality of a 3-Phase 4-Wire (3P4W) System …

d) Clamp on to the L1, L2, L3. Make sure the current flow [sic] from the front of the current probe to the back of it.

That’s horribly written. What is the direction of current flow? And especially, what is the direction with AC? Rather, consider the point where the voltage is measured as the “source” of current (even though technically it might at some times be the “sink.”). The direction of current flow would then be along the wire toward the load. And the current should then “enter” at the “front of the probe,” which is also not clearly defined, but which obviously means the side with the range selector on it. As well, they don’t explicitly state it, but the voltage leads and current leads should match, i.e., V1 to I1, V2 to I2, and V3 to I3.

If the polarity of the current leads makes no difference, why does the manual emphasize it, making sure that it is correct. As an electronics engineer, of a sort, though self-trained, even if I became a professional, I would not need that admonition, because I know that phase matters. This was not within my specific expertise, though, I never worked with 3-phase power systems. What I especially know is that it can be very tricky to measure power in high-frequency systems. Bandwidth matters.

Reading the manual and specifications, I don’t see sample rate, but there is one specification, about transient capture, that might lead to a 16 microsecond interval between samples, which would be, then 1000 samples per 60 Hz cycle. The “frequency range” of the unit is specified as from 45 to 65 Hz. That does not tell me the capture bandwidth, and high frequency power might escape measurement. In one report the power waveform is explained to be proprietary and secret, so no oscilloscope display of the power was permitted– which, if the oscilloscope has sufficient bandwidth could show a problem. This is not particularly relevant to the present discussion, which is only about the effect of current probe reversal on power measurement accuracy.

Chopping the power introduces high-frequency components. Whether or not this will “hide” power depends on details we don’t know. But it’s possible.

So ele (Rossi) refers us to a source for us to be educated. I’ve seen him does this before. The source doesn’t accomplish what he suggests, and I’ve seen his alleged sources directly contradict what Rossi is claiming. His attorneys also do this in the lawsuit, rather egregiously.

The source is Electrical 3-phase equations on Engineering Toolbox. From how Rossi uses this, it seems that he assumes a power factor of one. The toolbox implies that power factor can be from 0.7 to 1.0, but an actual example is given with a PF of 0.17.

My point is that Rossi’s reference does not at all make his point, and his point is obviously incorrect. Rossi’s socks on LF have long argued like this, dripping with sarcasm at the stupidity of those seen as critics of Rossi, while being, to the knowledgeable, face-palm ignorant himself. If he knew what he was doing, this would be trolling.

Nevertheless, this passes on Planet Rossi, even among those, sometimes, who understand the technical issues. They give Rossi a pass because he has a plausible motive for being deceptive! If he has a plausible motive, therefore he might have something real, it’s impossible to tell, etc., and think of the children! Mats Lewan has actually used this argument, that the possible value of LENR is so great that we should be

That a measurement error could possibly occur in the tests being described is not proof that it actually occurred. But the errors are clearly possible, and Rossi’s frenetic denials (as at that Hydro Fusion test) serve to convince anyone reasonably skeptical that he is either a fraud or an ignorant fool.

I recommend, for an early look at these issues, the Infinite Energy review of Lewan’s book. Jed Rothwell gives his analysis, which in some ways matches mine from that period, except I was more careful, I think, to point out that the inferred (and apparently admitted) Rossi deceptive strategy was indistinguishable from a pure con. That is, part of Rossi’s strategy was to appear to be a con, to discourage heavy investment in imitation, while at the same time attracting adequate interest to gain investment. Now, how can we tell the difference between a skillfully created appearance of fraud, with a real invention underneath it, from actual fraud? Even more, how can we distinguish it from delusion and insanity? It might be difficult!

I made the claim at the time that a skilled fraud, like a skilled magician, can create any appearance desired, with adequate control of conditions; this has much to do with control of attention, and, as well, with selection of audience. Exclude anyone who might see through the fraud, this is easier. (But Rossi did allow Mats to witness tests, and it’s fairly obvious why, Mats has been showing his vulnerability, and doesn’t seem to be aware of all that Rossi v. Darden has been revealing conclusively.)

I claimed, back in 2011, that even an expert can be fooled, because the methods of fraud could be nearly infinite, and an expert’s knowledge is necessarily finite. Extant expertise alone is not enough, very substantial intuition and imagination would be required, as well as the ability to design tests to verify results independently (such as the “room calorimeter” concept, addressing total power dissipation in a confined space). One could have done this at Lugano; observe the temperature of the room with the device ostensibly at full power, then off and with electrical heating. What electrical heat produces the same room temperature as the full-power device? It’s crude but would be a sanity check.

(And this is why, for extraordinary claims, fully-independent confirmation is highly desirable, and, again, we would want, for those extraordinary claims, multiple independent confirmations, not just of some vague “effect,” but of actual performance. IH, by offering to pay up to $100 million for the “secret” and a license, and actually paying $11.5 million plus expenses, broke the ice, enabling themselves to test “the technology” independently, not only in dependence on Rossi. And we see the results. Rossi pitched a fit and sued.)

ele also wrote:

Paradigmnoia wrote:

I think a drill with a magnet on a dowel could do it, too. [Once] the water meter values are tricked out, any purported kWh could be faked.

ha ha ha ha ! Come on ! This is completely absurd.
The effect of a (very strong !) magnet eventually would be to slow down the metallic moving parts so making the flow meter to count a lower flow so less energy. Same for the dowel. But modern certified meters are shielded (moving parts not in metal) against this tempering.

Rossi knows that these arguments may fool a few, and he only needs a few to be fooled. His essential claim here is that it is impossible to fool a flow meter, and in this case, he does not seem to have understood the proposed method. He is thinking of a magnet being static and slowing down the rotor, and then what does he imagine is done with the dowel? And he’s missed the drill. He shows no imagination, because he does not want to imagine the ways that meters and people could be fooled, but surely it’s possible, even if Rossi thinks it absurd. After all, he sure fooled those Hydro Fusion idiots!

If the meter has metal parts in the rotor or in the count accumulating mechanism, a rotating magnet could possibly be used to vibrate or rotate these parts, thus allowing spinning up the meter to whatever reading is desired. Whether or not this could be done in actual practice would depend on the details of construction.

Rossi may have a point here, about this particular fraud mechanism. However, looking at the Aptator manual, the mechanism is protected by an antimagnetic cover. This immediately suggests some fraud modes: remove the cover and accelerate the readings with the spinning magnet, or replace the antimagnetic cover with a plastic moulding (easy to make from an original cover) that is not antimagnetic, but that is painted to resemble it. Then the readings can be set without removing the cover.

There are many other possibilities for fraud — or error –, some of which have been mentioned. The pipe might not be full. Alternatively, there may be recirculation due to flooding, which could occur through a steam riser, if present, or through any flooded reactor.

Bottom line, for a definitive test, one who stands to benefit from the test should be prevented from accessing the test setup, and especially from unobserved access. Those who might stand to lose from a fake test must have the right to fully observe it, directly or indirectly, with expert access allowed. There are probably hundreds of possible ways to fool a “megawatt” test if it is not possible to confirm the heat though observing how it is dissipated.

In court, claims of “absurd” are not going to work any more than claims of a megawatt will fly without demonstration of what a megawatt would make obvious, lots of heat that must be moved somewhere, and with what it takes to move that heat.

Rossi is now claiming there was a heat exchanger, and has found an expert who will testify that the claimed design will work if it existed; he cannot testify to that existence. However, without clear evidence that the heat exchanger actually existed, in spite of it being unmentioned when Rossi was questioned about dissipation (if the exchanger story is true, he lied back then), and given that Rossi removed the evidence that could have established his story as fact, and that the calculations of the expert appear to be incorrect, his story is burnt toast. Maybe that’s where the heat went, or for cooking his goose. Or turkey.

And this is all for nothing. There was no GPT, the legal issues are clear and not mistakeable. If Rossi somehow manages to get his complaint past an MTD, he’d face incredible odds at trial, and then a snowball’s chance in hell that a “victory” would survive an appeal. To claim estoppel — his only chance, since the agreements were explicit — requires much more than an assumption of approval from the very weak evidence he has presented.

So Rossi cannot win, no matter what actually happened in Doral. Most of that only becomes relevant in the counterclaims, can Rossi avoid being found liable for fraudulent representation (where evidence is unmistakeable). Will he walk away short of bankruptcy?

Given what we have seen, confirming impressions that already existed before the lawsuit, but that were held in suspense by some because of the thin possibility that Rossi actually had a useful technology, supported by the idea that, surely if responsible and successful venture capitalists like the IH people were supporting him, there must be something to it, Rossi is finished, it’s easily predictable now.

Others have said that they don’t like to predict what courts will do, and I understand that. But sometimes obvious is obvious, and I call it how I see it. I don’t know enough to call the 3rd party counterclaims yet. A trial might be needed. Some of the IH claims in their Motion for Summary Judgment are quite clear, though. Johnson is in trouble. He thinks that JMP will indemnify him. He can wait in line. JMP has no assets, he arranged it that way.

It’s Rossi all the way down.

Alan Smith wrote:

IH Fanboy wrote:

So you really think swirling a magnet next to the flow meter will magically cause some digits to flip, to exactly what you want no less?

Afraid not. Tried it with a very similar flow meter, no effect. Probably because the turbine parts are plastic.

As usual, not the brightest bulb in the pack. <- obligatory blog snark.

The “magnet” idea is not “magic,” and it is obvious that it requires what we might call “cooperating magnetic material,” either in the turbine parts or in the counting mechanism. The Aptator meter has an “antimagnetic cover.” Why? I find this relatively obvious: there must be parts in it which could be affected by a magnetic field. So they shield against it with that cover. This leads, then, to two questions: how effective is the cover and can the cover be removed? Since there are dials under it, giving higher resolution readings, apparently the cover is removable. With the cover removed, the inner workings would not be protected.

(Unless Alan’s test was with the same meter, and done with all possible orientations and positions of the magnet, they would not be conclusive. Alan is here simply accepting the Rossi-IHFB argument. And then, even if it was the same meter, there remains the possibility of meter alteration as described.

Alan assumes that there is no modification to the meter itself.

There must be a flow path into the turbine. Imagine pouring small ball bearings into that flow path, so that they fill the turbine sections. This would have two effects: it would increase the apparent flow readings for a given actual flow, since the volume of the compartments would lessen, and it would make the system vulnerable to magnetic manipulation. And the bearings could be poured out later, before sending the device for “calibration.”

There is weak support for this idea in the meter being overlarge for the flow, with the claimed flow being below the minimum rating of the meter.

Bottom line, the flow meter installation could be hacked if a fraud had unrestricted access. Add to this the possibility, a simple one, that, once a day, the system was flooded using the Grundfos pump in the Customer Area, and that this would easily allow the flow readings to be inflated to whatever level was desired. The circulating water could be maintained at the boiling point, that only takes enough heat to recover losses.

Notice that in considering possible fraud modes, there is a ready assumption that it is one or the other. I.e., a partially empty pipe is contradictory to a flooded system. But both could occur, merely at differing times. Rossi had months to set all this up before the “test” began.

The ball-bearing idea could be discovered by close examination of the meter for internal wear, but, of course, Penon took the meter. Rossi could have “fixed” the meter on the last day. These possibilities (they cannot be called “facts” yet) show how a major test, on which a major payment would be based, requires independence and lack of unobserved access by the payee. If there is mutual bias (i.e., the payer is allegedly biased), then a full management contract with an uninvolved third party — a reputable organization — would be a path forward. Rossi’s habits around full secrecy (even to the point that he considered the IH engineer Murray a “spy”) — made all this impossible.

One more point that comes up in the discussions. With a developing familiarity with the documents, it is obvious to me that Rossi knew that the lack of Ampenergo signature invalidated the Second Amendment. Rossi’s interpretation that this converted an agreement of all the parties, as explicitly required, into a side-agreement with IH is legally preposterous. The IH signature, as with all such signatures, would be presumed to be conditional on the agreement of all the parties. If a side-agreement is to be created, that would require another signing; notice that the Second Amendment is not dated, as would have happened when all the parties had signed, since the amendment would go into effect once all parties have signed. So the amendment never went into effect. And Rossi knew that, or would reasonably have known it.

The correspondence, and as supported by deposition testimony, with no contradiction from Rossi bearing on the point, shows that IH did allow the possibility that Rossi would perform, and that if he did, if the purposes of the original Agreement were satisfied, they would pay him anyway, in spite of the technical defect. It is quite clear that Ampenergo trusted this, they were betting on IH honesty. There is clear evidence as to why IH allowed Penon to be called the “ERV.” He had been the ERV for the Validation test, but none of the correspondence shows that IH consented to the Doral plant as the GPT, forcing a payment of $89 million simply on the “ERV” saying so. None of the IH correspondence shows that IH accepted Penon as an ERV for a GPT; they simply accepted (and shared payment for) Penon’s services in using the Doral power sale as a kind of “test.” Just because it was a test (i.e., was used that way) does not make it the GPT. The time for the contractual GPT had indeed passed, and that is why nobody bothered to amend the Second Amendment to make it clearly apply to Doral. It was moot, dead, incomplete, never signed and dated, something that Rossi glossed over in filing his Complaint, and this was so obvious that it is possible that Annesser will be found negligent, not having done due diligence to confirm what he signed in filing with the Court.

They allowed these things for reasons that have been often stated: to keep Rossi “sweet,” as one put it. They knew that as soon as they actually confronted Rossi directly, the relationship and the possibility of his truly revealing a possible necessary “secret” was over. People have asked when the aha! moment was for IH. I don’t see that there was a clear point; it’s fairly obvious that they had doubt from the beginning, but also hope, so they decided to stand on the hope, and I know the technique. And they continued to watch and observe. They knew that the Rossi “customer” story was shaky, and they knew that before the Doral plant started up. But it was all unclear, plausible with the cover story backed up by an attorney, Johnson. The evolution of the story is quite clear in the documents, which support the IH testimony (and not the later Rossi rationalizations).

From what I have seen as to admissible evidence and testimony, from the arguments presented by IH and Rossi in the IH Motion for Summary Judgment, Rossi has no chance of convincing a properly instructed jury as to the Claims of his Complaint, and if the Judge agrees, she will grant the IH Motion on the points that are that clear, and those will demolish the Rossi lawsuit, leaving only the countersuit, parts of which might also be adequately clear, but that is less certain to me.

The circumstantial claim that IH should have directly told Rossi, in writing, that Doral was not a GPT, is seriously flawed, given the circumstances, and legal notice only became necessary when Rossi’s GPT intention was clear, and it appears that IH did, in fact, complain in writing then. Before that point, they simply rode with the status quo and did not confront Rossi with what might have been, earlier, arising as suspicion. They waited for clear evidence, and the earliest evidence I have seen is the Murray rejection in July, 2015, about five months after the start of the Doral “test.” There may have been an earlier rejection of McLaughlin, it appears and that would also have violated the Term Sheet.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


9 thoughts on “Fun with Phase, and Going With the Flow”

  1. If we are looking at the simplest way to fake the results simply put the thermocouple probe against a metal plate heated to a constant temperature of around 103 degrees and use the Grundfos pump to circulate the hot water from the internal tank at the required cubic meters per day.

    The logistics of reading the flow meter escapes me. Let’s say the meter started at 100, just to be specific. During the days testing during Feb the flow rate was recorded at a constant 36 cubic meters per day every day. So, the meter would read 136, 172, 208, 244 etc… But it’s not a digital meter, it’s a 5-digit barrel display, so, when you come to physically read the meter the last digit might be between a 2 and a 3 say, so how do you choose? you might look at the hidden dials but according to Penon they only read whole cubic meters, which introduced a considerable systematic error of up to 1 cubic meter.

    One might suppose they just used the Grundfos pump to circulate the 36 cubic meters each day, and recorded it as such.

    It gets even worse when Rossi reports water leaks on many day, but the flow rate remains stubbornly constant. It just doesn’t add up.

  2. I think Ele’s English is too good for him to be Rossi.

    That’s just my gut feeling. If he were a Japanese speaker pretending to be an English speaker, I could probably tell with assurance.

    1. Maybe, but notice that I add that ele could be someone working closely with Rossi, or, alternatively, Rossi decided to use someone as a proofreader and editor. Not difficult to accomplish. The tropes are very cleanly Rossi tropes, matching JONP comments.

      One great irony is ele throwing mud at an anonymous user for being anonymous.

  3. Abd – thanks for the nice long list of recent comments. Some really important ones in there from Jed talking about the practicalities of the helium leakage I hadn’t appreciated before that.

    For the phase problem here, IIRC the PCE830 has a usable bandwidth of around 100KHz. I’ll see if I can find a spec-sheet of that to be certain. It will thus most likely mess up measurements on triac circuits that are insufficiently damped. Since circuits you can buy are correctly damped to stop excess radiation and interference (and are tested to comply to FCC regulations), that’s not normally a problem, but of course you can do what you like if you build the circuit as Rossi probably did.

    The obvious lack of anywhere for 1MW to have disappeared to in the Doral test makes it very obvious in turn that that heat wasn’t actually there. As such, instead of trying to think of ways in which Rossi’s system may have worked, we’re left putting up ideas for how it was faked. Those suggestions may or may not be accurate, and in the end we’ll never be sure. We also can’t be absolutely sure that that was no excess heat at all, but it’s a racing certainty that there wasn’t. Even the 60kW that has been mooted as what would be needed to heat 36m³/day of dirty water from 70°C to 100°C would have made it uncomfortably hot at times without somewhere for that heat to go, and of course even that much heat would have been visible of an IR survey. I haven’t bothered checking the maths for 60kW needed, by the way. Wasted effort – it wasn’t there either.

    How the water flow meter was made to give the wrong answer (magnetic tickling, alternate flow through a dual-circuit, air in the pipe or something else) is also a moot question. They may not even have looked at the meter before writing the data in the sheet. We just don’t know and can never be sure. It’s simply pretty obvious that the data is wrong. As scams go, it’s also pretty lackadaisical since they didn’t bother making a spreadsheet to back-calculate what the readings should have been for a sufficiently-variable power delivery to look real so they could write in realistic-looking data. Maybe Rossi believes that an absolutely-stable heat output is more impressive than one that varies by 10%, and that producing steam at 1 bar and between 103.8 and 104.2°C is far better than having steam that varies in temperature by 40°C or so and the pressure varies too. OK, it’s a fair amount of work to do the programming and data entry so it looks reasonable, but for $89M it seems a really good hourly rate since he had all that time in the factory anyway. Obviously he expected his followers (and IH) to swallow it whole, and in the case of Planet Rossi he seems to have been right.

    An expert can be fooled, especially if he or she is not expecting skulduggery. The magician can be a step or two ahead and put the gimmick where no-one with any sense would expect it. It’s also depressingly easy to blind people with science where there’s a basis of truth with some twist somewhere – see BrLP as an example, though that is off-topic here (at least so far), and I know of a good engineer who came away from a demo convinced it worked. Tell people it’s new physics and they are less likely to cavil than if you attack very old assumptions that are accepted truths.

    Net result, though, is that Rossi’s goose is well and truly cooked, and if he gets away without jail-time for fraud and perjury I’ll be surprised.

      1. On the PCE-830, does not tell me the bandwidth as such. However, it does say there are 1024 readings per period to give the waveform, which pins the A-D chip at around 60k samples per second. That puts the Nyquist limit at around 30kHz, which seems a bit on the low side, since 1Ms/s digitisers are pretty cheap these days, and putting a few of them in there would enable simultaneous measurements of current and voltage. Instead it looks like they are multiplexing the measurements so there is a significant delay (16-20µs) between measuring the current and voltage on each channel. Still, it looks like the scope for measurements of power being severely out for normal waveforms is small, and won’t give a 3:1 ratio but could have a 30% error. I have not currently found a schematic for the PCE-830. I’ve also never used one.

        There are however other ways to get the wrong measurements, apart from the reversed current sensor (and note that with AC you won’t see the result shown as negative power on that channel, so it’s not that obvious). Putting the sensor into saturation would be pretty simple and under-read the power by a variable (and predictable and repeatable) amount. Never trust someone else’s meter when you have to pay – much the same as using someone else’s favourite pack of cards in poker, I suppose. How are those cards marked?

        1. Multiplexing the signal into a single ADC for a power measurement is a very bad idea. Those measurements of power and current should be simultaneous, not sequential, and, yes, a megasample/sec has been cheap for a very long time. (Better to give up some precision in favor of rigor, and superfast 8 bit ADCs have, again, been cheap for a long time. I have designed systems to create a digital oscilloscope, over twenty years ago, using a pile of very fast comparators.) I am not impressed by the PCE-830 manual, but it might be a fine piece of equipment, with proper usage. That manual failed to properly explain polarity, it was easily misunderstood.

    1. You wrote: “OK, it’s a fair amount of work to do the programming and data entry so it looks reasonable . . .”

      It is a piece of cake these days. It is fun! Years ago I made fake data for user manuals. We had gobs of real data from customers but we didn’t want to use that. I wrote Pascal programs to crank out real-looking data. Recently I did the same thing with Excel. It was easy. The random generation functions are powerful. Okay, it would not survive close examination by the CIA. It is too random. But a person looking at the graph would think it is real.

      My favorite quote about random number generators was from John von Neumann, who worked with the people who made the first computer random number generator. I think he gave a lecture about it. Anyway, he said:

      “Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”

      I could have cranked out much more convincing spreadsheets for Rossi. As I see it, he didn’t make a convincing effort to commit fraud. He was phoning it in. He is not the first-chop con man he used to be. I guess he is getting old, or maybe $10 million dulled his senses and took the edge off his work.

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