From Electric Light&Power

One of the things I do for a living is edit the GlobalSpec Wire&Cable Technology newsletter. As such, I read a lot of online publications, including Electric Light&Power. They often have articles on advances in power cables.

Recently, they’ve also run some articles that I think would be interesting to radio amateurs:

  • Silver conductive epoxy. This is a new product announcement for Master Bond EP12TDCS-LO, an electrically-conductive, silver-filled epoxy. There’s no price information, and it’s probably pretty expensive, but it might be useful for some ham radio applications.
  • The 7 Myths of CFL technology. This article address seven of the most commonly misconceptions about compact fluorescent lights, such as dimmable CFLs being hard to find and CFLs causing annoying flicker.
  • Scientists: U.S. nuclear power industry still not viable. This news item reports on a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists that contends that nuclear power is still not viable without billions in government subsidies. It reports,

    Pending and proposed subsidies for new nuclear reactors would shift even more costs and risks from the industry to taxpayers and ratepayers. The Obama administration’s new budget proposal would provide an additional $36 billion in federal loan guarantees to underwrite new reactor construction, bringing the total amount of nuclear loan guarantees to a staggering $58.5 billion, leaving taxpayers on the hook if the industry defaults on these loans.



  1. David N8SRE says:

    I’ve had big issues with CFLs installed in bathrooms dying early due to frequent switching. The need for a warm-up of two or three minutes to reach full brightness was also a big problem there. I switched those rooms back to incandescent bulbs.

  2. Dear Dan:

    I am always amazed at the inaccurate spin (bald-faced lies) that the “Big Corporations” weave in order to deceive a very gullible American public.

    I will quote:

    Under Myth #6
    “CFL’s today contain only trace amounts of mercury, usually less then found in a can of tuna,”

    Lets rip this fun fact to shreds.

    According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, CFLs contain about 4 milligrams of mercury sealed inside of each bulb. According to FDA data, depending on the type of tuna, mercury can range from 0.353 ppm for Albacore tuna down to 0.118 ppm for chunk light tuna. To be very conservative here lets use the worst case number for the tuna.

    A six ounce can of tuna weighs 170.1 grams.

    170.1 grams of tuna X 0.353 ppm of mercury is equal to a worst case of 60.05 micrograms of mercury inside of that 6 ounce can.

    4 milligrams of mercury is 4000 micrograms. 4000 / 60.05 = 66.12

    So there are really 66 times more mercury in a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) than a worst case 6 ounce can of tuna.

    Of course I do expect that the really cheap imported CFLs from China will probably contain more than 4 milligrams of mercury do to poor quality control and a complete lack of even the most basic of environmental regulations.

    The scientist in me welcomes any and all corroborating and non-corroborating data with regard to the numbers that I have presented.

  3. P.S.

    While CFLs provide a “green technology” which will provide energy savings in the longer term, when the factors of the cost in energy to produce and the cost of energy to dispose of properly are accounted for, there is one difficult to quantify factor that also must be considered.

    For many serious readers of hard copy books, magazines and newspapers, and for hobbyists who are doing fine, detailed work on their work benches, the harsh blue green shorter wavelength spectrum of CFLs is at best, an uncomfortable source of illumination. At worst, to a faster and greater degree than incandesents, it gives many users headaches and eye strain.

    Incandescent bulbs, with a longer wavelength in the red and yellow spectrum, provide a much more comfortable source of illumination especially for the weaker eyes of older individuals.

    As of yet, I have been unable to locate CFLs which provide a more comfortable spectrum in only the longer red and yellow wavelengths. I will continue to stock up on 72 bulb cases of GE Soft White 100 watt incandescent bulbs for the lamps at my two favorite spots in the house to read.

    Well before these kinder and gentler bulbs are no longer available, I will have stashed away more than a lifetimes worth.

  4. Jim WD8RWI says:

    You know Dan this really makes one wonder how nuclear power is so successful in other countries around the world but not here where it was invented. You don’t suppose it might be the NRC and their grossly obsolete and pretty much really poorly researched regulations do you? For instance, I know that for,at least 30 years, the only type of power plant that the NRC would approve was a high pressure steam type just liked used in the Nautilus. Do you really think that a reactor designed to be used in a sub is the right design to be used for a land based site? Not Bloody Likely!!

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