Is there really a theory behind the hojo motor scam?

I ran into it on line.  More truthfully, it ran into me.  I've never heard of it.  I do know it's a scam, you can't spend $100.00 at the hardware store and build a device that supplies 120 volts at 2oo amps to power a house.  The whole thing did pique my curiosity, just like a gasifier or hovercraft or flying lawnmower would.  The problem is that if you try to find just information on what the thing is all you get is page after page after page of scam sites or people trying to sell plans for some mythical device.

The only thing I've been able to ferret out is that it's some kind of perpetual motion device that will power my whole neighborhood if I spend 9 hours building it.  I like to think none of my fellow humans are silly enough to believe that.

Anyway, without trying to tell me you have one powering your house and an orphanage out of kindness or trying to sell me plans please explain the theory behind it.  Sorry if I sound grumpy, I've been battling scam sites trying to look legitimate for the last hour.

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kelseymh5 years ago
It took a while to find a Google image showing the layout (and I am very grateful you didn't include any of those scam links in your posting!).

The design is essentially a magnetic version of the "overbalanced wheel" perpetual motion device. There is a very nice Web site which covers the general and specific theories of perpetual motion devices, with lots and lots of examples.

For this "engine," the basic issue is that there is a static, stable equilibrium point where the "rotor" magnets are balanced between the "stator" magnets. If you push the rotor far enough away from one of those stable points, it will certainly rotate, but only until it gets to the next equilibrium, where it will stop.

The moving magnetic fields induce an effective "friction" into the system, by driving an eddy current in the "stators" which in turn produces an opposing magnetic field. That is a dissipation of energy, which slows down the rotor, stopping it at the next equilibrium point.
AngryGuy70 (author)  kelseymh5 years ago
Thanks guys. I was getting frustrated but I was curious. I love that url, the museum of unworkable devices. Sounds like my shed...
Glad you like it, and thank you for the well-posed question. Too many people come in saying, "I saw this brilliant idea, tell me how to build it..." and get utterly fed up when we try to explain that it's impossible.
AngryGuy70 (author)  kelseymh5 years ago
I probably wouldn't take on something that ambitious anyway. If it makes food or drink it's more likely to be something I'd try.
The theory is probably W. Emersons "There's a sucker born every minute"
AngryGuy70 (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
I thought that was P.T Barnum?
The sad thing is that every now and then somebody actually hits on a correct idea and that just adds fuel to the scams. Like rain making, which actually can work, but was mostly a scam, along with snake oil and cures for every known ailment. And just remember, one of the things early barbers used to do is blood letting which is where the red and white pole came from. At one time it was accepted medical practice to drain the bad blood out of people, sometimes they died from it but almost all medical professionals then believed it was the right thing to do. .
AngryGuy70 (author)  Vyger5 years ago
My favorite snake oil comes in a bottle labeled Makers Mark.

What I don't understand who exactly it is that thinks there is some new revolutionary idea that you can spend a hundred bucks and power your house. Do people really fall for that?

The last genny I looked at that was big enough to power my house had a four cylinder diesel. Even with my prowess in the machine shop I couldn't put one together for 100 bucks. I guess people just don't understand the amount of energy it takes to produce electricity. Hydroelectric dams are not hundreds of feet tall for no reason.

Anyway, thanks for the info.
lemonie5 years ago
Why does it bother you?
If a bird-turd lands on your car do you spend this much time pondering?

AngryGuy70 (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Not unless someone claimed it would power my coffee pot.
It's possible, with bacteria I guess. A better idea than the hojo- thing.