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Using Your Body Energy! Answered

Using a multimeter i tested myself out of curiosity using two differing metals and found i give off about 0.6 volts at about 20 milliamps, using a small capacitor it charges fine, I then used multiple ones in parallel and it also charges quick, when i disconnect it from myself then shift the capacitors into series i can flash a small led. Whats a good circuit for doing this automatic when a charge is built up? Also are there any other good low power things I could do with it? Solar power is great but wouldn't it be cool if we could also use our own ambient body energy to do low energy stuff!

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Perhaps this would be the perfect use for the splash of hot solder that you dropped on your arm?

How do you get solder on your arm? Legs/lap i can easily understand, but arms? Are you practicing gymnastic soldering?

Well, if you hold something against the light to see better and it drips down onto your arm maybee... or because of a SM fetish.

Hehe ;) If you solder with another kind as well, such as aluminum soldering ;-)

Can someone please help with this?

What you want is a chargepump or stepup converter.
Be carefull though, high voltage could zap you ;-)
More to those further down... but first:

Why not use more of the metal? You could turn yourself into a serial battery :-)
Voltage-up-converters are not very efficient.
They almost all require a A(lrernating)C(urrent) or have a oscillating part allready built in.
Else there is no charge-decharge impulse, same as you would not switch wires from seriel to parallel.

Basicly one of the circuits works like you did it- it charges capacitors paralell and then discharges them serial.
Cockcroft Walton Multiplier
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.blazelabs.com/pics/multwork.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.blazelabs.com/e-exp15.asp&h=307&w=600&sz=127&hl=en&start=12&sig2=DNAudT7RHYkDFB-FzYd6Nw&um=1&tbnid=kZBPNtI7wg_NkM:&tbnh=69&tbnw=135&ei=7lpYRqKaGp6I-AKen5yuBQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3DCockcroft%2BWalton%2BMultiplier%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dopera%26rls%3Den

More usefull to you might be this (german but illustrated) circuit that runs a bright LED on a single battery, even if it drops below 1v.

http://www.b-kainka.de/bastel36.htm

But as said, just try with more metal strips. Connect them in a series then (+ - + - ...)
But as I said earlier, the metals do the trick, not the body. You could put the metalstrips into (salt)water, a lemon or wet soil, too.
Since its such a slow reaction you will never notice, but the metal slowly disolves because it reacts with the other, thats what produces the energy.

Thanks i appreciate your help, i didn't quite get what you meant before about the metals actually creating the energy, how does that work? Surely the energy comes at least in part from the substance the metal is placed on? To be honest unless i missed something in science, i didn't even think metal could produce energy apart from when interacting with a magnetic field.

I might br mistaken, but all you need to make a battery is an anode and cathode made from 2 different metals and and an electrolyte so the ions/electrons can move- which would be the salty skin?

Oh here i googled up a nice explanation:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/hand_battery.html

Metals do not produce energy, the metals react. Same as iron gets rusty, where it reacts with oxygen. Some reactions require energy to start, some produce energy/heat when running. Thats whats a battery all about.

First of, I think the current appears because of the different metals; You could put them into (salt)water or a potatoe and it would work too, untill one metal slowly disolves...
There are some rather interesting aproaches on body-electricity.
One is allready used in some military prototypes:
Boots with piezo crystals, that produce electricity when walking.
Other aproaches try to get power from blood-sugar and muscular electricity.
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=31&art_id=qw111596760144B215

Yeah i know but while using the body to do mechanical work or even the blood to work with a specialized fuel cell is good none of that really is what im interested in or asking about, here we have a constant 0.5 to 0.7 volts at 18mA to 22mA, i know its useful energy as I found out in my simple experiment. I have some knowledge about electronics, i can solder and follow diagrams to a certain extent and do various stuff but at the moment i don't really have a good enough understanding of how to make my own decent circuits so i need help with that, i was thinking to try a basic capacitor charging circuit but im not really sure whats best for this task, can anyone help point me in the right direction please? I think this could turn out to be a good little instructable if someone with more knowledge got this working, ah also theres one more thing im wondering, you can get a charge with just a small area of skin so could this be multiplied for more power or more circuits? i could just imagine having loads of small leds everywhere on your body flashing every 10 or 20 seconds or something! :P

That's why the machines want our energy! (matrix)