Ambient Power Module


Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The Ambient Power Module (APM) is a simple electronic circuit which, when connected to antenna and earth ground, will deliver low voltage up to several milliwatts. Generally a long wire antenna about 100` long and elevated in a horizontalposition about 30` above ground works best. A longer antenna may be requiredin some locations. Any type copper w


Ambient Power Module
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ire, insulated or not, may be used for the antenna. More details about the antenna and ground will be discussedfurther on. The actual circuit consists of two oppositely polarized voltage doublers (Figure 1). The DC output of each doubler is connected in series with the other to maximize voltage without using transformers. Single voltage doublers were often found in older TV sets for converting 120 VAC to 240 VDC. In the TV circuit the operating frequency is 60 Hz. The APM operates at radio frequencies, receiving most of its power from below 1 MHz. The basic circuit may be combined with a variety of voltage regulation schemes, some of which are shown in Figure 2. Using the APM-2 to charge small NiCad batteries provides effective voltage regulation as well as convenient electrical storage. This is accomplished by connecting the APM-2 as shown in Figure 2B. Charging lead acid batteries is not practical because their internal leakage is too high for the APM to keep up with. Similarly, this system will not provide enough power for incandescent lights except in areas of very high radio noise. It can be used to power small electronic devices with CMOS circuitry, like clocks and calculators. Smoke alarms and low voltage LEDs also can be powered by the APM. Figure 3 is a characteristic APM power curve measured using various loads from 0-19 kOhm. This unit was operating from a 100` horizontal wire about 25` high in Sausalito CA. As...




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