Sunday, July 7, 2013


All efforts related to this project are postponed until further notice.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Funding remains both a personal and a project issue. After requesting funding from over 200 people on Facebook specifically for this project, I received not a singly reply.

Since I am not in the business of fundraising, I will need an assistant to take care of these activities in order for the project to progress further.

Know of someone who would be able to assist with this? Please leave a comment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two options for finalizing the project.

There are basically two ways to finalize this project. The first way is for someone to purchase a UVC LED bulb that will operate on 5 volts and send it to me. The second way is for someone with electrical knowledge to let me know exactly how to transform my 5 volts (or ~10 volts from two XO's) so that we get up to 110/220 volts to power the aquarium uvc bulb.

I contacted the company that sold me the uvc bulb, and they informed me that the bulb was simply mislabeled as 12 watts, and is in fact a 5 watt bulb.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stuck for the Moment

I encountered a problem getting the electrical components to match. The bulb, while it said 5 volt and 5 watt on Amazon, is apparently 120 or 220 volt. It requires a special socket that I've not been able to find yet.

Also, if it becomes necessary to generate additional voltage, I would either need 22 XOs or a vehicle power inverter (the kind that plugs into the cigarrette lighter socket) that transforms 12 volts to 220. These inverters are expensive, and I can't afford to buy one right now. With one of these, I might be able to transform the 10 volts from 2 XOs to enough voltage to get the bulb to function. That is my hope, anyhow.

Right now, it seems that whether this is possible with the given bulb or not might not matter in a few years when the UVC LED bulbs come down in price. Since LED bulbs are generally cheaper, I look forward to the technology becoming more widely available at cheaper prices.

Pictures of all the parts are waiting on a picture editing program being installed on a laptop for proper contrast and lighting.

Friday, May 6, 2011


It has been a while, but the light bulb is finally here. I also acquired an electronic ballast that I may need to make the bulb work. Unfortunately, the smallest available goes up to 22 volts, and may be too high for the bulb to work. However, if it does work, that would be great.

Now I am considering whether I need a quartz sleeve to protect the light bulb, or if it will be fine in contact with the water. I believe that it will be fine in contact with the water, and may skip this step.

I'm considering using empty Gatorade bottles for this experiment, since the lamp is too wide to fit in narrower mouthed bottles. I may need to develop something to keep the electrical part of the device from getting wet. I am considering buying electrical tape for this, as well as using popsicle sticks to support and balance the bulb on the bottle. Additionally, I need to purchase some 5 volt wiring to make connections and a voltmeter as a safety consideration. I should be able to complete these tasks within the next month or two.

I will post pictures of all of the parts once I'm ready to start building.

Following creation of the device and basic power testing on the XOs, I will be looking for a local University to work with to obtain necessary permitting for sample collection and testing.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking Ahead

As I get closer to being able to build the Sterilizer, I am also researching possible laws that may govern the conduct of research here. According to this website, I may need to apply to the Ministry of Environment (Ministerio de Ambiente) in Ecuador for appropriate permits before proceeding with sample collection:

Unfortunately, that website notes that applications need to be made 6 months in advance. I'll have to see what can be done there, and also look into a collaboration opportunity with a local University concerning the project.

I am still awaiting the additional parts needed to make the sterilizer, and once I have them I should be able to determine if I'll need 5 watt electronic ballast to start the bulb.

One Possibly Useful Piece of Hardware

Tester Finds Problem

My QA tester discovered a problem with the touchpads. I'll recheck them later to see if they're okay.

They have arrived.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The XO's have been received. Both turned on, and appear to be mostly operable. There has been a small problem with the touchpads and the cursor not responding correctly, but hopefully that will clear up. I hope to be adding some pictures soon. It turns out I may need ballast for my bulb to start properly. If so, I'll have to locate some ballast, which should be easier to find than the bulb.

"All lamps are powered by ballasts that provide the starting electrical voltage to ionize the gas in the UV lamp and then limiting the current to the nominal level. Lamp ballasts can be either magnetic or electronic. The LED UV lamps do not require ballasts for their operation." from here.