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Anybody know what this thing is?

  1. Jun 5, 2015 #1
    My nephew sent me a couple pictures of a device that he came across asking if I had any idea what it was - I don't have a clue. Does anybody here know? An audio jack-like plug runs to a plastic cage housing 2 coil springs, 1 spring inside the other, insulated from the each other, coil1.jpg coil2.jpg and each having one of the two leads connected to it. I've exhausted every description and word search on google
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2015 #2

    jedishrfu

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  4. Jun 5, 2015 #3
    so how would that work - you'd suction cup in onto the phone handset and it would pick up the vibrations with the springs? Would an open circuit somehow be able to translate the vibration of the springs into electrical energy?
     
  5. Jun 6, 2015 #4

    davenn

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    as shown in your link, the phone pickups are tiny in comparison to the devices in the photos above
    and those pickups use a standard dynamic mic insert system --- diaphragm - coil of fine wire and a magnet


    these are not phone pickups .... never seen anything like it before, 2 helical coils, one inside the other
    and as you say, they are not connected

    Dave
     
  6. Jun 6, 2015 #5

    russ_watters

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    Looks a bit like a fuse housing to me.
     
  7. Jun 6, 2015 #6

    anorlunda

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    Is it possible that the Jack fits by accident, and that it really doesn't belong to the device?

    In what you showed, I see no way to generate an electrical signal for the Jack to pick up.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2015 #7
    Perhaps it's a special microphone that uses the changing capacitance between the springs to pick up low frequency sound?

    The openings in the cover and the audio jack support this idea. But it still seems a little odd. Why such thick springs?

    A helical antenna might explain the spring coils, but why the open radome and the audio jack.
     
  9. Jun 6, 2015 #8

    jim hardy

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    I'll guess it's part of a HF antenna. Does it have threads for mounting rabbit ears?
     
  10. Jun 6, 2015 #9

    nsaspook

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    It might be some sort of spring loaded weight or vibration switch.
     
  11. Jun 6, 2015 #10
    I'd agree with Jedishrfu on this, if it's a piezoelectric microphone. (What's the stack of materials on the inside?) but what function could the springs serve?
     
  12. Jun 6, 2015 #11

    dlgoff

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    Maybe a water conductivity probe?
     
  13. Jun 6, 2015 #12

    meBigGuy

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  14. Jun 6, 2015 #13

    dlgoff

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  15. Jun 6, 2015 #14
    Oh wow meBigGuy - ding, ding, ding, ding, ding... we have a winner! Thanks everyone for the help, it's been fun.
     
  16. Jun 6, 2015 #15

    meBigGuy

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    I can go through my search process. I did all the concentric spring, concentrix helix, etc searches and found nothing plausable

    At first I though it was some sort of sensor for air or fluids. That, because it was open on the sides and had a hole in the bottom. Also, the audio cable meant it was relatively low frequency. Then, I thought of a bug zapper, which actually was the first thing that almost made sense. Then, since that meant high voltage, I thought of an ion generator. I tried a bunch of ion generator searches and then searched for "dual coil ion generator" and BINGO in google images (alibaba has a perfect match, but the link wouldn't work)
    .
    .
     
  17. Jun 6, 2015 #16
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  18. Jun 6, 2015 #17

    dlgoff

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    I like how you think. :oldlove:
     
  19. Jun 6, 2015 #18
    Now why didn't I think of that? Just a common Ionic Detox Foot Ion Array. Of course. I keep one right next to my homeopathic medical supplies and optical therapy equipment.

    In my defense, mine is a tesseract instead of a cylinder.
     
  20. Jun 7, 2015 #19

    meBigGuy

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    I just loved being able to post "plasmacluster ion generator" and a link to an ion-dextox-foot-ion-array on Physics Forums without getting pinged by a moderator!!!
     
  21. Jun 7, 2015 #20

    jim hardy

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    i'd have more expected to find it on americanantigravity's site.
     
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