Author Topic: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo  (Read 27697 times)

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Offline scrat

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2011, 05:29:17 am »
I have noticed that removing the cap head light (among other things) tends to flicker with the rhythm.

Nice feature, isn't it? I guess the volume is quite loud, so you can have a disco done at every crossroad! :D

With those dozen Farad caps, instead, the car could have some headache when starting, but when charged you could save them just in case the battery goes down, or (changing their series/parallel connection) as a boost when you want to overtake and the air conditioning makes your motor suffer (at least with our poor European cars, sometimes it happens)!

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alm

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2011, 09:58:36 am »
With those dozen Farad caps, instead, the car could have some headache when starting, but when charged you could save them just in case the battery goes down, or (changing their series/parallel connection) as a boost when you want to overtake and the air conditioning makes your motor suffer (at least with our poor European cars, sometimes it happens)!
What's the peak current capacity of those caps like? Is it anywhere near enough for a starter motor or AC?
 

Offline scrat

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2011, 06:26:18 pm »
With those dozen Farad caps, instead, the car could have some headache when starting, but when charged you could save them just in case the battery goes down, or (changing their series/parallel connection) as a boost when you want to overtake and the air conditioning makes your motor suffer (at least with our poor European cars, sometimes it happens)!
What's the peak current capacity of those caps like? Is it anywhere near enough for a starter motor or AC?

Besides the fact that my previous post was completely a joke, the peak currents of supercaps are very high (ESR in the <1mOhm range), just take a look at the first spec lines of Maxwell K2 series). The typical problems are lifetime and the fact that the maximum voltage spec (usually around 2.7V per cell) has to be strictly respected.

I think a relatively small supercap module could be a better solution than a huge traditional cap, for those excessive power audio systems. Otherwise, a converter could do the job with just small caps... But maybe these won't be "audiofool approved" solutions...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 06:36:46 pm by scrat »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2011, 08:03:07 pm »
I've just read this thread.

When I saw the so called legal letter that was sent to oPossum, I laughed so much I almost fell off my chair  ;D

I don't know where that Lawyer studied law but his use of the English language is anything but formal legal speak .....what a joker. The silly comments about "Bad acts" and "Google time bomb" had me in tears of laughter  ;D

With higher fuel prices there are likely to be more of these devices popping up all over the place. Sadly the general public are often not technical enough to know that the claims of many such items are total hogwash and they aren't likely to realise unitil they have bought one  :(

It's good that these items are exposed as the total rubbish that they truly are, but it's a great pity that there are lawyers willing to write childish threats to anyone who reveals the 'secret' of the con.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 08:09:51 pm by Aurora »
 

alm

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2011, 08:30:50 pm »
I think a relatively small supercap module could be a better solution than a huge traditional cap, for those excessive power audio systems. Otherwise, a converter could do the job with just small caps... But maybe these won't be "audiofool approved" solutions...
Surely those caps can be manufactured with gold-plated legs? And you can always run a $1k power cord to the battery to provide clean 12v power.
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2011, 09:05:21 pm »
Now we get a bit OT

But if a high watt car lovers or if they like to have a lot off power then it is cold to easy start the car.

Is the most important is a new battery. One like the Optima Yellow top

Internal Resistance  0.0025 ohms
Cold Cranking Amps @ -18°C (A) 975

If they have a lot of money then the ideal is - 1 red top as a starter and  Yellow top for the amplifiers.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 04:14:14 am by Bloch »
 

Online Zero999

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2011, 04:10:34 am »
You can buy 1F audiophool capacitors that supposedly boost the bass response of the audio system which I also think is bollocks.

Those are useful (in high power systems) when there is only one battery present or when only one alternator charges the system. I have noticed that removing the cap head light (among other things) tends to flicker with the rhythm.
A cheaper solution would be to just use cable with a lowest enough resistance in the first place.

The maximum theoretical RMS power with 12V into a single 4 Ohm speaker is 18W so with six channels (one in the front, two in the back and a couple of sub-woofers in the boot) that's only 108W. A higher powered audio system would need a transformer, lower impedance speakers or a DC-DC converter. An audio transformer with good bass response would have to be three times the size as a mains transformer so is not practical and I've not seen many speakers with a lower impedance than 4 Ohms so a DC-DC converter would probably be the best solution. A good DC-DC converter should work considerably lower voltages than 12V and compensate for cable voltage drop as well as being low noise.

 

Offline ciccio

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2011, 09:42:28 pm »
It's true: high power car amplifier use dc-dc converters, to give output power of up to 4X250 W rms
See this link and forgive the low-tech writing: http://caraudiomag.com/articles/anatomy-power-amplifier
Big capacitors are often added to compensate for the battery impedance and large (up to 10 mm2) power wires are used.
I do some sporadic repair work for an "esoteric car audio" installer, and sometimes see some amazing things.


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Offline firewalker

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2011, 12:25:05 am »
The Fuel Shark / NeoSocket...



A 2200 uF cap, two 51 k resistors and a white LED.

The LED current is ~ 0.1 mA, so it is a dim glow. It glows for several minutes after power is removed. I suspect that is supposed to give the impression that it stores substantial energy.

Nasty stuff to play with. It's technology seems to be from the future.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline scrat

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2011, 02:03:27 am »
Nasty stuff to play with. It's technology seems to be from the future.

Yeah, that's why we can't understand, and just keep making fun of those pioneers!
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. - Elbert Hubbard
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2011, 11:02:47 am »
Quote from: saturation
A major problem is someone has to buy one to tear it down, unless you are paid to do it who has the money to buy and analyze fraudulent items?
I purchased the first one at a local retailer and returned it after the teardown. Told them it didn't work. Got a full refund. The second one - the "new and improved" Platinum edition - I got on eBay for less than half the retail price.

When the TV ads started about a year ago, I searched for tech info on the internet. All I found was a forum post with a picture of the inside - top of PCB only. So I went out and got one to do a proper teardown. I posted a picture of the bottom of the PCB and a schematic in the same forum. A few weeks later the forum thread disappears. So I posted pics and schematic in another forum where there was some discussion of the device. A few days later I get a PM from the admin asking where I got the info. They where contacted by a lawyer and had to decide what to do with the forum thread. They removed some negative comments about the product, but let my post stay. So it was clear that posting in forums would cause problems for the forum admins, so I put it on my own web page. A few weeks later I get a letter from a laywer. I do nothing, of course. A while later I get a rant from the CEO. I just added the Platinum edition info a few weeks ago, and saw a visit from the law firm in the web logs about a week ago. I am expecting another nasty letter from them.

Quote
In the USA, you can report such folks to the Attorney General who investigate fraud, but they won't do much unless someone is physically hurt by it, such as fraudulent safety gear or drugs.
Yes, the government (FTC/AG/etc..) is useless, and people are stupid. They seem to be making millions off this thing. They sponsor a NASCAR team.

And THAT'S why they are trying to shut you up.
Nice work on the teardown and bebunking it.
We might make this the first Wank Product of the Week segment on TheAmpHour! (yet to get a better segment name :->)

I see they gave you a date of July 2010 to pay their legals fees of $5K or face a $100K law suit.
Presumably they backed down and did nothing after you just ignored them?

Dave.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 11:06:58 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2011, 04:18:38 pm »
Just for the record, according to their website http://www.fueldoctorracing.com/fuel-doctor-drivers these conman sponsor

Cole Whitt - NASCAR #60 Fuel Doctor Chevy (actually the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series)
Jason Bowles - NASCAR #75 Fuel Doctor Camry
David Fumanelli - Formula 3
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Offline Bloch

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2011, 05:24:19 pm »
Just for the record, according to their website

Thanks !

Nice Demonstration Equipment for the FD-47
Power Supply (23mA 13,65Volt)
Rigol DS1052E ( Cant see ? )
Pragmatic 3305A function generator (Frequency noise ) , (Amplify = 1, Offset ? 0,5Volt)

« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 05:26:30 pm by Bloch »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2011, 08:54:38 pm »
That tells you about the audience of NASCAR.  Speaking of that, there are enough wanky products out there to keep a show in business.  You could also include counterfeit electronic components and assembled gadgets.

If you run out of ideas, I think eevblog members can give you ideas and tear downs; I'm sure we've seen them somewhere.  I recall this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Salvaging-a-$1-Fake-Shake-Light/

I've seen these in many places, often dumped for $1 at the dollar day store, it does have enough parts to be worth $1 for projects, the casing and lens for one, the copper wire another.



...They sponsor a NASCAR team.

And THAT'S why they are trying to shut you up.
Nice work on the teardown and bebunking it.
We might make this the first Wank Product of the Week segment on TheAmpHour! (yet to get a better segment name :->)

I see they gave you a date of July 2010 to pay their legals fees of $5K or face a $100K law suit.
Presumably they backed down and did nothing after you just ignored them?

Dave.
[/quote]
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2011, 10:53:58 pm »
We have a similar fairy tale in Greece, about improving the MAINS bill on 220V.

Just few capacitors in a box with LED  :P too.

It called economizer ..bla bla bla .

The only logical interpretation is that it supposed to help the power factor of motors.
The point is that the households does not have large motors, and every device that it does need such capacitors,
the manufacturer have add them in it all ready.
Like air condition units , or small fan.

The electricians of Greece with their union had report this company to the Greek court of justice, but those cases takes years to clear up, and until them the scammer's  will have make a small fortune.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 12:05:23 am »
We have a similar fairy tale in Greece, about improving the MAINS bill on 220V.

Just few capacitors in a box with LED  :P too.

It called economizer ..bla bla bla .

The only logical interpretation is that it supposed to help the power factor of motors.
The point is that the households does not have large motors, and every device that it does need such capacitors,
the manufacturer have add them in it all ready.
Like air condition units , or small fan.

The electricians of Greece with their union had report this company to the Greek court of justice, but those cases takes years to clear up, and until them the scammer's  will have make a small fortune.

I took apart couple of those high end products and the large capacitor wasn't connected to anything. Just a polyester capacitor a MOhm resistor, another KOhm range resistor and an LED.

Alexander.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 04:26:42 am by firewalker »
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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2011, 01:27:09 am »
We have a similar fairy tale in Greece, about improving the MAINS bill on 220V.

Just few capacitors in a box with LED  :P too.

It called economizer ..bla bla bla .

The only logical interpretation is that it supposed to help the power factor of motors.
The point is that the households does not have large motors, and every device that it does need such capacitors,
the manufacturer have add them in it all ready.
Like air condition units , or small fan.

It can actually make it worse for inductive loads if the required capacitance is not properly calculated for zero power factor.

Anyway, domestic households and small businesses are not charged for reactive power, only active. Please let us know if this is not the case in yoru country. This means that even at a large power factor (lead or lag, doesnt matter) such devices will have no effect on the reading of a household electrical energy usage meter.
 

Offline oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2011, 01:48:37 am »
And THAT'S why they are trying to shut you up.

Because it is a profitable scam?

Quote
Nice work on the teardown and bebunking it.
We might make this the first Wank Product of the Week segment on TheAmpHour! (yet to get a better segment name :->)

I see they gave you a date of July 2010 to pay their legals fees of $5K or face a $100K law suit.
Presumably they backed down and did nothing after you just ignored them?

Thanks. It is unfortunate that most people can not understand the info I have presented.

I have not received any contact from them or their lawyer. The last view of my website by the lawyer was July 6. So they are either going to do nothing (again) or are thinking about what to sue me for. I don't mind the legal threats at all. I have a lawyer that can tell me if there is anything of substance, and what I should do about it.
 

Alex

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2011, 01:58:22 am »
It is unfortunate that most people can not understand the info I have presented.

So they are either going to do nothing (again) or are thinking about what to sue me for. I don't mind the legal threats at all.

I would suggest you use the same language used by the original sellers of these gizmos if you want to approach the same audience. Layman's terms, emotional, linked to headlines, scary, magic, and money. You can be as scientific as you like when it comes to explaining why it doesn't work as advertised, in fact that would be desirable! ::) However there should be a conclusion along the lines of the above suggestions. These people are not necessarily idiots, they just want to reduce their fuel costs.

As long as IP goes, as long as you have not used their original schematics or other CAD files (to which you dont have access anyway), they can't touch you. You have not infrindged any patents or violated any copyrights. This is all info available to the public domain.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 02:03:39 am by Alex »
 

Offline oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2011, 01:59:49 am »
Nice Demonstration Equipment for the FD-47
Power Supply (23mA 13,65Volt)
Rigol DS1052E ( Cant see ? )
Pragmatic 3305A function generator (Frequency noise ) , (Amplify = 1, Offset ? 0,5Volt)

They are trying to show noise reduction with that setup. The problem is the source impedance of the signal generator - probably 50 ohms. That is very different than the sub 1 ohm impedance of a car's electrical system. The effect of a 47 uF cap in the test setup is not an accurate representation of what it will do in a car.

Their test equipment is week compared to equivalent gear that I have:
Agilent 54645D "MegaZoom" MSO
Agilent 6632A, 6033A, and 6038A (x3) power supplies.
Agilent 8165A Function Generator, Agilent 8175A Arbitrary Waveform Generator
 

Alex

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2011, 02:10:32 am »
I forgot to add, getting such a letter from the self proclaimed CEO probably shows they can't handle it legally, imho.
 

Alex

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2011, 02:20:18 am »
...but be careful as the claims in How it Works are carefully worded to be valid and stand on their own. You can see this section here:

http://fuelsharkusa.com/howitworks.htm
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2011, 02:35:38 am »
People do not call as technology one simple capacitor , you are scaring the electricians .. LOL  ;D

This case haves one in the trillion chances, to even get in a court house.

And another one in the trillion chances, to win .

I will bet my money on oPossum  ;) 
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2011, 05:25:36 am »
Just for the record, according to their website

Thanks !

Nice Demonstration Equipment for the FD-47
Power Supply (23mA 13,65Volt)
Rigol DS1052E ( Cant see ? )
Pragmatic 3305A function generator (Frequency noise ) , (Amplify = 1, Offset ? 0,5Volt)



I would fall of my chair if I heard that an EE walked near the "demonstration" and cranked up the voltage supply to 17 volts without anyone noticing. 5 minutes later, we have Fuel Doctor smoke.

By the way, reverese engineering is legal in most countie as long as you are not making a knock-off.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:25:47 am by ivan747 »
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Offline ivan747

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2011, 03:27:04 am »
I recently acquired a new panel meter. I faced it towards the FuelShark's web page and:
Nothing like the smell of rosin core solder in the morning.
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"A soldering station I bought once had a sticker on it that said, I shit you not, 'QENUINE'." -c4757p
 


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