Author Topic: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo  (Read 27705 times)

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Offline ferrix

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Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« on: July 05, 2011, 08:59:39 am »
When I saw this site today (warning, LOUD annoying) http://fuelsharkusa.com,

I thought "What crap; I wonder if there's even anything in there apart from the LED driver".  It's possible they have some sort of capacitive circuit to try and take/give back power to smooth things out.. But I can't even come up with a plausible way that it would make any difference, apart from sapping some of your power to light up the LED :)

The world is full of devices like this, that don't actually do what they claim.  Wouldn't it be great to see an expert like Dave open one up and show how it "works" (or doesn't)?
 

Offline Armin_Balija

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 09:01:47 am »
This is quite possibly one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. What kind of a dunce would actually think this works?
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 09:04:04 am »
You would be SO surprised.  Try googling for it.  I couldn't find anyone talking about it except people claiming it works or "wondering" if it works.  No credible debunking.

I just think it would be worth a few bucks for a Dave smackdown.  I would contribute toward the purchase price just to see it, if Dave agrees to crack it open.  Anyone else?
 

Offline Frangible

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 01:41:42 pm »
(warning, LOUD annoying)

One of the reasons why I run Firefox with the Flashblock plugin. 
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 01:43:39 pm »
(warning, LOUD annoying)
One of the reasons why I run Firefox with the Flashblock plugin.
Good practice.  I didn't want to assume though, and make enemies with my first post :P
 

Online oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 01:48:10 pm »
I think the Fuel Shark is just a cap and LED.

I did a teardown of the Fuel Doctor FD-47 and found nothing that would do any substantial noise filtering.
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 01:51:28 pm »
oPossum you nailed the heck out of that.  Totally awesome! 

It sure scratched my itch, now I guess I don't need to see the fuel shark internals.  It's amazing to me that these companies can get away with false claims.
 

Offline abbtech

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 06:41:10 pm »
What's worse is so many regular people get caught up in their lies and spends their hard earned money on this crap.
Personal projects http://alan-parekh.com
Other cool project ideas http://hackedgadgets.com
 

Online ejeffrey

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 06:45:49 pm »
You would be SO surprised.  Try googling for it.  I couldn't find anyone talking about it except people claiming it works or "wondering" if it works.  No credible debunking.

These things are like a hydra.  Debunk one and two more spring up to take their place.  That nobody has debunked this particular piece of crap doesn't mean much.
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 11:21:04 pm »
These things are like a hydra.  Debunk one and two more spring up to take their place.  That nobody has debunked this particular piece of crap doesn't mean much.
Good point.  I didn't realize they were so common.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 12:18:32 am »
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?  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.
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Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 01:14:19 am »
When I saw this site today (warning, LOUD annoying) http://fuelsharkusa.com,

I thought "What crap; I wonder if there's even anything in there apart from the LED driver".  It's possible they have some sort of capacitive circuit to try and take/give back power to smooth things out.. But I can't even come up with a plausible way that it would make any difference, apart from sapping some of your power to light up the LED :)

The world is full of devices like this, that don't actually do what they claim.  Wouldn't it be great to see an expert like Dave open one up and show how it "works" (or doesn't)?
Seems to be only one shark as far as I can tell.
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Online oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 01:23:35 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.
 

Offline Armin_Balija

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 01:58:55 am »
Sounds to me like you need Leonard J. Crabs on the case. Head on over to something awful and post your story there :P.
 

Online oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 01:59:11 am »
Seems to be only one shark as far as I can tell.

The Fuel Shark looks very similar to the Neo Socket

There is also the Super Eco Plug

The Fuel Doctor is sold as the ProReducer in some parts of asia.

There are also *many* hard wired boxes that are supposed to improve fuel economy.
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2011, 02:25:31 am »
When I saw this site today (warning, LOUD annoying) http://fuelsharkusa.com,

I thought "What crap; I wonder if there's even anything in there apart from the LED driver".  It's possible they have some sort of capacitive circuit to try and take/give back power to smooth things out.. But I can't even come up with a plausible way that it would make any difference, apart from sapping some of your power to light up the LED :)

The world is full of devices like this, that don't actually do what they claim.  Wouldn't it be great to see an expert like Dave open one up and show how it "works" (or doesn't)?

Giving back power to a car's electrical system doesn't work, as the electrical system generates excess waste power anyway.  You won't reduce the load on the motor.

The only gas saving system I've experimented with that worked was Brown's Gas for older cars.  This is when you use the waste electricity to generate H202 gas and shoot it into the intake.  Cars without modern controls are inefficient at combustion.  This give the extra oxygen to burn the fuel that otherwise is burned at the catalytic convertor.  However, the excess oxygen in the exhaust fools the car into thinking you are too lean.  So you have to make a circuit to adjust the correct oxygen level. 

We saw up to 20% mileage improvement with 1980s to early 1990s cars with this, but the returns gradually drop as the computer controls in cars have become good enough that combustion is getting hard to improve in an efficiency standpoint with any modern cars.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 02:28:32 am by sacherjj »
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2011, 02:29:43 am »
That's the first believable explanation for a brown's gas mod that I've ever heard.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2011, 08:20:40 pm »
Thanks for taking the time out to do the tear down; its a paradox that the people who need to read your analysis are also the one's who are not likely to understand it.  Any technical, or educated person will initially greet its claim with skepticism, even without the tear down. 

One person you could try is James Randi, he likes exposing charlatans, but even he will weigh the time and energy over the benefit of exposing such folks.

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref-news/102-blake-withdrawls-from-pear-cable-challenge.html

The bottom line is as bolded, as Lincoln said, ' You can fool some of the people all of the time ...' or PT Barnum, ' there's a sucker born every minute ...' as you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

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.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Online oPossum

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2011, 07:38:51 pm »
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.


 

Offline saturation

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 09:20:35 pm »
At least there is a fuse  ::)
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2011, 01:40:06 am »
The Fuel Shark / NeoSocket...
It glows for several minutes after power is removed. I suspect that is supposed to give the impression that it stores substantial energy.

Well that device do some thing I mean it do filter the 12Volt
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 01:44:39 am by Bloch »
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2011, 01:47:27 am »
I think the Fuel Shark is just a cap and LED.

I did a teardown of the Fuel Doctor FD-47 and found nothing that would do any substantial noise filtering.

Did you hear from Tzvika Hershko lawyer ?
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2011, 02:08:42 am »
Ahh... Nothing like an overpriced, enclosed, fused, and brain-washing marketed capacitor. They even added an LED that you probably won't see. It is so dim that gives the impression it is actually some sort of space-age Star Wars kind of technology.

At least there is a fuse  ::)

I bet the resistance of the fuse, the connections and the wiring of the cable beats the purpose of the tiny cap. If this really does power conditioning I will get some 1F (farad, without the u) ultra caps rated at 16V and tape them together, wired in parallel and have them in the glovebox, a place where I have never stored a glove.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 02:12:36 am by ivan747 »
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Online Zero999

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2011, 04:08:31 am »
I doubt even adding a 10F would do much to improve the fuel economy.

You can buy 1F audiophool capacitors that supposedly boost the bass response of the audio system which I also think is bollocks.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Teardown of a "fuel saver" gimmick gizmo
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2011, 04:53:05 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.
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