All posts by John Silvester

I, John Silvester have a strong interest in Science. My 'A' levels include Physics Chemistry and Biology, my degrees are in General Science and Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool. The first job I was offered after University was as a Scientific Officer in the Civil Service. I was to monitor pollution in Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland. The IRA blew up the laboratory before I started work there. I became a medical representative for an ethical drug company. A few years later I became a driving instructor and established 'The Berkshire Driving School' at Company's House, City Road, London, January 1974. Later that year I went to Bulmersche Teacher's Training College and gained a Cert.Ed. The following year I qualified and taught in Bracknell, gaining a post of responsibility. I continued my driving school. My business eventually grew so I had to give up Science teaching. Before the recession of about 1990 the driving school had two trucks and two cars in service. I am now a small driving school specialising in trailer towing and minibus training. Current projects include the development of a wireless link between trailer and towing vehicle, a simplified power connector between these vehicles, using GPS and a computer to monitor driving performance and a robot sailing yacht. Past projects have included various robotic projects such as a heavyweight robot for Technogames and Robot Wars. I have explained some of my projects on radio and appeared on television.

Electric cars – the next best thing!

Combustion engines require expensive complexity to run at all speeds and loads yet still comply with emission regulations. They need stiff mounts to resist transmission torque. This requires expensive balancing to reduce harshness being transmitted to the vehicle body. They have poor low speed torque and need to be driven hard at modest speed to run efficiently. They need to be powerful to give good acceleration which reduces the efficiency at normal road speed. Electric motors have none of these deficiencies. A small efficient combustion generator can keep the batteries charged up and the range of our car can be into four figures. Can someone please make me a small electric hatchback with a tiny diesel generator to keep the batteries charged up?

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Ford’s new baby engine

Ford has developed a tiny three pot petrol engine capable of powering its MPV.  Contrary to the usual practice of having a wide bore to allow large valves in the head, Ford has used a long stroke engine and overcome the limitations of poor breathing by using forced induction.  You would expect this to be a recipe for poor fuel consumption due to pumping losses – yet the laws of Physics seem to have been bent.  This engine is claimed to be both powerful and fuel efficient.