Rare Earth Elements

The pickup to my timing light is made from some kind of [ultra brittle] rare earth element.
Is this $80/lb crap _really_ necessary?
Where is Gauss when you really need him?
China has everyone by the 'nads if we don't find an alternative.
Bret Cahill
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Sure it isn't just some ordinary ceramic? Who said so, the guy who wants to sell you a new one?

Your timing light, your call. If it was me, I'd part the damned thing out and buy an old-school light with an iron inductive pickup. I've never broken one of those.

SNL News flash: Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss is still dead.

There are always alternatives. Some are more... palatable than others.
Mark L. Fergerson
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For the moment. The rare earth's make the magnetic pickup more sensitive, so you can lower voltages and currents and use smaller batteries and components. Make 'em sensitive enough, and they won't need batteries at all, but power themselves off intercepted RF from the plug wire. As an added bonus, you can use it as a TV antenna, to watch Quincy while your face is buried under the hood of your car, hiding from your ruthless wife.
Everybody is asking themselves the same question, and tech geniuses somewhere are looking for an answer. What do we use to cover the gap if the Chinese cut off our supplies completely? We've got Yankee Ingenuity on our side, and they'd better pray we don't find one, because there's big phat Samolians in it for all of us.
If we're really lucky, there'll be a ground war in Africa with the Chinese for rare earths. BAD luck, that is ... Black Gold, Texas Tea.

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On 2/16/2011 7:20 AM, Joe Snodgrass wrote:

The rare earth metals are not that "rare"....it is known where concentrations of these metals are located.....they are approximately 200 times more abundant then gold in the earths crust....
The rare earth metals are all quite chemically similar to each other, and they are thus quite difficult to separate into quantities of the pure element.
The problem is the refining of these metals....even a small amount of contamination in the pure metal can change drastically the material properties.....the present means of refining these metals is an extremely "dirty" process.....and all..??....(do not know the percentage) of refining capability is located in china....it is estimated that it will take from 10 to 15 years to rebuild our capability...(western world)....at one time we had this capability but the Chinese dumped rare earths and lowered the price to where our mines and refineries were shut down as being uneconomical....
just some thoughts....have fun.....sno
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Correct Scientific Terminology:
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here's from an article -- sorry, about the format:
The Mountain Pass mine, located in the Mojave Desert north of Barstow, California, was one of the richest, if not the richest rare earth element (lanthanide) mine in the world. But on Oct. 31, 1994, with the passing of the California Desert Protection Act, the mine was effectively surrounded by park land, potentially locking up a large part of the ore body in the new Mojave preserve and adding tremendous constraints to the open pits operation. This act was pushed through by Sen. Diane Feinstein and Rep. George Miller. When water from a routine flushing of the tailing pipeline accidentally spilled into the Mojave preserve, the clean-­‐up effort by the owner, Molycorp Minerals LLC, was delayed for months by Federal agencies. Twenty-­‐nine government agencies got involved. U.S. Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Fish and Game SWAT teams seized the company computers and records at gunpoint. They held the employees incommunicado under armed guard, denying them access to the company attorneys, who were held outside at the main gate. These federal agencies levied more than $6 million in fines and penalties against the company. This includes $1 million for a dead desert tortoise that was found on the property. (!) An autopsy on the tortoise failed to show any wrongdoing on the part of the company. As it turns out, Diane Feinstein's husband, Richard
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If we rebuild our capability they will start dumping again. They have 10 to 15 years to improve existing capacity and build up reserves. We are screwed.
-- Boris
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On 02/16/2011 05:31 AM, Bret Cahill wrote:

Electric cars are an alternative.
You could invade China as you did with Iraq. You wouldn't even need to lie. You could say China conquered Tibet and you are liberating it.
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On 11-02-23 08:15 AM, Bernhard Kuemel wrote:

The US wants to get paid in full for the sale of Taiwan first.
That money won't help much anyway, a BILLION dollars a day in loans from China would take forever to pay back even after the betrayal of the Island.
mike
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