Testatika demonstration with over 30 engineers
Translation by Stefan Hartmann and Hans Holzherr on 4th of August 1999.
Recently, over 30 technicians and engineers (most of them retired) were
allowed to visit the Methernitha group in Linden, Switzerland, where they
witnessed a demo of the different Testatika machines. Here is a report
from Hans Holzherr from Switzerland who was present:
Re: Testatika demonstration? From: Hans Holzherr To: Stefan Hartmann
Hello Mr. Hartmann, To your questions:
Have you seen live a machine with a load? If so, load?
I am referring in the following to the model with the 50-cm diameter
disks. This machine was already running when the visitors stepped into the
room, and was not halted during the whole time - we were there for about
1.5 hrs. As a first load a 1000-Watt lamp was connected for approximately
10 seconds whose brightness did NOT diminish - the corresponding sequence
on the Testatika film is just an effect of the camera aperture's automatic
adjusting to the sudden brightness! The second load was a U-shaped heating
element, that Mr.Baumann handed to me. It became so hot within one second
that I had to put it down immediately! What was particularly impressive
was that while he pulled back one of the contact wires (that was with the
lamp, I believe), a 1-cm long arc appeared between the output electrode
and the connecting wire for approximately one second. The apparatus was
under a plexiglass hood. Near the base it had two holes which Baumann used
to insert the contact wires to touch the output electrodes.
How do you think the high wattage is produced ? Good question! I'd love to
know the answer, too!
Did the disks slow down when a load was placed across the output
I did not notice that (nobody else did), but of course you tend to turn
your look to 'where the action is' (the lamp etc.) The disks turned with
15 rpm, which is quite slow. The spin rate was regulated magnetically.
What general impression did you have ? It was really impressive! One can
hardly believe it, with this slow rotation. In any case, this cannot be
explained in terms of bare electrostatics in the sense of the Wimshurst
machine. The perforated sheets seem to have a key function... Beside the
pick-up and the drive electrodes there are a number of small plexiglass
blocks with glued-on perforated sheets, whose function is unknown.
As Adolf Schneider already mentioned, my colleague Bernhard XXX and I want
to try to copy the principle experiment shown by Baumann - without much
hope to find anything extraordinary, though. The device consists of a
horizontal swiveling plexiglass arm with a small rectangular plexiglass
plate at both ends glued to the lower side of the arm. The lower side of
the arm is covered with perforated aluminum sheets (square holes), while
the bottom of the plates is covered with brass wire mesh. Beneath each
plate five additional plates are glued onto the base plate. There is also
wire mesh between each pair of plates in the two blocks. From the mesh
layer between the lowest plate and the base a wire goes to the two
capacitors, which are connected in parallel . Baumann SEIZED the arm with
both hands and turned it about ten times back and forth (a full rotation
was not possible, because the capacitors were in the way), then measured
the DC voltage with a digital measuring instrument: 60 Volts. Then, as he
short-circuited the condensers a loud crack could be heard. I don't know
if that already is an abnormal result... On my question Baumann replied
that with metal foil (instead of wire mesh) the device would not produce
that effect. Picture copyright 1999 by Hans Holzherr.
Re: Testatika demonstration? to: Stefan Hartmann
Hello Mr. Hartmann, here are further specifications to your questions: Did
the machine ran the whole time ? 1,5 hours?
Could you imagine that in the base of the machine batteries of the flat
cheque card type are hidden, or the would these be depleted too soon to
account for the power produced during that 1.5-hour period?
Unfortunately, I cannot judge that. If one considers that the Methernitha
community gains neither money nor fame from the machine, and that they are
so media-shy and otherwise restrictive I find the thought of a simple
battery trick pretty absurd..... (Of course a skeptic might argue that
they are media-shy BECAUSE it's a battery trick...)
Could you touch the machine ? Is the base of the device empty or is there
something in it, or is it build from massive wood?
It was forbidden to touch the 50 cm machine, let alone lift it up.
Therefore I cannot say anything about the base other than that it appeared
solid. BUT one could touch the smaller type models e.g. the small models
with the 12 cm disks. One could lift them and examine them - while the
disks kept turning. The whole atmosphere was rather loose - surprisingly.
In this regard, being a group of over 30 persons was an advantage: The two
Methernitha people couldn't watch all our fingers at all times! The
earliest model is, by the way, the only one whose disks are propelled by
an electric motor which is driven by a capacitor which in turn is
I see, the plastic cover was for HV security ?
Also, I think it is a dust shield. The machine is really beautiful...
Hmm, in former reports it was stated that it ran with 50 RPM!!?
I have read that, too. With this demo, however, the speed was
approximately just 15 RPM. There is a number of plexiglass blocks with
glued-on perforated sheet, their function is unknown.
Aha, very strange.... Are these "special antennas"?
I don't know. Some have perforated sheets glued on two opposite
they could be condensers; others have only one perforated sheet which is
bent over an edge of the plexiglass block, so it covers two adjacent
After my visit I made a diagram of the
'PRINCIPLE EXPERIMENT' - see the
picture below !
Hmm, was that another device, or was that just a briefly modified existing
Another device ! Baumann's comment: this is how it all started !
Recently we got to know a person, who had copied the 50-cm machine based
on the Testatika literature. However, this model does not function (is not
Yes a pure Wimshurst machine will probably not even run itself, if one
does not know the Methernitha secrets. I saw a photo from this copied
device, and at first sight it looked like the original, including the
Apparently, Mr. Baumann and Mr. Bosshardt were in a pretty informative
mood that day!
Yes, you could say that. Unfortunately I had difficulties to understand
Baumann because he spoke softly and fast, and provided explanations in
non-scientific terms. However, it's very interesting that he answered my
question, if the energy source of the Testatika was radium chloride, with
a definite NO. Also, they said, there exists no other Testatika machine
elsewhere. Nelson Camus had told a different story: that he had
encountered a similar community in South America which was in touch with
Methernitha, and which also possessed a Testatika. According to Camus the
apparatus functions with radium chloride-doped condensers. That also
works, but for that you don't need any moving parts! (Hubbard generator).
[From Stefan Hartmann: I really doubt this claim from Nelson Camus....!!]
Did Methernitha have no problem to show you the
"principle setup" of your
above picture ?
Obviously not. They probably trust in the fact that not all secrets are
VISIBLE on the machine. E.g. - it looks like - the molecular orientation
of all plexiglass plates must be the same. And then the material plays a
role. (we know this from a different source.)
Don't they object against anybody copying the machine? Or do they think
that one cannot understand the whole system quickly enough in such a demo?
No and yes, and they are probably darn right! It is hard to grasp !
Could you see the small machines with a load, too? how much Watts could
these deliver ?
Approx. 300 Watts? Those are more simply built , right ?
With the 12 cm original model Baumann got a voltage of 130 V. He connected
a load to it, which consisted of two small lamps and a resistor. Values
unknown. After that two visitors were asked short circuit the apparatus
via their bodies, which gave them an electric shock !
Interestingly enough, the digital voltmeter showed only briefly 130 Volts,
and then stopped working. All following measurements, also on the 50 cm
machine, were made with an analog meter. The smaller Testatikas are
simpler. Each one is built a bit differently. One has only one disk.
Several, including a 1-meter model under construction, have 'sector
wires' instead of sector foils, which are sort of 'woven' into
the disk, changing sides three times.
Were there bifilary coils inside the Leydener bottles?
You could not see inside them. In the large capacitors there are 20
layers of perforated sheet (Baumann said). One just cannot see inside!
And there is a crystal diode somewhere?
Yes, it's probably the object at the top. Baumann mentioned that also. On
the original model it seemed to me to consist only of a rough coil around
one central straight wire, with a total of 4 leads. With the 50-cm
apparatus I tried my best but could only make out 2 supply wires, so the
structure was not very clear, maybe also a rough spiral around something
(tube from perforated sheet ?); perhaps there was also a tube around
everything (my memory has faded), but I could not detect a crystal. I
remember that it was hard to see inside. Regarding visibility in general,
I noticed that a thin layer (which might be a lead) between two plexiglass
plates is hardly noticeable at all, because of the total light reflection.