RE: I think that I would rather use 4 9v batteries if I was doing it this way . I think there are many advantages in having more voltage, though I'd prefer a voltage controller as this could be used to overcome the ramp-up stages in processing so as to keep the cell at optimum potential.
RE: Batteries can be hooked together... people could get away with using just two 9v battery clips. Having used multiple 9v batteries for majority of my first year, I found it to be a bit tedious in terms of charging, connecting etc, and so I moved to a fixed power source as well. That said, I can't fault the use of batteries in the beginning stages personally, as this proved quite helpful in getting the job done and in gaining familiarity with the process.
RE: What are your thoughts on the EMI from the magnetic stirrer? Have you ever tested it? Using something like a portable AM radio and putting the earphone leads next to the stirrer and adjusting the frequency and listening for any noises. I ran tests several years ago in my own attempt to determine whether there were advantages to using a magnetic stirrer over a mechanical one. And so I setup several super concentrate colloidal silver solutions along powerful magnets in hopes of observing the changes this would have over those stored in a none magnetic area. To which I'd add, the results showed no discernible differences between both samples. And so I didn't pursue the matter further.
In addition to this, I also tried running tests during full moons(super periods) to monitor what effects this might have on readings. But also found no discernible differences in processing between a full moon, new moon or quarter phases. And so I did not pursue this particular matters further as well. - ps. the process readings were +/- .05v between electrodes and times were in seconds
RE: I prefer the idea of a magnetic stirrer to a bubble mixer as I am not convinced about introducing air into the process or dust for that matter. I discovered numerous advantages in the use of a magnetic stirrer in that it can greatly improve purity by isolation. Though it was in the mainstream observations that I discovered the greatest benefits by dispersing ions away from the anode, which in turn, discouraged the formation of oxides while promoting the reduction at the cathode. - keeping in mind that this may only be significant under the heat reduction method, rather than with room temperature processing.
RE: What is the reason for the wide separation of the electrodes? Is it to avoid the possibility of the doubled/bent electrodes from coming into contact with one another? From what I have seen, the recommended separation is only meant to be around 20 to 25mm or approx 1". However when using a bend in the electrodes it makes it harder to avoid them touching one another and shorting.
There are misconceptions with regard to electrode spacing in that people are often under the impression that a common distance should exist between them. When in reality, the electrode spacing is completely proportionate to the efficiency of the electrolytic cell. ie, when the process(of colloidal silver) begins, the conductivity of the cell is quite low(near zero). And thus the electron flow(or current) does not carry over from the cathode to the anode very effectively. And so there are a few things we can do to mitigate this:
1. We can raise the voltage
2. We can move the electrodes closer together
3. We can raise the temperature of the solution.
4. We can alter the conductivity(seed) of the solution.
That said, on the first option(1), I'd be careful, as DC voltages in excess of 60v could potentially harm someone.
The second option is quite safe, and I've been making us of this in conjunction with no. 1 for the past few years.
The third is also quite viable, in that it can also help control the addition of chemical reduction during processing as well as raise the initial conductivity. Though above this, heating ones solution can do much more, in that it can not only raise the overall solubility and saturation levels, but also brings with it the addition of thermal chemical processing(changes) which can be used to further alter the size and shape of the particulate.
The fourth and final option(to my knowledge), is quite common, though I don't use it personally, as my preference is toward the ionic side, which has proven to be best, made fresh.
Therefore and with that being said, the interesting part about voltage in electrolysis is that the voltage is merely a carrier from which the current can do its work. And so the extent(within limits) in which the voltage will most often affect Colloidal Silver processing is that of the ramp up stages. As the remainder of the process will be subject to a voltage drop(between electrodes) due to the effect of current regulation.
In relation to this, you can experiment with the effects of voltage and electrode positioning by monitoring the current and voltage(between electrodes) during the ramp-up stage. Which will in most cases, provide great visual feedback on the dynamics of the electrodes within the cell.
RE: I thought about using a terminal block to retain the electrodes and prevent them from swinging into one another. That would allow the electrodes to be locked with a screw. I have some already and one size I have seems to fit quite nicely. I am using a 2 litre wide mouthed (70mm) erlenmeyer flask so separation distance is a bit limited I personally think such topics will depend heavily on how far down the rabbit hole one is willing to go, in terms of equipment and processing methods. Though my preference has been to use custom made PTFE lids with Versilic stoppers to suspend my electrodes with. This in turn, allows for quick cathode changeouts and the ability to turn the cathodes on an offset so as to alter its distance from the anode accordingly.