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  #1  
Old 13-04-2012, 15:35
Hightech Hightech is offline
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New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

We are four students who attend a university course in entrepreneurship and we have to redact a business plan. We had the idea to develop a portable device to evaluate the percentage of real cocaine present in an amount of "white powder" before sniffing it. The dealer cannot so rip you off and you know how much cocaine you are assuming excluding risks of overdoses. For the society it might be good to have less deaths and people who are not able to regulate their use of drugs.
We have many doubts about and we would like to have more infos by you
1) is it legal to sell a product that is used for an illegal purpose like this? in Europe, US, Canada?
2) is it patentable?
3) is it technically feasible to understand the percentage of cocaine in a general amount of "white powder"?
4) where would be easier to create a such device in collaboration with the governemnt?
5) what do you generally think about the idea? are there already other products?
Thank you very much!
High tech group
  #2  
Old 13-04-2012, 16:03
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

If I am not mistaken (since I am not a chemist), there are already ways of doing this through qualitative analysis and basic chemical analysis:
  • Melting point testing
  • Reagent kit color tests
  • Chemical-interaction separation test (Methanol/Water)
  • And weight return tests

I don't see how this is going to be a "portable device" very easily unless you are planning to develop a mass-spectrometer that is portable. In that consideration, this is something that I, as an electrical engineer and physicist, have been pondering over for two years on making feasible, and I can tell you right now: goooooood luck.

So let me answer your questions directly. I am not being rude, but I will be direct and honest much like the "Shark Tank" fellows are on those inventor TV shows.

1.) No, it is not illegal to sell given that you do not market it for the purpose of being drug paraphernalia. It is a chemical analysis device. It is much like any field kit or Marquis Reagent you can buy to test your club drugs.

2.) Yes, it is but I highly doubt the patent on it is going to be achievable since there are devices that you are trying to invent that have already been patented. This is not contriving a new method in science: it sounds like a very ill-informed engineering feat. Trust me on that one. I have already been trying to make a GC/MS machine that is within "home user cost" for quite a while. This effort has not produced much result since I still venture well outside of $2,500 each time I attempt to do so.

3.) Technical feasibility: for what you are trying to do in terms of getting a percentage read-out... god no. You require a lot of high end sensors that will cost $1000 per sensor to do the NMR to even be able to get a non-bullshit percentage. I am being honest here on that issue. When it comes to getting into "small scale stuff," each factor of 10 requires a factor of 10 in your dollar count. So each decimal point, expect that factor of 10. You are currently looking at the 1000-10000 factor sadly in dollar ranges for a rough-and-simple "scale of cost vs accuracy" estimate in order to make a "portable powder purity percentage detector."

4.) In heaven. I am not joking. Government funding, as far as that goes, is about the worst thing in the world to get. I am a research student. I know this pain. It makes me and my department chair cry sometimes. The National Science Foundation is your best way to go outside of defense funding groups. The best money is in defense... the most bureaucracy too.

5.) Yes, there are products. Chemist can do a contrived percentile from qualitative assessments both very quickly and cheaply, at home, using their methods, or they can even expend time and energy to properly come up with mass separating techniques to figure out "just what is in there and how much" so they can make a valid qualitative estimate. There are plenty of methods. Mass separation through chemical means is the best way to do this. They can indeed, using their fun little chemistry tools, make an actual +/- 5% guess based on weights alone.

Your idea is a year 2150 science fiction pipedream for now. Sorry friend. Don't mean to take a big "engineering dump" on your idea. I was glad to see such a wonderful dream and such a strong desire to make something happen in this. If you prove me wrong, I will let you come to me and open-hand slap me happily. I will be happy to be proven wrong.

Until then, it is very "out there" and not feasible based on the "intended accuracy" you are conceiving. It is possible to make a chemical reaction that gives a "weak or strong" indicator of quality and concentration, but even that is mostly "best guessing" on the chemistry side of things. I hope this helps! Keep on being inspired hightech! Seriously!! Do NOT let me naysay you! If you prove me wrong, you are awesome. Yet I do live in the world of engineering realities, so I am glad to give constructive opinions to lead you to some more fruitful goals.

Come up with more ideas and I will be glad to advise you!

Edit and addition:
My credentials cannot list my university as that is divulging too much info. I will not do that since I have posted about a lot of "things" I have done for "research chemical science." Yet to tickle your fancy, I am a BSEE and I am working on my MBA starting next year. After that, I am pursuing my Ph.D in Electrical Engineering possibly from three different schools. The most likely looks to be UofT. I am an industry power engineering since I was 16, and I am not joking about that. I got a very early opportunity to do these things. I also invent (and plan on patenting when I get my money together) embedded devices. I am currently working on a solar-powered cellular remote gate opener that works also from battery at night (it can open via texts and call the owner at the gate). That is just one of the many ways I plan to write my own meal-ticket.

(Additionally, for those asking why I listed credentials: this might be a big school project where they need to tell their professor or their adviser why their original idea failed. "Some dude on the internet" fails terribly for grade-related things.)

Second edit:

You are best to wait for a chemist who can put you on a "chemical test kit" route where you can create percentiles based on a sound chemistry method. I am sure a kit, the size of a small brief case, can be utilized to make your product happen, but it won't be like you "stick it in something, press a button, and make a percent come up on a 7-seg display." This will NOT be able to happen. I know my microelectronics and sensor tech. No way, no how. Yet through good old fashioned chem, you could achieve an equal system that requires chemicals and many steps! Maybe that could suffice well enough?

Post Quality Evaluations:
Very reasonable, considered and useful points for the lazy-ass OP, who couldn't be bothered to search for the answers himself, to consider
Not sure why your credentials were so important, other than that you make a number of relevant arguments with regard to the feasibility
Wow, lots of interesting thoughts and facts, and you weren't even nearly as rude as I thought you'd be when you started with "I'm not being rude, but..." ;)

Last edited by SpatialReason; 14-04-2012 at 01:45.
  #3  
Old 13-04-2012, 20:28
The_Joker The_Joker is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

I just maybe have not done enough drug transactions, i mean it seems like ive did a few, mostly in situations like a walmart parking lot meeting, or else i have gone to their house or they have come to mine.

Maybe it is different, but i was generally allowed to "try" a bit of the product if it was not someone i knew well and trusted for the most part.

Maybe the tweekers and cokeheads i knew were different and more paranoid, but i almost think if i had pulled out such a device, they might have tripped out not knowing what it was, and you do NOT want someone high on coke or meth freaking out on you. Best case scenario, they would say, "if you don't trust me, get the fuck out of my house!" or something like that.....i dont know....

I wasnt real experienced at dealings because i got my shit out of town, and it wasnt every day....I drove away so NO ONE would know....and I bought....alot....if i had ever gotten caught with it i would have gone to prison for possession with intent to distribute....i am not kidding it was once every month and a half or so, and i bought an ounce or two....and they were not my buddies....I got my shit and left. It was one of them situations where no matter what, we just ran in different circles, and though we liked each other enough, and trusted each other to some extent, it was fragile. It was one of them things i guess you could refer to as "it is what it is"....I wanted dope and had money, he had dope and wanted money, and it was mutually beneficial....but we didnt hang out much.

Also....any idea you come up with for a business if you are under the influence of cocaine or meth should be re-evaluated when you are sober. We had LOTS of ideas that seem insane now that were absolutely BRILLIANT when tweeking. One was how i was going to cook dope and money launder through the family business. Another was that we were going to open a cookie store, and another was being professional stained glass artists.

I dont know alot about your idea, and maybe it is a good one, but i just have no experience....and if you thought it up on the second day of a run at 3 am while drinking, you MAY want to re-evaluate it during the light of day.
  #4  
Old 13-04-2012, 20:47
Eeeee Dub!!! Eeeee Dub!!! is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Perhapse a better idea would be a pre made acetone wash kit. Market it as a chemistry set or something. put all the chemicals and supplies needed into an easy to use set. The materials list for this isn't large. Acetone, filters, heat lamp, few other things. There is a sticky in the coke forum about it.

I just think it would be easier to purify what you have rather than run around testing bags from multiple sources to find the best connect. Besides most users (myself included) just buy and test a small amount by nose. If it is junk don't go back for more!

I had a very good friend that was a mid level dealer but never used it himself. I was his test kit. It felt pretty cool to be sitting at a meeting in a fancy bar on miami beach with the trafficers.... a few grand riding on the opinion of my nose. Thank god it always worked out well and I survived that phase of my life with just some cool stories and no bullet holes.
  #5  
Old 13-04-2012, 22:14
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeeee Dub!!! View Post
Perhapse a better idea would be a pre made acetone wash kit. Market it as a chemistry set or something. put all the chemicals and supplies needed into an easy to use set. The materials list for this isn't large. Acetone, filters, heat lamp, few other things. There is a sticky in the coke forum about it.

I just think it would be easier to purify what you have rather than run around testing bags from multiple sources to find the best connect. Besides most users (myself included) just buy and test a small amount by nose. If it is junk don't go back for more!

I had a very good friend that was a mid level dealer but never used it himself. I was his test kit. It felt pretty cool to be sitting at a meeting in a fancy bar on miami beach with the trafficers.... a few grand riding on the opinion of my nose. Thank god it always worked out well and I survived that phase of my life with just some cool stories and no bullet holes.
Yeah, if you notice your purified yields are in the 20% range, there is an ass somewhere in need of kicking. That, indeed, is a fact. So really it boils down to a product of "specialized uses." This could be good for lazy law enforcement looking not to GC/MS products to determine the confiscated quality, as this is indeed an investigative technique in seizures.

Nevertheless, the market remains difficult and the marketing remains difficult. If someone could come up with a batch testing kit that takes less than 3 minutes, discreet, and dummy-proof that gives me a rough estimate of how pure something is: then I may definitely look at that for my own sake! Yet I doubt this will be as easy as I wish it could be to produce and invent. Dummy proof chemistry kits are also very hard to get away with. Dance Safe and many others got it down-pact.
  #6  
Old 13-04-2012, 23:16
Phenoxide Phenoxide is nu online
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

1) It arguably could be considered drug paraphernalia (much like a set of scales) which would make its possession, distribution and use illegal in certain jurisdictions.

2) I'm going to disagree with SpatialReason here. In the terms you've described here I don't think there is anything to patent at all. You cannot patent a concept. Patents cover innovative technologies, or novel applications of existing technologies. Unless you elaborate on the exciting technologies involved then there's no intellectual property.

3) Technically feasible? In experienced hands, yes (though not necessarily at the price point necessary for a viable business model). However unless your team of four business partners includes a knowledgeable engineer and an analytical chemist then I'd say that you're out of your depth. Unless you understand the necessary technologies required to bring such a device to fruition then it's an idea rather than a plan. I could say that I have this great idea for a machine that turns wishful thinking into rainbows, but if I cannot describe how this instrument works at anything more than this superficial level then no bank is going to lend me start-up capital.

For what it's worth such a device already exists (the drug detector that is, not the Rainb-o-maticTM). I hope you've done your market research and found this already, but if not: New handheld device helps police identify drugs. Note that these devices are expensive; far too expensive for end-users of drugs to afford. Now if you have the technical expertise to reduce the cost of such a device without infringing on Thermo Fisher Scientific's patents then you may be onto something.

4) I wouldn't think it makes a massive difference either way really - if it's a viable commercial product then it doesn't matter who supports it. It does partially depend on the target market though. If the product was being designed for use by law enforcement and the emergency services then there may be scope for government funded grants to develop prototypes. On the flip side there isn't a chance in hell that most governments would fund a commercial business venture designed to assist in the use of illicit substances. Academic or industrial collaboration seems like a more viable and valuable route for early development.

5) It's a long way off being a business plan. Back to the drawing board I'm afraid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeeee Dub!!! View Post
I just think it would be easier to purify what you have rather than run around testing bags from multiple sources to find the best connect. Besides most users (myself included) just buy and test a small amount by nose. If it is junk don't go back for more!
There is this common misconception that acetone washes solve everything. Without knowing what the cuts are it is impossible to know whether such a treatment will remove them efficiently. Many active and inactive cuts will not be removed by acetone washes (e.g. levamisole). There is no one-size-fits-all purification system.

Post Quality Evaluations:
Phenoxide, you know there is indeed a *looks* knowledgeable engineer and *points* an analytical chemist that could, in fact, make this work. Pursue! :)

Last edited by Phenoxide; 13-04-2012 at 23:31.
  #7  
Old 14-04-2012, 01:41
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenoxide View Post
1) It arguably could be considered drug paraphernalia (much like a set of scales) which would make its possession, distribution and use illegal in certain jurisdictions.

2) I'm going to disagree with SpatialReason here. In the terms you've described here I don't think there is anything to patent at all. You cannot patent a concept. Patents cover innovative technologies, or novel applications of existing technologies. Unless you elaborate on the exciting technologies involved then there's no intellectual property.

3) Technically feasible? In experienced hands, yes (though not necessarily at the price point necessary for a viable business model). However unless your team of four business partners includes a knowledgeable engineer and an analytical chemist then I'd say that you're out of your depth. Unless you understand the necessary technologies required to bring such a device to fruition then it's an idea rather than a plan. I could say that I have this great idea for a machine that turns wishful thinking into rainbows, but if I cannot describe how this instrument works at anything more than this superficial level then no bank is going to lend me start-up capital.

For what it's worth such a device already exists (the drug detector that is, not the Rainb-o-maticTM). I hope you've done your market research and found this already, but if not: New handheld device helps police identify drugs. Note that these devices are expensive; far too expensive for end-users of drugs to afford. Now if you have the technical expertise to reduce the cost of such a device without infringing on Thermo Fisher Scientific's patents then you may be onto something.

4) I wouldn't think it makes a massive difference either way really - if it's a viable commercial product then it doesn't matter who supports it. It does partially depend on the target market though. If the product was being designed for use by law enforcement and the emergency services then there may be scope for government funded grants to develop prototypes. On the flip side there isn't a chance in hell that most governments would fund a commercial business venture designed to assist in the use of illicit substances. Academic or industrial collaboration seems like a more viable and valuable route for early development.

5) It's a long way off being a business plan. Back to the drawing board I'm afraid!



There is this common misconception that acetone washes solve everything. Without knowing what the cuts are it is impossible to know whether such a treatment will remove them efficiently. Many active and inactive cuts will not be removed by acetone washes (e.g. levamisole). There is no one-size-fits-all purification system.
You didn't disagree with me in fact. I wasn't clear in my original words. He has nothing to patent since there isn't anything novel to patent in terms of coming up with this idea. He could patent only methods and marketing concepts as opposed to the scientific products since he would, in fact, be using everything that already has a patent to it in terms of "novel processes." Example: you can patent a transistor manufacturing process, an architecture, a new configuration pair that no one else ever configured, but you can't patent the transistor (unless it is seriously groundbreaking and outlandishly new).

He is just repackaging known scientific machines and procedures. Unless he makes something that is novel in and of itself, then it can't warrant a patent. There are indeed methods that make it easier that can be patented. Example: fried chicken has always been around, but shake-and-bake chicken: well that is just amazing! Hence "Shake and Bake" as a brand. Branding and logo-attached patents are very common, but they don't yield the same money; they are only protection patents.

If you want to get rich, patent a scientific method of production. My friend's great grandpa patented the perfectly round ball-bearing manufacturing technique. That is why his family, as of today, never has to worry about cash ever again since anyone that wants a perfectly round metal ball must use this method to develop their machines. They have to buy into his patent to legally make the machine for producing that perfect of a metal ball. :P

Back to topic on hand: Phenoxide hit all the issues and did so with finesse. I was rushed to get out the door for guitar lessons. So he finished anything else I didn't think of while typing that up. We can definitely consider this topic fully addressed. If the OP comes back and reevaluates the ideas, we are perfectly happy to answer more questions to keep this thing alive.
  #8  
Old 14-04-2012, 01:47
Potter Potter is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

  #9  
Old 14-04-2012, 01:56
chinpokomaster chinpokomaster is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

The major flaw, as anyone who has ever bought illicit substances knows, is that not many dealers are going to give you a bit of their product to sample with your little testing kit before you buy, whilst they wait around looking conspicuous, after which you may not even buy what they're selling, because you think it's crap.
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Old 14-04-2012, 02:42
coolhandluke coolhandluke is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinpokomaster View Post
The major flaw, as anyone who has ever bought illicit substances knows, is that not many dealers are going to give you a bit of their product to sample with your little testing kit before you buy, whilst they wait around looking conspicuous, after which you may not even buy what they're selling, because you think it's crap.
this depends on how much your buying. when you buy a bag of weed you look at it, smell it, ect, since thats not easy to do with coke as much (smell and sight can indicate quality but doing a small amount is the best) and if your spending the cash to get a few ounces of coke no one is going to belly ache about having a small toot to test the quality.

Post Quality Evaluations:
exactlly. no one bothers to test a .5 gram....but its differant when both parties have a significant investment at risk.
  #11  
Old 14-04-2012, 02:54
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinpokomaster View Post
The major flaw, as anyone who has ever bought illicit substances knows, is that not many dealers are going to give you a bit of their product to sample with your little testing kit before you buy, whilst they wait around looking conspicuous, after which you may not even buy what they're selling, because you think it's crap.
Lesson to others (as I know chinpokomaster probably already knows this): if you ever have to start working with those people more often than not, then you might be on the level of having to look for fixes more than seeking "coke." Coke is a once-in-a-blue-moon things that I see from people that go "I finally got some worth the gettin'!" (Oklahoma slang lol) Plus it is highly advisable to never be around someone who wants a one minute "stop and drop" with paranoia of situations.

I know that is not your point with your statement as I do agree 100% there, but I would like to point this out to less experienced drug users: anyone that is bent out of shape to get out of there, won't let you test, and is worried about "looking conspicuous" is already liable to be selling bunk street junk.

Another honest fact: coke is a cut drug. Can't get around it. The best thing you can do is befriend an older coke head or ex-coke head (that hasn't fully quit... just curtailed) above the age of 30 and let that person guide you in "what is good and not good." I have had their beagle-like noses tell me honest words of advice. Sadly, I have never gotten to even try coke because my good friend told me "I will slap you for thinking about making this crap your first experience. Oh and by the way: this town sucks for this drug. Good look ever getting anything that isn't disappointing."

That is the best machine to test with in the world. Just make friends that know their stuff like clockwork. It is free (maybe with the exception of their couple of lines) to use and more suitable for trust.

Once again: it is highly unadvised to ever be around someone that is going to not afford you the chance to know just *exactly* what you are putting in your body before you get stuck with it. Just some careful tips I guess I like to harp on. Besides, I hate the shit out of paranoid-ass "I-need-to-jet" fellows who treat you more like a slave-customer than an honest business-buddy.

In the theory side of things: don't deal with dealers... deal with buddies that happen to have drugs. :P
  #12  
Old 14-04-2012, 13:29
chinpokomaster chinpokomaster is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

I don't really agree with your sentiment entirely about people worried about looking conspicuous meaning they're selling crap. If you are picking up on the street and the product is already pre-wrapped into wraps, but the dealer is someone you know and trust with decent stuff, they're still not going to want you to start wanting to test it.

I also agree with what was said that if you're buying weight then they probably won't mind you testing it. I was really talking about when you buy small amounts when you're out, though. e.g. you call your man out to the pub to drop off a gram or two.
  #13  
Old 15-04-2012, 01:01
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

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Originally Posted by chinpokomaster View Post
I don't really agree with your sentiment entirely about people worried about looking conspicuous meaning they're selling crap. If you are picking up on the street and the product is already pre-wrapped into wraps, but the dealer is someone you know and trust with decent stuff, they're still not going to want you to start wanting to test it.

I also agree with what was said that if you're buying weight then they probably won't mind you testing it. I was really talking about when you buy small amounts when you're out, though. e.g. you call your man out to the pub to drop off a gram or two.
Well that is where we deviate entirely in opinion/culture. I would never call the man out to the pub in such a scenario. Anyone that will be in that sort of scenario would be a welcomed guest in my home as they would have an established relationship before I'd trust them to even look at what they have to offer. Typically, it all depends on approach. I am just used to a different sort of culture in my workings. I prefer to invite a person over to chill and let them do whatever. It prevents the whole "conspicuous worries" stuff. It is a friend at my house... nothing more... nothing less... typically the drug gets sampled in the process of chilling between friends free of cost. :P That is how these things go.

Enough on that issue on my end though. I don't want to beat a dead horse or accidentally rule miss-step and be oblivious to the fact that I did. The long and sort of it: if you want drugs worth trusting, it better start with evaluating how much you trust the person and how much they give a damn about you. The last part is probably the most important. The dealer is not the cutter typically. The low-down-the-totem-pole guy typically is just there doing this to float his expensive habits. So his goal, as much so, is to get the best that is available.

Nevertheless, I never get around coke that often to have to worry about this.
  #14  
Old 23-04-2012, 09:55
Hightech Hightech is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Thank you very much to all. We spent the last two weeks looking for a techinical support from some professors. It might be feasible.. now we are are looking at business feasibility. Even if your opinion about the idea doesn't seem so enthusiastic :/
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Old 23-04-2012, 17:01
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightech View Post
Thank you very much to all. We spent the last two weeks looking for a techinical support from some professors. It might be feasible.. now we are are looking at business feasibility. Even if your opinion about the idea doesn't seem so enthusiastic :/
I am very curious how they recommend gathering true values of purity. This intrigues me. Don't be surprised if you make a $2000 prototype. ;P
  #16  
Old 26-04-2012, 05:18
SpatialReason SpatialReason is offline
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Re: New business idea related to cocaine. Opinions, critics and legal aspects

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpatialReason View Post
I am very curious how they recommend gathering true values of purity. This intrigues me. Don't be surprised if you make a $2000 prototype. ;P
I demand follow-ups to this!

I am really intrigued by this. I could serve as a sage of engineering wisdom if it comes down to it. I am not going to be doing your project for you, at all, as I just got done doing that for some stupid student I was forced to do my capstone project with. I am glad to give direction, advice, and possible product applications to help you go somewhere with this.

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