The Patterson light water cell demonstration . . . was made of ridiculously low-budget, unreliable parts, and it failed drastically in the middle of the demo, as I described in the report.
Cravens briefed me before I went to California, so I had some idea what the demo was like. I knew the flow rate, Delta T and so on. That's why I brought the thermometer and stop watch. With a more sophisticated calorimeter you can't even reach the flowing water. It is all sealed up, as you see on the "60 Minutes" program.
Although, it is worth mentioning, both McKubre and Storms have used a siphon and weight scale in addition to a flow meter. You can watch the siphon fill up and dump out periodically, and see for yourself what the flow rate is. That's exactly what I did with the stop watch and graduated cylinder. You don't have to trust the instruments.
(With the siphon, the weight scale is tied into the computer which records of the increase in weight of water, and you ignore the periods when it suddenly decreases, and the siphon dumps out.)
I was disappointed in the cheap implementation. So was George Miley. But the technique is fine, and Cravens did a good job at several things that have caused problems in other people's calorimeters. For example, the flow rate was fast and there were mixers installed in front of both the inlet and outlet thermocouples. The thermocouples were good quality.
I asked Cravens why on earth they made the thing so cheap looking, with such hokey stuff. For a few thousand bucks more they could have made it far more convincing, with a precision flow meter and so on. They did that for an ICCF conference a year later. Cravens said to me "they told me to make it convincing but not too convincing." For political reasons. That was one of the nuttiest moments in the history of cold fusion -- a history replete with nuttiness.
I could confirm it with equally simplistic, crude, 18th century instruments: a mercury thermometer . . .
I meant an alcohol thermometer. I got it from a high-school science class supply company. It was reliable and accurate.
I am sure the test before and after that was valid.
I mean before and after the heat excursion caused when the flow got plugged up. As Ed Storms emphasizes, calorimetry gets much more complicated during a heat excursion, or during start up, or in other rapidly changing conditions. Before and after this event the heat was reasonably steady over periods. I think it was steady enough to establish the power level with confidence. It was stable enough to be sure the heat could not be coming from that power supply, which as I recall was rated at 5 W maximum.
When I listed light water experiments a few days ago, I should have included Patterson.