his morning Steorn began streaming a live test of an Orbo device on Twitch. The announcement on their Facebook page reads:
This video stream shows an Orbo power cell in long term reliability testing.
The test system comprises of an Orbo power cell that is being shorted through a relay at an approximate frequency of 50Hz (50 times a second). The trace on the scope is the Orbo power cell voltage.
The cell is being shorted and is recharging approximately 4.3 million times per day. Prior to the live stream of this power cell commencing on 12th May 2016 the cell shown had been shorted and recharged in excess of 350 million times.
The live video stream:
An update on the video streaming page describes the small electric motor seen spinning away on the table:
We have added a small test motor to the live stream, this is a prototype and has only been in lab test for a week or so. Hence there may be a few teething problems, all of which you will get to see live on this channel!
Given that this is the first substantial new communication from Steorn in some 3 months, it’s disappointing that there is no update on the progress of the OPhone or OCubes, or on when they may ship to customers.
As for the meaning of what is being presented today, that depends on what we choose to believe about Steorn. If we believe that they’re perpetrating a con, a point of view whose support has only grown with Steorn’s actions over the last few months, then this is just the latest in their circus of delays and misdirection, meant to give the illusion that progress is continuing forward so that investors will continue to pour in new money. If we believe that Steorn honestly thinks they have something, and have just run into a lot of stumbling blocks in the process of turning it into a marketable product, then at least it’s a positive step that they have something they consider reliable enough to be worth showing, even if the test procedure isn’t rigorous enough to prove anything by itself.
At best, this is an interesting diversion as we wait for Steorn to be confident enough in their devices to again attempt to start sending them to customers.
Since this was originally posted, the live stream has gone dead and come back a few times, the motor has stopped turning and has been replaced, the current displayed on the oscilloscope has gradually declined, and products on the Orbo.com store have gone up for sale again, and then been marked “sold out” again. Nothing terribly noteworthy. The most amusing bit, however, was when the livestream went dead because Twitch shut it down for violating their terms of service due to being “non-gaming content”. That’s why the stream was then relocated to YouTube. (Although, oddly enough, to YouTube’s Twitch-equivalent gaming site. Just asking for another TOS violation?)
27 thoughts on “Steorn begins Orbo test live stream”
Ask yourselves this; What is the point in these live streams anyway? They prove absolutely nothing, there is no way to judge if the setup is even really what they tell you it is from the videos? They are a publicity stunt for credulous investors nothing else.
If they want to prove their device works give it to independent physicists and engineers, (un-potted) let them pull it apart and run it through rigorous testing.
Want me to post a video of Aliens landing in my garden I can, I can also show you a video of my phone magically recharging in seconds with no apparent power source if you want. They won’t be real of course but you won’t be able to tell since your seeing a video from a fixed angle and have to take my word for most of what you actually seeing and that I’m using no trickery.
My other question why did they keep posting these live streams on gaming sites? They could have put it on non-gaming you tube all along. The answer is simple; they wanted it to stay up only for a little while before being taken down, (but they did not want it to appear to be at their violation).
It’s now SIX months since Steorn’s CEO Shaun McCarthy said, in January, that they “expect to have shipping clearance by the end of this week or early next week”. I’m guessing that now it’s safe to presume that the duplicitous McCarthy and his band of criminal associates—and millions of client and investor dollars—have disappeared into the ether, never to be seen or heard from again. It’s hard to believe that these scammers have got away with this deception for a decade, but the the gullible and scientifically naive are inevitably ripe for the picking by snake-oil salesmen such as McCarthy. How long will it be before Consumer laws catch up with these fraudsters?
Headline comes from article by Barry J Whyte in Sunday Business Post published in Dublin.
Precis : Investors told to stump up more cash or face wind-up.
Orbo products withdrawn. Killian McGrath becomes chief executive. Sean McCarthy becomes operations officer. James Meenan to liaise with investors. ” A large proportion of the shipped products didn’t work.”
I really do not see how they have any true believers left at this stage, back when they made their original claim I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and let them prove it by giving the technology to a team of experts to dissect and test. It was always possible they had discovered something, even if it seemed to fly in the face of accepted physics theory, that’s fine theory can and should be revised if enough evidence comes along that contradicts it.
However for the 10 years since then their actions have always matched what you would expect of a snake oil sales man trying to perpetuate a con for as long as possible while living of the money of gullible investors.
The only reason I follow this story now is out of a sense of morbid curiosity as to when they will finally give it up. I suspect they can keep this going a few years longer yet, as the faithful really want to believe and have a lot invested in believing as indeed do their investors, that’s always the way great cons go on longer than most will be possible. People who believed feel invested and don’t want to end up feeling gullible so will except the flimsiest hint of a demo even if it proves nothing at all as evidence their faith is justified.
From a psychological point of view it’s fascinating to see how long people will go on fooling themselves. Historically there is a long history of the “discovery” of perpetual motion machines, because people so badly want to believe in free, cheap and inexhaustible energy there is a whole pseudo-scientific community based around these cons. Steorn aren’t the first and won’t be the last.
Why do you think they made the Cube device resemble the red skull winking? At this point they are having a bit of a laugh knowing they have an audience who will believe whatever they choose to put out.
So yet ANOTHER month passes with no further updates from Sean McCarthy, and none on Steorn’s Facebook page either. I think we can now safely assume that the entire Ocube and Ophone “devices” were both nothing more than a scam from day one. And who can guess where the millions of dollars that gullible investors have sunk into this nonsensical project have gone? Probably straight into McCarthy’s and his cronies pockets—never to be seen again.
I think it’s time that the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) formally investigated Steorn’s operation with regard to the laws on deceptive trading practices as per their Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014.
I also note that on Steorn’s amateurish home page that they’re saying both the Ocube and the Ophone are “sold out” LOL. How can that be the case when Steorn is yet to ship one single working model of either?
I’m now awaiting the news of the first case(s) of litigation initiated by those who’ve lost money in this scam.
Many of the investors have been in the game for ten years. You would think that if any litigation was to occur it would have been initiated before this considering the successive failures Steorn has had during that time frame. The truth is very few scams at this level get sued or charged with criminal acts. Investors who have waited ten years for a return on their investment must surely know by now that “soon” will never come.
But don’t underestimate Steorn’s ability to keep the game going. To any person with common sense it would seem the fat lady has sung her aria but Steorn has managed to perpetuate this nonsense before when it seemed doomed. Stay tuned. It really is edge of your seat tedium.
I’m guessing that any potential investor litigants would need to wait until it’s proved unequivocally that the Ocube and the Ophone don’t work, and could not work. And as you alluded to, Steorn could simply be utilising delaying tactics to avoid the inevitable disaccreditation of its devices.
It’s probable that people who ordered and paid for Ophones as far back as December 2015 may be unlikely to fund litigation as individuals; they’d need to mount a class action to split the costs. I also note that the Irish statute of limitations for breach of contract is six years. Does that have any bearing in the case of Steorn’s investors and/or their prepaid customers?
And are there publicly available records showing any Irish government taxation audits of Steorn’s company accounts over the years? Would make interesting reading.
Thing is, we have no idea how many paid for product nor how many, if any were delivered. If the assumption is that scores of people paid for product but none were delivered because of the glitch in performance Steorn is still on the hook to either deliver working product or refund the money. If they refund the money then no real case can be established and the whole thing fizzles. If the recent product offerings were known not to work and the whole endeavor was to seek new investors then refunding customers money would be an easy out for them. Failing to deliver is Steorn’s modus operandi.
Here’s a question: What legitimate reason would a company have in banning people asking questions of them on Facebook?
Exactly. I was banned from their FB page with no reason given. My comments didn’t contain any spam, personal abuse or foul language, and were legitimate questions—mainly about the ongoing testing, production dates, and dispatch lead times. I also queried why there’d been no further reports from either of the two people claimed to be testing the units in Ireland for the past 4 months. Reading through the Steorn FB pages, it’s more than apparent that they’re nothing more than self-promotional advertising which addresses none of people’s concerns about the products—particularly of those (gullible) people who’ve already paid $1,800 upfront for the Orbo Cube.
Bear in mind that it’s now TEN years since McCarthy claimed that Steorn had developed a technology that produced “free, clean and constant energy”. It took Karl Benz only four years to get the first IC 4-stroke motor vehicle into production. But then Benz was a qualified mechanical engineer, rather than a self-styled, technology snake-oil salesman who claims he has “very classical university training—whatever that means? I was unable to ascertain McCarthy’s accredited, formal qualifications—even after an extensive on-line search. Does he actually have any?
And just after all McCarthy’s live tests of his devices failed nearly ten years ago, he said that “we’ll be back and we’ll be back in the not too distant future”. Like maybe 2050. Or more than likely, never?
It must be unnerving—to say the least—for Steorn’s shareholders. In the five years from 2000, investments in the company totalled €3 million. Then in 2006 they obtained a further €8 million in loans from numerous individual investors. A total of AUD18 million with zero product to show for it after a decade. Nice work if you can get it LOL.
The investors are really in a bad situation. Unless they can prove fraud they have been had. Trying to prove fraud is difficult and requires lawyers which are also expensive. Even then hopes of recovering even a portion of their investment could be eaten up in lengthy litigation or Steorn declaring bankruptcy. Plus, people do not like admitting they’ve been screwed. Or they just chalk it up to a bad investment and move on. That is one of the reasons why there are so many free energy scams that have been going on for years. No one goes to jail or are rarely (if ever) sued.
I think this recent gambit of ostensibly selling product was to garner new investments. That is how they have survived for the last ten years and it has worked to the tune of millions. They can always refund customers money to get them off their back but they can tell potential investors “we were so sure it worked and if we could just get a little more money to iron out the kinks we’ll all be billionaires. We are so close”
Steorn’s motto is “soon.” Everything will happen soon. But soon is like an asymptotic curve – never quite reaching the goal. All of these Steorn dog and pony shows they have contrived over the years are just carrots dangling tantalizingly out of reach, but such that they keep the investors salivating. Once you understand it is all about investors and has nothing to do with technology, products or customers then the better you will understand their modus operandi.
I am amazed they have any supporters or fans. I’m questioning the very existence of their testers. I mean, where did they go? They rave about the product and then are never heard from again? LEGIT>
Who builds a product and sells it before it works?
Also, if they legitimately believe in the product where are the evangelists the commissioned to test them? They either paid them to be quiet or they worked for them in the first place.
If you act like a con artist every step of the way it means you’re a con artist. If they were genuinely able to build a machine that generates electricity, why not sell electricity?
This is just my own personal opinion, but I do not believe Steorn is deliberately trying to deceive anyone, I believe they believe their claims are true. The problem is, believing something is true, doesn’t make it true. Claims must be proven. There is a thing called self-deception which all of us, at various times, are victims of. It’s possible that they have discovered something that nobody else has yet discovered, but, if that is true, they need to provide an abundance of irrefutable proof otherwise nobody will believe them.
Seriously? They have been playing this game for ten years and never proved anything and yet have gone through several completely different tech iterations. They didn’t prove to their select jury who spent two frustrated years trying to ascertain what they had, not to the various developer clubs (who were promised that following validation the Orbo technology would be made available via their online developers forum which never happened), not even to Phil Watson who tried to replicate and he was very close to Steorn or the meticulous Clanzer who spent untold hundreds of hours and money trying to replicate. So how is it they have proved it to themselves and yet no one else? The only people they have fooled is the investors who are in the hole for millions but Steorn has no illusions as to what they are doing. They know exactly what they are doing.
Couple their performance with various lies they have told (i.e. Orbo pumps for Africa, time splitting, they will never sell product – they are an IP company, 100,000 validation devices to be made available, etc.) and you have a picture of a company that act like the perpetrators of a long con. Even now look at their ridiculous performance. For the last seven months they have been on this roll out of two products that don’t work and are just now pretending to do robust testing after they had given a unit to Frank Ackland to waste almost three months trying to get the thing to perform.
They are a scam. The smell like a scam, they act like a scam and nothing will ever come from them that does anything remotely to what they claim. But, as long as people hold out hope they will continue this con for as long as possible. And why not? It has garnered them millions. They will just keep moving the goal post stalling for more time.
Need to echo the sentiments above. Videos don’t prove anything to anybody, which is why the con-men at Steorn are using them. What does it show? I have no idea. By the rationale of this video I can get a USB motor, videotape it and claim the computer is “generating” electricity.
It’s very simple: EVerything they’ve ever done is exactly the action that a con-artist would take. Rejecting scientific conclusions about their product? Check. Intermittent updates? Check. Complete lack of evidence? Check. Constantly shifting array of products? Check. if you’ve invested in them or purchased their product you are a grade 1 sucker
I note that it’s now more than three months since both Dublin bar manager Jennifer Roe, and (financially compensated?) Irish model Rachel Wallace agreed to post weekly progress reports regarding their use of their Ophone, including its charging abilities, and/or any inherent technical problems.
Since posting this promise, and their glowing support and future expectations for the Ophone in early February this year, not a single word has been heard from either woman, and certainly no progress reports of any kind. This raises a couple of questions; were Roe and Wallace willfully acting in collusion with McCarthy’s scam from day one? Or did McCarthy deliberately disassociate himself from them—or vice versa—and for what specific reason(s)?
And why would an allegedly upfront manufacturer [sic] of technical devices get a barmaid and a model to be the first product guinea pigs? Surely if you planned a genuine public appraisal you’d choose a couple of people with at least some basic, appropriate technical qualifications? Or could it be far more likely that McCarthy couldn’t find any independent scientist or engineer to test his products in the public arena?
This Steorn story is just unbelievable. I believe that if physicists such as Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman were alive today, they would say what Steorn claims is impossible. I suppose Stephen Hawking would also say the same thing. Therefore, Steorn must provide a lot of proof to verify their claim. So far, they have not provided any proof at all. Videos and online demonstrations can easily be rigged.
Obviously, they need to deliver actual physical items that exhibit the properties they claim, but they have not done that. They have hopped around from motors, to water heaters, to electronic cigarettes, to passive magnetic bearings, to battery chargers and to cell phones and have not actually delivered anything to anyone that has actually worked in years.
The sad thing to me is that, from what I have read, there are many “unsophisticated investors” in Steorn – I think hundreds of farmer-types. The investors probably do not know what to do. My advice to the investors would be to force Steorn to focus on one specific product – say the cell phone – and give them maybe 6 months to deliver working cell phones that will validate Steorn’s claims, and, if they cannot do that, then dissolve the company.
They won’t dissolve the company as it is a cash cow. The investors have had ten years of Steorn’s failed performance to see the writing on the wall and if they were going to do anything they would have done it by now. Pat Corbett was instrumental in securing investor funds and he is either the biggest fool or is in on the scam. He said he had an Ocube for a month and it worked yet no other device has.
Unless the investors can prove fraud then they are subject to caveat emptor and have to eat their investment. Steorn has been very careful to avoid fraud accusations by seemingly being sincere in their efforts. And as politicians know very well, if you can fake sincerity you got it made.
For anyone not an investor to hold out hope is fairly benign. It is pointless but no harm. The trick with any con artist is to pick victims who are greedy but clueless. It works quite well and has for centuries. A fool and his money….etc. As Mark Twain said it is easier to fool people than convince them they have been fooled.
As a matter of interest—and not unsurprisingly—Steorn have blocked me on their Facebook page yesterday, after I posted some meaningful (but civil) comments querying the technology of their powercells and phones etc. I also questioned why they were failing repeatedly to either refund their prepaid customers in a timely manner (as per requests by another Fb poster) or to actually ship functioning units. Obviously my comments struck a raw nerve, and I was immediately blocked by the ever-egregious Seán McCarthy. If nothing else—bar a jail term—McCarthy should be eligible for an Academy Award for his personal YouTube performances LOL.
Has anybody else managed to successfully post anything negative at Steorn’s Fb page? It seems as though they’re constantly vetting all comments, and only leaving the favourable and/or neutral ones on the page. If they’re a truly legitimate company, with nothing to hide, why would they be doing this? Why are they so afraid of negative publicity if they have absolute confidence in their products? Or are they maybe concerned about being exposed as scammers? Hmmm…
FYI, Steorn also blocked me on their facebook page. They – Shaun probably – are very controlling. My comments were not threatening or anything either. It kind of pisses me off that they would do that. Since Steorn apparently has a huge number of “unsophisticated investors”, I think the investors have next to no control over anything and Shaun is in control of evrerything. I don’t know how this nonsense is ever going to end. There doesn’t seem to be anybody with the know-how and will to put an end to it.
I’d agree Phil. Steorn have obviously sucked in a lot of (all?) technically unsophisticated investors who’ve been easy to fool by not understanding the physical impossibility of over-unity devices. And I don’t know why the fact that they’re clearly breaching the UK Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 Act (or whatever) hasn’t already drawn the attention of the relevant authorities. I’m guessing that a lot of the investors are probably feeling “buyer remorse” but are also feeling like idiots but don’t want to admit it publicly? The only end will be the inevitable litigation, but unfortunately by the time that happens, McCarthy—and their money—will be long gone.
I want to make it clear that I, probably more than anyone, would like to see Steorn be successful. I hope they have discovered how to do something that previously was believed to be, by nearly all people, impossible. However, as I said earlier, I would guess that nearly 100% of ALL living and non-living theoretical physicists believe what Steorn claims they can do is impossible so validation of their claims requires an abundance of proof which they, so far, have not provided.
In my comment regarding “unsophisticated investors”, I was referring to what I believe is a legal classification of investors. I started a Minnesota C type Corporation in 1990 called ECC Technologies, Inc. and we have 7 investors. At least in Minnesota in 1990, from a legal point of view, investors were classified as “sophisticated” and “unsophisticated”. At that time, I believe sophisticated investors were defined as those investors who had a net worth over $1M. It apparently was assumed that sophisticated investors would be aware of the risks involved in investing in high-risk start-up companies while unsophisticated investors may not be. It’s my understanding that, most-likely, those who harm unsophisticated investors probably would face more severe penalties under the law than those who harmed sophisticated investors.
Since it appears that there are a large number of unsophisticated investors in Steorn, they probably are not well organized to act as a group and probably really do not know what their options are so they may not do anything except I doubt if they would invest much more money. My understanding is that they’ve already invested something like $20M in Steorn with no return on their investment in many years, and it appears if Steorn was dissolved that there are not any assets of significant value other than some electronics equipment so the investors probably would recover next to nothing.
Their silly Twitch video proves absolutely nothing. In fact, any person looking for some empirical evidence that this alleged Steorn “powercell” is actually powering the motor drive would be sorely disappointed—or greatly amused—as I was. My guess is that there’s a couple of ordinary 9V batteries in the little black box powering the motor; Why is the box opaque and not clear perspex? What are they hiding?
It’s becoming more clear that Steorn are running a major con-job with every one of these nonsensical videos posted as alleged “evidence” supporting their putative new technology. A multi-million dollar project, demonstrated with a few loose bits of wire and alligator clips on a coffee table? Seriously? It looks like some 8-year-old kid’s science project LOL.
And they seem to have forgotten all about their promises, made 7 months ago, to get their power blocks and phones out to the folks who’ve already paid for them within 12 weeks. It’s inevitably gonna be next week, or next month, or…..? As I said elsewhere, I’m awaiting the first case of inevitable litigation against these fraudsters. Unfortunately for the folks who’ve already paid for their pie in the sky, I’m guessing you’ve done your dough. Sorry.
Why are you doing reliability tests on the power cell? So does this mean the problem was with the power cell not the charging circuit after all?
I always look forward to your fascinating updates.
Steorn is truly a bit of an enigma with respect to their “true” intentions. On the one hand, it’s grossly unprofessional/negligent to offer pre-sale (and begin shipping!) a product and then a month or so later be having videos where you are posting videos where you’re working out the kinks in what is supposedly a ready-for-primetime technology. And it’d take some pretty big guts to begin shipping *anything* if you knew it was a con. So both of those speak to it not being a con.
On the other hand, if their real “target audience” is their investors, it makes perfect sense to make a show of making progress in case they need to ask for a bit more to “cross the finish line” or else otherwise explain why they still don’t have anything to show for all the money.
Just utterly fascinating.