Technical Discussions On Making Colloidal Silver

Selected discussion topics from the Silver List

7-16-98 AM Silver List Email Thread:


To All,

I have been reflecting on the basic chemistry involved in the production of CS. We place a charge through two silver electrodes in distilled water. The concept is that microscopic particles of silver are sintered off with a postive charge, i.e. the particles are "short" an electron. The problem is, this is the same setup that is used in the elementary demonstration of the electrolysis of water. A charge is placed into the water between two electrodes that causes the hydrogen/oxygen bond to break resulting in H+ and O- ions that migrate to the oppositely charged electrode. What I think we are seeing with the "black cloud" that gets generated between the electrodes is silver oxide. The positively charged silver particles react with the negatively charged oxygen. This is the same stuff that builds up on fine silverware over time. I think it's also why one electrode gets a thick black film over it. If this is is so (and I look to those more sophisticated in chemistry than I for comment) then what we are producing may not be "pure" colloidal silver. I am concerned because all the negative biological effects of silver seem to be associated with silver compounds. Med Line has numerous instances of deleterious effects ranging from argyria to seizure associated with compounds like silver proteins, silver nitrate, and silver acetate. I have found no negative reports associated with pure elemental or ionic silver. In fact there is at least one study of long term handlers of elemental silver that showed no toxic effects. If this analysis is correct, then it may be worthwhile investigating a way to rapidly bind the ionic oxygen that is generated during the CS production thus reducing the presence of silver compounds in the resulting liquid. This would hopefully make CS an ever safer substance to consume than it already is.

Looking forward to your responses.



From: "Bruce K. Stenulson"

Organization: Applied Technology


Some of this was discussed a few months back, without any rewal conclusions being agreed upon. I pointed out a few observations at that time, & MGD & I exchanged a couple Emails, but it was dropped after my last one to him, so I can't say that it was ever clearly stated or understood.

Colloidal Silver makers aren't the first ones to use electrical current applied to a silver electrode to produce and manipulate metalic silver ions in a liquid medium; electreoplaters have been doing it for a olng time, and while their purposes are different, the chemistry is similar, and the dynamics of electroplating are relevant, I believe.

(Yes, there are also differences, since electroplating is carried out in some form of 'plating bath' that initially starts with metalic compounds which dissociate into ions in the solution or 'bath'. Please bear with me, and I'll try to explain a few of the details which I consider significant; I'm certainly not an 'expert' on this subject, either, and am also looking for a clearer understanding of the details of this process.)

Doug McMurtrie wrote:

> To All,

> I have been reflecting on the basic chemistry involved in the production of CS. We place a charge through two silver electrodes in distilled water. The concept is that microscopic particles of silver are sintered off with a postive charge, i.e. the particles are "short" an electron. The problem is, this is the same setup that is used in the elementary demonstration of the electrolysis of water.

>A charge is placed into the water between two electrodes that causes the hydrogen/oxygen bond to break resulting in H+ and O- ions that migrate to the oppositely charged electrode.

It may be easier to understand the dynamics if you think of the positive charge being applied to one (silver) electrode referred to as the ANODE , while the negative charge is applied to the other electrode, referred to as the CATHODE.

Localized dynamics very near the surface of each of these electrodes are significant...

> What I think we are seeing with the "black cloud" that gets generated between the electrodes is silver oxide. The positively charged silver particles react with the negatively charged oxygen. This is the same stuff that builds up on fine silverware over time. I think it's also why one electrode gets a thick black film over it.

Positively charged silver ions are attracted to the negatively charged 'cathode' electrode; those that come in contact with it gain an electron, and are 'reduced'/ precipitated as non-charged elemental silver, which stays weakly attached to the surface of the 'cathode' electrode, where it builds up as the 'sludge', especially as the CS concentration and the current through the generator increases.

My observation is that directly on the *surface of the anode* is where silver is oxidized, as evidenced by it's turning black, and that the silver that is oxidized there tends to stay weakly attached to the surface of the anode... Oxygen gas is evolved at the surface of the anode also, while Hydrogen gas is evolved at the surface of the cathode.

Here's my question for further comment; are the dynamics such that oxidation of silver occurs predominantly (or nearly exclusively) *on the surface* of the anode, and that the silver ions in the solution are possibly not as prone to oxidation, (due to the differences in charge distribution and relative densities at various places between / around the electrodes.)

Keep in mind: Electroplating doesn't plate out oxidized silver onto the object to be plated.

Try a simple test & observe; when you remove the electrodes, (using a clean rubber glove to avoid reaction with your skin acids / oils) take a bit of the 'sludge' that has accumulated on the negatively charged electrode, and rub it on the surface of a clean piece of glass. You should see a 'silvering' as was used to produce the first mirrors. This is elemental silver, which has lost it's ionic charge...

The residue you can wipe off the *positively charged* electrode, by contrast, should be a blackish residue (silver oxide).

A reference to a book on Electroplating is on my website, in the article "Understanding Colloidal Silver"; it goes into the chemistry further in the introduction. Our work producing CS in pure distilled water changes the picture in some ways, but I believethe background info is valid for reference.

>If this is so (and I look to those more sophisticated in chemistry than I for comment) then what we are producing may not be "pure" colloidal silver. I am concerned because all the negative biological effects of silver seem to be associated with silver compounds. Med Line has numerous instances of deleterious effects ranging from argyria to seizure associated with compounds like silver proteins, silver nitrate, and silver acetate. I have found no negative reports associated with pure elemental or ionic silver. In fact there is at least one study of long term handlers of elemental silver that showed no toxic effects. If this analysis is correct, then it may be worthwhile investigating a way to rapidly bind the ionic oxygen that is generated during the CS production thus reducing the presence of silver compounds in the resulting liquid. This would hopefully make CS an ever safer substance to consume than it already is.

Looking forward to your responses.


If others have a further explaination of the dynamics, I'll also welcome them! I know Bob Lee commented on this subject in the past...

Hope these comments give 'food for thought'...

Bruce K. Stenulson

Applied Technology

The Alternate Health Approaches Forum


From: "M. G. Devour"

On 16 Jul 98 at 1:13, Doug wrote:

> What I think we are seeing with the "black cloud" that gets > generated between the electrodes is silver oxide. The positively > charged silver particles react with the negatively charged oxygen. > This is the same stuff that builds up on fine silverware over time.

Actually the tarnish picked up by silver items over time is supposed to be silver sulfide. It just picks up the traces of sulfur floating around in the atmosphere.

> I think it's also why one electrode gets a thick black film over > it.

Yes, the positive electrode forms a black film which could be from two things: The substance forming there is indeed black in color, or the surface texture at the microscopic level is so rough that it absorbs light as well as carbon black does. Since the stuff I wipe off that electrode stains the tissue black, I'll assume it's black stuff, or a combined effect of color and texture.

> If this is is so (and I look to those more sophisticated in chemistry than I for comment) then what we are producing may not be "pure" colloidal silver.

Assume the formation of silver oxide on the positive electrode. Will silver particles or ions still be liberated there? The sputtering process works because electron bombardment "damages" the surface and causes individual atoms to be dislodged. It's transfer of kinetic energy from the electrons that overcomes the atomic forces holding the metal lattice and oxide molecules together.

Being attached to the electrically charged (+) electrode to begin with, anything that gets thrown off tends to carry a positive charge, it's electrons being happier sucked away toward the positive terminal of the battery. Once away from the metal, the positively charged atom near a positively charged surface will now be repelled.

So it think (waving hands wildly for effect) the silver atoms most likely to be driven away from the electrode carry a positive charge. If they lose their charge from a collision with some negatively charged species, like O- or Cl- you'd get a compound again. But in the bulk of the water the positive ions (and clumps of ions that we would call "particles") happily float around short at least an electron per atom, just like any other metal ion.

The only other place they're likely to run into a bunch of electrons is near the negative electrode. There, you will notice, we get that fluffy grey "slime". Bruce, I think, has claimed that it is just uncharged silver particles that have been scarfed out of suspension. Now particles of silver are pretty big and heavy and will tend to float around, bumping into water molecules and pretty much staying put. So only those that come close to the negative wire will actually stick there.

Now are there compounds formed at the surface of the particles? Sure! Nothing is going to be pure in such a complicated environment. So there'll be some oxide and chloride and hydroxide and whatever else happens along. But the levels are not going to be high as long as silver is far more abundant than anything else in the water.

> If this analysis is correct, then it may be worthwhile investigating a way to rapidly bind the ionic oxygen that is generated during the CS production thus reducing the presence of silver compounds in the resulting liquid.

Interesting thought. I hope we don't really have to go there, though. I imagine it could get pretty complicated.

The only other issue I should mention is that the situation is a bit different if you use salt or something to speed things up. Particles are generated much faster and there's no time for the negative wire to get coated. We don't yet know what effect this all has on particle size, or what other compounds might get formed in there with the sodium and chlorine (or bicarbonate) floating around.

Anyway, that's my picture of what's going on. I don't claim authority for it, as I'm not a chemist or a physicist, but I do have some experience with sputtering, e-beam and thermal evaporation, and a few plasma enhanced gimmicks for depositing metals and metal compounds in near vacuum. Many of the concepts work here.

Be well,

Mike D.

[Mike Devour, Citizen, Patriot, Libertarian]

[ ]

Subject: An observation...

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 22:15:55 +0900

From: "George Martin"

Recently I had occasion to produce numerous batches of CS in a short period of time. Since I had several going at once I had to pay a bit more attention to the process then normal. What I noticed and would like to share with the list follows.

My procedure is pretty much what I term 'list standard'. I start with 28 oz of distilled water (I use mason jars that I just happened to have sitting around). This is heated using a coffee cup warmer to approx 120 F. or so. The electrodes are two 5" lengths of .999 16 ga wire. Since I can't get Hanna Instruments to respond to my inquiries I usually process the CS until it turns a gentle amber color...about an hour after the first indications of CS production appear. I guess that this is probably in the range of 10-15 ppm based on list discussions.

I am an electronics tech by trade and am curious about the goings on in my little circuit. So I have two digital multi-meters connected to analyze the process. One is in series with the voltage source to measure current and the other is connected across the electrodes to measure voltage. I have run this set up two ways; with three 9-volt batteries in series to give 27 VDC and with an old linear power supply I had on my work bench that supplies a fixed 36 VDC. The process didn't vary considerably when I used the higher voltage so that is what I usually do. Seems my wife always has a need for 9 volt batteries...

At the beginning of the process the readings were on average 36 VDC at a current of .15 - .40 ma depending on the quality of the distilled water. Over the space of 20 to 30 minutes the voltage would drop a volt or so and the current would slowly increase. When the current reached approx. 3.0 ma the wispy discharge would become apparent. From this point on the current would increase at a quicker rate due of course to the increased conductivity of the CS solution. When the current read 8.0 - 10.0 ma I noticed something different occur. In addition to the CS 'floating' around in the vicinity of the electrodes there was also a rather thick 'stream' of CS that was sinking to the bottom of the container. This was in spite of the convection currents caused by the heating device. The 'stream' was eventually dispersed by the convection as it sank lower but this made me curious.

I then ran a batch using the same setup as above with preheated water but no active heating device. This was to hopefully minimize the convection currents. I also let the process continue for about 2 hours. What I noticed was that the 'stream' of CS that sank seemed to pool in the bottom of the jar. There was a distinctly darker appearance to this and it was about 1/4" or so thick. After I terminated the process I let it set overnight in a dark cabinet and observed it the next day and noticed no change. I then gave it a stir and mixed everything up. I let it sit for an additional three days and didn't notice any settling with the exception of some of the sludge that had dropped off of the electrode during the proccessing. It looked like a regular (darker than usual due to the extra time cooking) jar of CS.

This got me to thinking... I know that CS is produced at all times during the process. That is why the conductivity of the water slowly changes. I also had observed that at certain current levels different effects were seen.

Next I modified my little circuit by adding some variable resistance.

I then started another batch using essentially the same setup as before only this time the voltage was lowered to 9 VDC. No particular reason why I chose that value but it seemed appropriate since the standard is three 9-volt batteries...

The initial current read .14 ma. (I think that this may be due to the failure of my particular meter to accurately indicate very low current values). and very slowly began to climb. I won't try to make a table of readings or anything but suffice to say that nothing really note worthy was happening for several hours with the exception of the currently slowly increasing and the negative electrode darkening.

After five hours I observed a very faint tint to the water and a distinct Tyndal (sp) effect. The current had reached 2.45 ma and the negative electrode was also becoming fouled. I stopped the process and cleaned both electrodes. When I began again, the current had decreased to 2.16 ma. From this point on I cleaned the electrodes approximately every 45 minutes. I was trying to minimize the amount of "foreign" matter in the solution. I also began to adjust the voltage after every cleaning to keep the current in the vicinity of 2.0 - 2.5ma. I continued in this manner until 8 hours had passed and the CS was a very nice clear golden color. The voltage was 5.46 VDC.

At no time during the entire eight hour process did I let the current rise above 2.79 ma. and also at no time did I ever notice any sort of 'discharge' from the electrode.

Now! What does this all mean? I have come up with two possibilities and you may be able to come up with more. As I see it either:

1. the particle size is so small that the process wasn't visible at the lower (2 - 3 ma) current.


2. the particle size isn't really smaller, but the same size particles are being produced at such a slow rate that the effect wasn't visible.

I tend to think that (1.) is the case. This is due to the apparent (to me, anyway) effect of the particles seeming to float around the area of the electrodes at lower currents and sink to the bottom of the container when the current rose above 10 ma or so.

Hopefully someone else will give it a try and see if the effects can be reproduced or if it is the remnants of El Nino! I won't be in any real position to have my CS tested until I return to the US around October but will gladly help someone else defray the cost.

Regards, George Martin ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

From: "M. G. Devour"

On 13 Jul 98 at 22:15, George Martin wrote:

> When the current read 8.0 - 10.0

> ma I noticed something different occur. In addition to the CS

> 'floating' around in the vicinity of the electrodes there was also a

> rather thick 'stream' of CS that was sinking to the bottom of the> container.

Hello George,

Excellent set of observations. Your setup is very similar to mine. I see the same effect at about the same current.

I wonder if those are larger particles. A long time ago Rose used a microscope at work to look at some CS I made that was run for a long time (different apparatus and recipe than I'm using now). She saw much larger particles mixed with the almost invisible smaller ones.

Above a certain current, some people have talked about "burning" the silver particles. I doubt that's a proper description, but it conveys the notion that the particles made are different.

So it makes sense to try current limiting at something below that at which the descending cloud of darker particles is seen. That's what I would try.

I've long thought that current limiting schemes of various sort would emerge as the best strategy once we start to really study the process. I've also wondered if there is a calculable property that would let you predict that threshold level, such as current density (current flow vs. surface area of electrodes). You're welcome to try the experiments.

Be well, Mike D. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: "Bruce K. Stenulson"

Organization: Applied Technology

To: George Martin ,

George Martin wrote:

> Recently I had occasion to produce numerous batches

> of CS in a short period of time. Since I had several going at

> once I had to pay a bit more attention to the process then normal.

> What I noticed and would like to share with the list follows.

> Regards,

> George Martin >

George, I read with interestyour email. I also have worked with less than the 28-36 volts commonly recommended, and commonly run at 15 volts with no current limiting, so thatr I can monitor the increasing current to determine the cutoff.

I also use a pulsed DC, rather than a constat current. My theory is that by disrupting the current flow frequently (20KHz) that the tendancy for silver ions to be produced in larger'clumps' is less likely. Since I don't have access to a microscope to verify this, and financial resources need to be directed elswhere for now, this is still in the unproven "theory" stage.

I use 8mA at 15 volts (meter averaged reading) as my cutoff, in hot distilled water, using 1/4 of a previous batch as a 'starter'. (Cuyrrent is directly related to electrode geometry, and is therefore relative to my setup: 3-1/4" wetted length, 14ga, 1/2" apart in an 8 oz container. I don't have occasion to use more than ~6 ounces per week to 10 days, so I don't make larger batches, preferring instead to make a new batch as I get down to the 1/4 level - using it to "start" my next batch.

Even at the 120mW power level (8mA at 15 volts) I am just below where the product produced may begin to get a bit "cloudy" - seems that up to that current level, the resulting product is a very clear, deep golden yellow. At above 10 mA, however, a slight silvery hazyness begins to be detectable.

Since the TDS1 reads 20PPM consistantly when the generating process is stopped at the 8mA reading at 15 volts, I have found it unnecessary to run beyond this point.

While the silver "sludge" builds up on the negatively charged electrode (cathode), if the distilled water tests 000 or 001 on the TDS1 before starting, no precipitation is observed.

Producing a pulsed DC CS generator supply is quite simple; a basic 555 timer astable circuit will produce more power than needed. Parts can be less than $25.00, including either a battery holder, or an AC plug in power supply; all available at Radio Shack. The 555 timer chip will tolerate up to 18 volts, which was a guideline in my early experimenting.

If there's enough interest, I'll post a circuit diagram on my website for a 12 to 18 volt powered pulsed DC CS generator. If there's enough interest, I'll produce a PC board, parts list, and instructions for around $12.00. With enough interest, a full kit could be made available fairly reasonably. Generating your own quality CS doesn't have to be expensive!

Let me know if anyone's interested; times are busy, but we can make it happen if there's an expressed interest. Otherwise, the circuit will sit on the 'back burner' for a while longer...

Be Well!

Bruce K. Stenulson ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: "Peter D.McLennan" 7-14-98

Bill and intrepid colloiders, I saw a clever use of a 5v regulator 7805 to limit current to 20mA in a CS circuit. Basically, it had input connected to the +ve(36v?),and the output through a 250 ohm resistor to the gnd terminal. This terminal then connected to the silver electrode. So, the 5v regulator was limiting the cs generating circuit-a series limiter if you like.

I see no reason why anyone couldn't use a 1k resistor in exactly the same manner to limit circuit current to 5mA. (Info courtesy Frank Matzka.)

petemc +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On 14 Jul 98 at 19:14, Peter wrote:

> I saw a clever use of a 5v regulator 7805 to limit current to 20mA

> in a cs circuit. ... I see no reason why anyone couldn't use a 1k

> resistor in exactly the same manner to limit circuit current to

> 5mA.

Exactly, Pete. This sort of current limiter is a standard application of voltage regulator chips. You'll find a circuit for it in just about every data book listing.

We all worry about voltage, but the real actor in this process is the flow of current. We will need to do some pretty detailed studies of the behavior of the system in terms of particle size and production rates vs. electrode geometries and current density. Then we'll know what kind of circuit or setup will work the best.

Even if we end up re-inventing the wheel and discover that the "best" arrangement is already the most popular, the whole process will be out in the open and documented on the web for everyone to see. That will be a good thing.

Be well, Mike D.


Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 08:17:41 -0700 (PDT)

From: Joyce Inouye

To: George Martin

I think you've hit the the KEY to making QUALITY silver--a CONSISTENTLY LOW voltage. I came across a site that made silver .005-.010 microns colloids using LOW VOLTAGE.

The GOLDEN color you observed is often associated with colloidal silver of this size, and is mentioned in literature to have good germicidal qualities.

Perhaps you could devise an instrument that keeps the voltage at a low level, yet makes colloidal silver fairly fast, like the commercial silver makers.


:) Joyce +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Tom Young

Seems to me that this is a good argument for using a current regulator circuit. Then, when beginning the CS generation, a large voltage will be applied to get the process going. But, as the water gets more conductive, the voltage cuts back to keep the current constant, and this should keep the particle size small. Now the $10,000 question is ---- What current level is optimum? 40mA... 20mA... 5mA?


Subject: RE: Experiment-clear vs. gold


I recently conducted an experiment I think may be of interest. I prepared two batches of silver-one using a few grains of salt, per Tom Miller's instructions(it turned out clear)-the other without salt, starting with hot water and letting it "brew" for an hour(it was yellow).

I made an envelope of unflavored gelaten per box instructions. I added 1 tea. of sugar and 1 tea. of cornstarch. I poured this solution into three small bowls. Into one of the bowls I added 1 Tbs. of the clear silver. Into another bowl I added 1 Tbs. of the yellow silver. I placed all three bowls in a dark cabinet. At the end of a week the bowl with the yellow silver in it had no growth at all. The other two bowls had tons of crud growing on them.

Maybe someone would like to reproduce this........Paul


Tom's Comment: This experiment is very good, as it suggests that which had already been suspected, which is that silver chloride is not only insoluble in water but that it has no bactericidal effect as a result of being made insoluble in water by reaction of chloride and silver.

Did you stir the silver water made with the salt grains before putting it into the bowl? How long did you let the water-salt solution brew? Was it also for an hour or for only eight minutes as Tom Miller suggested? I think that the time factor of generation should be the same, don't you?

The importance of this is the fact that once the chloride ions are used up by reacting with some of the silver ions, then true colloidal silver should be produced and the bowl into which it is placed should also show no growth.

May I also suggest the placement of a silver dollar into yet another bowl, in order to see if silver irons are liberated into the water (like the people in the old West used to do).

Tom Clayton, MD


Want to find out if YOUR CS is "Working?" the above seems like an excellent experiment! MY question is, how low of a quantity of your product will do the job? ....

3-26-98 21:52

<Someone> on the Silver List commented:

> I would like to mention that I believe that CSilver made from a

> steady current source is better than from a gizmo operating from

> batteries

BKS replied:

Please consider the possibility that there is no difference....

electrons flowing in a circuit are electrons flowing in a circuit:

I'd like to pass on to you a bit of foundational physics behind all of

this, since many on the silver list seem to have fallen for the "higher

voltage is better" pitch ... I'd like to have you evaluate this,

research it further if you wish, and let's try to dispell some of the


Let's go back to some basic definitions :

Charge is expressed in Coulombs. 1 Coulomb = 6.242x10^18 electrons

Current = the number of electrons flowing through a circuit in a given

period of time, expressed in Amperes.

1 Ampere = 1 coulomb per second.

The flow of electrons through any CS generator is measured as current, and is expressed as amps, or milli-amps , but is also able to be calculated as a specific number of electrons flowing from the Cathode to the Anode; the key to understand, is that 30mA of current flow at 5 volts and 30 mA of current flow at 15,000 volts result in EXACTLY the same number of electrons flowing through the system - no more, no less!

Example: 30mA of current flowing through a circuit which has 5 volts applied to it (from a small battery or a Monster Bench power supply) has 1.87x10^17 electrons flowing through that circuit.

Second example: a Circuit with 15,000 volts applied, with a current of 30mA flowing through it has 1.87x10^17 electrons flowing through it.

Exactly the same number of electrons are moving through both example circuits, at the same speed, capable of doing exactly the same job... If we are now back to looking at CS generators, when one electron reaches the positively charged Anode, it can free one silver ion, allowing it to move into the water between the electrodes... Voltage in this basic reaction is irrelevant for a given current flow.

Higher Voltage [electron pressure] can be used to overcome a lack of conductivity, and is usefull as far as it is required, but the actual electrons moving through the system are exactly the same, in the same quantities....

Regulating current to desired levels is the key to quality CS generation, but once you have enough voltage to overcome the low conductivity of distilled water, anything beyond that is inconsequential to the process... Current is very significant, while voltage is not.... too much current is the thing you have to avoid for a given electrode configuration...

Hope this sheds a bit of clarity on the issue! This is part of the basic foundation to understanding this process. More later.

Take Care!

Bruce K. Stenulson

3-26-98, 09:38

Bill wrote:


> Dear Mr. Stenulson:

> I appreciate all of your comments on the silver list. I ordered the

> Perry ppm meter, which turns out to be a Hanna Instruments TDS-1, which

> came with very little documentation.


> I am writing to you because you seem to be technically competent and

> would understand my reservations.


> First of all, TDS stands for "total dissolved solids". As you know a

> colloid and a solution are different entities. This has caused some

> doubts to its efficacy.


> Secondly, if the machine is measuring conductivity, I fail to see how it

> can read ppm (or mg/L) without reference to the atomic/molecular weight

> of the solute. In dilute solutions the conductivity should be

> proportional to the number of ions, and a silver ion weighs a lot more

> than a sodium ion. If this is the mechanism, then calibration with

> sodium chloride would be a waste.

I agree that the conductivity is not necessarily the same, but a saline

solution of X concentration will have exactly the same conductivity as a

30PPM colloidal silver solution. By starting with a sample of CS sent to

a lab, testing to a

reported PPM, and calibrating the TDS meter to read that PPM, you can

use the TDS meter for future measurements. (You could also dilute a

saline solution until it's conductivity reading matches the 30PPM CS

solution when fresh, and use this as a "equivalent to 30PPM CS solution"

for future checks of the calibration.

The second step is to see what the TDS1 meter reads in a standardized

saline test solution (of, say, 100 PPM NaCl). In the future, you can

check the calibration of the TDS meter, adjusting it to match the

previous reading.

I've read in another post to this LIst that G. Perry calibrates each

meter before sending it on out, but I don't know if this is accurate, or

the particulars of his procedure at this point.

(I'll have a Hanna TDS1 in by early next week, and do further testing to

get out the info / procedure fot this; it may be as simple as adding a

specific weight of 'canning & pickleing salt' to a gallon of distilled

water to make your own callibration equivalency solution. (Smaller

volumes than the gallon would get touchy on precise measurement of the

salt.) I'll post results to my website.

(A given CS solution may or may not change it's conductivity over a

prolonged period of time; the NaCl solution should maintain it's

concentration / conductivity if not contaminated.)


> Thirdly, although I do have a chemistry background I know next to nothing

> about medicine. I understand that silver ions (as opposed to colloidal

> silver) can be toxic.

This is a problem in improperly used terms; there's been some confusion

spread about these terms, so I will say this: a colloidal silver

particle as generated in this (electrical) process, has a positive

charge when it separates from the silver Anode. The definition of ION is

'a particle with a charge'. All colloidal silver particles then also

fall under the label 'silver ions'; what makes them 'colloidal' is their

tendancy to stay in solution due to their fine particle size, and their

charge - they repell all other silver particles with a similar charge.

Further, I've read that the positive charge on the silver particle is

what makes it biologically 'effective' against pathogens; I am not

prepared to express that at further detail at this time.

TO SUMARIZE: conductivity is the attribute measured by a TDS meteer; it

can be calibrated to reflect accurately the PPM of colloidal Silver in

your product. The 'trick' is in proper calibration and a long term

re-calibration technique. I'll work on defining that, and posting it to

the website within the next 10 days.

As always, questions & comments are always welcome.

Bruce K. Stenulson


How to calibrate a ppm meter...


Thu, 26 Mar 1998 23:07:04 -0800



Thu, 26 Mar 1998 23:27:44 -5


"M. G. Devour" <>



On 26 Mar 98 at 13:34, Donna wrote:

> >Gee, I don't know, Donna! My distilled water reads zero! <g>

> How do you calibrate the machine then? I guess what I should

> ask is what do I have to do before I use it to read the ppm of the

> CS. I think that is where I am confused.

Gee! I try to make a smart remark and Donna goes and gives me a

serious answer. What's a guy gotta do to get a yuk around here! <g>

This is being well discussed in another thread, but here's the story:

To answer your earlier question, yes, once you're calibrated, then

subtracting the beginning measurement of your distilled water from

the final measurement of your CS is probably the right thing to do.

Although I hope you don't see *too* much of anything in your

distilled water to begin with!

In terms of calibration, you need to be sure of two very different


1) The meter reads something that reflects the real world, and

2) The meter *stays* calibrated to the real world.

To do the latter, you need a standard solution that will be stable

for a really long time and/or can be accurately replaced when needed.

Salt recommends itself since it is available, easy to measure, cheap,

and stable.

We can't use our CS as a calibration standard, since it is known or

expected to have a shelf life of only days/weeks/months, and

its measurable concentration would be a moving target.

The other part of calibration, then, is to relate the standard

solution to the CS you're trying to measure.

Probably the easiest thing to do is make a standard salt solution

that reads in the general neighborhood of the CS, maybe 50 ppm? Then

you need to figure out what the *calibration factor* is between salt

and *your* CS.

You need to be able to say something like "My CS reads XX% more (or

less) than salt."

Finding out what "XX" is requires another way of measuring a sample

of your CS. This is where a testing lab comes in. You'll have to send

a sample or two to be tested, and measure the same batch with your

TDS meter before and after the lab test to average out any changes in

the CS strength over that time.

Say Donna makes a batch of CS using her standard recipe and puts some

of it aside for testing.

She checks the ppm meter against her salt solution, and it still

reads the right number. Then she checks some of the CS, and it reads,

say, 12 ppm on the meter.

She bottles up 2 samples from this same batch and sends them to the

testing lab. A week or two later the results come back. The two

samples checked out at 18 and 16 ppm. That gives us a clue how

precise the lab measurement is.

She measures the CS she kept from the same batch again, first

checking that the meter is working right using the salt standard. Now

the CS reads 11 ppm. This means that a little deterioration took

place, but not much, in the two weeks the CS sat there.

Now we know, *FOR DONNA'S CS ONLY,* that a meter reading of 11.5

(averaging the 11 and 12 ppm readings before and after) is equivalent

to about 17ppm of silver as tested by the lab. Her calibration factor

would be 17/11.5 or about 1.5.

Now Donna makes her next batch of CS, but this time she "cooks" it a

little longer by mistake. She re-checks that her meter still reads

the salt standard correctly, then measures her CS. It reads 15.

Because she knows the calibration factor between salt and her CS, she

calculates that her second batch is 15 x 1.5 = 22.5 ppm, and adjusts

her doseage accordingly. Or she might dilute this slightly stronger

CS until it reads the same as the last batch and use the same dose.


There is another variation on calibration technique. You could, if

you choose, re-adjust the meter calibration screw to read the same

as the results from the lab. Then re-measure the salt standard and

mark down what *it* reads once the meter has been re-calibrated.

Then to make future measurements, simply test the salt standard as

before and make sure it still reads the *corrected* value before

reading the CS directly. Now your meter doesn't read salt accurately,

but will be calibrated for *your* CS.

Using the example above, Donna got back the results for her two

samples, 16 and 18 ppm. Before re-calibrating the meter, the CS

measures 11. She calculates the calibration factor of 1.5, just as we

talked about above.

Then she adjusts the meter to read 11 * 1.5 = 16.5 ppm.

Now all that is left is for Donna to measure the salt standard again,

and mark down the new reading for future reference. In this case, her

50 ppm standard solution now reads 75 ppm (hopefully!).

In the future she tests her meter, making sure it reads 75 ppm on the

salt standard. Then she can measure her CS directly, as long as she

hasn't changed things too much.


And that's how it ought to work.

I like the first method above, because it *constantly* reminds you

that your measurement depends on that calibration factor, which

could change. Until we have a *lot* more experience, we won't know

what the calibration factor will be or what things will change it.

If you make changes to your recipe -- like switching to no-salt from

salt, cooking twice as long, raising the temperature, using another

voltage or a different generator setup -- you'll want to re-test and

verify the new calibration factor.

Once we get enough experience with this meter among the members of the

silver list, we may find out the calibration factor is pretty much the

same for certain general types of CS recipe. This would save others

from having to do the calibration for themselves.

Oh, yes. A little remark about precision. Don't bother to try to

calculate or measure ppm to 2 or 3 decimal places. You can't measure

*anything* in this process that closely. Just round things to the

nearest whole number and be happy! Saying that you have 22.3 ppm is

lame. You only know you have *about* 22 ppm. <g>

I hope this helps some.

Be well,

Mike D.

[Mike Devour, Citizen, Patriot, Libertarian]

[ ]

[Speaking only for myself... ]


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List maintainer: Mike Devour <>

3-25-98, 10:15




> So you are using 15 VDC? Why did you pick that, instead of the more

> common 3*9 volt battery (around 26 VDC to 27 VDC)?

>From past experience in electroplating, I knew that 2.2 volts would move

silver ions effectively in a highly conductive silver plating bath;

also, I knew that at 4 volts in the same setup, the result was a

coarser, grainy texture to the object being plated at the Cathode

(negative electrode).

I wanted fine particles of silver, while overcoming the initial low

conductivity of pure distilled water - so I tested and experimented and

watched / measured what was happening in the CS generator.

I also, incidentally, am using pulsed DC, rather than a constant

current; this should, in theory, help to keep colloidal silver particle

size small, and produce less "clumping". Since I do not have access to

an electron microscope, I just work on the basis of the possible benifit

theory for now.

If someone has access to such a microscope, and would be willing to test

this product, I'll send a sample.


> >Further Note: Beyond this current level / concentration....


> Does what you are saying hold if you are using a 40mA lamp in the circuit?

The bulb acts as a 'max current flow limiter' for lack of a better term;

to use a current measurement as a cutoff point to always end up with

exactly the same PPM, you can't work up too close to the bulb's limit

threshold. A 80mA bulb would limit max current flow in the circuit to

that value....

Another note : HIGH currents produce excessive gas production at both

electrodes, and result in dispersing the 'silver sludge' plating out at

the cathode surface back into your CS solution; this doesn't happen

nearly as much when lower peak currents are used. This is not voltage

dependent, but current dependent. Larger surface area electrodes will

help somewhat; always filter the finished CS product!!!

Bruce K. Stenulson

Subject: Re: CS prosystems,are they in the know ?

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 10:15

From: "Bruce K. Stenulson" <>

Organization: Applied Technology


<Someone on the Silver List> wrote:


> It is really helpful to read various comments about CS, etc...


> I must state that CS produced via batteries, I am VERY wary about it...

> In regards to CS pro systems and their expensive CS generators..

> They do come up with good points like NO SALT is needed nor desired. Also

> that the color yellow is NOT a good sign..

There is absolutely no difference between the electron flow from a

battery used in a CS Generator, and the electrons which might flow from

any AC converter!!! Any statements otherwise might fall closer to

marketing hype tp promote a high dollar product - that's basic chemistry

& physics!

> Their silver-they put it in a plastic bottle,in direct sunlight for 6

> months and it had not deteriorated..Now how many CS makers can make that

> claim ?

Light acts on silver; this is also basic physics. What evidence of

deterioration are they looking for - a pile of dead "boddies" in the

bottom of their jar? (just kidding... grin)

Loss of charge on silver particles would constitute deterioration....

how are they measuring for that?

> Also DC produced CS at low current is not that good...(this is what they

> are saying)

This type of statement is what sounds again like marketing hype, and

makes no sense to me at all, from a scientific standpoint! This is

misinformation of the worst type! Don't swallow it whole without looking


To become a colloidal silver particle , an atom (or group of silver

atoms) acquire a positive charge at the silver anode, and move away from

that anode into solution, as a Ag+ ion ... Electrons are being donated

by the CATHODE to allow this to happen, and this process can occur at as

little as 2 volts potential difference at the electrodes in a highly

conductive solution....

Colloidal silver is, by definition, a 'colloidal suspension', of minute

particles of pure silver; each particle has a positive charge. The

extremely small particle size, combined with the charge, is what keeps

it in suspension. These are, by definition, positively charged silver


PLEASE read Peter Lindemann's article on CS again, for clarification on

how light refracts from extremely fine colloidal silver particles to

produce the yellow color; again, this is basic physics!!!

> Thus where does that leave us ?

In the midst of a sea of misinformation, it would appear.....

> And the PPM meter is not a ppm meter after all..

PPM can be measured with a properly calibrated TDS meter, measuring

Total Disolved Solids by means of a Conductivity measurement. The catch

here is calibrating a standard TDS meter so that it's reading actually

reflects the PPM of Colloidal Silver.....

Wishful Marketing Hype should not be allowed to replace basic

scientific facts in this process. Some days I'm a bit amazed at how

little is understood.

I'll try to share as much of my experience and experimental results as

possible, to help clarify these issues. There's lots more I want to

include on my website page on 'Making Colloidal Silver'. Yes, I sell

products, too; if that doesn't offend you , you may want to visit.

Comments & questions are always welcome!

Bruce K. Stenulson

3-23-98, 18:24

Fred Walter wrote:


> Here are some colloidal silver FAQs. I picked this up from




> There is no such thing as "golden" colloidal silver. Silver is white.

> Lange's Handbook of Chemistry lists silver as "...the whitest of metals.

> Pure silver particles suspended in water should have a very slight

> white- colored fog to it.

BKS Responded:

Please refer to the following excerpt form the document by Peter


"The Yellow Color"

There has been a fair amount of controversy in the public literature

concerning the appearance of the "yellow"color. A lot of well meaning

people have told me that "yellow is bad", "silver isn't yellow", "yellow

is sulfur contamination", "yellow is iron contamination", and lots of

other things. I finally found what I believe to be the answer to this

question in a book titled Practical Colloid Chemistry, published in

London in 1926. In the section on the "Colours of Colloidal Metals",

sub-section on the "Polychromism of silver solutions" on page 69, I

found the

following statements: "The continuous change in colour from yellow to

blue corresponds to a change in the absorption maximum of the shorter to

longer wave-lengths with a decreasing degree of dispersion. This is a


phenomenon in colloid chemistry illustrating the relation between colour

and degree of dispersion." This section goes on to describe the colors

that show up in a wide variety of colloidal metal solutions.

Interestingly, they ALL have a yellow phase. For true

"electro-colloidal" silver, the particle size range that can appear

yellow is .01 to .001 microns (10 to 100 angstroms) because that is the

size of silver particle that best absorbs the indigo light,leaving only

its inverse color, yellow, to be observed. The final transparent-yellow

appearance only shows up after the particles have become evenly


If you make colloidal silver with a very low

> current, it will take a long time... long enough for silver compounds

> to be formed due to electrolysis.

If there's nothing but H2O to begin with, there will be no compounds to

be formed. If there's NaCl (salt), AgCl will be formed immidiately as a

whiteish precipitate, since it is insoluble in water.

Don't just take my word for it- try this experiment to see!

Mix a pinch of salt in a clear glass container of water, insert your

silver generating probes, and watch the ANODE (the one with the Positive

voltage supply) carefully as you turn on the power... A cloud of white

particles starts to form Immediately, and if undisturbed, begin to

settle rapidly towards the bottom. This white compound is insoluable

AgCl, Silver Chloride. Until all of the CL- ions have been removed from

the water by combining with the Ag+ ions being generated at the anode,

you won't be producing any colloidal silver - the silver "grabs" or

combines with the CL- ions first, very quickly!

Now do the same thing with a pinch of baking soda, and watch the

insoluble silver carbonate forming as white particles right next to the

surface of the anode...

When AG+ ions (Colloidal Silver ions) bond to negatively charged ions,


>Even distilled water contains trace elements

PURE distilled water is nothing but re-condensed water vapor if it has

been produced properly, and unless contaminated in the production

process, does not contain trace elements. If it does, it's not

'distilled water'.

and Merck's Handbook describes many silver compounds as "pale

> yellow." They include silver bromide, silver carbonate, silver chlorite,

> silver hyponitrate, silver iodide, silver nitrite, silver phosphate and

> silver picrate. Some of these compounds are described as toxic. The

> proper way to make colloidal silver is to use enough current to cause

> tiny silver particles (each 12 to 15 atoms) to be "knocked" off of the

> electrodes, making the desired concentration in 5 to 7 minutes. This is

> a MECHANICAL process.

As little as 2 volts in a conductive solution will allow silver atoms to

leave the anode as positively charged silver ions, which will form a

colloidal suspension in pure distilled water. At 2 volts, however, the

process would be extremely slow starting with pure distilled water, as

the conductivity is very low. To overcome the low conductivity and get

more current to flow through the process, a combination of 3 things can

be done:

1: increase the voltage; this has been followed beyond the necessary

level by some.

2: Move the electrodes closer together; with all else being equal,

electrodes being moved in to half the distance see half the resistance -

the conductivity is effectively doubled.

I run 1/2" between the electrodes, and keep them parallel.

>You want to do it quickly enough so that chemical compounds do not have time to form.

If there are other ions in the water for the silver to react with, those

reactions will occur FIRST; later, you'll make some Colloidal Silver,


> If the process takes 20 to 45

> minutes, the chemical process overshadows the mechanical effect, and you

> get silver compounds. WHAT compounds depend on the content of the

> original water. Some silver compounds are quite toxic. Merck's lists

> silver nitrate as highly poisonous.




> NEVER use "Sea Salt" when making colloidal silver! In order to conduct

> electricity, a TINY amount of salt must be added to distilled water.

> Without it, you cannot get enough current to flow.

The above statement is simply not true; it speaks of the "RIGHT NOW

ATTACK" mentality - "I didn't see anything right away...".

To disprove this for yourself, if you have a Digital Test Meter, set it

to read on the 2 mA (2 milli-amps, of .002 Amps) scale, plug the meter's

red test lead into the Amps jack, and clip your positive silver

generator supply lead to the tip of that red test lead. Use another

aligator clip to attach the tip of the black 'Common' test lead to your

silver anode (the one the positive supply normally clips to.). Clip your

Negative supply lead to the remaining electrode; in operation, it's

referred to as the 'cathode', as it contributes ELECTRONS only to this

process. (Positirly charged Silver ions can only be generated at the

positively charged ANODE.)

When you start with pure distilled water, almost boiling hot, and have

your silver electrodes 1/2" apart, and you turn on the power, you will

read that there's a current flowing through the pure distilled water.

(If you read zero, someting's not hooked up quite right yet; recheck

your meter setting & the jacks being used)

With 3-1/4" of the electrodes immersed in an 8 oz. generator system, I

read about .370mA current flowing through with only 12 volts applied.

With 15 volts applied, the current increases accordingly. This tells

you, "Electrons are leaving the cathode - therefore, positively charged

silver ions are simultaneously leaving the anode."

> This salt must be

> very pure, or you risk adding more impurities which will combine with

> the silver to make still more chemical compounds. You want plain, pure

> salt. Sea salt is the residue from evaporated ocean water. The ocean

> contains not only sodium chloride, but EVERY MINERAL KNOWN TO EXIST ON

> THE PLANET! It may make a good trace-mineral supplement, but DO NOT use

> it in making colloidal silver. I looked at the salt available at the

> grocery store and found that "Canning and Pickling Salt" found in the

> canning supply section is generally pure salt. The brand I use is

> marked "99.95% sodium chloride." That's about as pure as it gets .

I don't think you want to put in ANY salt at all, and you don't have

to... you can still speed up the process significantly by simply adding

th only thing you want in there when you're done - Colloidal Silver

from a previous batch made with pure distilled water!

If you use the last 1/4 of your last batch as a "STARTER" for your new

batch, you will increase the conductivity about 6 fold. In a 15 volt

generator setup, initial current is then about 2mA, and production of

fine gas bubbles at both anode & cathode is soon apparent. I use the DVM

in line whenever I'm producing Colloidal Silver, and watch the current

climb as the conductivity increases and the concentration of colloidal

silver builds. AT 15 volts, I stop each batch when the current gets to

8mA. The resulting product is a very transparent deep golden yellow. (If

salt or soda had been in it, it would look more silvery-whitish - been

there, done that, too...)




> Not really. Both the high-voltage and low-voltage methods of making

> colloidal silver produce particles in the 12 to 15 atom range, far

> smaller than a red blood cell. Even if larger particles are present,

> these will not make it into the bloodstream and "clog up the blood

> vessels" as some "experts" claim.

>From past experience in Electro-plating silver, I'd like to pass on to

you something that every silver electro-plater learns fast; in a highly

conductive plating bath, if you apply too much voltage, the silver that

plates out on your work piece (hooked to the Cathode or negative supply

lead) will be very coarse and granular, rather than smooth and bright as

desired. In that application, 4 volts is too much - an applied voltage

of noly 2.2 to 2.5 volts produces a smooth finish...

If too large of silver particles were going to be generated, I would

have to guess that it would more likely happen at a Higher voltage,

rather than at a lower supply voltage.

How long does it take? With the 1/4 starter as detailed above, I'm

making deep golden yellow, transparent colloidal silver, in about 180

degree water, in about 35 minutes. Every batch is ended at the same

current cutoff / PPM concentration; results from the lab will be

available later this week to relate the actual current readings in the

process to the PPM of colloidal silver in the final product.

If I've stepped on some toes in the process of "Telling it like I see

it", I only intended to shed some light where it may be needed.

For further info and photos of my system set up as described above, you

can visit my "Making Colloidal Silver" page on my website. Yes, I do

sell stuff, too, but I also tend to try to give accurate information

there, rather than marketing hype.

If you wish to visit, the address is:

New photos of the step - by - step process will be edited into this page

soon, and more technical details as well. The Lab results as to PPM

should be posted by the end of the week, so check back then.

"Results are results"- we'll let the numbers speak for themselves!

Bruce K. Stenulson, Applied Technology

2-24-98 wrote:

> Can you tell me where to get the Digital Test Meter that you spoke of? Is it

> expensive?

ANY digital multi-meter that will read AMPS of current on 2mA and 20mA

(milli - Amps) scales will do the job for you - this is really not a

matter of one being better than another, since this is a very basic

meter function of measuring current. Radio Shack sells digital

multi-meters in many price ranges. While I sell one for $39.95, you don't

necessarily need this particular one.

> Someone on the list is recommending a PPM device for $30 ... is that

> what you use? Do you know just what the PPM of your silver water is?

I haven't bought one yet, but have also considered it. (On order.)

I followed the discussion on the list, and it seems that the calibration

was said to be done with a NaCl (salt) solution, rather than calibrated

in an actual Colloidal Silver solution of an exact PPM. I expect that

this method, if used properly, and compared with lab results on a known

CS concentration, this calibration approach can yield consistent

results. Measuring PPM is very dependent on temperature, test probe

spacing and immersion depth, and somewhat on battery freshness. But it's

something you do after you've stopped your CS generating process....

The approach I described using the meter in the circuit while the

process is running lets you always end the CS generator process at a

specific PPM level, since (with all other factors being the same) the

current that will flow through the generator is always a direct function

of the quantity of ions (colloidal silver particles) in the solution at

any moment (As long as you start with pure distilled water!). With twice

the VOLTAGE applied through a solution of a certain CONDUCTIVITY, twice

the CURRENT will flow through - this part of the calculations are pretty

much linear, so you can translate from my data for 15 volts to get

usable numbers for anything from 9 volts on up, for either a pulsed DC

or a constant voltage, since the current measuring is averaged over time

by the meter.

I'll try to have lab results back by the end of the week from the

samples I've run, posted to the "Making CS" page on my website:

Questions and comments are always welcome! Bruce K. Stenulson

3-24-98, 8:37

Fred Walter wrote:

> What happens if you increase the amount of water? Say I wanted to make

> 8 cups at once instead of just 8 ounces?


The conductivity of the solution will relate directly to it's

concentration in PPM- the total quantity of water isn't an issue;

electrode immersed length, separation, applied voltage, and temperature

will all affect the initial current reading, but once you test a

solution of known concentration in your setup, you can then always stop

the generator process at the same current reading to get the same

concentration. (With the bulb in circuit on most 27 volt systems, the

current is limited to what that bulb will pass, 35 to 40mA, so the

current won't climb any higher - but as I pointed out in the previous

post, I use a cutoff of 8mA at 15 volts supply with 3-1/4" of electrodes

immersed, separated by 1/2"between them. Every batch run at about 180

degrees F comes out the same concentration - I'll try to have lab

results posted by the end of the week.

Further Note: Beyond this current level / concentration, the plating

out of the "silver sludge" on the cathode becomes excessive; you're

turning your silver anode into throw-away sludge, instead of adding much

mors colloidal silver into the solution. At higher current levels, gas

production at the cathode causes more of the "sludge" to be dispersed

into the water (watch it happening!), requiring more thorough

filtering.... (When using salt or baking soda, the whitish Silver

Chlorides & Silver Bicarbonates are too fine to filter out by most

normal methods.)

Questions & Comments always welcome!

I'll try to provide a more complete approach within a week.


Subject: Re: CS generator: suggestion

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 21:29:30 -0700

From: "Bruce K. Stenulson"

Organization: Applied Technology

To:, .....

> Any problems with Cs made by hooking three 9v batteries to a test light and then to the 999 wires I use adrop of sea salt as an electrolyte and warm Distilled water. The cs is not gold in color but stays in suspension for 8-9 days. Seems to be effective. I also have a HP variable DC power supply . Is 30v DC the best? Jolly

[BKS] I have a suggestion - use part of a previous batch of CS as a "starter" - it will give you the increased conductivity you want at the start without the Silver Chloride being formed (which is the whitish mist that forms - AgCl forms rapidly with all of the Cl- ions present in the solution, and precipitates immediately -becoming visible- because it is insoluble in water, and also therefore not biologically beneficial to my understanding.)

Starting from scratch with the distilled water takes a little longer, but everything that's formed in the solution is colloidal silver ions, no silver salts. Use part of each bath to start the next batch; 25% may be more than enough.

I'm also working with 15 volts, not 30, and generating excellent transparent golden yellow CS. Read Peter A Lindemann's excellent article on "A Closer look At Colloidal Silver" for some good info: for now.

That document will relate the golden yellow color to light refraction off very small particle sizes of colloidal silver.

I'm writing na extensive page also, tying in past technical experience in related processes to explain why less than 30 volts works so well, as well as other subjects and a bit more elaborate explanation of the chemistry / physics involved, with some simple experiments anyone can do to illustrate some of these applied chemistry principles. I'll post the page's URL when it's up. Bruce K Stenulson

End of archived discussions, edited / compiled 3-27-98 16:03




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