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What happend about the looming worldwide helium shortage

thermite

Diamond
Not long ago those little shiny cylinders were everywhere in my bit of England. Kids were using them, especially Asian kids for some reason. You could see them discarded on the ground all over the place. Usually in little piles of 10 to 20. In the last 2 months I’ve hardly seen any.
Either there is a real shortage or it was just a craze going around that is now over.

Regards Tyrone.
Breathing it makes the voice outrageously weird - quacks like a duck - off the back of so much lower mass than Nitrogen across the vocal cords and resonant sinus cavities.

Wierded-voice put a world of hurt on Helium-mixture deep-diver-to-surface tender "phone" communications "back in the day" when working with Bev Morgan (Kirby-Morgan "band" mask developer) [1].

Our uber-rugged "Radioear" hearing-aid inertial transducers were used by many makers for deepwater audio - monitoring flow in pipes and confirming power-operated valves had actuated on seabed oil & gas rigs as well as diver communications.

"Inertial" tranducers have no diaphragm, can be "potted". Cheaper than other options for human-audio passband ..... at the time.

Eventually, electronic goods processed Helium-speak to make it more intelligible.


 
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Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Well they had some canister full of something lighter than air to fill balloons at my G-daughters birthday party a cpl weeks ago. Much to my displeasure....


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

thermite

Diamond
Well they had some canister full of something lighter than air to fill balloons at my G-daughters birthday party a cpl weeks ago. Much to my displeasure....


---------------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
Hydrogen still works for that. Slightly BETTER than Helium, actually.

OTOH.... B'Day with REAL candles?,

Truant-infantiles in Hong Kong for a spell thot it was "exciting" to innocently drag those silvery Mylar-flashed & artsy-printed balloons about.. into the Mass Transit Rail stations.. lose their grip.

Air-flow nudges the balloon towards the tube and tracks.
Overhead high-Voltage catenary wires attract it off the static charge to the Mylar.

Loud BANG and balloon debris is melted onto the wires.

PARENTS got the costs imposed, it was soon brought to a halt!
 

thermite

Diamond
I thought those little cylinders were CO2?
Bill D
Cylinder involved is just another "general-purpose pressure vessel".

CONTENTS could be Nitrous Oxide .....or Amyl Nitrite.. for all we know from a distance.
"Poppers" the party-hounds used to call those ones.

The sort the fictional (we hope and pray..) Dr. Hannibal Lector added some "extra" evil to so as to put Mason Verger under his command in a Thomas Harris novel (and movie).

 
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Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
At our local sportsmen's club on open house days they were giving helium balloons to the kids as they came in. For some reason someone also decided to fill the balloons we fastened to the backstop as reactive targets with helium until we pointed out how wasteful that was and instead brought small compressors to inflate target balloons.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Breathing it makes the voice outrageously weird - quacks like a duck - off the back of so much lower mass than Nitrogen across the vocal cords and resonant sinus cavities.

Wierded-voice put a world of hurt on Helium-mixture deep-diver-to-surface tender "phone" communications "back in the day" when working with Bev Morgan (Kirby-Morgan "band" mask developer) [1].

Our uber-rugged "Radioear" hearing-aid inertial transducers were used by many makers for deepwater audio - monitoring flow in pipes and confirming power-operated valves had actuated on seabed oil & gas rigs as well as diver communications.

"Inertial" tranducers have no diaphragm, can be "potted". Cheaper than other options for human-audio passband ..... at the time.

Eventually, electronic goods processed Helium-speak to make it more intelligible.
Lexicon in Waltham Mass. used to sell some of their Varispeech modules to diving companies to change the pitch to something more intelligible. The main usage was in special cassette recorders they produced primarily for sight impaired people to play Library of Congress audio books. The playback could be sped up considerably while the voice, usually of well known actors, still sounded normal. They also made a studio grade pitch shifter that was used in several major films to produce unusual vocal effects. That unit had feedback as well as pitch shifting.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
Lexicon in Waltham Mass. used to sell some of their Varispeech modules to diving companies to change the pitch to something more intelligible. The main usage was in special cassette recorders they produced primarily for sight impaired people to play Library of Congress audio books. The playback could be sped up considerably while the voice, usually of well known actors, still sounded normal. They also made a studio grade pitch shifter that was used in several major films to produce unusual vocal effects. That unit had feedback as well as pitch shifting.
The things you find out on this site !

Regards Tyrone.
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Lexicon in Waltham Mass. used to sell some of their Varispeech modules to diving companies to change the pitch to something more intelligible. The main usage was in special cassette recorders they produced primarily for sight impaired people to play Library of Congress audio books. The playback could be sped up considerably while the voice, usually of well known actors, still sounded normal. They also made a studio grade pitch shifter that was used in several major films to produce unusual vocal effects. That unit had feedback as well as pitch shifting.

Prolly used in disclaimers on radio ads?

Possibly used in Grunge?
I never did understand how every grunge vocalist, with an average age of what ???? 25 (?) could sound as tho they have been smoking 3 packs of Camel non-filters for 100 years? There had (has?) to be some gizmo that makes that happen.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Prolly used in disclaimers on radio ads?

Possibly used in Grunge?
I never did understand how every grunge vocalist, with an average age of what ???? 25 (?) could sound as tho they have been smoking 3 packs of Camel non-filters for 100 years? There had (has?) to be some gizmo that makes that happen.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
No, these were well known films and TV scifi series. Think demons and robots.

The company was acquired by another audio firm in the 1990s. This Wikipedia article makes no mention of the Varispeech, which was a lesser known niche product compared to their digital delay and reverb systems. I knew someone who had one of their MX200 models and the effects it could achieve were amazing.

 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I heard somewhere that since the supply shortage happened, the helium that is used in balloons has been heavily diluted while it's price has increased. Result is that the supply that is available, only goes to retailers that are willing to pay for it, and the balloons that used to stay floating for a week or longer now start to fall after a day. My kids have had a couple birthday party balloons over the last year or so and they don't stay up long anymore.

This would be like if there was a Coka-Cola shortage, and they changed the syrup mixture ratio so you got fizzy brownish water, but had to buy it for $20 a can
 

thermite

Diamond
I heard somewhere that since the supply shortage happened, the helium that is used in balloons has been heavily diluted while it's price has increased. Result is that the supply that is available, only goes to retailers that are willing to pay for it, and the balloons that used to stay floating for a week or longer now start to fall after a day. My kids have had a couple birthday party balloons over the last year or so and they don't stay up long anymore.

This would be like if there was a Coka-Cola shortage, and they changed the syrup mixture ratio so you got fizzy brownish water, but had to buy it for $20 a can
I "don't stay up long" (or even "short") any more either, so I resemble that remark..

Seems to be a lot more "coca" loose in the Yew-Ass economy - detectable traces on nearly all the paper money in float - than COLA.

Inflation going as it is, ordinary air will soon have lost enough mass to lift another set of "air heads" right into public orifice.

Better-yet?

.. OUT of....
 








 
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