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Sunday, April 10, 2011

High Voltage Corona "Ion Wind"

Last week I wrote about a power supply that I built from a Dell PC monitor. This week I did a little bit more with the power supply and performed a couple of experiments. The first thing that I did this week was build a 555 timer driver circuit to switch the transistor that is driving the high voltage coil. That didn't work very well at all. The results that I got were not as good as running the transistor from feedback from the coil. I did make one modification to the circuit that I posted last week and that was changing which tap was used to provide the feedback. More about that later...
The ultimate goal here is to build a "ionic lifter", "ioncraft" or "anti-gravity lifter" that you can see on the internet be googling those words. These devices are not Anti-Gravity or anything close but rather just generate a thrust because of an effect produced by a high voltage. I'm not as interested in the lifter itself (although those are cool) as I am in looking at the airflow around the lifter itself. If you are really interested in Ion Lifters check out last weeks post HERE and the links I provided. Time for a cool picture:
Ioncraft Long Exposure Photo. I couldn't see the corona.
The first thing that I decided to do in investigating the airflow was to build a lifter. The picture above is what I built and you can see the high voltage corona 'curtains' coming down from a thin wire to the lower electrodes. Here is a picture of what this thing actually looks like.
Home Made Ioncraft Lifter
I built this according to plans that I found on the internet HERE so if you are interested in the details follow the link. It's really just tin foil and balsa wood.

What I am planning to do is to set this up in my Schlieren and have a look at the airflow between the wire and the lower electrode. I didn't get around to doing that this week because I ran out of time but I'll get to it next week. This will be similar to the videos and images that I made over the last week or so and you can see those HERE if you are interested.
The main difference between what I did a couple of weeks ago and what I am planning on doing is this time I'm using a DC power supply and last time it was a high frequency AC power supply. Once I have done that I'll post some info about it.
On to the power supply modifications. If you read last weeks post you know about the power supply that I built. HERE is a link to what I built following plans I found on the internet. What I am now doing is below:
Modifications to the HV power supply
I bet if you looked at last weeks schematic that I linked to above and compared it to the picture above you won't see any real difference. The only thing that I did is I changed which pin on the transformer the base of the transistor is connected to. Last week it was connected to the " G1" pin and now it's connected to just " Gnd ". There are several pins on the transformer that are labelled GND - which one did I use? How did I know to use that one? Look at last weeks schematic especially the bottom view of the transformer. Starting at the top and going clockwise the pins are labelled "Col Pulse", "NC" then "GND". That third GND pin is what I used. How did I know to use that pin you ask? Trial and error is the answer.
When the 555 timer circuit that I built didn't work out I started messing around with the wiring. Moving stuff around and flipping on the power between each change. This wasn't a very scientific experiment, I just measured the arc I got each time. This last wiring gave me the biggest and juiciest arcs.
Thats about all I have to say this week. As I mentioned it was a busy week and I am tired so I'm not going to write anymore. I have made a few modifications to my Schlieren setup in preparation to this experiment so I'll have a lot more to write about next week!!

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