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Saturday, April 23, 2011

More High Voltage News From The Garage

Like the title says this week I have spent some quality time blowing fuses and transistors in the garage. Last week as I was setting up an experiment with my high voltage power supply (HERE is a link) my not so robust power supply busted. There was nothing spectacular about it going bad it just stopped working. The transistor that I was using to drive the flyback transformer died. I messed around a bit trying to get the transformer working using Compact Fluorescent Light ballasts but that didn't work too well either.

My Humble Garage Laboratory
Anyway after getting another flyback transformer (two is better than one) and messing around with various circuits and hand wound windings I got something to work reliably - for now. That took up most of my free time this week so I don't have any fancy videos or crazy experiments to write about just yet. Suffice it to say that I can get high voltage and I didn't electrocute myself or knock out power to half the city (again). Yes I actually did take down a small part of the power grid years ago by accident but that was a long time ago!

Now that I have a power supply working again one of the things I want to experiment with is the shape of the electrodes used to create a Ion Lifter. Check out my post HERE to get an idea of what I am talking about.

After messing around and making that video I got a few ideas about how the air seems to be flowing around the wire and the foil. I noticed that people have built lifters in other shapes like Y, Circle, Hex, Pentagram etc... with good results. All these different lifters have one thing in common: A thin wire above a foil skirt which in a cross section is a small circle (wire) and a flat plane (skirt). I'm not sure that is the most efficient way to transfer energy from the wire to the air (if that is what is happening).
My plan is to build a test setup in front of the Schlieren mirror and observe various shapes and configurations of electrodes. I have some ideas about what might work better and I figure that this would be one way to try them and compare results.
Anyway that is my plan for next week. If you have any comments or questions let me know!

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