Assembly Instructions

This project will require a properly working Tesla driver, as described in Chapter 17.

Obtain a 1-gallon pickle jar or the equivalent with a brass – or tin-plated metal cap for the display con­tainer, as shown in Figures 20-2 and 20-3. The display container must have a provision for depressurizing and then being permanently sealed. Again, this metal cover of a pickle jar makes an excellent choice because a piece of copper capillary can be directly soldered to it. forming a good, vacuum-tight seal and allowing pinching off for sealing. Should the display container require repumping, the pinched capillary may be easily reopened for reconnection to the vac­uum system.

The display container may be mounted on a suit­able stand that houses the generator beneath, resem­bling a water cooler. Refer to the figures for final assembly and pump down instructions.

Assembly Instructions

Note that the penny stiffens up the thin metal cover to provide a sturdy mounting point for the capillary tubing.

Automotive Cover preparation:

vacuum hose 1. Drill a 125" hole in the center of a copper penny and in the jar cover.

2. Throughly clean the penny and cover to a bare shiny surface.

3 Obtain a propene torch and solder the tube to the penny and to the jar cover as shown. Try not to bum the jar seal. Verify that the solder completely seals this point as any leaks will prevent operation.

4. Throughly clean the jar and let it dry. Put in microwave and "nuke’1 for 30 seconds.

5. Apply vacuum grease to the jar seal and tightly screw on the cap.

6. Unit is ready to pump down.

Assembly Instructions

as this point must support the high voltage and high-frequency energy for this setup.

3. Slide copper capillary into appropriate section of vacuum hose.

4. Allow to pump down to limit of system-should be below tOO millitorrs.

5. Bleed off to.5 Ton and apply power, noting rarefied air glowing a purplish pnk.

6. Disconnect from vacuum system and pinch off section of rubber hose as shown.

7. Connect power supply output now to copper tube on cap and reapply power, noting a well-defined tornado – shaped discharge extending the full length of jar Display is visible under normal lighting but should be quite spectacular in the dark See note below

NOTE – Display may vary with temperature, proximity to other objects, grounding, and, of course, pressure of air inside. Many display variations are possible and experimentation is suggested.

Figure 20-2 Assembly and pump dam

Connection is made to copper tube by a slip fit to vacuum hose

Assembly Instructions

Jar is sealed via a small washer pinching the folded rubber hose. This method provides an excellent temporary seal that is easily removed for repumping etc.

Caution: Jar is under a high vacuum and should be placed in a meshed bag to contain flying shards of glass rf used in public.

Output from power supply can cause a moderately peinful shock or bum. It is not injurious or life threatening due to low current and high frequency.

DANGER: Jar is under a high vacuum and will implode violently if broken.

Assembly Instructions

Insulating plate-use glass or plastic. Dry wood will wor4 but might leech off energy. You may also support it on a glass mixing bowl.

Use a metal plate by grounding, ungrounding, or attaching various lengths of wire etc. for best results.


t. Place an approx. 6 x 6" piece of metal on a larger piece of glass or other insulating material.

2. Place jar as shown on metal plate. Do not ground for now

3. Verify proper operation of power supply as shown on instructions.

4. Connect up green grounding ieed to a positive earth ground. Failure to do this will result in improper operation

5. Connect output lead to copper capillary tube exiting the jar cover.

6. Rotate power control full CCW and turn on power switch.

7. Rotate power control until you get desired effect that should be a pink column of energized plasma resembling a tornado

Bnng hand near jar and note attraction of display.

This demonstrates the capacitive effect produced by proximily of two conductive objects. The high – frequency current now wants to flow between these points that form a capacitive reactance.

Hold a fluorescent lamp near the jar and note it lighting! This demonstrates the radiative effects of the energized plasma and provides an interesting science project.

If you are fortunate enough to have access to a vacuum pump, experiments with different pressures can yield some real interesting results.

Adjust power control knob for maximum display. Note a peak in adjustment.

Do not leave on for extended periods of time until you check for heating of supply and jar.

Fi g и re 20-3 Plasma tornado jar setup

Application and Operation

The display is inside a glass enclosure and resembles a tornado shape of glowing and swirling plasma. It dances and jumps to anything brought near it and is highly visible, even in normal, fluorescent lighting. This sensitivity to any external capacity creates many bizarre and seemingly striking effects. The plasma also can light up a fluorescent lamp when brought near the glass enclosure without any wires or connec­tions of any kind. This feature demonstrates the highly radiative properties of the plasma field and serves as an excellent science fair project or a unique conversation piece.

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