Circuit Description

Transistor Ql is connected as a free-running resonant oscillator with a frequency determined by the combi­nation resonance of capacitor C3 and the primary winding of the stepup transformer, Tl. This oscillating voltage is stepped up to several thousand in the sec­ondary winding of Tl. Capacitors C4 through C15, along with diodes Dl through D12, form a full-wave voltage multiplier where the output is multiplied by six and is converted to direct current (DC). Output is taken between C5 and С15, as shown, and may be either positive or negative depending on the direc­tion of the diodes. Different values of voltage may be obtained at various taps of the capacitors. Figure 23-2 shows the connections for the taps to ihe image lube.

The base of Ql is connected to a feedback wind­ing of Tl where the oscillator voltage is at the proper

value to sustain oscillation. Resistor R2 biases the base into conduction for the initial activation. Resis­tor Rl limits the base current, wheras capacitor C2 speeds up the deactivation of Ql by supplying a neg­ative bias and capacitor Cl bypasses any high-fre – quency energy. The input power is supplied through switch SI via a “snap-in” battery clip.

Circuit Rssembly

To put the circuitry together, follow these steps:

1. Lay out and identify all the parts and pieces, checking them with the parts list. Note that some parts may sometimes vary in value. This is acceptable as all components are 10 to 20 percent iolcrant unless oiherwise noted. A length of bus wire is used lor long circuit runs.

2. Create the PB l perforated circuit board as shown in Figure 23-3. Enlarge the holes as follows:

Thirteen Vitrinch holes for the junctions of the diodes and the capacitors in the multiplier

Note that Ql may require a heatslnK II battery voltage exceeds В volts.


Circuit Description

Circuit Description

Figure 23-2 Power supply schematic

Circuit Description

Figure 23-3 Assembly board

Seven ‘/«-inch holes for mounting the switch (SI) and the external connection leads

The switch is shown attached to the assembly board but may be remotely located using interconnecting leads.

3. Assemble the board as shown in Figure 23-3. Start to insert components into the board holes as shown. Note to start and proceed from right to left, attempting to obtain the lay­out as shown.

Certain leads of the actual components will be used for connecting points and circuit runs. Do not cut or trim at this time. It is best to temporarily fold the leads over to secure the individual parts from falling out of the board holes for now

Note that the solder joints in the multiplier sec­tion, consisting of C4 through C15 and D1 through D12, should be globular shaped and smooth to pre­vent high-voltage leakage and corona. The solder globe size is that of a BB. Run your fingers over the joints and verify the absence of sharp points and pro­trusions.

Also note thatTl is laying on its side and uses short pieces of bus wire soldered to its pins as exten – r ч sions for connections to the circuit board.


Circuit Board Testing

To test the circuit board, follow these steps:

1. Separate high-voltage output leads approxi­mately 1 inch from one another.

2. Connect 9 volts to the input and note a cur­rent draw of approximately 150 to 200 mil – liamperes when SI is pressed.

3. Decrease the separation of the high-voltage leads until a thin, bluish discharge occurs, usu­ally between Чг to 3A of an inch. Note the cur­rent input increasing. The increased value depends on the length of the spark, corona, and so on, but should not exceed 300 mil-

1 і amperes.

4. Check the collector tab of Ql and add a small heatsink if too hot to touch. A heatsink tab is shown in Figure 22-4 (Chapter 22).

For those with a scope, it may be interesting to note the wave shape at the collector tab, as shown in Figure 23-2. Note this is without any sparking occurring.

Note the takeoff point for the focus lead. This point is approximately at ‘k the output voltage. The unit may be powered up to 12 volts-direct current

Circuit Description

Figure 23-4 X-ray view showing innards

(VDC) but will positively require a heatsink on the tabofQl.

This unit is capable of producing 10 to 20 Kv from a small, standard Ч-volt battery. It is built on a printed circuit hoard (PCB) or a small piece of perforated cir­cuit board and can easily be housed or enclosed, as the application requires. Applications include power­ing image converter uibes for night vision devices, ignition circuits for flame-throwing or – producing units, capacitor charging for energy storage, shocking clectric fences, insect eradication, Kirlian photogra­phy, ion propulsion electric field generators, ozone producing, and more.

See-in-the-Darlc Project

This useful and interesting project shows how to build a device capable of seeing in total darkness. Unlike conventional devices requiring the minute light from the stars or other ambient background light, this system contains its own infrared source, allowing covert viewing of the desired subject (see Figure 23-1).

Assembly is shown in two parts, the high voltage power supply and the final enclosure with optics and an illuminator. Expect to spend $50 to $100 for this useful infrared imaging system with all the special­ized pans available from www. amazingl. com.

General Description

Lhis project shows how to construct a device capable of allowing one to see in total darkness. It can be used to view a subject for recognition or evidence – gathering reasons without any indication lo the target subject that he or she is under surveillance. It is an invaluable device when used for detection, the align­ment of infrared alarms, invisible-laser gun sights, and in communications systems. This technology can also be used to detect diseased vegetation in ccriain types of crops from the air. to serve as an aid to nighttime varmint hunting, and to view high-temperature ther­mographic scencs where heat is used to produce the image. This device is excellent for use with the infrared laser described in Chapter 9. “Handheld Burning Diode Laser Ray Gun,” with a perlormance that is as good operationally as units that cost much more.

The unit is built using readily available parts for the enclosure and basic optics. The batteries are enclosed into the housing and do not require side packs, cables, and so on. The range and field of view­ing are determined by the intensity of the integrated infrared source and the viewing angle of the optics. Readily available and low-cost optics are usable, but they may have spherical aberration and other adverse effects. This approach keeps the basic cost down for those not requiring actual viewing of detailed scenes. Improved optics will eliminate these effects and can be obtained at most video supply houses as an option.

Assembly foeuses around common polyvinyl chlo­ride (PVC) tubing as the main housing and a spe­cially designed, patented, miniature power source for energizing the image tube. The tube is a readily avail­able image converter being used by most manufac­turers of similar devices. This tube establishes the limits of viewing resolution and is suitable for most applications but may be limited if one desires video perfection.

See-in-the-Darlc Project

Figure 23-1 See-in-the-dark viewer

The viewing range is determined mainly by the intensity of the infrared source and can be controlled by varying this parameter. Our basic unit is shown
utilizing a 2-D cell flashlight with an integrated filter placed over the lens to prevent the subject from see­ing the source. This provides a working range of up to 50 feet (reliably) and can be increased to several hun­dred using a more powerful source such as a 5 to 6 cell flashlight. Needless to say. the builder can choose his or her infrared source and adjust the optics to meet his or her needs. Infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or lasers, as described in our catalog, are also good illumination sources. Long-range, quick viewing may utilize a small, two-cell light with eight nickel – cadmium (NiCad) A A cells to replace the normal two D cells, providing a significantly brighter infrared source yet lasting for less time than the normal D cell would.

The unit can also be operated using external sources such as super-intense Q-beam handheld lamps with an added filter extending the range out to 400 to 500 feet, providing a wide field of illumination. Note the viewing of active infrared sources such as lasers does not require the internal infrared source.

An optional long-range, infrared illuminator for viewing up to 300 feet is available. See #HLR10 at www. amazmgl. com and optional equipment can be found on the parts list at the site.

Basic Theory

A subminiature high-voltage power supply produces approximately 15 Kv at several hundred microam­peres from a 7- to 9-volt rechargeable nickle cad­mium (NiCad) or alkaline battery. This voltage is applied to the tube (IR16) with the “plus” going to the viewing end and the “negative" to the objective end. A focus voltage is taken from a tap in the multi­plier circuit and is approximately Чь of the total potential.

An objective lens (LENSI) with an adjustable focal length gathers the reflected image, illuminated by the infrared lens, and focuses this image at the objective end of the tube. Image conversion now takes place inside the tube and is displayed on the viewing screen of the tube in a greenish tinge. The viewing resolution is usually adequate to provide

subject identification at a distance of 50 feet or more depending on the intensity of the infrared source and the quality of the optics.

Negative Ion Information

fn the last two decades, a medical controversy has evolved periaining to the beneficial effects of these minute electrical particles. As with any device that appears to affect people in a beneficial sense, there are those who sensationalize and exaggerate these claims as a cure for all ailments and ills. Such people manufacture and market these devices under false pretenses and consequently give the products a bad name. The Food and Drug Administration now steps in on these claims and the product, along with any beneficial facets, goes down ihe tubes.

People are affected by negative ions from the property of these particlcs to increase the rate of activity by cilia (whose property is to keep the tra­chea clean from foreign objects), thus enhancing oxy­gen intake and increasing the flow of mucous. This property neutralizes the effects of cigarette smoking, which slows down this activity of the cilia. Hay fever and bronchial asthma victims arc greatly relieved by these particles. Burns and surgery patients are relieved of pain and heal faster. Tiredness, lethargy, and a general feeling of fatigue are replaced by a sense of well-being and renewed energy. Negative ions destroy bacteria and purify the air with country air freshness. They cheer people up by decreasing the serotonin content of the blood. As can be seen in countless articles and technical writings, negative ions are a benefit to man and his environment.

Negative ions occur naturally from static electric­ity, certain kinds of wind, waterfalls, crashing surf, cos­mic radiation, radioactivity, and ultraviolet radiation. Positive ions are also produced from some of the pre­vious phenomena and usually neutralize each other out as a natural statistical occurrence. However, many man-made objects and devices have a tendency to neutralize the negative ions, thus leaving an abun­dance of positive ions, which create sluggishness and most of the opposite physiological effects of its nega­tive counterpart.

One method of producing negative ions is obtain­ing a radioactive source rich in Beta radiations (elec­trons). Alpha and gamma emissions from this source produce positive ions that are neutralized electrically. The resulting negative ions are electrostatically directed to the output exit of the device and are fur­ther dispersed by the action of a fan (this method has recently come under attack by the Bureau of Radio­logical Health and Welfare) for the use of tritium or other radioactive salts. This approach appears to be the most hazardous one according to the product consumer safety people.

A more accepted method is to place a small tuft of stainless steel wool as the ion emitter at the output terminal of a negative high-voltage DC power supply. The hair-like property of the stainless steel wool allows ions to be produced at a relatively low voltage yet with reduced ozone output. Ions are produced by the leakage of the particles charging air molecules in the immediate vicinity of the steel wool emitter. The unit should be operated below 15 Kv as too much voltage can produce substantial amounts of ozone that can mask the beneficial effects of the increased ions obtained.

5pecial Notes

The ion emitter plays an important function in the proper operation of this unit for the particular appli­cation. It is suggested that you use a small, sharp, stainless steel needle for starters.

The average current is about 500 microamps and can be considered constant for most loads. It charges objects of an electrical capacitance (C) to a voltage by the following formula: V = it/с. where t equals th( time in seconds and с equals the capacitor of the object in farads. The average human body usually equates out to 10 to 20 picofarads (pfd). Objects of a larger capacity could mathematically be charged up to dangerous energy amounts if they were well insulated. Consequently, this must be taken into consideration.

Here’s an example. An object of a capacity equal to.001 mfd, insulated up to 25,000 volts, would charge up to near this value in approximately Уз of a second. This should equate out to.2 joules and can result in a painful electric shock, as anyone knows who has gotten across a charged capacitor.

An interesting phenomenon is that a human body on a dry day can accumulate a sufficient charge to cause a neon or fluorescent lamp to flash reasonably brilliantly when contact is made with a grounded object.

Table 22-1 Ian

ray and charge gun project parts list

Ref #





1 OK trimpot vertical



10-ohm. 4a – watt resistor (br-blk-blk)



IK, ‘A – wall resistor (br-blk-red)



10-megohm. 1-watt resistor (br-blk-bl)


10K pot and switch


100 mfd/25-volt vertical eleelroradial leads


.0022 mtd/50-volt green plastic cap (222)



.01 mfd/50-voll disk (103)


1000 mfd/25-volt vertical electrolytic capacitor



500 pfd. 10 Kv ccramic disk cap



.22 ml’d/250-voll metallized polypropylene


1 mfd. 25-volt vertical electro cap.


.1 mfd. 50-volt cap



If) Kv. 5-mrlliampcrc avalanche diodes




1N9I4 silicon diodes



PKL15 15-volt transient suppressor


1 N4937 last-switching 1 Kv diode


1RF540 mcieil-uAidt-bemicitndui lot field efjed ігапмнаг (MOSFET) 10220


555 DIP timer


Mini-switching translormer.7 Kv. lOnulliampere




fi Uh inductor: see text on assembly



Battery clip #22 with 12-inch leads


Fight AA cell battery pack


Pushbutton switch (normal open)


5 x 2.9 .1 grid perforated board: cui lo size per Figure 22-3


Optional PCB



10 x 2.9 * .063 polycarbonate (Lexan) plastic


12 inches

#20 vinyl red wire for positive input


12 inches

#20 vinyl black wire for negative input


12 inches

#20 vinyl green wire lor output ground to craft return


12 inches

#20 hus wire for light leads


12 inches

#24 hus wire for light leads



#6 ■ ‘s sheel metal screws



#6-32 * ‘/2-inch scrcws and nuts


1.5- v l-inch.063 AL plate fabricated as per Figure 22-4


#6 aluminum block lug


‘ 4-inch ring lug


Small alligator clip, duckbill type


15 v 2 L OD v ■/* wall PVC or clear plastic tube


*♦- * 1 ‘".—inch OD PVC schedule 40 lube


It) x.035 aluminum strip fabricated as shown



Г j – inch plastic caps fabricated as shown with holes


1 7/.^inch plastic cap

Oplional items



AA alkaline cells. 1 volts


Stainless steel


Carbon fiber hair lor high-output emitters


Experi merits

The following experiments are graphically shown in Figure 22-10. It is well known that high-voltage gen­erators usually consist of large, smooth-surface col­lectors where leakage is minimized, allowing these collective terminals to accumulate high voltages with less current demand. Leakage of a high voltage point is the result of the repulsion of similar charges to the extent that these charges are forced out into the air as ions. The rate of ions produced is a result of the charge density at a certain point. The magnitude of this quantity is a function of voltage and the recipro­cal of the angle of projection of the surface.

Note that Experiment A in the figure shows why lightning rods are sharply pointed. This causes the charges to leak off into the air before a voltage can be developed to create the lightning bolt.

It is now evident that to create ions it is necessary to have a high voltage applied to an object such as a needle or another sharp device used as an emitter. Once the ions leave the emitter, they possess a cer­tain mobility that allows them to travel moderate dis­tances, contacting and charging up other objects by accumulation and collision.

Experiment В shows St. Elmo’s Fire. This glow dis­charge occurs during periods of high electrical activ­ity. It is a corona discharge that is brush-like, luminous, and often may be audible when leaking from charged objects in the atmosphere. It occurs on ship masts, aircraft propellers, wings, and other pro­jecting parts, as well as on objects projecting from high terrain when the atmosphere is charged and a sufficiently strong electrical potential is created between the object and the surrounding air. Aircraft most frequently experience St. Elmo’s fire when fly­ing in or near cumulonimbus clouds, in thunder­storms, in snow showers, and in dust storms.

Experiment С shows a flashing fluorescent or neon light. This experiment demonstrates the mobil­ity of the ions and their ability to charge up the capacitance in a fluorescent light tube and discharge in the form of a flash. For this experiment, perform the following steps:

1. Have a friend carefully hold a 10- to 40-wait fluorescent light or neon-filled tube and turn off the lights. Allow your eyes to become accustomed to the total darkness.

2. Hold the end about 3 feet from the output of the ion ray gun and note the lamp flickering. Increase the distance and note the flicker rate decreasing. Under ideal conditions and total darkness, the lamp will flicker to a consider­able distance from the source. Use caution in total darkness. Hold the lamp by a glass enve­lope and touch the end pins to a water pipe, metal objects, and so on for best results and the brightest flash. The flash time is the equiv­alent of the equation T = CV/I, where T is the time between flashes and V is the flash break­down voltage characteristic of the tube. С is the inherent capacity in the tube and 1 is the equivalent of the amount of ions reaching the lamp and obviously decreases by the 5fi power of the distance.

Experiment D concerns ion charging. This demon­strates the same phenomena as in the previous exper­iment but in a different way Perform the following


1. Set up the unit as shown with a ground con­tact about! A of an inch from the charge sphere.

2. Note the spark occurring at the grounded con­tact as a result of the ion accumulation on the sphere. Increase the distance and note where the spark becomes indistinguishable.

3. Obtain a subject brave enough to stand a moderate electric shock (use caution as a per­son with a heart condition should not be near this experiment).

4. Have the subject stand on an insulating sur­face and then touch a grounded or large metal object. Shoes with rubber soles often work to an extent.

Experiment E shows an ion motor. This dramati­cally demonstrates Newton’s law of action producing a reaction. Escaping ions at a high velocity produce a reactive force. This is a viable means of propulsion for a spacecraft where hyper-velocities may approach the speed of light in this frictionless environment. Here you will work with a rotor and pin attached to a sphere via a lump of clay or something similar. A piece of folded paper will sometimes work.

Form a piece of #18 wire as shown. For maximum results, carefully balance and provide minimum fric­tion at the pivot point. There are many different methods of performing this experiment with far bel­ter •results. We leave this to the experimenter, bearing in mind that a well-made, balanced rotor can achieve amazing rpms. Note that as the rotor spins, giving off ions, one’s body hair will bristle, nearby objects will spark, and a cold feeling will persist.

Experiment F shows accumulated ions on the insulated spherical object, charging it theoretically to its open circuit potential (this in practice doesn’t occur due to leakage). The object accumulates a volt­age equal to V = it/с. Note that the unit is also directly grounded to increase this effect by producing the necessary electrical mirror image. The quantity Q (coulombs) of the charge is equal to CV where С equals the capacitance of the object and V equals the voltage charged. The energy W (joules) stored is equal to Чг capacitance X voltage squared (CVE2). The capacitance can be calculated by approximating the area of the object’s shadow projected directly beneath it and calculating the mean separation dis­tance. The capacitance is now approximately equal to.25 times the projected area in square inches, divided by the separation in inches.

Also regarding Experiment F, note that the IOD1 ion detector described in the Information Unlimited catalog is an excellent device and provides extraordi­nary sensitivity. The ESCOPE electroscope also is an excellent detector.

Experiment G demonstrates the transmission of energy via mobile ions. The objects used here are round spheres placed on glass bottles used as insula­tors. One object is grounded using thin, insulated wire. Another object discharges to the grounded object. Note that the grounding wire physically jumps at the time of discharge; these phenomena are the result of current producing a mechanical force. As the unit is brought closer, the length of the spark dis­charge and the discharge rate will increase. A dis­charge length of a half-inch may be obtainable with the unit 4 to 5 feet away. This demonstrates the potential effectiveness of the device.

Other experiments and uses would be materials and insulation dielectric breakdown testing, ozone production for odor control. X-ray power supplies, and capacitance charging using a Leyden jar. Other uses include the ignition of gas tubes and spark gaps, particle acceleration and atom smashers, Kirlian pho­tography, electrostatics, and ion generation. Other related material may easily be obtained on these sub­jects.

For example, an experiment on charge attraction demonstrates the force between unlike charges. Place an 8- X 11-inch piece of paper on a wooden desk or tabletop. Scan the paper with the unit approximately 2 to 3 inches from its surface. Note the paper pressing to the surface and becoming strongly attracted as indicated when attempting to lift it up.

An experiment on change repulsion would demonstrate the force between like chargcs. For example, place a small paper cup on top of the out­put. Obtain some small pieces of Styrofoam and place them in the cup. Note that some of the pieces fly out of the cup. Bring a grounded lead near the cup and note the reaction.

The effects on many materials can supply hours of interesting experiments, producing sometimes weird and bizarre phenomena. If you discover or happen to come up with any new experiments or data, contact us at www. amazingl. com.

Mechanical Assembly

To put the rest of the device together, follow these steps:

1. Create the main enclosure (EN1) from a 15- inch section of 2 ‘/«-inch schedule 40 PVC tub­ing, as shown in Figure 22-8. Note the 2 ‘/2-inch clearance holes accessing the retaining screw on LUG6 that are necessary to secure the emitter selection and passage of the leads to the HA1 handle section. You may want to use a piece of 2 ‘A-inch OD clear plaslic tub­ing with a 2-inch ID for this piece as il allows viewing of the circuit innards and can be impressive it your assembly is neat and orderly.

2. Build the handle section H A1 from a 6-inch piece of 1.9-inch schedule 40 PVC tubing.

Note the contour that is filed out to fit the curvature of the enclosure section is at a slight angle, providing a gun-like look. You will need a small hole for the passage of the BRK1 grounding lead and a hole for the pushbutton switch PBl. The hole will require recessing using a 3/4-inch wood bit because the width of the handle tubing is too wide to allow ade­quate clearance for the securing nut.

3. Create the bracket, BRK1, from a 10-inch length of ‘/’-inch.035 aluminum strip and shape as shown in Figure 22-8. Drill holes for the screws (SCRW1).

Battenes are inserted by removing cap CAP3 and sliding out battery holder BH1 and inserting 8 AA cells Attach the clip and reinstall. Always verily that the battenes are making proper contact with the end contacts of the holder as some, being new, are tight and do not allow the batteries to slide into place.

Mechanical Assembly

Figure 22-9 Ion ray and charge gun

4. Assemble everything as shown in Figure 22-9, reading all the data in the figure.

Operation and Rpplications

The unit’s output will be a soft, bluish flame forming at the emitter point. Ions are produced by charge concentration occurring at the end of the ion emitter. In order to be optimized, a return path to ground is necessary and is provided by a conductive hand grip connected to the common line of the circuit. The user now creates the ground return or electrical image necessary for enhancing the charge and ion mobility.

Control of the system is done via a pushbutton switch. This switch can easily be modified or changed to suit the user’s needs. A low-current, spring-loaded push button is shown.

Power to the unit is via an eight A A ccll battery pack fitted in the handle. This approach provides a neat compact unit. Rechargeable batteries may be used, utilizing a built-in charging circuit for those applications where constant use is required.

Your ion ray gun demonstrates an interesting phe­nomenon involving the mobility of charged particles. It is capable of producing the following effects:

• Inducing electrical shocks in other people

• Causing lamps to l licker and ignite without contact

• Causing paper to s»tick to surfaces, playing cards, and so on

• Causing motion of objects/ion motors

• Charging of objects to a high potential with­out comact

• Static electricity experiments

• Kirlian photography and ozone production

Mechanical Assembly

Figure 22-10 Experiments

• Strange and bizarre effects on certain materials

• Effects on painted and insulated surfaces that require darkness

• Effects on vapors, steam, and liquids

• Visual discharge of plasma forcc, corona, and so on

• Effect on elccironics equipment, TV. and com­puters—use caution

The device accomplishes all the previous effects without any direct connections other than the travel­ing of ions through the air. In order to demonstrate this effect, it is necessary to produce voltages of mag­nitudes that may be at a hazardous shock potential but at a relatively small amperage. Even though the device is battery operated with low-input voltage, it must be treated with caution. Use discretion when using, as it is possible for a person wearing insulated shoes to accumulate enough of a charge to produce a moderately painful or irritating shock when he touches a grounded object. The effect could cause injury to a person in weak physical condition (note

the warnings). The effects depend on many parame­ters. including humidity, leakage amounts, types of objects, and proximity.

The device can be used in two ways. When the out­put is terminated into a large, smooth-surface collec­tor such as a large metal sphere or oblate, it becomes a useful high-potential source capable of powering particle accelerators and other related devices. It may be built as a producer of negative or positive ions, demonstrating a phenomenon that is often regarded as a demerit when building and designing high-volt­age power supplies.

The device is then terminated into a sharp point where the leakage of positive or negative ions can occur. This will result in corona and the formation of nitric acid via the production of the ozone produced when combining with nitrogen and forming nitrous oxide, which, with water, produces this strong acid. The production of ions as leakage also robs the avail­able current from the supply