Special Note

Your display will vary over time, starting out as a wide, undefined glow with purplish and orange disks and eventually forming a defined purple tornado-like vortex extending to the length of the container. This change is due to the pressure increasing and is a func­tion of leakage and internal impurities. The system, properly processed, should be active for up to months before repumping is required.

This chapter shows how to construct a novelty product that provides a bizarre special-effect light display. It is fashioned after the Star Wars lightsaber (see Figure 21-1) and uses a recently patented phe­nomenon involving’ traveling plasma” (our patent #5,089,745). Total control of this display effect is accomplished by simple grip contract on the saber’s handle. No switch is used in any way. Energized plasma (an electrically ignited gas giving off visible light) travels up the saber, illuminating its length as it moves. The effect is greatly enhanced in darkness and is quite dramatic when properly controlled by the user. This gives the effect of a controllable length of visible light appearing to emanate from the handle of the device and continues out into space. A striking visual display now results when operated at low light levels.

Expect to spend $25 to $35 for this awesome, attention-getting display project. Instructions are detailed with all the specialized parts, the printed cir­cuit board (PCB), and the actual plasma tube avail­able from www. amazingLcom. Tlie parts list is included in Table 21-1 at the end of the chapter.

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