When the fusor’s plasma becomes unstable and sparks, it makes my DAQ crash. This is likely due to transient voltage spikes in the wires, or electromagnetic interference through the air.
I’ve been exchanging emails with Raymond R. about the details of voltage suppression. He suggest using TVS diodes to protect each channel of the DAQ from voltage spikes in the wire by clamping them just above the channel’s operating range.
I’ve ordered these TVS diodes:
Raymond suggests the following:
1) Buy the NI USB-6000 Series Prototyping Accessory if you have the money and want to avoid messiness; otherwise you can kludge the wiring. (I’ve done this).
2) 16 (+ 4,5 spares) of LCE10A-ND (I bought corresponding parts at mouser).
3) Go to differential mode on NI USB 6008 (good idea).
4) Connect the TVSs from each input/output line to frame ground.
5) Take the cable shield and do not connect it at the USB board; connect back to the computer frame. The TVS diodes go to the cable shield not to the USB box grounds. Connect the USB grounds together and to the shield ground through a 1 meg resistor (alternately a .1 uf ceramic cap).