Gearing Up

10 07 2010

All photos.

I’ve been gathering the parts necessary for the next round of experimentation.

High voltage feedthrough for the Langmuir probe:

8″ to 2.75″ reducer for the langmuir probe:

Trigatron to discharge huge capacitor. Everybody say that out loud: TRIGATRON.

It’s the coolest word ever invented. Spec Doc.

20V 3A benchtop power supply by Sorensen. This will power the heater on the superconductor’s persistent switch.

Also for the superconducting coils I got this benchtop dewar for the liquid nitrogen:

More 80/20:

And finally a 160-in-1 electronics kit. So much better than the one I had as a kid. My 12 year old self is SO JEALOUS!



9 responses

10 07 2010
James J

oh my god I had that very kit!!

project #159 Build your very own police siren
project #160 Build your very own fusion reactor*

*may require some additional components

13 07 2010
Tony Buser

OMG I had that exact same 160-in-1 kit when I was a kid too! I wish I would have kept it, so awesome.

11 07 2010

Did you ever figure out the triggering circuit for the trigatron?
I’m and EE student, I looked into it a bit. For anyone who didn’t read the datasheet, you need about 7KV across the main gap, and then drive a 3KV pulse beyond that on the trigger. (ie. if the anode is at 0V, the cathode would be at -7KV and the trigger at 3KV. )
A 3KV pulse is pretty hard to do. As far as I know, switches and relays will weld or arc, and I don’t know any semiconductor parts rated for KV ranges. You might be able to get away with a really big relay in parallel with a snubber circuit to suppress the arcing. Unfortunately, you have to balance the snubber’s values with the other components so you still get the 3KV pulse. I tried it the other day, the math is a pain in the rear.

Honestly, I think you’d be best off trying to find a “break modulator valve” you could use in the provided break modulator circuit. So far as I can tell, it’s just a triode that is normally in an ‘on’ state but can be turned ‘off’ by applying a voltage to its grid.

11 07 2010

nice one :) project #160 reminds me of startrek, somehow, where they do this at primary school …

But nice gear anyway, it must be expensive if you get it new. Also the 8″ to 2.75″ reducer is such a nice piece of shiny stainless steel, I’m jealous about that one too :D
Specialized companies often charge ridiculous amounts of money for such rather simple pieces of metal – considering the complexity of a product, e.g. compared to electronics

11 07 2010

$154.00 for reducer, and $215.00 for HV feedthrough. New items from MDC. Expensive, but necessary and in my budget.

11 07 2010
Don Cox

Fusion provides a good excuse for some very hard core shopping.


11 07 2010

It’s the only shopping I can tolerate.

12 07 2010
M. Simon

Trigatron triggering:

Use a HV (output) pulse transformer. Feed the HV DC in at one end of the secondary and the trigger pulse comes out at the other end. Make sure the coil polarity is right.

A small SCR trigger circuit should be fast enough.

Also – look for a high voltage scope probe (one that will go to 20 KV). We can talk about circuits when you are ready to build. You do have a ‘scope don’t you? If not put that in your budget. Also consider a spectrum analyzer. Very handy for finding the natural frequencies of your set up.

13 07 2010


Wow if I didn’t know better I would swear you made up 75% of the words in that post.

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