Deuterium Plasma

13 10 2009

Spent this evening attempting fusion with the Fusor. No bubbles in the detector, but I got these photos of the deuterium plasma:IMG_4278IMG_4277

As you can see it’s a more of a blue color than the air plasma.

The pump is running fantastically… whisper quiet.

I tried for several hours. The main variable is gas flow rate. The more gas, the more current and a brighter plasma.

I may need a higher voltage power supply.

Judging from the reduced PSI of the deuterium bottle, I put a dent in the supply tonight.

All in all it was a good day. Nothing broke. We tool a step forward. I plan to regroup and spend some time working with the air plasma.


Deuterium Handling System

1 09 2009

Got the last bits of plumbing today:


Took about half hour to install:


And with that the first iteration out Fusor is complete. The bubble detectors are purchased and set to ship ASAP. When they arrive we can attempt first fusion. In the meantime I’ll test out the new gas system with air.


29 08 2009

YES! Check this business:


Here it is with the color levels adjusted so you can see more:


This is really really exciting.

First thing I learned is you need some gas in that chamber to start a plasma. I started at pressures around  1 e-6 torr and got nothing. What you really need is pressures above 1 e-3 torr. My gauge doesn’t work in this range, so I was flying blind.

I had to install a valve to leak air into the chamber to keep the pressure where I needed it:


Just playing with this device for 10 minutes gave me more of an intuition for plasma than most of the reading I’ve done on the topic.

I’m now one small step away from first fusion. FUCK YEA.

Inner Grid Standoff Redo

27 08 2009

So the approach I used to secure the inner grid just wasn’t cutting it: The inner grid was not tightly secured. So I took a page from Andrew Seltzman’s liquid cooled grid by using telescoping ceramic tubes:


I had to file the OD 12.8mm tube with a diamond file to get it to fit inside the next larger tube.

Inside it’s wired together with wire nuts and teflon coated aircraft grade 24 AWG wire:

IMG_3961Note: we ended up using a shorter and thinner stretch of wire than pictured here, but this illustrates how it’s wired.

Here we see it all assembled:


Outer Grid Fix

25 08 2009

During previous tests we noticed that the outer grid was not mechanically secure in the chamber. Today I added a support to the outer grid:

Now it fits snugly in the chamber. Keeping the alignment correct was important.

Also we received the high voltage power supply back from Glassman. It’s been converted to a negative potential for use with a fusor. We got a nice shock mounted shipping rack:


I’m getting everything ready for first plasma.

Featured Fusor

19 08 2009

A college professor once told me that an hour in the library can save ten in the lab. Well now the library is the internet, but the adage still applies. Towards that end, I’ve been reading up on Fusors that have come before. One Fusor in particular stands out:

RTF Technologies’ Mark 3. This thing is incredible. I think it’s the first Fusor ever with a liquid cooled grid.  The engineering is amazing. It even incorporates it’s own heavy water electrolysis and centrifuge. It also sports some novel ion injection technology which pre ionizes the deuterium prior to injection to achieve maximum reaction.  It has a thompson scattering system to measure plasma density at the focal point.

Just amazing. Hats off to Andrew Seltzman!

I’m particularly interested because he has tackled the difficult task of combining high voltage with liquid cooling in his liquid cooled grid. Our superconducting Polywell will face similar challenges.

Assembling the Fusor

5 08 2009

Time to try assembling the reactor. Deez polished the core to remove flux and oxidation:

IMG_3891Here we are assembling the whole thing. This took several attempts adjusting the core depth:


The view through the window:IMG_3896

Looks like it holds a vacuum!

%d bloggers like this: