Seeking Advice

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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:44 pm
Real name: Joseph Smelko

Seeking Advice

Post by Joseph_Smelko » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:54 am

I'm A young ohio boy aspiring to achieve fusion before my 15th birthday. I'm from a home without the means to go out and buy all the parts willy nilly and I'm looking for advice on A: Saving as much money as I can, And B: How to approach fusion with safety. I've researched farnsworth fusors and got the gist of it, But I still have a limited understanding. Any information would be appriciated. Cheers -Smelko!

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Dennis P Brown
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Real name: Dennis P Brown
Location: Glen Arm, MD

Re: Seeking Advice

Post by Dennis P Brown » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:01 pm

Achieving fusion is not easy and cannot be done cheaply unless one can really use ebay so they get very good deals (i.e. catch items others miss and/or can fix stuff others won't buy because the items don't work), and one can basically build very complex electronics themselves - detecting neutrons is one of the more difficult but absolutely required devices to prove fusion. Unless one can build or buy (expensive) such a detector making a fusor is pointless if your goal is to prove you are doing fusion. Obtaining deuterium gas is also an absolute requirement and even if made, is expensive to do. Finally, while a Chinese vendor offers a possible power supply for under $200 no one has yet demonstrated that this supply can do fusion.

Best to consider building a small demo device that creates a plasma in a jar. Such a demo device requires a vacuum pump but this is possible to create from an old refrigerator compressor (rotary are best. Check the Scientific American Amateur Scientist article on that subject.) Then obtain an old oil burner transformer (maybe for free) and use a wine bottle with its base cut off as a chamber (these are thick walled.) I used an old saw blade as a base and cut a ring gasket from a old rubber inner tube from a tire - I did this as a high school student many years ago when we still rode dinosaurs.

Such a device (with a pic) will get you into the plasma club and teach you many essentials about vacuums and plasma's.

Jackson Oswalt
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:10 pm
Real name: Jackson Oswalt

Re: Seeking Advice

Post by Jackson Oswalt » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:56 pm

My suggestions:

1. Use a cf2.75 cross or 5-way cross such as this for your main chamber:
5-way cross
You can pick one of these up brand new for less than $180. If you want a 6" spherical chamber, prices can easily exceed $500.

2. Don't waste your time with a bell jar demo Fusor. In my opinion, you'll be very disappointed when you realize you have to construct a completely different chamber to do fusion. If your demo Fusor uses the above item, you'll be able to continue upgrading it until it's capable of fusion. If you plan to wait a while before building a working fusion reactor, then building a bell jar demo Fusor may be the right choice for you.

3. Be patient. As Dennis said, you have to look very hard to find what you need on eBay for a good price. Don't sacrifice half your budget on an expensive diffusion pump because you think it's the best deal you'll get. I purchased $450 dollar diffusion pump that was brand new. The day after it arrived, a $100 air cooled diffusion pump was put up for sale. Not long ago, I was struggling to find an adequate power supply for my Fusor. Then, one day, -50kv @ 4ma power supply's showed, brand new for $150. These can easily be modified for 7ma output. So, keep watch for these. The seller puts 10 up for sale ever so often. They sell quick!

4. Read the FAQs! I know Mr. Hull will appreciate this one. The FAQs include all the info you need to build and operate a Fusor. They also talk about safety, which is something you should pay a lot of attention to if this is you're first interaction with high voltage and radiation (fusion was my first interaction with these things).

5. Never invest in a broken or "as-is" item. Unless you have expertise in repairing lab equipment, I wouldn't waste money on these items.

6. I suppose this should be number one. Plan out your Fusor! Even if it's just a scribble on a piece of notebook paper, plan it out! If you plan out what items you need, you'll save tons of money that would other wise be spent on things you think would be helpful or cool to add to your Fusor. This was my biggest mistake. Half of the cost of my Fusor came from not planning my reactor properly.

7. Finally, don't give up. 80% of the time your building a Fusor you probably won't be satisfied. You'll think it's a waste of money that makes a purple light, if at all. But when you finally achieve fusion and get neutron counts, or even just ignite plasma for the first time, you'll realize it was worth every dime and every second of your time.

Good luck!

Last edited by Jackson Oswalt on Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Youngest Fusioneer

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Richard Hull
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Seeking Advice

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:17 pm

Jackson, Thanks for your response. Nothing speaks more to this effort and rings more true than a post from someone young who has made the journey, gone through the hassles, disappointments, and the exciting moments of inspiration along the path to fusion.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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