Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: My visit to Joe Zambelli's
Date: Nov 25, 10:51 pm
Poster: Richard Hull

On Nov 25, 10:51 pm, Richard Hull wrote:

I visited The Zambelli family in West Virginia this Friday and Saturday. The trip to see this wonderful fusor was worth the 5 1/2 drive. The going over three mountains, up countless 10-12 percent grades, around vast numbers of haipin banked turns overlooking gorges marked 25 MPH that only a trained race car driver could make those turns at that speed, was well repaid.

I not only saw a wonderful world class amateur fusor and met a nice family, but am now qualified do the Sebring or Monaco road races.

I have put up another couple of pages tacked onto the Zambelli fusor clickable on my website with 4 new photos. Check them out.


We talked, experimented, ran the fusor and brainstormed every moment of my time there except when Joe's Mom fed us like Kings! His dad filled in some interesting tales of construction which Joe was too modest to tell. They strained like the gear box in my car getting there when building the fusor. Joe was very reticent about his fusor effort.

We did a nice test during one of his runs which was interesting. His levels are vastly more controlable and stable than my Fusor III. Most likely do to his superb gas handling equipment and no rubber or viton in the system. Everthing in the critical areas is a conflat and all piping is SS.

The test had to do with stripping. The neutron counter I took with me was an Eberline PNC-1, BF3 type counter. The counter tube is readily removable so that thermal and epithermal neutrons can be counted preferentially. Normally the tube is placed in a large parafin moderator base to allow fast neutrons to be counted.

Joe was able to get the counter from 1count/min background to over 300 counts/min in short runs.
(normally, in Richmond, the background is about 1 count every 2.5 minutes. Joe's home is at 2000 feet. It seems to make a difference!)

The test involved setting his fusor controls for a rather steady 100cpm with the tube in the moderator as used normally. (counting all neutrons including fasts). If stripping occurs we might expect a rare thermal or epitermal in the stripping blast. Removing the tube from the moderator ended all counting! THIS IS NOT A CONCLUSIVE TEST! It is another interesting point against the idea of stripping being significant in our neutron measurements. We can say the fusor is producing no thermals and no epithermals. I video taped this specific test and a few neutron counting runs.

His best run produced nearly 145,000 neuts/sec! this is the absolute highest count from an amateur fusor recorded to date. (that I am aware of).

I plan on using some of the stuff I saw and some of that which we discussed in my future systems.

Richard Hull