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: Re: First Light
Date: May 18, 12:28 pm
Poster: Ely Silk

On May 18, 12:28 pm, Ely Silk wrote:

>Good going, and welcome to a very exclusive club of about 8 people of whom I am aware have seen "the light". Three of those have gone on to make neutrons.
>Care to give some details about your system and your visual impressions? Don't be shy....you are off the fence now, and on the playing field.


I used a portable typewriter table (with modesty panel) for my unit. Three meters on the modesty panel (vacuum, kilovolts, milliamps), a powerstat, switches and lights are my controls. The base plate (which I had machined to my specs) sits on four long stainless steel legs fixed to the top of the table. Beneath the base plate is my shut-off valve connected to my Varian SD-90 vacuum pump (which I had in my collection) and a valve connected to s stainless steel hose to the deuterium lecture bottle. The bell jar was made to my specs by "Q" Glass and features an ACE thread feed-through at the top. The bell jar sits on a silicone o-ring (and lots of silicone high vacuum grease). To the left of the bell jar + plate in an acrylic housing sits my condenser products 20kv power supply (thank you, Don Orie)and neon tube transformer (acting as a choke - thank you Richard Hull). The pump sits on a lower shelf floating an inch above the floor.

In the dark, when I have all three switches on, small green, red, and orange indicator lights herald the phenomena to come. When my vacuum is at 5 microns or less, I slowly increase the voltage being careful not to exceed the rated current draw of the power supply for too long and it happens: an incredible little sphere of violet/white light appears within the tantalum inner grid. Beams of electrons scan the walls of the bell jar, rarely shifting until I vary the voltage.

At this stage, the current begins to increase and the voltage drops as various and sundry contaminants boil off the wire grids (stainless steel on the outer grid) and the glass walls and stainless base plate.

I need to look for leaks now which are as certain as death and taxes.

Ely Silk