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: Fusor-actual construction
Date: Jan 05, 3:28 pm
Poster: Richard Hull

On Jan 05, 3:28 pm, Richard Hull wrote:


I have been fusor oriented in my research efforts for about 1 year now. I have constructed one demo fusor (concept using air at 50 microns. A second for quick deuterium insert. (work best around 8 microns). A third is under construction with leak valved deuterium into a much larger chamber.

I have been an amateur scientist for 42 of my 51 years. I can't seem to shake it. The fusor project has been one of the finest sinks for money and time I have yet undertaken. I am employed as an electronic engineer by a local firm.

I have interviewed all the living principles on the original farnsorth fusor team.

.... P.S. The best source is the quintestential "Lab Rat", Gene Meeks who is a real treasure house on what actually happened as he was with the original fusor development longer than anyone 1959-1972. His stories could make a separate book!!!! Even Farnsworth, himself probably was not as close to the pulse of what was really going on "in the lab" as Meeks. Meeks has had more hands on time behind fusors than any living being!!!! (inspite of it being somewhat dated) Bob Hirsch is probably the best theoretical source as he had many hours with fusors as well.

I have most of the current papers from Miley and the rest, plus a good friend and fellow engineer in Dr. Robert Bussard's, "Lab Rat", Tom Ligon, who is daily working with a much more advanced fusor. Tom visited me for the first time in August of last year and we get together once or twice a month to compare fusor info to the limit that his non-disclosure agreement with Bussard allows.

I achieved the coveted "star mode" of operation in late November. I am currently running pure tantalum central grids in a 6" fusor model.

I am preparing to get into actual neutron measurement, but am halted inorder to learn the technology and do the job correctly. It is not a trivial task, as most fusor researchers probably realize.

It has been a wild ride which I wouldn't trade for the best work I have ever done!

My goal? Investigation for its own sake. Purity. No break even goals....... no world power dreams, just a slow step by step investigation of what make these things tick....and then what makes them tick better.....best....etc.

Tom Ligon is to have an article published in "Analog" soon, it is hoped, I am having some construction related info which I put together published in the next issues of "Electric Spacecraft Journal" (an electrical propulsion publication) and the "Bell Jar" (vacuum enthusiasts journal).

Any one else doing hands-on Fusion on this BBS? Theory and chatting is nice but nothing touches home like touching gear in real life.

Richard Hull