Write problem/project Goal
Catalog old high voltage science demonstrations and update/repair/create them.
My First Task
Take home Various Science demos, catalog and learn more about them.
Summary of actual work over first weekend
I took all of the materials in the bin and fiqured out their function.
Over the weekend various equipment was taken out of respective plastic bags, assembled, manuals read, function researched, and cleaned.
- -Two charge spheres: These metal spheres are insulated from their bases and are intended to hold a charge. They could be used as a part of a Van de Graaff generator
- -One Power Supply: This 100 watt supply provides power from 2-12 volts in 2 voltage intervals
- -A cassette tape eraser: Uses a coil to produce a magnetic field and erase the magnetic strip on a cassette tape.
- -"Dr Ficher Bulbs": A stoutly constructed light bulb
- -Electrometer: Unopened since 1987, this electroscope has extremely low impedance (pico-amperes) but will be damaged if it is used to measure voltages higher than 100. It is intended to measure static electric voltage potential.
- -Flat Disk and Tapered Cylinder: These are a part of a science kit intended to measure voltage potentials between differently shaped surfaces. Could be used as a conductor surface.
- -High Voltage Probe: To be used in conjunction with a multimeter or voltmeter to measure high voltages normally outside the meter's range.
In addition various manuals were put into a three ring binder.
My Second Task
Update Wikiversity with project information and possible add tutorials on how to use certain devices, such as the handheld Tesla coil. Also work on creating a Thomson Elihu Coil (ring-flinger)from the coil in the cassette tape eraser.
Summary of actual work over second weekend
Some Wikiversity pages were updated. I created a miniature Elihu Thomson Coil. In my journal, the outlines for tutorials for using the handheld Tesla coil and probe were written.
A miniature Elihu Thomson coil was created, It uses wall socket power in a small electromagnetic coil and and extended magnetic field to induce current in a circular conductor around the ferric core. The current produces its own magnetic field, causing the "ring" of electrically conductive material to float, and, if the field is strong enough and the material light enough, flung off the end of the core. I also experimented with the Handheld Tesla coil and wrote down a tutorial (in my journal) on its proper usage. A tutorial was also worked on for the usage of the high voltage probe.
My Third task
Create the Tutorials on wikiversity
Summary of actual work over third weekend
I've created some wikiversity pages for tutorials of various devices, however, no actual work was done. What I need to do if figure out what I can be doing for the project, since cataloging the various devices function is not what the project is about.
My Fourth task
- Diagnose Tesla coil Problems with inconsistent spark production.
- Make Model of Elihu Thomson coil safe for usage.
Summary of actual work over fourth weekend
- The Tesla coil was taken farther apart, and its functions looked over. Parts were cleaned to improve function and reliability.
- The Elihu Thompson coil model was made safe for usage, no more exposed wires. Also an attempt at creating an aluminum ring for the "ring flinger" failed, and I learned that you cannot solder aluminium.
The switch to be attached
The switch with contacts insulated
The Switch being tested to determine the open and closed positions. This is closed.
The switch open
The coil with the leads tinned and ready for the switch to be soldered on. Before the bare leads had 115-120v AC going through them, not ideal to have un-insulated.
The coil with the leads attached, notice there is still bare wires that are unsafe.
Finished coil model, with attached switch and no bare wires or leads.
The failed attempt to create an Aluminum ring for the "ring flinger" (Elihu Thomson Coil). The ring was made by folding a piece of aluminum foil into a strip, then rapt around a metal dowel rod to created the ring shape. Then it was attempted to be soldered together, but solder does not work well with aluminum.
The Casing removed from the coil, ready to be observed and further taken apart for diagnosis of parts and finding the cause for inconsistent operation.
A picture of the coil in operation, specifically the area inside where a small spark (arching) takes place, to generate the larger sparks at the tip.
The spark gap assembly taken apart to clean contacts. The file used can be seen in the photo.
Complete Project Page
Follow the "project done" format.