October 31, 2012

High Voltage experiments using an unrectified 14 KHz transformer with a 16,000 volt output.

Filed under: To blow your mind — VIP @ 19:14

Warning! High Voltage experiments possess a potential danger of electrocution and fire. Please be cautious when performing those experiments. Children should be supervised by an adult when experimenting with high voltage. High voltage can cause undesired electromagnetic interference. This interference can cause pacemakers and other medical devices to malfunction.

I happened to conduct a line of experiments with a device that I built over a Christmas Break last year, when I was still in college. This device uses an ordinary 60Hz transformer to convert 120 VAC to 12VAC. 12VAC is converted to 12VDC using a simple rectifier bridge and an electrolytic capacitor. This 12VDC powers a circuit that drives a high frequency transformer, similar to TV fly-back transformers, only a dedicated one. This circuit has some sort of undercurrent and overcurrent protection so if this transformer is shorted to the ground or is not driving any load, no harm is supposed to be done.

There are few other components in the enclosure. There is a shunt resistor that the current (at 12VDC) goes through to power the high-frequency driver. The shunt is made from iron chimney wire and there is a microamperemeter wired in parallel to the shunt to show how current consumption fluctuates. It does fluctuate. I will come back to WHY it fluctuates.

There is also an LED that glows when the high voltage circuit is energized. But it is connected to the high voltage output of the transformer with one of its leads and is not connected to anything with another lead. How so? I will try to answer this question later; again, however I can only draw a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon.

(The power switch has to be closed for the indicator LED to glow.)

As you can see, there is a 120VAC power chord going into the enclosure and there is a stud with a pseudo-hemispherical knob on top of it. There is no ground for the high voltage. None of the experiments required there to be a ground…

First of all, an unrectified high voltage transformer will spark to conductive objects that are brought near it even if they are not connected to ground. Maybe because they resemble a capacitor plate, while another capacitor plate is the ground, concrete and wires inside the walls. Maybe because all conductors have an internal capacitance, inductance and resistance that delay the alternating current until the source switches polarity thus consuming energy to overcome a previously acquired charge. I could not find a clear answer to that, but I tend to think that the latter contributes more to the sparks that we see.

It seems like some materials can trap the charge better than others, causing longer sparks and showing the increase of the total device current consumption on the microammeter. Pencil lead is one. Pencil lead is made by baking conductive graphite, a conductor with ceramic, an insulator. This gives pencil lead a lot of internal capacitance and resistance. Thus it can draw a relatively long spark, compared to a steel rod of a similar size.

One of the most interesting experiment that I conducted was intended to further understand the nature of single-pole electricity. I took a strip of cardboard and glued sewing pins to it, making sure that the gaps between them are equal. All pins were facing in one direction. A sharp point of one pin would face a hemispherical end of another pin. Since sharp conical or pyramidal points tend to discharge with more ease than spherical objects, I hypothesized that the current is going to move in one direction across this strand of pins, with more ease than in the other direction. (Notice that I am avoiding the word “resistance”.) The strand of diodes was connected to the pole of the high voltage circuit with the middle pin in the row of pins, while I held the “tip” end of the strand to the pole. There was a large spark. After that I held the “ball” end. There was a smaller spark. I tried various circuits with pins and I will illustrate them to make this experiment easier to understand.

Pretty much, I built a very inefficient diode with high reverse current leakage and a lot of resistance in both directions.

Nikola Tesla (who else would it be) pioneered the concept of single pole electricity, but his archives were lost after he died and his scientific achievements in this field had to be rediscovered by many other scientists in different countries, many years later. (Many scientific records of Nikola Tesla were lost either at the fire that happened in his laboratory or taken by the US intelligences or his records vanished in the hands of a capitalist that sponsored his research. This creates a lot of room for speculation and fables which are beyond the scope of this article.)

One of the researchers who attempted to transfer energy using single pole electricity was Stanislaw Avramenko. Among many other discoveries, he came up with a circuit that could rectify single pole electricity and charge a capacitor. This circuit is named after its inventor, the Avramenko Fork. I played with this circuit until I ended up unbending two wire spark gap leads too far and causing the diodes to fail from the charge that had built up in the capacitor.

I hypothesized that LEDs glow when brought near the high voltage single-pole power supply for the reasons similar to those that cause the diodes in the Avramenko Fork to charge the capacitor.

I also noticed that single-pole power supply can cause Fluorescent lights to glow very brightly. I used a CFL that had a broken internal circuitry to for my experiments

This observation inspired Stanislaw Avramenko to start his research of single-pole electricity.

CFLs start to glow when there is a presence of static electricity and make a dim flash if brought to near the automotive distributor cables. So I made a CFL into a convenient HV detector by using a conventional bulb socket and encapsulating everything in the polycarbonate mayonese jar.

The most spectacular experiment that I conducted was based on my old pin observations. This experiment made me think that of an ignition system that can light the fuel and oxidant mixture in several places within the combustion chamber, at once. I can easily see how this can be applies in gas furnaces and jet engines and to safely detonate explosives. I was too greedy to sacrifice PCB to etch a design like this, so I used same old pencil lead. I think that a kiln-fired mixture of ceramics and metal shavings can be used to make an igniter surface that would not catch on fire or ware out too quickly.

Yes, there were sparks and even some smoke this time…

Eventually, the areas where sparks were jumping started to smolder. As holes got bugger, sparks stopped jumping, but some spark gaps caused the paper to catch on fire. I repeated this experiment several times.

With all those interesting things done I never used this circuit for the intent that I built it for. I intended to repeat the experiment that was conducted in the Russian Academy of Science.

My last experiment speaks for itself. A miniature incandescent light bulb is used. I tried detecting direct current with a coil of wire and compass and it does fluctuate but there is no way I can show this in a photograph. Wait for my next post to see something more spectacular.

Vladimir Tolskiy.

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