Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

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Richard Hull
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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:47 pm

Charging monster discharge caps is a snap. Tiny worthless HV supplies work great! Just put a suitable high ohm charging resistor in series with the supply and a good voltmeter across the cap. A small neon transformer with a trippler or quadrupler can easily supply 60kv, no problem and will pretty much self limit as the capacitor charges.
All my knowledge here goes way back to can crushers, coin shrinkers, repulsion coils and water arc guns. Charging a big, instantly lethal, high voltage capacitor is very easy.

Spark gaps and hydrogen thyratrons make the best high current switches if you can't afford or obtain a Maxwell pressurized, triggered switch.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Mark Rowley
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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:00 am

Thanks Richard. I'll go the route of the tripler. Parts on the way.

Btw, back in the early 2000's I purchased your Fusor VHS tapes and have wondered if you converted any of it to DVD?
Did you make any cassettes on the water arc experiments as well?

Mark Rowley

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Richard Hull
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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:33 pm

Everything is converted to DVD and I haven't produced a new video since 2001. I used the Amiga and its Video Toaster add-on in the early 90's to produce all the videos.

My 24 page, original catalog listing and directory of what is on each tape is still valid. I have placed the old paper catalog within a bunch of word files which can be sent via e-mail.

I ended all VHS tape sales in 2005 and have sent out only DVD's since that time.

I have thought about doing a new fusor educational video, but have been slow to move. The first two videos were produced in 1999 and 2000 and upon reviewing them I find them "charming" and issued when I was but a "babe in the fusion woods". They are just embarrassing enough to set me to consider a more modern exposition.

I am only given pause due to the very nature of the fusor.net completeness on the subject and the vast store of data here that would be nearly impossible to fold into a 2 hour video.

Thanks for the kick in the butt on this, however. Such an effort just slipped one notch up on the to-do-maybe list.

Richard Hull

P.S. Note: This is far off topic and I apologize to the originator of this thread. I might throw more light on this in my trading post store in future.

P.P.S. OOOPs! Mark originated this thread!!!.....As it is his thread, I am far less apologetic. He asked....I answered.
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Dennis P Brown » Sat May 25, 2019 11:58 am

A follow up on your post about the 20 kV supply transformer you do have. I used a 32 kV transformer with similar current out put and while fusion was ok (between 100 k to 200 k neutrons) it didn't exactly overwhelm my counter. While a 20 kV high current supply will create neutrons, the rate might be very low for a standard chamber. I've seen that a 2.75 inch cross was used and got neutron levls similar to better than mine using just 19 - 20 kV. So, do consider a fusor chamber using a small cross for that 20 kV supply. I think that is your best method for that x-former type.

Off your topic but does relate to the fusion viability issue. Heavy ion fusion via inertial drive might very well achieve very high level net power fusion. This type of fusion drive was never allowed to progress (far too close to weapons.) That type of system (vastly superior to the long wavelength laser of NIF) has real possibilities using straight forward physics and might be a possible path to economical fusion - just that no one has every really tried it (past a minor system built at Los Alamos) since only government labs can afford the accelerators and due to concerns about weapon physics, can't do that type of work.

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Mark Rowley » Sat May 25, 2019 5:11 pm

Based on Richards suggestion I’ll be charging the pulse cap with a 3 stage voltage multiplier. All the parts are in and that component should be completed this afternoon.

Other than working on the new Fusor, my big delay with Columbus has been the spark gap or trigger. I’ll most likely start with a basic 1cm gap for 30kV and then upgrade later to a trigatron design.

After a test shot with air plasma, I’ll assemble the PEM Cell so it can adapt to both the Columbus and cross Fusor platforms.

Mark Rowley

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Richard Hull » Sat May 25, 2019 6:06 pm

Of course, As long noted with pulsed, putt-putt fusion devices. The proof of fusion is best done with bubble detectors, or, if potent enough, activation efforts.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Mark Rowley » Sat May 25, 2019 9:09 pm

Activation will be the first attempt followed by getting one of the bubble detectors. But I can’t imagine trying till i swap in the quartz tube.

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Robert Dwyer » Sun May 26, 2019 4:57 pm

It would also be interesting to see the neutron and gamma pulse waveforms with a scintillator/pmt or perhaps some sort time-of-flight detectors. Of course that is easier said than done, but the waveforms of the radiation could tell you a lot, and with enough distance you could, based on timing of the pulses to the pinch, show separate gamma and neutron pulses which could also help prove fusion, besides Bubble dosimeters and activation. You could back out the energy spectra of the neutrons as well which would be interesting. I don't know too much about the dynamics of this design pinch, but im guessing that if you see any M=0 instabilities like in a plasma focus pinch, your fusion may come from beam target interactions which would give a slightly higher neutron energy spectra.
If we throw more money at it, it will have to work... right?

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Mark Rowley » Wed May 29, 2019 6:36 am

That would be a fun secondary project Robert. Once things are up and stable I may give it a go.

For a future iteration, I'm considering a moderately scaled down version where I can increase the cyclic rate of the discharges. While maintaining 30kV, I'm pondering how low in pulse cap value I can go and still generate detectable neutrons. Similar to the smaller volume Fusors (eg. 2.75 cross), maybe dropping the volume from a 17" long / 2" dia quartz tube to a 8.5" / 1" dia tube will allow for unexpected adjustment, hence the possibility of 5uF or considerably less. If the cyclic rate was high enough, detectable neutrons below 1uF may be possible. As indicated earlier by many, a bubble detector would be the best detection method for such a putt-putt type system. I can only imagine the electrical QRM and havoc it would wreak on normal detection gear at 20pps or greater.

Regarding my current (original) arrangement, I'm hoping to test it with air later next week. Deuterium soon after followed by the quartz tube upgrade.

Mark Rowley

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Re: Columbus-I Pinch Tube Build

Post by Richard Hull » Wed May 29, 2019 4:57 pm

I agree. With a smaller volume, tube the discharge current should increase, if all other factors held constant (same as with cylindrical wire diameter.) rather rapid rep rates with a proper switch can work well with 0.5uf in a low inductance circuit.

As activation will save a lot of money over Bubble dosimeter costs, the system needed to get detectable activation will demand a lot from the experimenter in controlling the savaging of the tube's internal environment, allowing it to function long enough to attain suitable activation.

Note!! With any pulsed-discharge system at elevated voltages the X-ray pulse will be fearsome!!! Remember!!! The voltage of the discharge determines the x-ray energies. The current determines the number of x-ray photons produced, (intensity of the x-ray blast). There is a vast gulf affixed between 30kv @10ma and 30kv @3,000 amps! The actual dosing to a human, on a pulsed system, is a function of rep-rate and current in each pulse.

Be mindful of shielding and the inverse square law in this type of experiment as it is, as usual, all about safety from X-rays and not neutrons.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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