FAQ - Fusor Construction Journey in images from the beginning #1

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Richard Hull
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FAQ - Fusor Construction Journey in images from the beginning #1

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Baby steps are always best if you are working in a vacuum. One inches along to hopefully some sort of goal. This is the story of my journey from the first moment in 1996 when I met Tom Login until now in images.
There will be many images! I will also explain in block form, each step in a numbered series of posts beginning here. A URL to the next step is given at the end of each of these postings.

Many of these images were lost in many of my past posts. Here they are again under one fluid, current, historical journey. I have a few new ones as well.

1996

I meet Tom Ligon who worked for Dr. Robert Bussard as his lab rat and engineer. Tom heard that I had a lot of Kiethley electrometers and showed up at my house to buy one. We bonded immediately. He knew I was big into Tesla coiling and after seeing the lab, he said "Hey, you might be interested in what I am working on and try your hand at it. He talked about the Farnsworth fusor and how his boss, Bussard, had tasked him to introduce the fusor to a wide range of amateur scientists. Tom had written an article on the fusor and submitted it to the Sci-Fi magazine "Analog". Tom was an author who had stories printed there in the past. Analog demurred to consider a fact article appearing in their Sci-Fi mag. Tom said maybe I could inoculate the Tesla community and left a copy of his unpublished article with me to read.

I was focused on Tesla magnifier work at that time and let the idea of a fusor ride, much like "Analog" was doing.

Teslathon 1997

Tom noticed my inactivity and told Bussard he might have an opportunity to infect a rather large, functioning group of amateur Tesla coil builders at my Teslathon if he could put together a roving demo fusor for show and tell. Bussard immediately approved and funded it. Tom had a very crude, but functional, Fusor assembled in a squat nalgene vacuum lab desiccator. The day of the event he was there pumping down his demo fusor. On demoing it, many folks gathered around in awe as the plasmoid glowed within the confinement of the inner grid. The best Tom could do in the ever out-gassing chamber, was about 43 microns after 2 hours of pumping. Video was taken by me of the event. and I have images of Tom and that "seed corn" demo fusor that changed my direction immediately. his paper was long and tedious, but here is his paper functioning!! Nothing beats a demo of the real thing! I submit the seven captioned images in this post now that you have some context.

After viewing this introductory effort in the images below, you will want to follow my subsequent fusion path at

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13051&p=84813#p84813

Richard Hull
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Tom Ligon at Teslathon 1997.  He worked for Robert Bussard
Tom Ligon at Teslathon 1997. He worked for Robert Bussard
Tom at the Teslathon explaining the principles of the fusor on our whiteboard.
Tom at the Teslathon explaining the principles of the fusor on our whiteboard.
Here is the first demo fusor ever made, but not by an amateur.  Not very pretty, but in turned me around to a new focus
Here is the first demo fusor ever made, but not by an amateur. Not very pretty, but in turned me around to a new focus
A closeup of of Tom's demo shows the two grids.  The outer grid is needed when inside a non-conducting vessel
A closeup of of Tom's demo shows the two grids. The outer grid is needed when inside a non-conducting vessel
Here is Tom's demo fusor working at Teslathon 97. The red is due to the video camera
Here is Tom's demo fusor working at Teslathon 97. The red is due to the video camera
Tom's Nalgene fusor melted and he built a much finer demo.  We see him at a Sci-Fi conference host by "Analog"
Tom's Nalgene fusor melted and he built a much finer demo. We see him at a Sci-Fi conference host by "Analog"
A close up of Toms fancy demo taken at HEAS 2002. This system later did fusion when Tom went to California with Busssard
A close up of Toms fancy demo taken at HEAS 2002. This system later did fusion when Tom went to California with Busssard
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
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
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