There’s a nice tutorial on Makezine.com on how to create your very own Nuclear Fusor. Of course there are some harmful elements to this project and I don’t think you’ll get as much power out of it than you would initially think, but it’s a very cool to show off to your friends. Below is a brief description of it’s operation.
The typical Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor has two concentric electrical grids inside a vacuum chamber: an inner grid charged to a high negative potential, and an outer grid held at ground potential. Our benchtop version has a stainless steel wire inner grid, and uses the aluminum chamber walls as the outer grid.
A variac controls the AC mains voltage input to a neon sign transformer, which steps up standard 110V AC to the 10kV range. A homemade rectifier converts AC to DC power to charge the grid.
A vacuum pump evacuates the chamber to a pressure of about 0.025mm of mercury, clearing the playing field so the few remaining gas molecules can accelerate without premature low-energy collisions. A vacuum gauge indicates the pressure inside.
High voltage across the grids causes gas molecules to ionize; that is, they lose an electron and become positively charged. Electrostatic forces then accelerate the ions — mainly O2+, N2+, Ar+, and H2O+ — toward the high negative charge at the center. Some ions collide; those that miss the first time are arrested by the electric field and re-accelerated toward the center for another go.
Just a quick update. I added the schematic for the ISPduino project. I do plan on updating the board here soon with a better layout and additional features, like diode protection. I’m open to other idea’s as well.
Currently ran into an issue with these boards where they will program, but will not run the program. I am using the Blink example from Arduino. The programmer (both USBasp and AVRISP mkII) are not reporting any issues. Tried checking to see if the oscillator was the issue by changing the fuses so the Atmega328P would run on the internal clock, but no dice.
Solution Found: The solution to my problem with the ISPduino was in fact the fuse configuration. I was tempting to emulate the fuse configuration of the Arduino, not fully understanding what each fuse does. The reason why I was able to program the chip without an issue and the program would not execute in return was because my brown out detection was set to 2.7V. Not being a normal Arduino the device can be run on voltages lower than 5V and I was using two AA batteries (producing approximately 2.7-3.0V) to power the device. After disabling the brown out detection everything works perfectly now. In addition I have a better understanding of the fuses. I will be throwing together a page further describing the function of each fuse setting.
This was a common project that I originally found on Instructables. When I finally put it together the results weren’t quite what I wanted so I’m adding a little bit of an electronics spin to it. I’ve picked up some peltiers’ and heat sinks off Ebay for a good deal and will be developing a control unit for this project that I can hopefully control from the internet. This project page will be updated as I progress through this project. This is an open source project, of course, and all project files will be made available to you. Enjoy.
Yes I’m jumping on the band wagon for these Arduino spinoffs. Gotta pay tribute somehow. This little project is mainly used to create breadboard prototypes of my projects. It’s designed to work with my USBasp setup from the Programming AVR’s on the Mac tutorial……
Just an update. The new workbench and lab are both complete. The build log is in the works. There will also be some videos coming out here soon covering some of the features of the bench and a wifi antenna I built to receive a wifi signal in the garage.
Alright now for an original post. This week I picked up the wood for workbench #2 and began cutting and putting it together this weekend. I started with the second bench to move all my electronic design gear to the garage. Bench #1 is not particularly designed for such things. I’ll post a picture of what I’m dealing with right now to compare the two. The bench page will be updated with details after I’ve completed it.
CAD files for workbench #2 have been drafted up. Here are some nice pictures for your viewing pleasure. Again I will be updating the project page with progress on the build when I return home. Next up on the agenda is another DipTrace tutorial. Also if you’re just now visiting the page and wandering why the forum looks neglected. It’s because I don’t like it. I’m working on a solution to some of the issues and may use an entirely different setup here shortly.