High Voltage "Vacuum Tubes"
Home Projects

The high voltage stuff:

This will be the circuit used for the high voltage generator.
Information on this could be found here.

This is the source were I get my butane from, a modified lighter. You
just put this into a tube and bring it down to the right pressure.

This is a small vacuum tube thing I made from a burned out christmas light.
I made it by making a little hole in the top and using a small wire to pull out the dead filament and this wire holding the filament stands together. Then I put a tube that was 1/4 inch vinyl tubing from home depot. I then vacuumed out the air with my trusty vacuum pump as shown below. It also shows the "pump" and the vacuum tube thing. I sometimes use a gas filling, mainly butane, to make a different color arch. A list of gas fillings and colors could be found here. To decrease the pressure, just pull the plunger while high voltage is flowing through it. The color could change depending on the pressure. Like if there is butane in it, it will make green with low pressure but red with high pressure. Or like with air, it makes blue-ish white with normal or high pressure and purple with low pressure.

This is a cathode ray tube (crt) that I tried making. It didn't work as I expected but it did serve to make the gas filling experiment and see what ionized air looked like. I just hot-glued wires into it and tried to make it air-tight. I stopped the other end with a plastic bb. I used the syringe or "pump" to make the vacuum. The arch gets hot if you bring it down to minimal pressure. That is why it is burned mainly around the anode and only a little around the cathode.

This is a vacuum tube I made which was used to try to make something like a little neon bulb. Since I do not have neon and do not know where to get any, I use butane to do the job. I can't get it to form a plasma on the positive electrode, it just makes a bright green arch. But I found out that if you use the vacuum tube made from the light bulb, just fill it with normal air, then make the pressure really low, then a little purple arch appears between the contacts and the whole posititve electrode starts glowing in a purple-ish light. Like the other tube, the crt, it got burned around the electrodes and the insulation on the wires got slightly melted and burned.