Into the Plasmaverse Hack Chat

Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range? Just what you see, pal.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Jay Bowles will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at noon Pacific Time.

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Join Hack ChatMost kids catch on to the fact that matter can exist in three states -- solid, liquid, and gas -- pretty early in life, usually after playing in the snow a few times. The ice and snowflakes, the wet socks, and the fog of water vapor in breath condensing back into water droplets all provide a quick and lasting lesson in not only the states of matter but the transitions between them. So it usually comes as some surprise later when they learn of another and perhaps more interesting state: plasma.

For the young scientist, plasma is not quite so easy to come by as the other phases of matter, coming about as it does from things they're usually not allowed to muck with. High voltage discharges, strong electromagnetic fields, or simply a lot of heat can strip away electrons from a gas and make the ionized soup that we call plasma. But once they catch the bug, few things can compare to the dancing, frenetic energy of a good plasma discharge.

Jay Bowles picked up the plasma habit quite a while back and built his YouTube channel around it. Tesla coils, Van de Graaff generators, coils and capacitors of all types -- whatever it takes to make a spark, Jay has probably made and used it to make the fourth state of matter. He'll join us on the Hack Chat to talk about all the fun things to do with plasma, high-voltage discharge, and whatever else sparks his interest.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Dan Maloney09/23/2020 at 20:08 0 comments

    Jay Bowles12:48 PM

    Dayton Aardema12:48 PM
    Wait, really?

    Jay Bowles12:48 PM
    yeah. He's planning 2 123 foot towers, in bipolar configuration.

    Dayton Aardema12:48 PM
    And the... FCC is chill with that

    Same thing happened to me! Measuring HV is a color TV, got zapped through a screwdriver I was levering up the anode cap with. 37,000 volts through my right hand and exited through my waist - jumped to the grounded outlet strip on the front of the bench.

    Jay Bowles12:49 PM
    Nope. I have no idea how he will do so. Though, FCC is chill with his 40 foot tall (tallest in the world) 200kW coil currently

    Jay Bowles12:50 PM
    Dan, welcome to the 37,000 volt club.. haha. No seriously, glad you were okay

    Dayton Aardema12:50 PM
    FCC is the worst. Why can't I blast LOFI electroswing at 1kW from the university transmitter? amirite

    Dayton Aardema12:50 PM

    The screwdriver ended up stck in the wall behind me. I guess my arm muscles took on a life of their own at that moment and I threw it backwards. Good times.

    Jay Bowles12:52 PM
    If you guys want to see a tesla coil that will blow you away...this is Greg's tesla coil. Solid state, largest in the world, and...this was filmed AT the old Wardenclyff site using tesla's old grounding system. One thing to note.....Greg found the Tesla's old ground was still better than anything he could set up, and the tesla coil would not stop pulling ground strikes. Check out the viddy!

    LesWright12:52 PM
    LOL been there! Broke a chair once, faffing with a 3.3kv mains transformer.

    Jay Bowles12:53 PM
    Dan, that is amazing hahaha

    Jay Bowles12:53 PM
    Did you fall out of the chair?

    LesWright12:53 PM
    Yep, but the char legs got caught under the desk on my way back!

    Dave Blundell12:54 PM
    My hit knocked me to the ground. I was standing over a running car

    LesWright12:54 PM
    Good times! :-D

    Tom Nardi12:55 PM
    @Jay Bowles Not HV related, but what is your review of this film?

    Jay Bowles12:55 PM
    As serious and important as it is to be is remarkable how many of us start out our journeys the same way......a single shock that makes you respect electric

    Dayton Aardema12:55 PM
    Speaking of good time, ima bow out, friends

    Jay Bowles12:55 PM
    Thanks for stopping by Dayton!

    Tom Nardi12:55 PM

    Bye Dayton, thanks for stopping by

    Jay Bowles12:56 PM
    Wait a second.......

    Jay Bowles12:56 PM
    That was a fun movie.

    Tom Nardi12:57 PM
    Maybe we can do film making Hack Chat next time

    LesWright12:57 PM
    Never seen it, I will check it out!

    Jay Bowles12:57 PM
    lol....I am also a television actor. That was the last film I was in. A fun independent film

    Jay Bowles12:57 PM
    Since them i'm 90% youtube.

    Dave Blundell12:58 PM
    that tesla coil test @ tesla's coil is insane.

    Dave Blundell12:58 PM
    how the hell do you power a tesla coil that does 120 - 200000W /

    Dave Blundell12:58 PM

    Jay Bowles12:58 PM
    Right?! Speaking with greg, he built the coil to be fully scalable. So, to make it three times taller (120 feet) he just needs to scale every component up by 3, and all things will still work the same

    Ken Berkun12:59 PM
    many hamsters, but they scale nicely

    Dave Blundell12:59 PM
    I guess that's not THAT bad

    Dave Blundell12:59 PM
    120,000W = 250A @ 480

    Dave Blundell12:59 PM
    which still makes me want to vomit thinking about it

    Jay Bowles12:59 PM
    Haha. I too would like to know how it is powered. Well folks, I need to return to my 9-5

    Erlend Ervik1:00 PM
    Jay: Tesla Explorer.. still talking with him?

    Dave Blundell1:00 PM
    but it's within the realm of traditional power delivery

    Jay Bowles1:00 PM
    I have spoken to Explorere, but it has been a while. He does great work!

    Dave Blundell1:00 PM
    @Jay Bowles throw a link out to your channel. I want to go distract myself from my 9-5

    Dave Blundell1:00 PM

    OK, thanks Jay - I was just about to call time. Thanks so much for coming on today, we really appreciate it. And thanks to everyone for coming.

    Jay Bowles1:00 PM
    It has been nice speaking with you all. If you have...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney09/23/2020 at 20:06 0 comments

    Hi everyone, welcome to Hack Chat! I'm Dan, I'll be the mod today as Jay Bowles takes us Into the Plasmaverse.

    I know he was planning on doing this during his lunch break, which we really appreciate. But I haven't seen him log on yet - you out there, Jay?

    Jay Bowles joined the room.12:00 PM

    Nicolas Tremblay joined the room.12:00 PM

    Arsenijs12:00 PM

    There we go. Hi Jay!

    Tom Nardi12:01 PM
    Like magic

    Jay Bowles12:01 PM
    Hi Dan, sorry for the wait. My internet had plans of its own!

    Jay Bowles12:01 PM
    I am free for a full hour, for any questions related to high voltage physics!

    No worries, thanks for soldiering through. Can you kick things off with a little about yourself?

    Jay Bowles12:04 PM
    I'd be glad to. I live in Seattle (just outside of it) and am the host of Plasma Channel, a youtube channel dedicated to high voltage physics, ionic physics, and just about anything lightning related. I've had this passion since I made my first tesla coil when I was 15. Funny story - I made a big tesla coil and used it for my high school senior project. When I turned it on in my physics class, nearly lost their heads.


    Plasma Channel

    I firmly believe that through physics, all things are possible. High Voltage physics, in particular, is pure magic. Let me show you the magic I see! This cha...

    Read this on YouTube

    You didn't fry anyone, did you?

    Jay Bowles12:05 PM
    Since then, I have moved quite a bit, but constantly help experimenting and committing fully to self discovery.

    Erlend Ervik12:05 PM
    Have you explored keV? like acclerate eletrons in vacuum?

    Erlend Ervik12:05 PM
    Seems like a skipped field, I would have.. but I don't have the tools for doing anything interesting

    Jay Bowles12:06 PM
    Erlend, that is a great question. It is a topic I plan on intesting in soon. I'm purchasing vacuum equipment this month.

    Jay Bowles12:06 PM
    investing in soon*. The limitation for me has always been vacuum chambers and a lack of experience with glasswork

    Erlend Ervik12:07 PM
    b.t.w. need any negative output voltage "TV" flybacks?

    Jay Bowles12:07 PM
    I never turn down a good flyback. They are thor's gift to the world

    Nicolas Tremblay12:08 PM
    Speaking of those, where would be the best place to scrounge one?

    Jay Bowles12:08 PM
    Truly hard to find, are AC flyback transformers though. They do exist! I found that a few higher end brands of ionic air purifiers use AC flybacks, attached to an external voltage multiplier (inside the device)

    Donna.W joined the room.12:08 PM

    Jay Bowles12:08 PM
    Well, I am a strong advocate for goodwill.

    Jay Bowles12:09 PM
    I find so many of my flybacks at goodwill for 3-5 dollars. The little ones you can find inside of portable battery powered glass-tube TV's.

    Woe to the death of CRT monitors and TVs. Flybacks were once in abundance

    Erlend Ervik12:09 PM
    Jay: Well, I got a HV supply I should probably take a chance at trying to boot up, and fix some PCB design flaws

    LesWright12:09 PM
    AC flybacks are still in production for things like CO2 lasers. They show up on ebay. But sure old B&W monitors or oscilloscopes are a good bet too.

    Erlend Ervik12:09 PM
    And yes, got one positive output flyback and one negative output flyback on it

    LesWright12:10 PM
    You can also successfully wind your own as well.

    Jay Bowles12:10 PM
    However, you can also buy them here I recently discovered:

    Nicolas Tremblay12:10 PM
    So, old CRT are the best place for HV parts?

    Erlend Ervik12:11 PM
    Unless you can get physics lab stuff, I would guess it is

    Jay Bowles12:11 PM
    You can find new parts online. Like the link I provided above. They are very, very cheap.

    Erlend Ervik12:11 PM
    You can still find some manufacturers online, and you can ask them to do variations for you

    Jay Bowles12:11 PM
    I personally prefer the adventure of taking apart devices to extract their HV components. You learn about devices and circuits...

    Read more »

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