Lab Pictures 4

September 2007; Room 102-A, Research II

                                NCSU, Raleigh NC

At last it's operational! No ball lightning yet but everything works, at least mostly, and here are the first photos from inside during the initial tests. See the Physics page for the video. The discharge lasted over 1/10 second, nothing anomalous yet. However for some reason the sparker went off and finished blowing its gram of powder through the reactor a couple of 1/30 second frames before the microwaves kicked in. Future tests will include targets that explode from the microwaves, and also sparker discharges that are delayed to coincide with the microwave discharge.

Sparker discharge begins the show, 3 torr pressure in air, loaded with flour and graphite powder

After sparker discharge is over (drat, will be simultaneous later) microwave breakdown starts at base of antennas

Peak of microwave discharge (left out a couple of frames)

End of discharge, dying away; starts and ends at base of antennas

New arrangement of wiring and power distribution; see big new resistors (small older ones blew up), 500 ohms distribute current pulse among magnetrons; variac adjusts power to magnetron filaments (3VAC after another transformer)

South bottom in back

South top in back; resistors vertical (from an old accelerator)

South top front. See old oven transformer I re-wound with new 3 V secondaries, wire insulated to 5000 V to take the big pulse from the cap bank

North bottom in back

Pump with exhaust pipe (to the roof)

N top in back, vertical resistors

Rack showing back of control panel and top tray of capacitors (of two trays)

Front of rack; Fluke 6000 VDC power supply on top, then 2000 VDC power supply, then control panel

Close up behind control panel

Assembled ready to fire from north corner

Ready to fire from south corner

Closer assembled from south

From across the desk ready to go

Damage (scorch marks) at base of antenna after operating at atmospheric pressure. Was bare copper at base then, shown here after adding rubber insulation

Antenna from center of sphere showing some burn marks at base

Plug damage

Insulating the bases of antennas with rubber paint, rubber tape, and shrink tubing

Me running the reactor