Introduction: X-ray Generator Contest Video

DISCLAIMER!!!: This project can be EXTREMELY dangerous if you do not know what you are doing, in the case of this system, the x-rays are the least of the problem, however a flyback transformer can give you a nasty shock that could even kill you in some cases. The X-ray emissions from this project are not dangerous if you understand the physics of how x-rays are produced and what type they are. Regardless, use shielding. I am NOT responsible for any damages to people or property if you attempt this.

Now that that's aside,this is a video demonstrating my X-ray source that works quite well. It uses a high voltage triode driven by a flyback transformer driven by a traditional Mazilli ZVS circuit. You can see the schematic I used here The ZVS or zero voltage switching circuit is used to drive a flyback transformer from a television set, which the accelerates electrons inside of the triode. The electrons slam against the metal plate and release their energy in the form of an x-ray. It is not a point source, so don't expect to x-ray your friends. This project was built with the intention of producing x-rays with components I already had or wanted to build. This device fulfills its operating requirements as I do not need a high energy point source at the moment. Eventually I will buy a real x-ray tube and test it on this setup. This complete setup will be used in part with an x-ray intensifier and fluorescence spectrometer to measure light output from the screen.

For more projects and follow-ups on this project, see my blog at

UPDATE: This particular video is one of a failure to produce x-rays, see my newest Instructable on why it failed, and how I made it produce x-rays.


wittend (author)2013-11-04

Where can I find information about the 'flyback and ZVS circuit'? I am not familiar with the latter term, but your interesting video sort of expects me to be. Also, can you suggest a source for the lead shielding material that you use? I'm not sure where to find that sort of thing these days.


SpectrHz (author)wittend2013-11-04

Hi, I built the zvs, or zero voltage switching driver, from and various schematics around the web. The Mazilli zvs driver is a very popular way to drive a flyback transformer to produce a High voltage. And I will admit the video wasn't produced with explanation in mind, I made this video for a forum originally, and reposted it here because I thought it was decently produced. Also as for lead shielding, I purchased mine from for 20 or so dollars. In this video however I was wearing a radiological lead jacket that a very generous person provided me with. 
Thanks for the comment.

wittend (author)SpectrHz2013-11-05


I realize that the 'ible is not fully fleshed out, but those bits of info really help me.


carlos66ba (author)2013-09-26

Interesting, but without schematics and drawings it is hard to reproduce hence of limited use other than for entertainment.

SpectrHz (author)carlos66ba2013-09-26

Thanks for the comment. I'm actually going to publish a more detailed set of instructions later, this was just a project video I did for the Eevblog forums. As for limited use, I am using it for testing light output of a fluorescent screen in a fluorescence spectrometer, so It does have a limited use in the case that I was building a piece of lab equipment that I needed, hence the contest.

About This Instructable




Bio: Maker, Engineer, Geek Girl.
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