loading
Picture of The 300 Volt Steampunk Plasma Lantern
34.JPG
Dear Steampunkers, dear friends and followers

As you may know I like it to play with high voltages and with Plasma devices... it's "Science & Adventure"!

With this Instructable I show you how to make your own Steampunk Plasma Lantern, running with 300 Volts! For the power I use a flash unit from a disposal camera from KODAK. This small units are running with only one small battery (1.5V) and are easely to convert.

So, if you are interested, keep reading. We will start with an overview about the stuff you need for your project.

But please only open the case of a disposal camera when you know what you are doing. The capacitor could still have a lot of power in and there is the possibility of an electric shock if you touch the wrong parts!!! If you are not sure how to use the flash unit of a disposal camera please read some tutorials first - and always be careful!!!
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: The Material for your Steampunk Lantern

Picture of The Material for your Steampunk Lantern
08.JPG
18.JPG
01.JPG
07.JPG
First of all you will need an old lantern or something similar. I found one under the snow in our garden.
Further I used the following stuff:
  • a neon filled bulb, called flickering bulb
  • a few brass rings and brass parts for decoration
  • the flash unit from a disposal camera from KODAK
  • a battery clip for a single battery
  • cables, a switch
  • a heavy brass ring for the bottom, some wood and screws

Step 2: Preparing the Flickering Bulb

Picture of Preparing the Flickering Bulb
07.JPG
First of all I prepared the flickering bulb and the high voltage unit, to be sure that it works. I soldered two cables to the bulb, one to the top of the socket and the other one to the bottom. Then I wrapped the socket with tape. You have to do that very good, becaue you don't want to have 300Volts at the metal body of your lantern - that could hurt!!!

Step 3: The High Voltage Unit of a Disposal KODAK Camera

Picture of The High Voltage Unit of a Disposal KODAK Camera
15.JPG
I don't write too much about this step, because if you are able to handle such a unit you will now what you have to do. If not, please read and study first some tutorials about the use of this units from disposal cameras.

As you can see on the picture its very easy to convert such a unit. Take carefully off the capacitor, after you unloaded it. Then solder the cables for the bulb to this two connections, where before the capacitor was on.

Then use a drop of tin-solder to connect the two pins from the switch (see picture).

To finish connect the cables for the battery. Please check the polarity.

That's it. After you connect the battery, the flickering bulb should run...

Step 4: Prepare the Lantern

Picture of Prepare the Lantern
04.JPG
05.JPG
To place the electronic and the Battery into the lantern i had to cut out the bottom. Be brutal, then it will work!!!

Then I painted the lantern black, because I like this look together with brass.

Step 5: Putting together all the Parts

Picture of Putting together all the Parts
16.JPG
17.JPG
20.JPG
18.JPG
21.JPG
First a mounted the bulb with hot glue to the body of the lantern. The bulb fitted exactly into the hole.
The I drilled a small hole for the switch on the side. After that I connected the electronic to the bulb and to the switch.
To close the lamp at the bottom I found a heavy brass ring. This ring is screwed to a wooden stringer (see picture).

Step 6: The Finish

Picture of The Finish
09.JPG
10.JPG
01.JPG
02.JPG
To keep the glass of the lantern at the right place I used two brass rings, which fitted by chance perfectly to the lantern...

As a decoration I placed two nice brass parts to the top of the lantern (see pictures).

That's it. I hope I could give you an inspiration to make your own thing!

Your Chocolatist

Step 7: Some more Pictures...

Picture of Some more Pictures...
34.JPG
steampad collage.jpg
c6er-small.jpg
Dr The BoB22 days ago

That's Brilliant Mate!
When I (eventually, LOL) get around to making one of these I'm going to try incorporating a couple of home-made rechargable power cells to add to the madness of the build.
Thanks for the inspiration! :)

DtB

bmiller9126 days ago

It works :-)

WP_20150704_01_19_40_Pro.jpg
thechocolatist (author)  bmiller9126 days ago
Wow!!! A very nice glowing!!! That looks awesome!
bmiller911 month ago

You tease with the old vacuum tubes ? I wonder if there are any tubes filled with gas which would fluorescence vs. vacuum? I'm off in search ...

thechocolatist (author)  bmiller911 month ago

Hi. All my artwork is a mixture between functional and non functional elements :-) There are old vacuum tubes filled with Krypton or something similar and they will light up with the same high voltage device which I used for this Neon filled bulb... I'm searching too...

It's typically argon and as a class known as "cold cathode" i.e. no heater, and common example would be "Voltage regulator tube". And that's about as far as I got on Wikipedia ;-) Let me know if you come across something that looks like it would be a good candidate! - And not expensive due to collectability :-(
thechocolatist (author)  bmiller911 month ago

I will keep my eyes open. May something like that is interesting too:

http://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_dq2.html

Sincerely Dan

Bob Capri4 months ago
I can't seem to get the light to work. Any help?
thechocolatist (author)  Bob Capri4 months ago

Hi

May this great tutorial from Mr. Junophor can help you concerning the electronic:

http://www.instructables.com/id/High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies-CFL-Neon-Gl/

Sincerely Dan

anthony511 year ago

I am so very impressed with the style and finish you have achieved with such simple componentry.

Beautiful. Reminds me of the Battery Powered Brass lantern from Zork.
Junophor2 years ago
Dear Sir

Well done!!!
I like this combining brass parts and the black couloured other parts

Yours Aeon Junophor

I love the look of this. Where do you use it? A night light or something else?
thechocolatist (author)  bricabracwizard2 years ago
Thanks for your comment. I will use it in my VW Splitwindow camper. The flickering light is very romantic to drink a glas of wine...