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Picture of The 300 Volt Steampunk Plasma Lantern
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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!!!
 
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Step 1: The Material for your Steampunk Lantern

Picture of The Material for your Steampunk Lantern
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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
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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!!!
bmiller912 days ago

It works :-)

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thechocolatist (author)  bmiller912 days ago
Wow!!! A very nice glowing!!! That looks awesome!
bmiller917 days 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)  bmiller917 days 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)  bmiller916 days 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 Capri3 months ago
I can't seem to get the light to work. Any help?
thechocolatist (author)  Bob Capri3 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...