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  • 500,000 volt Van de Graaff Generator Using Cheap Parts

    Huge thank you nickademuss. Your great write up instructed me on the basis of VDG operation and the design enabled me to complete my first ever VDG build. Managed to capture a couple of pictures of the unit in action. The sparks almost don't look real but they are.

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  • 500,000 volt Van de Graaff Generator Using Cheap Parts

    Ok, sorry for the multiple comments. Well I could not stand to wait for the weekend so I implemented an alcohol clean of the VDG and hey presto it now works like a charm. It's not as wild as your build but I'm happy with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0fP76EpC2E watch in HD otherwise video compression cuts out the spark. I've read it before, oil and grease is a VDG killer. Question: Should I try the vinyl coated polyester belt again? (cut the width down so I am sure it is not touching the edges of the tube) Or now I have a working setup with a rubber belt, should I just leave it alone?

    Hi Nickademuss See images posted below, (not sure why some are showing up twice sometimes).. I'm still waiting for my 12" gazing globe but the Ikea bowls were doing pretty well. I did not touch them between experiments. Bottom roller is nylon, top is a PVC pipe wrapped in teflon tape. The top roller is on bearings, see pictures, I heated a pvc tube and pressed skate bearings into it, worked really well. Belt is rubber exercise strap glued. Top comb uses brass pins soldered into a pcb board with a copper plate backing. Bottom comb is similar but standard tin pins. I do not think I have leakage from the bottom of the bowl thanks to the copper ring, but I know it's pretty small. Things I know I need to fix. Bottom comb is too far up on the belt, i'll lower it this weekend. Again, it...see more »Hi Nickademuss See images posted below, (not sure why some are showing up twice sometimes).. I'm still waiting for my 12" gazing globe but the Ikea bowls were doing pretty well. I did not touch them between experiments. Bottom roller is nylon, top is a PVC pipe wrapped in teflon tape. The top roller is on bearings, see pictures, I heated a pvc tube and pressed skate bearings into it, worked really well. Belt is rubber exercise strap glued. Top comb uses brass pins soldered into a pcb board with a copper plate backing. Bottom comb is similar but standard tin pins. I do not think I have leakage from the bottom of the bowl thanks to the copper ring, but I know it's pretty small. Things I know I need to fix. Bottom comb is too far up on the belt, i'll lower it this weekend. Again, it was in this position when I was generating the big sparks. Tube sticks too far into the bowl, I misread your instructions and thought the tube was supposed to stick up far into the bowl. I'll raise it this weekend when I have the system apart for cleaning and finishing. Any advice would be appreciated. Also, have a look at the pic with the white belt, do you think the belt is running too close to the tube walls which is why I built up no charge? The issue is that bottom nylon wheel is wide, 3" wide. It's great for belt tracking, zero issues, thanks to this combined with the top roller with bearings. However it leaves the belt very close to the tube walls, belt is 2" wide. Anyway, let me know what you think. Best Regards Mick

    Hi! Thanks for the fast response. I'll take some more picture and post later today as I didn't document the build very well. This is actually version #2. Version #1 was a quick build and produced reliable 1" sparks. #2 build changed top and bottom pulleys to support a Vinyl coated belt (just like yours) however the belt produced zero charge. I swapped back to a rubber belt. I think the combination of the larger pulleys and wider belt left the belt rubbing on the sides of the tube. I might modify again to try again with that material. With the rubber belt I now think I have a dirt issue, maybe oil on the pulleys. I no longer get an initial large charge. Anyway, when I strip down the build to clean I'll take pictures. Thanks for taking the time to offer your assistance.

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  • 500,000 volt Van de Graaff Generator Using Cheap Parts

    Hi. I've loosely followed your design, thanks. My setup works great when I first turn it on but after the first couple of large spark discharges the intensity starts to drop off. Any idea why this might be?

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