Introduction: Homemade Xray Machine


I'd like to Show you my latest project, a homemade xray machine.

But before I start I have to point out, that xrays are really dangerous! To protect my enviroment, I use plenty of lead. So if you handle with xrays be careful and protect everyone...

Some interesting links:

Step 1: High Voltage Power Supply

To produce xrays using a simple vacuum rectifier tube you'll need a high voltage power supply. I use the popular ZVS-circuit, an AC-flyback transformer and a cascade, to increase the Output-voltage up to 50-60 kV. For the cascade I took 10nF/20kV capacitors and 20kV/5mA diodes. You'll also need a powerful transformer (f.e. a 12V/250VA like mine).

Step 2: The Xray Tube

You can use several vacuum tubes for producing xrays. In my case I use 2x2a recitier. Of cource you can take real xray tubes f.e. from a dentist too. They are offered on ebay for less than 80 USD.

Step 3: The Housing

To protect everyone from the xrays you have to put the vacuum tube in a safe housing. My housing is made of Wood with 3 layers of lead at the outside. Only through a small window covered with thin aluminum foil the xrays can go out.

Step 4: The Photographic Xray Film

To see the xrays you'll need a xray box. Inside there is a xray sensitive foil, which converts the xrays into visible light (f.e. green light). This foil is placed behind the object you want to shine through.

Step 5: The Whole Setup and the First Test

As you can see in the circuit, the xray tube is connected to the high voltage. To Limit the current, there should be a 2.2 MOhm resistor (10 W/40kV-type). The Output voltage is being measured with an ammeter and a 1 GOhm resistor. Therefore 1 µA corresponds to 1 kV. The current through the vacuum tube can be read from a 5mA ammeter.

To get the pictures a camera is located behind the xray-foil. I use the 10s-self-timer and 30" exposure. In the mean time I run out of the room and switch on the power with my remote control. Within the 30 seconds I switch on and off 3-4 times to prevent overheating of the vacuum tube and arcs.

Step 6: The Results

Maybe you want to take a look at my YouTube-channel:

more physics projects:

Thank's for watching and stay curious ;-)

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016