Introduction: Steampunked Plasma-beam Generator

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small ele…

Hi everybody 

I just returned from my steam-powered-laboratory (Dampfkraftlabor, in german) to present you my latest invention:

The Steampunked plasma-beam generator:

To get an first impression please watch this short movie

Notice: Don´t wreck your health and please obay the following advices:

***Disclaimers***This instructable works with voltages in excess of 250V. This is more than enough to give you a potentially fatal electric shock if handled incorrectly. If you are unfamiliar with how to work with high voltage, please refrain from performing this instructable. Exercise caution throughout the following steps to avoid electrical dangers and also use insulated tools like pliers and screwdrivers and so on.

If you choose to undertake this instructable, you do so at your own risk.

And here ist the instructable 

Step 1: Construction of the Chassis

As you know I love to work a lot with red vulcanized fiber material,  brass screws  and copper parts.
So I chose an old antique handlamp chassis and modified it  as you can see in the following pictures

Step 2: The Electronic Inside

Here you see all the components :

a switch
an green LED
an mini flickering bulb with E10 socket
an E10 socket holder
an AA battery holder (and the AA-battery of course)
an banana-plug ant its counterpart
a small piece of copper wire  ø1,5 mm
the well known former flash electronic of an disposal camera
The steampunked modified chassis

Step 3: Step by Step Explanation for the Electronic Works

In this instructable of mine you will find all the answers to your detailed questions about the electronic works;-)))

The mini flickering bulb with an E10 socket  can be ordered by the manifacturer Konstsmiede

Step 4: Combine the Components

And now you can build the three parts together

Step 5: Start the Generator

To start the generator switch it on  
Maybe a small light spot occurs at the top of the metal flame-cathodes.
If not,  just come near to the glass bulb with your hand.
When  you move slowly you can see that the spot comes in even if you don´t touch the glass.
Then touch the top of the glass and the plasma-beam rises up.

Step 6: Explanation How It Works

This trick is easily explained: To ignite the neon-gas filled bulb you need about 140 Volts minimum. Because of the high resistance of the whole construction the ignition is impossible. When you touch the glass top you lower the inner resistance and the tension rises up to ignition level. Afterwards the bulb needs only  about 90 Volts for running and that is why the plasma beam stays on without touching. 

And that´s it

Take care of yourself and enjoy this little gadget

Cheers Aeon Junophor