Introduction: X-Ray Radiator With TV Parts and a Vacuum Tube

About: just for fun

this intractable will show you the basics of constructing a DIY X-ray machine with scrap TV parts and radio tubes

Step 1: Part One: Safety Notes

In no way, shape, or form do I endorse or recommend the replication of this experiment in any way and if you do decide to replicate the experiment do so at your own risk. X-ray radiation can lead to cancers, cancerous tumours, birth defects, severe skin damage, burns, and many other complications that may lead to severe injury of death over time. Use a geiger counter to measure radiation levels and if dangerous amounts of radiation are present use lead or heavy metal shields to protect yourself.

Lethal voltages and currents are present, well exceeding 60kV @ 5mA + and extreme caution while handling the lines and suitable wire insulations and safety measures should be used.

Step 2: Part Two: How Does This Device Generate X-rays?

To understand how this device makes X-rays you must understand the process in which they are created. So to help depict the operation of the X-ray tube I have described what happens inside of it.

In my device X-rays are emitted when highly energized electrons collide with a target inside of a vacuum. The vacuum is in place to allow the electrons to travel with little resistance. The process of creating X-rays begins when an electron is emitted from the negatively charged Cathode at an extremely high velocity. It then collides with a charged metal target called the Anode releasing tremendous amounts of energy as it collides with the Anode.

The kinetic energy stored in the electron once it is accelerated by 70kv is tremendous. However due to inertia, it resists change in velocity when it collides with the Anode. Due to the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, the energy must be transferred into a different form because of the rapid deceleration caused by the collision with the Anode. Thus it reduces the energy being stored in the electron in the form of kinetic energy. Simply put, if there is no transfer of energy it would violate the first law of thermodynamics, so the energy must be transferred.

Due to the high frequency high voltage pulsed dc current being applied, the electron's velocity and mass is high enough to allow the transfer of its energy when it hits the target to be changed into the form of X-ray radiation.

Step 3: Part Three: X-ray Tube I Used

To achieve good results I used a 2X2/2X2A vacuum tube diode rectifier in reverse to allow the most effective production of X-ray radiation. The photos depict the way I applied charge to it.

Step 4: Part Four: High Voltage Driver Circuit

This circuit uses an old TV flyback transformer to produce high voltage DC. You can buy similar ones online for cheap witch I would recommend. You could also take apart a CRT television and salvage the transformer witch will be attached to the picture tube with a thick wire. than use a multimeter to check the pins located on the bottom and the two sets with the lowest resistance will likely be the primary and feedback windings and than put them in series to have a centre tap. Next you need to find the high voltage ground, bring the high voltage positive near all the rest of the pins and the one it arcs to will be the high voltage negative. I have included the schematics in the PDF attached. Please note: a ZVS (Zero Voltage Switching) flyback driver will not work as it does not produce the ideal frequency. Ideally the primary frequency should be within audible range (can be heard by ear) and may produce a high pitch wine, this is completely normal. Using a transformer with a built in capacitor on the secondary will reduce the performance of the X-Ray tube as the voltage spikes that cause bursts of high velocity electrons will be eliminated. A high voltage diode is almost always required on the secondary in order to produce X-Rays correctly. if your transformer does not have one its easier to buy a new transformer that has one. As a new transformer will be inexpensive if it has one. The diodes are relatively expensive as a diode rated for that voltage is not very easy to find

I have made the decision to NOT provide any more detail on construction due to the hazardous nature of this experiment.

Step 5: What Have I Learned?

I learned that high energy particles behave differently in vacuums and the deceleration of electrons and electrical break down of of electrons can release energy in the form of X-ray radiation.

Test results

With an input current of 3.16A DC to the circuit I got a read out on my GQ-GMC-300E geiger counter upwards of 33,500 CPM of radiation at a distance of 1 foot from the X-ray emission tube and at three feet I got a reading of 8,500 CPM. I also tested with my Civil Defence geiger survey meter to check my results and they were similar. This validation of test results eliminates the possibility that the results were doped by the presence of electromagnetic radiation and static energy emitted by the high voltage inducing a current in the geiger counters PCB.