SST plasma tube Answered
I am in the process of creating a plasma tube, similar to those globes but made from an acrylic tube of about 80cm lenght.
In my small scale experimets with a glass bottle instead of the tube I was able to find a way to mix some Argon gas into the vacuum to create the type of plama arc I want.
Problem is the HV part for the much longer tube and how to keep the input voltage at 12v to be electrically save.
To drive the switching part of the HV section a simple quare wave generator with adjustable frequency and pulse width is used.
In my current design I use 5V for the driver and 12V for a TIP122 that drives a modified flyback transformer directly.
Now to specify my problem:
The TIP is good for 100V and up to 5A with proper cooling.
But I would need to make a new HV coil capable of delivering around 80kV at 12-30kHz - that is the easy but time consuming part.
The primary side would have quite some inductance and I fear the TIP122 would soon get into trouble.
So I was thinking of using a IRF260 mosfet instead but they need a proper gate driver for high and accurate switching speeds.
To further seperate the driver from the hot action I thought of using a LED on the driver side connected by a fibre optics cable to the Mosfet driver.
Would it be feasable to use good a transistor to drive the gate of the Mosfet directly or is a gate transformer the better option?
Are there any shematics available for a gate driver that uses an optical input?
And yes, of course I will make an Instructable if I ever get it all working to my satisfaction.