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Van de Graaff generator

Discussion in 'Projects, Builds, Woodworking, Metalworks' started by EricTheCat, Jan 29, 2017.



  1. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok I'd rather be Midas Member

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    Good spark length! Nice work.

    Please never use static generators to shock people. It’s not like getting zapped from walking across a carpet. They HURT.

    Same with Tesla coils powered by neon transformers. The 60Hz component is present in the secondary current. They hurt too unless one employs a Faraday cage/suit.

    Have a safe and fun Halloween.

    R.
     
  2. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I love blowing shit up. :) :blew up:
    Dang, nice specimens you have in that other thread. I do collect rocks, mainly lake superior agates which are common around here. Also I have fossils, a few pieces of petrified wood and a handful of Indian artifacts that I have found. Oddly enough, I am on vacation this week and leaving for Western South Dakota tomorrow to go out rock collecting for 2 days. Normally I don't venture too far from home but when I drove through South Dakota (to Wyoming for the eclipse) I told myself I must plan a trip out there sometime, I was thinking maybe next year. Then it just so happened right when I got home a rock shop that puts on field trips announced a field trip to collect rocks in South Dakota this October so I took it as a sign and jumped at the opportunity. I've been on other trips organized by that shop to collect lake superior agates and it's always a great time.

    Here's my favorite agate find so far, .75 pound. It's an amazing piece. This picture does not do it justice.
    Agate-RedWite.75-2013-IMG_2680SS.jpg
     
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  3. GOLDZILLA

    GOLDZILLA Harvurd Koleej Jeenyus Midas Member

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    Have you ever tried to put them in a vacuum ? Something like that would be rad in a carboy.
     
  4. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Thanks, and good point. I know I won't be setting anything up for the day of Halloween as I live at an out of the way enough spot no one has come to trick-or-treat in the 8 years I have lived there even if I put out lights and everything. If I was to set one of these up for Halloween I would opt for the Van de Graaff generator, it might hurt if you get sparked but it is relatively harmless. As you point out the tank circuit in a Tesla coil is very dangerous. Also Jacob's ladders are great for Halloween but only if they are built in a way it is impossible for someone to come close to touching any charged surface.

    I have tried something similar with a less powerful coil by adding a large spherical incandescent light that has clear glass to get a plasma-ball type effect. (Not a pure vacuum, which is preferable because a vacuum exposed to enough energy can produce x-rays). Tesla coils can spark right through the glass. I have had better success using an auto ignition coil. One Halloween I dressed up as a wizard and I made a staff with a bulb on top to act like a plasma ball, with an ignition coil, 555 timer, and a big stack of D-cell batteries. That too could spark through the glass but it was a mild shock which provided much entertainment at a party I went to. These days you can probably buy a plasma ball cheaper than building one unless you already have parts for it.
     
  5. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    How did your Black Hills rock expedition go, Eric? Catch any fossils? (Or other new rocks?)

    BF
     
  6. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I will let you know, for sure! I just arrived in the place at our meet up location last night. We are meeting today and tomorrow to go out collecting. Wind may be an issue especially tomorrow but otherwise the weather looks good. If you want to see a couple pics from my journey I added them to the random pics thread last night. http://goldismoney2.com/threads/random-pictures-thread.1554/page-198#post-1264523

    Off I go...

    Cheers,
    Eric
     
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  7. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you left Tuesday - my bad.

    BF
     
  8. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I have returned and I must say that was quite the adventure. I didn't find anything too spectacular but definitely it was worth it to find things that I would not find around here. I will try to get some pics of the specimens I brought home in the daylight tomorrow.

    The first day we drove down to a property in the area of the badlands that is known for fossils and artifacts. The way there took us through parkland where we saw many buffalo, prairie dogs, sheep (maybe bighorn sheep?) and a coyote. The property was about as far off the beaten path as I have ever been. There I found some fossilized bone fragments including jaw segments/teeth of ancient sheep and very small deer (will get the names later). Also I found a pretty nice snail fossil which is my favorite from that location.

    The second day we went up to an old mine in the black hills. We mainly searched their dump pile. I forgot what they used to mine there. I found a number of schist specimens with garnets embedded, green and black tourmaline, apatite and probably some other stuff.

    Anyway here is a pic from the site to give you an idea of the kind of area we were searching the first day. Tomorrow I'll try to get some specimen pics.
    SD-BlackHillsArea-FossilHunt-2017-10-22-Img_5464S.jpg
     
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  9. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Okay I cleaned up the rock and got some pics of some of the better pieces (not cleaning any of the bone yet but I did get some pics, a little gun shy about cleaning that until I read up on it as I know some bone can be real sensitive to water).

    Take each of these IDs with a grain of sodium chloride, I intend to take some more time to confirm my hunches. I don't find any of this kind of thing around here so it is rather new to me. The IDs I am positive about are garnet in schist, muscovite, black tourmaline, most of the green tourmaline and of course the quartz.

    Garnet in schist (I have more of this too, these are just the better looking pieces)
    GarnetInSchist-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5474SSS.jpg

    GarnetInSchist-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5476SSS.jpg

    GarnetInSchist-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5484SSS.jpg

    Muscovite (Hard to tell from the pic but there are hexagonal patterns to the mica)
    Muscovite-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5472SSS.jpg

    Not sure what the purple stuff is but I really like it, also below is the muscovite and some quartz on a 5 gallon pale for scale
    Muscovite-PurpleNotSure-Quartz-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5469SSS.jpg

    Black tourmaline in matrix
    BlackTourmaline-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5480SSS.jpg

    BlackTourmaline-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5481SSS.jpg

    Blue apatite on the left (I think) and green tourmaline on the right
    Apatite-Tourmaline-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5466SSS.jpg

    Green tourmaline
    GreenTourmaline-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5482SSS.jpg

    In mica
    GreenTourmalineInMica-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5488SSS.jpg

    Tourmaline-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5467SSS.jpg

    Fossils (individual tooth and right jaw section are likely some type of Oreodont (sheep), left jaw section may be a hypertragulid (small deer-like animal)
    Fossils-2017-SD-Trip-Img_5489SSS.jpg

    I hope you enjoy! :)
     
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  10. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Nice plate fulla rocks, Eric :D They are full of tiny garnets, cool!
    Surprised you found so much tourmaline, I like the mica/green tourmaline sample best. Nice close-up photography BTW.
    Good you got a few fossils, makes the trip worthwhile, eh?

    BF
     
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  11. EricTheCat

    EricTheCat Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Thanks Bottom Feeder. Looks like I better stop putting off the task of making some display cases. ;) At the time with the rock I thought I might be keeping a lot of duds. Now that they are cleaned up and sorted I think I did pretty good. So yeah, for the fossils it was worth a long drive that went through rough road and rough pasture dodging prairie dog holes, ruts and cactus. Also for the rock it was worth the mile uphill hike, the hours of billy-goating on a hill side of loose rock and a mile walk back with a heavy bucket of rock and heavy tools (that I ended up not using). :D Already looking forward to next year if I can make the trip.

    I have determined that the purple mineral is Lepidolite. Also now I am more confident in my initial hunch that the blue mineral is apatite after researching further. Some of the mica may be lager grain Muscovite.

    Cheers :beer:,
    Eric
     

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