From: firstname.lastname@example.org (N. Thornton)
Subject: Re: X-Rays in the garage?
Date: 2 Oct 2002 00:51:35 -0700
NNTP-Posting-Date: 2 Oct 2002 07:51:35 GMT
> Hello everyone,
> This will no doubt sound bizarre and probably doesn't belong in this
> group... If there's a better group I can put this question to, please
> let me know.
> Sometime a year or so ago I found this fascinating website:
> I got to thinking that I could meld this sort of thing together with
> another favorite pastime of mine, selective genetic breeding, and come
> up with a way to induce mutations in the seeds of various plant
> species. The ultimate goal would be to bombard seeds with x-rays for a
> given duration, and observe the results in any that still germinate
> and grow.
That is what would happen to you, never mind the plants. Sure you
don't want children?
If you do produce interesting plants you might be famous, but you may
well lose something more important than that, like health.
> Anyways, I don't have access to x-ray tubes, and I don't have any
> vacuum tubes at present, but I _do_ have a clear glass 5" lightbulb
> and also one of the once popular "Eye of the Storm" globes. What I was
> wondering is this: If a send very high voltages through an ordinary
> clear glass lightbulb using a small disk of foil externally on the top
> as a ground, could I excite the said foil target into emitting x-ray
Its quite easy to make a proper tube. Done any glass work before? You
could pull the innards out of a big valve (vacuum tube), put the
required metal disks in for A and K - your anode is ready there of
course, maybe needing coating. Put a strip of magnesium across 2 of
the pins, stick a glass tube on, vac pump it and heat the small tube
to seal it off.
Now put a zap of very high current thru the mg strip and youve got a
Mg coated tube.
I DONT recommend you do it, but you could.
BTW a fridge compressor is a vacuum pump: but it is designed to only
ever be operated horizontal. Tip it over and the oil comes out the
exhaust tube, and no oil = failure. So a big flat sheet should stop it
falling over. What degree of vacuum they give you is another matyter,
but they're good enough for some vacuum needs at least, or for initial
pumping where better vacuum is needed.
> Would the globe from the "Eye of the Storm" unit be a more
> effective candidate for this? Am I right in expecting that a maximum
> amount of energy exists where the heat produced in the "Eye of the
> Storm" globe would shatter or perhaps melt? I ask this last question
> because those of us who have used them might have noticed a definite
> warmth at the point where the user's finger touches the glass during
> operation. Obviously this will not work if the target also has to be
> within the vaccum, which would explain the author's use of old vacuum
> tubes. If that is true, then I will simply wait until I can salvage
> some old vaccum pentodes or other big tubes that have a large "getter"
> coating at the top.
> Also, one more question, if I may. Is there a simple material that can
> be used as a detector screen for any x-rays I may produce? I was
> thinking along the lines of a CRT or other flourescent device placed
> near enough to be excited into glowing. I did notice on that website
> that they suggest the use of zinc sulfide as a gamma ray flourescent
> material, but hoped I could use something else that I might already
> have on hand. If that's the best I can do, then I guess I'll just have
> to get some.
CRT screens are protected by thick (I think lead) glass, so not much
good. VFDs maybe more useful, as running at 30v they dont need any
xray protection. But to light up any screen needs many many times more
radiation than using camera film. Film is the practical optoin really.
Zinc sulphide works, but youd have to have it small and close, and
that suggests viewing it from a distance of much less than the safe 3
miles, so there r probs with that.
I suppose you could de-vacuum a CRT, cut the face plate off and
quickly coat the phosphor... varnish?? CRTs can explode, phosphors are
> It's all crazy, I know, but know that I do NOT intend to stand over
> the final device while it runs. I merely plan to run it for the
> purposes outlined above via a long extension cord.
> If anyone can lend advice, or even perhaps suggest more efficient
> methods of producing X or Gamma radiation, please feel free to help.
> I'll be more than glad to post any results for others to laugh at :-)
Be interested to see :)
What struck me about those articles was the belief that 1/8 inch lead
would stop gamma rays. That is nonsense - point your geiger counter at
any nuke power plant, they're very radioactive indeed. Last time I
pointed a geiger at a reactor it hit the end stop. So if you do this
you _will_ be irradiated. And that may not turn out to be such fun. So
don't try any of it.