marx generator

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

One spark gap (in a first version these were just copper wires bent into a ring at the end to suppress corona, the current design is somewhat more sophisticated and uses spherical electrodes), It produces a 300kV output pulse with a discharge energy of 36 Joule. The discharge path is more than 40cm long and produces a loud bang - enough to make it uncomfortable to the ears.

marx generator
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Time exposure of several discharges of the marx generator. The ladder-like construction is the actual generator, the caps are mounted horizontally on the grey PVC tube. Vertically, left and right from the caps, are the resistor chains. The gaps are simply bent wires. The vertical metal rod to the right is grounded. The remaining stuff is the charging system, a flyback driving a TV cascade. Spark gaps: In a first version, the spark gaps were made of about 1mm diameter copper wire, which was bent into a ring (about 2cm diameter) to prevent corona and premature breakdown. For optimal operation, all gaps should be equally wide. (Some say that the frist gap should be somewhat less wide, but for me it also works if they are all equal. Maybe this has some drawback that I have not yet noticed. ). Adjustment is done by slightly bending the wires until a rod or tube of suitable diameter just fits through. The improved version makes use of 1cm diameter spherical nuts on M6 screws. The gaps are thus easily adjustable and should be stable at their position. The gaps are mounted into a cable duct with a lid which can be opened or closed, depending on whether you want the gaps visible or not. Schematic drawing of the improved spark gap. For each stage, one such gap is mounted in the cable duct. The whole structure is then attached to the marx generator and wired to the caps. Charging resistors: In the first version, the charging...

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