Category Archives: ionization

DIY Ionizer Clears the Air on a Budget

Have you ever had a good, deep breath of the air near a waterfall, or perhaps after a thunderstorm? That unmistakably fresh smell is due to ionized air, specifically negative ions, and many are the claims concerning their health benefits. A minor industry has sprung up to capitalize on the …read more

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Posted in cascade, Cockcroft-Walton, electrostatic, electrostatic precipitator, ion, ionization, ionizer, misc hacks, multiplier | Leave a comment

[Ben Krasnow] Builds a Mass Spectrometer

One of the features that made Scientific American magazine great was a column called “The Amateur Scientist.” Every month, readers were treated to experiments that could be done at home, or some scientific apparatus that could be built on the cheap. Luckily, [Ben Krasnow]’s fans remember the series and urged …read more

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Posted in ionization, isotope, magnetic, mass spectrometer, misc hacks, potassium, transimpedance, tungsten, vacuum | Leave a comment

Cold Plasma Torch Produces a Cleansing Flame that Never Consumes

It’s basically a lightsaber. Except smaller. And with an invisible blade. And cold to the touch. But other than that, this homebrew cold plasma torch (YouTube, embedded below) is just like the Jedi’s choice in elegant weaponry.

Perhaps we shouldn’t kid [Justin] given how hard he worked on this project …read more

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Posted in Argon, electron, electron temperature, flyback, high voltage, ion, ionization, misc hacks, plasma, RF | Leave a comment

Fail of the Week: Tracking Meteors with Weather Radio

It’s not hard to detect meteors: go outside on a clear night in a dark place and you’re bound to see one eventually. But visible light detection is limiting, and knowing that meteors leave a trail of ions means radio detection is possible. That’s what’s behind this attempt to map meteor trails using broadcast signals, which so far hasn’t yielded great results.

The fact that meteor trails reflect radio signals is well-known; hams use “meteor bounce” to make long-distance contacts all the time. And using commercial FM broadcast signals to map meteor activity isn’t new, either — we’ve covered the …read more

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Posted in ionization, meteor, noaa, NWS, propagation, radio hacks, RTL-SDR, sdr, weather radio | Leave a comment