My build of "G'Zot!" is semi-permanently installed on the front counter at my place of work, a two-way radio shop. It has already amazed and amused virtually everyone who enters the shop, and has been well worth the effort just to see the range of reactions. An amusing sign in front of the unit also gets smiles and chuckles.

Kids and young people especially gravitate towards displays of this kind, so it's very important to make it safe, and allow use only under supervision. Be especially sure to use a polarised power plug, so that there is no possibility of having a hot chassis. Also insure that your house or other building is wired properly! Take the effort to insulate all exposed transformer taps and other contact points. The output lead going to the plasma globe should be carefully and thoroughly insulated using a piece of PVC pipe or similar insulator, as in the pictures. (While the output doesn't have enough current to electrocute, especially since at these high frequencies most conduction is on the surface, the arc can still give nasty little RF burns). The globe can be soldered to the output with a short length of wire, then glued to the top of the insulator column with Krazy Glue or RTV silicone.

G'Zot! Amazes and Amuses

G'Zot! handily lights up flourescent tubes "remotely". Hold one end of the tube and bring the other end near to the plasma globe or flyback transformer. Or hold a small NE-2 neon bulb and bring it close to the plasma globe.

You can make it into a Jacob's Ladder, if you prefer. See here for more information on this. (See especially the bit about the "Gabriel Gap" or tickler to help the arc to strike initially.) Stainless steel rods (e.g. pieces of a radio whip antenna) are an excellent choice of material. Unfortunately, G'Zot! isn't quite capable of enough current to make a very reliable Jacob's Ladder, the arc tends to hang up at the bottom for extended periods of time. However, a slight puff of air usually gets it cycling again.

If you're into audio, you can use G'Zot! to experiment with arc tweeters. Set it up to produce a constant arc between two pointed pieces of stainless steel rod, and inject your audio signal into the screen of the output tube via a coupling capacitor. Where is the sound coming from? You may wish to experiment with horn assemblies to amplify and focus the sound. (But be careful, that arc can easily set things on fire!)


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