21 May 2015


Good evening.

I have started chapter nineteen of my novel, which for the time being is called The Force of the Gods (Volume I: Journeyman). That means I'm a three-and-a-halfth of the way into the first draft. At forty-thousand words so far, it's proving to be easier to write than I had initially imagined, and far more fun.

I have also been continuing with my efforts as regards my electronics and radio stuff. Having made all my own components for my spark gap transmitter (shown below), I have thought it might be fun to attempt to make some more components of my own for possible future projects.
Hand-wound Ruhmkorff coil and homemade foil-leaf capacitor.
So that's the main part of the transmitter: a home-made Ruhmkorff (induction) coil - as in all hand-wound, all 12,000 thousand turns of the damn' thing - with a crude adjustable spark-gap, which will produce about a five-millimetre spark, which works out at a little over 16,000 volts, and a capacitor that comes to 54.5 nF.

I haven't got an interrupter or a commutator working yet (because I tried to make them myself too, but all they got me was hot batteries), but even just touching the battery wires to the terminals has transmitted across a room.

Next thing to make will be a tuning circuit, consisting of a choke coil and a smaller, possibly adjustable capacitor (possibly even a Leyden jar), because at the moment when it transmits, it transmits from the long-wave band to the short-wave, via everything in between.

So, yeah. And on top of that, as my own take on basket-weaving, I recently made another foil-leaf capacitor, just to see how big I could be patient enough to make:

Large homemade foil capacitor.
Which measured at 49μF - around a hundred times what I had expected it to, based on how many foil leaves I used to make it. Charging from a 9V battery for twenty seconds, it then provided a current of ~0.45V for a little under two minutes. Not bad for tinfoil and paper. Even if it is the size of a packet of cigarettes.

I am also making attempts at coming up with an elecytrolytic capacitor (using sodium bicarbonate). I've done one so far, which measured at a little under 70μF, but hadn't sealed the container correctly, which meant that within two days the electrolyte had evaporated, leaving it useless.

Capacitors. Probably useless for me to make, but I've gained a pretty good understanding of how they work now, which to me is what it's about.

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