Never one to be put off by minor issues like things not working I stepped back from the plasma design and
reassessed. There was one solution that may cure all of the major issues or volume, frequency response, power
consumption and toxic gas. I reduced the project down to headphone size.
Using everything learnt so far I reduced the supplies, amplifiers and speaker sizes
eventually ending with a twin 4kV 100W supply and 2kV amplifiers. All of this mounted neatly in a
single 19" rack mount case. For the first time ever I had a stereo plasma system which could be simply
switched on and it worked.
With the size reductions the gap of a single plasma was much reduced and I
didn't need manual starting. The amount of gas produced could be easily adsorbed by activated
carbon. I initially created a plasma cell from ceramic using screws and bolts as electrodes. These
were mounted in a metal (grounded!) headphone assembly with metal grill shields.
Although it worked the volume and frequency response was still not there. So I further reduced the size of
the headphone system until I could fit it to an ear bud. The electrodes were mounted in a quartz cell.
This meant that all of the sound was directed into the ear and only a small amount of air needed to be
driven. This boosted the volume and frequency response - finally the plasma had the properties of normal
headphones, but with the bonus of the perfect sound reproduction of plasma.
The toxic gas produced was gently sucked down a silicone tube and out
into an activated carbon reservoir. Being a very tiny amount it was easily dealt with. The
headphones themselves were fairly unwieldy but just about wearable (and made you look like a Cyberman!).
Some people seem to think that having 4000V either side of your head is a
little dangerous. To be honest I felt safer with these than with many of the previous creations.
To the right is the view down the headphone hole - a tiny stable plasma.
The headphones work well and the whole project is nearly there. I have one major issue which is the
electrode material - I need something that is both quiet and supports a steady arc without wearing
too quickly. Once that is sorted another round of miniaturising and tidying and I should have a very