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Author Topic: Van de Graaff Generator  (Read 1503 times)

MrAssonance

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Van de Graaff Generator
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:47:08 PM »
The Orlando Science Center is looking for someone with an interest in helping solve an issue with our 6' diameter Van de Graaff generator. It currently produces an 6" spark, and we are confident it should be closer to 2 or 3 feet, from old photographs (the VDG is over 15 years old).  The exhibits team would enjoy having someone come it, see it demonstrated and work with them on next steps for improvement, which could be new belt, new rollers, new combs...but they would prefer to have someone come in with more knowledge and actually confirm some of our suspicions, and even help fix it up.  Please e-mail me blanman(at)osc.org if you have any knowledge or know someone you could put me in touch with. It is greatly appreciated!
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
~A. Einstein

PockyBum522

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Re: Van de Graaff Generator
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 03:47:12 PM »
I'd love to get a group together and go down and take care of this. Anyone from the lab who is interested in going or has knowledge of these devices (Pat Starace? Dave Casey?) feel free to post here and let me know.

da3v

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Re: Van de Graaff Generator
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 11:30:19 AM »
I'd be interested in helping out, but I'm not an expert on anything of that magnitude. I had a smaller one (~3foot tall) that I managed to get working after many years of neglect/ crappy storage. Things I changed that seemed to make a difference:


  • New belt
  • Removing dust in and on the tube that was allowing charge to leak.
  • Belt tension.
  • Cleaning crud off of the rollers. (Mine were polyurethane and felted wool, both had developed a thin layer of glazed crud that probably had a less desirable spot on the triboelectric spectrum.)
  • Fixing wobble in drive roller (made comb distance more consistent).
  • Comb adjustment
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:32:12 AM by da3v »

P47

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Re: Van de Graaff Generator
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 11:51:37 AM »
I'd like to help out as well if I can. Let's set a date.

PockyBum522

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Re: Van de Graaff Generator
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 08:27:42 PM »
Which would work better for you guys, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday? I'm thinking 16th, 17th or 18th? Alternately one of the days from the 23rd to the 25th?