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"THE AWESOME POWER OF TELEVISION"
- William Beaty

- aluminum foil on a TV screen is an electrostatic power supply

- an electrostatic generator suggested by Dr. Krienke at SPU in Seattle.

NOTICE: TURNING A TV SET ON AND OFF OVER AND OVER CAN HARM IT! IT DIDN'T HURT MINE, BUT TWO PEOPLE HAVE REPORTED THAT THEIR SETS DIED. USE AN OLD, HALF-WORKING TV, OR USE A COMPUTER MONITOR FROM A GARAGE SALE. OR IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THE RISK, TURN IT ON AND OFF A FEW TIMES ONLY, AND WAIT FOR SEVERAL MINUTES EACH TIME.

SAFETY - THE TV-SCREEN METHOD IS SAFE, ALTHOUGH THE FOIL AND WIRE CAN DELIVER SMALL "STATIC ELECTRIC" SHOCKS. THERE ARE TWO OTHER HAZARDS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. ONE, NEVER REMOVE THE CASE OF A TV SET OR STICK ANY OBJECT THROUGH SLOTS IN THE BACK OF THE CASE, BECAUSE THE POWER SUPPLY WITHIN THE BACK OF A TV SET CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU. NUMBER TWO: NEVER PLAY WITH LEYDEN JARS OR HIGH-VOLTAGE CAPACITORS LARGER THAN 50 PICOFARADS, THEY CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU.

The pop-bottle motor requires a "static electric" power supply (in other words, high voltage at low current.) Batteries won't work because their voltage is thousands of times too small. Use a TV set with aluminum foil on the glass.

This method works best with a fairly large TV screen. I found that a 19" TV screen (measured diagonally) works fine. Smaller screens may give feeble motor operation, or may not work at all. If you use a little tiny computer monitor, it might not be able to run your motor. The bigger the TV screen is, the better.

Use tape to tack a sheet of aluminum foil to the screen of a TV set. LEAVE A SPACE AROUND THE EDGE, MAYBE 1" WIDE OR MORE, SO THE FOIL DOESN'T COME NEAR OR TOUCH THE TV FRAME. Also, fold over the sharp corners of the foil to prevent sparks from jumping to the frame. It helps to cut the corners round, with a 1" curve. (If the foil is too close to the frame, charge will leak across the glass and cause the voltage to be decreased.)

Use alligator clipleads to connect the edge of the foil to the metal foil on one of the electrostatic motor bottles. Connect the foil on the motor's other bottle to ground. (metal faucets and sinks are grounded, as well as the metal screws on light switches and the screws on electric outlets. Connect to to one of these.)

When the TV is turned on, the motor will spin a few times then quit. When the TV is turned off, the motor again spins briefly, then stops. Turn the TV on and off very slowly to generate slow pulses high voltage, and this can run the motor continuously. The pop bottle motor always turns in the same direction regardless of polarity. The bottle motor works best on DC, but it will run on AC high voltage, like this slow AC from the TV screen as you turn it on and off.

This method can work even though the sheet of aluminum foil touches only glass. It is called "capacitive coupling." The foil, glass, and the conductive phosphor coating inside the TV tube together act as a capacitor. Capacitors act to block direct currents, but they allow alternating current to pass. By turning the TV on and off, you are making the high voltage on the TV screen grow high and low, and the capacitor lets these changes in voltage go through.

NOTICE: TURNING A TV SET ON AND OFF OVER AND OVER CAN HARM IT! IT DIDN'T HURT MINE, BUT TWO PEOPLE HAVE REPORTED THAT THEIR SETS DIED. AN OLD, HALF-WORKING TV, OR USE A COMPUTER MONITOR FROM A GARAGE SALE. OR, TURN IT ON AND OFF A FEW TIMES ONLY, AND WAIT FOR SEVERAL MINUTES EACH TIME.











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ELECTROSTATIC MOTORS, by Dr. Oleg Jefimenko

Article: ELECTROSTATIC MOTORS YOU CAN BUILD   (by Dr. Jefimenko)
Popular Science magazine, April 1971, May 1971
Dr. Jefimenko gives plans for various plexiglas and foil motors.  He runs 
them from the clear-weather sky voltage, using a long wire and a balloon!
Order these magazine backissues through the interlibrary loan program at
your public library.


ELECTROSTATICS, by A.D. Moore
By the grand old man of electrostatics.  Great
book, has the Di-Rod generator construction project.
Find it in libraries.

Other ELECTROSTATICS BOOKS



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