Of Tesla coils and X-Ray production

Hello all,

This weekend I did a few experiments with some common "light" bulbs and
rectifier tubes (non Mercury), using my tube Tesla coil, to see what kind
of rad fields (x-ray!) are produced. I monitored my own exposure using a
couple SRD's (aka: pocket ionization chambers, they are accurate to within
20%, TLD's are prefured) one on my hand for extremity dose and one on my
shirt pocket for whole body dose. The dose rates were taken with a Eberline
E-130A G/M dose rate meter (0-1000 mR through three scales). The G/M meter
is not the best instrument, as they are energy dependant, meaning that they
respond either high or low depending on the energy of the photons, but it
was sufficient for me (a ion chamber would be ideal, like Eberline's
RO-20). I first tried several light bulbs: X-Mass lights, they were
difficult because of there size- no detectable dose; 25 watt clear globe
bulb, beautiful plasma discharge, no x-rays; 3B24 rectifier tube, now this
guy was great, I just connected the base pins to the coil output and
grounded the plate cap. I was able to get about 800 mR/hr-at-12 inches, and it
did light up a rare-earth x-ray screen I have, also saw the green
phosphorescence on the glass envelope, as described in previous posts. Also
Tried the 3B28 rectifier tube with similar results. These tubes are rated
at 20 kV PIV -at- 300 mA and 10 KV PIV -at- 1000 mA, respectfully. My exposure
was 10 mREM whole body and 55 mREM extremity. 

Don't do this at home unless you know what you are doing. Don't expose
other people, especially pregnant woman, infants and young children. The
more rapid the cells are dividing the more radiosensitive they are, i.e..
fetus and infants.


David Trimmell