Plasma Speakers

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by R!f@@, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    First off. Mods don't need to be alarmed. I am not going to build one of yet.
    Just like some info on any one who had done this.

    Why a Plasma Speaker?
    Is it because it's cool to look at?
    Is it just any good compared to current high end Tweeters as such.

    Why go through all the trouble building that is no good but rather occupy space?
     
  2. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    As I understand it it isn't ready for prime time, but I could be mistaken.
     
  3. nomurphy

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  4. magnet18

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    Dec 22, 2010
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    Basically, it's a toy.
    If done right, the sound quality can be better than any other speaker because there is no mass to move, but there are some serious downfalls.
    Namely, the plasma arc, the HV, and it emits ozone unless it has a constant supply of helium.
    Plus it emits electromagnetic radiation from xrays through radio waves, and it likes to interfere with sensitive electronics.

    Why build one?
    its purdy :D

    However, if done right and ventilated properly, it can be functional.
     
  5. R!f@@

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    How's the maintenance budget.
    Any Risk factor involved?
     
  6. magnet18

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    If you touch it it's likely to knock you on the ground, if that's what you consider risk.
    Not to mention the x-ray radiation and the potential risk of ozone poisoning.
    As for maintenance, as long as everything is within it's specs it should be fine since theres no moving parts or anything.
     
  7. R!f@@

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    Does it require constant supply of helium?
     
  8. magnet18

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    You can ionize whatever gas you wish, helium is often used because it ionizes and forms nothing but helium, which then rises harmlessly.
    Air works also, but needs more ventilation because it produces ozone, which can be poisonous.
     
  9. R!f@@

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    So If I make one I will be poisoning the room in which the speaker is located
     
  10. magnet18

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    ... kinda
    It's not a large amount, and if the room is ventilated really well its not a huge deal, but prolonged exposure to ozone leads to ozone poisoning and all sorts of nasty things. If you rig up an exhaust vent properly there wouldn't be anything wrong with it. Or if you ionize a different gas than air there are different things created. Helium, for example, is harmless and light enough and small enough that it should escape the room the speaker is in faster than you ionize it, so it won't build up.
    There might also be a way to contain the gas that is ionized while still allowing the sound waves to propagate (I'm thinking saran wrap)
     
  11. R!f@@

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    So is it worth the trouble?
     
  12. jpanhalt

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    Ozone generators are used as air fresheners. The specs are in the advertising literature. The unknown is the efficiency of converting oxygen to ozone under the conditions of the speaker.

    An alternative is argon. It's cheap, plentiful, and inert. It is heavier than air, so it will hang around and not need high-volume replacement, which helium does. That is one reason argon has replaced helium in TIG welding.

    John
     
  13. magnet18

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    Personally I think those ozone air fresheners are a hoax. They just play off the fact that people associate the smell of ozone with fresh air because of the smell after lightning storms.
    But it does show that ozone isn't too harmful.
    I still wouldn't sit around one for too long, just doing my science fair experiment had me getting up a couple times and going outside for fresh air. Of course, I was sitting with my face in it the whole time.

    Whether it's worth it or not is entirely up to you. I think it's worth it because I get to show it off to people. But that doesn't make it practical. Make a little simple one, if you have the parts a ice-cooled 555 one can be done in an afternoon if you know what you're doing, and decide for yourself.
     
  14. R!f@@

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    I ain't gonna waste my time on a useless thing.
    what I like to know is that can a plasma beat the current speakers.

    If it can then I will definitely do it in the near future.

    I have a High end speaker which I built and nothing has beaten it yet.
     
  15. magnet18

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    Short answer, probably not
    long answer, yes, but don't expect it to be cheap or easy, and you might end up needing a second larger one for the lower frequencies
     
  16. R!f@@

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    HUH ! :confused:

    What am I missing here.
    You are telling me that plasma can move air same as a woofer.

    Noway.!!! I don't believe it.
     
  17. magnet18

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    If you get a plasma setup to move air like a woofer while still being able to stand within 3 feet of it, I will stand up out of my chair and applaud you.
    (But I bet it could be done... I REALLY want to see it done...)
    I meant for a higher quality sound at the lower frequencies of a normal speaker. Generally speaking, the wider the gap, the lower the optimum frequency.
     
  18. R!f@@

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    HAHAAHHAHA!!!

    First BOOOM and BANG... The bystander is history


    OK.. So for a tweeter is it worth it..tell me...does it sound just heavenly?
     
  19. magnet18

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    It sure would be GREAT for a concert!! :D

    I thought so, but I had also been working for 48 straight hours to get a stable plasma arc of some sort, so my judgment might be skewed.

    Mine was a 555 version and I thought it sounded just as good as my laptops internal speakers (not really good speakers, but decent)
    My main problem is volume, when I put enough voltage in it to get a decent volume, poof goes the MOSFET.
    If you use half-bridle you should be OK, and you WILL want to use half-bridle.
     
  20. R!f@@

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    and POP goes the MOSFET.

    Sorry!! then this is something I would not prefer to make.
    I realize it just ain't worth the trouble.

    But it is good for a show or like carnival or something
     
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