An interesting little machine

Thread Starter

South

Joined Apr 7, 2017
27
Hi I've just bought this little device and I thought I would post because its got me stumped!

IMG_0551.JPGI bought it with very little confidence, but boy was I surprised!

Its a curioscity that I bought it to vamp up my Steampunk costume.

But its got me stumped as to how the damn thing works?

Any ideas would be welcome?

I think it is a LED and microcontroller display but as to exactly how it works I'm at a loss.

South

IMG_0552.JPG
 

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Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,677
That is a flat version of a plasma ball. It doesn’t use a microprocessor nor LEDs. Instead it uses a high frequency, high voltage generator based on discrete transistors. The disc is filled with various gases that ionize and incandesce as they conduct the current from the generator.

Because the current is AC, it is capacitively couple to everything around it, and so can flow with apparently just one connection to the disk. This is why when you touch the disk the current tends to flow to where you are touching thanks to reduced impedance.
 

Thread Starter

South

Joined Apr 7, 2017
27
Umm nice answer!

I don't remember what gave me the thought it was LEDs?

It may have been the literature that came with the disc?

Anyway I'm sure you are right!

I am very pleased with my purchase

And I'm sure it'll look good shining out of a suitable Steampunk accessory?

South
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,919
While handling and mounting the device you need to keep in mind that it must remain sealed to keep those gasses at the right pressure and concentrations. That means that the device is breakabole and fairly sensitive to physical abuse. So gentle handling is required.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
That is a flat version of a plasma ball. It doesn’t use a microprocessor nor LEDs. Instead it uses a high frequency, high voltage generator based on discrete transistors. The disc is filled with various gases that ionize and incandesce as they conduct the current from the generator.

Because the current is AC, it is capacitively couple to everything around it, and so can flow with apparently just one connection to the disk. This is why when you touch the disk the current tends to flow to where you are touching thanks to reduced impedance.
I doubt that is correct. First, these are all over Amazon and eBay. almost all run in two AA batteries.
Plasma plates (plasma TVs) take a lot of power. You're not going to power one on two AA batteries for very long.
Second, if you zoom into the photos, you can see the LED hotspots.
The new micro-scale LEDs are coming fast, get ready for cool new devices more complicated than this.
 

ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
15,542
hi,
No way are they LED's they are dimples/mini lenses in the display's transparent surface.

E

The material of the transparent face are concentric coloured plastic Ref, Green and Blue.

EG 1606.gifEG 1607.gif
 
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