plasma globe mod

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I think the appropriate phrase at this point is MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAH!

Now with the blue neon back on, it shines through the globe giving it a little extra punch.


with added blue neon, we have the linear mad scientist remix feel

I was surprised myself at how good this looked. I was not originally planning on keeping this in place, but once I saw it, the mad scientist kicked in. It’s staying. Of course, it still reacts to being touched. And it’s almost irresistible–you must touch it.

And finally here’s how the thing fits into my overall front bezel look. It gives a little boost to my blue on black theme I’ve been working with for over a year now.

Okay, now for the questions that I’m sure are on all of your minds.

Q: What about interference, static, electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, tachyon beams, or other bad mojo that could result if I install this in my PC?

A: You have to make decisions on your own about whether the risk is worth it. But consider that this is more or less the same principle used in a fluorescent lamp, it’s just round and has some different gases inside it. And the return path to ground for a plasma globe is through the air, unlike a fluorescent lamp.

There’s high voltage AC from the inverter. You’ll want to be careful that you don’t connect that to anything metal in your case. I took extra care to have nonconductive pieces only in touch with the globe surface. You’ll want to make sure your chassis is properly grounded (earthed), and verify the outlet you are using for power is properly grounded/earthed as well. I’ve had no indication that running this in my case is different that using a neon or fluorescent lamp.

Q: Did you shield the inverter at all?

A: no, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially from a safety standpoint. It would be good to check your inverter connection to the globe if you were to move the case.

Q: Does it get hot?

A: No, it just warms a little if you touch it and leave your hand in place.

Q: Does the inverter make noise?

A: It does have a faint whine, comparable to other inverters.

Q: How much did that cost?

A: Ten dollars. You may be able to find them cheaper, I know Target had one that was originally ten dollars, it should be marked down to five, but my Target was out of those. The acrylic pieces were all scrap.

Q: Can you send me one of these globes?

A: I can’t, sorry. They should be easy/cheap to get right now in the US though. Maybe some enterprising mod shop operator will go out and buy a case of them.

Q: What is the deal with that hangnail anyway?

A: It’s bad, isn’t it.

Q: I want to learn all about the science behind these plasma globes. Where do I go?

A: This site looked pretty good to me, it has a lot of info and several DIY projects, circuits for inverters etc.
(sadly, the site has been taken down since this was originally written)



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