Hello World

"But don't you already have a blog?"

Correct!  And Higher Still has become my professional blog; this will be my personal blog.

What happens over there?  I share lifestyle advice, primarily.  Read those articles like an instruction manual, and hopefully they'll improve your life.

Over here?  I'll share various and sundry opinions and talk about the more interesting things going on in my own life.  Travel and adventure, books and music, politics and tech news?  Over here.  Reading these articles will almost certainly not improve your life.

Don't forget food porn.
Trying some of this stuff at home is more likely to end it.

Danger, Danger (High Voltage)

I have the entire apartment to myself this weekend, so I took the opportunity to tear apart an old CRT television I rescued off the street last week.  It always amazes me how easy it is to salvage all kinds of great stuff in the Bay Area, and this was no exception: every component I harvested, including the all-important high-voltage flyback transformer, was in perfect working condition.

Oh, the flyback transformer.  This is the core component that converts regular old low-voltage AC or pulsed DC to extraordinarily high voltage (10-40kV).  In combination with a very simple pulsed DC driver circuit, the flyback transformer is the perfect starting point for high-voltage experiments.

Flyback transformer and NPN silicon diffused power transistor, next to my Hakko FX-888 solder station

Another resonant transformer, the so-called 'ignition coil' that converts pulsed 12VDC from the car battery into high-voltage DC that fires the spark plugs, can be hooked to the driver circuit in place of the flyback transformer.

555 (556, actually...) astable multivibrator driver circuit

So far I've thrown some sparks and transformed a lightbulb into a DIY plasma globe:

 My next project?  Attempt to generate an ambient temperature atmospheric plasma that's safe to touch!