Date: Tue Oct 13 21:16:09 2009

Author: William Beaty

Subject: Re: Fun Fly stick reengineering


On Tue, 13 Oct 2009, Irons, Stephen wrote:
> However when I
> turned it on, pretty much nothing happened. I got no charge buildup at
> all on the wand end. Is there something else I need to be doing?

Very probably you've aquired a monomolecular lipid layer! :) If the
plastic or metal has the tiniest bit of skin oil, then the only materials
making contact are the layers of grease. When working with VDGs, the belt
and rollers must be handled with gloves at all times, or with hands
scrubbed under running alcohol to remove all traces of contamination.
If the system stops working, scrub the rollers and belt with a couple of
changes of alcohol to flush away all the contamination. Air-dry, then
run a warm blow-dryer over the belt as it's running.

Reversing this ...a physics education practical joke is to give your
victim's VDG a tiny whiff of WD-40. That stuff spreads to all surfaces,
and is death for any contact-electrification generator.

(((((((((((((((((( ( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) ) )))))))))))))))))))
William J. Beaty
beaty | chem washington edu Research Engineer
billb|amascicom UW Chem Dept, Bagley Hall RM74
206-543-6195 Box 351700, Seattle, WA 98195-1700