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X-Ray Vision Request


I have acquired an x-ray image-intensifier tube off a Philips BV22HQ x-ray machine. It was a C-Arm type machine, and I tried to persuade the previous owner about the value of the apparatus as a telescope mount, as well as the possibilities which might be found on investigation of the internals of the "x-ray eye", but sadly most of the machine has been lost to scrap metal. However, I'm pleased to say, I have the x-ray image-intensifier tube, and the vidicon camera and XQ1285 vidicon tube, stored safely. The vidicon camera tube is about an inch across, but the aperture of the "x-ray eye" is about ten inches. It's a cylindrical device with a curved surface, probably made of dark glass.x-ray eye

The opportunities raised by the possibilities of seeing in x-rays, especially with an image intensifier, are considerable. Might it be possible to look at the sky and see x-ray stars? And what about objects of a radioactive nature on earth? If a piece of radioactive material is a gamma-ray source, might it be possible to see it with an x-ray camera?

(Yes, of course I am aware it's possible to see through things with x-rays. However, you should know this requires an x-ray source on the other side of the item being viewed).

I am not averse to selling this equipment, and I'm sure someone will be looking for spare parts for a C-Arm x-ray machine. However, I'm also interested in the possibilities of getting the equipment powered up and seeing what I can see! But here's the problem: The x-ray image intensifier tube has three connections going to its electrodes (as well as ground). The connections are labelled P1, P2, and P4. They appear to be EHT connections. I also have an x-ray machine power supply, which came from the same machine. It has outputs labelled 1X3, 1X4, and 1X5. Unfortunately the power supply has started to ooze green sticky gunk, which is rather messy, so the PSU has had to be wrapped up in protective material to store it. I expect it still works. The thing is, though, how to connect up P1, P2, and P4 ? What sort of voltages would be best? Any thoughts on how to connect up 1X3, 1X4, and 1X5 to P1, P2, and P4 ? Shouldn't a Focus Potentiometer be recycled off a television set to allow for some focus anode voltage adjustment ?

If you can help to get this x-ray vision system connected up, or if you'd like to put in some offers for some of the equipment, please get in touch and let's see what can be done. (I don't have the x-ray tube that generates the x-rays, but I know the tube-collector who has it. So, if you want a replacement tube for your BV22HQ x-ray machine, I can probably put you in touch).


ToastThis image might look like an x-ray image, but actually it's a thermal image created by putting hot toast on fax paper

Update 2012/03: Despite the obvious expectation of interest likely to have been generated by talking about x-ray vision and useful scientific experiments, there have so far been no (zero) responses. I would have thought someone would have been interested, either in doing their own experiments or in helping me to get this machine powered up. However, no results so far. It's not got the same appeal as liquid metal mercury which attracts quite a lot of interest because people with minds of a scientific inclination would like to know about mercury. X-rays, however, people tend to leave to the hospitals. Yet in this New Renaissance age, science is very much a hands-on have-a-go affair, so it's a bit of a shocker to find no responses. I suppose I could blame naff Google meddling, but really that would be a cop-out and I'm more inclined to believe there's no get-up-and-go out there when it comes to do-it-yourself X-ray stuff. Well this might change, especially as there's now a page about Beryllium, which is an unusual element because it's transparent to x-rays. Very handy when you're building x-ray experiments because you can put in a window made of beryllium and the x-rays can shine out through it.

Incidentally, is anyone interested in the possibility of building a DIY positron gun? I've got some ideas on how this could be done relatively easily, and then it should be possible to have a nice beam of antimatter which could be quite useful experimentally. OK it requires getting an old TV set and doing some retasking of some of the high voltage equipment, and it also requires buying some Sodium22 from one of those helpful online places that can sell you radioactive stuff, plus you'll need a vacuum pump and a bit of knowhow about the almost lost art of Thermionics, but if you are a mad scientist, as I am, some of this must surely be of interest?! Please get in touch if you're interested. It sometimes takes me a while to reply, so you'll just have to be patient.