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Plasma Ball Power Wire Has Been Cut...

Sock2me

Nov 17, 2020
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I have a Plasma Ball that I got at Goodwill and am attempting to re-purpose it into an art project. The thing works - but I needed to cut the wire from the orb to the electrical board/power controller thingy (I'm not very well versed on what this kind of thing is called). And now, I need to add length and re-attach. I'm wondering what kind of wire do I need to buy (I only need about 12" of it) and then how to get the ends conncted so I don't create some fire-hazard. I'm attaching photos which may help.
Thank you - I'm super excited to have found this forum... I often do stuff like this (I promise to learn more on my own).
 

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Harald Kapp

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This wire is high-voltage resistant as you can see from the thick insulation. Are there any markings on the wire indicating the rating (apart from the "200 °C" visible in your image?
Something like this wire may be suitable (rated 30 kV). Can be soldered to a stub of the old wire.
You'll have to cover the connection of the old and new wire with multiple layers of insulation, e.g. heat shrink tube to ensure safety.
I haven't tried this, but it is imho worth a try:
  • solder the wires end together
  • use silicone to create a first layer of insulation over the solder joint approximately as thick as the existing insulation of the cable
  • when the silicone has cured, add 2 lays of heat shrink tube that overlap each cable by at least 1 cm (more is better)

Note that you are dealing with potentially dangerous high voltage. You work at your own risk. Make sure you observe any safety precautions necessary to prevent you or anyone else from electric shock.
I can and will not assume any responsibility for the outcome of your experiment.


You may find other useful hints in this article,
 

Sock2me

Nov 17, 2020
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This is exactly what I was hoping for! Thank you Harald! I'll post a photo of the finished piece when I get it done :)
 

73's de Edd

Aug 21, 2015
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  • solder the wires end together

Bare back ~1/4 inch of bare wire at each wire end to be joined and solder tin them.Take some ~ 3 inches of AC line cord and strip off its insulation to be able to get two strands of its many- many tiny bare copper wires . . . if they are being tinned . . . . so much the better . . . as you would need to tin the bare copper wires anyway.
Place the bared wires to be joined, side to side to each other. Take the length of prepared fine wire and about its mid point , place it against the center of the
LARGE wires to be spliced
Keep the wrapping wire taunt and start winding it outward from the splices center and end up with a conforming wrap to the end of the wire.
Rotate the splice and do the same with the free half of small wire, also having a tight wrap, now solder your wrapped joint.

  • use silicone to create a first layer of insulation over the solder joint approximately as thick as the existing insulation of the cable

I can't see that you will readily be able to easily find the CORRECT formulation of silicone rubber . . . . eg . . . one that is NOT using acetic acid as its curing agent.
Because any trace of acetic acid that is present and has not weeped or will be weeping out will be a SUPER conductor at 25kv.
Instead, my procedure would be to use the same progressive 2 or 3 larger widths and layers of heat shrink as below, and you FIRST put them on and slip towards a free end BEFORE you splice the wires.
Now, instead of the l o o o o o o n g wait required for silicone shedding all traces of acetic acid, instead, take a plastic drinking straw and hold against the splice to be able to cut it to a length of ~ 1/8 inch greater on each end of the splice.
Then you use a hot glue gun to RAPIDLY build up a coating around your bare splice and rotate the cut straw to center on your splice. It should have rotated the still workable hot glue around the splice and cut its way thru and trim down the diameter of fill materiel..

  • when the silicone has cured, add 2 lays of heat shrink tube that overlap each cable by at least 1 cm (more is better)

When the hot glue has cooled down, do the centering of and shrinking of the layers of heat shrink tubing.

Keep this whole length og HV wire about 2 + inches dressed away from anything that it might be routed by.

Tha a a a a s s s s s it. . . .


73's de Edd . . . . .

 

Sock2me

Nov 17, 2020
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Excellent! I was wondering about the Silicone - I found some on Amazon that was for electronics, but I think your way sounds better. And I have used that shrinking tube stuff in the past (but just for art projects).

Just to be sure I understand about the hot glue - this is essentially taking the place of the painted silicone? And the straw is acting as a mold of sorts, that I leave on, then cover with the shrinking tube product?

Thank you so much.
 

Technomaniac

Oct 31, 2020
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I found handy for insulating high voltage wires, scavenged ultor cap connectors from old colour TV, the type of cap that had the long tube (often containing an RF choke or resistor) and sometimes a threaded gland nut which compressed a chuck on the end of the tubing to hold the EHT wire securely. You cut off the actual ultor cap and used just the tube. You could smear the wire with silicon grease or Silastic before sliding the tube over the join. The suitable ultor caps came with Philips and Varo triplers.
 
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