OVERVIEW

I purchased a High-Voltage Negative Ion Generator off of eBay and my plan is to develop my own version of a Static Grass Applicator (SGA).

To the left is the wiring diagram from Luke Towan’s V2 Static Grass Applicator.

The circuit allows one to choose between battery power or via a 12v power supply. The biggest problem I have is that my local Radio Shack closed which means any parts not in my parts box will have to be ordered online.

Luke Towan’s SGA has all of the electronics crammed into the handle of the applicator. That would be difficult with the size of the NIG (Negative Ion Generator) that I have. At around 150mm x 30mm x 20mm it would require quite a large diameter handle – requiring at minimum a 1-1/2″ ID tube … 1-1/2″ PVC measures around 1-7/8″ OD.

This means a handle on the applicator would be about a 2″ diameter tube measuring almost 6″ in length just for the NIG. It would require additional length for the switch, LEDs and so on.

SPLIT SGA

I am reminded of a ‘Split AC System’ where an outdoor unit consisting of the compressor, condenser coil and expansion coil with the indoor unit the cooling coil, blower and air filter. It does not require ductwork but instead electrical wires and tubing.

I think something similar in concept may work for a SGA – put much of the bulky bits in a box and simply run a wire/wires to the applicator. The upside of this would be the ability to use different applicator designs which would basically only be the applicator tub. The downside would be that the applicator would be tethered to the base unit. Still .. even with a battery operated SGA you are tethered by a grounding wire to the surface you are working on.

In order for the grounding wire to run from the applicator it would require two wires from base unit to the applicator with a third wire from the applicator to ground (upper version). Running the ground from the base unit would require only a single wire from base unit to the applicator (lower version). I think the latter would probably work better but it might make sense to add the ability to do either.

PARTS

I had started to create what I call a ‘Split SGA’ in the past – long ago enough that I picked parts up from my local Radio Shack store before it closed down. On an aside .. this sucks.

In the photo we have a plastic project box with a couple of pieces of 3/8″ wooden dowel epoxied to support the NIG which is to the right. Center we have a On/Off toggle switch (125V, 10A), an LED (12V) with a 330 ohm resistor (probably needs to be twice that), a Coaxial Power Jack the the faceplate and screws for the project box.

I need to see if I can find either an additional jack in my parts box (found) as I need one cable to the applicator and another for the ground wire or at least a grommet (found) to pass the wire through the box.

Note: Finding a Coaxial Power Jack is fine .. except that I didn’t find the male plug. Dang. I hate it that Radio Shack closed up shop.

CIRCUIT

Lacking the additional parts I re-worked the circuit (meaning I swiped Luke’s drawing and modified it) to just use a 12 volt power supply and the parts I actually had on hand.

Version 1

So .. Version 1. I guess I could actually call this a prototype but V1 will work too. If this works well then I can identify problem areas and work to improve them. I can already see places I would like to work on.

  • Applicator Body : The body was made up from 1-1/4″ PVC tubing. Luke also used PVC tubing but he screwed his together. My problem is that US PVC tubing has a taper. This is fine for getting a watertight fitting but sucks as a mechanical fit since you can only screw the parts together until the tapers stop it. Therefore I cut and glued the parts together. This works .. but is a little messy – and once tother you can’t take it apart.
  • Applicator Wire Connector : I used stranded wire I had in my parts box. This works .. kinda sorta .. but I think a flexible coiled wire would be better.
  • Applicator Plug : I had a Coaxial Power Plug and Jack so I used this plug.
  • Project Enclosure : I used a box from Radio Shack. The metal top bothers me a bit since we are using High Voltage – would rather it be plastic. There is of course the question as to whether there should be a seperate box at all as the usual SGA is all one piece. I went this direction because the NIG I acquired is pretty large. Having it separate also allows the use of different applicators .. at least that is the theory.

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