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Flame Diode

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Fire Radio component

FDScience.org
The flame diode was constructed as per this illustration:
flamesch2.jpg
The anode is constructed of a piece of steel, about 1/16" thick, a couple inches long, and 1/2" wide. The reason so heavy a steel anode was chosen will be explained later. The cathode was composed of a coiled filament of thin (30AWG) Monel steel wire. This is not necessary, however; it is just what I had the most of. Regular steel will work just fine. It will not, however, work properly unless given a coating of some material which generates ions in the applied propane flame. Three materials were tried; NaCl, conventional table salt, KCl, a salt substitute, and potassium bitartrate (cream of Tartar), as Nyle Steiner suggested. The best results in my setup were obtained with a combination of KCl and potassium bitartrate. The cathode filament was wetted and then immersed in the powder of the two salts, which adhered to it. It was then positioned in front of the steel anode. The propane flame was then applied, heating the cathode filament to incandescence and bathing the anode in diffuse flame. Some photographs of the setup are below.

More: http://www.fdscience.org/uneko/fireradio.htm



See also

Flame Triode