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Our Jacob's ladder is available in two configurations as shown. The finished unit intended for museums and similar displays is fully enclosed with the traveling plasma arc inside of a 3 x 24" clear plastic shroud. The base of the unit is formed from sheet aluminum and houses all the electronics with the controls being on the from panel. A black textured piece of aircraft lexan is formed into the cover. An internal fan supplies a slight over atmosphere pressure at the bottom starting point of the arc ladder and speeds up the display It also eliminates any arc hangup from forming.
The kit when purchased as a project kit is built in an open configuration where the ladder elements are exposed and the electronics are located beneath a clear plexiglas deck allowing visual exposure of all parts.
Both units produce a traveling wave of plasma that starts at the base of the ladder electrode elements, rises and widens as it ascends and evaporates into space. The arc as it extinquishes reaches a length of 2 to 3 inches. It then repeats and continues traveling up the ladder, evaporating and restarting.
Both units allow varying the arc texture by a simple control that also is the main power switch. Texture can be a thin wispy like spark to a heavy hot energetic plasma arc.
Unlike the use of neon high voltage transformers for powering the system where accidental contact can be life threatening, this circuitry automatically shuts down before a shock can occur. Unit now requires resetting by simply removal of the power. Even without this (GFI) ground fault interrupting feature, contact is still not life threatening or dangerous, but can produce a startling shock.
Power input is by a three wire grounded cord requiring 115 vac at 2 amps. 220 volt units are also available.