In 2010, me having already exploited the DY86, a Czech experimenter nicknamed “DANYK” came up with an oddball Soviet vacuum stabilisator tetrode “6VS-1”, which produced copious amounts of X-rays in hot-cathode mode. He got pretty good radiographs, nevertheless. So, I have got an inspiration and obtained a few:
A specialty in these tubes is their construction. During normal mode of operation (high voltage stabilisation at a few hundred microamps max), a visible electron beam with a small diameter is focused on the thin anode plate. When overdriven at 30-40 kilovolts for a short period of time, X-rays with a sufficiently enough energy to pass through the glass are created.
6VS-1 at 35 kilovolts, observe the electron beam and Geiger counter sound.
I have built numerous high voltage supplies for these tubes back in the day. Here’s one of the prototypes, a multiplier-based 40 kilovolt supply with cathode current and frequency regulation:
And it sure did a mayhem when it ran – of course, controlled remotely:
In a head-to-head comparision with the DY86 ran in cold cathode, this is a more powerful X-ray emitter. Here’s a 4 second exposure near the tube where you can see energized particles (photons) hitting the CCD sensor, resulting in colorful “dots” in the picture:
And now an attempt to radiography. As mentioned in the DY86 article I did not want to mess with a photosensitive paper and developing it afterwards in a dark room, so I have attempted the “fluoroscopy” method again. I used some fluorescent foil strips, from an “emergency-exit” glow in the dark sign, and some blue-emitting, calcium tungstate (scheelite) “PERLUX” intensifier screens, from the former GDR…
This was the best output I have got with a setup described above. Maybe if I had been shining through a photosensitive paper for 30 seconds or so, the result would have been vastly improved – but that did not occur, as I have moved to real x-ray tubes shortly after this. 🙂