This might be the craziest documented experiment/project on my page – a fluoroscopic radiograph of my hand, utilizing my beryllium-windowed vacuum tube setup. For the sake of your own safety and the safety of others, do not attempt to recreate without proper knowledge and protection, as hazards include radiation sickness, increased risk of cancer or amputation of irradiated body parts due to fourth degree radiation burns. “Disclaimer” up there in short.
This is the one and only case I’ve gathered up my courage to face a live (low powered) X-ray tube, for a duration of 1 second. As for details of my setup, I recommend checking the link above, or the video below – both explain the process quite well.
Firstly, I’ve tried to attenuate most of the soft rays of the main beam with a thin lead strip (and then a tinfoil), but it dramatically reduced the contrast; as one would need a hefty 70-80 kilovolt supply for the rays to pass through the filtering and bones. So with a ZVS driver for such a short duration I had to omit it for a good picture.
Despite the short irradiation time, the risk of future cancer increased just very negligibly and no blood changes or any visible symptoms followed in the next 2 months, I’m not doing this again in my lifetime, ever, that’s for sure.
A fact is, that the 10 rad maximum had been localized to my hand only, i.e. other parts were not affected in any way. There is no safe dose of x-rays, but it can be safely assumed that it did not do any acute or long-term harm to the body.
An enthusiast from Czech Republic came to see me and my electronic creations, besides other things, for sure was he interested in that X-ray tube, and despite me giving him enough warnings he opted in for a “radiograph” of his hand, to have some commemoration.. As you can see I had to increase the contrast a little, and we somehow didn’t match the tube-screen height alignment. But hey, it’s not that bad.