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DIY Static Grass Applicator - Grass & Ground Cover - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Sep 30th, 2016 05:00 pm
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IanLMS
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Very basic to make - 50mm tubing, peanut tub with screw lid, 12v Neg Ion from Oatley Electronics and a 12v power supply. Follow th esuperb video's from Luke Towan on You-Tube and it takes about an hour to complete for less than £20! Works as good as any of the large applicators costing £100 and no spill over like the tea-strainer type. I made an narrower applicator using a funnel attached to a separate lid which works ok for tight areas. I made one for 12v DC and one with a 9v battery so more mobile. Both work really well. Part 1 of the video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gYmeRaaaL8







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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2016 05:17 am
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BCDR
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Hi Ian,

Neat. I had a look at the link as well. Exactly the same as the model described in 2010 by Jamie Schatt. 

I can get the negative ion unit for generating the charge for around $8.00-$10.00. One thing to watch out for is these little generators can come with 3 or 4 wires. And mains or 12v power requirements. Plus various outputs.

Mind you, you can do the same thing with a $3.99 electronic fly swatter and a metal sieve for about the same amount of work. And the wiring done for you (with an on/off switch).

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2016 01:44 pm
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The Q
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From what I've read as I research making my own grass applicator



An electronic fly swatter generates  a voltage of about 800Volts,

An Ioniser of the type shown in that article, generates about 8000Volts ( I do like the overall design of his applicator)

By shopping around on the net you can, quite cheaply, get high voltage sources of up to 500,000 Volts.

 

 The more volts the more attractive the glue will be to the fibres.



I do  NOT suggest those without electronic experience build anything they do not understand in this field, 1000 volts will wake you up with a shock and from a fly swatter almost certainly  won't do you any damage.

500,000Volts although of limited current might be too much for some of us.......





I'm sat here at this moment measuring 1000V (with bare connectors) to an accuracy of 1000.0001V (@10uA)

 be careful out there folks....

(the measurement was 999.9957V)




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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2016 03:43 pm
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IanLMS
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The Q wrote: From what I've read as I research making my own grass applicator



An electronic fly swatter generates  a voltage of about 800Volts,

An Ioniser of the type shown in that article, generates about 8000Volts ( I do like the overall design of his applicator)

By shopping around on the net you can, quite cheaply, get high voltage sources of up to 500,000 Volts.

 

 The more volts the more attractive the glue will be to the fibres.



I do  NOT suggest those without electronic experience build anything they do not understand in this field, 1000 volts will wake you up with a shock and from a fly swatter almost certainly  won't do you any damage.

500,000Volts although of limited current might be too much for some of us.......





I'm sat here at this moment measuring 1000V (with bare connectors) to an accuracy of 1000.0001V (@10uA)

 be careful out there folks....

(the measurement was 999.9957V)


It did tingle a little when I put my tongue on the wire mesh - just kidding!! My neg ion gen from Oatley was exactly the same as the one Luke used so wiring was as simple as following his instructions. They both work quite well and I am pleased with the results, and even more pleased to have saved around £100 for buying the exact same thing, just in nicer packaging!



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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2016 06:32 pm
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BCDR
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I suspect it might be a good idea to keep fingers and wet objects off the high voltage mesh (and away from children who have a habit of poking at things). Hence the design where it's at the bottom of the plastic container.

Many of the ion generator modules that have high outputs are meant to be buried inside lots of protective insulation and in equipment that's underwriter-tested. Static grass applicators have to be grounded to a conductive material - in this case wet PVA glue. Cave tonitrum! I've yet to see one of the cheapo modules with an underwriters mark that I have any confidence in. Lots of Chinese with no translation.

The IONB2 from Oatley gives no details of output (or for that matter any underwriter mark). It looks to be a relabeled generic "no brand" from China which can be got off eBay for $3.50 (less if you buy in bulk). There are similar modules out there with CE marks (although whether it has been tested is another matter) and output details - 12v in typically gives 4-6Kv out.  I would recommend going for a 4 lead module - 2 power source inputs and 2 high tension outputs. Less soldering and reduced mess-up the wiring risk as the high and low tension grounds are separate. $3.29 on eBay with free shipping from Hong Kong (which means the module must be costing around $0.50). Many modules are intended for intermittent use, a prolonged "grassing" might be a problem.

I'll stick with the fly-swatter which has a relatively low voltage and where the electronics at least are on a CE-tested board. Or get a commercial applicator for around $40.

Nigel

Edit: It's a scary thought that the commercial models costing $100-$150 probably contain these cheap ion generator modules.

Second edit. eBay UK has electrostatic applicators for £16-£25 that look just like the one Ian built. And models clearly based on re-purposed insect swatters and a strainer.(£15.95). They appear to do the job though.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 04:09 pm
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Campaman
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I have two I have made from the good old Flyswat/Tea Strainer, both work but one does seem to be a bit more powerful than the other, interestingly the more powerfull one came from a Poundshop and the other one was nearer to 4 pounds, so not all flyswats are the same.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 11th, 2016 07:29 pm
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shaunabeer
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IanLMS wrote: The Q wrote: From what I've read as I research making my own grass applicator







An electronic fly swatter generates  a voltage of about 800Volts,



An Ioniser of the type shown in that article, generates about 8000Volts ( I do like the overall design of his applicator)



By shopping around on the net you can, quite cheaply, get high voltage sources of up to 500,000 Volts.



 



 The more volts the more attractive the glue will be to the fibres.







I do  NOT suggest those without electronic experience build anything they do not understand in this field, 1000 volts will wake you up with a shock and from a fly swatter almost certainly  won't do you any damage.



500,000Volts although of limited current might be too much for some of us.......











I'm sat here at this moment measuring 1000V (with bare connectors) to an accuracy of 1000.0001V (@10uA)



 be careful out there folks....



(the measurement was 999.9957V)





It did tingle a little when I put my tongue on the wire mesh - just kidding!! My neg ion gen from Oatley was exactly the same as the one Luke used so wiring was as simple as following his instructions. They both work quite well and I am pleased with the results, and even more pleased to have saved around £100 for buying the exact same thing, just in nicer packaging!


Hi Ian

What was the total cost from Oatley's including postage to the UK ? The website says minimum order $20 and the unit is only $14..

Shaun

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 Posted: Fri Nov 11th, 2016 08:36 pm
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IanLMS
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I beleive it was around a tenner for postage. I ordered 2 so i could have one off 12v mains adapter and one from a 9v battery for mobile use. Ian



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Ian Lancaster
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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2016 02:18 pm
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IanLMS wrote: I beleive it was around a tenner for postage. I ordered 2 so i could have one off 12v mains adapter and one from a 9v battery for mobile use. Ian
Thanks Ian

  How good is the 9v battery one compared to the 12v mains one ?

Shaun

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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2016 02:28 pm
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IanLMS
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It works fine woth the 9v battery. I use the 12v for larger areas and the battery one for hard to reach areas.



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