Dirod Electrostatic Generators

Did the cave man have a cat? If so, he was our first electrical scientist. As he stroked his pet in a dry cave, the fur would get “charged.” It would become rumpled and ridgy; and in the dark, there would be tiny sparks to be seen. As a matter of fact, he didn't need the cat, for he surely had furs, taken from the animals he had killed. These would also become charged, if stroked. But, you may ask, did the cave man take notice of this? I think so. We know that he was a most acute observer of numereous natural phenomena. He had to be, in a dangerous world, in order to “make a living” and to survive while doing it.

--A. D. Moore, Electrostatics

A. D. Moore introduced to the world this variety of influence machine which he dubbed a "Dirod," the name deriving from the combination of "disk" and "rod." His book, Electrostatics, has become a classic of amateur science. It may be ordered from the Caveman Bookstore. The Dirod is one of the most reliable electrostatic generators. The Dirods described here will operate even under humid conditions that would render other electrostatic devices inoperable.

Radial Dirod #8

Dirods come in two varieties, cylindrical and radial. Radial Dirods have the rods mounted parallel to the disk. This makes possible an extremely simple and efficient design. Model #8 is approximately 12"x12"x12", has a 11.5" disk and 36 2" rods. The collectors are constructed from 1/2" copper tubing to minimize corona losses. With a capacitor, it will produce 5" sparks between the two collectors. Instructions for building Models 6, 7, and 8 from scratch are given in the construction manual (HTML, PDF). In addition, a complete kit is available for Model 8, including all parts shown in the photograph below. You will need a tubing cutter, fingernail-polish remover, adhesive (I recommend Goop), a screwdriver, a wrench, and cellophane tape. The kit may be ordered from the Caveman Marketplace.