Electrostatic begginers experiments... - diyAudio
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Old 16th October 2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Electrostatic begginers experiments...

ok I'm starting to play about with the idea of electrostatic speakers... I just want to get a grasp of how they work, and wondered if it's possible to make a low quality little expample out of house hold parts just so i can really get my head round all the principals and play around with altering factors.

At the moment I beleive, and it's partly guessed that a thin plastic sheet is sandwiched between 2 sheets of metal, with a slight gap between all layers. The plastic is statically charged, like if you rub a balloon... right? then one metal sheet is connected to the positive out put and one to negative... as these alternate it makes the charged platic sheet vibrate..... How does this sound?

I just tried stretching a plastic bag over a card frame.. rubbing in to charge static. The mounting a layer of tin foil either side with the positive and negative from 1 channel of of a sacrificed head phone cable attatched to each bit of foil.... it didn't work.... should I persue this or will this never work.... has anyone got better quick easy, cheap example?
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Old 16th October 2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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Yes,it is very easy to use stuff from around the house.

The most of your cost will be a HV bias power supply and transformers to drive them with!!

jer
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Old 16th October 2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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I make my panels out of window screen,lighting grid platic(egg crate),spray paint,super glue, epoxy,I use mylar for a diaphrgm but I have used MonoKote before and graphite or Licron as a coating and I am about to try a trick using White Glue instead for a diaphragm coating.
Saran wrap will work but it won't last long.

jer
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Old 17th October 2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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ok great, so a couple of questions then.. what sort of power is needed to drive esl's, so what should the transformer output be... I'll be honest I'm not to hot on electrics but like to make things, it'll be the electronics i struggle with. Any chance of a schematic or is it not that complicated?
What kind of distance between the plastic inner layer and the 2 metal layers works best?
and does the plastic layer charge it's self with ions or is there a way to do this?... i assume you don't have to open it up and rub a balloon to recharge...
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Old 17th October 2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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I've just thought of a problem... besides my lack of knowing what I'm doing... I live in humid thailand, I've heard this isn't good for esl's.

should I give up now?
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Old 17th October 2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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No need to give up!!

ESL's are great!!!

First you need to build a HV bias supply of at least 3kv to 5kv in order to make them work.
Second you will need a suitable transformer to drive them with with at least a 1:100 trans formation ratio.
Many of us use a pair of toroidal powers transformer in reverse to drive them in a hybrid system using a woofer to handle everything below the 200hz to 500hz range.

An ESL can be any size you like but there are trade offs as to how wide to make them.
It is common practice to build panels with 2" to 4" segments as this helps to keep the higher frequency's from beaming too much.

I like building little desktop models with a 3" wide diaphragm about 12" or so tall.

here are some pictures of my little panel and a test of a coating using common acrylic enamel spray paint at 13.8kv.

That little panel would do in excess of 100db!!
Sadly I pushed to hard and the stator coating gave out and burned it up.
So a new one is being made as we speak.
I made that little panel back in 2003 and have enjoyed for a very long time.
jer
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Last edited by geraldfryjr; 17th October 2012 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 18th October 2012, 02:50 AM   #7
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Ok I'm feeling inspired. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get this project underway but I'm getting a better idea of what's needed. I'll keep an eye out for the metal grills, once of I've got these I'll get into it properly and revist this thread. Thanks for your help.
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Old 18th October 2012, 03:36 AM   #8
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Here is some links to more links in the forum that I compiled a while back.
Lots of great info and should help you to get going and understand the workings of an ESL.

Help, Advice, Information, Reassurance... ???

Building an Electrostatic Speaker

Anyone around here built their own electrostats?

are ESL's, planars etc for me?

Enjoy !!

jer

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 18th October 2012 at 03:42 AM.
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