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Plasma Toroid (sky-guided PCB edition)

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2024-02-10 10:00:06

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This project was created on 02/02/2024 and last updated 4 hours ago.

Steve Ward explains the circuit's function in terms of what happens on each cycle. That can be a useful way to think about things, but for myself I gained far more intuition about how things work by deconstructing the entire resonator into a series of functional building blocks.

Let's start simple -- take some voltage in (V1), put an inductor (L1) in series with an N-channel mosfet (U2), and feed the mosfet a square wave at some frequency. Areas of the circuit have been highlighted to correspond to the LTspice simulation traces. (Don't worry too much about the specific values on each axis; the overall shape of each trace is more important.) 

It's a boost converter! While the mosfet is conducting, current flows through L1 and builds up a surrounding magnetic field. When the mosfet turns off, this field tries to keep shoving current through L1, resulting in a spike in voltage.

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