Joyful World

Helios Technology

Rife without the Strife!

The Actual Technology

Page 2

The Helios Tech
Here, I will layout as much as I can, to hopefully make it possible for you to actually create it yourself, and see it work! Essentially, this is a quest for Citizen Science — with NO strings attached. Well, maybe one: It would sure be nice if you shared a little of the wealth, should you profit from this technology. A show of gratitude, as it were. I'm looking into setting up a Patreon account.
How It Works
Let's start with the goal: To produce a waveform, roughly square [see Photo 10 & Photo 11], with a range of frequencies that can be selected, or "dialed in". Insert a distortion we call "the Jag", and, use all of that to modulate a micro-magnetic field, in a bizarre coil that scrambles the hell out of it, put all of that in the proximity of a crystal, and some-kin'o' magic occurs.
To create the waveform, the venerable "555 Timer" is used. And, actually, two 555s are needed, one to generate the base frequency, and one to add the Jag. Thus, the use of a TLC5561. The first 1/2 of the 556 is a standard Astable configuration. Why did I select such a large valued pot for the frequency control [2.5MΩ]? Because I wanted to get as close to a perfect square wave as possible. The desire to extend battery discharge length as much as possible, led to the choice of 47k for R2, which also pushed the pot resistance requirement up. But, because 2M5 pots don't grow on trees, I also came up with values to support a 1MΩ pot [the values shown with in square braces -- like those enclosing this comment]. R3 sets the upper frequency limit.
C1 & C3, along with SW2 create a dual frequency system. B and P are separate frequency "bands", and unfortunately, because we're using "standard values", a slight amount of frequency overlap, between the bands, is unavoidable — at least with the simple switching scheme being used, here. The really awful tolerances, in the Pots [20% to 30%], and the capacitors [10%], also contribute to this. I do have another design where an MCU generates the waveform, with zero overlap. [I plan to make that available soon, as well].
The Jag is generated by the second half of the 556. R4 and C4 act as a first order low-pass filter, causing a small delay in the output on Pin 5. That output is fed through a resistor network that includes a 10k pot that serves to vary the "Jag current" through the coil. Q1 mixes the Jag current, with the output from Pin 9 on the 556.
Have a look at Photo 7, Photo 8, Photo 9. To see how this looks on a scope, connect an isolated probe2 from TP2 to TP3, with the probe-ground connected to TP2. This is the only way to visualize the intended functionality — and provides insight into why we called it the "Jag". Essentially, what you're looking at, when you probe it that way, is the current mode [i.e. a view of the electrical current, that excites the coil].
And now for something completely different! Take note of how the 556's VDD is supplied by a voltage that is modulated by the current it consumes. The CL520, a 20mA Constant Current LED Driver, maintains a constant 20mA through LED3 and LED5. The Forward Voltages on those LEDs already hold fairly steady, and the constant current supply makes them rock solid [other than the affects of temperature, and age]. Thus, the voltage variations across the CL520 that occur as it works to maintain that 20mA current, are translated directly to the 556, and to LED1, LED2 and LED4. This causes the current through the later three LEDs [the "Emitter LEDs"] to be modulated by the activity in the 556 circuit. This, coupled with the chaotic magnetic fluctuations in the coil, produce an effect that we don't understand, but that clearly has an influence on the affability of bacteria — the "B" setting. There might also be some Parasite disruption — the "P" setting — but I have yet to verify that.
BTW: The Red and IR LEDs are merely for "targeting". It's the UV LEDs that produce the effect. The Red LED provides a visual indication of where the UV LEDs are pointing, and the IR LED offers a slight sensation of "heat" that provides a tactile targeting.
And now for a note on UV LEDs: In case you didn't know, most of those dome topped UV LEDs on the market are crap! If you look up the specs [assuming you can find any] on the typical UV LED "Bulb", you'll see a mere 2000 hour [or so] life time. In the context of the typical non-UV LED, that's pathetic. Non-UV LED spec-sheets typically claim a MTBF of more like 50,000 hours! Why the huge difference?!? Because, the resin used to encase "regular" LEDs, doesn't stand up very well to the ionizing radiation of UV light. The resin soon yellows, and, BTW, yellow is a color UV has trouble penetrating. So, even though the UV LED is shining just as bright as it did from the beginning, beyond the resin "lens", only a feeble amount of light escapes. The same thing occurs with those cheap "water resistant" UV LED strips. A strip I once tested, soon went dim, but, when I pulled off that rubbery coating [not so difficult], the LEDs, once again, glowed with a "like-new" intensity. Obviously, the engineers that develop these crappy UV LEDs are aware of the yellowing issue, because the 2000 hour MTBF is noted in the spec-sheet, and somebody up the chain of command, is clearly hoping no body will notice. The fact that I've only been able to locate two vendors that offer long-life T-1¾ UV LEDs, points to a lack of demand--driven, no doubt, by less than moral economics, as will become clear in the next section.
The answer? Silicone resin. But, UV LEDs encased in UV resistant silicone resin are rather expensive. A recent estimate, from my favorite source for Silicone UV LEDs Marubeni, for T-1¾ 5mm LEDs [specifically their L405R] was around $465 for 100, that's $4.65 per bulb! And, the only way I've found, to get them, is by special order, with a minimum quantity of 100!! An SMD chip UV LED, sans lens, is available from Mouser Electronics for $3.01 per 100 ... that's a mere 30¢ per bulb! The only drawback is the light they emit is not focused, like it is from those T-1¾ 5mms. But, there are inexpensive lenses available that do a fairly good job of focusing. But, the T-1¾ 5mms are still the best at directing most of the light in a tight cone shaped beam [±20° for the model # L405R that I use in this application].

BTW: I have some of each of those types that I've been running for several years with no degradation in intensity.

Regarding the not-quite 50% duty-cycle: Not sure if it needs to be that way, or if 50% works. Testing this is on my TODO list. In fact, I even implemented this wonky duty-cycle in my MCU based version [which I call the "Digital Helios", just in case].
Downloads
Here's a PDF, you can download, of a schematic that includes a Constant Voltage NiMH Battery Charger/Manager [for two 7-cell "9V" batteries connected in series].
PLUS: a BOM in two formats
PLUS: an OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc file that does the math.
Gerber Files
And, here's a Gerber file-set for that Möbius Coil: NOTE: You many find the file naming a bit odd -- unless you're a SeeedStudio PCB Fusion customer, or even a JLCPCB customer, or one of the other, similar PCB manufacturers. This is the file naming scheme they prefer, and I use them because you can get 5 or 10 two-sided "prototype" boards, with silkscreen on BOTH sides, for like, $2 to $5 [40¢ to 50¢ per board!] — the "hit" is shipping cost, but if you're willing to wait a few weeks for your boards, the cheapest shipping option isn't too bad — more like $6, vs the $18, or so, for [e.g.] DHL shipping to the USA. And, their turn-around is amazing, with a multi-board order happening in a day or two. The rest is shipping time. Also, the quality is decent. When I pay for DHL shipping, I typically get my boards in a week, or less [plus the couple of days for fabrication].
Oscilloscope Shots
Below is an array of Oscilloscope Shots showing the waveforms, with various pertinent parameters. Click anywhere in a thumbnail to open a full-sized image.
 
 
The Succor Punch, in general, can be dangerous, so use with caution! The Helios coil, not so much, but, for Pete sake, don't blame us if you hurt yourself!
Up Next
Next, we'll take a look at what we've figured out in terms of how to use this technology: Helios 3 -- How To Use It
 

  1. Though, probably any flavor of CMOS dual 555 can be used — such as the Renesas/Maxim ICM7556, or the STMicro TS556. Hell, even the old "bipolar technology" timers, such as the NE556, will probably work! BTW: That "ICC ( A)", in the STMicro datasheet Figure3 diagram, is obviously meant to read "ICC (µA)". Funny that a company with "micro" in it's name, would miss using a micro symbol .
  2. If running on batteries, alone, an isolated probe many not be necessary.