Stefan's Tesla-Pages

 violet wand


Still to a LOT of work here,

please be patient...

...or I will send you the quack doctor
with the violet ray and the real
fat anal electrode ;-)

(pictures are "clickable"...)
(some more smurfes can be found here)

Description of the devices in general
Generators & photographs
safety hints
Geissler tubes

Description of violet ray (high frequency / violet wand) machines / devices (in german these are called "Hochfrequenzheilgeräte" or "Violett-Strahler"):

The violet wand (or violet ray machine) is an old quack device used mainly from 1920-1940 to "cure" nearly all deseases you can think of. They were sold in wooden boxes together with up to 22 electrodes. The slogan of the time was "every household should have one" ;-)

Line current is used to vibrate an interrupter attached to an induction coil (also called kicker coil). By interrupting the line current, a high voltage will be generated in the induction coil and stored in a capacitor. Via a spark across the vibrator, this energy is dumped into another coil (the "primary") with few windings located in the handle of the device, where the output voltage will be generated by resonant transformer action in the high voltage coil (the "secondary"). 
In detail:
When the main switch is turned on, the 50Hz line current flows through the kicker coil because the vibrator is still closed. Then the vibrator is attracted from the magnetic field produced in the core of the kicker coil. Upon opening the contact, the current still wants to flow through the inductance of the kicker coil and therefore flows through the primary coil, charging up the capacitance. When there is a sufficient voltage generated between the contacts of the vibrator, they arc over and the capacitor can discharge through the primary coil (green circle in the following schematics indicates the oscillating nature of this discharge). The energy is transferred to the secondary coil which has distributed internal capacitance and therefore forms also a resonant circuit. When the primary and secondary circuit are tuned to the same frequency, there are long sparks generated at the HV terminal (~3cm). With the current in this high voltage output, you even can light up an ordinary 15W incandescent lamp (the spiral wound filament is glowing bright from approx. 5W pure HF power)! The input power is approx. 30W. When all the energy is transferred to the secondary, the magnetic field weakens, the vibrator will make contact again and it all starts over.


Many different companies buildt these devices in the past. Some brandnames / types are: Haider, Pansanitor, Wapa-Strahler, Elmeda, Heliolux, Radiostat, Radiolux, Helios (G), Tefra Allstrom N53 Impulsan and many others. They came as one-part devices like the Radiolux (interrupter and high voltage coil all integrated in the handle), two-part devices like Haider (interrupter in separate box, high voltage coil in the handle) or even three-part devices like some Tefra Allstrom N53 (with additional RF-filter in separate box).

Their are some different socket diameters and shapes, I'll explain them on the electrodes page.

Of course therer are some devices made for the european market (220V in those days) as well as others for the US market (110V). Some of the better violet ray devices had two coils on the interrupter and a switch to select the input voltage. Others were designed so that they not only work at 220V but also at 110V, but the output at 110V is much weaker then (not all 220V-devices will work at voltages as low as 110V!).

The original power cords hardened over the years (>80 years old rubber...) and have to be replaced in most times.

The strength (length and power of output arc) can be adjusted on most devices. Sometimes simply the "springiness" of the interupter can be adjusted, in other cases there is a knob to dial in some additional inductance (+resistance) into the primary resonant circuit to de-tune (de-Q) the oszillations. But the maximum strength is very different between different types of devices.

One should NOT operate those old devices without changing the old capacitor. It is made out of paper and wax and some metallisation and soaked up water over the decades and degraded from overheating over the years of usage. If operating such a detoriated capacitor, it will overheat quickly due to the losses in the old dielectric, the wax will melt and leak out followed by a short circuit. Better replace it by a modern capacitor (plastic film / foil construction for RF) of suitable values (voltage and capacitance).

The wiring of those old violet ray devices is done in a way which is not allowed any more today - for some good reason! You can easily electrocute you or your "victim"! So please read the safety hints I placed on this separate page before plugging it in. 

back to top of page

Photographs of some of the beautiful devices:
(no, I will not sell these ones!)

My Tefra:

My Sanostra:

My Medikus:

This next one is a diathermy device (Fischer Type F):

Electrodes can be found on this separate page I made recently.

back to top of page

Booklets/Books/Manuals I have:

I have a lot more but they are packed away at the time, please check back later, thanks.
title author year pages type condition
Gesundheit und Heilung durch Hochfrequenz download (unknown source) good
copy excellent
original fair
Aus Krankheit und Siechtum zu Gesundheit und neuer Lebenskraft durch HELIOS Hochfrequenzstrahlen Helios-Werk Hermann Will, Jena ca. 1929/30 32 original good
Flyer for the Radiostat
Tefra bad scan (OCR'ed, converted to .pdf)

A nice letter I found in one of my books:

back to top of page

Saftey hints

I'm aware that violet wands are used today by many people for many reasons. So I would like to add some special saftey hints. Some of them are even named in the old booklets sold with the violet wands, others are common sense. Some "special" hints are clipped from a text found on Be sure to read the safety hints I placed on this separate page before using a violet wand! 

back to top of page

Geissler tubes (for all of the glow photos, the GTs were driven by my TEFRA violet ray generator with the GT connected between the metal electrode inserted into the hadle and the "return electrode" for maximum output current)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001 defines the "Geissler tube" as follows:
(gs´lr) (KEY) , gas discharge tube in which light is produced when an electric discharge passes through the rarefied gas in the tube. The color of the glow depends on the gas used. The tubes are made in a variety of shapes and are especially useful in spectroscopy. One later form of the tube is widely used in luminous signs (“neon” signs) and another in fluorescent lamps.

GT1 (different levels of exposure and f-stops) with bow-ties made out of uranium glass (therefore the greenish glow):

GT2 (still without flourescent liquid):

back to top of page

link description Jeff Behary order your production of a geissler tube great pictures de Geissler a liquides fluorescents/Tube de Geissler_doc.htm history of geissler tubes a warning uranium glass pics and info (even about the dotted discharge) (in german!)  museum inside the birth house of Dr. Heinrich Geißler (1814 - 1879)

back to top of page

The following article from the free newsletter of describes me presenting some of my old violet wands on the hamfest "HAM Radio 2005" in Friedrichshafen/Germany:

back to top of page