Original Author : Gr8rays 5-12-15 19:21

Got your eye on antique violet rays? Sooner or later you might. They are a fascinating collectible, can be used in many ways like a violet wand, have some neat properties, and you can’t beat that cool mad scientist effect.  You can learn a lot from tinkering with them. Or, you’re working on your Master certification and have to restore one. So you want to look around for what’s out there. Online auctions aren’t a bad place to get one to rebuild and restore yourself, but they are a terrible place to get a fully restored violet ray. But, all that in a minute.

Lets talk some basic definitions.

Rewired: At minimum, a ‘rewired’ violet ray has had the capacitor changed and/or the outer electrical cords replaced. But, it SHOULD also have had main wiring replaced (running from coil to coil) etc. as the ‘on’ leg of the circuit usually has had the insulation burned or cracked off. 98% of people who say they work on these dont realize that leg of the wiring needs to be insulated, and they merely look in the electrical box and see intact wires, shake out some fallen pieces of insulation not realize where it went, then close it back up.

If you’re going to get a violet ray to use on people or use on yourself, it needs these absolute minimums for safety: outer electrical cords replaced, interior main wiring replaced or if in excellent condition, then interior main wiring re-insulated.

Rebuilt: A ‘rebuilt’ violet ray at minimum should have had all the above done to it, PLUS new tungsten contacts, new resonator coil (because the center iron rods become lossy after 50 years!) cleaned, and adjusted for resonance.

More that can be done for a rebuild: new coatings on the transformer coils.

Restoration: Many of those who say they work on violet rays can do a rewire. Some can actually do a rebuild. The Guild Masters at this website, learn how to do a complete restoration.  A RESTORED violet ray will have AT MINIMUM, all of the above so that it is operating in ‘like new’ condition. In fact, sometimes better than new because of what we know now. In addition, a restored violet ray also will have the exterior cosmetically redone. There will be no frayed edges, no faded linings, no corrosion. It will not only run like new, it will look like new.

If you’re looking for a violet ray and you see any of those terms used by the seller, (rewired, rebuilt, restored) ask them EXACTLY what was done to it.

Then there are a couple of other things to look for, so here is some additional advice.

Do not bother with any of the really really old violet rays that have a screw-in socket instead of a plug in cord. 50-70 years is old enough.  Pass over all Baby Violettas. Their wiring was bad to begin with and no passage of time made it better.  Do not choose those ‘one-of-a-kind’ violet rays made in some Joe Blow’s basement until you have worked on a few. Save the specialty violet rays for later.  Single piece handset violet rays (transitional between the old violet rays and the new beauty high frequency and the violet wands) aren’t worth the trouble. You will always have the overheating problem, or struggle to find caps that will fit in the cramped space. If you do find caps that will fit, they will outperfom your coil and your coil will fail.  Anything that looks like its in terrible shape on the outside, will be just as bad on the inside.

Look for well-maintained machines. The better the condition to start, the better off (and safer) you’ll be.  Choose US made to get started. Best bet: Renulife. Renulifes are pretty standard, fairly uncomplicated. Fitzgeralds are funny as it depended on who put them together.. HOW they put them together, but they are tough and dependable. One drawback; rheostat on the outside of the machine..touch that spark and you are getting nasty current.

The best thing is to be able to look at the inside as well as the outside. A machine that ‘works’ could be wired wrong. By opening the electrical box you’ll be able to see if it is in bad shape, if all the resin has melted, or if the darn thing has caught fire at some point. None of those things are insurmountable if you know how to repair the problems, (or are planning to learn how) but if you just want to use it as is, then please take a few minutes to know what you are getting. Safety depends on it.

All this doesn’t really matter if you just want a specific make/model or some rare electrodes to add to your collection.

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