Myths on Violet Wand - Usage

We hear so many contradictory tales about how they work and which are the best and which are not - so it is quite right that a few myths are laid to rest. We are speaking here in the capacity of disassembling many hundreds of these devices in addition to reading general research material available in books and things.

There is a booster switch to make the wand more powerful

We have heard this a couple of times so it is now a very important issue.

Many devices had an option to run on either 120V or 220V - back in your grandparents day they were sold across Europe and to North America where the local mains voltage differed.

UK / Europe, etc is 240V and North America is 120V

NEVER select the 110V option for the UK or Europe - the wand will be overpowered, overheat and get damaged pretty quickly. You may damage the hv coil in the wand hand piece as well - beyond repair !!!.

If you do have a device rated at 110V (check) then you can get a step down transformer.

If you live in North America then you run it on the 110V option as the mains supply is 120V. Running it on the 220V option will leave it underpowered so again, if there is no 120V option, get a step up transformer

Final point - we state the voltage options which each device can operate under - they are mostly 240V, with some giving both this and 120V and just occasionally a device which offers just 120V - in which case we provide a little step down transformer for UK and European customers

Marks can be left - Generally this is not true - only protracted use on one spot will produce marks and even these can fade in a few hours. However, if you use the fulgurator (the electrode with a fine wire tip) you can cauterize the skin and leave marks which will last for weeks. You will need to use full power and move the tip very slowly over the skin. The sensation (apparently) is like being tattooed but is not advisable.

To avoid or minimize this, move an electrode swiftly over the skin and never hover over one spot

They produce ultra violet light - Not in any measurable quantity. The glow in the glass attachments is produced by the high voltage electricity ionizing the air (a near vacume) inside - which just happens to be violet (or blue). The sparks may produce a little, but then they also produce light of other frequencies as well as heat and sound.

Static Electricity - Violet Wands / Violet Rays do not produce static electricity. Static electricity is just that - it is produced when you rub your jumper with a glass rod in the physics lab at school - and then it just sits there for a while. Violet Wands convert mains current into high frequency high voltage energy which may look like static - ie, it jumps gaps - but it almost instantly goes to ground and will not leave your charged and dangerous!

Myths on how they work

Ceramic Capacitors - True they do exist, tiny little pico farad ones spring to mind - but we have never encountered them in any machine we have disassembled. The only capacitors we encounter are the old wax paper ones and the more modern polypropylene variety which are still used today. Interestingly the wax paper ones were used right into the 1970's, particularly by some German manufacturers and many of these machines are still fully functional.

Ceramic Cores - no such thing - Violet Wand / Violet Ray high voltage coils are not made from teacups.

What is being referred to is the insulating and binding materials which hold the high voltage coil together - that's the coil in the Violet Wand handle and not the one in the control unit. These are made from heat resisting polymers and means they can run at higher temperatures for longer.

They are more prevalent in very modern wands - and you can use them for a lot longer. Be warned however, the good ones are very expensive and many of the modern ones are designed for the cosmetics industry and lack power

Wax cores - as for the above, and refers to the insulating and binding materials used in the high voltage coils (wand handle - not control unit)

The hv coil is normally 12 - 15 layers of fine copper coil, wound to a width of 3/4" and placed in the center of a 4" bobbin. Each layer is on top of the other and separating each coil is a layer of insulating material - which just happens to be waxed paper. They are also often embedded in a mix of wax and rosin.

Sitting on top of this (normally separated by layers of paper and mica insulation) is a primary coil (of around 10 turns) which is connected to the control unit and feeds the hv coil underneath

The argument is that when it heats up, the wax melts and the coil is damaged.

The counter argument is that if it has not been damaged and you use it carefully, it may just last another 50 years. With a good one, you get 15 minutes at high power - with a damaged one you put up with the pops and crackles, re-wind it or you throw it away !

Wax Capacitors should be replaced - There are arguments on both sides but if they are original and the machine is old - it should be checked out by an expert

Firstly there are very rare cases where the capacitors (in this case - normally two) are being used to isolate the user from the mains. The old wax paper capacitors can fail without notice and are not considered acceptable. If you are in any doubt get it checked out

If you are really lucky - the capacitor in your violet wand will be in working order. You should get 15 minutes of good reliable output without any undue heating of the capacitor or noticeable power loss. This is what they were designed for and any greater usage may damage that very expensive hv coil in the wand. Sometimes, the old capacitor will heat up before the coil and to some extent this may protect it - by dying first - but only sometimes.

More likely your machine has been abused in its infancy and carefully stored in a damp garage for 50 years. Most noticeable is the gradual loss of power - sometimes in minutes - sometimes in seconds. You may also get a very loud buzzing and occasional puffs of smoke. Thankfully - this is what fuses were invented for. In these cases turn it off immediately and get it checked out

This is why people buy Violet Wands from ourselves rather than from some guy at a boot fair! - or just as bad - some un restored item on eBay which will cost you £100 or more to have fully restored - and that's just the electrics - the case and interior are often of such a poor state they are of no value at all .

If you have any other questions, then please contact us and we can post answers on this page


PS: Finally, we cannot accept any liability for any errors or omissions on this web site or for any of our links to other sites. In a nutshell - if you zap yourself and your leg drops off - its your fault!




Radiostat Promo - circa 1928

A selection of Radiostat glass attachments in stand circa 1928

Notice the slide control in the handle Violet Wand to the face





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