Sam Barros' PowerLabs!



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Welcome to Sam Barros' PowerLabs

 PowerLabs RailGun 2.0 Firing

 Welcome! My name is Sam Barros and this is my webpage, an 8 year effort at documenting some of the various experiments and research I have worked on in different fields of science and technology.
 Here you will find detailed reports including descriptions, pictures, videos, diagrams, schematics and technical data on experiments and devices designed and built by myself over the years, including Tesla coils and other various types of high voltage generators, plasma globes, electromagnetic experiments, coil guns, rail guns, lasers, rockets, turbines, electromagnetic propulsion, EMP, HERF, cryogenics, chemistry and much more! Feel free to browse around.
 To learn more about me, click the "about" section. The main page contains all the news, and you may follow the links above and below to access all the sub pages.


Current Updates:

March 2012: 400KJ RailgunA railgun so big a forklift was needed for assembly!:

I haven't had the time to put the page up yet, but it works... E-mail me and remind me I need to get this up some time ;)

January 2012: EE Web Interview with Sam Barros:

I did an interview for EE Web last year; it is a site I enjoy visiting from time to time. Here is the interview:


140kV AC High Voltage Transformer:


Another spectacular RailGun 3.0 video, this one using a Plasma Armature to propel a polymer projectile:

Feb 13th: Its my birthday :-) Why not donate? I'm trying to save up the $3000 or so dollars it will cost to re-design Railgun 3.0 in to a compact platform, using the capacitors below:


  The PowerLabs Forum is Back online!
  After numerous problems with "hackers" (script kiddies) and spammers I decided to bite the bullet and buy a proper forum engine: VBulletin 4.01. The board is also running on its own dedicated server for maximum performance. Enjoy the added stability and functionality. Join today!

 PowerLabs RailGun 3.0 Fires!
I just got back from a 4 day trip to North Carolina where, in just 4 days, I was able to completely machine and assemble my 3rd RailGun design. Testing was made possible by Aron Kosho, who provided the lab space at his company, Resonant Power Systems, and took it upon himself to design and assemble the switch and power supply. The results were nothing short of spectacular: The gun fired at up to 105Kilojoules, and put armatures through an inch of plywood from across the room with no pre-injection of any sort.
 Don't take my word for it though! See it here:

More Updates to the PowerLabs Youtube Channel ;

  Stay tuned for an all-new Railgun page detailing this exciting new project :)

 ICAR Capacitors. PowerLabs' new capacitor bank!
I have been enormously lucky to have come across ten units of the very best, highest energy density pulse discharge capacitors I have ever come across. It wasn't cheap, but these capacitors will mark a whole new era of pulse discharge research at PowerLabs! Highlights will include a new, Railgun 3.0, which will have more stored energy than most research guns found at University labs.
 Each individual capacitor is rated as 12kV, 266uF, and stored as much energy as the entire capacitor bank on the previous PowerLabs Railgun. Even more impressive; they only weight 36lbs (16kg) each!

ElectroThermal Gun RenderingElectro Thermal Gun 2.0 This is my current project; it will utilize one of the 20kJ units pictured above and be switched by a Thyratron. The drawings are now donw and renderings are posted on the ETC Gun Site.
 I need $800 for materials, so it'll be a little while untill it gets built.

200,000Volt Cascade200kV PowerLabs Voltage Multiplier:
All new! A 4 Stage Cockroft-Walton Cascade fed by a car ignition coil, outputing 200 thousand volts. Pictures, description and video now at the page. More to come.











 October 2008: Sam Barros on TV Again!

Lightning Gun
You may probably be wondering what happened with the RailGun 2.0... Did it work? Did it fire?
And what have I been up to?
Well... This Sunday, October 26th tune in to the Science Channel at 9PM Estern / 8PM Pacific time and watch "Sci Fi Science" (link contains all airdates next week). We filmed this episode with Workoholic Productions over the summer, and it features my first railgun firings, as well as an all-new lightning gun produced by kVA Effects which just needs to be seen to be believed!

What am I working on now?
 This webpage is currently being redesigned to an easier to navigate format.
 PowerLabs Rail Gun (2.0) done, PowerLabs Railgun 3.0 has been fired!
 ElectroThermalGun 2: Being machined
 Supercharged Corvette: Because life is too short to drive a slow car.
 High Efficiency, IGBT-Switched coilgun: Being designed.
The future:
 - The Rail Gun Is done, it works, it could be better. I want to build a 3rd railgun incorporating all new techniques that I couldn't afford to before; a pulse shaping network, more stored energy, external field augmentation... This will of course take money... Why not donate?

 - I am working on a new type of coilgun that has never been tried before.

 - All parts have been gathered for a 450kV Marx Generator and the 1MW Nitrogen pulsed LASER, these projects are on queue after the Rail Gun research.
 - Future topics should include Electrostatic Propulsion (Lifters), more Rocket Engines and others, as time and money permits. As always, suggestions, money and sponsorships are very welcome :)



Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail me: I can read and reply e-mails in English, Portuguese, French or Spanish. (Note: Due to the large amount of e-mail I receive any requests for plans/schematics will usually be ignored. Any  plans I intend on distributing are made available through this site.)

Older Updates:

 July: Prepare to be amazed!

 Moments after the discharge.








(Photo by Kelly Drews Photography)

What happens if you discharge 9000Joules through a watermelon in the form of a 9thousand volt, half million ampere discharge? The picture above is a preview. More to come!

June: Directed Energy research!

 Thanks to a generous donation from Robert Brown, I now have Laser optics! Here is a picture of what the output of the laser does to polycarbonate when focused into a spot less than 1mm in diameter: The plasma that forms is so bright I have to wear brazing goggles!

Laser beam focused cuts into some polycarbonate.






 Check out the PowerLabs Laser page for pictures. Videos coming soon!

 The microwave gun is back: By popular demand... Since this was such a popular project, I hereby present you the new microwave gun: 30degree beam dispersion, 2kW power input... The page will be up soon.

Microwave Horn









January: More Electromagnetic Acceleration Research...

 If you've e-mailed me recently and I haven't gotten back to you, your e-mail has probably been lost. I switched computers and was away from my e-mail for several weeks so now I have over one thousand e-mail messages, a lot of which are spam. If I haven't replied to you please write again.

Looking down the ETC gun barrel. Work continues on the PowerLabs Electro-Thermal Gun, the only one of its kind online!
Railgun2: I have decided to hold off on the first firing videos until the Discovery Channel episode about it airs.


 Valveless Pulsejet powered boat coming soon (project completed, waiting for test videos)
Jet boat under construction at my friend Shmitt's garage.






 Copyright (c) 1999 - 2009 by Sam Barros. All rights reserved.
 Removing any material from this site for display without consent from its author consists in an infringement of international copyright laws and can result in fines up to $50000 plus legal costs per infringement.