Microwaving Things Outside of the Microwave!

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Ever wonder what would happen if you took a magnetron out of a microwave, strapped it to a stick, and pointed it at random everyday objects? Well, lucky for you a couple young Russians recorded their research before they presumably hurt themselves and were hospitalized, or maybe just became infertile — or caused cataracts — point is don’t do it.

They’ve taken a magnetron out of a microwave, and tied a soup can to the side of it to focus the microwaves. After discovering this, they did the next logical step — point it at various things and see what happens.

In this specific video (they have lots…) you can see them create plasma inside light bulbs, melt light bulbs, light up vacuum tubes, fluorescent bulbs, liquefy metal, and even catch a glimpse of radio waves.

Again, please don’t try this at home. You can watch more on their channel to satisfy your curiosity though.

[Thanks for the tip Keith!]

47 thoughts on “Microwaving Things Outside of the Microwave!

    1. I think the biggest difference is these guys are using the Magnetron from the microwave. As long as you are careful about placement and where you put your hands a transformer isn’t nearly as dangerous to play with in the long term. The Magnetron is what actually produces the microwaves, and they’ve gone and taken it out of it’s shielding.

  1. I was going to make fun of them for saying “be careful it can explode” whilst at the same time holding the light bulb over the microwave with their bare hands.

    But then i heard the air strike in the background. That would probably skew my idea of what cateful means.

    This is really a very sad video, and not because of the microwaves. Poor guys.

    1. if someone decided to invade alaska i would probibly dust the cob webs off of half a dozen unfinished projects just so i could complete them before i die. i could use a fine dose of russian/ukranian motivation (sometimes also called vodka).

  2. Nitpicking – nobody ever mentioned something bad actually happening to them, except for living in the warzone, of course. Doesn’t make it any less safe, but you can’t just post claims that are not true.
    Also, I have a feeling they have been mentioned here before with this same thing. I just can’t find where…

      1. Not really, since those are expensive and not used in this conflict… Butloads of electronic warfare, but no anti-radiation missiles…
        Also, the 500-700W of output power might amuse the pilot, but would nothing…

  3. Maggies are pretty robust, but taking the output and sticking it in a metal can isn’t exactly a great output match and I’m surprised it didn’t burn itself out in short order… Thermal injuries are the main threat from doing something like this, along with electrocution if they were to get into the HV. Maggies need pretty high current to operate, so there’s a pretty good risk of that. But its something some of us work around all day, every day. So just being careful where you put your fleshy bits and using some common sense and everything is cool. I’d be more worried about having a mortar round coming down on my head in that neck o’ the woods, for sure.

    1. These magnetrons are fairly robust, given the abuse they have to survive.
      The primary danger I see here is sticking hands near that output stub, if he touches it, he’ll get burnt big time. Also, the pink insulating strip on the output stub is berillium ceramic, fairly toxic if you breathe the dust :P

      btw that can is acting like a (crappy) waveguide, this is how amateurs have been making cheap waveguide antennas for decades ;-)

  4. I did try this at home. But took the warnings seriously. The eyes and testicles are good at absorbing microwaves, bad at dissipating heat, and have no internal nerves that detect temperature to let you know there’s a problem. So I had a metal mesh in front of my face, and tinfoil undies. Safety first!

  5. Had fun with this at 17 years old!
    I used some steel tube I brazed to the end of the magnetron as a waveguide – I’m still alive and fertile lol… So if you do it right, you will probably be ok… For a reasonable time at least. (long term effect unknown but not expected :/ lol )

  6. I remember reading a (possibly apocryphal) story of bored teenagers during the Bosnian conflict in the ’90s buying junk-shop microwaves, fixing then up and defeating the door-safety mechanism, and placing the doorless microwaves faceup in a field with a long extension cord to a generator, then sitting up on the hill and drinking beers while watching the fireworks as NATO jets flew over and shot the microwaves with radar-homing missiles thinking they were SAM radars.

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