ASTROD Usage Notes
I do not advocate use of the ASTROD since no one knows the effects, especially long term, of using one. In addition to the beam effects, like any spark gap device it produces ozone which can damage the lungs and other parts of the body when breathed to excess, especially if there are not sufficient antioxidants in the body. The thing should be mounted in a cooler or other closed container. The voltages involved are quite dangerous and someone unskilled in high voltage circuits can be hurt or even killed if "hot" parts are touched when the device is energized. The following describes how I use it.
I tend to now use it with small spark gaps from about 1/8" to 1/4". Do NOT ATTEMPT to run in the grounded mode with a large spark gap. If this is attempted, use the smallest gap possible to start (never let the spark gap sides touch each other during operation, though, it is dangerous.)
The best way I have found to use it is on the same schedule as Clark recommends for her zapper, that is, 7 minutes on, 20 minutes off, 7 on, 20 off, and 7 on.
There are many ways to use it since it can be used in either contact or radiant mode, with or without being grounded. I have used the following ways, and they are listed in my estimation of power applied to the body, from weakest to strongest.
Radiant ungrounded mode. Just sit by the tube while it is on.
Radiant grounded mode. Ground oneself and sit near the tube.
Contact mode. Without being grounded, hold the tube while using it. Avoid the wires and the electrodes. The feet can be gently placed on the tube instead.
Contact grounded mode. To do this, I put the grounding bars against my
feet and press on them to make good contact and grab on to the tube with my
hands. Grounding bars can be placed anywhere on the body, like taped to
the back if there is a lung problem. They must make good contact or will cause
discomfort. Being grounded in contact mode can provide a very strong
sensation. I would not use it in this mode with a large spark gap.
The spark gap should be cleaned as necessary once the spark if affected. With the parallel bolt scheme, this only need be done every few hours of operation, but can be done more often if desired.