The RCA IP28 photomultiplier works well with a total voltage of 750-1000V.

Some flash power supplies (especially those for older ring flashes) provide about 400V or more that would still be enough for the PMT tube.

Would it be possible to use one of them, provided the total current through the PMT is kept within specification through a proper series of resistors between the dynodes?

What other easily available options are there to power said PMT, assuming an optimal 1000V target voltage?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You could replace the output rectifier on the camera flash with a voltage doubler. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Aug 31 '16 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ madscientisthut.com/wordpress/daily-blog/… \$\endgroup\$ – Bruce Abbott Aug 31 '16 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it will give you enough current then yes \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Aug 31 '16 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do a search on ebay for "high voltage boost power supply". I found this one for the equivalent of about $7. I have no idea how good these are, or even if they are safe. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve G Aug 31 '16 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SteveG they look like isolated designs, so the output terminals are floating and I can use it to obtain -HV..0V and follow the explanation at hamamatsu.com/resources/pdf/etd/PMT_handbook_v3aE-Chapter5.pdf \$\endgroup\$ – FarO Sep 1 '16 at 17:38

Gain of PMTs is quite dependent on supply voltage. I'd guess a flash supply is poorly regulated. If you're going to the trouble of using a PMT, then perhaps you're concerned with high, constant sensitivity. Adding a regulator to such high voltage isn't trivial, but highly recommended.

Current required should be under 5mA. You only need to supply tube current plus current of the resistor series string that establishes dynode voltages.

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