Royal Rife Revisited: Reconstruction of the Original Rife Ray Tube

[Originally Published in: U.S. Psychotronics Proceedings, 1993; republished by permission]

Royal Rife Revisited:
Reconstruction of the Original Rife Ray Tube

David M. Tumey and William H. Sheline

Abstract — In this paper the authors relate information obtained from over three years of work spent researching and reconstructing a working replica of Royal Rife’s original Ray Tube apparatus. A description of Rife’s discovery of the pleomorphic nature of microorganisms is given along with details of how this led him to invent a revolutionary non-invasive pathogen devitilization technique. Also discussed with limited detail was Rife’s development of his extraordinary microscopes. The authors attempt to give the reader new insights into this exciting, readily available technology. Finally, the authors describe the design and fabrication of a complete and working beam tube system, constructed with antique and surplus electronic components. This paper attempts to provide enough information so that all can understand what it was Rife was attempting to accomplish, how Rife’s machines worked, and how similar machines might be manufactured today. Also, a list of the original known Mortal Oscillatory Rates (MORs) is provided. No claims for the use of this device in healing human subjects are made.

Introduction — Royal Raymond Rife (1888 – 1971) was an accomplished scientist and microbiologist who developed an optical microscope that could provide magnifications and resolutions heretofore unheard of. He was able, through special quartz optics and a creative optical heterodyning technique, to obtain these resolutions even though they surpassed the theoretical limits of ordinary visible light microscopy. Theoretically, the wavelength of the source illumination is the limiting factor in achievable resolution. It is not possible to image something smaller than the wavelength of the microscope’s light source. That is why electron microscopes (with far shorter wavelength) can be used today to image extremely small objects. The major difference between visible light and electron microscopy is that, by its nature, electron microscopes destroy the microorganisms while viewing them. Rife’s major advantage was that he could observe them in their natural state. His most powerful instrument is said to be the Universal Microscope which had a magnification of 61,000X and a resolution of 30,000 diameters. Compare this with today’s state-of-the-art light source microscopes which are limited to approximately 5,000 diameters.

Rife began his work with the microscopes in the early 1920’s and it was from these original developments that he would make many of his revolutionary discoveries. It is argued that Rife was the first person to empirically prove that virus and bacteria are pleomorphic forms. Pleomorphism is the phenomenon by which one distinct life form mutates into another. Rife basically classified pathogenic bacteria into 10 individual groups. Rife demonstrated that any organism within its group could be transformed morphologically into any other organism within the 10 groups by carefully altering the media in which it was cultured. Of course this discovery contradicts modern microbiology which teaches that a bacteria’s morphology is fixed and unchangeable.

Rife also discovered techniques for successfully culturing cancer virus. This virus he identified as BX and it was noted that the viruses refracted a purplish red color with a monochromatic beam under his microscope. In fact, Rife discovered that each organism depending on its state would refract unique spectra and have distinct coloration. By the late 1920’s and early 30’s, Rife had discovered that by irradiating these pathogenic microorganisms with specific frequencies known as MORs for Mortal Oscillatory Rates, he could cause them to devitalize either by interrupting normal cytologic function or by inducing them to mutate into a non-pathogenic form.

The instrumentation involved in this irradiation process has been the subject of a great deal of controversy over the past 50 years. After researching books, films, articles and notes, the authors have concluded that Rife irradiated his pathogenic entities with a modulated radio frequency produced by a sophisticated RF plasma discharge. Rife utilized a radio frequency generator that produced between 100 and 150 Watts of power with a carrier frequency between 3.1 Mhz and 35 Mhz. The output from the generator was connected through suitable impedance matching circuitry to a plasma discharge tube with one or more noble gases. It is believed that Helium was the primary gas used although many researchers cite Argon or an Argon mix as the choice ingredient. Further, Rife utilized a standard dial-type vacuum tube audio frequency generator as the modulation source for his radio frequency transmitter. The modulation signal was a square wave and it is assumed he chose this waveform because of its high harmonic content and broad spectral contributions.

Rife obtained the original MORs through a painstaking method of tuning the dial of the audio frequency generator while observing the sample pathogen under his microscope. When a frequency was discovered that demonstrated the ability to devitilize a particular microorganism, its dial position was duly noted and marked. The actual frequencies were determined later after the experimental trials. By the mid 1950s the verified original MOR frequency list included 15 different bacteria and viruses. Regardless of what other researchers have said, the authors believe that these 15 frequencies represented the complete list. The following is a listing of these known MORs as compiled by Dr. Robert P. Stafford, M.D. a physician who worked with an original Rife machine from 1957 to 1963:

Microorganism                   Frequency in Hertz
-------------                   ------------------
Tetanus                                 120
Treponema                               660
Gonorrhea                               712
Staphlococci                            728
Pneumococci                             776
Streptothrix (fungus)                   784
Streptococci                            880
Typhoid Bacteria                        712
Typhoid Virus                          1862
Bacillus Coli Rod Form                  800
Bacillus Coli Virus                    1552
Tuberculosis Rod Form                   803
Tuberculosis Virus                     1552 (same as B-Coli)
Sarcoma (all forms)                    2008
Carcinoma (all forms)                  2128

Dr. Stafford who is still living in Dayton, Ohio, independently verified some of Rife’s work. Dr. Stafford conducted a rat study with the assistance of Dr. Robert Zipf, M.D., who at the time was the Director of Medical Research at Miami Valley Hospital and in addition, the Montgomery County Coroner. Chloroleukemic Sprague-Dawley rats were utilized in the experiment. Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss the study results in detail, the encapsulated summary is as follows: Ten suckling rats were injected with standard doses of rat leukemic whole blood. Of the seven rats which were inoculated and treated with the Rife equipment, three survived without symptom. Four of these rats died. However, the average time to death was 50.5 days as compared to the group of three non-treated rats which had an average death time of 43.6 days. In addition, all the non-treated rats died. Clearly, even with the four ‘failed-cures’, in the group of treated rats the Chloroma was favorably impressed.

Details of the Original Tube — In the “Cancer Cure that Worked”, Barry Lynes includes a quote penned by Rife himself, which describes the principles of the original Ray Tubes. Also, photographs of original tubes can be found in “The Rife Way III” by Mark Simpson. Figure 1 details the component arrangement of the early units (prior to the formation of Beam Ray Corp.). As described in the introduction, a standard frequency generator (a) was utilized as the square wave modulation source. The individual MORs were selected for broadcast via this instrument. The function generator was connected to the radio frequency generator (b). The square wave signal from the frequency generator was employed in a screen-grid modulation arrangement with the final amplifier of the radio frequency generator. The RF generator incorporated circuitry bearing resemblance to a standard radio transmitter and had a single stage crystal controlled oscillator connected to a class-C amplifier stage. Most likely, the oscillator used either a 6AG7 or 6V6 vacuum tube, while the output was obtained from a pair of standard RF transmitter tubes. RCA designed 807’s were introduced in the later models (1940’s).

The output from the amplifier was connected to an impedance matching network (c) designed to maximize the transfer of RF power from the generator to the gas plasma. As with any transmitter, maximum power transfer occurs when the impedance of the generator is the same as the impedance of the load. The major problem with matching to a plasma is that the plasma’s impedance is dynamic and highly non-linear. Rife must have been faced with a formidable challenge having to address the many variables involved in controlling an RF plasma. The original plasma tubes were modified X-ray tubes (d). The tube elements were left intact, however, he tube was refilled with one or more noble gases. When the plasma discharge occurred, the tube glowed purplish blue as attested to by Dr. Stafford, John Crane (Rife’s research assistant from 1950 – 1971) and others. Later, Rife had several tubes fabricated from scratch. It is not known precisely how many of this genus of tube were manufactured.

Although records are difficult to accurately verify, it is generally thought that patients were treated every third day by exposing them to each frequency on the list for three to four minutes. Normally, only a subset of frequencies were used, a popular list being 728, 784, 880, 2008, and 2128 Hertz. While the modulation frequencies were being broadcast to the patient, the discharge tube was moved over the body of the subject. It was determined that this kind of motion greatly enhanced the experimental effects. Also, an additional improvement was obtained when the MOR frequencies were dithered +/- 10 Hertz. Some believe that in combination with the MOR rates, the RF generator was gated on and off at a 4 hertz rate. Early film footage of the Rife tube in operation does tend to support this conclusion as the tube is seen to flash repetitively.

Block Diagram here of Rife Apparatus

Building a working Beam Tube — To date, the authors have constructed a total of four Rife units. Two units were fabricated around modified Heathkit transmitters and delivered 100 and 250 Watts respectively. Two additional units were designed from scratch, one utilizing a single 6DQ6 tube as both an oscillator and amplifier. This unit produces approximately 50 Watts of input power. The second and favorite system utilizes a 6AG7 crystal controlled oscillator stage driving a single 807 amplifier. This unit produces about 75 Watts and is ideal for work with RF plasmas. The 807 is an excellent RF amplifier tube in that it is extremely forgiving and will deliver the full rated 75 Watts output with only 220 milliwatts of grid drive. Each of the units employs a solid state modulator in the cathode circuit of the amplifier stage. This cathode arrangement acheives 100% modulation more readily than the screen-grid type originally employed by Rife. The schematic for this unit can be seen in Figure 2.

A Schematic here of the rf driver

RF Driver, click here to view larger format (121K)

The most difficult part of the reconstruction effort was obtaining the glasswork for the plasma discharge tube. Several models were constructed using estimates obtained from descriptions and photographs of original tubes. In addition, physical dimensions were taken from several X-ray tubes designed in the 1940’s. Tube fabrication was fabulously expensive and required many tedious hours spent measuring the effective impedance of various gases under varying pressures and power levels. A tremendous amount of time was spent researching plasma chemistry in an attempt to understand the physics behind radio frequency plasma formation and control.

If fabricating a replica tube sounds cost prohibitive, please note that a suitable discharge tube can be obtained from a neon sign manufacturer. This less expensive option is highly recommended for a novice experimenter. Have a local glass shop make a 16-19″ straight tube and ask them to fill it with argon or helium. This type or discharge tube will operate quite reliably and require no periodic maintenance. Detailed discussions on RF plasmas are beyond the scope of this paper, so it shall be left to the reader to pursue further information on the subject. Most technical libraries will have several informative selections pertaining to RF plasma chemistry.

Referring to Figure 2, starting with the oscillator stage, a 6AG7 tube was chosen because its plate load resistance is close to the input impedance of the grid of the 807. This serves to maximize power transfer from the oscillator to the amplifier stage. These impedances can be calculated by using equations and tube data found in older Amateur Radio Handbooks. The 807 requires -45 volts on the grid along with 3.5 milliamps of grid drive for proper excitation. The screen voltage nominally is 300 and the plate can be run at 600 d.c. volts. The driving characteristics of the 807 present an input impedance of approximately 11,000 ohms. A standard tuned-plate tuned-grid crystal oscillator circuit was taken from the handbook along with the recommended component values. The crystal used was cut for 16.0 Mhz. The screen grid of the 6AG7 was fed through a variable 20,000 ohm potentiometer so that the necessary 3.5 milliamps of the grid drive could be carefully adjusted. This control prevents the oscillator from overdriving the amplifier tube. The output from this stage was coupled to the 807 with a simple series capacitor. A fixed regulated supply was chosen over a grid-leak configuration for the grid bias circuit because if the oscillator were to fail, the 807 could be severely damaged. The fixed supply serves as a protective bias for the amplifier.

The plasma discharge tube presents an approximate impedance of 2000 ohms at 16.0 Mhz. With the 807 operating with 600 volts on the plate and 150 miliamps of plate current, the output impedance is 4000 ohms, therefore, the discharge tube is tapped down on the output tank coil enabling it to present a higher impedance to the amplifier tube via the transformer action of the circuit. Since the load impedance is matched at 4000 ohms, and the desired loaded Q of the circuit is approximately 15, the tank inductor should exhibit a reactance of 266 ohms at the carrier frequency. This equates to an inductance of 2.65 microhenrys at the 16.0 Mhz operating frequency. A variable capacitor with a range of 5 to 50 picofarads was chosen to resonate with this coil.

Since the discharge tube is highly non-linear and has reactive components contributing to its overall impedance, proper adjustment of the variable capacitor allows almost complete cancellation of these reactive components. When the tank circuit is tuned to resonance, the load impedance appears to be purely resistive. This enables the power to be completely transferred from the amplifier to the discharge and be dissipated as radiant energy.

Operation and adjustment of the RF driver is fairly simple. Power is first applied to the filaments of the tubes and the tubes are allowed to warm up for several minutes. After the tubes have reached nominal operating temperature, with the amplifier cathode circuit open, high voltage is applied. The drive tuning and drive level of the oscillator stage are adjusted to produce 3.5 milliamps of grid drive for the 807. Next, the cathode circuit is closed and the plate tank capacitor is adjusted to obtain the brightest discharge, which should also require the least amount of plate current, since the circuit will be at resonance with all reactances cancelled. The tap for the discharge tube on the tank coil is adjusted to produce the desired 150 milliamps of d.c. plate current. Modulation can now be accomplished by connecting a suitable square wave function generator to the modulation input. The square waves should have a peak to peak level between 10 and 15 volts. A model B&K-3011 function generator will serve nicely in this capacity.

Conclusion — Now that the Rife Beam Tube technology is fairly well understood and can be duplicated with a high degree of confidence, the next logical step might be to repeat the laboratory studies originally performed by Dr. Stafford et al. Also, a concerted effort should be undertaken towards recreating a working Rife type microscope. Much has been written recently about dark-field microscopy and advances made in Canada by Gaston Naessens and others. Their efforts need to be supported if this technology is ever to be fully realized.

This paper did not discuss the “Rife Machines” recently popularized by a number of commercial equipment manufactures. This type of unit normally incorporates either hand-held electrodes or foot plates. It is believed that these devices emerged in the 1950s and are more a product of John Crane than Royal Rife. Rife’s involvement in the development of this genre of machine is at best unclear. Although the authors have heard of positive experimental results obtained with the electrode units, they feel that the original Beam Tube system invented by Rife himself offers the best hope as a viable treatment modality. The authors would raise a caution to any individual utilizing any device like this as part of a therapeutic regimen.

For additional information on reconstructing a working Rife Beam Tube, contact the authors through the Phoenix chapter of the USPA.

[Update: The authors are preparing a second paper, and may be contacted at]:

Open Sesame
601 W. Leffels Lane, Suite J
Springfield, Ohio 45506
937-290-6758 voice mail


“The Cancer Cure that Worked”, Lynes, Barry, (1987), pp. 72-73.

“The Rife Way III”, Simpson, Mark A., (1991), pp. 2-13.

“The New Microscopes”, Seidel, R.E. and Winter, M. Elizabeth, Journal of the Franklin Institute, February, 1944.

“Observations on Bacillus and Typhosus in its Filtrable State”, Kendall, Arthur and Rife, Royal, California and Western Medicine, December 1931.

“Observations with the Rife Microscope of Filter-Passing Forms of Microorganisms”, Science, August 26, 1932.

“Techniques and Applications of Plasma Chemistry”, Hollahan and Bell, (1974), pp. 393-399.

“The Radio Amateur’s Handbook”, American Radio Relay League, Newington, Conn.

“RCA Power Circuits — D.C. to Microwave”, Radio Corporation of America, Harrison, N.J.

“Care and Feeding of Power Grid Tubes”, Eimac Division of Varian, San Carlos, Ca., (1967).

“RCA Transmitting Tubes”, Radio Corporation of America, Harrison, N.J.

“The Semiconductor Data Library”, Motorola Semiconductor Products, Inc., Pheonix, Ariz.

(Current Document Location:


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