Circular Feedback Loop Amplified Transducer
A Circular Feedback Loop Amplified Transducer, CFLAT (pronounced "C Flat"), or transducer bomb, is a device which creates a powerful surge of magical energy. This surge can then be harnessed by a mage to amplify the strength and effect of certain spells. Although transducer bombs aren't "bombs" in the traditional sense, they got their name from their tendency to explode during use.
At the heart of every CFLAT is the transducer and amplifier, together called the "core", placed in a super-inflected configuration. Outside of these components, the device is fairly simple, only requiring a source of electricity and a means for the user to harness the magic produced by the transducer.
The source of electricity could be included in the device, usually a bank of glass capacitors. These capacitors are heavy, and the amount needed to store a substantial volume of current is prohibitive to making the device man-portable.
A simple alternative is to provide exposed metal contacts. This allows a mage to cast a lightning spell, powering the circuit. One downside to this approach is that the user of the CFLAT is unable to simultaneously harness the magic produced without creating a feedback loop and overloading the circuit. A second mage is required to power the device so that the first is free to harness the magic into a separate spell. The other downside is that the current produced by lightning spells is hard to regulate, often overloading the transducer and destroying the device. These designs are typically built as bracers or gauntlets and mounted to the user's arm.
(See: Ue transducer)
The transducer is capable of converting the electricity source's current into a magical force. Most transducers are limited by the amount of magic they can produce, becoming saturated after a certain point. After this point, the ue field breaks down and the effects of ue manipulation becomes unpredictable within the core of the transducer. This often results in a localized kinetic or thermal spike, causing the transducer to explode. Because of this, most CFLATs are a one time use only.
(See: Field Amplifier)
The amplifier is what makes turns a transducer into a bomb. Once electrical energy is converted into magical energy, the energy is fed into the amplifier. The amplifier is an enclosure surrounding the transducer. It strengthens the intensity of the magical field around the flux core, increasing the strength of the energy produced per watt of electricity. This, in turn, creates more magical energy, which only strengthens the amplifier. This feedback loop causes the magical energy to build up until either the amplifier reaches super-equilibrium or the terminal coils overheat from magical flux. At this point, the amplifier dumps the surge of magical energy into the tap.
To harness the magic produced by the transducer, a polished onyx pad placed against the underside of the user's wrist. Onyx produces the cleanest transfer of energy of any material, with a 60% conduction efficiency. Designs have been suggested with a surgical connection to the wearer's skeleton, allowing a 100% efficiency, but this is only theoretical.
CFLATs were first conceived by Magund Cragrender in 4389. At the time, his home country of Yarsell was engaged in the Red River War. His designed used a mechanical ue transducer and an amethyst field amplifier. One prototype was built by Black Steel, nicknamed Poppy Seed in honor of a dancer at a local tavern, but was never completed. Work ceased in early 4392 after the inertial stator was destroyed during Erenium festivities when a drunken member of the design team fell through it while attempting to climb on top of the flywheel. Development stalled for the next few years until officially stopping in 4395 when the Red River War ended. At the time, it was presumed that CFLATs were impossible, as no design could achieve inflection.
The solid state revolution
When Victoria Clearriver invented the jevrem-based solid-state ue transducer in 4590, the CFLAT was given renewed potential. Mechanical transducers like the one in Poppy Seed could now be made thousands of times smaller and ten times more efficient.
The first demonstration of a field amplifier was built in 4592 by a team at Queens Lab. Although the amplifier was feedback positive, it failed to reach super-inflection due to jevrem in the transducer absorbing the magical flux.