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The density of negative hydrogen ions and the plasma characteristics are investigated as a function of the discharge current and the neutral gas pressure for several configurations of the magnetic multipole, and in the absence of magnetic containment fields. It is shown that the hybrid magnetic multipole configurations, characterized by a relatively low lifetime for wall losses of primary electrons (10-7 s) contain high relative densities (10%–50%) of negative ions. The transition from the low density to the high density regime has been observed.