Instructables

ELECTRIC SPARKER, IGNITER

Do you know a schematic for a machine that makes sparks for igniting gunpowder or other flammable things? Something easy to make, but effective, so I can light up gunpowder at a distance of 20m. Something whit transformers or capacitors...

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use a cord less drill battery and that will ignite gunpowder , fireworks,etc.
try using an alarm clock or timer for a timed detonater
how, do you have a schematic for the transistor posotions???
i think the best is to make a switch that gets closed mechanically by the clock arrows this is also the safest - you dont want it to blow up in your face cause of defective plastic parts deep in the mechanics of the clock
??? i would just cut the wires heading to the speakers and rig em up to a capacitator or something, or just use em plain, but it has to have battery back up.
I tried that, not enough power, it only gives about 0,5 to 1 V and that is not enough to light up the metal cotton! How can I step up the voltage? I wanted to make, like an electronic switch, so that when the alarm goes of it sends those 0,5 volts to a transistor and that trigers the transistor to let the current from a 9V battery.... Do you understand? :) Do you have a simpler solution?
ya i understand and it seeems like a cool idea, but i gots a question, and its whats the backup on ur alarm clock. alot of times you can get an alarm clock with battery backup with a 9 volt, or you could get a capacitator (somthin that increases voltage) youre idea seems pretty cool though,there are prolly easyer ways. i'd look into it some more, but i dont want to ruin my alarm clock and im runnin low on cash. maybe you can try it and let me know the results.
capacitors dont up the voltage. a transistor might be able to handle the amperage and voltage needed, but i would use a relay
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
What do capacitors actually do, I read in books and on the Internet that they basically store energy and release it when its needed, what's the difference between a block and polarised capacitor?
lets see..... capacitors store and release energy. the pass ac buty not dc. so they can filter out ac (damping) and cancel out oscillations, or the can amplify ac spikes (resonate). they do not raise the voltage. they can gradually charge and gradually discharge through a resistor (rc timer network) or discharge in one spark (think rail gun) a polarised capacitor is only designed to have power flowing through them in one direction.
can capacitors really be used (together with coils in resonance) to amplify without opamp and the like ?
yes and no. a capacitor can resonate a circuit, amplifiying swings and spikes. however, because the capacitors value is fixed, it can only resonate a certain frequency. so it is very useful for say tesla coils and resonant transformers, but is useless for amplifiying audio signals unless they are a specific frequency
say i connect in parallel a capacitor and coil. together they have 1 frequency at which they resonate if i feed into it random noise that contains the resonation frequency then in parallel it'll not conduct it and in series it will conduct only it but is there a way to make the voltage on the capacitor get higher and higher at each peak (ie accumulate more energy in the capacitor - coil at each cycle) ?
. You can't get more volts out of a cap than you put in.
. What you are describing sounds vaguely like what a PSU does (switch an inductor off and catch the "kick" in a cap) or maybe a voltage multiplier.
i am thinking about like swing on a tree if you push it the tiniest bit every time but with correct timings its amplitude will grow and eventually get very large
. Positive feedback?
kinda. is there way to build something like that without an amplifier powered from external source ?
. I don't know enough about it to say. Sounds a bit like perpetual motion.
to me it does not sound perpetual you have a swing on a tree. you push it in the correct time a tiny bit each time and its amplitude rises. it adds the bits of energy together to a large amount of energy now you can get all this energy from it at once. you wait for it to come to the max point and stop it (actually it stops on its own you only have to catch it). you have mg (h2 - h1) of energy
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
I got another question, if you don't mind, please answer. Relay, I found on the internet what is it use fr and all that kinda stuff... so now i want to use it, and here is for what. I made a circuit, electronic lock circuit, (when you push all the correct and only the correct buttons an LED lights up) so basicaly when you push all the correct buttons you get 1,5 volt. Now, I am useing a DC powered electric motor to move the pin that is locking the box, and the motor runs, lets say on 3 volt. I have the 3 volt battery and the circuit, now I need a relay, what tipe, what model. i want, the I push all the corect buttons, to activate the motor. I can't do that with 1,5 volts that powers up the LED, I need a relay to activate, let the current pass from the 3 volt battery to the motor. Currenly, I am not interested in any other way, I want to learn more about relays..i don't want any amplifiers.... My question again is what type of relay, a model, and if it's not to much bother a picture and explanation where what is connected... I have more project that I think relay would solve the problem... Thanks a lot tech-king! -Stanislav
relays are switches and wired the same way to the controlled circuit the coil of the relay is wired to the controlling circuit. when the coil gets power its like the switch handle up. otherwise its like down relays are classified by the type of switch they replace (spst dpdt etc) / max current and voltage of the switch / voltage of the coil some relays can work on lower coil voltage than specified. for exaample 12 V relay may work fine on 9 V you can simplify your circuit if you use less different voltages. for example instead of having 1.5 V fo the leds and 3 V for the motor you can connect all to 3 V (leds with resistor)
comodore (author)  110100101105 years ago
OK, thanks for the explanation, but I don' thing you understood my circuit. When you push all the correct switches the LED turns on. I just put an LED to simplify, what happens when you push all the correct buttons is that you get 1,5 volts coming out. Now I need a relay to connect to that end that gives 1,5 to trigger the 3 volt battery... I also need a relay for my other project, the detonator on a timer. By using the ends of the wires that go to the piezo buzzer of a wrist watch, i want to connect to that a relay to trigger a 9 volt battery, so again I have about 1,5 that needs to trigger... What kind, type of relay should i look for? I looked on electronic goldmine for relays and the smallest amount that needs to trigger it is 3V, a relay that gets triggered by 3 volt, are there ones that get triggered by 1,5 or will the 3 volt one do fine??? Thanks!
okay. so when 1.5 volts hits a point, a relay needs to close and enable 3 volts to pass. correct? you want a spst relay with a trigger voltage of 1.5 volts. would you consider a different circuit?
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
Yes, to the first part! Is there a tolerance rate, i mean if it is a little bit over 1,5 like (1,8 volts) or if it is a bit smaller (1,2 volts) will it still trigger? would you consider a different circuit? What kind of a different circuit? please explain. :) Thanks for your help!
i would use something a little different, especially considering you have tolerances to deal with. ill try to find the one im talking about
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
Haha, That't the circuit I built.... and if you keep on reading you will see that it says that you put a relay where the LED is in the circuit, so..... That circuit, when you push all the correct buttons lights up an LED, and the output is about 1,5 volts.... Still, my only option is a relay, for now... Thanks!
didi you remeber to remouve the resistor that goes before the led? if so, you should get more than 1.5 volts
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
aaaa, Yes, good point, I will do that and and keep you posted on what did a get... Thanks!
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
OK, Thanks a lot for your help! When you find the schematic please post it... Thanks! :)
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
ok, for a n00b,like me, this is very well sad... thanks teck-king! :)
no problem.
i wanted to make it small so i tried a wrist watch and as I saied before didn't work. I can try to use a capacitor, but what value??? I am also a bit short on my buject to look for a clock whit a battery backup... One day, I hope I will make this... :)
i have heard ( i wont reveal my sources) that you can get a capacitator for about 10 ish bucks, but im not sure, you could prolly just go to your radio shack or hardware or electic store or somthin and i bet they would have it
I'm sorry, but I don't understand this part a capacitator for about 10 ish bucks , what did you want to say, I need a value of the capacitor, in Farads (F) and volts (V)... I am still a beginer in electronic so... :)
PKM comodore5 years ago
I think a relay is what you want. If you can find a relay that will switch with ther alarm voltage from your alarm clock or other trigger, that will work- all you need to do is wire the alarm wires across the control contacts, and wire your 9 volt battery across the normally open (NO) switch contacts. If you ask in an electronics shop they should be able to sell you an appropriate relay, or I can give more specific information if you need it.
comodore (author)  PKM5 years ago
More information would be great... I understand what you are saying, but if you could give me an exsample of a tipe of a realy, that would be great... I really want to make this...have a traume from my last explosion whit just a fuse, so i need to make it a timer, because the fuse wasn't to long and I found my self running from a cloud of smoke the last time... :)
hey dude if thats what you want what you need is a remote detonator, not timed. it will work better. i got an instructable coming soon on it, but basicly all it is is an RC car that has been rewired to an igniter.
Coool!!! I am so looking forward to your Instructables... About the RC cars, i while ago I took apart one and made rc LEDs, at the push of a button on the remote, there are 3 buttons, one color of the LED, and there are 3, would light up... I had an unexpected problem, when I put all the circuit of the remote and the receiver, where the LEDs are, my, how to say it, RC range was shortened, very shortened, I don't know why, so I took the out of the case and it worked fine, I could use the remote on 10 meters and it would work, and when i put them back in the casing, a plastic box, i couldn't light up the LEDs on 2 meters... Why is that, do you know??? what should I do to prevent that... I put out an antenna out side of the box, just a piece of wire... And about the relay, I still want a specific type if you know one, for my timer project.... It's not just for this project, I also want to make an electronic lock, so I need, again a relay that would be triggered by 1,5 volts, so it can lets the 6 volt current pass and trigger the electronic motor... Thanks!
that sounds dangerous. what if your neighbour is using his rc car while you are setting up your rc detonator?
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
Well, there wont be anybody around since I am doing this on a farm yard in middle of nowhere....
about the box thing.... my guess was that the box was a resistor to the frequency so that it didn't allow as much of it to pass through. im working on my r/c instructable right now, so u can look at it l8r, but i would recomend either not using the box or drilling a hole and running the antenna through it. and about the relay, im not really to much into that stuff, so im really not the person to ask about that, im more of a direct current type of guy, maybe use a capacitator somewere, but im really not familiar with relays.
ok thanks on the advice... Im going to look at your new Instructables and tell you want I think :P
oh, and another thing, do you think you could post these comments on my orangeboard, this reply chain is getting to long and the talk is getting away from the origanl whatever it is were commenting on. so if u could reply on my orangeboard that would be great. THANKS
tech-king6 years ago
google marx genrator. thats all you need to know.
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
Cool!!! Thank you! :)
no problem. be carful with that though
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
Can I use an ignition coil from a car, like the one in the picture, or do you know where I can buy an ignition coil, cheaper and more effective?

I plan to build one like in the site below, is the site, I mean the generator properly built like it is said in the site? I see you know electronics so I am asking you this, I need your expert opinion on this? :)
http://www.penguinslab.com/marx.htm

Oil_Dipped_Type_Ignition_Coil  !!!!!!!!!!!!.jpg
you could just use nichrome wire.
comodore (author)  guyfrom7up6 years ago
Nichrome wire?
nichrome wire get very hot with very little current. several double AAs in series/parallel are all it takes. i recommend against this type of detonator because the exact time of detonation is out of your control and it heats up but does not actually spark.
comodore (author)  tech-king5 years ago
Which is the better circuit? Safer and better? No. 1 or No. 2??? PS: You have a PM.
Schematic.JPGF8WEC4JFCZDYQRO.MEDIUM.gif
1) i have bookmarked your link, seeing as its better than mine 2) why would you need an automotive ignition coil? powered off 110 volts (through an isolation transformer obviously), you should be able to get decent sparks without an automotive ignition coil. if you want to use an AIC, use the circuit in the picture to produce the necessary pulsed dc. 3) install 1m bleeder resistors to drain the caps of their lethal charge when your not using the circuit. ohh, and oscar just reminded me:
iroda solderpro 35.jpghv25d1.gifdanger.jpg
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
Could you buy one, or could i use one like in the site (picture and text)? From the site: ""Oh, here is the supply I was/am using. Same driver as for the ignition coil driver, except frequency has been changed to suit the flyback transformer (actually this one came from an old broken monitor we found at the uni). Output is approximately 10kV. I shall be ramping this voltage up later."" Is there a non-lethal way to produce electronic sparks? Are there some special gloves that will protect me from the shock or can I just use yellow kitchen gloves? Also, I didn't understand 3) "" install 1m bleeder resistors to drain the caps of their lethal charge when your not using the circuit."" Are the resistors like any other or some special ones? Where should I install them? Tell me more about the ignition coil, should it bi 10kV,more-less, how do they look like,where can I find one??? I have all the components accept the ignition coil. When you said ""if you want to use an AIC......."" Did you mean AC current? No, I am not planing to use AC current, I will use the induction coil! Thank you for your time! :)
PICT0017.JPG
1) there is no way to safely produce sparks. the longer the spark, the more amps it needs to sustain itself, and the more volts it needs to bridge the gap. 2) there is no way, barring linsemen gloves, to protect yourself agains 10kv of power 3)buy one what? the circuit i provided will drive the AIC (automotive ignition coil) 4) an AIC produces between 5 and 10kv. barring resonance transformer drivers, they normally produce about 7.5 kv 5)a bleeder resistor is a 1 mega ohm, 1 watt resistor conencted between the cathode of a capacitor and ground. when you use the marks generator, it will make little difference. however, once the generator is off, it will take approx 10 minutes for the capacitors t no longer contain a lethal charge. 4) look for a 7.5 kv AIC. dont buy a used one, as the wires may be burned out or the case live for some reason 5)
gmoon tech-king6 years ago
Small correction:

A bleed resistor would be connected between the anode (positive end) and the ground. Cathode-to-ground is essentially ground-to-ground.

(I'd still check the cap voltage with a VOM before touching anything. At least the first time to verify that the cap is discharging to a safe level.)
tech-king gmoon6 years ago
1) thanks for the correction. i have never actually built somthing yet that needed bleeder resistors. my CW voltage multiplier was fully encased so it could not cause problems. 2) a thought occurs: the caps charge through 1 m resistors. if they also bleed through 1 m resistors... it may be necessary do use up to 10m resistors. this will, of course, lenghen the bleed time.
gmoon tech-king6 years ago
I'm sure you've got it, (but to state the obvious) you're connecting both terminals of the cap through the bleed resistor.

The bleed resistor value probably depends on what capacitance values are planned...less resistance is safer, of course (or you could add a "discharge switch" and connect a smaller-value resistor manually to drain 'em.)

I use a jumper with a 10K resistor for draining amp power supply filter caps. But that normally doesn't exceed 450V or so...(and is bloody dangerous enough if you're not careful.)

I don't know for sure where you guys are going with this...If you're going to store the HV from a starter coil in caps, you'll need some really HV caps (or a bank of lower voltage caps in series--that has a bearing on the bleed resistor(s) value, too.)

OK--I'm sure you know this is dangerous. Good luck, have fun.
tech-king gmoon6 years ago
normally, i let them discharge a full 15 min before touching
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
OOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! AIC (automotive ignition coil) now I understand! If I don't find an AIC could I just ask a sails man for a 10kV ignition coil?Will I get what I need? How does an Ignition coil look like, if it is not too much bother could you upload a picture? Do I plug it into AC, or some other way??? If I don't use bleeder resistors will the generator have the potencial to kill me even when it is off? Are there some gloves that will protect me from the shock? I don't want to make a mistake and die,not yet! :) I know I am annoying and i am sorry. The thing, is I am really interested in the field of electronics, but I am still a beginner. I see you know electronic very well, you are an EXPERT! Thank you for your time! :)
1)

never

apologize for asking questions.
2) you have to ask for an ignition coil. as i said earlier, most ignition coils are 7.5 kvdc. unless you have a way to calculate and produce a resonant pulse, you will not get 10 kvdc. the mechanic will probably ask what make and model. tell him it does not matter. dont tell him its for a high voltage application, or he wont sell it to protect himself from the liability.
3) Canadian tire sells good ignition coils. do not be discouraged when they ask what model car you need.
4) the picture you uploaded is a good one.
5) dont plug it into ac. use the circuit i provided earlier to produce pulsed dc
6) if you dont use bleeder resistors, and you touch a charged cap, you CAN die. unlike a wall outlet, a cap can, for up to 10 milliseconds, provide up to 2000 amps. 50 milliamp is a lethal zap. you need to buy 1m 1 watt resistors anyways for the actual generator. just buy some more for bleeder resistors. even when off, caps can stay charged for months. read the high voltage sign i posted earlier.
7) you cannot get gloves that will protect you from 20 kvdc. linesmen gloves, if punctured by a pin, are useless. if you attached the circuit to a wall wart o similar and got shocked, start thinking of the good things you have done in life, because you are probably dead. if you used the circuit i provided, you are probably still alive. even so, call 911 immediately, and insist on remaining under observation for at leas 48 hours. there is a possibly of having a heart attack after the actual shock, simply from heart fatigue. if its any comfort, dying like that is a painless and natural way to pass.
8) i have no idea how that guy on your site got 10 kvdc. unreasonant, a fly back usually gives 20-30 kvdc. resonant, it gives upwards of 48 kvdc.
9) if you need help or have any problems, feel free to ask. i mean it. dont blunder along. ask for help.
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
Could I use a neon sign transformer ?
yes. but you shoudnt. too big, more power than needed, very expensive to replace if destroyed, an generally over kill.
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
OK. I'm trying to find a non lethal way to produce a spark. I just need a small spark to set of the gun powder. On one site I read what one guy wrote, and he said hi has got a lot of memorable shocks from his max generator, which means it didn't kill him. Which is the minimum kV i need to produce a spark?
assuming he didnt attach his generator directly to the wall, hes alive. unless you buy special fuses, there is no way to produce non-lethal sparks from 20 feet. a 5-10 stage marx generator attached to an AIC should be more than enough to produce sparks.
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
OK. Could you upload a better picture of the schematic, maybe one done in paint or some other program, if it is not too much bother? How is the AIC connected in the schematic(to the transistors,resistor..)? Is the AIC connected to AC current or what? What do I get from the schematic, what kind of current is made, 6.3V? DC,AC???

I fixed a Tesla transformer in my school, the connections where all wrong and the capacitor wasn't the right one... It works now! YOHO!!! The sparks are about 4-6 cm big. I removed the rod that was getting the sparks from the metal ball in order to check some part, not important... I forgot that it was still on and came too close and got a shock. It was a little painful but that's all. How come?

What is the difference between a Marx generator and a Tesla coil?

Thank you! :)
1) i can work on a schematic. ill have it up around 6 oclock 2)the aic connects through the transistors to a nine volt battery. 3) output is pulsed dc. the transistors pulse the dc. 4) there are several reasons it wasnt painful: dc and ac block nerve recepters by overloading them. thats why you dont feel pain. i bet it also took you a moment to realise you needed to remouve your hand. it took me. also, seeing as it was not accross your heart, the odds are it was not fatal. 5) a tesla coil produces up to 100 kvdc at very high frequencies. its a resonant capacitance resonant inductance circuit. a marx generator is a cheap and crude way of produce high voltages (including sparks)
AIC run between $50+ up to and above $120 new. A suitable one can be found at any "junk yard" or automobile graveyard, and they probably will not run above $20.
really? they seemed pretty cheap here. if you buy used, check with an ohm meter that the windings are all intact, and that the case, if its live, is supposed to be.
I forget that different parts of the country (and world) have different pricing statii
here its like 20-50 buck for a new one. i think they have really cheap used ones too.
They have become sort of relics here. Ignition systems don't use them anymore.
now what do they use? solid state inverters?
Instead of one main coil, distributorless ignitions have a coil for each spark plug, located directly on the spark plug itself.
doesnt that make the spark plugs a lot more expensive?
The coil in this type of system works the same way as the larger, centrally-located coils. The engine control unit controls the transistors that break the ground side of the circuit, which generates the spark. This gives the ECU total control over spark timing.

Systems like these have some substantial advantages. First, there is no distributor, which is an item that eventually wears out. Also, there are no high-voltage spark-plug wires, which also wear out. And finally, they allow for more precise control of the spark timing, which can improve efficiency, emissions and increase the overall power of a car.

All is controled by the Ignition control computer and software
comodore (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
That is cool! But it is very expensive, 200 e, too much!!! I agree on the substantial advantages.
110100101105 years ago
connect a thread of steel wool to 9 V battery
comodore (author)  110100101105 years ago
Yea, yes, yes, every body says that, and I know the texnick, but I doesn't work when you attache it just like that, I tried and it didn't work, I think I know what you are thinking about... Try it for your self, take some wire, and on the end of the 2 wires put some wool, on the other side connect to a 9v battery. It will not egnite, i don't know why, but as soon as I move the wool a bit it burst in flames... :) mystery... :D
if it burst when you moved it there was bad contact connect more than 1 thread in parallel (not just a cloud of wool) and clamp them like the stems in a lightbulb
comodore (author)  110100101105 years ago
I'll try, but I think that it still wont work! But thanks, I'll sertanly try...
wont that burn out very fast?
its usually sufficient to strike gunpowder you can try lower voltage or more wool if its not
fazzadazza5 years ago
I was just thinking, would a cheap 2-stage detonator setup work? By having a pietzo lighter system set up (pietzo rigged up with wire extensions) running through to an ignitable vapour charge, to act as the igniter FOR the powder, which is nestled in the powder/solid charge itself? It's a bit messy, and I know its got plenty of possibilities for mistakes, so if anybody's got any corrections, please make them. However, it is a bit easier than making a marx generator from scratch, and it costs a fair bit less i think...
Erobots6 years ago
what I used to do was take a cheap remote control from a car , cut the wires from the motor and connect some iron wool instead of the motors. When the electricity was flowing the iron wool burned and lit up matches , rockets, whatever I needed.
comodore (author)  Erobots6 years ago
Hey yea, that is a really easy way, I use iron wool for fun, when you put it on the battery it lights up, but if you have an r/c car you can connect it to its output leads, wires. Thanks!
ramenspazz6 years ago
be safe with this because it could be dangerous and is considered to be a fire arm! don't aim at people and... BLA BLA BLA u get the idea
comodore (author)  ramenspazz6 years ago
Thanks!
comodore (author)  ramenspazz6 years ago
Yea
ramenspazz6 years ago
i have made a gun out of an old air soft barrel and a cold heat sodering iron i just put a piece of tin foil between the tips and put that in the barrel and l9oded the gunpowder and a projectile usually being a piece of copper for a bullet and it would be kinda quiet but it would go throw a piece of 2 by 4 with a lot of force! hope this helps!
PKM6 years ago
While I was still doing very unwise experiments with black powder, I had the most success with a high-current, low-voltage power supply (ie a car battery charger). Get some thick wire (mains cable is fine), run from the charger to the desired point, and attach a single strand of thin copper wire, fuse wire or steel wool between the ends. The battery charger will dump a load of current into it and the wire melts, producing a lot more heat than a high-voltage or piezo spark. If you pot the wire in a small quantitiy of melted wax or similar, you have a very low-tech equivalent of a model rocket igniter. This is good for setting flammable stuff on fire from a distance but shouldn't be relied on for anything important/dangerous.
gyromild6 years ago
A very simple low tech solution would be using those tiny incandescent flashlight bulbs. Sand the glass part with sandpaper, attach to batteries, flick the switch. It will pop. The viet-congs used to detonate explosives and booby traps back then with this simple rig.
if you scroll down, comodor later decides hed rather just something that sparks a lot.
omnibot6 years ago
How about the flash-curcuit from a camera? I've used one to light small fires with. If you connect wires from the flasher and set them about 2 mm apart they'll spark. If you put some toilet-paper between and pour gas or alcohol on it it catches fire when sparked. Also I suggest trying to mix gunpowder with a bit of powdered iron and put between them. Makes a flash and could potentially ignite something. Extedning the wires about 3 meters did not seem to make it less potent.
no good. its not 100% foolproof, it only delivers one spark, and, being under 1KV, the spark is not really hot enough to do much.
comodore (author) 6 years ago
100
did you make a new post? if so, i cannot find it.
comodore (author) 6 years ago
that is a very bad idea. it has the potential to misfire, can easily fail, will send glass fragments flying, if attached to 110 volts will produce a lethal amperage etc... this is not a safe way to ligh pyrotecnics.
comodore (author)  tech-king6 years ago
How do expert firework makers light their fireworks? Marx generator? :)
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