How to make two wires spark??

Me and my friends made a potato gun and we used a BBQ lighter to make a spark jump between to wires. But i have been trying to make a remote to make it shoot. Every thing works but to get a spark i have to touch the wires together but i need the spark to jump without touching the wires. Anyone know???

Picture of How to make two wires spark??
remote detonator.jpg
remote detonator.jpg
sort by: active | newest | oldest
Ian019 years ago
Here's my idea for an ignitor. One switch is a safety, the other is the trigger. use 2 9V batteries in series. You can replace the switches with a transistor for microcontroller or remote triggering.
louisgoo Ian016 years ago
will 18volts make a spark???
this is way old but hell no lol you need upwards of 200v to make even a spark that can jump a tiny gap
Dr. No9 years ago
Use a transistor hooked up to the outputs on one of those electrified tennis rackets for killing bugs.
mikmkt93 Dr. No5 years ago
will u help me a little bit with that. i need a spark for a potato gun too. i have the bugzapper set up with just 2 wires sticking out of the end. what do i do with the transistor, what kind do i need and how does it work
Taost6 years ago
If you want a really good spark, you should buy one of those stun guns, or tasers, they give a 1 in spark and you could hook up the switch to a relay for the remote control. Just don't shock yourself:).
Mansheep227 years ago
Barbecues use a simplified version of this to ignite the flame. They use a piezoelectric crystal to generate an electric current, which jumps between two leads. If you don't want to cannibalize a grill, you can use a barbecue safety lighter and extend the leads, as long as you're not trying to ignite something like a match or kindling, but gas instead. I'm sure you could hook up a servo to the button if you really needed to...
I actually just made a profesh sparker, I might do an instructable on it. But here it is. I found an electric lighter in a gas station, and thought, "Hey! Why not harness this spark?" so i used up all the fuel and disassembled the lighter. I made basic circuit, with the push button still in the lighter, and wrapped the whole thing in electric tape (to look B.A). (I then station the ends of the wires about 2 mm apart wherever it is i need the spark (which will most likely be a waterbottle full of hydrogen) and click! Its pretty simple, and only costs you a lighter, and some long, thin wire if you want to be along way off from the ignition source.
WinkyNewman9 years ago
thats pretty noob you need 1000V to make a spart jump 1mm...
no you need 100v to jump 0.1 mm
lol Rs master: multip;y 100v and .1 mm x10 ... what do you get?? 1,000v and 1mm..... what you said is the same as what Winky said, just a different demonination.
i was being funny
It isn't just voltage that decide when and how a spark happens, it's current, voltage, the humidity of the air, pressure of the air, and temperature. There are many more, but they do not add any drastic significance.
110100101107 years ago
take a good transformer. something with A HUGE coil of very thin wire is great connect th spark wires to the ends of the long thin coil find 2 other wires that go to a short coil of thicker wire. if you cant find then wind one yourself (few to 20 max turns of wire on top of the existing coil - thru the space between it and the external parts of the core) apply voltage to the short coil. look for a spark when you disconnect i guess tv flyback transformer should be good but i never tried it to light flammable stuff you may want to use a bimetallic switch - it actually moves two contacts so you dont need to use complex electronics
Padlock7 years ago
Try a Negative Ion Generator. One particular model from here produces 15,000 volts, which is more than enough to make a spark of suitable size.
Crash21089 years ago
That shows arrangement of wires for a good gap, and connections for it.

Tralex, that lighter is still probably piezoelectric.
akimbo m9 years ago
if you do not mind the size of the equipment, you might want to make a spark out of car parts

all you need is a 12v battery

a spark plug , or maybe just two wires

and a car spark transformer

connect a switch between the 12v battery and the tranformer, you can make a single spark through the spark plug (connected of course).

trialex9 years ago
Dude, I can't beleive you brought this up - I've been struggling with almost EXACTLY the same problem for ages. Although I'm not trying to create a spark remotely, I am trying to do it automatically - ie I want to use a microcontroller to send a 'spark now' signal. In my investigations I've tried various methods, but the only one I've come up with is as below. It's not great, or particularly safe. I dissasembled a disposable camera. There are heaps of instructions (and an instructable) on how to make a stun gun/tazer by soldering a wire to each side of the flash tube. When charged up, if you touch the two wires together you get a pretty impressive spark. So how to make it happen automatically? I can control a servo using a microcontroller, so I attached a wooden skewer to a the servo horn. The I taped one flash wire to the skewer, and the other flash wire to a stationary object. So then when i move the servo it touches the other wire and I get a serious bank and spark. I've been looking around heaps, and asking on various forums for ideas on how to make a spark electronically. One person has suggested that american 7-11 stores have a lighter which uses battery power to make a spark. I've tried looking around heaps of tobbaconists for something like that. Let me know if you have any luck with this, and I'll let you know if I do.
trialex trialex9 years ago
I should have mentioned that a standard servo doesn't have enough force to directly push a peizoelectric sparker.
Stun gun
trebuchet039 years ago
Flint striker ;) Its not really wires sparking -- but its a very simple mechanical solution...
sam9 years ago
what about using a camera flash in some way? explain more about your setup
Crash21089 years ago
As far as I know, BBQ ignitors work off of piezoelectricity. So you would probably have to have something to push the button. And maybe you could explain the setup a little better? It wouldn't suddenly change normally.