Disposable camera innards

I was taking apart a disposable camera today and found this thing. It looks like it is probably a coil of some sort, and it has a little brother hanging out on another part of the circuitboard. The big one is about 1 cm across, and the little one is about 5mm. What, precisely is it, what does it do, how does it do it, and if I replaced it with a bigger one, what would happen? In idiot-english, please, I'm not well-versed on electrical devices. The little one, especially, reminds me of an ultra-small high-tension coil. Is that what it is? Does it perform precisely the same duty in this circuit?

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1-0_1-67 years ago
"item in question" is the inverter which steps up the voltage from the battey to charge up the capacitor ( about 330V). When the flash is going to be fired, the capacitor discharges and its voltage goes to "its' little bro". This is the transformer that steps up the voltage from 330V to about 1-2kV. This is significant to fire the xeon lamp.
unum 1-0_1-65 years ago
That would Explain why my homemade tazer would not fire any of the zenon tubes! Thanks!
sort of tesla coil, i think, look it up on wikipedia, a tesla coil increases voltage/decreases amperage, (look up)
Big Bwana8 years ago
And the big black capacitor, you might want to discharge it if your going to be handling it, or you will have a shocking experience, they can actually be very painful, however once you get shocked, your brain should remind you not to do that again....(( wish mine would do that more often ))
s'not that bad, i don't mind getting shocked
Rishnai (author)  Big Bwana8 years ago
Ah, yes, I learned young, don't touch capacitors. I shorted it with my insulated pliers before touching anything else, and it made an incredibly loud popping noise and melted some solder onto my pliers, and continued to have enough charge for another five small sparks. A very good sign, since it was one of the bits I intend to salvage, and implies it will be able to supply the burst of current I'm hoping it will. Mwahahahaha!
. You can avoid melting things if you will use a "big" (1-10Mohm, 1W or greater) resistor to short out the cap. Not as much fun, but it saves your tools.
Rishnai (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Good idea. I wish I'd thought of that, since a very loud explosion noise was not part of the plan, especially late at night.
westfw Rishnai8 years ago
I've opined that you can drain the cap (slowly) by shorting the trigger leads together. According to The Schematic, this effectively puts a 1M resistor (plus the primary of the trigger xformer) across the big cap. It should discharge to small values in a couple hundred seconds.
gmoon Big Bwana8 years ago
One more word of caution: ultimately, the amount of current this thing can supply in a short burst is dictated by the capacitor, not the transformer. I.E., insert a humongous cap here and even a tiny current source will eventually charge it to saturation. The resulting discharge wouldn't be harmless anymore....
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