Instructables

Arduino Kirlian device

Picture of Arduino Kirlian device
I've been working for my thesis with Kirlian photography, researching and playing around with every single idea I found on the internet. Most of them required manual switching, 555 circuits or expensive pulse modulators, so I decided to try my own version and design a circuit driven by the Arduino. This schematic can be used in many projects that need pulse modulators and high voltage, be creative and enjoy!

-Denise

Warning: This is a high voltage project. If you have no experience in this field please don't underestimate it. If you have heart problems, health issues or are pregnant don't try it!!!
I am not responsible for any incident or accident that might happen while you build this circuit. Please note that you should not have any problems if you follow this simple rules, but always be careful.


VIP Safety Rules:

-Wear rubber gloves
-Work with the adapter and battery unplugged at all time.

Don't place your finger on the discharge plate unless you are:

-Insulated from ground (sneakers or any insulating material)
-Tested the device on a ground object





 
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Step 1: Main schematic

Picture of Main schematic
This is the basic schematic, please take a second to understand it before we proceed. I designed it in illustrator because I am a visual designer and can't stand the way schematics look! hopefully you'll understand it better too.

To introduce yourself into the Kirlian concept you just need to know that it's a high voltage low current circuit that releases a discharge to an object or subject when this one is connected to ground. In this case there is a main input that gets released to a transformer and then converted into high voltage. Because I took the switch that controlled this input and the capacitors that retained them out of the schematic we will replace that part with a relay (let's say is a switch that can open and close depending on what we tell it).

A  basic Kirlian circuit needs to work with an automatic pulse modulator that it's constantly feeding and releasing electrical juice. As humans we don't have the ability to turn a switch on an off that fast, so here is were the Arduino comes; It feeds the relay with a controlled pulse telling it to open or close whenever we want.

yamashici2 years ago
You cant be grounded !!
If you are then you can get shocked as current will pass from HV (glass) through your body to ground. Please edit this step for the people's safety.
Great post! Would you please also post a schematic of this circuit? It's a bit unclear to me at the moment

that would be great thanks!
Slick364 years ago
In the beginning you say that you need to be grounded as a safety rule, if you were grounded, it would kill you.  What i think you meant to say was insulated from the ground, this way your body can reach the same voltage as the discharge plate, yet still stay safe as there is no current passing through you.  You might want to revise this because if someone just skimmed through that part they could seriously injure themselves. 
Denise Flasz (author)  Slick364 years ago
Hi Slick36,
You are totally right, I did mean that. My appologies eveyrone, I am editing it right now.
Thanks!
Berserk874 years ago
This does what exactly?
Denise Flasz (author)  Berserk874 years ago
Hi Berserk87,
you could see this project as a customizable controlled HV device. For example, I designed it for other purposes besides a Kirlian device. I will use it as the main input for an interactive sculpture in the future. I also made a sculpture from wire in the shape of a flower, that when you touch you can see a spark jumping from your finger to it. There are many things you can do with this schematic, it's up to you what you want to use it for. Usually on the internet you might find people using 555 chips or pulse modulators that are really expensive (some $90) so I decided to use my arduino and have the ability to control also other things such as audio, light and other discharge surfaces all at the same time.
Let me know if you have other questions,
Best
Denise
Im still confused :S

i'll guess ill have to wait and see the final result.
lemonie4 years ago
Using the Arduino for this is a bit overkill (I'm sure you wouldn't disagree), but the build is interesting. Do you have any more Kirlian-photographs to show?

L
Denise Flasz (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Hi Lemonie,
The process of coming up for this solution was quite long. I did and tested many prototypes to get to this point, so that I could say was an overkill. Building the circuit with the arduino was quite fast and you get much more out of the circuit than by using a regular pulse modulator. As I mentioned to Berserk87, my purpose is to build an interactive sculpture with this schematic so it was really worth it. I will post more picts soon! but not Kirlian ones, I will post from the "Forbidden flower" :)
Thanks for your interest, and let me know if you have any questions!
Cheers,
Denise
Thanks for the details, I'm interested to see more of what it will do.

L
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