Introduction: Blowing Up Stuff With Capacitor Bank!

Picture of Blowing Up Stuff With Capacitor Bank!

Don't try this at home.
I dug up some capacitors in the basement and decided to hook all of them up in parallel and see what happens when I short them out through different objects.
Stupid you might say, and it is. I'll probibly die of eletricution someday if not today....

Step 1: What Happens When You Hook It Up to 0.7 Pencil?

Picture of What Happens When You Hook It Up to 0.7 Pencil?

What happens when you hook it up to 0.7 pencil?

I saw in Popular Science that if you run low voltage and high current through carbon graphite rods, you will create a very intense light, that could possibly blind you if your not wearing welding goggles.

I tried it out with 0.7 pencil led and it was SUPER COOL~.
First the by-products in the led burst on fire, and then the whole piece was glowing intense red, and it seemed to sharpend the end of the led. Later I can product insanely intense light that is brighter than a camera flash with the sharpened end!

Please post more stupid or crazy ideas I should try.

Step 2: Hooking It Up to an LED

Picture of Hooking It Up to an LED


I first connected an LED to the cap bank in reverse, it got really hot and started to sizzle, and it stinks really really bad. Then I connected the LED in the correct polarity, and it blew up as soon as I connected the wire. The outer layer of LED blow up like a bomb, flying everywhere.Good thing I was waring my goggles, because 1 piece shot right at my eye.

Then I tried to hook up a LED to a fresh 9 volt battery, and it also exploded. Very cool.

Sorry no pictures.. The led exploded too quick for me to take a snap shot, I'll post an exploded led on here sometimes soon.

Step 3: Fun With Tin Foil

Picture of Fun With Tin Foil

Here is what happens when you short out the cap bank with tin foil.


Goose (author)2017-05-29

Where can you find this type of capacitors ? Is there anything I can dig into and take apart to pull something so big?

If not where is a good place to buy them?

RedstoneM (author)2016-03-01

It surely isn't brighter than a camera flash, they have more than 10kW usually

eldar7 (author)2009-12-15

 WOW nice one!!!
what whode happen if i user 2.5v 120F caps??(yes 120F caps!!!)
is it will be strong like this to?

grenadier (author)eldar72011-07-07

No, supercaps have a very high ESR.

Callum Snowden (author)eldar72010-09-01

Ive seen capacitors rated at 2.5vdc and 3000F!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

that one guy (author)2007-08-14

I'm pretty sure you already know this, but wouldn't a switch let you set it off from a safer distance?

no then the switch would arc and shock his hand defeating the entire purpose

Spedy (author)mikemmcmeans2007-11-02

You could use a SCR to switch the currents, it would be a lot safer then just touching two wires together.

awesomesquared (author)Spedy2011-04-17

Or you could just use a really long pole

have the switch power a relay which powers the circuit

mattccc (author)2009-08-30

try makeing a coil gun with these caps

dla888 (author)mattccc2009-10-31

I think that would be a coil gun that falls into the artillery class of coil guns.

tinstructable (author)dla8882010-10-20

No. The one I'm building would. I'm using a 13,900 Joule Bank. 400v. I'm already scared.

Terivia (author)2010-09-27

*runs off to connect the led to a 9v with a switch, and package it all up like a gun*

Buster108 (author)2009-03-16

i made a capacitor bank out of disposable camera capacitors and i hooked it up to little metal rod and some how idk how,but the little rod shot at my palm almost going to through the other side.... i have no idea how this happened but i wasnt too happy about my ER bill... just a little warning..

bylerfamily (author)Buster1082009-06-15

That is called the railgun effect.

matstermind (author)bylerfamily2009-09-15

i thought you needed a electromagnet to create a coil gun

bylerfamily (author)matstermind2009-09-16

The electromagnet effect can be created by many things.

matstermind (author)bylerfamily2009-09-16

but there has to be a coil of wire, or other conductive material. right?

bylerfamily (author)matstermind2009-09-16

Right,in this case the rod.

matstermind (author)bylerfamily2009-09-16

the rod was the projectile, what caused the propulsion?

It was the current running through the metal rod which created a magnetic field and it also doubled up as the projectile because it was sat in that magnetic field it had created :)

bylerfamily (author)matstermind2009-09-24

Sorry,I'm not that smart.Ask Kiteman.

beehard44 (author)bylerfamily2010-04-07


MadBricoleur (author)Buster1082009-07-09

o o o o o o h h hh h that sounded like it hurt. real bad...?

Buster108 (author)MadBricoleur2009-07-11

yea it did -.- but once the E.R gave me morphine i didnt feel a thing.. or at least until the bill XD

spasysheep (author)Buster1082009-04-06

Look up coilguns / railguns

Buster108 (author)spasysheep2009-04-14

just made a coilgun but im a little paranoid because of what happened before XD i was hoping the coilgun would be more powerful but oh well

spasysheep (author)Buster1082009-04-19

Well the effect used in the coilgun is probably what caused your ER bill.

Buster108 (author)spasysheep2009-04-29

lol i found out the hard way XD

agent harmsy (author)2009-11-22


And I thought 5 photoflash capacitors was dangerous/fun enough! Where did you even GET caps that big from?!?!?

You can find them at a place online called

MistaStokes (author)2009-07-23

what household electronics contain capacitors besides cameras (i used them all)? Also what has a charging circuit in it, i lost my old one

TV's, Computers, hi-fi's, laptops, laptop chargers, telephones, xbox's, 5.1 systems, even remote controls! and many other things... :)

beehard44 (author)MistaStokes2010-04-07

make your own leyden jar, and use a TV as a charging circuit...
just put aluminum foil and the ground is, well, ground

milsorgen (author)MistaStokes2010-01-06

old video cards are a good place to look

danlab (author)MistaStokes2009-11-22

almost every electronic device will contain capacitors of various types and sizes. Devices that run off of wall outlets will usually have one or two decent sized caps and a bunch of small ones.

sharlston (author)MistaStokes2009-10-11

just go to a develompent shop and ask for used disposable cameras

toogers (author)MistaStokes2009-08-04

get a broken dvd/cd player for a tv. it's a goldmine of small caps, and a few big ones.

SteveUK (author)2007-07-03

When I was a kid, I used to just connect up a 9v battery to a high farad capacitor. Then I would use wires coming from the capacitor to makes sparks on tin foil. You can cut through the foil and it's a bit like a mini welding kit.

Callum Snowden (author)SteveUK2009-06-21

Thats what I did once, I paralleled two 6800uF audio capacitors,which cost nothing, then charged them to 12VDC. They charged pretty quickly and then I discharged them through a metal screwdriver. Big spark, temporerily magnetized screwdriver.

beehard44 (author)Callum Snowden2010-04-07

well, i remebered they pass high or low voltage but high amperage thru metals to make a magnet

Callum Snowden (author)beehard442010-04-07

I think tchnically, it really weakly welded the screwdriver to the capacitors

beehard44 (author)Callum Snowden2010-08-31

then the metal heated a bit at the tip i guess...

Callum Snowden (author)beehard442010-09-01

Yeah its with the high currents, it worked a bit like arc welding where they use low voltage and high current to melt metal and bond it together :)

Anson16 (author)2010-08-13

Artists use this type of system to run high currents through very thin wire over tile or other material. When the wire explodes it leaves a copper pattern on the tile. Very dangerous with out the necessary safety measures.

Bogomir67 (author)2009-08-08

We used to charge the caps and then throw them at somebody (from the rear, when he was not looking, anyway), and yell "CATCH". Out of reflex - everybody will, getting a ZAP... ... yeah, yeah, I got zapped myself a number of times that way...

Madrias357 (author)Bogomir672010-08-03

I've done that. Too much fun to load up a cap with, say, 30 volts, then yell, "Think fast!" and toss it to someone. For more fun, bend the leads backwards and wear latex gloves, so that the outer edge of the cap has the leads running down it. The gloves keep you from getting zapped.

muttyfutty (author)Bogomir672009-08-27

Woh, My dad (who worked for RS and in the gulf war ) Told me the exact same thing lol, must be quite common!

Quantinuim (author)2010-06-16

I just puled apart a big plasma tv the capacitors are HUGE.....

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