The Plasma Speaker


Step 3: So, how does it actually work!?!?!?

Picture of So, how does it actually work!?!?!?
Okay, you must be very curious how the plasma speaker works...

Note: This information is technical, skip this step if you don't understand...

The TL494 acts like an oscillator and a modulator, it generates a high frequency (5KHz to 45KHz) to drive the flyback transformer to make high voltage arcs. Then when you give it audio, the TL494 modulates the audio frequency into the main high frequency. Now the flyback transformer is being driven by the high frequency and the audio frequency, and when the arc is produced, the arc vibrates the air with both the audio and high frequency creating sounds.
If you tune up the 22K potentiometer, the high frequency increases, when it goes higher than 20KHz, we cannot hear it, but only the audio frequency...

I hope you can kinda understand this..
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wrecklesst1 year ago
THe way this works is exactly like how we get fm radio or any radio. The actual audio signal is too weak for you to pick up fromany distance in comparison the audio here is too weak to power the plasma generation. So we need a carrier and that is the high frequency. High enough to power the plasma generation and as stated above when you set it too a vibration above what the human ear can pick up it is in essence silent (your dog will disagree) same with radio a carrier signal with enough power to transmit over a great distance is used and the actuall audio signal you pick up with your radio is mixed into this carrier and your reciever picks it out..

AMAZING STUFF I freakin love that you did this. I made a little prototype much like your original one. I was going to make a final one and was excited then I put the project down and it has been forgotten. That was almost ten years ago. I am once again excited about thi and am starting my build again. Thanks,

Nice job
Ohh and to anyone else reading the warning given for this build is no joke and it isnt just a warning like be careful itll shock you It is very seriously do not do unless you are 100 percent sure you kow about the fundamentals of electricity. You must understand how electricity works and how to protect your self from its power. This can kill. If you have even a little doubt then you are not ready to do this. Go and read up on electricity there are uhndreds of tutorials on it. \
With that said anyone with the experience and knowledge will love the display this gives. I was amazed the first time it was to unbelievable
So from what I understand as to how this works is that the high frequency (inaudible) allowes the voltage to be driven accross the coils on the transformer at a much more efficient rate, thus allowing the lower (audible) frequencies to be transfered at the much more efficient rate, am i right? Also I have a question, is there a way to modify a normal self-powered computer speaker so that it produces these high frequencies? This is for my science fair which is on electro -magnets.
and one other thing, how much does this cost to produce, i have a tight budget, and everything needs to be bought slowly, and the more expensive it is the longer it will take.
well followinging the guide grenedier made, it cost me a little under 100 bucks to make a stereo system, and thats including a 36V 10 A power supply.

(still, if you want to make a singing tesla, you need to make a sstc or a solid state tesla coil, and then modulate the power. i have no idea how to do that however.
i created a profiole to ask you, or anyone, will this work with a Tesla coil, all i want to do is make a tesla coil guitar amp and this would be a major step for me getting there. and the more people help me the sooner i may be able to make a page on how to do that. so please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
spark light3 years ago
Do you think this will be an adequate driver for the enables on my sstc? (no mosfet or flyback, chip out run directly to enables of ucc37322/1 thanks.
teche4 years ago
what are some good diy component shops
qwertyboy teche3 years ago
If you want to order online, Digikey is a great site.
htc1095 years ago
i am 14 years old and i wanted to make this for our scool's science fair project.
same here
Be careful :D
shmolky4 years ago
Hey, is it a 47uF cap or a 47nF cap? You've got it listed as 47nF in multiple places, but you have that correction listed on the schematic. Do you need at least 250v? or can you get by with less? Also, how do you figure out the the secondary coil outputs on the flyback? Any ideas on the thickness of wire for the primary coils or does it really matter?
htc1095 years ago
i hv adoubt about this project........can someone please urgently help me with this??? especially plasmana....i urgently need help with figuring out where to connect the two wires which will make the arc......... plz.. can someone help me with this project.......within ONE day!!!!!! plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
guess not...