Introduction: Capacitor Bank & Charger (first Attempt & Mk2)

Picture of Capacitor Bank & Charger (first Attempt & Mk2)

First attempt at a capacitor bank and charger... I know there are others but same as ever everyone has a different experience doing such things there own way as do i,so good for reference.

Won't be a true bank as i only had one camera with which to use,worked for a while until i blew up the charging circuit somehow.

(Used it for the time i had it working to fry little holes in aluminum cans was a most fun device,will make again after i or someone else can determine what the hell i did wrong)

Step 1: Parts and Tools Needed

Picture of Parts and Tools Needed

Parts needed,that i used in this project.

x1 Disposable camera circuit
x1 Project box
x2 Copper coated wires
x1 Soldering iron
x1 Solder roll
x1 Soldering paste
X2 Colors of wires (alot)
x1 Cable block
x3 Push switches
x1 Green Led
x1 Helping Hands (with magnification)
x1 Battery Pack x2 AA & connector
x1 Electrical tape
x1 Crocodile clip
x1 Hot glue gun & glue

Step 2: Early Soldering and Construction

Picture of Early Soldering and Construction

First off i  de soldered and stripped off the trigger bar far as i know its useless,proceeded to solder on power wires on the positive and negative terminals carefully taking my time,next de soldered the capacitor,and soldered wires to the negative and positive terminals left behind,which i previously marked on the board in a little bit of pencil ( to dark to see) 

Then to ensure my welds worked i connected up the cap and a battery,and pressed the charge button it worked nicely and i discharged the cap with a old screwdriver and rubber glove.(not pictured)

Step 3: Finalizing

Picture of Finalizing

Now the rest of it.

Felt like the soldering and wiring would never end and after two days of gathering parts and building it finally got it all together and working.

Now the charging button you need a bigger switch clearly cannot go inside the box everytime to press a high voltage charge button next to some nasty wiring,so peal off the plastic sticky part holding the button onto the contacts,and get out a fw wires,i was unsure what the polarity was and guessed the red on the outer ring and black on the inner point of the button,guess it do not matter or i got it right randomly as to the switches polarities.

Now the main body was done,,I Hot Glued the wire connections at the battery capacitor and charge button terminal before moving onto the way more fiddly Charge light,i assumed a normal voltage light would blow the hell up from that kind of current suppose i was right,explain later,and de soldered the light not pictured as required my full attention as the solder points are very close together ,i welded a few wires to the collect polarities again not sure which polarity the light should of been attached to but it ended up working anyway, i covered the hold housing of the camera circuit in black electrical tape,seems pretty necessary as the high voltages create massive heat,enough to melt metal nevermind your plasticy box be it thick or not.

I tested the green power led and soldered a few wires to the correct polarities tested with a small battery before red and black wires were soldered this will bridge the battery too a switch connected to both positive and negative wires like a bridge spanned by the green led from battery wires to the camera circuit battery wires.

The Charge button and Charge Light are fixed and only need pushing into pre cut holes in the abs plastic box (not pictured due to the sharp blade and hammer in other hand to break holes to widen with a fat screwdriver and some effort,as for the small holes use a smaller screwdriver and just turn left and right while pushing your bodyweight into the plastic and it will break its way through.

The capacitor was attached to the wires on the board and wires from the capacitor leading out of the box,one of these wires leading from the cap outside was attached to the Fire button (lone button to the left) to trigger the discharge into the wires when charged,This was then all rammed and pushed and wobbled into place carefully inside the box along with excess wire,and a battery taped to the power inlet to the right,(should have been left as that where the switch is making one long wire for the wire switch to discharge wire,leading from the capacitor.

I pressed the power button rightmost button and a big bright green led lit up,holding this power button i pressed the charge button once,and heard a woooo as it charged,and the status light lit up yellow,letting go of the green led,i attached the wires to a bit of metal and pressed the fire button it arced and a massive bright and loud spark ensued,now i added a bit more wire to the capacitor discharge leads and made the probes for it.

Step 4: Arcing Probes (Add on for the Bank)

Picture of Arcing Probes (Add on for the Bank)

Using Copper plated wire and the cable block for better discharge and less loss of current through the masses of wire,and a piece of metal scavenged from an old disassembled sparker using the metal from that as the probe,i bent it and welded the copper wires to the metal stick,and coated in alot of electrical tape apart from the tip up to about an inch or two,now the other with another copper wire but this time to s heat shrinked crocodile clip for the positive/negative circuit.

Charging the bank and attaching the crocodile clips to a aluminum drinks can,and holding the probe pointed metal part i made,onto the can itself,pressing the fire button he 330volt or so discharge,becomes more directed and safer to experiment with.

Step 5: Test Video/s

Picture of Test Video/s

Here the test video for the capacitor bank itself sorry for my extreme accent,basically just stating when its charging and you can see it worked perfectly.

Until !!! ...check next step. 

Step 6: Mistakes,burnouts,short Circuit Stories.

Picture of Mistakes,burnouts,short Circuit Stories.

After about 100+ go's arcing out various stuff eating through batteries.
I decided i would scale it up and keep doing so,and add another capacitor and a battery pack that carries 8-AA batteries for a 12v supply (this was a bad idea i am guessing) so a took the capacitors out and added a little more wire for the fire button which now had to lead outside of the box into a small capacitor box.

So once that was done  i hooked up the power and pressed the power this time the green Led kinda went a alot yellow or more red as if it was burning out (it did i am guessing rated at 3.3volt led taking over 12v as i used very powerful batteries) still i pressed charge and it did as usual 2 times,before it stopped and there was a rather weirdish smell like burnt plastic,i could see the capacitors it was not them....later inspection i looked inside the box to my disappointment i knew the charging board was in some way dead as the electrical tape was melted just next to the status light,so i took it out and opened it up for inspection of what was gone...not sure what part burned out,suspect its a resistor looks like one (sorry for the blurry pictures) and had shattered or more of burned itself to death the solder point of it had also melted into the board itself and left burn scaring just under the resistor? hard to identify anymore as 90% of it is gone completely.

Would Like too Find out exactly what i did wrong and any way i can improve or add on to my first capacitor charger and bank would be helpful,suspect the 12v was too much..and each board is rated for a max 3.3volt ? if i linked more charging boards would that increase the max power input 6.6volts or 4 batteries ? i know it would up the charge speed of the capacitors but what about the amount of power from batteries i can dump into the charger,2 high power AA batteries last at most 30/50 charges and discharges would like at least triple that before i have to change batteries again.

Step 7: Capacitor Bank MK2

Picture of Capacitor Bank MK2

Second Project all worked out nicely,and learned a few things at the same time while i was working on it.
Added Plugs and new L.E.D's to the Charger,and bought a larger project box a while back in order to carry capacitors,i started off using 3 photo flash caps,worked nicely with much larger discharge,and capacitors contained outside of the charger making it a more compact unit and letting me sort out any problems faster.

See pictures for the new charger. (yes this will be a Mk3 then 4 until i have a reliable device that charges quick and has settable voltage regulator and LED or Digital Screen Voltage indication) 


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