# Fix a non-working electronic fly swatter

A friend brought me her new electronic fly swatter she bought in another city. It never worked and taking it back would be too difficult. In addition, her swatter was modelled after a tennis racket. It was not the exact unit shown here. She and her husband really enjoy tennis. So, it was important to make the swatter work for her.
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## Step 1: Open the case and examine the circuit board

This is the circuit board from the unit shown in the introductory frame. My friend's circuit board was similar, but not identical.

Beginning from the right side and moving to the left, you see the battery leads from the switches and the red "on" LED. One of the resistors limits the current to the LED. The other provides the correct bias current to the transistor (the black object at the lower right corner of the circuit board). Transformers cannot work with direct current. The transistor switches on and off rapidly to create a rising and falling voltage for the transformer to step up. Next comes the transformer. My friend's unit has only one capacitor for storage of the charge while it builds up to the maximum charge of the capacitor. This unit has two capacitors and four diodes. I did not check it out thoroughly, but I believe the diodes and the capacitors make a voltage multiplier. At the far left of the circuit board are four bleeder resistors to dissipate the charge on the capacitors when one is finished using the swatter. The bare wires are the high voltage wires to the grid wires in the yellow swatter frame.
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can you please explain the working...in detail .wid a more simple circuit.....i hav the circuit same as that of shown by "yourtubemeera"

Phil B (author)  harikrishnan.kj.3717 days ago
I did try to explain it fairly simply. The goal is to raise the voltage in the two small batteries to several hundred volts and use that to charge the wires in the grid so an insect is electrocuted when it short circuits any two wires in the grid.

Capacitors store the high voltage until it is released by the insect completing the circuit. The capacitors are paired with diodes acting like one-way valves. The voltage is able to come into the capacitors, but cannot escape until an insect shorts the wires. You can learn more about this by studying voltage doubler or voltage multiplier circuits.

A transformer raises the voltage of the batteries. But, there is a problem to be overcome. Batteries are DC current and a transformer can work only with a fluctuating current, like AC. The battery current can be made to fluctuate by being shut off and turned back on rapidly. A small special portion of the transformer's secondary winding becomes energized whenever the transformer is turned on. That feeds a small current back to a transistor in the primary circuit of the transformer, and shuts the transistor off, which stops the current flow in the transformer. When there is no feedback current to the transistor to shut it off, the current from the batteries turns it on again and current begins to flow in the transformer again. That causes another feedback current that shuts the transistor off again. All the while bursts of high voltage are moving from the main part of the transformer's secondary winding through the voltage multiplier circuit to be stored in the capacitors.

I hope this helps.
RaviK33 months ago

How much power the output is?.wheather output is ac(or)dc.

Phil B (author)  RaviK33 months ago
It is battery powered, so that part is DC. The transistor causes the DC current to rise and fall in a simulated AC current so the transformer can raise the voltage, but it is still a DC current that is stored in the capacitors. An AC current would only pass through the capacitors and would not build up to make a powerful charge.
lwiker1 year ago
Hello, when I press the operation button, the red light become dim so fast.
Which component might be failed?
Phil B (author)  lwiker1 year ago
I have only limited experience with electronics. A quick Internet search said your problem could be weak or dirty connections, maybe even in the battery holder. Check the switch contacts, too. Of course, your batteries should be fresh. I suspect something could be providing an alternative pathway for the battery current that takes away the needed current to light the LED properly. That could be a short in the transformer primary windings. An easy way to check would be to borrow an identical electronic flyswatter and take a resistance reading on the primary windings. Then compare that to the same reading you get on your defective flyswatter. A shorted transformer will show a much lower resistance reading. You could also check the actual resistance of the current limiter resistor on the LED and compare it to the resistor's rated value by comparing the colored bands with a table that gives their values so you know the nominal value of the resistor.

This could be a fun mental exercise to see if you can find the problem and fix it. At the same time, a new flyswatter is relatively inexpensive and a person cannot afford to spend too much time fixing one of these, unless there is an unusual reason to invest the time.
denny2451 year ago
Weird Coincidence: I just repaired my fathers electronic fly swatter this morning. I took it apart. I cleaned a few bugs that were carbonized and maybe shorting out the high voltage output. Result: Nothing changed. I then used volt ohm meter to check if current flowing through the four diodes and afirmative. Then I measured voltage across the output and it was between 80 and 100 volts but would not pop when shorted by my screw driver. It sparked alittle but not the way it was supposed. I then suspected the 30 volt storage capacitor was somehow burned out. Without removing the capacitor I connected a 300 volt capacitor from a Xenon flash circuit, and it quickly charged up and when shorted out with the screwdriver, an explosion of sparks shot out with a loud pop sound. That was the problem. I replaced the storage capacitor with one rated at 100 volts, and now my fathers Fly Zapper tennis racket works again!!!
Phil B (author)  denny2451 year ago
Excellent. Thank you for adding to the body of knowledge. It will be useful to someone.
TeslaRox1 year ago
Just built my first Tesla Coil using the board from the ol faithful Electric Flyswatter, worked fantasic! The problem was I shortened my primary coil wire and that improved it more, better arcs and the spark gap was a bit more lively. The down side of that was after around 45 seconds its power reduced drasticly.. I also hooked up another 2 AA's in seires with the main 2. It still makes the tiniest of sparks but not sufficient as it did when it was still a swatter. I am not the best with electronic componants myself but am learning fast. Can anyone suggest what this issue might be or how I could mod the exsisting board to handle and release more power. OR.. perhaps even an alternative power source that operates the same as the swatter, thanx.
tesla man2 years ago
In your instructable, you said that the transistor switches on and off rapidly. How would you go about duplicating this process??(in other words, how does it work?)
Phil B (author)  tesla man2 years ago
When the flyswatter is switched "on" current flows through the biasing resistor to turn the transistor "on" and energize the transformer primary. The rise in energy in the transformer primary induces a voltage in the transformer secondary. But, a steady voltage in the primary will not induce a voltage in the secondary for long, only while the voltage in the primary is either rising or falling rapidly. The transformer also has a loop in it that feeds back to the transistor and over-biases the transistor so that it shuts "off." When the transistor is "off," the current that over-biased it ceases because the current going to the primary goes through the transistor, and then the battery current through the transistor's biasing resistor turns the transistor back "on" so current again flows in the transformer primary. It is a simple and cheap oscillator.

If you want to duplicate something like this, get two floodlights controlled by photocells so each shuts off when the sun rises. Point each at the photocell of the other. They will come on and go off in a continuous cycle.

I hope this helps.
2 years ago
Yes, it helped, but could you give me a schematic of how to make the biasing resistor circut. I would like to know because i am trying to power a transformer with dc. Thank you in advanced.

Phil B (author)  tesla man2 years ago
Take a look at my response to mattccc below. There you will find a link to a schematic for the electronic flash in a disposable camera. It is quite similar to the circuit in an electronic fly swatter.
2 years ago
Ok thank you
NukeWeldor3 years ago
This is some great information, and timely too, since I just replaced my original Electrocution swat with a new one that is a real dud. You can barely hear it buzz when you activate the circuit. Couldn't kill a fly with it if you tried and was completely useless on other pests like lady bugs, honey bees or butterflys.

With this help I'm sure to be back at the top of my game again in no time.

Thanks so much... .
Phil B (author)  NukeWeldor3 years ago
Thank you for looking and for commenting. I hope you can get yours working properly. It is always possible the transformer has an internal short that keeps it from developing full power. Someone suggested taking parts from the flash unit on a disposable flash camera.
-max-4 years ago
take apart the flash circuit in a disposable camera there shold be a transformer in it.
Phil B (author)  -max-4 years ago
That is an excellent idea. I do not work with or use disposable cameras. I am guessing the physical size of the transformer in a camera is quite a bit smaller than the transformer in an electronic fly swatter, and that might affect the jolt delivered to an insect. (Larger transformer = more output) I just do not know.
4 years ago
I know this sounds like more trouble than its worth but take a look inside of a CCFL inverter. There you will find an adequate transformer for your bug zapper.
(I know as I have once used one to drive a home-made high voltage transformer/stun gun.
4 years ago
not really unless your talking about watts. (watts = volts X amps) the voltage should be about the same (400 volts).
joinaqd5 years ago
what kind of transistor must it be for the transformer to work?i got transistors from a CPU Cooler fan..
4 years ago
bd243c 2sd965 work good
Phil B (author)  joinaqd5 years ago
If you already have some transistors you want to use in an application like repairing a fly swatter, you will need to know if they are PNP or NPN. My Instructable on Test a Bi-Polar Transistor--Out of Circuit will help you. When the transistor comes "on," check to see what polarity you had to use on the connections to the meter.
Phil B (author)  joinaqd5 years ago
See Step 2. I guessed that it was a low voltage NPN switching transistor of type 2N22222 and my guess was correct. The circuit worked after replacing the transistor with one of this type.
yourtubemeera4 years ago
hello phil B i also have that swatter...its not working...but i cannot find any burnt or damaged component inside...but ya the transister in it becomes very hot when its in operation... the swatter is not giving enuff voltage to kill the mosquitoes.. wat shall i do...?? here is the cicuit... its from YPD company....china made...
Phil B (author)  yourtubemeera4 years ago
If a component becomes hot, it usually means it is carrying far more current than it should. That would lead me to suspect there is a short circuit in the primary windings of the transformer. The fact your unit does not put out the amount of voltage it should tends to confirm that. Check it by taking resistance readings (ohms) between transformer terminals and compare those with the same readings taken on the transformer of an identical unit. Look for one of the readings on your unit to be quite a bit lower than on the known good unit. Then consider Powermax's suggestion about the transformer from the flash in a disposable camera, or get a new fly swatter.
yourtubemeera4 years ago
the images of my swatter circuit
mattccc4 years ago
will you post a schmatic of the circuit please thank you
Phil B (author)  mattccc4 years ago
Somehow I did not see your request until now. The schematic is very similar to the electronic flash circuit in a disposable camera. In place of the xenon tube insert grid wires to be bridged by an insect. This link discusses the circuits on a disposable camera flash unit.  Scroll down the page for a schematic.
Microbb4 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Phil B (author)  Microbb4 years ago
This is advertising.  I reported it to the moderators.  The poster put the same thing on several other sites.  I thought it might be removed by now.
pskog5 years ago
Want to boost? Add additional high voltage capacitor parallel with the last big one from where connecting wire will go to the grids. This will give you more sparks to nail those nasty bugs.
5 years ago
Seriously sweeeet, I paralleled a Red-Polyester (I think) 200V 56nf HV Cap straight down at the last "big one" before the grid, and, oh yes....... the words "Healthier Sparks" I believe you may have meant to say.. and with a low enough Capacitance(nf range) -->variable spark density for this circuit seems a tall order of Hoorah`.... (Xy' (Which is of the ever-so-famous "Shocking Gum...Lighter.. -ect.." "Prank Booster", which hurt bad enough already) -->{A note to the reader--> High enough Voltage Tolerance is important here, and though the circuitry seems basic enough, the wrong combination of components, as simple as accidentally installing an Electrolytic Cap and/or Hv Transistor and/or series 9v Bat .. Hydrogen can rapidly accumulate especially in the 2D cells and EXPLODE like a firecracker..only worse!! When i get a chance, i'll post this nifty Mosquito Revenge device.. being sure to highlight Mr Phil B And Mr PSKOG for the first rate ingenuity.. and for the fine Saturday Morning Coffee Buzz R&R (Xy'
5 years ago
<> Lets hope not that the HV Cap was 200V as you will have soon collect your swatter pieces around the house :( 1 kV would be closer to the right range. 2 kV would be much better while giving some safety margins. Looking forward to meet your "Mosquito Revenge" device :D
Phil B (author)  pskog5 years ago
That is true. Capacitors in parallel have the effect of making a larger capacitor to store more current. The voltage would not be higher, but the current would. Conversely, the time required to reach a full charge would be longer, which would require an insect staying put longer before zapping it. It would also require enough physical space in the swatter's case to place the capacitor. It might be a handy option, though, on larger insects, like wasps and bees.
Goodhart6 years ago
Very nice, and great detail.

I hate to suggest anything to such a well put together piece, but....where you speak of a heat sink (and I agree 100 %) several things work if you cannot find the "real thing" as you show.

I was unable to get them, even at my local Radio(less) Shack....so I sent off to some mailorder house like American Science and Surplus or some such place, and ordered up 3 hemostats. These things are GREAT. they can hold pieces, wires together and be used as a heat sink at the same time.

Phil B (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
The hemostats would work very well. I almost suggested putting a rubber band around the handles of a thin nose plier and clamping it onto the leads for a heat sink. I left it out because I did not want the text of the Instructable to get too long. Thanks for taking a look and for your kind comments. I hope this Instructable will satisfy someone's curiosity and maybe help someone get his flyswatter working again. I should have added that the one other thing that can go wrong with these is the plastic supports for the switches sometimes break off. I improvised when that happened on our's (the very one shown in the photos) by building up a backwall of hot glue behind the broken switch support.
5 years ago
Hahah, mine sitting in front of me has a tailored piece of clear hardened silicone wedged in place of the button cap.. lol... nice.....(Xy'
6 years ago
building up a backwall of hot glue behind the broken switch support.

That's kind of how I created an extension for the switch on the back of the "hacked" Radio Shack voice recorder. :-)

Yes, I have found all kinds of uses for hemostats when soldering....they can make a great "base" for holding pieces upright etc.

and maybe help someone get his flyswatter working again.

Or if I ever come across a non-working one on one of my, um, outings.....I have this to fall back on :-)
If the transistors are similar to the types used in camera flashes, then they're probably the high current variety that can handle 5 amps. 2SD965 or equivalent.
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