Since the release of the film back in the 80s I have been obsessed by the film Back To The Future watching the trilogy repeatedly. I watched it at the cinema over and over, I was very lucky that my great uncle was a projectionist so I could just sit in show after show.

So about 10 years back I decided I wanted to build a flux capacitor, but I got stuck back then because I didn't have the correct skills at that time and I was making a mess of it, so I shelved the project.

I decided to come back to it with my now improved skills and technology, and this time I have something awesome!!

The idea was to create a flux capacitor that was as close to the film as I could get, and at some point I want to put it in a Delorean.

Check out the video of it in action

I will be making other Back To The Future props including the Time Circuits so make sure you subscribe to me to get updates by clicking "follow" in the top right of the window.

WARNING: this instructable includes flashing lights and strobe effects especially on the videos.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

some of the parts are very hard to get hold of such as the Torr Vacuum relays (TRV-1 high voltage relay) if you can find them they sell for serious money, often sold by Back To The Future prop geeks for ridiculous prices. In this instance its best to replicate the relay as best as possible.

near enough everything I got on ebay, I love ebay.


Stahlin J1210HPL enclosure - the one on the film has a window but Stahlin have not made one with a window for years so you have to buy the one without the window and put your own window in.

Clear Acrylic sheet, 250mm x 200mm x 3mm - this is for the window.

3mm thick plastic sheet, grey for the back board.

1 meter of rubber window gasket - I used one with 3mm gap, 5mm gap A and B and 5mm web (see picture)

1 x can of Battleship Grey Spray Paint

1 x can of grey primer

1 x can of lacquer

1 x can of Plasi-kote brass

1 x can of Plasti-kote silver

car body filler

Accel 3009 yellow spark plug leads with orange ends, they have to be the 3009 to have the bend in them.

20mm clear Acrylic balls, I had a hard time finding these you can get them here


12mm acrylic tube with 3mm wall

6mm acrylic tube, 1mm wall

6mm acrylic rod, solid

4mm copper tube

3mm copper tube internal Diameter 2mm

2mm thick stainless steel wire, I used a coat hanger, you could use music wire.

12mm thick, clear acrylic block

vero stripboard, prototyping PCB

20cm Jumper Wires, female both ends and some male both ends

1 x Arduino Uno

1 x SD Module

1 x SD card, or a micro SD with adapter

1 x LM386 Audio Amplifier Module

1 x 5w speaker, no thicker than 30 - 35mm so it will fit under the back board.

12 x Warm white LEDs, 5mm, 4.5v

7 x Bright White LEDs, 5mm, 4.5v

68 Ohm resistors

a simple on off switch

9V battery connector

Infra red reciever

Basic universal IR remote control

4 x 3/16 UNF machine screws

a medium project box, no thicker than 30mm

wire red and black.


A dremmel


mitre box

screw drivers

soldering iron


large cardboard box or spray booth.

masking tape

3D printer, not really required but it was easier for me to use this, you could make the bases out of clay or something then cast them in resin

Dymo label maker with red tape, 9mm wide.

side cutters


sharpie marker.


pair of compasses.


USB Cable

screw drivers

sd card reader, I picked one up in a pound shop that works well.

various grades of sand paper

T-cut paint restorer.


Google sketch up

Arduino sketch program

Adobe Illustrator (for researching the sizes of things from screen grabs of the film)

Audacity - free sound editing software

Wav sample converter - free wav file converter

can you make a simplified nonfunctional one? I just want it for the looks
there is nothing to stop you making one
<p>Hi! So you're saying you used 3/16 UNF machine screws. In the Stahlin PDF File it says #10-32 UNF screw. I am not familiar with machine screws in inches since I am from Germany. Are these just two different names for the same kind of machine screw?</p>
I'm in the UK so I am not used to using those measurements either, I just ordered various ones until I got one that fitted. And i know the PDF says something different but I ordered the ones it said and they didn't fit.
<p>You say &quot;I cut 3 pieces of 20mm tube to 20mm, these will be used to hold the fake glass bits in the bases.&quot;</p><p>But I guess you meant &quot;3 pieces of 12mm tube to 20mm.&quot;, right? Since you have to glue the 12mm tube diameter to the 12mm acrylic ball surface and the other end in the 12mm hole of the base.</p>
yeah thats what I meant, typo sorry ;-)
<p>Man....Awesome job! </p><p>Now I am really in the mood to make one myself. I have a Krups coffee grinder sitting around that I want to make into a Mr Fusion, but its hard to make the base yourself. Guess I will go with the Fluxcapacitor first!</p>
I have 2 Krupps coffee grinders sitting around ready to make mr fusions, I might still make them but then this came up.<br><br>http://www.bttf.net/Back_to_the_Future_Part_II_Mr_Fusion_p/21020.htm<br><br>if you check out the video on that page they compare the real life one to the copy and its spot on.<br><br>I'm working on the time circuits at the moment as well, managed to locate a copy of the TRW Keypad which is like trying to get rocking horse poo. I also have a few other parts kicking about, just lacking a Delorean at the moment.
<p>Hey!</p><p>Could you send me a picture of the lables of the relays? It's very hard to find a picture of the original relays!</p><p>Thanks</p>
I will try and remember to take a picture when I get in from work, I think I had a spare label I can snap a picture of.
Just a reminder. ;-) Thanks.
<p>did you make the label?</p>
<p>Sorry for my late reply. </p><p>I will start this project beginning next month. But I can already tell you my idea. I will try first to print the labels with the label function in MS Word. When I'm not mistaken there are silver shiny labels available. But I'm not sure anymore. When not I will consult a print shop ;-)</p>
<p>probably best to go to a print shop.</p>
<p>if you do design this I wouldn't mind a copy of the file ;-) i assume Illustrator will be the tool of choice</p>
<p>well done, i totally would have forgotten, let me know if you need another one I am slightly pissed from the pub.</p>
Can i please get the ardrino code from you? I would greatly appreciate it thank you.
<p>if i did that how would you learn any new skills? to be honest its not that hard have a go with a bread board and some LEDs that what i did, in fact this was the first project i did with an arduino so i learnt on this project too. plus i'm not sure where i put the code.</p>
Nice! Does it actually work? Hehehe! Good job anyways
Ask me last week ;-)
<p>Nice, clear, good, well done!</p>
Thank you
awesome job! did you list somewhere how much it cost to make? sorry if you did and I overlooked it. looks great!
No I didn't kind of hard to say but I would estimate in excess of &pound;200 (GBP)
<p>Great Scott! This is heavy! Sorry I just watched a BTTF marathon lol. I never realized that there was no connection in the middle and how the original was made. I've always wanted to make one of these for my car. Maybe sync it up to the speedometer so it blinks faster the closer you get to 88 haha.</p>
<p>could use a GPS module to monitor the speed</p>
<p>or use the GPS from your smartphone and just add a bluetooth module. You can use your smartphone also as the remote that way. (But where to get a DeLorean?)</p>
<p>I didn't even think of GPS that's genius! </p>
<p>Wow. Well done. Next instructable, make it work.......</p>
<p>if only, but I am building the time circuits, see the film screen capture below<br><br></p>
<p>Can you post a movie screenshot side by side so we can compare?</p>
<p>best I can do right now</p>
you can see both in the last step :-/
I know that, I was saying that as a compliment, n1cod3mus
I don't just like it, I love it! Quality work, and I'm glad you waited to finish when your skills became developed enough. Thanks for the detailed report of exactly what you used. I'll be printing a PDF for my &quot;to-do&quot; folder.
I am glad you love it ;-) it would have been a shame to not do it properly and i realized back then that it all would have been half arsed which I would never be happy with.<br><br>you could just favorite it so that if there are any changes you will see them too ;-)<br><br>also don't forget to subscribe to me, click the follow button, that way when I finish the time circuits and other props you will get an alert ;-)
<p>Very very nice work! Congatrulations!</p>
Ok, now did you edit the actual set version, or build your own? It looks so real
if you read the instructable you will see I built my own, after pain staking research
<p>Wow ! This is a great work with a massive accurate finish ! </p><p>Thanks for sharing it :) </p>
thank you, and no problem
<p>Wow, uh well, wow...</p>
<p>Oh goodness this is so cool! Wonderful job!</p>
So does it work? Can you travel through time?
<p>This is awesome</p>
<p>It looks just like the one from the movie! That's amazing! Great job, especially with the sound effects.</p>
Thanks, thats the Idea for it to look like the movie.
Great Scott. Looks great.

About This Instructable




Bio: One day I shall own a Delorean.
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