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Picture of How To Make A High Voltage Power Supply
This power supply puts out 400 volts maximum and stores it in a capacitor bank. Mine is 2820 uF. You could use more or less capacitors.
I originally built this to power a small coil gun but it can be used for whatever you need it for.
It runs off 3.3 volts but it will run off of 2 "D" size batteries with a reduced voltage output and slower charge times. The parts can be purchased online for about $20.
I recommend running it off an old computer psu. The one I use to run it is rated to 16 Amps on the 3.3 volt line and it runs this fine.

For instructions to make the 3.3v power supply look Here
 
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Step 1: Warning!

Picture of Warning!
Warning this device can generate 400 Volts from a 3 volt input.
This energy is stored in capacitors and it will still have power in it even when unplugged.
It is capable of putting out several amps! The output can easily be deadly!

DO NOT BUILD THIS UNLESS YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR WORKING WITH HIGH VOLTAGE

You are responsible for anything you do with this.

You should make certain that the device is clearly marked

Here is the warning for this device
High Voltage Warning Sign - for gimp
High Voltage Warning Sign - for photoshop

Here is the font I used on the warning signs above.
Helvetica-Black-SemiBold.ttf

Step 2: Parts & Tools

The Parts Needed
Charging Boards
I used 8 Boards but order a few extra in case you mess up on one.
Charger Boards - Electronic Goldmine
Unfortunately Electronic Goldmine is sold out of the charger boards. I don't know if they will get them back.
However I have been working on a bigger and better power supply, it won't be done for a while though.

Capacitors these should be rated to 400 Volts minimum and a total of 2000 - 3000 uF.
Electronic Goldmine is currently out of the ones I used.
Capacitors - All Electronics
Capacitors - Ebay

Switches (2) 15 Amp minimum rating
Alligator Clips or Binding Posts for HV out (1 Pair)
Small wire for soldering to charging boards (22AWG Solid)
Heavy wire for power in & out (18 - 16AWG)

Tools Needed

  • Soldering Iron and solder
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Nedle Nose Pliers
  • X-Acto Knife
  • DC Volt Meter (optional)

Step 3: Prepare the Charger Boards

Picture of Prepare the Charger Boards
IMAG009.JPG
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The long black wire is the negative (-) input. The long red wire is the positive (+) input.
Hot glue around the base of those wires to prevent them from breaking off as you work with the board.

The blue, green, and yellow wires are not needed for this project so you can snip them off.
Connect the pads and HV out wires as shown in the pictures.

Make sure that any flux left over from soldering is removed from the boards. The HV will arc through the flux and it can catch the board on fire! It will typically arc on the narrow part of the board by the HV output wires.
I recommend cleaning the flux off with a toothbrush and alcohol.

After the board is dry it should be tested. To test it hook a voltmeter to the output and connect 3 volts from 2 AA batteries to the input.
Using the batteries will keep the current low so the board doesn't fry instantly if there is a problem.
The volt meter should read over 350 volts. If it arcs, you didnt get all of the flux off the board.
Once the board is connected to a 3.3 power supply it should put out over 400 volts.

Step 4: Prepare the Capacitors

Picture of Prepare the Capacitors
IMAG018.JPG
Tightly wrap some wires around the leads on the capacitors, then solder. These connections must be made very well, if it is not done well and it arcs it will melt the leads and the wires.

Most all capacitors have a stripe on the side, this marks the negative (-) side.
Be sure you get the correct polarity on the capacitor

Step 5: Connect the Capacitors Together

Picture of Connect the Capacitors Together
Wire all of your capacitors together in parallel (+ to +, - to -) if you are putting it in an enclosure of some kind do this first, then wire them together.

Step 6: Connect the Charger Boards

Picture of Connect the Charger Boards
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Mount your charger boards in your enclosure with hot glue (If you are using an enclosure). Then connect your input lines in parallel. Now connect the HV output lines in parallel.

Connect the HV out lines to the lines on the capacitors then connect a piece of heavy wire to that connection.

Step 7: Mount Your Switches

Picture of Mount Your Switches
IMAG032.JPG
HV Power Supply.JPG
Attach the power switches.
Connect the negative line from the power cable to the negative input on the charger boards.
Connect the positive line from the power cable to the two switches.
Connect the output from one of the switches to two of the charger boards positive input.
Connect the output from the other switch to the positive input on the rest of the charger boards.


HV Power Supply.pdf(792x612) 14 KB

Step 8: Finish It Up

Run the 3.3v power line out of the case and attach whatever connectors you need to connect to your power supply.

For the high voltage out you can either connect it to binding posts or you can run the wire out of the case and connect the alligator clips to it.

Make sure that this power supply has the proper warnings on it.

Other things you can do. I plan on doing these when I get the time and money.
  • Attach a panel volt meter to it
  • Attach a panel amp meter to the input
  • Connect it to an scr to control the discharge
  • Add a key switch so that it doesnt accidentally get turned on

Step 9: Using It

Picture of Using It
To use it turn on the switch with the 2 charger boards on it. when it reaches 50 volts turn on the second switch. then let it charge to desired voltage and turn off both switches.
Do Not Exceed 400 Volts
Do Not Discharge While The Switches Are On. This can overload and damage the charger boards.

I reccomend using a volt meter to watch your charge voltage.
I have posted the full sized pictures on my website here.

Here is my original video

Here is a newer video of my power supply discharging through various items.

Step 10: Update - New Flyback Charger

Picture of Update - New Flyback Charger
messy_breadboard.jpg
I have come up with a modified flyback transformer that will work with this power supply using spare parts from my junk box. This is based on the rewound flyback from here, and my driver circuit is a modified and much simpler version of this one.
I haven't gotten around to actually making a circuit board though. It is still sitting on my breadboard. I eventually plan on using this for a coil gun project, but that probably won't happen anytime soon.

The secondary is 300 turns of 28 awg wire. The primary is 15 turns of 22 awg wire.
The primary will need tweaking depending on the driver used and the input voltage.

The layers of the secondary are insulated with a couple layers of teflon thread tape. There are a few layers of electrical tape separating the primary from the secondary.
The core is from a flyback transformer I took from a 15" computer monitor.

The output will be AC, so it needs a diode in the line to rectify it. I have gotten by with a 1N4007, but a fast recovery diode like the UF4007 would be better because of the high frequency being used.

This can be driven with one of the many flyback driver circuits available. I used a simple 555 timer circuit to drive mine, but it would work better with a ZVS or Mazilli driver.
For more information on flybacks check out the HvWiki page on flybacks. There are also many good instructables on flybacks so I won't go into building a driver here.
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rohan paul2 months ago

i think what u used here are flash camera circuits !!

tommarr652 months ago

Hi

i run a small wheelie bin cleaning company and i am interested in setting up a trailer unit which powers the electric motor on the pressure washer with electricity instead of a loud petrol generator. I am also interested in getting it as a hot water system but most of these on the market require 3 phase 400 volts. Any help or suggestions would be gratefully received thx

UmarM15 months ago

I want to generate 400 volt from 12 volt DC bettary? i have 400 rms transformer, which is giving 300 volt from 12 volt, but i need 400 volt. what should i do?

UmarM15 months ago

I want to generate 400 volt from 12 volt DC bettary? i have 400 rms transformer, which is giving 300 volt from 12 volt, but i need 400 volt. what should i do?

R.A.T.M3 years ago
respect on the Ramminstine
liddleLOL3 years ago
I need help:

I am making a charging circuit for a coilgun, but i accidentally bought non polar caps. I was wondering if i could still use these with some sort of circuit adjustment, or if i need to purchase all new polarized caps? Can you help?
rocketman221 (author)  liddleLOL3 years ago

Non polarized caps will work. They are larger than polarized caps though. With them it doesn't matter which direction you hook them up.
XOIIO3 years ago
Have you found a different source of charger boards yet?
rocketman221 (author)  XOIIO3 years ago
I've come up with a circuit using a flyback transformer (from an old computer monitor) and a 555 timer that charges the caps significantly faster, but I'm still working out the bugs.
My current version has a flyback with a 15 turn primary and a 400 turn secondary.
I used 22awg on the primary and 28awg on the secondary.
It charges to 380v in about 10 seconds with a 13.8v input (could use a zvs driver for more power).
I need to get some high speed diodes to rectify the output. I have been using 1N4007's but they are too slow. I will get some UF4007's instead.
Thats pretty sweet, any estimate to when you think you might have an instructable?
rocketman221 (author)  XOIIO3 years ago
The new charger is still just a rats nest of wire on my breadboard, but I will update this instructable soon.
Can you post a schematic if you can so we can still build it without the board? Thanks.
rocketman221 (author)  brooklynlord5 years ago
Here is the schematic. The number of turns on the transformer is just an estimate. 
Inverter Power Supply.png
rocketman221 (author)  brooklynlord5 years ago
I can put together a schematic, but I don't know how many turns the inverter transformer has.  
Fangofwar5 years ago
first off, thanks for providing me with a way to kill time this weekend. secondly how would using 10 of the capacitors you used affect the output? i plan on making a coil gun.
rocketman221 (author)  Fangofwar5 years ago
More caps are fine, but you will want to use heavier wire for the output. 
Thank you sir! i will keep this in mind.
wjbombo5 years ago
Greetings.

The charging boards are not available or the link is incorrect.  Do you have a part # for the charging boards or a suggested replacement for this part if the ones you suggest are unavailable?

Thank you.

Ahimsa.

rocketman221 (author)  wjbombo5 years ago
The chargers are sold out. I don't know about a replacement for them though.
I am working on a better power supply that doesn't use them, but I've got a lot to do before I can make the instructable. 
h8redflip5 years ago
Hi, do you have a new link to a charger board, as that one has expired, or any specifics to look out for? thanx :)
rocketman221 (author)  h8redflip5 years ago
It looks like they are sold out. Hopefully they will get more. 
panzuman5 years ago
probably a dumb question but what about microwave caps? i have a ton from my tesla coils that i build but could i use those?
rocketman221 (author)  panzuman5 years ago
Microwave caps would work, but they are a lot higher voltage and lower capacitance. The charger board can't charge them to their full voltage.  
science kid5 years ago

thanks alot.

Riojelon5 years ago
Can I use this in ac?
rocketman221 (author)  Riojelon5 years ago
The power supply is dc only. 
sharlston5 years ago
how about making a welder out of it?
rocketman221 (author)  sharlston5 years ago
It will weld stuff together but its not very strong.
SimonTunes5 years ago
CAN I USE 500VOLT CAPACITORS FOR SECURITY? SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH
rocketman221 (author)  SimonTunes5 years ago
Yes but they might be harder to find.
Grrr electronics goldmine dosent ship to the UK!!!
wow dangerous stuff
ChuKoNu5 years ago
Cool Instructable! Roughly how long does it take to charge these capacitors?
rocketman221 (author)  ChuKoNu5 years ago
It takes about 20 seconds to charge to 350 volts with a 3.3 volt input. Thats with 9 charger boards and 2820µF capacitor bank. It is helpful to increase the input voltage to charge above 350 volts it can be run at 5 volts after the caps are charged above 300 volt.
where do you get a charger board?
They are from electronic goldmine the link is in step 2.
What are the max input and output voltages for these boards?
rocketman221 (author)  Sponzyparadox6 years ago
3.3v in gives about 400v out. 5v in gives about 600v out. 9v in gives about 775v out. 12v in gives over 1000v out. Anymore than 5v in overheats the boards really fast and the output current must be kept low. I wouldn't recommend running them at more than 9v.
How fast do they heat and woudfl it be hard to cool them?
rocketman221 (author)  Sponzyparadox6 years ago
How fast they heat up depends on the load. The transistor is what heats up. You might be able to replace it with a larger one, or make a heatsink out of some foil tape. I have never tried to run them at more than 5 volts with any load though. If you need a higher output voltage I would suggest using a voltage multiplier.
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