How to Build a Real Working "Brain Ray" (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Demo)

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a method for stimulating brain tissue, and in recent years there has been much research on this method as a replacement for Electroconvulsive (Shock) Therapy to combat mental disorders such as depression. Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation is a safer non-invasive alternative.

In this instructable, I will show you how you can demonstrate the ability to stimulate neurons in your arm to make you twitch without invasive methods. Essentially, you will learn how to construct your own single pulse "brain ray!" You will be a real "brain hacker" and this is excellent for science fairs.

This device differs from those in the medical field in that it is lower power and only shoots one pulse at a time, while medical TMS machines pulse continuously.

The device essentially works by inducing electrical currents in neuronal tissue through a large electromagnetic pulse.
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Step 2: Make a Capacitor Bank

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Create a capacitor bank by arranging 6 rows in series of 9 capacitors in parallel as shown in the video. Wear protective gloves while handling these capacitors or working with high voltage.

Step 3: Make the Coil

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A coil is needed to create an electromagnetic pulse to induce current in neuronal tissue. Create a coil with 15 turns of heavy duty wire. Make sure that the wire is insulated. For my coil, I wrapped it up with electrical tape and added a tube where users can grip it.

Step 4: Arrange the Circuit

Picture of Arrange the Circuit
Create the circuit as shown in the video. Connect the capacitor bank to a switch and then the coil of wire so that the switch dumps the capacitors' stored energy into the coil when turned "on," Use a heavy duty switch.
Exocetid8 months ago
Anybody try this to relieve headaches? That's the latest use for TCMS.
ewcrew9 months ago
the design for this looks almost identical to an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse)
It is just a capacitor(s), a switch and an electromagnet. Does this work the same as an EMP?
MikB1 year ago
"Discharge the capacitor in each camera for safety using a metal object" -- I think you mean "with a metal object that you don't mind losing a small chunk of the end of, and while standing well back from the resulting flying metal blob".

I know this because I unintentionally discharged one of those things with a (slipped) screwdriver, the end of it has never been the same since. Nor was a section of the PCB track that disappeared into a copper plasma flash!

It's better to use a resistor, and check the voltage with a meter. For bonus points, you can fit a resistor across the terminals of your DMM, set on volts, and probe the capacitor. Watch the voltage go down.

Otherwise, I really hope your coil and wiring insulation is good.
Be careful, those capacitors store as much power as a defibrillator and could easily kill someone.