Picture of How to Build a Slayer Exciter

A Slayer Exciter is an air-cored transformer that steps up a very low DC voltage to a very high AC voltage. This creates an electromagnetic field around the coil that is capable of lighting up fluorescent and neon light bulbs. It is fairly similar to a Tesla Coil.

The Slayer Exciter was the brainstorm of Dr. Stiffler and GBluer a few years ago. It has since been modified and improved, resulting in a community of people whose hobby is to revise and improve them.

In this Instructable, I will show you how to build a small Slayer Exciter and will also give an explanation as to how it works.

There are several parts that make up a Slayer Exciter:
- The power source supplies the voltage and amperage.
- The driver circuit takes the electricity from the power source and prepares it for the transformer.
- The primary coil creates a magnetic field from the electricity.
- The secondary coil converts the magnetic field back into electricity and steps it up to a much higher voltage.
- Finally, the top load acts as a capacitor, greatly increasing the strength of the electromagnetic field.

The whole project only costs about $15 and can easily be completed in a weekend. It can be used as a centerpiece for the dinner table that will "wow" any family members or guests. It is also easily transportable which can make it a great conversation starter if you choose to bring it to school or work.

The Slayer exciter creates an electromagnetic field that may negatively affect electronic equipment in the immediate area; including pacemakers. Exercise caution and common sense when operating a Slayer Exciter.

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i can't find awg enameled wire in here(or maybe i haven't searched enough), but i find something that called as "insulator wire"(the wire used in insulator) and the diameter should be about 0.2 mm. Will it work if i used this cable instead of awg enameled wire ?

sorry, i mean inductor wire( the wire used in inductor)

What does a top load function as?

Chip Fixes (author)  thotthecreator1 month ago
It acts as a capacitor between ground and the top of the secondary.

Hello! I am a high school student and I am researching topics to do for my science project. Slayer Exciters (and tesla coils) intrigue me and I would like to know if you could explain how they work exactly before I consider it as a choice. You stated that: "A Slayer Exciter is an air-cored transformer that steps up a very low DC voltage to a very high AC voltage." Would you mind explaining what that means (like what is DC voltage and AC voltage)?

fmarquis made it!2 months ago

I had tried this circuit before without success, when I was just starting building stuff. Browsing the site in search of something evil to build, I came back to this old favorite of mine. After spending more time finding where my secondary was hiding than breadboarding the circuit, it worked perfectly well on the first attempt.

I don't know what went wrong the first time... One hypothesis is the ambient humidity... Here in Montreal, Canada, it is already below freezing and tonight, the air is quite dry. Or it could just be related to my improved capacity to read/build from schematics!

The second picture shows what happens when you check the transistor temperature with very cold (like "I'm working in my shed by minus 5 Celsius") fingers. For a moment, I was happy that my transistor was holding the current quite well.

Actually, it was not. And this time, the smoke was not coming from a dead transistor, but from my finger. You can clearly see the silhouette of the TIP31C...

I learned many things tonight, the first one being : "Nothing looks like a cold transistor more than a burning hot one, especially to cold fingers.".

Lesson learned the hard way.

Thanks for the Instructable. I will try to make a more permanent one now that I know it's working!

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hey there thanks for the instructable. just want to know that how much the transistor can take without a heat sink. mine is a TIP31C CC039 m using a 50 k resistor

Chip Fixes (author)  thedevilhunternero2 months ago
I wouldn't go above 12 volts, but you can feel it with your fingers to see if it gets hot or not.

we use the tip41a transistor,a 100 nanofarads ceramic capacitor,10
kilo ohms resistor using a step down transformer of 220 to 12 volts, the
result is the aluminum foil as a top load will going to melt and the
transistor is over heating quickly. we connect the secondary coil to the
base parallel to the 10kilo ohms,then the the two 100 micro farads
parallel connect to the emitter and the ground.

can you add photo of driver circuit in detail pls and can we add capacitor

Roosafeedk4 months ago

I made it, but it does not have enough range. It can hardly light an LED that too when it is in contact with the topload. How to increase the output?

I am using 2 9V batteris, IN4007 diode, 1M resistor, and TIP31C

L1 has 6 turns and L2 around 800

Hello ;) I tried this circuit with tip29c and now with 2n3055 as well,
but none is working.For the 2n3055 I'm using the 47k resistor you
recommended and 12V, but nothing happens.Could you help me please?


heyy i tried to make it but cannot find TIP31C transister but i got a tip41c transister. will it.

and the second question is do you send me some material which have detailed explaination of its working of all component i am little bit confuse on its circuit.

question is that the led has two terminal +ve and -ve. so in air, how can he
get the both terminal current that is phase and neutral.

ferdinand00227 months ago

can i use a 26 awg wire as secondary and a 18 awg wire as primary???

what is to be the output voltage for wireless transmission??

please suggest a method o contact you other than instructables...

Chip Fixes (author)  ferdinand00225 months ago

26 awg is a little thick but you could try it and see, you might just need a larger input voltage. 18 awg for the primary is just fine. The voltage output can be calculated by the formula:
Vp/Vs = Np/Ns
Where Vp = voltage of the primary, Vs = voltage of the secondary (what you're trying to find), Np is the number of turns on the primary, and Ns is the number of turns of the secondary.

You can rearrange the equation to: Vs = Vp/(Np/Ns) to solve for the secondary voltage output.

irfanhabib186 months ago

i tried to make it but at first the transistor was becoming very hot.. then i changed the poles or ends of the primary coil but it still did not work...... i supplied a 6v - 2 amp dc supply . the secondary coil was more than 1200 turns and primary was 8 turns... i used 1N4007 diode instead of the UF 4007 diode but all the other things are same... i tried to glow a 5watt - 220 volt cfl lamp ... please help me out

Chip Fixes (author)  irfanhabib185 months ago

You're going to need more than 6 volts to power a light bulb, try 12 or 18 volts.

AnubhabC made it!6 months ago

Hey Chip Fixes,

I have used 2 nine volt batteries. 1 LED(in place of diodes). about 1200 turns in L2 and 15 turns in primary coil(lower turns doesn't work properly). I am not sure of the value of the resistor i am using and no capacitor But the results are not satisfactory!

It is too weak as you can see in the images! What can i do? Whats your suggestions?? There is a detailed description here:

Chip Fixes (author)  AnubhabC5 months ago

You can try a few different things, reduce the amount of primary windings (I would go somewhere between 4 and 8), increase the input voltage, reduce the value of the resistor.

kshakkor5 months ago

hey uh chip Fixes,

i got transistor off TIP 35,tip 132,tip 135,tip 122,tip 122.will those work amigo.

Chip Fixes (author)  kshakkor5 months ago

TIP35 will work, you will probably need to add a heatsink of some sort though.

ferdinand00227 months ago

hi, Chip Fixes,

i cant get my slayer exciter to work.i did the same as you winding looks perfect.when i bring any bulbs near it,it wont light up.The current is flowing through the circuit.

Once the bulb had lighted,but was very faint. but then it wasn't lighting at all.It did not work.the components are working fine(tested using multimeter).

I think primary coil is the problem.I dont know how to adjust it...Please help...??

mine also has a heat sink and am using 18v.

Chip Fixes (author)  ferdinand00227 months ago

Try reversing the leads of the primary coil, you can also try using less turns on the primary. If that does not help, the transistor may be the problem.

Thanks sir, but i am getting reading in my multimeter. The current isn't ionising the air and the CFL is not lighting.once after experimenting a lot, i got an led of about 3v to light faintly.i tried decreasing the no:of it is about 3-4 turns.with 18v.i am doing this for my school project.
i thought it was the problem of the top load as i used a torroid shape in the place of a sphere shape, and i changed to sphere. Any solution??
Doctor90250 7 months ago

okay I have to add this. I did something totally cool with mine. first I got 1/4 cup of salt, opened a yellow highlighter and rubbed salt all over the ink cartridge until it was all yellow. once it was completely dry I put it into a small metal cup and placed in on the topload. I turned off the lights, turned on a black light and powered it up. the result was a spectacular fluorescent yellow fountain about 3 feet high!!!!
I wasn't able to get a good photo but I can post this without one, so I'm using the original one of my exciter.

Chip Fixes (author)  Doctor90250 7 months ago

Oh that's really cool! Could you get a video? I've seen salt added to high voltage outputs but never anything like that.

Hi chip,
Once I build the new one I will certainly try to get it on video.
Another way of doing it is with a van de graff style electrostatic generator, or anything that has a fairly decent ion wind.
Doctor90250 7 months ago

I built this using a TIP 122 transistor, and rather than winding my own secondary coil, I used a TV flyback transformer.
I wound about 8-10 turns of enamelled wire around the ferrite core. forgetting how much current my 12v regulated power supply put out, I tried powering it with that. let's just say that that transistor was not too happy about, and exploded with a violent BANG!
Now that I've recovered from the heart attack, it's back to the old drawing board. this time I'll use a wee bit less amperage, lol.
I did, however, on the first run, use a 9v 700 mA transformer just long enough to hear that wonderful high pitched hiss that flybacks are known for, before soldering it all together and returning my wife's DVD player to her. Suffice it to say, it works great! thank you for an awesome 'ible.
(in the 2nd pic you can see the hole in the transistor. I added that one for the chuckle factor, lol).

Chip Fixes (author)  Doctor90250 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing and that is an impressive failure hahaha. I think the reverse EMF from the flyback may have been the primary cause of the transistor exploding. If you were to add a safety diode between e and c of the transistor, it may last longer.

deba16812 months ago
sorry..the message was not complete. can i make a plasma globe by placing a incandescent light bulb instead of top load..

I've done that using a large clear bulb, the big decorative ones. smaller bulbs may work but usually are just vacuum, whereas the larger ones have one or more gases added like argon, krypton, or neon. this allows you to see the streams of plasma created by the electrons flowing through them.

Chip Fixes (author)  deba16812 months ago

Well it won't be a plasma globe but yes it would work.

shawn1311 year ago
ummmmm, newbie question here.
Is there a way to know which terminal in a transistor is which without a multimeter just by looking at it?
I know the base is the middle but what about the other two?
great work though.

hi Shawn, I usually Google the data sheet for transistors that I've pulled from something else.

Chip Fixes (author)  shawn1311 year ago
Yes, if you hold it so the black part with the writing is facing you, and going from left to right: pin 1 is the base, pin 2 is the collector, and pin 3 is the emitter. The middle pin is the collector, not the base! The first page of the datasheet shows you which pin is which:
nrockzz8 months ago


I have done everything same except, the diameter of pipe is around 0.75 inch...does it matter??? we have around 500 turns... Still no bulb is glowing and transistor is taking too much heat in 13v itself... while connecting multimeter primary is giving only very less voltage (0.2 V ) while applying 15 V as input... pls help .... A led connected is glowing at 15 v with low intensity...

Chip Fixes (author)  nrockzz7 months ago

The size of the pipe does not matter. You could try flipping your primary leads around to see if it makes a difference? I assume you're using a TIP31C transistor?

In order to increase the resistance of the resistor do I need to go up watts or ohms?

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