How to Build a Slayer Exciter

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 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.

Here is a video of it in operation! 

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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Step 1: Parts List

For this project you may need to do a little shopping. Luckily, everything can be found around the house or bought on Ebay. The total cost for the project can easily be kept under $20.

Items Needed:
-   At least a 6" long tube that's 1" in diameter, it must be hollow and non-conductive! I used a
     piece of PVC pipe. - ~$5
-   A platform to mount everything onto. I used the bottom of a CD case. - Free
-   Approximately 3' of 14 - 26 AWG wire. - ~$1
-   Approximately 100' of 30 AWG enamel wire. - ~$5
-   Some sort of round sphere to use as a top load. - ~$1
-   One 47,000 (47k) ohm resistor. - $1
-   Two UF4007 diodes. - $1
-   One TIP31C transistor. - $1
-   Screw terminals (Optional). - $1
-   Transistor heat sink (Recommended if exceeding 18 volts) - $3

Feel free to experiment with different transistors, most transistors should work as long as they are NPN type. However, if the transistor gets hot to the touch you may want to consider the TIP31C, the TIP31C should only get warm to the touch unless you exceed 18 volts. The resistor value can also be changed, it merely limits the current going into the transistor so a change of a few thousand ohms either way should not make much of a difference. If your transistor feels hot to the touch you may want to consider increasing the value of the resistor.

I would also recommend using a piece of pipe that's several inches longer than what is required, you can always cut down the pipe to the right size after wrapping the secondary coil.

Step 2: The Driver Circuit

This design is very simple and only uses four components! It is also very versatile and the input voltage can be as low as 5 volts or higher than 18 volts if the transistor is attached to a heat sink.


-   5 to 18 volts is fed into the circuit, a resistor (R1) is placed before the Base pin of the transistor in order to limit the amount of current the pin receives. If too much current is allowed into the Base pin the transistor can produce excessive heat and fail.

-   One end of the secondary (L2) is connected to the Base pin of the transistor in order to feed it with oscillations. The two diodes (D1 and D2) prevent the oscillations from going directly to ground. (Learn more about oscillations and why they're important, below).
-   The transistor is made up of three pins: the Collector, the Emitter, and the Base. If you were to think of the transistor as a garden hose spigot (See picture 2), the Collector would be the reservoir of water. The Emitter would be the hose and the Base would be the valve that would allow water from the reservoir (Collector) to the hose (Emitter). The valve (Base) is in the closed position (no water flowing) until it is given a little nudge. When it receives a nudge, the valve opens and a lot of water is allowed to flow from the reservoir through the hose as long as the valve is still getting a nudge. However, as soon as the nudge goes away the valve will close, cutting off the water from the reservoir to the hose until the valve gets another nudge.

-   When the Base receives a little bit of current, it closes the circuit and electricity is allowed to flow through the primary coil (L1). However, electricity likes to take the path of least resistance so when the electricity is allowed to flow from the collector to the emitter (~0 ohm resistance) it will stop flowing to the base because there is 47,000 ohms of resistance there. When the electricity stops flowing to the base, the base will open up the circuit again until the resistor offers less resistance than the Collector-Emitter path. This cycle repeats itself many times a second.

-   The primary coil collapses when the electricity stops flowing through it, when this happens, the secondary coil picks up the magnetic field and converts it back into voltage which gets stepped up to around a thousand volts in the process. The top load acts as a capacitor and increases the output from the secondary causing electrons in the air to become excited.

-   Finally, the oscillations from the secondary coil are fed back into the transistor in order to 'tune' or achieve maximum output from the Slayer Exciter.

Step 3: Making the Coils and Top Load


In my opinion, designing and making the secondary coil is the process that takes the most time to complete. 

Step 1: Calculate the Specifications of the coil (1st picture).
While there are several ways to figure out how many turns to wind on your secondary, I just went with 400. To figure out how much wire I would need I found the circumference of the PVC pipe. The equation for this is Pi * D where Pi = 3.14 and D = the diameter of the PVC pipe which is 1". So I did 3.14 * 1 which equaled 3.14" So I would need 3.14 inches of wire to make one turn on the secondary. I knew I wanted 400 turns so I just multiplied 3.14" by 400 and came out with 1,296" of wire. I divided this number by 12 to get the length in feet and the answer came out to be 104.67 feet of wire. Since I'm not particular, I rounded it off to an even 100 and measured out the wire on my living room floor.

Step 2: Get the wire ready to wrap around the secondary ( 2nd picture).
After the wire was measured out, I wrapped it around a Tupperware container that was covered in double sided tape. This container prevented the wire from unraveling while I was wrapping it around the pipe.

Step 3: Wind the secondary (3rd picture).
This step takes a lot of time so make sure you are comfortable and have plenty of Painters Tape on hand in case you need to take a break. My secondary took about two hours to wind. You are going to want to start off by taping one end of the wire to the pipe, make sure you leave about a foot of extra wire so you can connect it to the driver circuit. Then you are just going to wind the wire around the tube being careful not to overlap the wire in any places. When finished winding, (again, leave a little extra wire to attach to the top load) tape down the end to the tube so it does not unravel. Now you have two options, you can either coat the whole tube in a general purpose epoxy so it will never unravel or you can just leave it. I ended up just tacking a couple spots of the coil with Gorilla Glue because I was out of epoxy. Although, I highly recommend coating your coil in epoxy! 

------THE TOP LOAD------

The top load does not need to be fancy, a metal ball would be ideal but pretty much anything round or toroidal shaped will work as long as it's coated in something metallic. I used a wooden knob I found at a parts store and wrapped a sheet of aluminum foil around it. You will need to attach one end of the secondary coil to the top load via screw or solder. Then just attach the top load to the secondary, I used hot glue to keep it in place.

------THE PRIMARY COIL------

This part is very easy, all you have to do is wrap a length of wire directly around the base of the secondary like I did in the last picture. I would shoot for somewhere between 5 and 15 turns, I found that 8 turns worked the best for me.

Step 4: Putting it all Together

Ta da! Just add your power source (I would try a 9v battery first) and you should be able to make the 4 watt light bulb light up when you bring it close to the top load. In the first picture I used a variable power supply set to 15v to make both a 13 watt and 4 watt light bulb light up wirelessly. The range of the Slayer Exciter is around 6 inches at 9 volts and 1 foot at 18 volts.

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

Chip Fixes (author)  Thomas Pagonis3 days ago
What would you recommend? Is 100 ohms ok?
Chip Fixes (author)  Thomas Pagonis3 days ago

Yeah that would probably work, I used 50k but it doesn't matter. Try it out and see if it works better.

parkm207125 days ago

Hi, what's that thing called, for the circuit, that everything else is on top of? Like a copper color and where can I buy one? I'm sorry, but I'm an amatuer at all of this... Please reply soon! This is due for me in 5 to 6 days, thanks!

Chip Fixes (author)  parkm207125 days ago
PCB, you can find it on eBay, you can also use a breadboard.
Is it possible to do without it?
Chip Fixes (author)  parkm207125 days ago

You can use a breadboard or solder point-to-point, but the point-to-point method will be more difficult

Elsam asare28 days ago
hello chip, i'm having a problem with my exciter i believe it's from the circuit but i don't know how to fix it
Chip Fixes (author)  Elsam asare28 days ago
What's the problem?

the bulbs don't light when i bring them close to the exciter

Chip Fixes (author)  Elsam asare25 days ago

Try flipping the leads on the primary where they connect to the circuit.

please can u help me with the circuit, I used TIP41C transistors

rgalindo11 month ago

hi, I have a problem with my Slayer Exciter, doesn't work, I used 22 AWG in coil L2 and when had around 350 turns I returned the wire in the same direction for to have 1050 turns, it possible do it? or it is coil necessary one direction.

Chip Fixes (author)  rgalindo125 days ago

Try flipping the primary leads around where they connect to the circuit.

pharish11 month ago

Eureka! We've got the output! Thanks Instructables..

dogucan971 month ago

I'm making this version of the Slayer Exciter. I'll use 1,5 mm (about 15 AWG) wire for the primary coil (8 turns) and the circuit, and 0,25 mm (30 AWG) for secondary coil (400 turns). The circuit parts will be the same as yours and the one in the video. And I want to use a power supply instead of batteries. I went shopping for it, but I saw many different kinds of power supplies. And now, I'm asking you for some details about the power supply that I should use. I know about the voltage, and I know that I should get a DC power supply, but what about the amperage? There were power supplies with different amperages. What should be the amperage on the power supply I should buy? I'm not in the US, so, give me details, not an exact model or anything. Also, it shouldn't be too expensive.

Chip Fixes (author)  dogucan971 month ago

Okay cool, feel free to make the secondary coil more turns. 500-1000 is a good number for a high output.

In terms of the power supply: You want one that can deliver at least 1 amp, 2-3 amps would be great if you can afford it because that way, you can use it for other projects. Also, my power supply is a variable one so you can set the voltage to between 0 and 36 volts. If you can't find a cheap variable power supply that can supply at least 1 amp, I've found that laptop power supply's (which you can get on Ebay or Amazon) work really well. I would get the 12 volt or the 18 volt laptop charger and then you just cut off the connector so you have a negative and positive wire. Let me know if you have any other questions.

nirep1 month ago
Hi, i just got TIP31B and TIP32B transistors. Will it work?
Chip Fixes (author)  nirep1 month ago


Judes D2 months ago

Hi Chip,

I'd like to try out this project 'coz it really cool man. I just wanna know for how much time this slayer exciter works with two 9V batteries.

Reply soon...:)

Chip Fixes (author)  Judes D2 months ago
If you're wondering how much time two 9v batteries will last powering the Slayer Exciter, I believe they would last between 2 and 4 hours of continuous run time.

Thanx chip. Purchased all the materials. How many days do you think it will take to complete this project? Is it possible to complete in a single day?

Chip Fixes (author)  Judes D2 months ago

Yeah you could complete in a day or 2. The most time consuming part is winding the coil.

dogucan972 months ago

I'm going to do this, and now I'm shopping for the parts. So far, I found all the the ingredients, but then, I found 3 different kinds of resistors. One of them is a sandstone resistor with 5W wattage, the other is a metal film resistor with 1/4W wattage, and the other doesn't say what kind it is, but it has 1W wattage. Which one should I buy? Also, there is a pic for the third one:

Chip Fixes (author)  dogucan972 months ago
1/4w is fine. 5w will work (I think) but it's way overkill.
But I ordered the 5w about an hour ago. Anyway, I hope it works this way.
(removed by author or community request)

Nevermind. I'm buying the 5W sandstone resistor.

deba1682 months ago

hey chip...finally its works... I replaced the 47k resistor by 56k...tested by 6w tubelight and 8w cfl both are glowing @ around 1' range .power supply is 6v lead acid battery..

thank you so much...

deba1682 months ago

I used TIP 41C transistor with heat sink ,IN4007 diode and 47Kohm 1/4W resistor..power supply is two 9V battery in series...

deba1682 months ago

I made this slayer exciter..L2 is arround 1.3' used 30AWG wire..the circuit is also fine but its not working.I have also interchange the primary lead but still not working.whats the problem..? is my top load is too large..or the 2to 3 turn operlaping in L2 is the cause ..??

Amator22 months ago
Hi there, I have a question. I have a very thin insulated wire like hair like, that i took from a transformer, and i winded 750 n on a 0.70 inch diameter tube.
Is that a good layout for the secondary coil? 5 turns of this wire is like 1mm...?
I love your project because is simple and i have plans to use itso..
Thanks allot man.
Chip Fixes (author)  Amator22 months ago

750 turns? It should work, try it and see. I would start with one 9v battery as the input and then move to two to make it 18v. Remember that you may have to flip the primary leads around. Good luck!

deba1682 months ago
sorry..the message was not complete. can i make a plasma globe by placing a incandescent light bulb instead of top load..
Chip Fixes (author)  deba1682 months ago

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

hello chip fix. i am doing this project. but L2=1650 .I need determine L1 and V input

Chip Fixes (author)  mohamedelyamane2 months ago

Oh cool! I would do no less than 18-24 volts for your input voltage. Here's a 48 volt power supply for under $20 that would be suitable:

In terms of L1, I would start with 20 turns and then decrease the turns and monitor the heating of the transistor. Also you are going to need to heatsink the transistor and use a transistor that can handle the higher input voltage. I recommend the ST1510FX.

thanks. and I need determine the value of current bath throw in the circuit .how?

prajkumar3 months ago

May I know which pins?.......if its the transistor's then from the front view i am using the leftmost pin as base...middle one as connector.......rightmost as emitter


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