Now Microwave oven transformers which i will refer to from here on in as MOT's have been a keystone for beginners and advanced high voltage hobbyists alike for as long as I personally can remember. And as fun and as simple as these deadly but wonderfully robust transformers are, it is possible to get more technical into them. In future instructables that I shall be making I shall cover such things as MOT welders, High current for HHO production, MOT PSU's capable of a kilowatt of power. In this instructable however i shall detail the steps behind making measly MOT arcs into HUGE arcs utilising the magic of resonance (not real magic) And then furthering that with a little thing call power factor correction which i will refer to as PFC and ballasting which i will refer to as.. ballasting.
FOR MORE CONTINUE TO STEP (1)
VIDEOS ON THE LAST STEP OF LONG RESONANT ARCS AND SHORTER STABLE ARCS USING POWER FACTOR CORRECTION AND BALLASTING!
Also as this is my first instructable constructive criticism and feedback is most certainly welcome. please no negativity :)
Step 1: Obtaining the Parts!
Now then, I shall list the components... now:
1) You will need two or three MOT's, Three is better as you can use one as ballast.
2) An appliance that you may use as ballasting for your transformers. A hair dryer or a toaster works anything like that, this is only if you can only find two MOT's
3) 4 Microwave oven capacitors which i shall refer to as MOC's (These are the key in the resonant side of things)
4) A motor start capacitor or something of similiar value. to use as a PFC capacitor, for >230 Volts use about 20uf and above 300 Volts. and for the 120 Volt people use 80uf rated for >200 Volts. Must be AC type capacitors!
5) A 10-15 amp Circuit Breaker ( For Safety)
6) A 120-240 Volt Rated switch
7) Lots of wire including a 3 pin grounded wall plug.
8) A 2 foot long (minimum) Piece of PVC or insulating electrical conduit ( To be used as a 'chicken stick' )
9) A Wooden Base for it to go on!
10) Dark sunglasses or a welders mask! Arcs are bright! and will damage your eyes!
11) most importantly, common sense!
Also as a heads up, the wire, the MOC's, the MOT's and the grounded plug can all be salvaged from a microwave. Be sure to strip it entirely, there's two strong magnets in the magnetron there's diodes to be used in a MOT Doubler, there's switches fuses resistors lots of wonderful stuff!
The picture below is my current arcing set-up. Not configured for drawing long resonant arcs but shorter stable arcs. I will add a video of this soon. two of the MOT's are for ballast.
Step 2: Putting It Together!
For starters or as...
Step 1) get your base whatever its made of and place your MOT's on it two to three if you have three put two side by side not touching, and one in front of them, if you have two just put them together side by side not touching each other. then screw them onto the board to hold them in place.
Step 2) Wire your switch, circuit breaker, and the plug that's going into mains supply together. The "hot" or "live" wire of mains shall be connected in series with your circuit breaker, then to your switch, then to you PFC capacitors but ill cover the PFC later. Then the neutral line goes straight to the PFC, and last but not least the Ground or earth line connects directly to your MOT's Ground connection and if you have anything made of metal Eg. your switch box, GROUND IT!
Step 3) Power factor correction. your power factor correction capacitors will be in parallel with your Live and neutral lines, neutral down one side and live down the other, then to your MOT's For my PFC instead of the motor start capacitor im using 3 MOC's in parallel with mains connected to my MOT's.
Step 4) Connecting the MOT's. First off to power up a MOT you need to identify the primary winding. the primary will most likely be on the bottom close to a base plate. and have two spade lug connections next to each other, with thicker wire and less of it. now to connecting it. now if its just one MOT you can connect the power to it on the primary either way. and it will work fine. But with two MOT's you will have the input in parallel and in phase, so live will be connected to the same side on both MOT's so they both phase in which will allow arcs to be drawn rather then short bursts of flame.
Step 5) Wiring the Output. First you need to identify the secondary windings, the secondary is obviously the one that isn't your primary as there's only two windings. its got thinner wire and lots of it. There is two parts to it. the High voltage out which is a single spade lug connection on one side or the other. and then ground which is grounded to the Metal core of the transformer itself. so if you were to power up a MOT and connected the high voltage out connection to the transformer it would arc. Okay now connect one of the spade lugs from one MOT and Connect it to the base of the next MOT, This puts them in series so the high voltage out of one will arc to the transformer core of the other.
Step 6) Ballasting. Get your last or third MOT and connect a single wire to short out the primary winding. then Get the Ground end of your two MOT's and connect that to the secondary out lead of your ballast MOT. and connect a scrap piece of wire off the Base of your ballast MOT as that is where you will draw arcs from.
Step 7) Resonant Capacitors. Now you will Need your MOC's get four of them and series two parallel sets of 2. and attach one end to your High voltage out of your two MOT's then attach a large length of wire to the other end of your MOC's and attach that to your Insulating pipe for your chicken stick. you will use this to draw your arcs.
Step 8) Now it should be all wired up. Plug it in, turn on all your switches and Draw some hefty arcs! WEAR EYE PROTECTION! ITS WORSE FOR YOUR EYES THEN WATCHING SOMEONE WELD!
Step 3: Final Product!