Hello everyone,
  This instructable will tell you how to make a voltage multiplier! So, lets get started :)

Here is some info about voltage multipliers if you want to know how they work. If not, then skip to the parts list.

Definition - "A voltage multiplier is an electrical circuit that converts AC electrical power from a lower voltage to a higher DC voltage by means of capacitors and diodes combined into a network." - Wikipedia

My definition - Voltage multipliers rectify low voltage AC to high voltage DC (pulsed). It uses a series of capacitors and diodes to simultaneously step up and rectify the AC to DC. Most of its uses are obviously applications that require high voltages...

     The type of multiplier we will be making is called a 'half-wave' multiplier. I think its the simplest, yet efficient for my purposes. full-wave multipliers are more efficient in the sense that, there is less ripple voltage. Basically, ripple = bad, bad = Less current and voltage out. A voltage multiplier consists of 'stages' each stage doubles the peak output of the ACinput. the more stages, the higher the voltage. In this 'ible, I only make a 2 and 3 stage multiplier because my breadboard isn't big enough to support that and its not even rated for that voltage anyway :P

The following is the parts required for building the EXACT replica of my voltage multiplier. you can easily modify to your needs though. Like add more stages and stuff...

six 330VDC 80uF capacitors (you can get them from the single use cameras at wal-mart.)
seven 1A 400v (minimum) diodes (1N4004)
A breadboard, (or something to mount the components)
22 AWG jumper wire or just regular solid 22 AWG wire.
A wall wart- 16VAC or equivalent. (750ma)
misc alligator clips (for temporary testing)

Multimeter (for testing purposes)
wire snips (to take off the insulation on the wire)

Step 1: NOTE!

Picture of NOTE!
I am not responsible If you get hurt/die from accidentally touching or coming into contact with the HV output!

Proceed to the next step to start building!
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could you make one wit han instructabe like this but DC to DC

Hitman3126 months ago

what battery i gona to Power it with? or can i Power it with they batteries i have to multiplie that voltage ( how many times does the multiplie doing to volt on my batteries ) i thinking i gona to build this for a Project to Power up my stuff :D pls someone how to Power it? and get the high voltage output! :D all help is accepted.

kkeyan1 year ago

this is an AC to DC multiplier.I want tomake an DC to DC multiplier. Can you help???

kkeyan1 year ago

this is an AC to DC multiplier.I want tomake an DC to DC multiplier. Can you help???

the uf symbol for u is WRONG! u do it like this: alt+m=µ. then add capital F. :) hope that helps.

is there a parts list?how much µF are the capacitors

erncar3 years ago
Thanks for the instructable. I just made this with 450v 4.7uf caps and 3amp 1000v diodes. I used120vac instead of 16 and it puts out 750vdc+, my multi meter doesn't like it.

probably is only rated up to 600v

DOESNT WORK WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY i have tried everything WHYYYYYYY im going to sleep fck this
Mudbud (author)  pnascimento11 year ago

Well as one of my first instructables I don't think it was very good to not include an actual schematic of the device. I attached the pic in my reply, it is not the EXACT same as my project (I added another stage) but if you follow the schematic then it will work fine. Another thing to note is that if you plan on using the DC output for anything important you are going to need a nice fat uF capacitor to buffer the output so there won't be any oscilation

Electo4fun2 years ago
Could you use a DC input that is connected to a very small spark gap instead of using an AC wall wart?
You might be able to assemble a circuit (Like a royer oscillator) and get a nice high frequency AC output, but it is easier to hack into a DC wall-wart and take the diodes/shoothering cap-circuitry out, and taking the wires running out of the wall wart and soldering them directly to the Xformer.
Mudbud (author)  Electo4fun2 years ago
No you cannot use DC. It needs AC power to successfully multiply through each stage because of the oscillation.
leviterande2 years ago
Would this work for a halfwave DC flyback?
SirCheez2 years ago
If you can get a little outlet for the wart to plug into, there's no need to strip the wires :)
famanuel2 years ago
what a nice and great explanation!!! i love it, and it is clear
~CableGuy2 years ago
how about a push-pull circuit?
~CableGuy2 years ago
is it possible to use a 555 timer instead of AC input?
Mudbud (author)  ~CableGuy2 years ago
I'm pretty sure that wont work because this relies on the pulsing pos/neg current of AC and not pulsed DC
Dreistein3 years ago
hey i'd like to make a device i can attach to say my foot ,that if i touch someone they would get a shock basically like when you walk with socks over a carpet but the effect is automated. A guy made an ible http://www.instructables.com/id/The-mini-electrostatic-generator/ where he makes what im describing but its not very detailed. any ideas?
Mudbud (author)  Dreistein3 years ago
Uhm no I don't really know how you would achieve that without being shocked yourself 24/7...
Do the capacitors need to be the same kind or can I use a mix of capacitors?
Mudbud (author)  Ihackedyouraccount3 years ago
If the capacitors are all DC and rated for voltage above what you want then yes
tesla man3 years ago
Does a voltage multiplier increase amperage?
Mudbud (author)  tesla man3 years ago
No it actually decreases the overall amperage. Each stage cuts it in half or a quarter I believe.
hore3 years ago
hei, can i use your your project to supply power for my hot air soldering station.
Mudbud (author)  hore3 years ago
I'm pretty sure the source power you need is AC from a wall outlet. This creates DC power so it wouldn't work.
hore Mudbud3 years ago
Any recommendation to change it to AC power, i dont really understand how electronic component work sometimes, plus if i want to build this can i use power sources from battery.
Sarah233 years ago
Hi,i am very new in electronics,and i am now working on device that requires high DC voltage range between 270 V - 440 V.We would like to make same thing as you did,however,it is quiet difficult to find certain specs as you stated.What we have now are 3 types of capacitors,which are,(200V,100microF),(200V,330microF) and (400V,100microF).Which one is suitable?Thank you.
Mudbud (author)  Sarah233 years ago
Sorry for the late reply.
I would use the 400V 100mf because it would be safer and you could change the input to higher/lower voltage later.
what im gonna do is to go to radioshack and buy some capacitors,diodes,and a 7.2 volt lithium-ion battery to make a circuit to run a 24 or 12 volt motor with at least close to no amps.hope it turns out good,and if it does,i am going to make an instructable and youtube video on it!my youtube user is: knexpert1700
tom101223 years ago
Can i use dc vin instead of ac?
Mudbud (author)  tom101223 years ago
no it doesn't work like that. It has to be AC input to multiply the voltage
XOIIO4 years ago
I think I have a 20 volt power adapter, would more stages mean more power?
More stages does mean more voltage, but the ability to put through more amperage becomes more difficult. I assume that your input device emits AC voltage because a DC powersource will not attain the same effect. To know how many stages you should include; the ouput voltage is equal to twice the input voltage times how many stages you have. Or put as:

Vout =2*Vin*N (N being the number of stages)

if you have 20 volts in, 4 stages will give you 320 v, and 3 will give you 160.

In order to obtain 200 exactly i would personally put 4 stages; then put a few large resistors in series to obtain what you wish.

you could always use the wall outlet that puts off 120 VAC, assuming you live in the United States, then you would only need include 1 stage to obtain 240 V. That would require less components, but they would need to be rated for higher voltage; in turn costing you more money. ( only a couple cents more)

Good Luck! If you have any more questions just post!

I need to know how to turn 12-18v DC into 120v AC without the obvious choice of buying an inverter which is outta my price range. I have constructed a 26ga. sheet-metal geodesic dome in which I am mounting a solar array to obtain power to run my air filtration, evaporator cooler, and laptop. I can get by with the 12-18v on the filtration and cooler but not with the laptop. If anyone can help please email me at j.reynolds09@live.com I am not good with math so please keep formulas to a minimal and simple if necessary (dumb it down). Thank you and I look forward to a inbox full of thoughtful suggestions.
XOIIO4 years ago
What adjustments need to be made to put out 400 volts? An answer ASAP is greatly appreciated
Mudbud (author)  XOIIO4 years ago
sorry, I haven't been on in months lol xD. I would recommend 500v capacitors, just continue the stages and it will double the input.. but remember, every stage you add decreases amperage!
And i believe you can do without that extra diode at the end. it seems a little unnecessary since both the diode and the capacitor at the end put off positive charge, but then again this is coming from the guy that can't figure it out. lol
I tried your same layout, as well as others, and my voltage is not doubling with each addition of a stage. my caps are500v rated and my diodes are 400 v rated. I am using the wall as my power source and with two stages i am receiving 310 v when i should be getting 500+. i was hoping you could help me troubleshoot my predicament.
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