Picture of JACOB'S FORKS?
Check It out in my Art Exhibition:

Well, originally I wanted to make a Jacob's ladder which if you haven't already heard can be extremely dangerous! They are high voltage and if you complete the circuit with your finger it can be fatal...So, be very careful or just don't do it.

Most of the instructions I found used a transformer from a neon sign to generate high voltage and make the thing arc. I didn't want to go out and buy a transformer but I did have an old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitor collecting dust. So, I decided to put it to good use and make a variation of a Jacob's Ladder.


Monitor (CRT)
Wire (12 Gauge?)
Plastic Tube
Materials for Insulation
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: SPLICE

Picture of SPLICE
Open any monitor up, and one of the first things you will see is a big suction cup attached to the CRT. Attached to it is a wire that is at a few thousand volts higher than ground because there is a capacitor somewhere that is still charged up.

The first thing you should do is put on some oven gloves, and get a piece of insulated wire. Attach one end of the wire to a ground pin (look around on the circuit boards etc.) and poke the other end of the wire under the suction cup until you hear a spark noise. Do it a few times until you are SUPER sure everything is discharged, and even then use a multimeter to check the voltages of everything your hands come near.

A flyback transformer in the monitor generates a few kV that is used to accelerate electrons in the CRT to hit the screen. There should be at least two large leads coming out of the transformer. One goes towards the suction cup near the front of the screen (thats the super high voltage one), another goes to the rear end of the tube (should be more or less 0v).

Cut the high voltage wire that goes to the suction cup, splice in a wire of your own and solder.
CirceWelder2 years ago
Does the monitor still function? Could it be put back together and used as a pc monitor still with the forks lit? That would be a sick pc mod
hruodger2 years ago
How do you handle the X Ray emission? As I remember, an open monitor, tv, etc, would emit a little amount of x rays. Even if the cover is made of plastic it shields the radiations. Now that it's open, there could be some of these. MOst of th CRT's have a sticker with a warning.
yell no the tube gets some power but not enoff becuse hes shorting it b 4 t gets to it
BrysonReece2 years ago
Will this still work if I disconnect the monitor 'tube'? I built this and I LOVE it, but I've been wanting to downsize it to just the PCB, no monitor.
yes pull out the pcb clip all the grounds you can cut all of the wire excpt fore ground and hv out be carfel ask if u need any help
dog digger3 years ago
Not back and fourth. That will only happen if the TV is ancient. If it's newer than 1985-1990 it will be DC. One way
I think he means it sparks between two random close tongs, but keeps switching between them. For example, numbered counter clockwise, like a chip, there might be a spark between tongs 1 and 8 for an instant then maybe 3 and 6 next and so on in a random pattern.
So, I've got a sack of high voltage transformers salvaged from CRTs, but the low voltage side has a ton of pins (10-15). Do these transformers normally use 12vdc? 120vac? Will Bad Stuff (TM) happen if I run them at the wrong voltage? These were all free so I think I will just experiment.
This instructable showed a way to power a flyback transformer: I haven't tried it but it looks like it will work. It also shows how to determine the correct pins to power.
emcelhannon3 years ago
I've done this a couple o times. I get at least a 1 inch spark for about 2 seconds. Then a relay cuts the monitor off. I've considered bypassing the relay, but I don't want to overload the circuit and lose the driver. And I've tried putting 10w resistors, (2k) on our main line from the flyback. That weajend the arc, but it still cut off. What do guys think is the best solution to this problem?
coolfordy3 years ago
do older screens have higher voltage flybacks?

Technet934 years ago
Use heat shrink and hot glue.
Turnip1234 years ago
Do you mean AND until you have depleted the capacitor?
Mudbud4 years ago
I really want to make thiis but all I have is the computer monitor curcuit. will it still work if the wires that whent to the monitor are gone?
mattccc4 years ago
i did this with a portable crt tv
interesting read! Thank you for taking the time to post this... and yes, we enjoyed the red carpet ;)
DIY Dave4 years ago
What do you do if you don't hear a spark sound.
noahdsmith4 years ago
awesome, i thought you might like to know that we tried it to and it looked great.... until the monitor died :-) thanks anyway!
Nice instructable :). I very much like your art as well, good luck.
Derin4 years ago
The way you do it,you can play *insert author's fav. game here* while having a light show at the same time!
santy224 years ago
put a wiener between them and see wht happns
the BBQ of the futuer!!
tetanus6 years ago
Can you cook weenies with them on the fork?. Love the red carpet.
Probably not enough power to cook the weenies. You can, however, cook weenies with regular household current. Attach the forks to a lamp cord, or some such. It's a good idea to plug into a power bar that you can switch on and off. Two warnings: 1) Don't touch the forks while it's powered up! 2) Don't use "good" forks.
3) don't eat them as any water will be converted to a hydrochloric acid due to electrolysis.
Was this response posted on April 1 and lost in the aether for 2 days? It dinna sound kosher to me, having ate many a 'cuted wienie,suffering no ill effect and tasting no acidity. In addition, my vague recollections of chemistry (and a quick Googling) indicate that electrolysis of salt water yields chlorine gas, hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide solution. The only gas I ever detected was wienie steam. Hydrogen and chlorine require ultraviolet light to react. Maybe if the wienie was sliced and placed in the sun before any of the possible minute quantities of gas dissipates, you might get some HCl, but it would be neutralized by the NaOH, yielding good ol' brine again. It might be interesting to test the pH of the wienies before and after their electrocution... I suppose "pickle glow" is actually deadly ionizing radiation?
Yeah, none of those chemicals are even remotely toxic, not even a drain-cleaner's main active ingredient. Perhaps the general wording of your post proves my point, as you seem almost drunken and disoriented. FYI, chlorine is one of the most toxic elements known, as it kills everything in even minute concentrations, and an ultimate antibiotic disinfectant for all surfaces. Sodium hydroxide (lye, or "caustic soda") dissolves flesh on contact (everyone needs a caustic oven-cleaner in their diet for proper nutrition), and hydrogen is not exactly part of the nutrition pyramid either. Where do you get this religious-right science that says hydrogen and/or chlorine need anything to react with anything else to become toxic? UV has as much to do with their toxicitiy as a penlight lit on the surface of Saturn has to do with the gastro-intestinal tract of a rodent in New Guinea after a lunar eclipse when Jupiter is in retrograde. Jumping Jesus H. Particular Christ, have you read the research in the past 60 years? All of the above is not FDA-approved for a healthy diet (or even a surviveable one), and even though it's the FDA, I still agree. I mean, really......seriously? You admit to the toxins and see no problem? Have you voted republican in the last 7 years? Are you a direct descendant of Harry J. Anslinger or a relative of George Walter Bush? I strongly recommend a CAT scan, and perhaps a skilled neurologist to determine the severity of your last concussion. I mean really, if you're going to contest my point, don't do it while proving it for me. It kinda hurts your case, if you didn't know. That was your argument to prove me wrong, right? I sure hope not. I expected better from you from your previous comments.
Perhaps when you sign up for remedial Chemistry, you might consider remedial English, as well as Anger Management. My point, while not stated outright, is the quite obvious one, that cooking wienies by direct electrical resistance does not yield any of these chemicals, just a warm, slightly singed wienie. Even if it did produce HCl (which it doesn't) it would be nowhere near the concentration of the hydrochloric in your very own tum-tum. ("battery acid" is sulphuric, not hydrochloric, as you misinformed poor tech-king, below)
Ummmm "admit to the toxins?" I stated the reaction products of saltwater electrolysis. I then stated that none are detectable in an electrowienie. No taste or odour of chlorine, not even as much as one can smell or taste in ordinary tap water. No slippery feel of sodium hydroxide, not even as much as might remain in a bowl of grits, after they're rinsed and cooked. As for hydrogen, horror of horrors, you're breathing some right now!!! Too high a concentration might deprive you of oxygen (lighting one up probably wouldn't be the best plan either), but this would be quite a few orders of magnitude more than one might get from a li'l ol' wienie.
Regarding the ultraviolet, I never said diddly about it having anything to do with toxicity of either gas, rather that uv or heat or some other initiator, is required to get a mixture of hydrogen and chlorine to react to produce your fabled hydrochloric acid, that you referred to in your original post. I was also trying to make a point about how the actual products of this (hypothetical) electrolysis might be worse than the surmised HCl. (Apparently subtlety is no longer in high demand)
Drunken huh? I might possibly have been a little high (I'm sure Harry J. Anslinger would not have approved) but much more coherent than your response.
The bit about pH testing was a highly veiled reference to that mystical branch of sorcery known as "science", practitioners of which do things to "test" their theories before browbeating others with their sage wisdom.
Please excuse any inferred hostility or sarcasm. None was intended, but it has been a somewhat trying week for me. I can only conclude that your posts were written under similar circumstances.
By the way, just who the Hell is George Walter Bush and why must you malign him so? I'm sure George Walker Bush and his fellow GOP'ers might appreciate my vote, but they ain't gonna get it due to my not being American, and my having about as much regard for their party as I do for the Conservative Party of Canada, which is none whatsoever.
Thanks for reading. Please be mindful of that pale orange bar, under the reply window, lest you hurt my little feelings.

Ta ta
Hydrogen is a minor atmospheric constituent. The globally averaged atmospheric mixing ratio of H2 fluctuates at present around 500ppb. Yes, 500 parts-per-billion. We ingest many more dangerous elements at far greater quantities. Okay, so your point on how I am already breathing it in? Yes, wet-cell batteries are sulfuric in nature. You may believe it or not, but that was intended as a preface to even responding to the post. Well done. "The only gas I ever detected was wienie steam. Hydrogen and chlorine require ultraviolet light to react. " The heat you claim not to exist is in the electrolysis of the weenie in question. History betrays you... Your candor is admirable, and your content amusing in a shield of relevance. No hostility taken BTW. As far as my remedial english, you don't have a leg to stand on really, as I speak fluently and do not speak your dominant language of French. Enough from me on this, I fold to relevance to this project, not from your reply. I have no need for the last word.
(removed by author or community request)
While it may seem odd to reply to my own reply, I'm taking this opportunity to welcome anyone else reading this thread, to weigh in on the matter. I freely admit to being petty and small-minded, constantly craving affirmation and reinforcement. I am also curious to hear the opinions of third party observers, preferably those with some knowledge of Chemistry (hey Kiteman...)
hey this looks like a fun conversation, to be honest though some of the chemicals may well be produced by electro-weenies they still work as food, hell we drink a good bit of chlorine in drinking water, over time, we accidentally drink pool water... Umm sodium hydroxide can be found in foods and our stomachs make the acids... That and considering the weenie's high resistance not much charge gets to electrolyse the weeny juices... That and you can do worse, like eating micky Ds
You can also stick LED's into it and have it light up.
Yeah, it's a real joy of a conversation! Curiously enough, I stated most of the stuff that you just did there, but my post was "removed by community request". Strange, I don't recall saying anything overly offensive. I certainly don't recall being consulted on the removal of the comment. Is there a vote on removal of comments? Who is the arbiter of such matters? I mean, I actually did research to make that comment. I spent valuable minutes of time, specially crafting words together in a pleasing fashion, only to have the whole shebang stricken from existence. What's the deal? Mind that I'm not specifically asking just you, killer, I'm addressing anyone who happens to be reading this. (and woe betide anyone whose yen for diversion has struck such new lows as to be reading my own particular brand of inanity...)

btw micky Ds sux! That dang clown Ronald is a mass murderer.
The comments are flagged and a member or staff looks to see if they're appropriate or not, you either said something a little rude or someone thought you were spamming... Odd time I've researched a reply I've gotten stick aswell... Ronald's gonna get drunk, he's going sneak in to ya house, AND RWECK UP THE PLACE!
Funny, if you follow the whole thread, the other feller got rude long before I did. I suppose folks who get all angwy and sulky can go ahead and flag the posts of those who hurt their little feelings, in between their explosions of self-promotion and horn-blowing... (evident if you look for purplish icons elsewhere) But I digress: Ronald's outside distracting everybody, wit' his hands in his big ol' yella pants. Hamburgla's in da house, nickin' everything round and vaguely patty-shaped.
Funny, I thought you a little more mature than that. I have flagged no post since I got on this site, but someone flagged me *actually* defending you for possibly getting flagged. If you were implying that I got rude first, I was not being rude, I was being real. It is you who resorted to insults, thinking you knew the word "remedial" for it's real definition.

Just because you are new to the field of science does not qualify you to imply that I am blowing my own horn. I speak from what I know and that alone. My social experiment on certain other posts has nothing to do with this post. Now you have resorted to incorrigibly immature of you not to maintain tact. Now I have lost all respect for you.
So, calling my ancestry and mental state into question is not considered rude or insulting? How convenient. Please compare your April 10, 6:39 AM post,to my April 10 7:16 PM response, and we'll see who got rude first. Apparently, selective memory also seems to be part of your much-vaunted skill set.

My knowledge or experience with science has very little to do with whether or not you are a hornblower. Your own tootling provides pretty brazen testimony towards establishing that.

As for schooling me on the maintenance of tact, your very first post on this matter is a fairly good example of how not to be tactful. So let's not have any more pot/kettle colour comparisons, shall we.

Respect. I could not give even the tiniest portion of a dook, whether you respect me or not. The tone of your posts indicate that you had no respect for me from the get go, anyhow, so how can you lose something that didn't exist?
Hehe it's funny because it's not a lie, ronald's a rapist and everyone on the internet is a shameless self promotionist I however o it in real life too... Honestly it's quite funny the way that people honestly believe they are the most knowledgable on any subject as well as thinking hat all of the room are below them...

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!