Step 4: Troubleshooting

The first time I build the circuit, it worked immediately. I used a 26 watt CFL.

Then I decided to get a bigger CFL and I build it exactly like the first circuit. It didn't work. I was disappointed. I thought that the CFL electronics were shot.

But when I reconnected the fluorescent tube to the four wires, the CFL worked again. I realized that this type of CFL circuit needed to "sense" the filaments in order to operate. Remember, I was only using the outer wires and leaving the two inner wires alone.

So I put a resistor across the outer wire and the inner wire. The circuit worked! But within seconds the resistor was in flames.

So I decided to use a capacitor in place of resistor. The capacitor allows AC currents but blocks DC while a resistor allow both AC and DC currents to flow through it. Also a capacitor does not heat up because it provides a low resistance path for AC currents.

The capacitor worked great! The arcs produced were very big and thick.

So in summary there two things that can go wrong:

1. You wired it wrong, either on the CFL side or the flyback side.
2. The CFL electronics needs to sense the filament and you can use a capacitor as a substitute.

Use a high voltage rated capacitor. Mine was 400V and I got it from another CFL circuit.

While troubleshooting, be very careful, you are dealing with very high voltages and high currents.

When soldering, disconnect the circuit from the power outlet.
<p>Please see &quot;<strong>Fire Extinguisher using Voltage Multiplier&quot;</strong> </p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvPe72QZbVQ</p>
Can i use external electronic ballast ???
<p>So by 65W bulb you mean it takes 65w from the grid and makes it into like idk 200W or does it take like 11W and makes it into 65W<br>I hope you understand what i mean<br>Because when you buy a bulb its says like 11W (shines 100W) or what ever</p>
<p>What they mean by 11W shines 100W is that the florescent bulb only consumes 11 watts of power but is as bright as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. They put that on there because people were used to how bright a 60W or 75W or 100W incandescent bulb was and didn't know which florecent bulb to get. </p><p>Also, power is mesured in watts and power is concerved so a bulb could not take in 65W from the grid and turn it into 100W because it would have to be making power somehow. What it can do however, is convert the 120 volts from the outlet into 600 volts but to achieve this the current drops so power is conserved.</p>
<p>can anybody help me to get this pdf. i can't have pro account.</p><p>natty9301@gmail.com</p>
Can this get a small ac voltage increased? Or must the input be 110v? I only got about 70volts to play with. Way small amps too.<br>I,m spinning an ac synchronous step motor by a tiny dc motor by 9volt battery. Speed controller us only circuits I use in my contraption. Its a Gerard Morin replication, BASICALLY. Resonance. <br>Yes, looping is possible, I,m able to spin another tiny dc motor, but need more boost, then I could hit sweet spot- then disconnect battery=looped:)<br>So????????? Is this circuit able to function in a way relative/&amp; or beneficial? Ty....<br>Please don't be rude if your to closed minded. You will not get me like that. Ty
Thanks a lot will try and see good luck
<p>Hi i would like to know how long can you keep the arc going, like can you keep the arc going for about2 to 3 hours?</p><p>thanks</p>
The fly back would be able to handle it...but I burned a CFL in 20-30 mins...
Thanks a lot for the reply can i use the older model ballast that they had in the floroscent tubes,and also what if i use a very high wattage cfl?
The ballast will work better from what I've seen, not myself...i seen it in videos, the guy said since it runs for days it can run a lot...but I am not sure...he didn't try it more than 30 mins too and... The cfls run a lot of time...but they fry out...damn easily... You could try, and you can find adjustable ballasts...which is nice and good to have the +adjustability :)
<p>Hey, so after completing this, how could you use this to power something else? like is there a way to connect it to another source?</p>
You can make a Tesla coil...
Can I get circuit with Tesla coil....?
Yes you can
I understand that occasionally the lead configuration in the CFL will be different, but the one I got looks nearly identical to the picture you posted. By the end of the project, I wasn't getting a spark any longer than about 4 or 5 millimeters, and so I started troubleshooting. As far as I can tell, everything was hooked up properly- I'm confident that I identified the correct terminals on the flyback. I used a multimeter to check the voltage output of the CFL circuit (expecting it to go up in flames- the meter was only rated for 600V) and instead saw a value that started around 120Vdc and dropped as soon as I hooked up the meter (like a capacitor would have). I decided that I must've hooked it up to the wrong wires, but after checking voltages across all combinations of the 4 wires, the most I saw was a constant 120Vdc output across an outer and next-to-outer wire. What sorts of values should I be expecting at the "high voltage" leads? Do I need a different kind of CFL, or did I manage to fry something internal accidentally?
I don't know what kind of CFL you have...but all my CFL s had the two out put...thingys...parallel with the input wires, which are the closest to them...
<p>I am having the same problem but at about 270v (my wall plug is rated at 230v) I checked all of the pins, some combinations were like 10v, 40v and 270v (if I remember correctly)</p>
Hmmm, You may have a fried CFL, The transistors are just passing along the voltages from the rectifiers. Do you know how to test a transistor? Or.. the circuit is not oscillating and you need to add a feedback capacitor like in step 4.
I ended up having to add the capacitor to get any voltage at all out if it, and I know how to test transistors, but I'm afraid it's a moot point now, since a little bit more fiddling around resulted in an interestingly colored flame and a terrible-smelling apartment. I'll be picking up a new one later today probably and giving it another go.
i just took the board out of a large CRT television very very carefully it had been unplugged for only a day or so. The board i got is riddled with large capacitors and I'm to scared to touch anything let alone try to discharge it. On the biggest one it says on the side 200v 820uf 5258(m) can anyone tell me exactly how dangerous this thing is? Until l get a better understanding of this thing I'm puttin it in a box and stashin it.
You can connect a plug to the wall and use the ground wire to discharge whatever you want, I use it too, I is really painful being hit by those... I'm telling this from experience, but the caps and anything on that wont zap you, but the fly back, if you get close to it, you're doomed xD
<p>If you are scared you should not be doing this. That means you do not know what you are doing. </p>
it can give you a jolt. Take a screwdriver with a rubber handle. Hold the screwdriver by the rubber handle and try to short the cap by touching both pins with the metal part of the screwdriver. You might get a loud bang (or maybe nothing if it is discharged). Keep one hand in your pocket. Do this to all the big caps.
So...I have a big...fairly big fly back, but in my small city I can't find but 30w CFLs so I was wondering if I can hook up 2 to the fly back... I suppose I have to connect them in series :/, with only one I can squeeze out just... Around 7kV wich is not enough to power my SGTC :(
Is it 50mA or 50MA, because I don't think 0.05A is enough to kill someone. I would think 5A is enough to cause damage. I've worked with wires connected to 500mA sources and I am still here.
It's 50mA, across the *heart*. Remember Ohm's law, I = V/R. A 12v car battery is capable of producing several amps peak current. However, the resistance from one hand to the other is around a few thousand ohms. So, it is possible to grab both terminals of a car battery, contrary to what you see in movies. You need enough volts to push pass the resistance, AND just enough current to move through the heart, to risk electrocution. Wall voltage is enough to do it, and definitely some parts of this circuit are able to.
factors affecting body resistance, sweat, humidity, sea water, chlorinated water, ac or dc. the lowest voltage, reportedly causing death is 6V dc. so do, you feel lucky? the body skin resistance, can change according to the situation. and of course once the initial punch through talks place, resistance is dramatically decreased.<br><br>plus there are the other effects, of physical clamping or vaulting. which can cause, physical trauma that can cause death or injury. but at 50ma, flash burn would not be a factor. but as voltage increases, the possibility of soft x-rays becomes greater and depending on the type of targets used such as tungsten. and at 50kv you are, entering medium x-ray electron volt range. which is only briefly, for the arc start period.<br><br>and remember in short circuit conditions, voltage decreases and amps increase. so your 50ma could quite possibly become, 100 ma sufficient to stop the heart of cause fibrillation or freeze the lungs causing suffocation in case of clamp on. because of the two scenarios of either freeze or being thrown away. if your muscles contract you freeze, if they expand your kicked away.<br><br>this all plus, the danger is not necessarily over after being shocked. since people have died, even after a week of being shocked and only thought, they were ok. so it is best to minimize the risk, of receiving any shock to 0 chance.
Something else to note: the 20mA range can be more dangerous than the 50mA range. 20mA will disrupt the heart's operation (even with current removed), leading to a potentially painful death. 50mA+ clamps the heart; remove the current and the heard will resume pumping.<br><br>Again, this is lethal Primarily if the current path crosses the heart. Those who have worked with (and even taken) more current and still post here did not have a current path across the chest.<br><br>A simple and effective precaution when working around high voltages is to always keep one hand in your pocket: worrisome situations occur when one hand is grounded and the other is touching a hot lead.
yes, you are absolutely right. Thanks for clearing this up.
5-10mA is enough to kill, but it's not likely to. I've been hit by 9kV, 30mA, as well as shocked myself multiple times with 120V house current (on a 10+A fuse,) and I'm still here. That doesn't mean either of those situations can't kill you.
wow, what does 9kV feel like? i got shocked by a camera cuz i touched the switch oart and it burnt a little hole in my finger but thats only a few hundred volts
It was probably only 4.5kV because it was to the center tap, but it didn't really hurt. Just made me really tired. Your hit probably had a lot more current than 30mA. A cap can deliver amps
ah, ok
But arent the caps in cameras only something like 30mA?
NOOOOO! caps in camera's are usually 6000uf or more depending on how big the camera is or the flash type. That is probably close to half an amp because of the high current capacitance. The voltage is only 1.5v but the current is very high.
what are you talking about, camera caps are 330v 120uf.
What am I talking about? What are you talking about? A capacitor is measured in farads, not volts. One farad is one coulomb which is 6.25x10^18 electrons. Amperage is the measure of how many coulombs of current cycle in one second, so since capacitors accept certain amounts of coulombs, that must mean that capacitors store current, not voltage. How or why would camera designers integrate a cap rated for 330 volts, when only a 1.5 - 3v battery is used, but only store 120uf of current. The greater the farad, the bigger the flash. Maybe your camera has that, no way for me to know.
ALL capacitors have a rating for voltage and farads
Yes your right there, but making a cap rated for 330 Volts will just make it physically larger, nothing else. They are almost always set to 10 or 16 Volts to keep physical dimensions smaller. The farad rating is what affects it's performance, the greater the farad, the longer it takes to charge, but makes a bigger bang.
No, ive seen 400 volt 330 uf caps small enough to fit into drinking straws, its what they use as the dielectric that truly determines voltages, not size, and most flash cameras have a step up circuit that outputs 309+ volts to charge caps
I think your math for charge is off. 1 Farad is not 1 coulomb, it's 1 coulomb/volt. The amount of charge in a cap is the capacitance * voltage. Caps store voltage. If you charge a cap to 10v, wait a bit, and measure it's voltage, it'll still be roughly 10v. Inductors store current.<br>Caps are sized according to both their voltage and capacitance, roughly at k*c*v^2 (k being a constant for a given type of cap.) For the same capacitance, a 330v cap would be roughly 48,000 times larger than a 1.5v cap (ignoring the fact that you can only make a cap so small.)<br>Flashes use DC-DC converters, usually flyback or something similar to convert the low 1.5-7.6v supplied by the batteries into the hundreds of volts necessary to make a strobe work.
<p>What I have seen in later models of flash circuits is a series of discreet, diode voltage doublers to get the proper output high voltage. They are a lot cheaper to make than a fly-back transformer -- and also have the advantage of being much smaller and lighter by not requiring a lot of windings of copper wire.<br><br>As to inductive storage of potential, one of the worse, unanticipated shocks I ever got was from continuity testing of a war surplus, oil-filled filter choke I used to make a power supply for a 1.5kW, 40-10 meter linear amplifier. I was using a VTVM, which supplies 1.5V DC on the times 1 resistance scale. As my alligator clip was demised, I was holding the test leads in place with my fingers. When I removed the first test probe from the choke, the field collapsed and I got a jolt that was quite a bit more than I expected.<br><br>Keep it in mind that the potential voltages, from both capacitors and inductors, can be much higher than anticipated -- far exceeding the charge voltage. Also keep it in mind that when the skin threshold of human skin is exceeded, the apparent resistance will diminish a lot more than anticipated as the skin will form a trail of ionized salt water along the path of conductance. </p>
thats exacky right <br>caps store voltage <br>size depend on storage capabilty which is rated in farads <br>current does not matter <br>capera caps are tiny , rated in hundreds of volts and a few microfarads
<p>Nothing else, you are totally wrong. Lots of dangerous misinformation here on this subject.</p><p>He guy go make it and stick your finger to it and then come back and make your report. You have my blessing and maybe the Priest also</p>
no the size is mostly determined around the farads, i have a 10000uf cap at 72v and its huge, i also have a 47uf cap with 50v and its tiny.
<p>Just an FYI here. Capacitors are merely two or metal plates placed in close proximity and separated by a non-conductive material known as a dielectric. Depending upon what type of dielectric is used, this allows the capacitor to be either wound from two insulated layers or alternating sheets to be stacked to get the required capacitance. The voltage rating is nothing more than how much potential (voltage) the dielectric can withstand before it breaks down and shorts out. It is the capacitance that gives the amount of current it can hold. Common Dielectrics are polyethylene, mica, various oils and even glass or waxed paper. Most capacitors are non-polar and no regards need be given to polarity. However electrolytic capacitors are wound with a chemical suspension between the plates and then subjected to an DC current to create a dielectric layer that is polarized - reverse polarize it and not only will it conduct, but will most likely overheat and explode. This allows much higher capacitances to be generated in a smaller package with a specified maximum voltage. A NPO capacitor is merely two electrolytic capacitors, of equal value, with their anodes connected, which gives them half the capacitance but twice the voltage rating - and non polarized.<br><br>One important note. All capacitor ratings are for the highest voltage they will withstand until the dielectric fails, including the peak values (+ and - half cycles) of any alternating current, which will have a value of about 1.414 times the RMS of the voltage on each half wave (assuming a sine wave from 50Hz to 70 Hz). For 220V the peak value of each half wave will equal 220 X 1.414 = 311V. Plan accordingly when using any capacitor, or maximum PIV of rectifier diodes, in an alternating current circuit.<br><br>As far as the shock potential goes, any voltage above above 38 volts will be able to cause current flow in dry human skin - and much lower voltage threshold with sweaty or wet skin. This is why you can not feel a 9V battery with your finger,but can get a good idea of its charge state by touching the electrodes to the tip of your tongue. The amount of shock that a capacitor can give will be determined by the total amount of electrons (Coulombs) stored in the capacitor. A Farad of charge is one Coulomb of electron flow, per second, across a 1-ohm resistance, and is equivalent to one Ampere of current flow per second. Always discharge large electrolytic capacitors, with a 35V or higher rating, before handling to avoid shocking situations. Also store them with a jumper wire across their connectors to prevent them being charged from static fields -- especially in low humidity environments.</p>

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