Have you ever been fascinated by a plasma globe? Have you ever wanted to build your own? In this instructable, I will be showing you how to make a plasma globe out of an ordinary light bulb! 

Before we make this project, I have to warn you of the safety issues.
This device outputs high voltages as much as 25,000 volts and can kill you. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE ANY PART OR PARTS FOR COMPONENTS OF DIFFERENT VALUES! It is crucial for your safety. I would recommend you do some research on high voltages before attempting this project. Also keep in mind that this is not a beginner level project and you will need to have experience in working with flyback transformers, high voltages, and lethal currents.

You have been warned.

Step 1: The Methods: 1 and 2

There are two methods to making a plasma globe. Both use AC flyback transformers, but they use different drivers. This is important to know because you will be building the driver yourself and you want to choose your method based on a few different factors.

Method 1 uses a 555 timer to switch on and off a mosfet. It uses less components and is easier to build.
Method 2 uses a TL494 chip that can be bought online. This one is more complicated, but it gives you more control over the circuit and even lets you input audio.

I recommend method 1 for beginners because it is easier to get the desired frequency that you want. The frequency is also set to a safe value assuming you use the correct components. This is important because if the frequency is too low, then you will get a nasty shock. At the end of this instructable, I will show 2 videos that tell you how to tune the driver so that the arcs are safe to handle.

<p>can i use standard DC rectifier transformer, instead swicthing powersupply or acid battery..?</p><p>and in method 2, i saw small heat sink in the board, what component in there? what i know in method2 only mosfet that use a heatsink and its outside of the board</p>
<p>Why dont you simply use the flyback transformer as-is?</p>
<p>Hi, thx, your tutorial is great.<br>Is the teflon tape necessary ? Or can I just use electrical tape between the wraps ?<br><br>Here is another diagram, do you think it's ok ? <br>http://www.firediy.fr/images/articles/plasma-ball/sch.jpg<br>On this schematics, there is a driver befor the MOSFET (to clean the 555 output signal), is it really useful ?<br><br>Why do we have to use the voltage regulator ? I use a 12v supply.<br><br>Thank you and sorry for my beginner's english, i will understand your answer, but it's not easy to express myself clearly.</p>
<p>can you plz show ciruitry ...cz i cant see it very well...</p><p>plz i will be very thankfull to you</p>
<p>Other people have had this problem, so I uploaded a larger picture of method 2. Sorry about that!</p>
<p>Thank you HaykD and clevelandstorms. Love you guys <br>MOSFET IFRP250 is not available in my city so i had to order it from online store. Once i get that item i will update on my success.<br>Thanks once again guys.<br><br>@ clevelandstorms:<br>Please increase the size of 2nd method diagram. TL494 is available in my city so i'll try that too.<br><br>My transformer has following rating 12v 5A (12-6-0-6-12). How much volt i can get from it?</p>
<p>I am talking about method 1 :</p><p>Circuit <br> is very clear but you need to say where my 18 V AT 3 Amp power supply <br>will be connected. i also have two more power supply.</p><p>1. 12V at 5 Amp</p><p>2. 24V at 3 Amp</p><p>Which one will be best. Actually these are all transformers i have fully rectified it.</p><p>Also <br> you need to specify more clearly where LED will be connected, i.e. on <br>which area. between source and drain of MOSFET? if no then where.</p><p>1 <br> more question: I hope you know that all coil related stuff releases <br>back emf so one diode is necessary to protect MOSFET isn't?</p>
HaykD covered most of your questions. One important thing to note is that the LED by the MOSFET is a diode. It is not an LED. The diode is connected between the drain and source of the mosfet. Start off with 12V at 5 amp. If the mosfet does not get too hot, you can increase the voltage.
<p>You need to connect your supply to the top of primary in the picture (&quot;in&quot;), where it connects to 7809 regulator (You don't need the regulator if you use 12v, as 555 timer uses maximum of 15v power supply). You can experiment with power supplies to get the best arc. LED light isn't really a big deal, just indicator, you can connect it between 3 pin of 555 timer and power supply to know that oscillator works. There's an internal diode in the transistor ,but you can add an external one for better protection.</p>
The circuit diagram does not show the input power connections. I can't see anything about the led circuit either. I bought a cheap 555 I guess because it's not clearly identifying the pin out. If I install it one way the led flickers, the other way the mosfet gets really hot. Please help, school project is due this week.
<p>Very useful indeed......please give clear circuit...it is not clear ....please..thanks in advance</p>
I am unsure what is unclear about the circuit. The schematic is located in the step. Can you explain what is unclear about the circuit? I might be able to help you
<p>Hello Sir, Still waiting for your reply..please give a more detailed circuit diagram with individual components details....</p>
<p>oh sure ..thanks for your reply...the schematic is hazy .....i cannot make out the values of individual components ...can you please upload a bigger size picture ...or send in soumendras@gmail.com?</p>
<p>Thanks for this! But can I ask roughly what the cost to make this would be?</p>
<p>Thanks for the instructable!</p><p>I don't have any internet to watch videos...</p><p>Can you please give me some info on how you connect the plasma bulb?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>the circuit for method 2 is not clear</p>
<p>in method 1 where to connect +12 v </p><p>no connection is given in 4 or 8</p>
<p>ALGU&Eacute;M POR FAVOR ME AJUDE A PRODUZIR UMA PE&Ccedil;A DESSA:</p><p>SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME TO PRODUCE SUCH A PART:</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TemoqwwnUns</p>
<p>neat project, have you done a zvs driver</p>
<p>hi<br>i have some question :<br>1-i have high frequency AC power supply(from very old mini Tv)</p><p>how can i attach this High Voltage to circuit(for Tl494 circuit)?</p><p>2-can i use IRF 540n MOSFET instead of (IRFP250, IRFP260, IRF540, IRFP450, IRFP064)??<br>thank U!!</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>That looks like an old AC ferrite transformer. Take some wire, maybe around 20 gauge, and wind 7 turns on the exposed ferrite core. That will be your primary, and attach the two ends to the TL494 circuit. You can use an IRF540, but it will get very hot so use a large heat sink. Hope this helps!</p>
is it safe to hold in your hand? sorry if I missed it in the description ^^
It is safe to TOUCH the lightbulb when it is running at low power, not HOLDING it. You will find that your hand will get very hot after touching the bulb for more than 5 seconds. I am not responsible for any injuries, but you should be ok to touch it. Be careful!

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