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Make a cheap disposable camera capacitor bank

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Step 6: Making the bank

Get your piece of verroboard/stripboard and start soldering your capacitors onto it in parallel (so all capacitors are connected the same, positive lead to the positive side of the charger and the negative lead to the negative side of the charger). Look at the pictures if you are unsure.

You will also need to reinforce the thin traces of the verroboard/stripboard by soldering a piece of bare copper wire across both sides of the base (one copper wire across the negative and one across the positive side). Look at the pictures for more info. Without this the thin traces of the stripboard would blow/melt when you discharge the bank becuase of the high peak currents.

Solder some wires to one end of the board too, make them around 10cm long and thick (mains flex wire is fine). This is so you can conned the bank to the charger and discharge stick.

There are several images here to help you.

Wires need to be relatively thick in order to reduce the power lost in the wires.

You can use several lengths of thinner wire in parallel if you do not have any thick wire. I used some mains flex in parallel on mine.

What if I have lots of different value capacitors? can they still be used together?

The answer to this is yes. You can safely mix different value capacitors as their added capacitance will add up. For example, if you have two 80uF capacitors and three 120uF capacitors then they will all add up to make 520uF.

What about the maximum voltage rating?

Since we are putting them in parallel, the maximum voltage rating of the whole capacitor bank is the same as the capacitor with the lowest voltage rating. So if you had some capacitors in the bank that are rated for 330v and some rated for 350v, the maximum voltage you could use the bank would be 330v.

However you do not need to worry about this since we are using the charger that was included with the camera. This is only needed to be taken into consideration if you using a separate charger. The charger from the disposable camera will charge them to around 320v max (or at-least the one I tested did).
 
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