Have you ever wanted to build a high voltage devices to make sparks like Tesla Coils, Marx Generator, and so on.. But find it too compacted or difficult to build?

Well, this instructable is for you! It can make create a few kilovolts of static-like sparks, and best of all... You can make it with only two things to make it, a battery and a simple mains transformer!

Before you continue, you should know a little bit of information about transformers, click here to find out.

Step 1: Get the things!!

Like I said, you need only two things to make it, well, actually, three things - some wires.

  • 9 volt battery.
  • Mains transformer
  • Wires

The mains transformer, you can find those in just about any mains powered electronic devices, like VCR's, stereos, and stuff like that, you can also use a wall wart if you want. The best mains transformers you could ever use is found in digital alarm clocks.

Unfortunately, I burnt up all of my alarm clock transformers while ago... :( So I will have use a transformer from a VCR.

Step 2: Wire up the transformer

Okay, before we attach the wires to the transformer, you need to take a look at it first...

The two leads of the transformer that are connected to the mains power source, is the primary (the high voltage side), and the other two leads are the secondary (the low voltage side).
We are going to connect the transformer in reversed, I mean the primary (the high voltage side) of the transformer becomes "secondary" and the secondary (the low voltage side) becomes "primary".

So we are going to connect the battery on the primary (the low voltage side) of the transformer and we will get some sparks from the secondary (the high voltage side)!

Right, attach the wires to the transformer!

Step 3: Connect to battery and have fun!

Connect either one wire from the primary (the low voltage side) to one terminal of the battery (don't worry, you can connect it any way round). Then bring two secondary wires (the high voltage side) very close to each other (about 2 mm) and then tap the other primary wire to the other terminal of the battery.

And then, you should see sparks on the ends of the secondary wires, and you may hear a little "snap" too!

Step 4: Add a switch

Instead of tapping the wire to the battery which can be a bit difficult, you can add a push-button (don't use the push-lock switch) switch into the circuit if you like...

Step 5: Enjoy!

Well, I hope you find this instructable useful to you, and if you need help or have some questions, or found a error, please make a comment! I like comment! :)
So im guessing that this is similar to the ignition on a gas cooker that only uses 1AA battery? ?
i just looked up direct current and transformers and according to the internet, you cannot use a battery of any kind it has to be alternating current, check this website <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_use_dc_current_in_a_transformer">http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_use_dc_current_in_a_transformer</a><br/>
according to the internet......<br /> <br /> really? <br /> <br /> comment directly above you explains it <br /> <br /> i'll post it again for you...<br /> <br /> &quot;redhawk44:<br /> Yes transformers use collapsing electrical fields and so AC input is required. However AC input can be simulated by rapidly switching DC voltage on and off to produce the required rising and falling field to induce high voltage in the secondary coil. This can be achieved mechanically in several ways and is how the high voltage for the early experiments with Giessler and Crookes tubes was produced, leading eventually to the discovery of X-Rays. google Ruhmkorff coil for more info. &quot;<br />
&nbsp;this project does not use pulsed direct current voltage therefore how can it work?&nbsp;
*sigh, you create the square wave by tapping wires together fast, NOT taping, TAPPING
the instance you connect dc to a circuit it is pulsed dc it goes from no current to having current <br /> <br /> we have been suggesting to use a timer which would repeatedly turn the current off and on creating pulsed DC or simulated AC instead of doing it manually by connecting and disconnecting a wire or pressing a switch over and over again <br />
You aint using a dc constant source, by tapping wire to wire fast enough you create square waves, which can run a transformer
So I have to repeatedly switch the current on and off, amirite?
Would a Pulse Width Modulator &quot;PWM&quot; work in place of the switch? Just curious.
Square wave generator is better, use a irf620 and a astable 200 hertz 555 circuit
Could you wire a 555 circuit to switch it for you? I can see no reason why not. Does anyone else see a reason that you shouldn't do that?
It works, ive created inverters that way
I believe it will work. I'm trying that myself.
a 555 can only source 200 mA of power. is that a problem?
Just use a big MOSFET, like the IRF740 or so... <br>And, if you use a Powertransistor, dont forget to use a diode anti-parallel to your transformer. in case you dont, it could Kill your transistor!
yes especially when charging a capacitor bank. That is why is use zvs driver
transformers are met to work with ac or pused dc currents does this really work?
Yes, the input is a square wave pulse
by tapping the switch you are creating pulsed dc
Wait, I don't understand. The mains transformer takes around 120 Volts and converts it to the 5-12 Volt range. Even if the transformer is used in reverse, how will it generate a few kilovolts?
Google &quot;flyback effect&quot;, youll fugure it out
its the ratio of turns that alters how the voltage will be changed, double the turns on the secondary coild and the voltage doubles on the secondary coil, this can work in reverse
At first, this guide confused me. <br><br>Mains transformers take 110 or 220 volts (depending on where you live) and convert it to around 10 volts. If you reverse the transformer, inputting 9 volts, you should get the same amount as your mains supply. This would mean that the output is not in the several kilovolts range, but actually much lower. But then how would the relatively long sparks be generated?<br><br>I think, now, that this works through inductive kickback. When the 9V supply to an inductor (the transformer's primary) is interrupted, a much higher voltage is generated. This would then be induced in the secondary, producing the static-like spark. I don't think this works with a perfect sine wave, only a square or sawtooth wave.
Only a square wave, its the flyback effect, good job figuring that out on your own
is this dangerous? i.e should i not touch the high voltage wires?
It shouldnt kill you,(shouldnt!), but it hurts
since increase in voltage means decrease in amperage (right?) and amperage is the biggest danger to humans with electricity, Can this be used to shock people?
Please dont, i was once working on a high voltage power line and was shocked so badly that i lost consciosness for three days, so i know how it feels, im not saying that will happen with this thing, but please be considerate of hurting others, epecially with electricity, as it can kill people with pacemakers or heart problems, skin effect or not
try this on get mechanical relay with a normally closed contact . <br>take the + from the battery go to the relay coil&gt;&gt; out of the relay coil to the transformer&gt;&gt; from the transformer to one side of the normally closed contact. <br> Then take the - battery to the other side of the normally closed contact. it will buzz the relay sending pulsed dc to the transformer stepping it up and giving you a higher frequency spark.
<p>Can U Tell Me How Can I Get Continuous Supply From The Transformer ? By Using A 9v Battery </p>
You need a pulse circuit, look up &quot;555 timer high voltage generator&quot;
<p>This won't work. DC does not transform in this way. At most you might get a very brief spark when you disconnect the battery from the EMF collapsing in the opposite polarity.</p>
Thats the point, this is for noobs who dont know enough about electricity to know positive from negative, people like me and you who know this shouldnt be on this page
<p>dc to ac is not possible without a capacitor and diode . isn't it ?</p>
<p>I was taught in electronic school that in order to transform ac to dc you need a transformer along with a full wave rectifier (bridge rectifier) ( in which is four diodes), and a capacitor to filter out the remaining ac ripple. Now from dc to ac you need what is known as an inverter. </p>
A single diode is all that is needed, but a larger filter capacitor too
<p>yes that's totally right how ever with a capacitor with a fixed discharge rate you can make dc ripple like ac ( it will not be a.c. for that ripple you would need a flip flop i.c. control chip to keep swapping the d.c. back and forth to match the rate at which a.c. flips (or ripples) source me electric, electronic and software engineer </p>
No, its possible with resonant tank circuits, in this circuit it produces a ac wave on the output, and other circuits do similarly, look up &quot;sine wave generator circuit&quot;, its quite clear
<p>if you just keep pressing the button it makes an ac current every time you press the button</p>
<p>You make pulsed DC, not AC. The transformer doesn't mind, but there is a difference.</p>
<p>You mean ac to dc. Yeah it isnt possible. But you don't necessarily need dc for this experiment specifically.</p>
<p>Of course AC to DC is possible. DC is rectified, and filtered AC. What isn't possible is constantly inducing a current through a transformer with steady DC. That violates the laws of physics as we now understand them. But we can induce current in a transformer with pulsed DC. Which is exactly what is going on in this article.</p><p>When the switch is closed a magnetic field grows around one coil of the transformer and its moving lines of magnetic flux cut across the other coil, and induce a current in it. The ratio of coil windings to each other establishes the voltage differential between the coils.</p><p>Here the secondary winding of a line step down transformer is energized to induce a higher voltage on the primary side. We made these things when I was in grade school, and called them shockers.</p>
<p>You can if you have a vacuum, like a microwave or a vacuum tube. It utilizes the Negative Resistance property. Really fascinating subject.</p>
this is not possible. its fake. you cannot use a ac transformer with a DC source. u need to convert the DC source to ac before you hook it up to the transformer. the circuit doesn't make sense.
When he pushes the switch it creats, in effect, half a ac wave(yes i know its a square wave!), and as he lets go the shrinking flux acts the same as if it was ac, for about 1 millisecond or so, and generates voltage in the secondary for roughly the same amount of time
<p>The switch is good for one pulse. As the field grows in the powered coil it will induce a current in the other transformer coil. But as soon as the powered coil is saturated no more current will flow in the coupled coil. So you get one zap per switch closure.</p><p>This is not only possible, it is also how gasoline engine ignition systems function too. It is what makes spark plugs spark.</p>
<p>You can also make a DC-AC converter easily with a vacuum tube in the circit</p>
<p>it is possible to use an AC transformer with DC. The trick is to use pulsed dc.</p>

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