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For my first Instructable, I decided to make a high voltage power supply out of 2 microwaves. The videos should give you good idea of the final produc...
This circuit gives off more than enough power to kill you. I am not responsible for any injuries you may get from doing the following steps.
Most of the stuff you need will come straight out of a microwave, so see Plasmana's instructable, but you will need:2 Microwave transformers2 Safety s...
Simply place the parts in an orientation so that you can wire it up easily. Then drill the transformers and fuse holders onto the 2x4 and nail the saf...
The circuit will be wired in series, giving you an output of about 4kV. I decided to use 2 plugs to make sure I don't set the wires on fire :D. You ca...
Carefully, wearing non grounded shoes, holding non-conductive rods to push the switch, press the switches and hold them. Don't look directly at the ar...
I purposely put the 2 safety switches on opposite sides of the 2x4 to prevent me or anyone else from turning it on by themselves. Also, to keep the bo...
I decided that I could find a better and more presentable base for my project than scrap 2x4, so I reorganized everything onto a piece of Formica givi...
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Use an old NEON SIGN TRANSFORMER INSTEAD, MUCH SAFER ! Don't build this to play with, only if you are experienced with electricity and VERY COORDINATED. Your first mistake could be your LAST MISTAKE ! If you insist on trying this at least put SEVERAL RESISTORS IN SERIES TO LIMIT THE CURRENT IN CASE YOU DO COME IN CONTACT WITH THE HIGH VOLTAGE. Also, make sure to GROUND THE CASE (AND THE TRANSFORMER) TO EARTH GROUND. Microwave transformers use one of the HV leads connected to the transformer case which is EARTH ground in a microwave. Use many 10w or higher to total 300,000 ohms which limits the current to 5ma (1500v / 5ma = 300,000 ohms). It takes about 5ma to POSSIBLY stop your heart. Still not safe but a big improvement. Also, space out the resistors several inches, the HV will want to arc across them.
As for putting a light bulb in series with the primary, it's a good idea but use a LOWER WATTAGE BULB. A 100w bulb would be, 120v / 100w = 1.2 ohms. Not much resistance. A 5w or 15w bulb. 120/5w=24ohms 120 / 15w - 8 ohms
I would use the 5w myself, ONLY INCANDESCENT WILL WORK, Fluorescent or CFL will probably just burn up.
If you aren't EXTREMELY CAREFUL use a neon sign transformer, you can get MUCH HIGHER VOLTAGES much safer. Or a TESLA COIL.
P.S. The average microwave transformer can put out AT LEAST 1A, possibly 10A or more upon shorting. Wear sunglasses if you need to look at an arc or WELDING GLASSES if you weld. Unless you like using a cane instead of eyes.
Please don't depend on sunglasses to protect you from arcs. The one you generated could be too much for the attenuation of the wavelengths resulting from the arc. Possibly multiple layer filters, such as the semi-rigid film eye shields used by many senior outdoors, but worn over sunglasses would be safer? Also, please don't allow the arcs to be viewed by an audience that does not have adequate protection.
MOVs are very dangerous to use. Use a 5w bulb in series or maybe a 25w bulb. This can still easily kill someone so I wouldn't use it. Use a small neon transformer to make a tesla coil, since it is much safer. You will get much larger arcs and is will be much safer since it is low current and high frequency. I am talking about the small table version of tesla coils, not the huge ones some people make. Radio Electronics had an article in the 80s or 90s for a coil that would make 20+ inches of arcs in the air and it was still safe for people. And there are others in electronics magazines. But all of these can destroy nearby electronics just from the static field. The tesla coil below should also be able to make 20+ inches of arcs or lightning in the air around it.
I have plenty of experience with high voltage electronics and even I wouldn't feel safe using an MOT like this. Stick with tesla coils instead, they make bigger arcs and are much safer. Like here.
Plans for 250,000 tesla coil. And it includes many other tesla coil links.
You are going the wrong direction with the power of the bulb; too little resistance. Get the lowest wattage bulbs you can use for the current you think you need. Don't put them in parallel, for you would have defeated your purpose.
I think this instructable invites those poorly educated in electronics and safety to risk serious injury or death to self or helpers. I believe the writer should have thought more about how to proceed with a much safer mechanical layout, grounding where appropriate, etc. BTW, there are appropriate high current plugs that are standard for high current devices, and I would not use tandem plugs. Convert an outlet to a single receptacle that is rated for the highest current for which the supply lines are rated. Check your ground!
Use class 1 gloves minimum if you plan to build this
a cool thing to try with this is clamp a penny to one output and a nickle or some other metal to the other then make the arc.... half of te arc will be one color the other half a different color alsotr somthing gold plated if i remember correctly you get a bright white core whit a bluish sorta flame the pennies will be greenish ... lol we did this in my electronics class in high school :D
License:General Public License
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