Monitor Hack - Security System!

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Introduction: Monitor Hack - Security System!

That old CRT monitor isn't as worthless as you might think!

Don't throw it away, hack it!

This instructable will show you how to turn that old dusty monitor into a personal electric fence!

WARNING: I shouldn't have to tell anyone working inside a monitor that there is a very real danger of being electrocuted if you touch the wrong thing. (You did unplug it first, right?)

SECOND WARNING: If you have a heart condition or a pace maker, you obviously should steer clear of this hack.

THIRD WARNING: The monitor I used for this hack was a small one. The voltage was quite high, but the current is not enough to harm you. It's enough to get your attention, but could potentially have the same effect as a very powerful stun gun.

Watch the video for the overview:

Step 1: Materials

For this hack, you will need:

- One used but working monitor.
(Size doesn't matter, regardless of what SHE says.)

- Some non-insulated wire.
Steel or aluminum will work.

- Some insulated ceramic posts.
Get these at the hardware store in the same section where the electric fences are.

- Some wire mesh.
Chicken wire works fine too.

Step 2: Discharge High Voltage

The anode of the flyback transformer could have some residual voltage on it, so you must discharge it to ground first!

Use an alligator clip attached from a long screwdriver to the ground strap on the monitor.

Carefully slide the screwdriver under the anode cup until you touch the center metal clip, or you hear a loud pop. If it's been a while since the monitor was on, there probably won't be any voltage left to discharge.

Once you've done that, it is now safe to remove the anode by squeezing the clip at the base.

WARNING: I shouldn't have to tell anyone working inside a monitor that there is a very real danger of being electrocuted if you touch the wrong thing. (You did unplug it first, right?)

SECOND WARNING: If you have a heart condition or a pace maker, you obviously should steer clear of this hack.

THIRD WARNING: The monitor I used for this hack was a small one. The voltage was quite high, but the current is not enough to harm you. It's enough to get your attention, but could potentially have the same effect as a very powerful stun gun.

Step 3: Wire It Up

Wrap a wire tightly around the exposed anode clip, and then tuck it under the CRT straps to keep it from moving.

Feed the wire through a hole in the case, and then put it back together.

Step 4: Run the Wire to the Fence

Run the wire through the ceramic insulators and connect it to the fence.

You can go a couple hundred feet, if the wire is properly insulated. A color monitor's flyback typically puts out around 30,000 volts, with very low current.

Make sure to put the fence on Styrofoam to insulate it from ground.

Step 5: Turn It on and Test It!

After double-checking your wire, turn on the monitor and test it out.

You'll hear a loud hiss as soon as you turn on the monitor. Use a grounded screwdriver to force it to arc to ground.

Even a small 15" monitor will throw a spark over an inch.

Step 6: Put Stuff in It for Safe Keeping

Now you can carefully put stuff inside the fence for safe keeping:

- Valuable jewels
- Your wallet
- The rest of your imported beer
- Your DVD collection
- Fine wine
- Your piggy bank
- Collectible Barbie
- Hundreds of other things!

(No Barbies, cats or pigs were harmed during the making of this video.)

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    207 Comments

    Metacafe is dead, and so is the video. Is there any other source to view it from?

    I have tested and it arks. My monitor has a built in feature that makes it arc to ground to stop it from damaging important stuff.

    When I first tried this I heard a zttttttt. for about two seconds. It stopped for two seconds and kept doing that, like it was a cycle. Is that normal or a premature grounding. I have not tried to get an arc from it.

    my home has 220v ac power supply. why would i use monitor? afterall u need ac current to turn that on.

    I like this explanation! More then easy enough to understand.
    Have you ever had the visual experience of about 1600watts running up one arm through your implanted neck plate "titanium" down the other arm and to ground?
    I was messing around with a 1600 watt inverter last year cracking water "HHO"
    and got a bit careless with excitement, That water instantly became foam, like opening a shook up hot can of beer in the middle of summer in Pheonix Arz!
    So I was trying to bring it down a bit on the next try, had a bit to many beers myself and whollah! I saw a bright flash of white cover my eyes, will be a bit more careful now,, blew out the fett arrays and the microprocessor on that inverter, didn't kill me but did make me more cautious and curious,,,12 volt auto battery turned powerful?

    It's not mine, but you could probly get more traffic if you changed your sign too, "Free dog food!"

    Yup,it is he touch the fence.

    HA HA HA! That's funny.

    its funny cos u can just reach over the fence and grab the wine and stuff, but cool instructable

    i cant find the monitors ground?????

    You said that Voltage= the number of electrons flowing in a wire, Current= the speed of those electrons. Isnt it kind of reversed? I always knew that the amperage was the electrical "pressure" like the amount of water flowing in a river.

    1 reply

    voltage is the pressure, current is the amount. So big amps = big pipe. High Voltage = little pipe w/lots of water.

    when discharging, if I ground to monitor's ground, does monitor has to be plugged in? If not plugged in, then where the charge will go?

    1 reply

    For anyone reading this wondering the same thing, if you plug in the monitor and try to discharge it, the outlet will pump more electricity into it. Chances are you will melt the screwdriver in the process. Plugging the tv in defeats the whole purpose of discharging.

    lol, your cat is in there. People do find them valuable.

    so i did it and got awesome blue arcs but as soon as I tried welding, my monitor just started squealing and smelling like ozone. no mystical blue smoke. is there a fix?
    awesome awesome instructable.
    thanks,
    >G

    Wait, so you have your large, clunky monitor sitting next to your fence (or lightning globe is what I'm trying to do) running a wire to it? I can't remove the flyback transformer and build a case or something for it?