Picture of Portable Bug Zapper
Caution I'm not liable if your shock yourself and injury or kill your self, working with high voltages can be dangerous!!

I started this instructable about half through building the zapper, sorry for lack of images and details i realize my instructions may be kinda confusing.

How bug zappers work:

This zapper does not have the power of a normal one but it does produce a few hundred volts which should be enough to kill most insects.

I haven't been able to test this outside yet because the bugs have come out yet but when I complete the circuit with a metal wire a loud snap and spark are produced.
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Step 1: Overview/ Materials

Picture of Overview/ Materials
- disposable camera w/ flash
- 3x 10mm blue leds (apparently mosquitoes are attracted to blue light)
- large cooking sifter
- small fish trap (available at walmart for about 1.99)
-spray can cap
-1/2" pvc
-electrical tape

Step 2: Creating the electric shock

Picture of Creating the electric shock
Use the film up before opening the case

Remove the wrapping from the camera and use a screwdriver to pry it open -be careful not the ruin the case

Remove the film and locate the capacitor which should be in the upper right corner.

Take two five inch long pieces of wire and solder one to each of the leads of the capacitor.

Drill two holes large enough to fit the wires through next to the view finder.

String the two wires through and close the case.
**There are a couple loose parts inside the camera make sure you put them back in the same place.**

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I don't know how lethal a flash capacitor is..... I've shocked myself (and others >:) many times and nothing's happened.
Well, could be deadly to a bug.. I've been hit with a fly swatter before and didn't die.. hehe
The danger is that you might create a circuit where the shortest path from one electrode to the other is across your heart. In that unlucky event, it does not take much current to stop the heart.
I know that...., Its just the capacitor leads are less than half an inch from each other, how are you gonna get the path of least resistance through your heart with that?
That is an entirely reasonable statement. I have trouble imagining what would induce anyone to connect leads to a high voltage capacitor and stick them through the skin on different hands.

But I thought I had better point out the danger, because some people are more creative than I.
ive done it =/ and i added 4 400v volt capacitors and had a wire in each hand, it dropped me on the floor at first but these days it doesnt bother me.
guys ages 12-25 or so will do a lot of stupid things just to see what happens. You know that right? I unrolled a model rocket engine and lit it just to see what it did, and that didn't feel to good.
in this event, dc power is not as dangerous as ac. i don't know if this kind of voltage can rip the heart's tissue... i'd be careful just in case. i like my heart <3
TehMessiah4 years ago
Or instead of a led a peice of meat???? it would smell pretty bad but if outside......
jwardana5 years ago
does blue LED really work attracting the mosquito? not UV LED? Thx.
I would personally do a mixture of both, different wavelengths attract different types of insects, here is a more deep study:
to diffuse better the light I would suggest you sand papering them individually, please if anyone has more ifo on this it would be helpful. As we all know that LED lights is far cheaper than anything else.

skipernicus4 years ago
Most insects are not attracted to light given off by LEDs - if you get the wrong kind, this trap won't work (or will be really inefficient). If you want this to be a high yield trap, conventional lighting is more effective. Most bugs are attracted to blue fluorescent light - although white fluorescent light also works.
i got those hand held fluorescent lamp holder and i broke the case and found a circuit board that powered thje light and i took a meter to test it and found that it more then 220w i think so i was thinking to make a bug zapper that can be powered by 24 V 12 AND 9 V AND 4.5 THE LAMP holder is powered by 4.5 v dc so im thinking adout doing this
Ry96n7 years ago
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shsh75 (author)  Ry96n7 years ago
yeah i realize the 300v wont been enough for many bugs but im targeting small bug like misquotes and small flies, th ones which are a nuisance, i hope to upgrade it in the future and increase the voltage somehow (any suggestions??) i havent been able to test it yet cause there havent been many bugs outside
Wargasm shsh755 years ago
Remove the capacitor and add a cockroft-walton multiplier.... just be sure that the screens are far apart enough so that they don't discharge until a bug enters.... I did this once and added 12 multiplier stages and it produced a 2 cm spark gap.... the thing fried wasp, bumble bees, ......whatever.... For more info, just google cockroft-walton or simply voltage multipliers.
Wargasm Wargasm5 years ago
you'll also have to bypass the itty bitty little diode too....
yah just use a 9v instead of the 1.5 volt it will be over 1,000 volts
     That won't work. The capacitor and diode aren't rated for it.
idk i used it and it worked fine
     It does work with some flashes if the capacitor is replaced with a higher voltage one. It's not uncommon to have a 1200V diode. Sometimes the transformer will short out. One time I ran like 12V through one with no capactior at all and it lit up the tube all by itself. It's no good as a light though because it overheats really fast and it's not very bright.
when i used the 9v it worked for a while but something burned when i left it on for like 10mins
spman123 shsh757 years ago
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     The resistors are there to limit current. Too much current and stuff burns up.
While working on an electromagnetic coil gun, I found out that wiring another capacitor in parallel makes the spark hurt A LOT more... Try adding another capacitor to boost the current.
He's right. Check out my (unsuccessful) coil gun instructable. It'll deliver enough punch to kill a junebug!
actually youd be amazed on how much these f***ers hurt
ermockler7 years ago
I have one of those badminton racquet bug zappers, takes 2 AA's, kills bumblebees even, I think it's like 1500 volts. Yellow jackets are my prime enemy. Had the same batteries for like 2 years now. You can actually bounce the bug up and down on the thing until you are satisfried he's dead, like one of those paddle games, then give it one more bounce and whack it across the yard.
I'm all for making stuff myself, but for 10 bucks I would never bother trying to make one. linkage :

you could, however, reverse engineer one of these to increase your power. Or increase even that and make a really nice one in a wooden tennis racket.
question. was the term "satisfried" intentional? them bugs do end up fried, so I feel the need to ask.
i just cant stop laughing after i noticed he said satisfried
i knoww lol i had the same problem
that never gets old,unlike most jokes
we have those to and I modded a few of mine to run off a 9V battrie and also turned one into a neat lil Tazer the power from my 9V one makes people jump the 9V bug killer makes a few satificing sparks and kills it in seconds
Udon ermockler6 years ago
Yeah. Those chinese bug rackets are hours of psycotic homicidal fun for the whole family. And so cheap. At China Mart I get them for R30 (that's like $3 or something). I've never been asked to pay for disposables - I think they're supposed to recycle the leftovers, but it's not so efficient here in SA, or otherwise Fujifilm and KodakExpress or whatever are just too lazy. Good for me. Bad for the planet. Has anyone tried opening a racket up? Understanding what's going on inside will give this instructable a "How it works".
i got one... i think that that it is funny when you just hold the button and keep the bug on the mesh... and occasionally shake it... the bug starts to smoke... and then there is an instant headache... (for all around due to the smell...)
More important than all the warnings regarding the dangerous capacitors - DO NOT USE THIS TO KILL STINKBUGS!!!!
qdogg6 years ago
I used the guts from a $3 bug zapper to make an electric fence around my dog kennel. I just hooked it (grid removed, clip leads installed)to $6 worth of electric fence wire & insulators screwed to the chain link around the dog house(my dog has a bad habit of digging out when she gets scared or bored). About 20 seconds after installation, I heard a loud yip-yipe and my dog has never tried to dig out again. I don't even have to leave the power on.
m1sterb0b6 years ago
So, what I'm wondering, is why not just take the circuit board out of the camera and mount it inside the hole thing? Was it just to save on materials, so you could just use the re-charge switch? Also, if the only disposable cameras that are available to me are the ones where you have to hold down the charge button, is it possible to just solder a SPST switch to it so I can just turn it on or off? or do you actually have to release the switch before your able to flash it again? I'm just wondering if the circuits are any different, or if basically the switch on your camea holds down the button, vs my camera that you have to hold down the button yourself.
hahaha im not sure this is a bug zapper, as much as a potential squirrel aggravation lol
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