Picture of Simplest Ever DC-DC Boost 12v to 73v
A simple DC-DC boost converter:
- 12-18v in = ~73v+ out
- Uses only 2 transistors, no IC's
- Can be made out of one CFL light bulb
- Uses fully discreet components
- 17.2kHz switching frequency

Output is only low current but could probably be used to power a small triode preamp stage (Very high impedance)

UPDATE: Thanks to "neumanngregor" for pointed out: ONLY USE ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS IN SERIES AS A LAST RESORT, I am not responsible to any damage caused. If possible, use properly voltage rated capacitors. Thanks :)

If you are unsure of the the inductor size, just try tweaking the oscillation capacitor until you get the highest voltage :)*

*A general rule, since this is a constant duty cycle, larger inductors will need a lower oscillation speed.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Parts and Specs

Picture of Parts and Specs
This is a very simple 4 component oscillator made from very cheap and easy to access components. It works through the breakdown of the transistor, as the capacitor charges, it gets to a certain voltage then the transistor conducts from the emitter to the collector. This process causes the capacitor to discharge through the transistors emitter, creating a crude sawtooth wave.

Most standard transistors should be able to cause an avalanche on 12v but some transistors dont (as I have found out!) I find the BC337 and BC547 to breakdown perfectly.

The circuit oscillates at ~17.2kHz, nearly above the audible range.

The parts required:
TIP122 or Power Darlington transistor
BC337 or Compatible
0.1uF/100nF Ceramic Capacitor
100uF Electrolytic Capacitor (Preferable 16v if the circuit is ran on 12v but 10v should do fine)
1k resistor
Any high voltage capacitor. I used two 63v capacitors in series to double the voltage rating.
Any suitable diode with high enough voltage (1N4001 isn't high enough voltage, its rated at 50v)
An inductor with inductance between 1-5mH should be fine

1-40 of 55Next »
M.nimith19 days ago

Hey dude, You got any equation? I wanna make one from 5v-12v.

Neon-A made it!1 month ago
It was great ... but i made it just a bit little stronger ... :)
Giedriuus1 month ago

What is the efficency of this circuit? And about what current does it take to transform the voltage? I am asking this because I made a tube preamp using 12v battery, but the signal is very very quiet so I need to boost the voltage in the cathode but I also need to be aware of how much energy it would draw and if it would be worth it as the battery is only 5mAh. :\

blorgggg1 month ago

Oh this is super great to know! Will probably work as a super extra DIY version of the booster in my brain and muscle zapping projects:

PsychoPanda1 month ago

Heya, if the voltage source is applied to the output, would that then decrease the voltage and increase the current? thank you

adibayor1 month ago

can you give me the schematic diagram with proper input and where the output is? i need this for my project. thank you

btw i want to make it as 2 volt input and get the output of 12 v. can you help me?

Neon-A2 months ago
Neon-A2 months ago
JyotismanR3 months ago

I want 3 v 120 ma output from 3 v 16 ma input...How can i do that?

mspencer84 months ago

I am planning make this one with the input of 3v and output of 12v with 1 amp... can somebody help me? thanks..

pyrohaz (author)  mspencer83 months ago
Hey buddy,

For your converter, with an efficiency of 90%, you're looking at a switching current (from the 3v supply) of roughly 4.5A. While this is possible to make using discrete components, you'd probably be much better off using an integrated circuit!

Sorry I couldn't help much more!
kkeyan7 months ago

Hey!! can you explain the circuit in more detail..??? I dont know where the iput is to be given and where the output is taken

pyrohaz (author)  kkeyan3 months ago

The output is taken across the capacitors connected at the output. These store the charge from the boost converter and the voltage across these is where I measured the ~73v.

Hope that helped! :)
HusseinA4 months ago

Hi dear,
1st of all thanks for sharing your knowledge which reflects your professionalism and humbleness..

My name is Hussein, I have tried to simulate the circuit you made using Multisim but i got 12v in negative in the output!

may you kindly assist me how you simulate it? and email me with the circuit diagram if you have ?

Thanks and very appreciated in advanced


Ghild.Zero10 months ago

which the control component ?
I want input 3 V and output ~100 V

thank you in advance

ssingh14511 months ago

which frequency analysis software do you use.
and which hardware to connect it to pc, do us use audio input or any other device.

pyrohaz (author)  ssingh14511 months ago

I used audacity for the frequency spectrum, its completely free. I connected the output from the inductor through a potential divider and capacitor up to my microphone socket.

fusorx1 year ago
Would there be a way to lower the voltage output on this, say if I wanted to go from 16 to 19 instead of 12 to 73?
fusorx fusorx1 year ago
Oh, I also don't need all that much current, the input is 4.5 and I need 1.6 at the least
pyrohaz (author)  fusorx1 year ago
Tbh, I wouldn't really recommend this circuit as a booster, I designed it back when I was a bit of an electronics noob! The capacitive coupling to the main transistor is all wrong but if it works, it works I suppose!

Answering your question, if by 4.5 and 1.6 you mean milliamps, you could get 19v out by using a zener regulator, like so:

I think that 19v is also a standard value for zener diodes!

Hope that helps :)
How can I get a higher voltage with a lower input(or not)? With a higher mH's inductor? Thank you.
How feasible is it to boost a 0.1W I/P to about 3 or 4W? The input is an AC supply at UHF range which would be rectified with schottkey diodes (as hey support high freq). i need to boost this rectified DC to a range sufficient to charge an average cellphone (maybe the NOKIA 1100 model)
You cant make more energy out of nowhere!
Can i modify it to 12v to 30-32V only ?
anvit4 years ago
the TIP 122 becomes very hot just after i apply 12 v .

Is it getting short ?
KITKAT69 anvit3 years ago
yeah dude was that the same thing that happens to you???? my VU meter only jumps to about 20V+ then suddenly decreases, then when i touch the TIP122 i got a minor burns man even if my input was on 6v..... and I wonder how many amps does that max 73v comprises....... I got a V-DUB using 555 timer and my theory works even if the input was only 6v 4.5a, I may say its a V-quad not a V-Doubler, since my input 6v was double up then the 2nd v-dub even doubles it up so i got 18v+ but it only got low current only for small circuit applications......

Anyone who wants my circuit about V-Quadrupler is welcome...... hence I though it would power up my gun....
I need to convert a 6v 4.5A battery into 12v that can give around 2A or more current
any schematic? Voltage doubler circuits on the web gives around 100mA which is not sufficient for motor driving. Thanks...
hey dude do you want my V-Quad circuit (Voltage Quadrupler circuit) its has two DC voltage doubler circuit based on IC LM555 hooked up in parallel in a small circuit board, it only got around 800ma current though.....
KITKAT693 years ago
the schematics also looks confusing about which of which was TIP122 and BC337 and the polarities of the series capacitors......

my god I think I have burned my TIP122....
KITKAT693 years ago
WTF.....!!! this circuit was pretty perfect as a Battery Step Up circuit for COIL GUNS, Thank you very much for this DUDE..... I can't wait to test your stuff...... I appreciate this..... :P
reehan3 years ago
hi there .. i am new to this site.. and i find this instructables very interesting ..i would like to knw who many amp's it draws??thanks in advc
ahassan1234 years ago
this is something great , but i want to know what the " NC " means, does that mean that it is not connected??

and one more thing i didn't find TIP122 in Multisim ... is there any equivalent transistor?

thanx alot
pyrohaz (author)  ahassan1234 years ago
Hi, yep NC means not connected :) yeh, unfortunately you probably wont be able to simulate my oscillator circuit as it works off the breakdown of a transistor junction causing a brief short circuit, and therefore oscillating etc... as far as I know, not many simulators can accomplish this.
CoolKoon4 years ago
Oh well, this is quite an interesting design. So far I've only seen designs that rely either on a 555 timing circuit for rapidly turning the transistor on and off. How unfortunate that since your circuit's basically "cheating" I couldn't simulate (and tweak) it in Multisim (just like the others). I could really use a design like yours, unfortunately (with no simulation option) I have to understand it, in order to be able to modify it and cut the resulting voltage to 48V. Your recommendations are quite good (and I'm planning to use a voltage regulator too), but there are some problems with proceeding with the unmodified circuit: first, the Zener diode decreases the overall efficiency (after all, it conducts above the Zener voltage, the higher voltage, the more), second, the solid-state voltage regulators' ratings drop quite sharply as the Vout to Vin difference increases (and besides the adjustable LM317HVT I have has a maximum rating of 60V).

What I'm planning to do is to slash the voltage down to about 50V, then using the LM317HVT to keep the voltage at 48V. Could you add some theory or point me to some regarding this circuit? I'd really appreciate it.
anvit4 years ago
hi. thnx for ur help.
I have following doubts.

1) I couldnt get 1N4005. So i got 1N4007. Will it work ?
2) Do we have to connect the 12V battery between +12v and the ground ?

I am new to Electronics, so plz help me.
pyrohaz (author)  anvit4 years ago
Hi, a 1N4007 will work absolutely fine :) and yes, for point 2, the positive side of the battery goes to +12v and the 0v of the battery goes to ground.
anvit4 years ago
I tested this circuit in multisim, but the Tip 122 was not there, so i connected another NPN darlington transistor. The output is showing only 13.75 V...
Can any one explain ?
pyrohaz (author)  anvit4 years ago
One of the problems with simulating this circuit is the fact that it uses a transistors "negative resistance" region, hence why the transistor is connected backwards. Its this function that allows it to oscillate and I just dont think that simulators can simulate this function (as far as I know; if your simulator features a UJT, you could try a ujt relaxation oscillator or something in place of the transistor for simulation purposes)
mysteriouz4 years ago
i have tested the circuit or do the simulation in multisim (software), but it didn't work! i made sure that all the connections were properly connected. when i connect the oscilloscope to the output (that is the positive of the oscilloscope to the diode's cathode or to the capacitor then the negative one with respect to ground), the voltage reading is just 12 V straight line w/c is only the input. i need help on how to produce or make see the desired output by this method!
1-40 of 55Next »