Introduction: The Mini Electrostatic Generator

Picture of The Mini Electrostatic Generator

here ist an instructable on how to make a small electrostatic generator.

Step 1: Wath You Will Need

Picture of Wath You Will Need

you will need:
A 9v battery
1x NE555 (Timer IC)
1x 10k pot(you can yous any 10K pot)
1x 15k
1x 47nf(MKS is a good one)
1x 1nf(MKS)
1x BD241 or BD242(or any similar N transistor)
1x audio transformer 1:10 - 1:100 or small hv transformer
14x 1nf-47nf 1-2kv
14x 1N4007
Here you see the diodes, capacitors, 9V battery and the HV transformer.

Step 2: Solder

Picture of Solder

Solder everything together and then solder a cable to GND, and a cable to the negative hv.
Construct all nice and handy in a plastic box.

Step 3: How to Yous It

Ok now the fun can begin. The first thing you can do is to load objects not too big and not too small electrostatic.

GND should touch your body, now touch the object with the HV cable. The object is now negative loaded. when you now touch the object, you will get shocked.

The other things you can do, is to load yourself negative up. If you now touch someone, the person will get shocked.
Put the GND cable under your shoe, glue a piece of foil under your shoe so you have better connection to the ground. The HV cable should touch your body.
Now you are ready to shock your frends with your finger.

For questions visit


admin (author)2009-02-24

This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!

kalana45 (author)2015-07-24

I am a university student.please help me.I want create static electricity in PVC pipe how to this create.I want help from you .thanks

RufioD (author)2015-04-24

Question. Is there a way to ... connect this to a duster to make sure the duster would be constantly charged and collect more dust? I'm a janitor btw, the "static dusters" just aren't high powered enough and really just poop out after u use them enough, I was thinking a battery powered static duster would be awesome.

takyatane (author)2013-10-22

Hello! :)

1nf capacitor will be charged more quickly than a 47nf capacitor right?

so what's the better way? i think that with 1nf we will have a high frequency when sparks discharge, and with 47nf we will have some powerfull spark gap?

is that right or wrong? thank you if reply

ps: i'm french so sorry for the bad quality of my english ;p

amandaparkes (author)2013-08-20

Any one have a part specific recommendation for the audio or HV transformer? Perhaps from or mouser. the spec of 1:10-100 isn't enough to go on. thanks.

jatenelef (author)2012-09-01

Hi there, excellent cct. and just for the fun, the diode capacitor circuit is a tripler ladder and this reduces the current but whacks up the voltage and if you add a few more, you will get what is known as St Elmo,s fire with the lights off in a dark room, as the voltage will be high enough to radiate off the output and behave somewhat like lightening..(used to be seen on spitfire props in thunderous weather. sadly that shows my age..)
If i may, the component count could be greatly reduced by replacing the 555 with a transistor and using a "Blocking Oscillator " circuit. and the same audio transformer, followed by the transformer used in flash bulb triggers circuits in throw away cameras..
As always take care whom you play with though, pacemakers don't take kindly to high voltage pulses and remember that ladies have lower resistance due to water nearer the surface of the skin, you might just get yourself a healthy slap ... have fun, and ill put up a "blocking Oscillator cct later
very best regards.. G8NLF..

oliverkellow (author)jatenelef2012-12-19

I would be VERY interested in this!!!!! I have recovered 30 of these flashbulb circuits recently.

Wouldn't the alternating current mess with the recharge time of the giant capacitor, or do you cut that out of the circuit and feed it directly to the transfromer?

Any chance of getting a back-of-the-napkin sketch if you don't plan to Instructable it, i can even offer to clean it up as a tutorial if i get it working!

oliverkellow (author)2012-09-11

For baffled visitors,
connect NE555 pins 2 and 6 (not shown in diagram).

Also, to test put a speaker across where the secondary pins are on the transformer.
You need a solid sound that can be adjusted with the pot.

Dreistein (author)2012-05-01

whats this thing actually called?

MrMGN (author)2012-01-08

Hi! I'm going to need some help from more technically minded friends to build this, but it looks worth the effort! How powerful is the spark? Essentially I want to recreate an old 17th Century conjuring trick, in which the entertainer would charge himself up using an early electrostatic generator and then put his finger close to a glass cognac the spark would jump from his finger and light the drink, much to the amusement of the audience.

Of course static electricity isn't the amazing thing it once was so for this to work as a good bar trick I need to be able to charge myself up (or create a high voltage current to pass through my body and leap from my finger) as subtly as possible, is this the device for the job? Or would it be just as effective to shock one hand in my pocket with a piezo generator from a lighter and the spark jump from the other finger? Thanks!

coilsinamotor (author)2010-11-18

this is soo cool could u tech us how to make the hv transformer?

funky alex (author)coilsinamotor2010-11-18

Go to and I will help you :)

turner_chris1 (author)2010-08-04

I would describe this as high voltage - not electrostatic

yann245 (author)2010-05-18

 Hi, i just have a question. What kind of resistor do you use for R3 and how do you connect it? And what is his function?

333333 (author)2010-03-23

sir i was making a small  electrostatic motor, for which i need a HVDC, will this circuit will work for it...........

Articas (author)2010-03-20

will it kill me i mean srsly dying is bad for you

the_dude09 (author)2009-04-29

are we even supposed to know what all this "BD42 I1k j l0" stuff is!?

Yes. If you don't know then this project is probably not the best project for you to be starting with.  

mikemmcmeans (author)the_dude092009-09-21


toddjwood (author)2010-02-28

Has anyone else noticed that this isn't really an electrostatic generator, it is an AC to DC Voltage multiplier circuit.  Sorry, don't mean to be too technical, it is still a cool project. Great work, have fun and be safe.

shamsherr (author)2009-11-19

has anyone tried this out? does it work? considering the absence of some of the parts in the parts list that are in the schematics, and the fact that the other website mentioned here (ultra voltage) has one or 2 parts that are different (47nF here and 45nF there) i dont know if its complete or even if it works, also somebody tried to make it on the other website using the instructions and his didnt work. ill still try to make it but im a bit busy these days so its gonna take some time, in the meanwhile if anybody gives it a shot please let me know if it really works or not.

farlepet (author)2009-10-31

nice, does it work?

bishal (author)2009-05-10

what is 1nf-47nf 1-2kv capacitor. and could u tell me about the hv transformer and its any alternation?

mikemmcmeans (author)bishal2009-09-21

any capacitor 1nanoFarad to 47nF
with a voltage rating of 1000 - 2000 volts


funky alex (author)bishal2009-05-10

you can yous a 1:10-100 audiotransformer

daniel930 (author)2009-07-02

is there any way you could take a picture of the finished assembly with out its enclosure so that we can how exactly it is supposed to look. Thanks.

daniel930 (author)2009-07-02

Hey on the schematis it shows a 470 Resistor (R1) in line with pin 3. Do we need this or is it something else? Also what are the resistors R4,R5,R6 for that is not in the build of materials. Also what is you recommended transformer you are using?

skicker68 (author)2009-06-22

hey guys, go to and type in the part (like bd241 or whatever) you want to look up and it will give the full specs in pdf format. you can even download the data sheets. it's a great reference site. spread this to any people you know having trouble. it was my bible when i first got in to electronics. good luck everyone

bishal (author)2009-06-03

what is 1nf-47nf 1-2kv capacitor? any ratings would be helpful.

bishal (author)2009-05-11

and 1nf-47nf 1-2kv capacitor ???

stefannasehi (author)2009-03-24

what is "15k"?

12V (author)stefannasehi2009-04-03

15,000 ohms.

spencer210683 (author)2009-03-30

please could you tell me more about the transformer i carnt find any at maplin that state the windings only impedance and is it a ac/dc one or just a dc transformer thanks

funky alex (author)2009-03-24

its 15kilo ohm or 15000 ohm

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