Introduction: Portable Lightning

Picture of Portable Lightning

this is a device i build.
the foto's are bad my camera isn't that great.
my gramar can be bad (i am from holland)
but this is the first device that uses the flash of a camera to make lightning

Step 1: Get Your Tools and Materials

Picture of Get Your Tools and Materials
get stuf to work whit.
  • soldering iron (cold heat works great)
  • tool set (or lose screw drivers and that sort of stuf)
  • soldering led
  • camera flashes
  • an accu (9 V battery wil also work)
  • wires
  • krokedile wires
  • an old transformator
  • an relay one that haves a contact that is always on.

Step 2: Open the Relay

Picture of Open the Relay

this is the top of my relay

as you can see i had to adjust it to handle 9 volts
warning dont overdo the next step.
if your relay is for a higher voltage just stretch the spring what is inside.

Step 3: Opening the Transformater

Picture of Opening the Transformater

this is in the most cases verry simple
unscrew the srews and than lift the big blok of wires and metal see picture.

Step 4: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

i have made a scematic on my work if you want use it.
my scematic isnt corect becaus i mesed up one contackt whit the flashes.
the weir 3 conectet things in the botten is a camera flash
and the weird thing whit some switches and coildata is the relay
the 2 coils is the transformator

1. conect the other end of the coil to a switch
2. conect one end of the coil and to the other end of the switch see picture
3. do a test run if the relay is making a buzzing noise than youre oke
4. put wires to the transformater "primary coil" warning this is the part were the sparks wile come out.
5. put wires in the relay so it wil be turned on and off when it is on
6. put 2 wires together one to the coil and the other to the wire out step 5 and conect it to the battery.
7. put the other wire out of step 5 on a contact to the transformator "secondairi coil"
8. put a wire betwean the oteer conection of the transformator and the relay coil (not the wire to the battery
9. put one wire to the wire out of step 8 and the battery dont conect it
you can get a non deadly shock out of the primary coil

Step 5: Let the Flash Spark

Picture of Let the Flash Spark

there are 4 ways to conect a flash light
but you can do 6 things whit my device.

if you connect the outer ends of the flash you get a wireling spark.

if you connect the middele end and a end far away from that you get a blue light.

but if you conect the last wire to the tube itself the spark wil be wirling.

if you conect the middele end to and the end closest to it together at one end of the transformer and the other end of the tube to the other end of the transformater you get a spark that is strait.

you can make sparkt whit is around 2 mm.

you can power smal devices whit it.
this device makes around 100-200 volts ac.


kshakkor (author)2013-09-14

damn your camra realy sucks man!

robot797 (author)2011-01-12

wrong circut
pleas ignor this one

codex653 (author)2009-07-04

this a flash tube right? u have to be getting more than 200-300 volts to light this thing. it takes thousands of volts! here's another way to get these to light: try charging up a capacitor like the photoflash one that came with the camera that you got the xexon tube from. discharge the flash through the secondary of the transformer and you'll get a heck of alot more voltage!

kk khrab (author)codex6532010-06-17


could you please draw a diagram and please sent it to me i am trying to make a ruby laser. thank you.:)

robot797 (author)codex6532009-07-24

this makes a continius stream of power to the flash so it does not stop with the lightning. this is for show and it is abendomed (see portable lightning 2) XD

FunkNattidelic (author)2008-02-03

that makes much more sense than the one put in the instructable. Was the one in the instructable drawn with a sharpie on a napkin or something? t is soo hard to read!

Plasmana (author)FunkNattidelic2008-09-16

Yeah, he used sharpie and written on a paper with words already printed on it, it is very confusing!

robot797 (author)Plasmana2009-12-04

i will post a new 1

robot797 (author)Plasmana2008-09-16

sorry guys i abandemed this project. pleas look at my other project that is better then this 1. (and the drawing here is wrong)

Plasmana (author)robot7972008-09-16


mikemmcmeans (author)2007-08-01

can you draw a cleaner schematic i'm having trouble reading it
sweet idea though

add this to my group
electric shock

robot797 (author)mikemmcmeans2009-12-04

i did aboandom it but i will redraw the scematic

RPisces (author)2007-07-22

This instructable looks very interesting, and I would like to try it, but it is very hard to understand :(. Could someone maybe clarify for me??

robot797 (author)RPisces2009-12-04

how can i help

mspearin (author)2009-07-28

You need to take better pic. with your camra or find a other one i can tell what i am looking at!!!!

robot797 (author)mspearin2009-07-28

i abandomed this project. i cant rebuild it and i made a new portable lightning 2 sorry.

mspearin (author)robot7972009-07-28

Sorry i didnt know

robot797 (author)mspearin2009-07-28

no worries. all is good XD

honsoworld-bro (author)2009-05-22

cold heat works great til the tips break and they cost like $20

robot797 (author)honsoworld-bro2009-05-23

i hate the coldheat now... i has a profesional tempature controled and adjustable station... i has to solder to much to have the coldheat.

ReCreate (author)2009-02-25

For taking close-up pictures,sometimes your camera might have a little button with a flower on it,press that if you have not yet tried it. Then the pictures should look better.

ReCreate (author)ReCreate2009-02-25

And yeah,i have seen worse pictures

robot797 (author)2008-10-07

have you already seen my portable lightning take 2 i have an older cam with more pictures that are good. and a pair that are bad.

AlexTheGreat (author)2007-07-16

I have done something similar. Heh, transformater, sounds like something I might actually have said.

robot797 (author)AlexTheGreat2007-07-17

did i anounce it wrong

AlexTheGreat (author)robot7972007-07-17

it's a transformer

robot797 (author)AlexTheGreat2007-07-18

are they not the ones out the transformers the movie i like optimus prime (megatron is also nice)

DrCoolSanta (author)robot7972008-08-27

lol? I doubt anyone ever thought about the relation.

evanwehrer (author)DrCoolSanta2008-09-30

I did

robot797 (author)evanwehrer2008-09-30

woot my bad english made a joke

junits15 (author)2008-09-18

does that cold heat soldering iron actully work?

robot797 (author)junits152008-09-18

yes it does but it isnt that good. it is for small things only

junits15 (author)robot7972008-09-18

oh cuz i wuz thinkin about gettin one to replace my crap iron that i have now

robot797 (author)junits152008-09-18

you could get a soldering station they are good. on school i work all day with it. (the ones that has a replaceble tip)

disturbedreaper (author)robot7972008-09-29

i really dont like the cold heat the tip breaks to easy and its hard to get it to melt the solder when working on a small terminal or somthing but i geuss its good for a quik repair

robot797 (author)disturbedreaper2008-09-29

i totaly agree wit you on this 1 i lost mine so i use a normal soldering iron instead now

robot797 (author)2008-09-11

people sorry for the slow reply's i was buzzy look at my 2nd try

mattccc (author)2008-02-16

yu canpost this schamatic

girrrrrrr2 (author)2007-07-27

woot woot coldheat... never forget to puch in the tip all the way... i had a fully functal one till a month ago... i forget to push the tip in all of the way... now it is a pile of plastic and wires... and so on...

halomaster007 (author)girrrrrrr22008-01-05


robot797 (author)2007-12-21

as soon as my scanner is working again i will post one

crazEgamer201 (author)2007-12-21

Sorry I misread something in the diagram. Any chance you could make a clearer one?

robot797 (author)2007-12-20

there is'nt any diode in this circuit also i lost the parts so it would be divicould to make new pictures

crazEgamer201 (author)2007-12-20

If you were to bypass the diode in the circuit (all of them that I've encountered have 'em) would it make a difference?

robot797 (author)2007-11-29

sorry I didn't reply so fast first I don't know the brand of me tool box I bought it in the aldi second I could make new photos if I had the parts so I will look for it sometime

PoisonedV (author)2007-10-31

Hey, that is a really nice toolset, what brand is it?

robot797 (author)2007-08-20

tank you for the 2 thumbs up and if you get the frequence of the relai right than you can power smal 220 volt devices

the commentor (author)2007-08-20

Portable lightning? I'm no critic, but two thumbs up!

girrrrrrr2 (author)2007-07-27

japanise??? or other foregin transformer???

About This Instructable




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