Instructables
Do you want a simple $3 solution to make a 20-30 kv power supply for your electronics? Well here you go:

I modified the photos from powerlabs.org so that it would work with a modern dc flyback transformer thats found in most modern tvs.

I am not responsible for any damages or harm that result from following these instructions.


BY ALEX MCCOWN


 
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Step 1: Prepair the parts you need

You will need:

  • Soldering iron (15/30 watt)
  • Duct tape
  • Thick(ish) wire
  • (20~24) Gauge magnet wire (or copper radioshack wire)
  • NPN 2N3055-type Transistor (radio shack part # 276-2041)
  • 27 ohm 1 watt resistor (5watt if use with 300amp battery)
  • 240 ohm 1 watt resistor (5watt if use with 300amp battery)
  • Heatsink for transistor (the bigger the longer the use)
  • Switch
  • Box to put it in
  • 12-24 volt power supply (i have tested it on a 12v 1amp wall transformer and it works fine and a 300a lawn and garden battery)

Q and A

Were can I find that type of flyback transformer?

Well, in a dumpster if you can find an old CCD TV or monitor (the types that aren't thin) crack one open (don't actually crack it open use a screw driver please :-) ) and pull it out

Were can I find 20-24 gauge mag wire?

I took mine out on an old amplified fm antenna but other sources are good and it doesn't have to be mag wire; it can be soled copper wire too.

Were can I find a switch?

In one the things you took apart to get the flyback or the mag wire if you still cant find one try radioshack

Were can I find the power supply?

In your basement car closet junk pile you name it (please put a volt meter on it to test voltages)
also you can use a 300 amp lawn and garden battery from lowes or were ever.

Were can I find you?

Email johndear101@gmail.com. I will be more than happy to answer your questions
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I liked this project. Will build it. Thanks Alex, and keep up the good work.

I liked this project. Will build it. Thanks Alex, and keep up the good work.

I liked this project. Will build it. Thanks Alex, and keep up the good work.

jomz4517 days ago

what if i put a 12 volts ac supply?

Alex1M63 years ago

Here are my results with this circuit.



Also I recommend using a fast diode in reverse bias across the transistor collector and emitter in order to protect it from back EMF spikes. The transistor will not last very long without it in my experience.
sarvesh7 Alex1M63 months ago

thats really awsome

Great tutorial. However, I would really appreciate if anyone could tell me why I couldn't get any sparks at all, something seems to not work despite me following exactly the instructions... MY flyback is as well of the same type as yours , my psu is 0-12v 2A but I get absolutely nothing.. ?
Flybacks have an internal diode. switch your wires around. try again
it worked i probily built 5 of these because it wouldn't work with my 9 volt battery and i thought something was wrong but thanks
it worked i probily built 5 of these because it wouldn't work with my 9 volt battery and i thought something was wrong but thanks
far.peter4 years ago
can you use another transistor instead of the 2n3055?

Yes. Pretty much any power transistor will work. It doesn't even have to be NPN. However, the 2n3055 will eventually fail due to the HV fed back through the primary windings. If  you can salvage the driver transistor from the television, it will work great because it is designed to withstand the HV.

If you add a flyback diode to the transistor could you prolong its life? I'm assuming the damage is caused by reluctance of the inductive load. Do you know if this is the case?
thanks
which transistor do i use because there are different kind on it
Anuradhai4i2 years ago
Working fine and already made nearly 1 Inch long Arc with this. Pretty good stuff. I was just messing around with a 2N3055 and didn't even use the resistor values you have specified. And I just used 10 T for the primary and 4 T for the FB windings. And very impressively this works perfect. I will make this again in a proper manner by tomorrow and will see how long will be the Spark is?
wii5523 years ago
you can't "discharge" a transformer...only capacitors.
Capacitors are not the only components which exhibit capacitance; even (long) lengths of wire can have some measurable capacitance. capicitors are like resisters in that they are not the only ones with the property (capacitance/resistance) but a usefull cause that is their dominant property.

When dealing with high voltages it always pays to be safer rather than sorry.
Agreed.
the innerds of a flyback contein a filter capacitor that hols quite a shock-the transformer itself hold no actual charge.
well in a way these transformers will hold a jolt for quite a while that can shock the poop out of you.

first hand experience
Yes I agree with you, they do hold a charge for quite awhile. When I am working with my flyback power supply after using it if I am doing any work on it I short the leads out and everytime there is a noticeable discharge upon doing so. I would imagine it is static electricity
asteidl wii5523 years ago
If you think you don't need to discharge the stored energy in that transformer, you're gonna get knocked on your tail end if you play with the the HV+ line. If you don't believe it, find a TV along the side of the road, then use a chicken stick that's connected to ground (literally, the earth), and watch and listen as you poke the chicken stick under the red protective cap where the HV line connects to the tube. You'll hear a pop, and see a small arc. Unless you want to get zapped, do discharge the flyback.
i tried this circuit and used 220 ohm and 22 ohm resistors and ran it off of 9v battery but it just seems like its shorting out the battery.

this was unsuccessful for me!
nms222 years ago
I have made this circuit successfully and am running it off 12 V at 1.7 amps. I have a fairly large heat sink on the transistor, but it is still "frying". Is this because of it receiving an EMF pulse, or is the current simply too strong for it? Also, does anyone know the temperature limits of the transistor used?
I want to build a potato cannon ignition system. Will this circuit work with 7.8 volts, and will adding high voltage capacitors in parallel with the secondary ruin the transistor?
It should work with 7.8 volts, but you'll get a better spark with 12 volts. And why are you adding the high voltage capacitors?
aclark172 years ago
I made a similar circuit from a different instructable. The relevance is my power supply. I converted an old PC power supply into a lab power supply, they're easy to find, just pick up and old computer somewhere and take out the PSU, then you open it up, clip some wires, splice some other wires, add a load resistor and some of those audio connectors to connect your circuit wires and you're good to go. Gives you +12v, -12v, +5v, +3.3v, amps can go up to maybe 25A, they vary on each output, but they usually have labels that tell you what color has what Voltage and Amperage. Use that instead of a 300A battery :)
codex6535 years ago
dude is there any way to limit the current on the output cause this circuit really sucks since it destroys the flyback easy. i'm not bashing you or anything, i'm just saying that the circuit has its problems.
Can you suggest a different circuit that will not destroy the flyback?  I only have one flyback and I dont want to destroy it.  What is it about this circuit that will destroy the transformer?
 it can damage internal wiring, try reading www.electronics-lab.com/projects/misc/016/
it said "file not found"
Try here: http://www.electronics-lab.com/projects/misc/001/index.html
That worked, thanks.
amendoza122 years ago
The tv along the side of the road has all the parts in the box. The flyback transformer is connected to the biggest capacitor in the tv. The CRT. What you are discharging is the capacitor not the transformer.
techno guy3 years ago
I tried winding a flyback like you said but the core is too close to this box thing on the flyback and I cant wind it so maybe you can tell me how to make it easier.
you could just get thinner wire, or you may have to find a different flyback if the core is to close to the "box thing" (i wonder what the box thing is called
You can use a round ferrite core with 2 windings, 1 in series with flyback primary. Or a transformator with 2 windings, just the same. =)

i use that on mine, and it works great.
mengstrom3 years ago
what is another kind of power source i can use?
Hey everyone,

Earlier today I pulled a flyback transformer from an old CRT tv that's been sitting in my garage. Ive been really wanting to make a driver for this transformer and eventually turn it into a Jacob's Ladder, however I have been having some trouble understanding all this technical jargon. I have a real passion for anything electrical and instead of just hooking a to b and ending up with the ladder, I would really like to understand everything that's going on in there. So my real reason for posting is that I'm looking for a very patient someone that will, via email, explain what's happening in these circuits so I really understand what's going on. If you are patient and willing enough to help me reach my eventual goal of a Jacob's Ladder, please send me an email at turnbull.angus@gmail.com.

Thank you all so much in advance!!!
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