Introduction: Shock Box

Picture of Shock Box

this is a little toy that delivers a mild shock at the touch of a button
if used as directed this project will give a non-lethal shock that's kind of fun

this project will never need to be plugged into mains voltage
i am never responsible for anything you do

i actually stumbled across this concept via painful accident
i applied power to a transformer then when i turned the power off it shocked me
i tried it ten more times and figured out what what was happening
power was being transformed and then stored in the inductance of the transformer then being released as a shock
(somebody correct me if i'm wrong or they find something smarter)
(knowledge is power)

Step 1: Matreials and Tools

Picture of Matreials and Tools

-standard screwdriver
-wire cutters
-soldiering iron

-9V battery snap
-alligator clips
-ac/dc transformer
-clickey switch
-2ft light grade wire

the transformer needs to be at least 5V and 300ma. just nothing wimpy.
a 9V battery is preferred but you shouldn't use anything stronger or you could hurt yourself.
you can use the battery clip or the alligator clips, either is fine.

Step 2: Open the Transformer

Picture of Open the Transformer

i used a grinder to go around the edge of the the transformer
the grinder will shoot hot molten plastic at you so use safety glasses
you can use a screwdriver or a knife but it will take longer
try not to completely destroy the case or the insides
cut the transformer away from the circuits and try to keep the wires long

discard the circuitry or keep it but you wont need it for this project
keep the case to put the transformer back into
pull out the ac power prongs and save them for later use

Step 3: Cutting the Transformer

Picture of Cutting the Transformer

find the ground wires on the secondary coil and cut the rest off

if your transformer has three wires(most do) use the first and second wire but cut the third off
(the third and first are interchangeable but only use one of them not both)

be sure you're working on the secondary coil
cut off the primary coil wires because you don't need them

the secondary(output) coil has fewer wraps thicker wire
the primary(input) coil has more wraps of thinner wire

Step 4: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

cut a the following lengths of wire
double strand:
-8 in
single strand:

strip all the wires 3/4 of an inch on all ends

connect all the wires according to the diagram
you can solder the connections but it's not necessary

Step 5: Conection

Picture of Conection

connect the two leftover wires to the transformer leads
apply electrical tape to all of the stripped ends
cut a hole in the case and slip the wires and the switch through the hole

i melted the switch to the case with my soldiering iron but you can attach it however you like

Step 6: Closing and Usage

Picture of Closing and Usage

melt the back of the case to the front piece with a soldiering iron
you could just wrap the entire thing in duct tape


connect the battery to the clips
it doesn't matter if its backwards because were working with non-polar electricity
i completely made that up but it doesn't matter +/-

take the shock terminals in your pointer middle and thumb fingers
but make sure they don't short out or you wont get any shock

press the switch for half a second and when you let go it will shock your fingers

the harder you squeeze your fingers the more shock you get
you can press the switch rapidly on and off to get a rapid and slightly painful shock

you can also try a trick with your friends
make a circle of friends as many as you can get
the first friend and the last in the circle each grab one shock terminal
and you click the button
all of your friends will scream and you'll just laugh at them

lol lol lol


Intrepidelder (author)2012-02-16

It seems apparent that you don't respond to your comments or questions, but I will pose mine instead. Why do you use the transformer at all? what is its purpose in your design? you don't use its induciton ability due to the DC input and you disregaurd the primary inputs. it seems to me that you just use it as a capicitor of a sort.

FreekO1 (author)Intrepidelder2015-11-20

He uses the transformer as a step up transformer to increase the voltage. A capacitor alone will not work since it doesn't change the voltage.

Ploopy (author)2013-07-01

Is this one OK?

dillonxti (author)Ploopy2014-04-26

no it will not work this is a ferrite transformer it will be weakly wound

Ploopy (author)2013-06-30


Ploopy (author)2013-06-30

I just opened a AC/DC adapter but there's a this really small transformer with 6 pins 2 on one side and 4 on the other side, which ones should I cut?

Ploopy (author)2013-06-30

Could you use a capacitor?

wqwdpxd (author)2011-06-03

it works! Thanks, its realyusefull instructables

rkadam (author)2011-05-27

how many volt transformer we need for this project

Adam Manick (author)2010-11-06

Why did you take apart a nice variable transformer?

MadScientist101 (author)2010-11-04

what sort of battery would you recomend?

dragonsniper (author)2010-07-01

how bad does this hurt when you touch it?

Plasmana (author)2008-06-03

That is a great instructable! I had built is shocker as soon after I read your instructable, and went outside and started shocking all of my friends and they all had scream after they got shocked by my shocker! Lol!! What a great toy! Thank you for that great instructable!

mikemmcmeans (author)Plasmana2008-06-03

i once used 3 9V batteries. holy something. i got this kids funny bone and his arm completely started spazing. this is not really recommended. and its not really recommended to use is at school. teachers are scared of lightening or anything that hurts

Plasmana (author)mikemmcmeans2008-06-04

I used a 9v battery on a alarm clock transformer, it did not hurt that much, but I tried using a bigger transformer, it hurts even more! (Ouch!!) So I think the size of the transformer does matter, the bigger the transformer you use, the more painful the shock will be... And also I NEVER used the shocker at the school because I think the shocker is considered as a weapon, (like a stun gun) so I don't take it to the school because I don't want to get in trouble.

dlcoates1 (author)Plasmana2010-05-23

hey plamana, besides the ones you posted up, do you know any other ways to make a shocker? like... on a solderless breadboard? so its a little easier for people who cant really solder as good as you. people like me

ReCreate (author)Plasmana2008-12-19

self defense..ya know schools

mettaurlover (author)2008-04-29

Power is also power, too, you know. use a car battery if you're suicidal... or murderous and make a tazer with the thing...

ReCreate (author)mettaurlover2009-11-22

i tried something about half the current of a car battery, And the coil overheated and shorted itself...

mikemmcmeans (author)ReCreate2009-11-28

at room temperature car batteries can put out nearly 1000Amps. half of that is 500ish. that should make your coil explode.

try to keep the current under 500mA
most AC adaptors only draw about 300 - 1000mA

a shorted 9v will put out 1-3Amps

ReCreate (author)mikemmcmeans2009-11-28

Thanks Captain(obvious)

this is not the circuitry to make a tazer btw. this thing will never spark. a car battery is still 12 volts i tried this with my other power supply but a car battery has more amps lots more it would really hurt unless you want to get electricly burned or not feel your finger forever DONT DO THAT! ive been electricly burned before by high voltage (50K+) before it leaves nasty black marks that hurt worse than fire and i lost a little feeling in that thumb on the tip. mucho frowny face :(

i did to but it was all static so no amps no burns nothing but it did feel like i got punched in the chest where did you find that soucre a transformer for like some super neon light

neon signs old scanners florescent camping lamps bug zappers CRT monitors pretty much anything that uses florscent bulbs/tubes, or emits come kind of static shock when touched

comodore (author)2008-02-17

Are you 100% sure I won't die?

ReCreate (author)comodore2009-11-22

Sure, About 99%, Even sticking a 9V battery in your brain could be lethal

mikemmcmeans (author)comodore2008-02-23

im 98% sure you will not die that other 2% is for you doing something really stupid like... miswire and get mains voltage... attach 2 prongs and stick them in opposite sides of your heart my point is only use your hands and dont try anything STUPID

mrknight410 (author)2009-06-29

cool project man .

Wargasm (author)2009-06-10

One interesting thing someone could do is find a 120vac to 24vac or 120vac to 12vac transformer, with a center tap on the secondary side, and drive it with a multivibrator. If you use a 24vac transformer, use a 12vdc source. If it is a 12vdc transformer, use a 6vdc source. This would produce a continuous 120AC voltage @50/60Hz on the output meaning as long as you hold the device to someone, it will shock them until you or they move it. Just make sure the transformer is very current limited. If the transformer is a 220v to 24vac (or 12vac) then with the appropriate supply voltage, you will have 220v on the output. It would basically be an inverter, but you could use it in the same manner as the above device. And as always, with higher voltages, there is always danger so be careful!

Wargasm (author)2009-06-10

I saw this somewhere else and thought... "How did someone make this find?" I mean, what would compelle a person to destroy an ac adapter or another AC Mains operated device just to connect a battery to it's power transformer assuming it will work much the same in reverse providing a steady 120VAC using a 9 volt battery. It is basically acting much like a flyback transformer used in CRT monitors of television sets. When a dc voltage is applied to the secondary (in this case, it becomes the primary), it causes an inductive charge in the secondary. When the DC on the primary is released, the charge stored in the secondary is released in the form of AC voltage. I'm still a little new to this area of electricity, so someone can correct me if I am wrong.

king of shaws (author)2009-01-21

is this safe for a twelve year old?

ReCreate (author)king of shaws2009-04-02

of course,it probably even safe for a fly too

if he doesnt do anything stupid, probably not. read the other coments first

mannys9130 (author)2008-06-06

um, I have a correction. I did this also. I took a wall socket transformer and soldered on a 9v battery clip onto the output. when you touch the two terminal that go into the wall and disconnect the battery it shocks you. this is due to high voltage inductance. coils don't like to be turned off, so they produce a spark when you shut them and induct electricty, in this case high voltage electricy. that is what penetrates your skin and overcomes your skin resistance. this is a well known fact of electrical induction, especially with coils.

mikemmcmeans (author)mannys91302008-06-07

yeah i think thats what Las vegasLas vegas said

Billy mahony (author)2008-05-09

I Just found a transformer that weighs 4 kilos, it HURTS !!!!!! Does the size make a difference?, nice instructable

Spedy (author)Billy mahony2008-06-05

Well, if its bigger it means it has more windings. It will have more "kick" due to the increased number of turns.

size doesnt matter that much just the number of coils and the resistance of the coil

blip91 (author)2008-02-25

When you apply a do voltage to a coil you are createing a magnetic field,when you remove the voltage the field collapses angreayltly muliplies the voltage.Thats the way an automobile coil works.

moomoocows (author)2007-11-12

Alright I made this and then attached it to some long metal poles and got some distance shocking but that's beside the point. If I were to link two transformers would that get a bigger shock?

halomaster007 (author)moomoocows2008-01-05

no, I don't think so.

ortho (author)2007-10-22

that's a cool project i have a schematic for a step up trans that will provide 220 v pulses from a 9 v

mgy93 (author)2007-08-06

hi me again i was wondering if there was a circuit i could build to automatically pulse the dc current instead of having to press and release a switch. I tried using a 555 timer circuit originally designed to switch on and off an LED but tried hooking up an electromagnetic relay... didn't work

mikemmcmeans (author)mgy932007-08-14

the two prongs are always connected to their respective primary coil terminals the switch only disconnects/connects the battery

megasega1258 (author)2007-10-05

That only happens beacause there may be a high voltage capacitor inside it or maybe it acts as an ignition coil check its diagram

mgy93 (author)2007-08-19

i have two questions: 1. first would it be bad if i used a transformer that was for model trains that put out 16v dc? 2. i know this sounds dumb but, what would hurt more 5v or 16v?

Spedy (author)mgy932007-10-01

It would hurt more if you used a 5v xformer, as the winding ratio is higher.

Spedy (author)2007-09-30

I just built one of these. Great fun! Oh yeah, you actually want LOWER VOLTAGE output. That way the primary:secondary turn ratio is higher, making a bigger zap when used in reverse. Here's a fun thing to try: Put the output leads on opposite sides of a glass bowl filled with water. Put your hand in the water inbetween the leads, and turn it on! Happy Zapping!

mmzdaniel (author)2007-08-05

you have a twisted mind! AND I LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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