Easy High Voltage Fly Swatter Mod

Introduction: Easy High Voltage Fly Swatter Mod

About: I'm currently a graduate student in chemistry. I like diy solutions, mainly in the field of plants and electronics (especially LEDs).

Caution - High voltage. Keep away from children and pets. I am not responsible for any form of harm done to yourself or others.

So, having said that, I always wanted to adapt a fly swatter to something more serious. Standard electric fly swatters handle what I think to be about 600 to 1000V, this modification would be in the region of 20.000V. Next to that it doesn't require hardcore technical stuff. I wanted to make a cockroft walton generator (which I think is in this module), but that was more expensive and a lot more work. So here is an easy mod by using a cheap ebay component.

Step 1: Parts

  • The main part I used was a high voltage generator from ebay. With the following stated properties:

    Input voltage: DC 3 V to 6 V Input current: 2 A - 5 A High pressure type: the type of pulse current Output voltage: 400000 v(Please pay attention to safety) High pressure discharge distance between: 10 mm - 20 mm


    Although they state 400.000 V, this is probably not true. The maximum discharge distance is indeed about 20mm, so that would correspond to roughly 20.000 V, or lets say 10 to 30 kV. Still quite high though. Also they state not to operate it constantly for a long time since it might overheat.
  • So as an input you could use the standard 2x AA in series or a single 14550 Li-Ion battery (ranges between 3 to 4.2 V, can handle a few amps) and a battery spacer such as some tin foil wrapped with tape. Input stated is 3 to 6 V, but I did also try two lithium cells in series (ranges from 6 to 8.4V) in it, resulting in a much higher discharge frequency. However I would not advice doing this since it might fry the components.
  • Heat shrink tubing or something similar.
  • Solder for a neat job, or twist wires together for quick and dirty.
  • Tools such as soldering iron, pliers.
  • Fly swatter

Step 2: Strip Insides

First of all take out the batteries. Although I didn't do this for some reason, it would have been very smart to do that beforehand.

Next cut all the wires to the old circuitry. Note that you will need a switch, so if possible leave that in place (mine had that option). Next make sure your high voltage generator fits. I had to remove some plastic with wire cutters which was quite easy. Unfortunately no pictures of that. Next put it in.

Step 3: Solder Connections and Insulate

Solder the wires to eachother in a straight line. Make sure to put the heatshrink tubing around the wire before soldering. I used a double layer to be sure it insulated properly, high voltage needs good insulation.

Which wires should go where can be found in the discription from where you buy your generator. With mine the red was +, the green was - and the two translucent red wires were the high voltage wires (polarity doesn't matter). So I soldered the red wire to the positive terminal of the battery, the green wire to one of the terminals of the switch and an extra wire (taken from the original circuitry) from the negative battery terminal to the other switch terminal. These do not necessarily require insulation if they can't move, if they can insulate them.

On the high voltage side the translucent wires should be soldered to the screen. In my case there are 3 screens of which the middle screen has the opposite polarity of the outer two. Therefore the 2 yellow wires (outer screens) need to be soldered to one of the high voltage wires and the red (inner screen) to the other high voltage wire.

Step 4: Put It All Back Together

Put the wires in a place where they might fit and screw it all back together. Insert batteries, apply warning sticker and have fun! Make sure not to zap persons. I don't think the amps are high enough to kill someone but hey better not try.The weird smell you get when you use it for some time is actually ozone being formed by passing the high voltage arc through the air.

Questions? Feel free to comment or send me a message in either Dutch or English.

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42 Comments

0
polycarbonateplanet
polycarbonateplanet

21 days ago

Hey thanks for the guide. I just made one today following your instructions and it runs on AA batteries.
How did you manage to get it to spark all around the frame though? My racket only arcs at one place at a time, depending on where I adjust the distance between the layers. If I close the distance at one point, it only arcs there, ignoring the rest of the racket. For the full "firecracker" effect, would I need more powerful batteries?

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 21 days ago

Nice, lovely to see this old instructable is still useful to the world. I just removed the 2x li ion batteries from mine and put 2x AA in it to check, and it somehow does spark everywhere, but about 50% of the time it is the same spot. All in all I don't really see a specific location difference between the 3V 2xAA and 7.4V 2x 14500 setup, only spark frequency. I did not change anything to the grid, so I am not sure why yours does this and mine doesn't. Making the layers as flat as possible with as much equal distance everywhere would be my best guess, but I guess that may be a bit hard to do.

0
polycarbonateplanet
polycarbonateplanet

Reply 19 days ago

Thanks for the info! I'll make another one to experiment with and let you know how it goes

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 19 days ago

Good luck! FYI the one you already made should work just fine for zapping bugs though, an insect between the two layers is kinda the same as bringing the plates together. So the electricity tends to spark through the bug (lower resistance than air).

0
polycarbonateplanet
polycarbonateplanet

Reply 5 days ago

Thanks! I made another one today with a brand new racket (this time without messing around with the mesh), and the sparks were dispersed much more evenly. Sadly the brand I got couldn't fit an 18650 but even with AAs they were pretty violent..
I managed to make contact with a fly for about a second, but it actually survived and escaped. It seemed stunned for about 30 seconds, and started crawling again. When I left the room for a minute and came back it was gone lol.

0
Pbasco
Pbasco

5 years ago

wait just making sure... Normal fly swatters produce about 1000V but this mod makes it closer to 20,000V?

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 5 years ago

Something in that order I think, yes. Although I just came to realise that the 20 kV estimate comes from the 2cm distance sparking, but the spark gap in the fly swatter is actually a lot shorter. I don't know the inner workings of the module I put in but I think the voltage might decrease and the amount of sparks per second increase when the spark gap is smaller. Taking that into account it might be more like say 5000V, either way it is a lot more than a regular one, that is for sure. Regular swatters have trouble with killing a fly, this one on the other hand... ;)

0
tml4873
tml4873

Reply 16 days ago

The actual voltage will be limited by the electrical resistance of the air. That resistance is determined mostly by two factors, the distance and the humidity of the air. I suspect that once the fly gets in there, the voltage will be reduced based on the current capacity of the transformer; the more you load it down, the lower the voltage.

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 15 days ago

Yes that would be correct. And the lower the voltage, the higher the zap frequency of this transformer. I suspect there is a transformer in combination with a voltage multiplier in place. I noticed that depending on the arc length the frequency changes, longer arc length and thus higher voltage gives a lower spark frequency. Therefore a capacitor charging until it has reached adequate voltage to spark would make sense to me. So basicaly similar to the regular inner workings of one of these swatters, but beefed up (and fully potted).

0
ByronR18
ByronR18

3 years ago

If the generated voltage is high enough to arc across the grid without a fly in contact with either plate, doesn't that immediately make the voltage across the plates zero and make it ineffective against flies? Is this just for a light show, or does it somehow still prove effective against flies? It seems like it would be better to bring the voltage up to the point where it's ready to arc, but doesn't. It's too bad you cannot adjust the output voltage to optimize...and add a diode and a big storage capacitor to hold a big charge at that voltage. If you're interested, I have modified the $4 Harbor Freight fly swatters to increase the output voltage up to 4X (around 5-6Kv) with good results; and even better results if you spring for a bigger output cap.

0
tml4873
tml4873

Reply 16 days ago

In order for the voltage to be zero, you'd need a zero resistance between the grids. The air gap between the grids is basically a high resistance which will limit the voltage, but the voltage will still be very high; higher than if it were not arcing.

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 2 years ago

I see your point, but no it is still effective. The arc crosses where the resistance is lowest, and an insect has a lower resistance than air. In short it smells like fried insect after you use it on a fly. Nevertheless I am curious, how did you a achieve the 4x voltage mod?

0
Ironside42
Ironside42

Question 11 months ago

Would you be willing to build and sell me one or more of these? I don't have the knowledge nor tools to make this myself.

Also, is it possible to remove the 2 safety nets and leave only 1. Would you connect both of the high volt cables to it then? (like other zappers which only have 1 net, such as The Executioner): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sourcing4U-Executioner-Mosquito-Swatter-Zapper/dp/B003TT3GDC/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Swatter%2BRacket&qid=1598048997&s=outdoors&sr=1-5&th=1)

0
The Freak
The Freak

Answer 11 months ago

I'll send you a private message.

0
azturbomini
azturbomini

1 year ago

Question, would an 18650 size battery work as I have several and several single battery holders?

Thank you

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 1 year ago

Yes that would work just fine.

0
azturbomini
azturbomini

Reply 1 year ago

Great! I have already modded the swatter in the link below with one to up the voltage but it seems like it made it less powerful. The wires are very small inside the swatter so I am wondering if I should replace them with larger wires to handle the extra battery power? What do you think?
I also was planning on mounting the high voltage generator on the outside of the handle and neatly run the wires inside the swatter if I can make all of this work with this swatter. If not, which swatter do you recommend?

Thank you for your time 😊

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MU2MJA/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_hWfXEbDSCFE3F

Ximimark DC 3v-6v to 400kV Boost Step Up Power Module High Voltage Generator 2Pcs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JBKCCZ7/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_89fXEb242GTR4

0
BasV24
BasV24

4 years ago

Hi, I want to make a high powered zapper that doesn't arc when nothing is in the racket. If I use this high voltage generator instead will it give me the results I want? Though in the description it says:

"Do
not exceed the maximum arc distance electricity, energy can not be
released due to high pressure , can easily damage the module."

Does that mean it NEEDS to arc in order to release the energy otherwise it will damage it? If so how can I make it so it doesn't have to arc? The original zapper I have doesn't need to either. Thanks

0
The Freak
The Freak

Reply 4 years ago

Hi! They do seem to contradict themselves a bit, but yeah I think it does need to arc. I don't know the inner workings of these modules so I'm afraid I can't help you with that. You might try to increase the power of your original zapper a bit with an extra high voltage capacitor across the output, then holding the button longer before hitting the fly might result in more destructive power. Also sometimes there is a high value resistor across the high voltage output to make sure the power is slowly released after you let go of the button. You might remove that or change it for an even higher value resistor, but this might result in keeping power on your swatter for a longer time after releasing the power button.

0
Pbasco
Pbasco

5 years ago

wait just making sure... Normal fly swatters produce about 1000V but this mod makes it closer to 20,000V?