High Voltage Marx Generator With Homemade Salt Water Capacitors

Introduction: High Voltage Marx Generator With Homemade Salt Water Capacitors

A Marx generator is an electrical circuit first described by Erwin Otto Marx in 1924. Its purpose is to generate a high-voltage pulse from a low-voltage DC supply.

Step 1: Derscription

Marx generators are used in high-energy physics experiments, as well as to simulate the effects of lightning on power-line gear and aviation equipment. The circuit generates a high-voltage pulse by charging a number of capacitors in parallel, then suddenly connecting them in series.

This generator uses high voltage capacitors that are hard to find and also very expensive, so I decided to make them myself.

In addition to capacitors, the device also uses resistors that should be in this case 1 watt metal glazed or carbon film resistors which can withstand high voltages. If we use standard resistors, they need to be coated with insulating material or immersed in silicone or resin to prevent sparks.
As a source of high DC input voltage in this case we use a small HV generator that is powered by a 3.7 Volt lithium battery and can be purchased on Aliexpress for only $ 2. (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32964758598.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.43034c4dRTRXoR). This setup achieves a periodic spark with a length of 10 cm.

Step 2: Building and Schematic

Also can be used another DC high voltage source(In this case flyback "Plasma Speaker" that I build earlyer) that provides a voltage of 10 to 15 kilovolts. By reducing the distance of the spark gaps between the capacitors, I got an almost continuous output discharge at a distance of 8-10 cm, as you can see in the video.

And a very important note: The energy stored in these high voltage multiplier stacks can be extremely dangerous, even fatal; please ensure you operate safely if you decide to experiment with these devices.

The schematic diagram can be downloaded at the link below:


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