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high voltage from a large flyback transformer? Answered

For the life of me i cannot get big spark gaps from my flyback transformer. I did all the steps to find all the pins and i have a 600v electronic instant on ballast. Im using clothes hangers for the wires the arc climbs up and it is attatched to a laminated particle board. I need to have the wires really close to eachother for it to arc, but then it just arcs up and down about 1/4" if that.. ive tried positioning them all sorts of ways to try to get it to climb but nothing... i feel like the fbt should be putting out massive amounts of power but its not it isnt even getting warm when i turn it on...even left it on for a bit and no heat! Ive tried a couple different pins for the HV- And the one its on gets the biggest arc..is it because its on wood? If so what should i use? Or is it the clothes hangers? No idea but any advise would really help me out.



Best Answer 6 years ago

try 5-20v at 10-20khz, and only have about 4-10 windings on your primary. i guarantee this will yeild long arcs, at least 4cm long. just get some normal electrical insulated wire, and wrap a few turns onto your primary ferrite sticking out, rather than using the built in one.

TBH, those transformers preffer to operate in 10-20khz range anyway, usually its either 15 or 17 khz to get the max output.

however with your current configuration, i would experiment with the effects of using less windings. i find with my flyback, the fewer windings i have, the bigger and hotter the arcs are.

if you must run this off 240v mains, i would advise looking into a simple push pull ZVS driver, it uses very few parts, heat building up in transistors and mosfets wont be an issue AND it pumps out some serious juice, getting like 7-12cm arcs which can melt metal! though you can always increase your windings to lower the power so it wont melt metal, but still, its perfect, and the arcs are super hot, of course they are also lethally dangerous, so try 12v or using different windings first.


6 years ago

You need a hotter spark for it to climb that huge "V"..

A spark goes up because it heats surrounding air.

No offense meant, but that itsy one would not twitch my mustache

Try graduating the wires closer to each other and avoid a breeze.



6 years ago

What's the circuit ? I don't see how you can be driving the FB transforemer correctly in that configuration.


6 years ago

I have never used the configuration like yours but I have made Jacob's Ladders before with a regular transformer for neon lights. I have one that came from an old hotel that use to have neon lights all over.

I have a 9,000 volt and did have a 15,000 volt (lost in moving?) You can see my Jacob's Ladder in my YouTube video, Birds on a Wire at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcRw3GFUNCA

I used a straight transformer input 120 VAC with a output of 9,000 VAC. The wires (stripped from 12-2 romex) were attached to the porcelain insulators of the transformer. The 9,000 volts was enough to produce a goo arc and then the heat help it to travel up.

From what I see in your picture, the arc looks too small. My first attempt with a Jacob's ladder was with a transformer out of a copy machine. It made a small arc like yours but would never climb.

I did make another with the 15,000 volt one that worked for a few minutes but quit. I saw smoke coming from the six inch CPVC pipe (hot water plastic pipe) I was using to hold my arc wires. There was a tiny black line growing from one wire to the other. The voltage was high enough to overcome the insulation value of the plastic pipe. When it carbonized it (the black line) enough current started to flow to kill the arc through the air. After that I started to use porcelain or glass for my insulators.

Hope this helps.