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how can you make your own d/c variable voltage tattoo power supply? Answered

I need it to put out no more than 2 amps. Also can anyone think of a clever household item to use as a footpedal? Thanks.


Denise DLC

7 months ago

I made a foot switch for tattooing out of a stapler. Yes. A stapler. Alligator clips. Banana plugs. Laboratory power supply. It worked. Any two contacts wired to your power supply leads and separated by something spring hinged and electrically insulated will work.


7 years ago

On the contrary , a regular coil tattoo machines works on DC , usually from 2 to 12volts DC . It is the same device as an old fashioned doorbell or telephone ringer - power goes to coils that energise as electromagnets , pull down a spring mounted armature bar which has a spring contact sitting on top that breaks electrical circuit as it is pulled down and then returns to its rest position due to its spring mount and thus to electrical contact and the cycle begins again . That is the regular , accepted design of most machines . I build and use them professionally . There are and have been AC machine . A US supply company is currently launching a PS that works like a signal generator and manipulates waveform but the machines have to be slightly altered to run on it .
A normal coil tattoo machine just needs a power supply of up to 12 volts DC that has a means of altering the voltage . There are many available for cheap , a lab PSU is really the best and most stable but there are ones with readouts of duty cycle and so on if you really feel the need . Most of us ran from a car battery or a 12v transformer with a rheostat until the last couple of decades .
A computer power supply is a good easy way to build your own , look on here for bench power supply or lab PS . There are instructables about making the supply variable which is what you want.
A footswitch just needs a momentary action switch that is on while it is pressed - theses can be found in microwaves amongst other things . The microswitches like that may be sturdier if you mount them in a small box and make a hinged flap with a spring under it to sit on top .


8 years ago

UHHH fanta has not seen all the fabulous footswitches in the industry....many of which are made from various materials such as horseshoes to ham radio keys. ANYTHING that completes the circuit WILL work. KEYBOARD SWITCH WILL NOT WORK since most that I have come accross are "normally closed" when you hit the switch it actually breaks the circuit.....when you lift your foot from it is when the machine will run.....opposite of what you desire....flirt with it bro. and check out what others have done


9 years ago

I'm going to answer these in reverse order for you. The foot pedal, there is nothing around the house that can be used for one. BUT......... If you are a musician at all, the foot pedal from a keyboard is basically the same thing. All a tattoo foot pedal is, is a momentary on/off switch. You can pick up the switch and the plug at radio shack for about 5 bucks. Find a cool box for it you like, drill a hole, bolt it up, wire it up and you're good to go. As for the power supply, if you make a DC one, it won't work. The principle of a tattoo machine works off of AC power. Think of a tattoo power supply as just a signal generator, but instead of being able to alter the wave form, and everything, you just alter the voltage. Tattoo power supplies operate on a semi specific waveform, and duty cycle for the AC power it spits out. With a little bit of homework on what's needed for waveform and AC duty cycle, youcould use a surplus signal generator. There are however plans out there on the net to build a tattoo power supply. Also on ebay you can get decent(I said decent not good) for fairly cheap. I have a cheap one from ebay, it's not that great but it works fine, as long as you have a decent machine. Of my two machines, it only pushes one of them well enough to make a tattoo. However the other machine is pretty much unusable with it. My neighbor(also an artist), has a much better power supply and his pushes my bad machine ALOT better.