Capacitor Charger




About: Working wireless-ly.

This project details the process of building a device capable of charging a flash capacitor (the type of capacitor found in disposable cameras).

What possible use could anyone have for a capacitor charger?

You'd be surprised /lie

Action packed video after the jump.




Is it not fascinating?

Step 1: Materials

The materials will end up running you somewhere between 0 and 20 dollars.

1. Disposable camera w/ flash
2. Soldering iron and solder
3. A few square inches of 1/4" thick wood, acrylic, glass, etc.
4. Super glue / hot glue
5. Momentary push button switch
6. Syringe tips (Come with ink cartridge refill kits)
7. Wire
8. AA battery holder

Step 2: Disassembling the Camera

Before removing the case on the camera, take a photo using the flash to make sure the capacitor is fully discharged. If there is no film left in the camera (thus making taking a photo impossible), then charge the flash, and slam the bottom of the camera down on a hard flat surface. The force should be enough to trip the shutter, which should set off the flash.

The next step is to take apart the camera. We must pretend to be the cameras friend so she doesn't get scared and call the police before you get a chance to harvest her organs. The conversation should go something like this:

(1st picture)

Me: Why, Mrs. Kodak you sure do look warm in all those clothes.

Mrs. Kodak: Well it is kind of hot in here.

Me: No reason to be uncomfortable. Let me help you take them off.

Mrs. Kodak (shyly): I don't know, my husband is going to be home soon.

Me: What, that 24 shot roll of film? I bet he has never even properly pleasured you ... let me guess, he just sits inside of you as you expose yourself to him.

Mrs. Kodak (offended): Hey!

Me (seductively assertive): Its ok baby, let Billy show you how a camera should be held.

(2nd picture)

Me: There don't you feel better without all those uncomfortable clothes.

Mrs. Kodak: (blushes)

Me: (pulls out screwdriver and smiles menacingly)

Mrs. Kodak: Whats that flat head for?

Me: It puts the lotion on the skin, or else it gets the hose again.

Mrs. Kodak: Huh? ...... Ahhhhhhh! hrmfffff .... gurgle gurgle

(3rd picture)

Me: *Rips Mrs. Kodaks guts out*

Harvest the circuit board from the camera's insides, and dispose of the rest of the body in the woods.

Step 3: Modifying the Circuit and Assembling Board

To check to make sure the capacitor is fully discharged: Take an old screwdriver and bridge the gap between the capacitor's two leads.

Unsolder the capacitor and battery clips from the circuit board (make sure to keep note of their polarity).

Tip: Using two different colors of wire will help you remember polarity

There should now be four empty connections in the circuit board, two for the battery and two for the capacitor. Solder a foot long section of wire into each of these empty holes.

Finally, set the flash charge button/switch so that it is normally closed instead of normally open (picture 4).

The pushbutton switch, battery holder, and syringe tips will all go on the top of the board, while the circuitry and wire connections will go underneath.

Before drilling the acrylic (plastic, wood, w/e) piece, lay out the different components on the the top and bottom of the board to make sure everything will fit. Once you have found an orientation where all the pieces fit, drill holes in through the board, and attach the components.

Use hot glue to seal the syringe tips and battery connector (the pushbutton has a screw on nut) in place.

Step 4: Making the Connections and Adding Legs

The pictures will be of more help then my written description

Wire connections:

(the circuit board battery wires)

1. Solder the positive circuit board battery wires to one lead on the pushbutton switch, and solder lead on the pushbutton switch to the positive terminal on the battery holder.

2. Solder the negative circuit board battery wire directly to the negative terminal on the battery holder.

(Capacitor wiring)

1. Wire the negative circuit board capacitor wire to one of the syringe tips, and the positive circuit board capacitor wire to the other.


1. Glue on some legs. I used a combination of super glue and hot glue.


1. Most disposable camera circuits have LEDs to indicate when the flash is fully charged. Bend (or rewire) the LED so it is visible to you when you are charging the capacitor. It will be useful in letting you know when the capacitor is fully charged.

Step 5: Using

(After checking to make sure it is discharged!) Straighten out leads on the capacitor that was previously unsoldered from the circuit board. Trim the leads down to about 1.5 cm and bend them so then will easily fit in the syringe tips.

Insert a battery into the charger, and you are ready to go.


1. Insert a fully discharged 330v flash capacitor into the syringe tips. Make sure the capacitor has proper polar alignment with the charger.

2. Push and hold the button until the LED illuminates.

3. Remove the capacitor.

Uses for a charged capacitor:

- You shall see



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    157 Discussions

    Hotel Lima

    4 years ago

    Do you think it would be possible to arrange two charging circuits from two disposable cameras in either parallel or Series to increase the speed of the charge. Im planning to use capacitor banks so i need a faster charge. Or if you know another way to "safely" charge a cap bank faster.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    who likes this one? its a 25 volt i think and 1000 mF would that hurt badly/kill some one?

    17 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    25v is not enough voltage to go thru skin (sorry) 50+ volts and you start to feel it, but if you lick you finger and touch the terminals of the 25v capacitor, you just might be able to feel it You need a 300V+ and a couple(20+) hundred uF to leave a mark


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    please please put a 300v capacitor on you'r tongue and tell us how that goes for you


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    cuz your tongue is wet, and has WAYY more nerves then your skin, so you can't really tell how food tastes with just your finger (duh)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Note to all people here: this is not a good suggestion for finding out whether or not the capacitor's charged...

    wrong it only takes 1 volt to kill you and if it goes across your heart you are 70% more likely to die from it