Step 1: Disclaimer
This circuit gives off more than enough power to kill you. I am not responsible for any injuries you may get from doing the following steps.
Step 2: What You Need
- 2 Microwave transformers
- 2 Safety switches
- 2 125V 15A fuses and holders
- 2 Grounded plugs
- Random wires that you can get out of the microwaves
- Something to mount the stuff onto (I used scrap 2x4)
- At least 2 friends - one who knows CPR and one that can call 911 NEVER DO HIGH VOLTAGE EXPERIMENTS BY YOURSELF
Step 3: Mount Everything
Simply place the parts in an orientation so that you can wire it up easily. Then drill the transformers and fuse holders onto the 2x4 and nail the safety switches down.
Step 4: Wire It Up
The circuit will be wired in series, giving you an output of about 4kV. I decided to use 2 plugs to make sure I don't set the wires on fire :D. You can wire the rest up according to the schematic below, if you can't read it, you shouldn't be making this. To get out the most power, attach the 2 HV Out wires together and touch them to ground. Tip: before attempting to ground anything, scrape off enough varnish to have a good connection. Caution: This setup is un-ballasted, and the transformers can heat up very rapidly. Use this only for short periods of time.
Step 5: Power It Up!
Carefully, wearing non grounded shoes, holding non-conductive rods to push the switch, press the switches and hold them. Don't look directly at the arc without eye protection, it is close to the brightness of a welder. You should now have a spectacular arc to show off to your friends and family!
Step 6: Random Notes
- I purposely put the 2 safety switches on opposite sides of the 2x4 to prevent me or anyone else from turning it on by themselves. Also, to keep the board from breaking under the ~12 lbs of transformer, I made it as short as possible.
- I decided to ballast the first transformer with the second, schematic is attached
Step 7: Update: Neater and Safer
I decided that I could find a better and more presentable base for my project than scrap 2x4, so I reorganized everything onto a piece of Formica giving me space for at least two more transformers. Also, it is more easily troubleshoot-able and modular