REMIX - Single-Sided Joule-Thief




This isn't the first Joule-Thief here on instructables. But this one has one big advantage, it has a one-sided board. It is very hard to align two layers when you make a board yourself. So if you have access to a CNC-Milling-Machine, or have everything set up to etch one yourself, this one is for you!

This board is based on the The simple Joule Thief by xBacon.

The modifications have been made by the great members of the Attraktor Hacker/Maker-Space in Hamburg and was part of our LED-Build-Night.

Step 1: List of Parts

Before you begin, make sure you have gathered all parts before you begin.
  • 1x 470uH inductor (looks like a fat resistor)
  • 1x 2.2K resistor
  • 2x 1K resistor
  • 2x basic NPN transistor (2N3904, 2N2222, 2N4401, etc.)
  • 1x 1000pf (same thing as 1nf or 0.001uf) ceramic capacitor
  • 1x 1,5 volt battery + holder
  • 1x LED (or more)

Except for the inductor, these parts should be easy to find.

Step 2: The Board

If you want to etch the board yourself you can use the black and white image above.

The milling-machine will have to carve away a lot less material if you just separate the electrical parts. The G-Code I used is in the archive above.

Step 3: Milling

Off you go and let the CNC Milling-Machine do it's work and enjoy the simple beauty of the result.

Step 4: Solder in the Parts

I've annotated the parts in the screenshot above.
Once your done it should look like the photo above.

Insert an old battery and enjoy the show. :)

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You should annotate positive and negative input. I consider Your instructable positive.
    And concrete transistors used.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Pardon my ignorance, but does this have some practical application, beyond its undeniable theoretical interest?

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    While it sounds like one of the many hoaxes on the net, this thing actually works. I wouldn't use it to power life-saving medical devices.
    I made it to power the LEDs in my papercraft skull:

    One less new battery that has to by made just to have a couple of lights glow in the dark. I don't know if that counts as a practical application though. ;)


    4 years ago

    even though common circuit..but you made it so nicely with single side looks great..

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It's been a collaborative effort by many members of the Attraktor members. Glad you like it.