(This Instructable Is Dead.) Singing Arc Plasma Speaker Project - Revision 2.0!




Introduction: (This Instructable Is Dead.) Singing Arc Plasma Speaker Project - Revision 2.0!

UPDATE: This instructable will not ever be finished, as I have moved back to the 555 circuit with some major changes, and I incorporated this 'able into that one. Click here to see the finished one!

Everything below is OUTDATED information, and has been modified and ported over to the older 555 version of this instructable, which is done start to finish. Please click that to see what it is capible of.

I am only leaving this one no


You've probably seen my last, failed singing arc project. I decided to give it a second attempt. Anyway, I believe I know what went wrong, which I covered in the last instructable.

So after realizing that driving an inductor or transformer in the flyback mode of operation will basicly lead to failure at higher powers, I decided it was time to change tactics. Instead of driving the flyback in it's flyback mode, I will drive it with resonance!

Step 1: Disclaimer, and Dangers.

If you have not messed around with high voltages before, Please don't attempt to make this circuit. The ZVS driver I am building is easily capable of delivering 45,000 volts (45 KV) @ 5-15 mA of current. This output current can cause serious problems such as loss of muscular control, involuntary spasms, heart fibrillation, cardiac arrest, death, and perhaps worst of all, involuntary self-urination. You definitely would not want any of that!

Step 2: New Driver Topology:

One of the most popular circuit for drivers is the ZVS flyback driver. This circuit is essentially a Royer oscillator, that uses two MOSFETS to drive a tank circuit with the transformer for the inductor. This circuit relies on resonance rather than the flyback operation.

Think of resonance like pushing someone on a swing. Push them at just the right time, and they will gain momentum (like the voltage) This means those huge voltage spikes will not exist. However, like the person on the swing, the circuit does "gain momentum" and cause the voltage to rise almost 4 times the input voltage, when the output is open.


To solve the "cramming everything in" problem, I think I will just have to have an external supply for power. (unless 12V 5A proves to be enough for this circuit) This is not optimal, but that is better than nothing. Besides, that gives me more options for supplies!


I'm also going to attempt to etch my own PCB, with nice, thick traces to handle the current. I have heard people built this driver on a PCB  say they had to use external jumpers because they blew the traces off. Also, the PCB is fairly compact and should easily fit into my box I made. I did try to make a custom PCB my hand before, but failed.

Step 3: Audio Modulation Circuit Design

After mucking around with a TIP3055 and some other smaller BJT transistors, I made myself a decent audio amplifier that should be able to modulate a L2 coil around the same ferrite core as the L1 in my previous schematic.

Step 4: Electrical Parts List:

Here is a rough idea of what electrical parts you'll need:

power supply                                          (SLA battery's work, or a plug in power supply capable (PSU) of 4A)

heatsink                                                     (not required if you plan to use 12V or less. Otherwize, your mosfet will get uncomfortably
                                                                        warm and reduce the performance of the driver. Make sure you also have silicone insulation
                                                                         pads. you don't want the source of the MOSFETS in contact with each other.)

flyback transformer                                      (you can get it out of old TV's or online. the larger, the better,)

high power MOSFETs                                  (the IRF250 works very well, and one can probably get the IRF540, although that one can                                                                               not handle as much voltage. I calculated the 540 should operate up to 31.83V)

Fast switching diodes                                       (I am using cheap 1N4007's, they seem to work just fine. I bought them here, but they                                                                                    can be found on can be found on old circuit boards as well)

●12-15V zener diodes                                        (I am using cheap 1N4742A's, they seem to work just fine. I bought them online here.)

several high value (470uF) electrolytic capacitors  (buy it online, local electronics shop, or in my case, junkbox)

computer fan                                                    (a small computer fan i found in a computer power supply unit)

wire                                                                     (buy it online, local electronics shop, or in my case, junkbox)

Step 5: Tools Required

Soldering iron


Sponge (for cleaning the tip of the iron)

Flux solder paste

Breadboard with wire

Wire strippers

Needle nose pliers and diagonal cutting pliers(highly recommended)

Helping hands (optional, but highly recommended)



Tape measure

Step 6: Experimenting, Prototyping, and Finalizing the Design.

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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Oh ok! So my plasma device is bs but not yours? I see. It's only other peoples ideas that are inferior. Because that's how it works in the real world, right?


    Reply 5 years ago

    Also, I did not immediately call your device BS outright, I just questioned it, asking for proof or video as to it's functioning. I'll admit I just scanned through the whole 'able w/o reading the introduction saying that is is unfinished thing, quite similar to this singing arc 'able that I sort have given up and lost interest in.


    Reply 5 years ago

    OK, you got me! However, I do have a few excuses for stretching the truth: 1st, the name is a plasma speaker is just the well known name for it, and I do strongly prefer the term "singing arc" As, like I say, it would be a bit of a stretch to call it a plasma generator.

    2nd, Also, I am getting something that really does look like plasma, very fat whitish arcs that are extremely hot at catch nearly anything on fire, and make wires glow white hot. (Though some reason this 'able looks as though it was never finished. I will need to fix that and get video of it working when I have the time.)

    And 3rd, I certainly do not claim that this is some sort of cannon, as if it is shooting fireballs or anything. That was the real thing that I called out as several others had. Although I will eat my words is I see this thing flinging balls of glowing gas all over the place, as I would have imagined from the title.

    I've made a variety of different 555- and TL494-based plasma speakers, but I've never seen a ZVS version. Very cool!

    Making sure I understand what's happening here: the output of a Class A audio amplifier is coupled into the plasma by audio-modulated the +12V input to the center-tapped flyback used in the ZVS; this is accomplished by winding a secondary coil on the 12V+ input inductor and feeding it with the audio amplifier output?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Good luck,i am too trying to build this singing arc device.What do you think about the sound quality and loudness of these "speakers"?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It is not very loud. It is simply an ineffficent class A amplifier I made only since it was made of parts I had on hand. It simply modulates the 12V input. It is not very loud, and I half expected it to not work at all. The 555 modulated version is considerably louder, but less clear and of course like I said I could not get it to work well. Although it is quiet, it is clear when the right amount of bias is placed across the input. I do need to make a better solution, if I get my hands on a proper audio amp, I will utilize it instead. Another problem is the way I modulate the input, with the inductor of the positive rail, and feeding in a single though a second winding. That winding since it has a constant DC across it, and it gets very hot.