Static Discharge With Display




About: I am, most definitely older than 00010101 and to put it simply, still curious about nearly everything :-) I then tend to read and/or experiment in those areas - when I have the time.. . My two "specialty...

A simple circuit held together and insulated with Sugru (I used Orange, but you may use any color you like:  Orange was harder for me to "lose" however :-)

Step 1: A List of the Materials

One packet of (in this case) orange Sugru. 
two wires, a few inches long
two things used for contacts (copper shielding, pennies, etc.; I used a cheap solderible  
   charm from a bracelet that had disintegrated, and the back of a push pin tie tack).
one neon bulb
and one 33 K resister.

Some solder,
a soldering iron,
and one heat sink for the bulb (while soldering); I use a hemostat

Step 2: Soldering

Using the heat sink (hemostat or other small clamp of some sort) hold the one end of the resistor against the neon bulb (placing the heat sink between the soldering point and the bulb), and solder it fast.

Next solder one wire to that resistor.

I then soldered the other wire to the other leg of the neon bulb (again, attaching the heat sink between the solder point and the bulb).

Then I soldered the copper piece shown to one wire, and the charm to the other wire.
Before moving on, I did use a little hot glue to insulate the wires from one another, in case they got moved during the final step.

Once everything was cooled down I could move on to the final steps.

Step 3: Final Steps

I opened the Sugru packet as per instructions, after washing my hands, and worked it a bit.

Then I flattened it out and folded it over the circuit I had made and bent the neon bulb upwards for greater visibility.

Working with the Sugru, I made sure every portion of the circuit was encased except the bulb.

To use this, one picks up device, places their thumb on the copper piece and touches (in the case of mine) the crown to a grounded object (something that would give you a static shock otherwise).  The bulb SHOULD flash but the resistor should slow the discharge down enough to eliminate the normal "shock" one would feel .

Of course, you can make that pretty much into any shape you'd like, as long as you have the edge of the one contact exposed enough to touch ground.

Participated in the
Sugru Contest



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Frozen Treats Challenge

      Frozen Treats Challenge

    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 3

    Very Lovecraftian, can't explain exactly why though :D
    Maybe it reminds me of some story good ole H.P. wrote back in his day. Some kind of generator that dissolves the shroud between dimensions?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    I just grabbed the closest things I had that could be soldered and used them in the project (along with the Sugru provided for the contest). :-) I had built one before, without the Sugru, but that was long before Instructables were even around....a bit before the WEB was around (around the time Table top PC's were coming out :-)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I had built one of these inside an old PEN casing too once (one with a spent cartridge of course). I used copper foil for the thumb contact and a heavy ground wire for the other leg and out to front to form a point. That one could be carried in the pocket like a pen.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    same circuit, different packaging. Used the old trick of using a pen as a probe and just squeezed it inside....I might write up a seperate ible for that one though.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I won't need to use more then one step really. Pull the pen's inside out (the kind of pen with a cap), drill a small hole in the side push a wire through it and out the narrow end. Solder on the copper pad, and the resister and neon bulb and use the other wire as the "point" of contact at the narrow end of the tube (neon bulb is near the hole in the side). Then I just hot glued it all in place. When I do the ible though, I will try to make it much nicer looking.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Neat idea, I seem to get a lot of static discharge in the winter which I find very annoying.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Really, the resister does all the work, the neon bulb just lets you know you have discharged a fairly large amount of voltage....thankfully, the current in such an offload is minimal. :-)

    Yeah, I have often told people I could probably get shocked by static while wading in a stream in my bare feet LOL