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Capacitor bank troubles Answered

I have wired 5 capacitors from disposable cameras in parallel and reattached them correctly to the charging circuit of one of the cameras. They charge as usual, but using my multimeter I find it only charges to about 330 volts. Also, when I touch the two ends of the wires I have hanging off to shock things are touched to a piece of metal, the spark doesn't appear to be louder, brighter, or any more intense. I have included a diagram, so please tell me if there is something I am missing. My goal is to create either a coil gun, or a "flash plate" where I have about 30 camera flash bulbs on a breadboard all linked to a very large capacitor bank to try to get an almost violent flash able to be seen for miles. So far I haven't even been able to light up a flashbulb that I have hooked up to the capacitor bank. Here is the setup:


They should only charge to 330. For really impressive sparks you need to charge in parallel and discharge in SERIES. This guy came up with the technique. Gaston Plante

Cool. Thanks a lot that is news to me. I will read more on that topic and see how that works. Using the method I am using right now, If I connect an arbitrary amount of capacitors in parallel like this, and discharge them in the above setup, is there any power difference? I suppose it is time for me to read a general guide to electricity and its basics...

let's see, P=IV V=IR so P=I2R so P=V2/R So yeah power goes up with the square of the voltage.

I guess I am just having trouble understanding how I can have 20 capacitors soldered to a board in parallel, then discharge them in series? are there any diagrams you guys can dig up? I searched the above terms and found stuff with water resistors and spark gaps, and I am steering clear of those.

You need to charge then paralell and decharge then in series. (thats about how a Cockcroft-Walton voltagem ultiplier works, too, but it needs a AC input) Really be carefull.


11 years ago

You ought to be able to build something like a Marx Generator using the flash tubes from the cameras to replace the traditional spark gaps. I think. It's something I've been meaning to try...