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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Les Hall's Projects including eChucK
Fun with Spark Gaps
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:50 am    Post subject: Fun with Spark Gaps
Subject description: eChucK gone mad, mad I say, mad!
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The diagram below shows a very simple and easy to understand circuit for creating a stun gun spark. What I'm thinking of doing is making this circuit into a plasma speaker by modulating the input pulse frequency.

This would require analog input circuitry such as microphone input, a pair of 555's in place of the 555 shown, and no other changes. This sort of creates a plasma megaphone or something like that. It would be cool to perform with such a device, would it not?

Your thoughts please...

Les


stungun2.jpg
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Stun Gun Circuit from the web
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stungun2.jpg



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Dan Lavin



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Les, I think you've lost it!

No seriously, will this produce enough current?

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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, Dan. Back when I was creating My Secret Weapon I took apart a stun gun and the models at that time used a simple audio transformer hooked up backwards. Now they are more specialized though. The transistor switches on strong and the diode protects it, so shouldn't be a problem. I'm going to order the parts soon.

Les

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jeff-o



Joined: Jul 19, 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've seen that circuit before, and built something similar, back in high school! This circuit does not create a continuous spark, just a high voltage at the output which can be used to shock your classmates. Wink

Do a search on Instructables for this; I'm sure I read about one there.
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RF



Joined: Mar 23, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Nastybox", as my electronics shop teacher called them....
We used to build them into nice pretty little boxes with metal sides insulated from each other...and a mercury switch inside. Pick it up... look at it, turn it to one side...ZAP! Shocked

Great entertainment for a passive aggressive nerd.

Les - your mind works in strange and wonderful ways....

bruce

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jeff-o



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

To go with the shocker, I built a few film canisters with capacitors inside, and two aluminum plates outside. You'd charge up the capacitor to 600V or so using the shocker, then toss the film canister to a friend. Of course the macho thing to do is to catch whatever is thrown to you, so when they caught this little gem they'd get a nice little jolt.

We'd also leave charged capacitors lying around the electronics shop for others to pick up.

Good times.
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Stream Operator


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well this is a shocker! Haha, now that you mention it, it was five years ago but I vaguely recall now that the audio transformer was used to boost the 9V up to a higher source level for a second stage that made the shock. So... does anyone have a good schematic for somesuch thing?

Les

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RF



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This won't help you Les...
But for those playing along at home...

The simple, low tech way?
Put a small DC motor or a relay type buzzer in series with the battery and secondary of the transformer.

Whee!

bruce

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Stream Operator


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well I looked up the breakdown voltage of air. it's 33kV/cm. If this circuit produces 4kV then it would spark around 0.1cm which is an awfully small spark!

Les

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jeff-o



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It'll probably have a hard time hitting 4kV. Don't expect much more than 1kV.

Here's how to build a plasma speaker:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build_A_Plasma_Speaker/

and here's the web post the above instructable is based on. It contains an even beefier plasma generator schematic:

http://scopeboy.com/tesla/flyback.html
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've performed with a Midi controlled Tesla coil before. A friend built the coil -- a monster with a toroidal sphere for an output -- which put out 3' streamers. We just connected a relay to the main supply, and PWM'd the control. The coil, once 'charged', is very responsive to this toggling between on/off, and definitive pitches could be heard (it's there, but there's enough harmonics to make it sound like really nice noise, but no resonance in the system to bring forward the fundamentals).

You can find ready schematics for a tesla coil that is maybe 12" tall, and puts out a 1" spark or so: that's plenty of ZAP for sound output! There's some nice solid state controlled schematics to boot, rather than the usual mechanic spark-gap.

When in high school, I remember doing a plasma "speaker" - not just using air, but a more ioniz(able?) gas/dust mixture, and with that 22kV could maintain a 3" long plasma cloud. I can't remember what the gas nor the dust was, though Wink
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RF



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
a more ioniz(able?) gas/dust mixture


Argon or Nitrogen? That's what they sometimes use in those "Plasma Balls"

bruce

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