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getting electecity to jump a 2 inch gap

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New Member
Hi. First of all i want to say this is a great site. I've been reading it for a while. I while ago i made a potato lancher and used a bbq ignitor to ignite the hair spray and lanch the potato. I works pritty well, but I'm making a propane potato lancher and I would like for it to be electicaly ignitied. I was thinking of using something like a microwave transformer on a 12v battary and a cars coil. That should be able to jump that gap and ignite the propane.

Now here is my question, does anyone know an easy and light way to do this. Second there will be three points to jump, do i need three coils? I think i do, are else it will only jump the shortest one. Thanks for you help.


New Member
You like living dangerously, don't you?
I would not be game to fire a propane cannon these days but then, I too have done stupid things when I was younger. Luckily I got away with it unharmed, take great care, whatever you do with, explosive substances.

Now, trying to get a 2" long spark is a bit of an overkill and the hundreds of thousands of Volts required could be much worse than the 'bang' from your cannon.
Try an ordinary spark plug and coil, briefly touching the two wires from the battery to the coil ( at a very safe distance) to generate the spark. You could bend open the plugs spark gap a little for a nice fat spark.


Active Member
As simple as this seems - the piezo ignitors that are found on propane barbeque grilles or similar appliances might be useful. While the spark won't jump 2" the spark jumps enough for me to see it - and it lights the grille every time.


New Member
i put this together last year and it worked great... except i ended up converting the driver circuit, minus the power transistor, for use as a variable led flasher, and modifying capacitor values....

annyways.. it workeds great, i was able to pull 1 inch sparks no problem

another high voltage source is tv's/ monitors... you just open teh case, dissconnect the high voltage line and put a ground near the high voltage posative, and Woosh..itl suck up those electroncs in giant sparks...(yes the high voltage is "sucking" the elctrons from the earth...negative partical theory at work there...most people are confused with that and think electricity froms from posative to negative. its is only the posative holes that move, or the location of the posative Ion in the conducting material... confuse you yet?

annyways, just rember the one hand rule... one hand!!! cause if ya accidentaly cross that hig voltage leade across ur arms, throu ur chest... ur toast.. well.. kinda... ur dead in the least.

and if the propane take explodes... uggg...
you might want to use a large, long peice of rubber tubing to move the take asa far away as possible, and install a mesh so it wont explode the tank....


if u get hurt its not my fault that ur ignorant of the dangers of electricity!!!!
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