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Help making shock gag devices with transformer.

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carl1864

New Member
OK, so I'm a very big fan of the shocking gag devices. I've owned the lighter, pen, can, book, stapler, bottle opener, camera, candy jar, as well as the 4 person lightning reaction shock game, muscle stimulator, and others.

I'd like to make some of my own, and have searched all over google, as well as this forum and cannot find any good info, or schematics on making one. Now I know your probably thinking there is lots of info, but there isn't. The problem is, just about all the info out there for shock devices is based on either

a) a piezo, which I'm not interested in, since all it does it gives a quick zap that feels like a little pin prick.

or

b) charging a capacitor, and discharging. I'm not interested in this either since again all it does is a quick little zap, which is actually more painful and unpleasant than fun.

The devices out on the market, as well as what I'm trying to make actually give a continuous electric shock, as long as you hold the switch. I have taken apart a few and have a rough idea of how they work, but not enough to actually select the right parts and wire it up right.

The basic ones like the lighters work something like this, they have a AAA battery, and there is a coil of 2 different wire sizes (I believe this is a transformer), and that transformer also works as an electro magnet. When the switch is pressed, some electricity goes into the coil, and there is a piece of flexible metal that gets pulled towards the coil via the electromagnetism. As soon as that happens it makes a quick connection that causes the transformer to discharge its voltage into your hand. This happens many many times a second, probably like 50 times a second, so it gives you a constant supply of electricity into your hand. The biggest problem with these, is that they break easily. That piece of vibrating metal is very touchy and stops vibrating right.

Now some of the other newer shock devices actually replaced the primitive electromagnetic transformer, with an actual little circuitboard and electronics, and they feel basically the same, but work much better and don't break. I'm pretty sure they probably work the same way, they just replace that electromagnet transformer with a regular transformer. And rather than have a vibrating piece of metal make and break the connection, they probably have some sort of microchip or timer or something that makes and breaks the connection fast.

Can anyone help me out with an explanation or schematic or something? I can figuare out my own ideas as far as what sort of container to put it in, I just need to learn how to make the circuit. I'd like to make it just a little bit more powerful than the ones you buy, not a lot, but maybe double the power. Run it off of 2 AA batteries rather than 1, or something.

In fact, ideally I think it would be cool if I could put some sort of variable resistor, or some other variable dial to be able to adjust its output higher or lower. As well as perhaps an variable version of the timer or microchip, or whatever that part is, so that I could vary how fast it operates, which I'm pretty sure would make the shock feel different. Sort of like the way on one of those muscle stimulator devices, you have a couple switches and knobs that adjust the power level of the shock, as well as make the shock feel different. It would be nice to incorporate a couple adjustments like that into my own shock device to find tune it. (maybe I could even make my own muscle stimulator that's just slightly more powerful as well).

Anyways, if anyone can give me a schematic, or instructions, or point me in the right direction, it would be very much appreciated, I've been wanting to do this for many years, but just can't find the info. Thanks.
 

grim

New Member
have you tried plugging a toaster into a wall socket, and chucking it into a bath?

it's hilarious.
 

MOSFET KILLER

New Member
So, let me get this straight, you want our help to electrocute yourself.
 

Boncuk

New Member
Hi grim and MOSFET KILLER,

I guess you didn't read carl 1864's post all trough to the end.

I couldn't detect any plans or intentions for/of suicide! :mad:

What he wants to design is a kind of zapper which doesn't cause pain, but some kind of tickling sensation.

Carl 1864, this can be done with a modified muscle stimulator. A LIMS (low impact muscle stimulator) works at a frequency of 16.5KHz (normally) and is limited for an output voltage of 39V (AC square wave at 39Vpp).

39V won't kill any person or animal, but high frequency is felt differently from 50 or 60Hz low voltage "shocks".

If you double the frequency to 32 - 40KHz and limit the output voltage to 30V you'll get what you want.

If you plan to build such a device DO NOT OPERATE IT FROM MAINS and use batteries only instead.

Basically you need to control the outer taps of a transformer (center tap tied to variable positive voltage) via two power transistors switching ground alternatingly.

Using a 6V battery and a transformer ratio of 5:1 the maximum output voltage will be 30V.

Boncuk
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I wonder if Carl has killed anybody yet with his weird shocking ideas?
Maybe he will, because some people are easily killed by a little shock.

It is not a gag to murder a weak person. Grow up!
 

bountyhunter

Well-Known Member
People with an electrical heart arrythmia can be sent into various dangerous rhythms by even small shocks.

Guess how I know that?

This is basically a really dumb idea.

And yes, I did it when I was young but now I know better.:p
 

carl1864

New Member
Well, I appreciate the concern from people who think these are dangerous, however the exact same type of shock toys are sold all over the place. They are powered by either a AAA or AA, I find it pretty hard to believe you could hurt anybody with a AA battery no matter how much you up the voltage, it just doesn't have the amperage. Muscle stimulators run off a 9 volt battery, and they are sold all over. So I'm not planning on making anything dangerous, just a similar device to whats already all over the market, just maybe a hair more powerful, and hopefully adjustable.

Boncuk: You seem to have a good idea of what I'm talking about, although your explanation was just a little over my head, since my electronics knowledge is rather limited. I know a few basic things, such as what capacitors, resistors, transformers, do. But I'm not so familiar with the two power transistors switching ground alternatingly. Not quite sure how to do that.

Also when you talk about the 50 or 60Hz frequencies, and 16.5KHz, etc, well you pretty much lost me there. What is the frequency, and how to I measure and adjust it?
 

bountyhunter

Well-Known Member
Muscle stimulators run off a 9 volt battery, and they are sold all over.
Funny you would mention that. I have had back problems for years and have several of those. The first one I paid about $150 for and it is OK, but too large in size and eats batteries (a 9V lasts about one hour). So, I ordered a cheaper one from a catalog and when it arrived I tried it: attached the pads and turned it on..... cranked up the intensity and NOTHING. So, I keep cranking and suddenly it almost knocked me into the middle of next week.

Turns out, instead of a linear pot for adjustment they mistakenly installed some kind of log attenuator that does nothing until the last 1/8 turn then it's wide open. Well, I replaced that part and found I could use it.

A week later I start getting mail from the FTC and some government agencies warning me the thing has a lethal hazard and it must be returned. They sent me a prepaid UPS for pickup and the whole thing. But, I wanted to keep it because it was small, cheap and worked pretty well and came with a whole bunch of extra rubber pads. So, they sent me some more warnings, the UPS guy left a note on my door asking where the pickup was, but I kept a low profile and ignored them all.


The morals of the story are:

1) Some things that run on a small battery can potentially kill you.

2) If you buy a cheap (made in China) TENS unit, test it on your wife before you strap it to yourself.:D

just kidding, dear
 

carl1864

New Member
I've always heard that its the amperage that does the harm, not the voltage, and that a small battery just doesn't have that much amperage. I've owned multiple stun guns, my favorite was a 500,000 volt one that ran off of 2 9 volt batteries. Me and my friends shocked ourselves with it all the time for fun. In fact, we used it so much that if finally burned out. Kinda funny because at that time I had zero knowledge about electronics, but I took it apart to see the insides. I had taken out the battery to be safe, but touched something with my finger and ZAP, that's the day I learned what capacitors do.

Anyways stun guns are considered safe, and sold all over the place, even some that run off of 3 9 volt batteries. I'm sure someone might argue, perhaps there might have one time, somewhere in the world where some freak accident happened with a stun gun or something, but nothing is 100% safe, not even walking down the sidewalk.

I sky dive a few times a year, I jump dirt bikes, I ride a fast GSXR, skateboard big ramps, jump off high bridges, rappel down cliffs face first, shoot homemade potato cannons, snowboard off 35+ foot drops, and a ton of other so called "dangerous" stuff, on a regular basis. So I'm really not too worried about a little device powered by a couple AA batteries doing any harm.

I'd really like a little help getting the circuit right to make one, I have a rough idea of how it works. Current from the battery goes into the transformer, then the connection is broken, and it causes it to discharge out the high voltage ends, which go to the strategically placed electrodes. Might not be exactly how it works, but pretty similar. The problem is I don't exactly know how to pulse that circuit (with a 555 timer or something else perhaps?), so that the circuit completes and breaks many many times a second causing the transformer to dump to the electrodes over and over.

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

steveB

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I've always heard that its the amperage that does the harm, not the voltage, and that a small battery just doesn't have that much amperage....

Not true, since small batteries can output several amps of current and even currents less than 100 mA can be fatal.

Your high voltage device from childhood was capable of very low amperage because the voltage was so high, and power (P=VI) is limited. However, the device you are talking about now may output 30 V, and a battery power at this level of voltage can kill.

If you decide to make something like this, which I don't recommend at all, at the very least install a series current-limiting resistor, just as they do in static protection wrist straps. This is not fool-proof, but is better than no protection at all. You don't want to rely on skin resistance to limit current because it's unknowable. Do you know that less than 1V can kill if applied to a open wound near the heart?
 
yeah I remember in OH&S class for work, it only takes something like 50mA to send the heart into defibrilation.
I think.
Whatever it was, it wasnt much.

You wouldn't happen to be into dominatrix would you?
Maybe stick to the whips, you might accidently kill yourself.
That wouldn't be good.
 

bountyhunter

Well-Known Member
I've always heard that its the amperage that does the harm, not the voltage, and that a small battery just doesn't have that much amperage. .
Two half truths don't make a fact. It takes a certain amount of voltage to force dangerous current to flow through skin. Anything over 60 - 70 volts is potentially dangerous. High voltage toys which are "safe" (if there is such a thing) would have the current limited to a microscopic value.

As for small batteries not being dangerous: the TENS unit I have which runs off a 9V battery has a simple inverter fed into a small transformer which outputs pulses in the range of about 50V to 150V and it will knock you into the next county on full throttle.
 

bountyhunter

Well-Known Member
Anyways stun guns are considered safe, and sold all over the place,
That's ridiculous. The TASER makers have just issued warnings to police agencies about the lethality of them and many depertments are being sued over wrongful deaths. Just because stun guns don't kill everybody they hit doesn't mean they are safe.

I sky dive a few times a year, I jump dirt bikes, I ride a fast GSXR, skateboard big ramps, jump off high bridges, rappel down cliffs face first, shoot homemade potato cannons, snowboard off 35+ foot drops, and a ton of other so called "dangerous" stuff, on a regular basis. So I'm really not too worried about a little device powered by a couple AA batteries doing any harm.
That is the Mount Everest of non sequiturs, but the point is: as long as you only use it on yourself I have no objection, but we both know that is not the case.


I'd really like a little help getting the circuit right to make one,

Any help would be much appreciated.
good luck
 
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I think this post is going the same way as a past post about a guy who indirectly asked how to make a bomb.

Im not saying your asking how to make a bomb.

The point I make is, I think you will struggle to find people to help you make an electric shock gag.

The reason is simple. Well there are 2. maybe 3.
No one is interested in such a project.
No one wants to help you electrocute yourself,
and no one wants to help you help others electrocute their self.
 

BrownOut

Banned
Quote by Bountyhunter: If you buy a cheap (made in China) TENS unit, test it on your wife before you strap it to yourself.

HA! Best laugh of the day :)
 
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carl1864

New Member
I have a tens unit also that runs off a 9 volt, its stronger than similar ones I've tried out before, and yes when you bump it up to the high setting you Definetly feel it, its very strong. Yet tens units are sold all over and considered safe. I'd bring mine all over the place, parties, work, etc. I've probably shocked 500+ people with it over the past 10 years or so that I've had it. Quite a few people (including me) have put it on their chest, on maximum setting. And believe it or not, I've got many many women to put it on their chest as well *wink*.

I've never had a single bad experience. So if tens units are made safely, then I should be able to make a safe version of whatever I make.

I think people must be over-estimating what I'm trying to make. I'm not trying to make some super powered, way stronger than anything else, shock device. No. I'm basically just trying to make a simple device like a shock lighter. The only difference is rather than put in in a lighter, I'll put them into all sorts of other random objects. As far as the power output I'd like it to be just a little stronger than a regular shock lighter, but less than or equal to the shock strength of a tens unit.

And yes i do want it to be safe, but obviously with the number of tens units on the market, the power output by them is safe, so I'm trying to make a safe, and similar device also.
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
A Chinese guy sold millions of "tens" units on TV claiming they build muscles. He was charged by the government with fraud!
His tens unit zapped the person so their muscles twitched. A muscle that is simply twitched does nothing and does not get stronger. A muscle needs to work hard to get stronger.

I don't know if his zappers killed anybody.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
Aren't you even concerned about the reactions of the people you zap? Some people react quickly, reflexively, and violently when shocked. First ones a freebie, if you're quick enough, but I don't have much of a sense of humor for such things. Really hate getting shocked.
 

BrownOut

Banned
Aren't you even concerned about the reactions of the people you zap? Some people react quickly, reflexively, and violently when shocked. First ones a freebie, if you're quick enough, but I don't have much of a sense of humor for such things. Really hate getting shocked.

Good point. If I was shocked that way, I just might deck the b*****d.
 

carl1864

New Member
Well, I've never had a bad experience. Ever since I first discovered the shock lighter about 8 years ago, I used to always keep one in my pocket everywhere (as well as backups in the car since they break easily when people instinctively drop them). People ask me if I have a lighter all the time, and I'd be ready with it. I've shocked hundreds of people with them (not to mention all the other shock devices), and nobody has ever threatened a punch. Honestly I make more friends than enemies. Usually as soon as someone gets shocked they want me to come along and, shock all their friends. It ends up livening things up.
 
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