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need hv arcs

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induction1

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what's the best way to get an inch (or much more) of spark with low current? i've got an ignition coil, many camera flash circiuts and caps, a 7500 v epoxy trans, a microwave trans, etc.
also, how can i charge multiple capacitors on a singles camera flash circuit? i've tried connecting the caps, but the voltage is just divided among them.
 

lavenatti

Member
1) The caps need to hooked up in parallel, it sounds like you have them hooked up in series.

2) If you don't know enough about high voltage to make a one inch arc put the microwave transformer aside for a while. They typically put out about 2000 volts and a hefty amount of current. Very lethal and very unforgiving. They also draw about 2-3 amps whenever they are plugged in, unusually poor efficiency for a transformer but thats what they are.

3) You should be able to drive an ignition coil fairly easy. A 555 hooked up as an astable multivibrator and driving a heavy duty transistor should give you some nice results. If you can, make the frequency of the 555 variable from 1000 to about 10000 hertz. This is about what they were made for in a car (RPM x # of cylinders). You can even hook up a relay (Double pole) as a buzzer and use the second set of contacts to power the coil.
 

Phasor

Member
A neon sign transformer works pretty well - no other components needed! Just plug the primary into the mains... :twisted:
 

mechie

New Member
Sparky

I have experimented with 5kV ignition transformers and found them disappointing; maybe I missed something but the best I could get was a quarter-inch spark.
 

lavenatti

Member
They're 10KV here. Alone they're fun, but I used one to power the primary of a Tesla coil I built. It was great, it would make about 8" sparks into open air and you could pull 2-3 foot arcs off it to ground.
 

Madmartin

New Member
Once I got about 45 kV out of a car's ignition coil. I hooked it up with a mosfet IRF1010NS and an additional coil in a self resonant circuit. The thingy worked by placing a second coil around or under a car's ignition coil
(as feedbak coil) (Volkswagen part, the type that is stuffed in a kind of metal beaker, not the transformer like GM / Opel variant).
Self-Resonance is good for high voltages. Adjust the feedback coil for maximum performance. Don't overflood your FET's gate.

BTW: I needed a lab supply 30 V / 25 A to get that much juice out of it.
Transistor cooling is critical. If you have solved that, you'll probaply smoke the coil pretty fast due to heat and sparking.

Be careful with those high voltages. They jump around everywhere where you don't expect them. And can kill, too. Better step away and switch on remotely by a High Voltage tested relay !

Best idea: Have access to a high voltage lab and staff :)
 
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