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Power supply for our Jacob's Ladder project.

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tcmtech

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Standard neon sign transformer or fuel oil ignition transformer will work for that.

So will an ignition coil with the correct driver circuit.
 

dr pepper

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Zvs flyback drivers are not hard to make if you can find an old Crt Tv as a donor.
 

DerStrom8

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There is absolutely no reason to buy a Jacob's Ladder kit, especially not for $56.99! Jacob's Ladders are one of the easiest projects to make and you can generally make it at very little cost, if not free.

I have made Jacob's Ladders with neon sign transformers, oil burner ignition transformers, automotive ignition coils, TV line output transformers, etc. Any of these will work great, though the last two requite additional driver circuitry in order to generate the high voltage. The easiest to use are neon sign transformers (NSTs) or oil burner ignition transformers (OBITs). They plug directly into an outlet and just work, no added circuitry needed. You can often find NSTs and OBITs in scrap yards or dumpsters, plumbing/HVAC shops, repair shops, thrift stores, etc. In order to make a reliable Jacob's Ladder I would recommend shooting for a transformer that can supply at least 6000 volts at 10mA.
 

shortbus=

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There is absolutely no reason to buy a Jacob's Ladder kit, especially not for $56.99! Jacob's Ladders are one of the easiest projects to make and you can generally make it at very little cost, if not free.
I agree, usually the most expensive thing is the tube to surround the electrodes. Fist one I made with a tube the tube was some type of plastic, didn't last long. Think it was the ozone that made the plastic go bad. A better one was made from glass tubing that was for a milking system, but expensive at the time. Don't know the cost today though. The surround tube lets the electrodes used be a longer length, more like in the old Frankenstein movies, a lot of fun as a kid.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
I agree, usually the most expensive thing is the tube to surround the electrodes. Fist one I made with a tube the tube was some type of plastic, didn't last long. Think it was the ozone that made the plastic go bad. A better one was made from glass tubing that was for a milking system, but expensive at the time. Don't know the cost today though. The surround tube lets the electrodes used be a longer length, more like in the old Frankenstein movies, a lot of fun as a kid.
True, though I never bothered with the tube. Stiff enough wire (coathanger wire, for example) is usually strong enough to hold itself up, and even if it couldn't I could always put some sort of non-conductive (often plastic or dry wood) cap at the top to hold the wires the correct distance apart.
 

shortbus=

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True, though I never bothered with the tube. Stiff enough wire (coathanger wire, for example) is usually strong enough to hold itself up, and even if it couldn't I could always put some sort of non-conductive (often plastic or dry wood) cap at the top to hold the wires the correct distance apart.
That's how I started. The tube does make a big difference. Something about the heat from the arc is contained and it can then jump a bigger gap, if I remember correctly. Or maybe it is the ionized air? Been many years since messing with one.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
That's how I started. The tube does make a big difference. Something about the heat from the arc is contained and it can then jump a bigger gap, if I remember correctly. Or maybe it is the ionized air? Been many years since messing with one.
The one thing I can think of is that it blocks any external air currents form extinguishing the arc easily. Perhaps that's it?

I always used higher voltage anyway (10-18kV) at 30-60mA so jumping the gap wasn't ever really a problem for me.
 

shortbus=

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The one thing I can think of is that it blocks any external air currents form extinguishing the arc easily. Perhaps that's it?

I always used higher voltage anyway (10-18kV) at 30-60mA so jumping the gap wasn't ever really a problem for me.
Yeah, guess what I was trying to say is that the top spread of the electrodes can be wider with a tube. With using the same input values. Almost double or more.
 
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