Friday, October 24, 2008


I've decided to describe all the stuff in the first post in detail.

1. Flyback Transformer -- It started when I found this HUGE TV on the side of the road, ready to be demolished by the evils of unenvironmental people in orange jackets. I brought it home (with the assistance of an innocent bystander) and found that it actually was in working order. O_o. But because my family had no use and no room for it, I was given the OK to take it apart. And of course, before taking apart huge things that emit radiation, I looked online for things to target and not to target. I found the flyback transformer as one of them. I desoldered it and started searching for drivers. I think I still have the circuit board for the TV.

a. Single-Transistor Driven -- The first driver I used was the basic single-transistor driver. The only thing I had to buy was the transistor. I salvaged everything else. The driver worked well, 2 cm arcs. Estimated 15-30 kV.

b. CFL-driven -- I was looking around on when I found a new driver that was alleged to work. So I took apart a 13 watt CFL (compact fluorescent light -- those light bulbs that are all spirally and twisty) and hooked it up. It works. Same results as the single transistor.

2. Numerous Takeaparts -- I'll list as many as I can think of. Hard drives, cameras (digital and disposable), TV, computer monitors, numerous computers, laptops, CD drive, floppy drive, computer PSU, iPods, carbon monoxide alarm, solar powered calculator,...That's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there's more.

3. Volume-Reduction of a Flat-Screen LCD -- I took apart a flat-screen LCD that still worked well but was being disposed of because it wasn't being used. So I took it apart (the casing was HUGE) and built a cardboard enclosure that reduced the thickness by more that 30%.

4. Hard-Drive Takeaparts -- I've obtained numerous hard drives over the years (at first for the magnets inside). Now, I've got a 20 GB, 400 GB (bought), and two 30 GB (one dead). Others were here before but are no longer with us.

5. Butane-Fueled Gun -- A film canister with an aluminum tube sticking out the cap. I consider it a failure because it failed to produce the thrust necessary to shoot something. Sparks were made by piezoelectric igniters from lighters.

6. HHO Torch -- See posts for more info.

7. LED destruction -- Purely a for-fun project. Attach a electric bug racket to an LED. Watch out for shrapnel. 'Nuff said.

8. Capacitor Banks -- Using flash capacitors from disposable cameras, I've made a 5-cap bank. Because it pulse-discharges at 300 volts, it is considerably powerful enough to blast craters in pennies and vaporize large circles of aluminum. And vaporize thin wires completely.

9. Setting Random Things on Fire -- This is self-explanatory.

10. Match Rockets -- Very fun thing to do. I've made double and triple matchhead models but had them blow up in mid-air.

I'll post more later. This is not all that I've done. This is just the beginning.

New Cell Layout

Building on the last post's electrode plans, after extensive testing, I'm going to make a "cell" out of the carbon electrodes. Each row of electrodes will be joined together by a soldered wire, and there will be several rows, alternating between (-) and (+).

I'm still looking for a new bootleg flashback arrestor...the last one made from a medicine pill bottle had unforeseen leaks.

Also, during the long hiatus, I had beefed up the capacitor bank charger/discharger. Now it blows half-centimeter diameter holes in aluminum foil and blasts little craters (deep enough to see zinc) in pennies. I may or may not post pictures of those.

I know how confusing this is, so pics in a few!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Choice of Electrodes

Sorry for the long hiatus. School started.

I've chosen carbon rods for my electrodes. This is because they don't contaminate the water and remain conductive.

To keep the surface-volume ratio high, I've chosen sticks of .5 mm pencil lead. They will be "soldered" onto a thin aluminum wire (they aren't actually soldered, they reject being soldered, but it maintains a better electrical connection and holds the sticks in place). Pictures and results later!