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9v Battery Spark generator

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Hey guys!


I'm going to make a potato canon and need a spark generator to ignite the fumes. I was thinking about a 9v battery because of its power and size. What I want it to do is basically be able to make a spark over a gap every 2 or 3 minutes.


I have no electrical experience so please be specific. I can solder though.

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you could use the capacitor from a disposable camera, it is the small black cylinder with the two prongs at the top, it should be under the flash, you can charge it with a 9 volt battery and it will produce and much, much larger spark than the battery.

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why not a pizoelectric sparker from a BBQ lighter or what i used was one of the long lighters used for BBQs i just mounted the entire thing since having the flame made it more reliable then just the spark.


also i used drywal screws on all the joints plus PVC glue just to make sure it wouldnt come apart.


also i put a couple screws at the very base of the barrel so when i pushed the spud down it would stop when it hit the screw. this worked great and i HIGHLY recommend doing this


as far as the lighter goes i also found that mounting it on the rear cap that you remove to put the hairspray in (aqua net works great) that way when you spray your lighter or sparker isnt getting coated with hairspray. so the long BBQ lighter was directly inline with the barrrel, i just drilled a hole in the end cap and inserted the lighter in about 2 inches and put JB wld epoxy around it to hold it in place.


we built LOTS of them and the stuff i discribed is the result of lots of trial and error. just be safe.


also i made it so the barrel was just a slip fit in (no scres or PVC glue holding it on) so if there was too much pressure it would just blow the barrel off which would only go a few feet. this prevents the launcher from building up too much pressure and possibly rupturing if for some reason the potato was stuck in there too tight.

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  • 2 weeks later...


I can't seem to get much of a spark, (nothing visible, but felt like a toy shock pen).

My primary's seem to be 1 and 2, my secondary is 8. My cap is unmarked, but it is out of a camera.

What I'd really like to do is get the same arc I got when it was still in the monitor, but components burned up. I thought I'd see if I could make the same thing with the lone flyback. Is the quoted method designed to get a sizable arc. Will the transformer respond to 120 ac?

We want high volts, low amps. You might enjoy knowing I lit myself up in front of my class. I had almost a 2'' arc. I held my tounge, but holy cow! That was fun.


If you're not learning with your students, your teaching is lacking. Don't judge me.


Ernie Mac

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  • 2 weeks later...

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