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I am starting to get interested in static electricity

I have found this which is very cool but I do not know how I can control the output voltage.


What I need to do is to use a 3 Volts Button Battery and get a 50-500 volt static charge from it. And I need the device to be very small.

What can I change in order to control the voltage? and is a 3 volts button battery good to keep this thing alive for months? and lastly, can I flip the battery to control the out put charge (negative or positive)?

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2 Answers

Take a battery of any size, and a coil of wire, the more the merrier. Connect both ends of the wire to the battery, and then break the circuit. You will see a spark. The more wire in the coil, the bigger the spark. To get across the air gap takes thousands of volts.

If your victim is also connected to both ends of the wire, she will feel a jolt.

The exact voltage depends on how much electrical resistance the victim has, and that is very hard to control.

What's happening is while the battery is connected to the coil, current builds up in the coil and stores energy in its magnetic field. When you break the connection, the current can't suddenly stop because all that energy has to go somewhere. So it drains through whatever resistor it can find, whether it's the air gap, or your former friend.

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I see what you mean, thank you. But the guy in the example i referenced above knew that he will get a certain amount of volts (see his circuit drawing in step 5 and 6 of that website). What i need is to get this device to be continuously firing without breaking the circuit. Actually I want to use the voltage from it to light a neon bulb NE-2 –  Moha Apr 11 '13 at 3:48
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That shocker will consume a lot of power. The battery will be empty within an hour. But you could pair that circuit with an oscillator. http://www.555-timer-circuits.com/flashing-led.html Build the oscillator such that it turns the shocker on for a few ms every few seconds. That way it can last for weeks. Also you can not flip the battery. It won't work at all if you do that. You can however flip the neon bulb. Controlling the voltage is difficult with such a simple circuit. You could put a resistor between the battery and the rest of the circuit. That should reduce the output. But why does it have to be a neon bulb? An LED would be easier to operate.

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A neon bulb can operate on low current and high voltage. This is what I want to do: a very small thing, using a button battery, that can generate enough voltage (50-250 volts) to make a neon light bright. For example, i used a lighter ignition (piezoelectric generator) to make the neon bulb work! but the lighter ignition needs pressure to work. I want something like it that works on a button battery. Thanks –  Moha Apr 11 '13 at 19:24
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