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555: strategies for series step-up transformers

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Dominic-Luc Webb, Dec 8, 2004.

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  1. Hi all,

    My projects involve rectified 1500-2000 volt power supplies with only
    modest power requirements, around 500 mW max.

    I am interested in tying together identical transformers from the same
    manufacturer to get kV power. I drive them with a working 555 timer
    circuit running from a 9 VDC battery operating around 30 kHz, confirmed
    on oscilloscope. The first transformer (0.5 Ohm primary, 50 Ohm secondary)
    gives about 50 volt spikes. When I connect the second transformer in
    series, voltage peaks drop to only a couple volts. I use a diode across
    the transformer poles on the primary side of the first transformer, which
    mainly has effect of making circuit more stable over time. I could mention
    that the transformers appear to operate optimally around the 30 kHz I am

    Now that I have an oscilloscope, I know my 555 circuits work very well,
    like textbook examples, but I also know that consistently adding NPN
    transistors to the 555 output before the transformers seriously pulls
    down the voltage output from the transformers. Thus far, without the NPN,
    the 555 is not overheating, etc, so I would rather leave this alone.
    Actually, I was thinking to maybe try opto-switches or a relay to power
    the transformers from a series of 2 or more 12 volt batteries.

    May I therefore ask for some suggestions about getting better coupling
    from one transformer stage to the next? Circuit suggestions about
    opto-switches and relays also welcome...

  2. (snip)

    There is probably not much point in going any further with this post,
    till I understand, better, what you are describing here. It sounds
    like you are getting poor performance from the first transformer, and
    I don't understand how you are connecting the second one. Please try
    to help me understand the details of the 555 to transformer
    connections and the way you are trying to connect the second
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