Connect with us


Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Vault 1013, Feb 20, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Vault 1013

    Vault 1013 Guest


    Hey ppl, Im trying to create a high voltage source to create a spark that
    will be able to ignite (butane/propane) gas.
    Im trying to generate a spark at least as big/powerful as a piezo starter,
    like those found in ovens, water heaters etc...
    The only catch is that i want to be able to run it from a source no larger
    than ~16 VDC, (i.e. 2 x 9V batteries).
    Also, I dont want it to be too large or too expensive.

    Thnx All
  2. Good plan, tell us how you did it once it works.
  3. Pat Ford

    Pat Ford Guest

    Sounds like he needs a stun gun schematic
    (ducking and running for cover 8*)
  4. There used to be a French cigarette lighter that
    ignited the gas with a spark, tradename "Calibri"
    afair. It was based on an ignition coil powered
    off a tiny 12v battery. No electronics, just a
    mechanical switch.

  5. Greetings Mr. Vault 1013.

    Going from 16V to say 4kV directly in one step is relatively difficult. It
    may be easier to use an intermediate voltage in between.

    Make a very simple low power DC-DC converter to generate something like
    300V. Play around with google and you might be able to find some ready made
    schematics for some simple designs for this sort of thing. Use the 300V to
    charge a small capacitor, IE: 0.033uF. Get yourself a xenon strobe trigger
    transformer. Discharge the 0.033uF capacitor into the primary of the little
    pulse transformer by mechanical means or with an SCR. Make sure the spacing
    on the high voltage output is small enough to produce a spark. Xenon strobe
    trigger transformers can be purchased from Mouser, or for single unit
    quantities just buy a very cheap disposable camera with flash capability.
    My local Wal-Mart sells these for under $5. Often the ones inside those
    disposable cameras are smaller than the Mouser ones anyway. IIRC the
    trigger transformer from one Kodak brand disposable camera I disassembled
    had an extremely tiny trigger transformer inside. It was about as large as
    the body of a TO-92 plastic package.
  6. Mr. Civility

    Mr. Civility Guest

    A homemade squib will do the job. Just wrap some very fine wire around
    the head of a match and connect it to a battery. Actually, I imagine
    the wire itself would get hot enough to ignite the gas before it melted.

    Oh, you want an actual electrical spark? An automotive ignition coil
    will generate a nice strong one. Connect it up like an old points-based
    ignition with a push-button replacing the points.

    A relay hooked up like a buzzer (coil power delivered through the NC
    contacts) might do the trick, if you can get those contacts into the gas.

    Or you could build a blocking oscillator using a transistor and the
    primary (most conveniently, a center-tapped one) of a high-turns-ratio
    transformer. The high non-linearity of the waveform will give you a
    good jolt from the secondary, provided the insulation will take it.

    Or you could combine the 2nd and 4th ideas into a capacitor discharge
    ignition system.

    Google on the key words to learn more.

    Igniting gas is easy. Getting the air/fuel mixture right is the hard
    part of building a decent potato gun :)
  7. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    just get your self one of those hand held stun devices that woman
    have in their perse.
    other wise it involses winding a coil and using capacitor
    discharge much like a car coil system would do.
  8. budgie

    budgie Guest

    Are you intending manufacture or seeking one for your own use? I have
    twenty-year-old gas hotplates here with a single D cell powering the spark
    igniters. The ignition circuitry takes up less space than the D cell. It may
    pay to look for an existing commercial solution than reinvent the wheel - unless
    that is your objective/passion.
  9. Vault 1013

    Vault 1013 Guest

    I've found most of what you are talking about


    *P.S Is it really that obvious what Im making...*
  10. Vault 1013

    Vault 1013 Guest

  11. budgie

    budgie Guest

  12. I had a Calibri lighter like that, given to me as a Christmas present
    in 1980. Up until 2001, it was still working on the original battery!
    And even then it wasn't the battery that failed but the EHT insulation
    that broke down.
  13. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    You are WAY over your head doing this- the gas ignitor is a HIGH
    RELIABILITY design that in addition to ignition prevents explosion and
    fire due to intermittent operation or failure. If you have to ask how to
    produce a "spark" then you are unqualified.
  14. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    I'd go for a butane operated low-performance firearm of some sort.
    Be aware that in some legislations this will be just as illegal as
    making a real gun (though you may be able to get permits).
    Also, you must NEVER use PVC for the barrel.
  15. I think you can if it's bound up with close-wound coils of suitable
    strength rope.
  16. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    That'll contain the shards (maybe).
    You'r unlikely to keep it under enough tension to keep the tension
    below the very low fracture threshold of PVC.
    PVC really, really sucks for some things.
    HDPE is nice, as it's stable, and does not fracture into shards
    like PVC.
  17. ....perfectly legal here (then so are "real" guns). Cheap hair-
    spray is the normal PG fuel (and works for wasps/hornets too).
    Not a problem. Sched-80 is just fine, it simply needs some small
    mods. ...or so I'm told.
  18. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Where are you?
    I believe that in most of the states, it is covered by firearms legislation.
  19. budgie

    budgie Guest


    Woohoo!! Can't wait to hear the reports of the cans exploding. (They do).
  20. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    No they don't, unless dramatically overheated.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day