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Conductive materials, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I'm sure you've seen those "shock buzzer" novelty items. Push the
    button on a retractable pen, pull the trigger on a toy gun, try to use
    the get a mild electric shock. The components are so
    small that I'd like to take them out of existing (cheap) products and
    put them inside new ones. There's a problem, though.

    I know I can find metal buttons/triggers/parts at the flea market or
    junkyard, but what if I want to make my own? I don't know how to melt
    metal and mold it. So, my question:

    Is there a conductive sculpting material--something like sculpy or
    repair putty-- that conducts electricity?

    Also--and this is totally secondary to the main question; are there any
    plans online for one of these "shocker" circuits that can be hooked up
    to a AAA battery? It looks really simple. I just don't know that I
    would save enough money making my own to bother with it. So, this
    second question is only out of curiousity.


  2. If it's a true "conductor", meaning you want it to really carry electricity
    like a metal and not just dissipate static charges, like resistive
    materials, then it will probably be loaded with silver and thus pretty

    Kansas City
  3. Yep. There's this stuff called "Art Clay" that's basically fine
    silver (or gold) particles in a paper pulp binder. You sculpt what you
    want then fire it in a kiln, and as the binder burns away the metal
    fuses leaving solid metal. Shrinkage around 10% IIRC. Google for it if
    you're interested, but it ain't cheap.

    If I was going to do it I'd prolly just cut/grind/file/polish
    whatever metal I wanted to use for the conductive parts. Stainless is
    cheap, and fairly easy to work with frinst a Dremel for the fiddly bits.

    If it's that simple just copy it directly or gut one of these gizmos
    and put the guts into your "custom" package. While you're at it, post
    pics in alt.binaries.schematics.electronic.

    I found a cached Google page of somebody else's similar effort by
    Googlong "shocker lighter" +schematic, but the original page with pics
    is apparently gone.

    Or you could go the KISS route:

    Mark L. Fergerson
  4. Guest

    Awesome. Thanks!

    I found Art Clay Silver, 10g for $15. That is really expensive,
    considering I couldn't get more than two or three projects out of one

    I probably will have to grind metal at some point. I've used a dremel
    on plastic, so it shouldn't be too hard. Just need to invest in new
    tips and a vise.
  5. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Sculpt your button-shape in Sculpy, and embed a little metal plate with
    wire from the bottom, into the top of the button-shape, with the wire
    going down through and out the bottom.

    Making a shock box is almost trivially easy - I've seen them with no
    electronic parts at all - the little fake book had a weighted spring with
    a little magnet glued to it, so that when you opened the fake book, the
    little metal strip would get pulled up until the magnet lets go, then it
    whaps down and bounces off the other contact. What the contacts do is just
    interrupt the current from a 1.5V battery to the primary of a flash
    trigger transformer. For full-auto, wire a relay as a buzzer.

    Do not build or use this because lethal voltages are present. I take no
    responsibility whatsoever for any action taken by any one based on my

    Good Luck!
  6. Not so sure about "awesome", but it was kinda fun to watch ol'
    fumble-fingers working on that poor camera, wasn't it?
    I did mention it wasn't cheap. But if it _has_ to be a precious
    metal, I'd go for it rather than try to cast it. I happen to know a
    woman who does that, and I'd rather be soldering SMTs!
    And safety goggles. Ask me how I know...

    Mark L. Fergerson
  7. Gary Helfert

    Gary Helfert Guest

    Radio Shack sells a pen that dispenses conductive ink. $12 per pen.
  8. Guest

    I wasn't sure about this until now. It seems like the odds on finding
    a standard part that I can mold inside sculpy is just as remote as
    finding one that would be perfect as is. I got my newest shock toy in
    the mail today, though, and it's perfect for this method.

    It also seems conductive paint is more versatile than I'd thought.
    I'm just gonna stick with the pre-made shockworks. I actually found a
    kit online, for $10. Then I found just one of the components at Radio
    Shack and it was more expensive than a whole shock toy.

    Thanks again to all contributors.
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