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Static Electricity Generator (need some help)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Anon_DT, Dec 2, 2014.

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  1. Anon_DT

    Anon_DT Guest

    So a long time ago I found this video:

    Last year I tried making it but as I couldn't afford the "negative ion generator",
    I bought a voltage booster instead
    which gave me decent results. I hooked it up to a switch and two AA batteries for an initial 3 volts.

    I got some nice arcs between the leads and my friends and I shocked the heck out of each other. It was really fun.
    The issue is that to get shocked, we had to complete the circuit directly by either having one person touch both ends or having a couple people link hands and have the people at the end of the chain touch the separate ends of wires. No noticeable static charge was actually built on anyone.

    What is shown in the video, and what I want is for one wire to go to 'ground' and another to go directly onto a body, building a charge on the person, insulated from the ground by their shoes. This way, a person could deliver a shock to anything without the object/person having direct contact with the wires, just the body of the person hooked up to the device.

    I'm wondering if anyone could let me know what I did wrong with my first attempt and what I should do/buy to have it function like that in the video, actually building a charge. Maybe the voltage and amperage were wrong?\

    Details like the correct power source, generator (voltage booster, anion generator, etc.), voltages, amperages and positioning of wires would be super helpful! Sorry for writing so much!

    Now, since I know, based on my experience asking other places, that many people think what I'm doing is dangerous/stupid and I could get someone hurt, and that I don't know what I'm doing, I just have a few things to say (not to sound rude):
    -I am building this under some supervision, not totally on my own. My dad builds custom professional microscopes and really knows his stuff. He wouldn't let me do anything that could seriously hurt anyone.
    -I do not plan on and will not "go around shocking people". As with last year, I will always fully disclose what I am about to do, what I can do and obtain permission before touching something that isn't mine.
    -I won't kill anyone, seriously.. Last year people were insinuating that my 7KV contraption was extremely dangerous. To that I say and know: not unless I try to start a fire or unless someone with a heart condition touches it.

    I hope that's enough to get people off my back about how "stupid" I am for "playing with things I don't understand".

    I really appreciate any help because while my dad is very knowledgeable, he's also very busy there's no way I could ask him to spend his time brainstorming with me.
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    This thread will get locked soon I'm sure, but I want to squeeze this in here first...
    Dangerous. and you should be able to do a project like this by yourself. If you have to ask for help, you do not understand the electronics involved which makes this even more dangerous.
    It does not take much to stop a human heart.

    I do see that you covered this already in your post, but my point remains valid.
    Perhaps you should ask your dad if his custom microscoped deal with very high voltages.
  3. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

    Dec 18, 2013
    It only takes a few hundred milliamps of current at DC and even less for AC to cause fibrillation of the heart, this is very dangerous and I suggest this is closed.
  4. Anon_DT

    Anon_DT Guest

    Not really dangerous, and it does actually take some effort to stop the human heart. With an initial 2 amps and 3 volts, brought up to 7000 V, you get less than 1 mA. Please point out if I'm wrong. At the maximum practical output of the 2 AA batteries, the current does not come close to being dangerous. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about, with people suddenly saying it's dangerous. Instead of just seeing it, do some research and conversions to find out if 2 AA batteries with a consistent output (no capacitor) can really do any serious damage. Really, what did you mean by a few hundred miliamps? At what voltage? Because you can crank up the amperage plenty and if your voltage is too small, it means nothing.

    I'm not bragging when I say this, I'm using it as verification that I'm not doing anything harmful, but my dad works at Princeton University and is the head of his department. He deals with these kind of things all the time when constructing equipment. If it was even close to as dangerous as you make it seem, he would not have supported me in building it and let my younger brothers and I play with it in front of him.

    I want to add that I do understand the electronics involved. It was covered in my physics class. I'm asking for help because there are people who know more than me, who could help me build it better than I could alone (like last year).
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2014
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    That's good, then I strongly suggest you get his supervision putting it together and testing it :)
  6. Anon_DT

    Anon_DT Guest

    As I mentioned, he's busy. I currently only see him after 7:00 PM and even then he's still working. He pretty much just comes home to cook dinner and take care of my youngest brother.
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    then you need to find someone who can give you hands on supervision ... not via the internet, where it cannot be seen what you are doing
    and if you are making mistakes or not .... none of us here want to be involved in the cause of injury or worse to you
    If your dad cannot supervise then maybe he can suggest an electronics guy local to you that can mentor you
    Anon_DT likes this.
  8. Anon_DT

    Anon_DT Guest

    Those options are not available to me and exactly because I'm just some guy on the internet, I should be able to get advice without people worrying so much..
    I already stated that I generally know what I'm doing and unless someone can explain to me how dangerous the output of two AA batteries is, I don't see how any harm can come of my project unless I intentionally cause it.
  9. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009

    please follow my advice :)

    I will close this thread now

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