Ol' Sparky
this page is hidden, and not searchable
Person has been banned

Ol' Sparky

So here's the story: I ended up getting 8 fancy high voltage capacitors in a trade with @inducktion, and they ended up sitting on my shelf for about a month. A couple weeks later I came across a reel of 5000 glass 1kV ultrafast diodes on ebay, and after a big brouhaha I ended up getting that $700 reel for only $20.
Originally I wanted to use those diodes to make a 2 million volt CW multiplier, but that proved to be infeasible and a waste of time. Losses would be high.
I then remembered the capacitors I had sitting on the shelf, and figured they'd make a nice CW. They are not your typical cheap HV caps. Instead these capacitors were huge and bulky for their ratings, meaning they were capable of plenty of current. Best of all they were made in the USA (really).
Turns out the 3.3nF 20kV caps were made by a company called Calramic, but they don't sell to individuals. Tis a shame, and foolish on their part in my opinion.

Ol' Sparky, Revision 1

It was decided that this was going to be an open-air CW multiplier, because quite frankly oil sucks. Big time. There's not much to say about construction. Everything was assembled with hot glue and things from the craft store, and in the end ol' sparky had the appearance of an 8 year old's science fair project.
But of course, the contraption worked. Fed by a fancy plastic AC flyback #transformer and a ZVS driver, Ol' Sparky turned a meager 32 volts into a hefty 80,000V. As the diodes I used were quite huge, no output limiting resistor was needed. That means the sparks were LOUD.
After I got bored making a bunch of noise, I constructed an HV capacitor out of 2 pieces of foil and a 3/32" sheet of what I presume is teflon. The capacitance turned out to be only 1nf, but the inductance was incredibly low.
So low in fact that the high current sparks were able to destroy wooden dowels!

Ol' Sparky, Revision 2

Alas, the tower that was Ol' Sparky was short lived. The big contraption ended up getting crushed by various objects and cats, multiple times. Ol sparky was no more.
I soon got bored again, so it was time to rebuild the multiplier. This time, it would be compact and durable, so naturally I used super glue and legos to hold the thing together.
Now powering that thing up in such a compact space would have meant certain death for the multiplier, because air is a bad insulator. Originally I planned to use oil as insulation, but I remembered what a huge pain in the ass that is. Paraffin cracks and bubbles when cooled... so what to use?
Well it turns out beeswax works very well. Shrinkage was minimal and it never cracked, leading to a pure block of pure win.
Now what does the future hold for Ol' Sparky? Well that is uncertain. Likely his fate will be nothing more than a tool used to shock various objects, but maybe someday he will find a home in a fusor, or a CT scanner.