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High voltage sources

Introduction

Since childhood, I was fascinated by laboratory demonstrations of high voltage arcs and sparks I witnessed on TV. Naturally, as soon as I started gaining knowledge about electronics, I wanted to  produce some of my own. While I already had some “ready made” sources like oil burner ignition transformers which I could draw arcs from, I wanted to build something myself and put life into some of the flyback transformers and ignition coils I had around. As expected, at first this involved replicating schematics that could be found on web at that time, usually involving driver circuits with single transistors and NE555 integrated circuits. As I gained experience, I started to realize pitfalls of such circuits and decided to design some of my own. Since Tesla coils have made a very significant portion of my research, I dedicated a completely separate page for them only.

Most common application of high voltage sources among enthusiasts is drawing arcs from them, as well as using them to power Tesla coils or Marx generators. It is worthwhile to note that in almost all of these cases, the sources need to be able to withstand short circuit on their output. In industry and scientific research, high voltages are used applications like power transmission, insulation testing, particle acceleration and generation of plasmas for various purposes.

Projects

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