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jacob’s ladder

I cleaned out the junk room this weekend and found two old tube tvs, so I cracked them open and salvaged the flyback transformers.

(If you do this, make sure to discharge the tube before messing around inside the TV.)

It was a rainy weekend so I was stuck inside, so I decided to make a Jacob’s Ladder out of one of the flybacks. I needed a circuit to drive the flyback so I thought I’d try one of the 555 timer circuits I’ve seen online.

I put together the following two different circuits but I couldn’t get either to work.

I finally gave up on the 555 circuits and built a ZVS (zero voltage switching) driver. There is tons of info on the internet about how this circuit works, so I won’t explain everything, but here is the schematic.

I pulled a 60uh choke and a 470nf cap from an old power supply and the fast diodes were B4404s that I pulled from the TV. I used two 1n4742a 12 volt zeners and two K2382 mosfets.

I wound a center tapped primary coil on the flyback and cut up a coat hanger for the V of the Jacob’s ladder.

I powered the whole setup with 24 volts from an old pc power supply.

It fired right up and started arcing.

I ran it for several minutes at a time, constantly monitoring the temperature of the mosfets and they stayed perfectly cool the entire time.



One Comment

  1. […] I originally built my ZVS driver that I used with the Jacob’s ladder, I wanted to try and use it as an induction heater. I wound a quick coil out of some solid core […]

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