Generating High Voltage

A simple flyback transformer driver to generate very high voltages. I had to experiment a lot when I first tried this, so I hope to provide enough detail that anyone reading this can successfully generate a high voltage arc on their first try. In the second part of the article I will show you how to modulate the signal being sent to the control circuitry.

Connecting an audio signal to the control input allows you to reproduce those audio frequencies at the high voltage output of the transformer. Using this method, you can use your high voltage arc as a plasma speaker  or a singing arc  with sound originating from the arc of electricity. The flyback transformer is the most important part of this circuit. Unfortunately, it is also the most complex and usually undocumented component. If you know what to look for, a flyback transformer is easy to find and incorporate into your design. Flyback transformers are used to generate the high voltage necessary to operate older televisions and CRT monitors. They transform a low-medium voltage AC input and into an output of many thousands of volts. Most flyback transformers are designed to operate best at a specific frequency. For instance, the flyback transformers used to display NTSC television signals were designed to operate at ~15, 750hz. An interesting effect of this operating frequency is the high pitched whine  associated with older television sets. There are two types of flyback transformers: AC and DC. I recommend using a DC (modern) flyback transformer because they often have a voltage multiplier built in. This means you will probably get a larger arc out of a DC flyback than you would if you used the equivalent circuitry to drive an AC flyback. Luckily, DC flyback transformers seem to be more available anyway. I bought mine...

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