I want to have two pumpkins kissing each other, and want sparks
jumping between them. I have an old neon light transformer thats
rated around 25,000 volts. If I connect one wire (from this
transformer) to one pumpkin and the other wire to the other pumpkin,
will sparks jump between them? How far will they jump?
On 10/30/2011 7:03 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Unless you want the entire pumpkin burning, you'll need to add internal
wiring, and some sort of metal points on facing sides. Like maybe grind
the head of a 16d nail shiny, cover shaft with shrink wrap, and shove
through the face, and connect the ends inside the pumpkins. Set the
pumpkins on some sort of insulating material, like dry wood.
Recommend you put the setup out of the reach of young fingers, lest the
parents hiding in the bushes start calling the cops on their cell
phones. Dunno how far the sparks will jump- been decades since I played
with one of those transformers. Ask over in one of the electronics
groups- those guys know everything.
Art's idea is MUCH safer, the neon transformer will kill very readily,
that's what they use in bug zappersa, only on a much smaller/lower
scale. You don't want to have to explain on national tv how you
killed a trick or treater.
On 10/30/2011 11:14 AM, hr(bob) email@example.com wrote:
A neon transformer has high voltage, but almost non existent amperage.
They will ring your chimes if you are grounded, a bit like a spark plug
wire but I wouldn't classify them as deadly.
If the OP could rig one to spark and arc intermittently, it could be
Doing the math in my head, as I "grew up" knowing this in cm, but I think
around 80kV/inch in air is around the right sort of number.
It's possible to 'draw' the spark out to a much longer distance (e.g.
Jacob's Ladder) - and a neon sign transformer or TV/monitor flyback
should work well there, but that's not really the effect you're after...
I agree with others, though, there's a fire hazard here - not to mention
that HV can be pretty painful; if you do make something, make sure it's
not 'accidentally' accessible.
I remember making a spark-gap generator when I was about 15; I built a
waveform generator running from a 9V battery and used the HV transformer
from an old camera flash for the step-up. It was reasonably effective for
zapping friends with and gave quite a jolt (ahh, the days of being young
and foolish, rather than old and foolish!), but based on the spark length
I was only getting about 10-15kV out of it.
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