ZVS Flyback Driver

I built this driver just over a year ago, now bringing it back to life as I got more batteries to power her up to about 400 watts! (36v at 10A - 12A) The arc strikes at 3cm and can be stretched over 12cm.

Just after the arc burnt a hole into a lightbulb, they was a stream of plasma 'shooting' out of the bulb, like a flame thrower. This is because when the arc got inside the bulb, the gas inside heats up, causing it to expand and escaping through the hole thus creating a "plasma thrower".

If you are going to arc a lightbulb, be careful as glass tends to break from extreme temperature change - one time I had a lightbulb that literally blew up, it is cool but dangerous, so wear goggles. :)

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Author Owen Chase science channel ( ago)
Plasmana2000's channel when I shut off my power supply how do I keep the
back EMF from killing my mosfets?

Author zaxtor ( ago)
poor lightbulb.

nice vid, arc was epic especially the sparkle.

Author Edgar Sepa ( ago)
Nice plasma!!! :)

Author ricardo rodrigo ( ago)
This is my vid, my driver i made with a eletro-mechanical sparker_it´s
insteresting__ /watch?v=V_75pNVRA3E

Author HowToMakeIt156 ( ago)
what are you use for MKP capacitors? 0.47 uF or 0.68 uF ?

Author DangerousAndAwesome ( ago)
Thanks! I will be following your instructable to make this, because I'm
looking for a semi safe table top Jacob's ladder for my desk. I don't want
to use a MOT because it isn't exactly safe for a desk toy and it doesn't
even arc as far. Thanks!

Author joaquin correa araújo ( ago)
Might make a video with the scheme? thanks

Author electron maker ( ago)
Please check out my new driver! You won't be disappointed

Author vladrif escala ( ago)
i think it's much better if it can be converted to be a home power
generator rather than just keep on watching it sparking,

Author electron maker ( ago)
Please check out my new driver

Author hotbikerguywithscar ( ago)
I built a similar circuit but bulked up the values so to be used 24/7 as a
heater. I threw on a flyback and pumped in 31 volts at 15 amps and almost
crapped when an arc shot 2 inches then through a 1/4 piece of acrylic
plastic and down my bench into an AC power cord. That ended the testing of
a flyback on the ZVS for me.

Author pieznice29 ( ago)
The high-current arc heats up the air, which makes it more conductive so
the arc likes to be in this conductive spot. (Electricity favours the path
of least resistance) Hot air rises, so the arc tends to follow the movement
of the hot air upwards. With low-current arcs they would indeed form a
straight line as they don't heat the air enough.

Author 1000000volts ( ago)

Author Ulung Gawindra ( ago)
try with animals....

Author vcxshgfd ( ago)
holy shit that sounds deadly

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@PlasmaCreator351 Hello again ( : Sort of, yes. When I first made mine on
36v I noticed that the wires I had connecting the flybacks primary coil to
the driver were getting quite warm which means that power was being wasted
as heat. After swapping them for thicker higher current wires they stayed
cooler and I noticed a slight increase in current draw after doing this. So
yes it is important to use thick wires for better efficiency!

Author naii197 ( ago)
@cowsrock94 The high voltage ionizes the air between the contacts, the
current flows through it. Through the current the air heats up, and as you
know hot air raises. So the arc isn't straight but bent. Thats what I think
is the reason, but I'm not sure.

Author Blarg King ( ago)
I wonder why electricity arcs upward instead of making a straight line.

Author James Hutton ( ago)
computer power supplies would be good for this right?

Author Tamás Kemenczei ( ago)
@chilidress The MOSFETS should only get slightly hot. Maybe you have
contact problems with the soldering, or the flyback's secondary coil is

Author SHASHANK H R ( ago)
@lo9765 Thanks for your reply!

Author Tiziano Bacocco ( ago)
@shashair it's cause there's a lot of current and it IS a flame , the
difference is only that here the source of heat is electricity instead of
chemical reaction

Author solysol5 ( ago)
@Plasmana2000 Hey, I built this exact one in the video only mine is running
5volts @ 2 amps and it cuts off after about a minute of operation. Any
ideas of what could be causing this? Thanks

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@chilidress Glad you finally got it working ( : I know it can really
frustrating when something does not work. About the UV glasses, you can
wear them if you want but I personally have never bothered. I think as long
as you don't expose your self for too long to the arcs (15-20 minutes max
each day) then you will be fine. Have fun and upload a video of the arcs to
your channel sometime. Alex.

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@chilidress You connected something up wrong perhaps or used unsuitable
components? The MOSFET's getting hot means something is wrong, mine stay
very cool even on 24v input. What zeners and fast diodes did you use?

Author SHASHANK H R ( ago)
Nice! Why does the spark look flame-like? I mean the type of spark obtained
from this circuit is different from the ones that we get from a tesla coil..

Author jeffddow ( ago)
@holycrapapie trust me it really is worth but ive burnt so many transistors
im still waiting for more D:

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@CoolDudeClem Looks like a DC one.

Author CoolDudeClem ( ago)
Do you use an AC flyback or a DC one? (just curious)

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@aForkandaSpoon Lead acid battery's are a strictly DC source so there is no
ripple current to create a 50-60hz hum that can be heard in un-smoothed
power supply's.

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@chilidress ZVS gives much more powerful output, 2n3055 is for beginners.

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
@chilidress No.

Author freethetech ( ago)
If this thing outputs 200mA, there's no point in having someone else in the
room in-case you get shocked. You're dead....

Author Jimmy Sandman ( ago)
very nice zvs ; ) look my zvs, they look the same :p

Author Fabrício H. Franzoli ( ago)
wooow!!! whats the output current?? 200mA?? OO

Author ExplosiveAnyThing ( ago)
It wont be better if i use a pair of IRFP260??

Author 132davey ( ago)
this is kinda cool

Author KyleCarrington ( ago)
Not talking about the compressed air in the argument... how far off is this
from a plasma cutter? Could you build one?

Author toadsEATbugs ( ago)
That is so cool! I've only (successfully) built two FBTDs and one was a
2n3773 and the other was a 555.

Author ubuntupokemoninc ( ago)
that is the biggest flyback i've ever seen! were did you get that?

Author Adam Smasher ( ago)
What value inductor did you use, what cap and how many turns on the primary?

Author George Busch ( ago)

Author pieznice29 ( ago)
Nice video, how does the flyback stand up to this type of treatment? Mine
tend to die pretty quickly at anything over 100w with mosfet + 555 timer

Author Alex1M6 ( ago)
Hell yeah!

Author starlite2991 ( ago)
awasome!! boy get shocked from that it will kill you!

Author ubuntupokemoninc ( ago)
boy that has to be about 70kv! what is the input voltage, and the size of
the inductor? and how bad does the flyback heat?

Author a380rockerfan ( ago)
hi there plasmana! i am collecting the parts for this driver (finally) but
i just have a couple of questions: 1. i can only buy a 100uH 5A inductor
from my local electronics store, but if i use two it would make the perfect
specifications (200uH 10A). would i need to put these inductors in parallel
or series? thanks, a380rockerfan.

Author a380rockerfan ( ago)
You really deserve to have more subscribers and good comments!

Author a380rockerfan ( ago)
Hey dude! This is SO cool! I have made a 2N3055 Flyback Driver, but I have
to admit that the arcs are pretty puny. I really want to make this and it
is on the list of my things to save up for. How old are you? When I make
this, would the power supply have enough power if I used a 12V 1.5A
motorcycle battery? Because SLA batteries are damn expensive...

Author Arthur61987 ( ago)
That's amazing. Do the mosfets over heat easily? How long could you run it
before they heat up too much?

Author Jason Grimm ( ago)
That is AWESOME! i was using a CFL driver board and getting relativly small
sparks but it started making a buzzing sound and it started making bigger
purple sparks and lots of big blue sparks and my bench lamp started
flickering. any idea what caused that? sadly cfl driver is now dead so no
vids :(

Author Plasmana2000 ( ago)
@holycrapapie Thanks! Even though it looks complicated, ZVS drivers are
relatively easy and cheap to build, the only problem is needing a large
power supply, I just used a bunch of small lead acid batteries I had lying
around, lol

Author holycrapapie ( ago)
That is so awesome! I'm sure I could build a decent driver as well, but I'm
just too damn lazy. (not to mention cheap)

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