The aim of this project is to build a hand cranked Marx Generator for display purposes. Where someone can wind a handle a few times and a loud bright snap of lightning ~10cm long accompanied with a cascade of 20 smaller spark gaps flashes at the same time.
An interactive, dangerous and loud electricity display.
A Marx Generator is a very simple and old circuit first described by Erwin Otto Marx in 1924. It generates a very high-voltage by charging a cascade of capacitors wired in parallel, then suddenly connecting them in series using spark gaps. Air breaks down at about 30kV/cm depending on humidity and temperature and when the arc forms it is virtually a short circuit and this is used to join the capacitor in series.
The project part list so far
- The generator in this case will be a 200W 24V DC Motor with a gearbox.
- A High Voltage Invertor to step-up a voltage from about 9 to 20VDC to around 10 to 15Kv DC
- A 20 stage cascade of high voltage resistors and capasitors 42 x 1M 5Kv 3 Watt Rusian Resistors and 20 x 10nf 15Kv Capacitors
- Spark Gaps are 15mm round nickle plated solid brass draw handles x 40
- Full circuit diagram here : http://www.hardhack.org.au/files/Maxgenerator_0.jpg
High voltage Invertor 15KV DC
First rough test of spark cap and RC combo
Second rough test of 2 stages in the correct circuit configuration