Neon Sign Transformer with added Capacitor for Bug Zapper?

Thread Starter

Louie56

Joined Feb 20, 2019
6
I have a 3KV/30MA neon sign transformer to use in a DIY wasp zapper. In all my searching I ran across a comment that stated a capacitor would be needed to create the louder crack when a bug enters, but no mention of what value capacitor was provided. When using the transformer as is you get a very quiet sizzle and I would like a good loud crack. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

BR-549

Joined Sep 22, 2013
4,936
Show us what you have and your schematic. Hi-voltage is a terrible thing, even for the experienced.

I get the willies. Trying to advise someone thru text, is a little iffy, not knowing the whole situation.

Have you got someone in person that's familiar, that can help you?
 

Thread Starter

Louie56

Joined Feb 20, 2019
6
Show us what you have and your schematic. Hi-voltage is a terrible thing, even for the experienced.

I get the willies. Trying to advise someone thru text, is a little iffy, not knowing the whole situation.

Have you got someone in person that's familiar, that can help you?
 

BR-549

Joined Sep 22, 2013
4,936
So you haven't built a bug zapper before? Well, I far as I know, this subject isn't against the rules here......but it makes me very uncomfortable.

I'll retire from this thread.

There might be some bug zappers on here though.

Good luck.

I'll bet one might find a experimental/hobby bug zapper site. There are many Tesla sites for sure.
 
true that. HV is bad and adding a capacitor basically doubles the voltage since its stored parallel to the output. bug zappers generally use very high voltages but with minute current. adding the capacitor increases the potential voltage delivery but doesnt change or can add to the current. youd be better off using an old can style spark generator(coil pack) from an old truck or car. the voltages are high but little current to really hurt you especially if you use a low ac power source or a pulsing dc source(say 5volts or less). definitely kill a bug but wont do more than ouchy to yourself.
 
It seems to me that adding a C will only work to make a bigger bang if HV is DC.
Generally all ballasts from a neon light will be dc output. At least every one I've encountered as an unfortunate part time electrician was. And I'm fairly certain the cap will add to the voltage as an instantaneous discharge vessel.
 
Microwave transformer, 2 tungsten rods tied to output about 2 inches apart. Well aimed andful of carbon dust. Not for indoor use.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
6,976
Generally all ballasts from a neon light will be dc output. At least every one I've encountered as an unfortunate part time electrician was. And I'm fairly certain the cap will add to the voltage as an instantaneous discharge vessel.
Don't think you are correct with those statements. They are called "neon sign TRANSFORMERS" for a reason. There output is high voltage, low amperage AC. Never heard of them being called neon light ballasts before. Think your mixing them up with florescent light ballasts, but they are still AC output.
 
Don't think you are correct with those statements. They are called "neon sign TRANSFORMERS" for a reason. There output is high voltage, low amperage AC. Never heard of them being called neon light ballasts before. Think your mixing them up with florescent light ballasts, but they are still AC output.
Never dealt with large signs. You're likely correct about that one. I've fixed a few "were open, closed" ones and they were DC and yes mostly florescent ballasts also. Though I guess they don't exactly count as traditional neon lights.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
6,976
Never dealt with large signs. You're likely correct about that one. I've fixed a few "were open, closed" ones and they were DC and yes mostly florescent ballasts also. Though I guess they don't exactly count as traditional neon lights.
While there are DC powered florescent ballasts they are AC output to the tube its self.
 
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