Uploaded by 01032010814 on 27.09.2012

You can look, but don't touch. These arcs of
plasma are lethal enough to kill on contact! In
this project we're using an old microwave oven
transformer to extract these traveling electric arcs.
In a previous video, I found a microwave in my
neighbors garbage can, and salvaged this iron core
high voltage transformer. This is heavy metal.
The primary winding is around 100 turns of
insulated wire, and there's somewhere around a
thousand on the secondary. I'll pull these clips
off the primary to expose its 2 terminals, and
pull this middle wire out of the way because I
won't be using that. I've got the secondary
winding connected to some 14 gauge wire and then
taped to a nail on the end of this wooden stick.
This setup should insulate my body from the
circuit. The other end of the secondary winding
is grounded to the iron directly and when I put
power to it, I can draw out some high voltage
electrical arcs. In order to get these arcs to
travel upward like this, I'll need to form a "V"
shaped spark gap. I don't have any metal coat
hangers, but I have some un-insulated 14 gauge
copper wire that should work. I'm cutting these 2
pieces roughly 2 feet long, and using this piece
of glass I salvaged from the door of the
microwave. Adding pressure and rolling the glass
back and forth seems to be an effective way to get
the kinks out. 3 inches of the wire is bent 90ยบ,
then folded back in half, and using pliers to bend
the tips over, it looks like this. Holding
everything flat, I'll trim the tips, and curve
them over, and that's pretty much it. This small
piece of wood should work well as a base for the
spark gap, so two holes are drilled, and screws
added to hold the copper electrodes in place.
This wire is soft, so I can easily form it into a
"V" shape, so that the closest contact points are
3/8" apart. The top is just over 20 inches high
and about an inch wide. To make this insulated
safety stick, I simply hammered a nail into the
end of a wood 2x2, and proceed to cut the head off
using a hacksaw. The MOT voltage isn't high
enough to jump a gap this wide, so the nail body
will help it get started. To add power, I'll use
the cord I scavenged from the microwave. I've
added alligator clips to the wires, and made sure
the green wire is out of the way. The black and
white get clipped onto the primary coil, and these
separate clips connect to the secondary winding
and the outside of the transformer body. Now I
can plug the cord in, flip on the power, and with
one hand behind my back, aim this nail right
between the gap. And there it goes! This is
lethally high voltage, but not quite enough to
start on its own. The electrode wires diverge at
a very slight angle, slowly stretching the arc as
it travels upward. It's impressive how much it
grows at the top before it breaks. Shaky wires
make the arc less stable, and cut out before
reaching the top. I'm inside the house now to get
out of the wind, and when this one sparks, it
takes off like a rocket. The unballasted arc
behaves almost like a short circuit, drawing power
until the arc snaps, or the circuit breaker pops.
I can't think of any practical use for this. It's
simply quenching my curiosity. This airborne
electricity is rocketing upward because it's
heating the air around it, and the hot air rises.
They might look harmless enough, but don't touch
because contact with the exposed high-voltage
conductors can be lethal. That's why I have
gloves, and a safety stick. I've just narrowed
the spark gap, and now when it shorts out, I've
captured a glowing orb of electricity. I have to
look away because of all the UV radiation flying
out of this thing. I still have this high voltage
capacitor from a previous video and i'm wondering
what would happen if I added it in parallel with
the spark gap? Let's find out. Yikes! That's
one supercharged spark. Because this is indoors
it's easy to make this into an ozone generator!
Right now, this is ionizing oxygen and nitrogen
into ozone and nitric oxide gasses. At least
until the breaker pops. And perhaps that's a good
thing since the gas is poisonous. Well I'm still
alive, so this is probably a good time to power
off and disconnect the cord. It's extremely
important to safely discharge the capacitor before
I remove these lead wires, and put everything
away. I can tell this transformer took some abuse
because it's extremely hot, and hard to hold onto.
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