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Spark Strip Fail

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Spark Strip Fail

Unread postAuthor: Xxplosive42o » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:19 pm

I just had an epic fail with the spark strip I posted earlier. Somehow the strip worked perfectly until I mounted it into the chamber. It wound up shorting out to the security prongs on the stun gun, and in the end the board on the gun fried somehow. It might have been a defective gun-- who knows? I'm going back to the drawing board to make a new strip using smaller dia. Copper and buying a new gun. Hopefully that will solve this dilemma?

Take a look at my strip @: http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/spark-s ... 16974.html

Let me know your idea's on how it failed. I was considering using 1/8" copper instead of that monstrous 1/4" I used before. The gaps were already only 1/16" so I can’t go much smaller in that department. All input is GREATLY appreciated.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:31 pm

If it was working correctly outside of the chamber, you've got to look at your HV wiring feeding the chamber and strip. Since its arcing across the default stun gun gap, it sounds like you have an open (in addition to your gaps) somewhere.

Just troubleshoot it one step at a time. Close all of your gaps but one and see if it works, opening the gaps until they stop working. Check your connections to your stun gun and to the chamber screws.
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Unread postAuthor: Xxplosive42o » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:34 pm

They were all air-tight my friend. I used brass bolts, washers, and nuts. Everything was tightened down and my solder jobs on the tips of the stun gun were immaculate. I can't trouble-shoot any longer because as I noted, the stun gun is toast. :evil:
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:43 pm

Xxplosive42o wrote:They were all air-tight my friend. I used brass bolts, washers, and nuts. Everything was tightened down and my solder jobs on the tips of the stun gun were immaculate. I can't trouble-shoot any longer because as I noted, the stun gun is toast. :evil:


OK cool, I bought my stun guns by the multiples I think 10 on one order... I think I still have 3 of them...yeah had to replace one that wasn't working quite right. Something probably worth buying several of since you'll save shipping costs and more than likely need the stunners for other projects anyway....nice to have them in stock so to speak...
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Unread postAuthor: Xxplosive42o » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:50 pm

Yes, I see your logic in the money saving Star. I might hold off on re-making a new strip until the new gun comes here and trouble shoot it one last time. If anyone else wants to contribute anything or throw out some idea's I'll be online in the chat for awhile.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:57 pm

BTW, don't hold the stun gun on for more than a couple of seconds at a time. They aren't design for continous multisecond arcing....they will burn themselves out, especially poorly made ones.

I don't know if that's your case or not...jus' sayin'
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:39 am

Are you sure the stungun is toast? Does it still make clicking sounds?

Try shortening the default gap to a half inch or so and see if it'll spark across that smaller gap. I've got an old stungun that'll only spark across about a half inch gap now, it used to do almost 2 inches.

If it really is dead then it's a great candidate for dissasembly! Probably need to cut the case open (along the seam) with a Dremel since I belive most of these cases are glued shut.

Take a look around the guts. It is possible that the internal gap has corroded to the point where it is too big. That should be fixable. If you've run the gun too long and fried one of the caps, transistors or diodes then you might be able to fix it.

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The wiki has some info on potential stungun problems.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:07 pm

jimmy101 wrote:Take a look around the guts. It is possible that the internal gap has corroded to the point where it is too big. That should be fixable. If you've run the gun too long and fried one of the caps, transistors or diodes then you might be able to fix it.


You could of course but for $15 (or less) to replace with a brand new shiny model, it just isn't worth the effort...except for the curiosity or educational value.
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Unread postAuthor: MaxuS the 2nd » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:33 pm

Sounds like the gap was too large for the arc to jump. When the Main Spark Gap in my TC doesn't fire, the safety does.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:48 pm

starman wrote:
jimmy101 wrote:Take a look around the guts. It is possible that the internal gap has corroded to the point where it is too big. That should be fixable. If you've run the gun too long and fried one of the caps, transistors or diodes then you might be able to fix it.


You could of course but for $15 (or less) to replace with a brand new shiny model, it just isn't worth the effort...except for the curiosity or educational value.

Yes, if you can actually get one for $15 even with shipping.

Besides, it would be helpful to know why it failed. It seems pretty goofy to me to be doing something like ordering 10 stunguns so that you always have one handy.

Besides that, if you fix it and recontainerize it then it is no longer a stungun. That alone may come in handy someday. A lot of places consider a stungun a weapon with about the same restrictions as firearms.

One last reason for not just replacing it ... you are replacing a crappily made poor excuse for a stungun with another crappily made poor excuse for a stungun. Cops sometimes carry stungguns. Wanna guess how much their stunguns cost? I assure you it ain't $15.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:18 pm

jimmy101 wrote:Besides, it would be helpful to know why it failed. It seems pretty goofy to me to be doing something like ordering 10 stunguns so that you always have one handy.


Goofy? Pardon me but that wasn't why I ordered 10 stun guns or maybe you know of someone else who did. I had several cannons to build plus ordered a few extra so as to have a spare or 3 on hand for quick repair and projects I know that will inevitably come up. Why is that goofy? I can't get those easily at the corner drugstore.

You and I can easily troubleshoot most electronic problems down to the component level...many others will not have to skill or the desire.
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Unread postAuthor: Radiation » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:27 pm

Damn no love from stunguns lately! :)
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Unread postAuthor: Xxplosive42o » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:04 pm

Sorry to kick a dead horse but I was away for a couple of days. The stun gun makes no noises at all, and doesn’t work if I short it. I live in California and they’re legal, and with that being said and the price being about 18$ out the door; buying a new one is no skin off my back. I'm also creating a new strip design that I'll post when completed. The distance between all of my gaps was about 1/4". I can't pinpoint why it wasn’t arc'ing or why the gun died, but I'm just going to start with a fresh slate.

I do appreciate the input though, its nice to have people with a higher degree of skill level toss around ideas. 8)
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:13 pm

Hey man, after you get through all this, you'll be the go-to skill man on these things... :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:18 pm

Xxplosive42o wrote:Sorry to kick a dead horse but I was away for a couple of days. The stun gun makes no noises at all, and doesn’t work if I short it. I live in California and they’re legal, and with that being said and the price being about 18$ out the door; buying a new one is no skin off my back. I'm also creating a new strip design that I'll post when completed. The distance between all of my gaps was about 1/4". I can't pinpoint why it wasn’t arc'ing or why the gun died, but I'm just going to start with a fresh slate.

I do appreciate the input though, its nice to have people with a higher degree of skill level toss around ideas. 8)

If you have time could you do a "post-mortem" on the dead stungun? It's always nice to know what fried. Perhaps even add it to the wiki.
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