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Automotive wire/stun gun

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Automotive wire/stun gun

Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:51 am

I have a 150,000 stun gun and am getting ready to wire it up...I got some 12ga automotive wire from an autoshop. It has a single layer of plastic as its insulation. Is this type of wire adequate? I've read that its best to use stuff from a flyback in an old TV...I don't have an old TV to rip apart. Will this 12ga wire be able to retain the voltage?
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 am

12 ga is way over kill for the application. The flyback cable is perfect if you have enough of it....it's pretty expensive though.

Build your own by using some 20 or 22 ga solid core "hookup wire" covered in a couple of layers of heat shrink tubing. I've done this and it works fine. You are basically wanting to cut down on the potential arcing. The stun gun "arc short" typically takes care of most further arcing down the line. Just keep your total-of-all-spark gaps length less than your arc short on the stunner and you'll be fine.

Keep your HV leads as short as reasonable and avoid them cris-crossing at any point.
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:07 pm

High voltage stuff does not need a thick wire to go through as the amount of current (ampere) is extremely low.
The thickness of the insulation is more important then the thickness of the copper.

And just like starman said, keep the wires as short as possible and do not let them crawl over eachother.
Ideally send each pole over a different side of the cannon.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:13 pm

Yep, the type of wire is pretty irrelevant. The gauge is completely irrelevant, 40G (hair thin) would work fine.

Only the insulation really matters and you can't usually buy wire with insulation rated for voltage this high. Even automotive spark wire isn't rated this high. (And spark plug wire is not a good wire to use since it has very high resistance.)

The solution is to just keep the wires well separated trom each other and you. :shock:

Air is an effective insulator with a break down voltage of a couple KV per mm. (The exact voltage depends on the shape of the electrodes, humidity etc.)

The amount of insulation you need depends on the spark gap you are using. As long as your spark gap is the smallest gap in the system you are good to go. If you are dumping "150KV" (your stun gun isn't really anywhere near the claimed voltage) into a 1/4" gap then you only need enough insulation (plastic or air gap) to withstand 5KV to 15KV. Or, to put it another way, if your gap is 1/4" inch then the wires should never get any closer together than that (or get that close to you).
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:40 pm

I can remember myself holding a combustion cannon:
CLICK! -- AARGH




Cover the electrodes.
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