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Im in need of knowledge

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Im in need of knowledge

Unread postAuthor: tylerthetatertosser » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:45 am

I have purchased a electric ignighter from canadian tire a while ago. but i was wondering. i recently seen a show where they were shocking each other with a 10 000 volt tazer. this ignighter is good for 12 000 to 24 000 volts and im wondering why it wont jump a gap like the tazer. my father says it has to do with amps. i just learned in science amps can be created with resistance i think. if my theory is right that resistance will boost the amps. how many and what resistors would i need to produce the large gap tazers can produce. I dont think my theory is correct, its just a theory and im just wondering. thanx :)
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:39 am

The potential for an electric current to arc through open air is solely dependent upon the voltage of said current.

The overall arc distance is controlled by a constant known as the dielectric breakdown voltage. The dielectric breakdown voltage of air is ~1.1mm/Kv, meaning that for every 1,000 volts produced by the source, an electric arc will theoretically be able to jump a 1.1mm wide gap. A 12 - 24kv output means that your igniter should clear a 13.2 - 26.4mm gap. If this is not occurring, the most probable causes are

1) The internal resistance of the igniter's circuitry.
2) Inadequate input voltage (or in other words, the igniter's power source is weak).
3) Blatant misinformation from the manufacturer.

The only way to improve the arc distance without extensive modification is to increase the input voltage, though this could damage the igniter's internal circuitry. The input voltage is directly proportional to the output voltage, as the voltage is stepped up using a high turn step up transformer.

Boosting the amperage level will not increase the overall arc distance, it will only increase the "heat" level of the arc. This increase cannot be done with resistors. From Ohm's law:

I = V/R

As you can see, increasing resistance, R, while maintaining a constant voltage, V, will decrease the output of amperage, I.
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Unread postAuthor: Marco321 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:46 am

Could you provide some pictures? If not could you describe them in more detail?
I think your confused about electricty. A resistor lowers current and voltage though power dissipation. A place to use a resistor is say if i had a 6v batter and i wanted to run an LED or light globe and it was a 3v light globe, i would use a resistor to lower the voltage and current so the 3v light globe wont blow.

Someone correct me if im wrong, im 100% sure it lowers voltage but i cant remember if current stays the same or if it drops.

One more think to think about.
Voltage is the force given to each electron and current is the amount of electrons going through the wire. Think of electricity as water, you can have only a small amount of water traveling very fast, you can also have alot of water traveling slowly, current would be the amount of water and voltage would be the kinetic energy of the water or its strength. This leads me onto tazers, the reason say a 10 000 volt tazer doesn't kill you and a 40V car battery can, is because the part that kills you is the current or speed of the electrons, not the amount.
Here are a few helpful links

I hope this helps you

EDIT: I see someone has beat me to the answer, they are correct, i also went a little fo track but a little knowleadge on electricty wont harm you.

A way to get a decent spark would be to use a bbq ignitor they arc, they don't use a battery, they just hit some quartz together. Another source of ignition is a camer flash cicruit, 500Vish, but it doesn't arc, but gives a big spark, a bang and alot of heat. Another way would be a 9v battery 2 nails and some steal wool, the wool becomes a resistor and heats up and burns, igniting you gun.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:16 pm

Nice summary Spudblaster.

tylerthetatertosser, we need more info. What exactly is it that you bought? A battery operated BBQ ignitor or an ignition coil or ...? Find a link on the web for us.

Resistors won't do what you want, they drop current and voltage (like Marco and Spudblaster said).

Assuming this gadget actually is supposed to generate a spark, here are a few things to check;

1. Are the wires from the sparker to the spark gap well separated? The insulation on most wires is only rated to a few hundred volts. If the wires are too close together, or if you are using two conductor wire, then the spark may be jumping through the insulation from wire to wire.

2. Decrease the spark gap to see if that helps. A 1/16" spark gap is more than enough. A 1/32" spark will work as well. The perfomance of the gun is completely independent of the size of the spark, as long as there is a spark.

3. Check your wiring by touching the two spark electrodes and hit the switch on the sparker. Did you feel anything? This might hurt a bit if it is a stun gun, a BBZ ignitor shouldn't be too bad.

4. Pointy electrodes will spark easier than blunt electrodes. Deck screws are very pointy and work well. Machine screws are pretty blunt and will need a narrower gap then will pointy electrodes.
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