Modifying BBQ Ignitors

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Postby cacophobia91 » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:07 pm

Would there be some kind of component that could increase the voltage that a bbq ignitor puts out? I know nothing about electronics so im not sure about this, but dont disposable cameras use something to increase the voltage of a AA batery? I was thinking that if the power of one could be boosted, then they could be used to do some of the cool things that stunguns can do.
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Postby DK » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:36 pm

cacophobia,

Disposable flash cameras use a transformer to boost the voltage from a 1.5 volt battery to 300 volts. The electicity is stored in a capacitor and then discharged when the button is pressed.

A bbq igniter is sometimes referred to as a piezoelectric igniter because of it's construction. The red button you press is attached to a return spring and a hammer. When you press it, the hammer strikes something called a piezoelectric crystal and generates a spark. I haven't much of an idea as to what this voltage is, but i think it's in the order of 7000 volts.

Back to the camera flash, when the circuit is attached to an automotive ignition coil (which is essentially another transformer), the voltage is boosted to ~25 000 to 30 000 volts. I imagine you could hook up the bbq igniter to a coil, to get a similar increase in voltage. The coil only works when electricity is pulsed through it, so there shouldn't be a problem.

There should be other ways to do the same thing, but I think this is the simplest. The only drawback is that it is somewhat cumbersome to mount the coil on anything, but it could be fun to experiment with.

I'm still new at making high voltage myself, but see what you can come up with. It's always good to have someone thinking outside the box. ;)

Cheers.
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Postby Joey » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:44 pm

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but... It's not gonna work.

I doubt you could even get a tiny spark from an ignition transformer by firing a BBQ ignitor through it's primary. The ignitor just doesn't put out enough amperage, and you couldn't click it fast enough anyway.

Why do you want to increase the voltage of a BBQ ignitor anyway? They work just fine as they are. A voltage increase wouldn't make the spark hotter anyway, you need amps for that. A voltage increase would only let you have a broader spark gap. If you want a hotter, continuous spark try searching google for an ignition coil driver circuit. There are several different varieties, some use timer chips and transistors, or one can be made simply from an automotive 12v relay wired properly. Another alternative is to get the rotor and magneto from an old weedwacker engine and spin it with a cordless drill. Please stay away from neon sign transformers, or anything else that uses 110v AC, they can be deadly if (I mean WHEN) you slip up and get zapped.


Hope that helps some...
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Postby draculon » Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:53 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Joey
[br]Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but... It's not gonna work.

I doubt you could even get a tiny spark from an ignition transformer by firing a BBQ ignitor through it's primary. The ignitor just doesn't put out enough amperage, and you couldn't click it fast enough anyway.

Why do you want to increase the voltage of a BBQ ignitor anyway? They work just fine as they are. A voltage increase wouldn't make the spark hotter anyway, you need amps for that. A voltage increase would only let you have a broader spark gap. If you want a hotter, continuous spark try searching google for an ignition coil driver circuit. There are several different varieties, some use timer chips and transistors, or one can be made simply from an automotive 12v relay wired properly. Another alternative is to get the rotor and magneto from an old weedwacker engine and spin it with a cordless drill. Please stay away from neon sign transformers, or anything else that uses 110v AC, they can be deadly if (I mean WHEN) you slip up and get zapped.


Hope that helps some...
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

These types of first posts make me smile. :D
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Postby markfh11q » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:06 pm

Yes, they make me all warm inside with pride...

:D

Just buy a stungun, (that is unless your parents won't let you). They can get as cheap as $20.00 on ebay. No need to get a monster 200k one, just a nice little 65k one will do the job nicely.

Or, on the alternative side, you can go "crazy" and make one out of transformers and capacitors. I think that after experimentation and finding all the parts, though, you would have been better off just buying the damn stungun.

Joey, I like your show of electrical knowledge!
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Postby Joey » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:06 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by markfh11q
[br]

Or, on the alternative side, you can go "crazy" and make one out of transformers and capacitors. I think that after experimentation and finding all the parts, though, you would have been better off just buying the damn stungun.

Joey, I like your show of electrical knowledge!
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


That made me laugh, you couldn't have said that better. There is no doubt he would spend alot less $$ and save countless hours by just buying the stungun. It made me laugh because it reminded me of when I first started dabbling with electronics, my projects frying and crapping out for no apparent reason to me (at the time). That's how I learned though.

Thanks for the compliments, nice to "meet" you fella's.
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Postby DK » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:32 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by markfh11q</i>
<br>
Just buy a stungun, (that is unless your parents won't let you). They can get as cheap as $20.00 on ebay. No need to get a monster 200k one, just a nice little 65k one will do the job nicely.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

You could do that. But where's the fun in doing something so simple? Half the fun (for me at least) is in the construction... :D
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">
Or, on the alternative side, you can go "crazy" and make one out of transformers and capacitors. I think that after experimentation and finding all the parts, though, you would have been better off just buying the damn stungun.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
"...better off buying the damn stungun."

....maybe. [:p]


Joey,

Thanks for the correction, and wicked first post.
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Postby Joey » Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:04 am

Oh yeah, I almost missed this! Please don't play with camera flash circuits! The capacitor charged to 300 volts that DK spoke of is dangerous! If (WHEN) it unloads its charge through your body it's gonna hurt really bad if your lucky. If your not lucky you may not feel a thing, ever again. They look innocent lying there with the battery removed, but they can hold a charge for quite awhile. Even the best of us have stupid moments now and again, and all it takes is a moment. I still electrocute myself from time to time, it happens. It's best to stay away from possibly lethal power sources.


Tell ya what, just buy a stungun!:) Or at least do ALOT of research before you start taking things apart.
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Postby markfh11q » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:23 am

I have played around with flash circuits a bunch. IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE!!!!;)

But with the proper "safety" precations, (discharging capacitor through screwdriver after usage and removing the battery), I'm still here.

EDIT, (PS): and flash circuits make sucky ignition devices anyway...
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Postby TurboSuper » Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:27 am

Funny story about a camera flash:

Once me and some dude were sitting on a bench taking a camera apart. We realized that when you touch across these two metal things you get a shock.

Anywho, we got bored and left the camera there, but at some point a third dude showed up and began playing with it. We warned him not to touch the two pieces of metal or it would shock him, he didn't comply.
Needless to say, about 3 seconds later he fell of the bench.

The moral of this sotry is: discharge before servicing!!!
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