These transformers are capable of creating spark gaps up to about half-an-inch. They work really well as an ignition source for things like potato cannons, they also make the official sound of the mad scientist. The sparks that are generated sound a lot like a taser and you should take that sound as a warning to take extreme care when the unit is powered.
To throw sparks, simply secure the blue and grey wires to electrodes spaced no more than half-an-inch apart and connect the red and white leads to a 5V source. Be warned, these transformers draw about 3A so your power supply will need to be somewhat robust.
Note: We are now carrying a new model of this Spark Gap Igniter, it has the same specs as our previous one, it just looks a little different. The dimensions of the center barrel are 71 x 21 x 25mm and the overall length with the wires is 350mm.
Note: Please do not use these to shock people or animals. Seriously, that isn't cool. Actually, be extremely careful with these as they can seriously hurt you. If you don't fully understand high voltage, just live vicariously through the video.
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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I'm not 100% sure if it was my fault. I didn't go over voltage on the input. Maybe I have shorted the output. But it might also have been that the output gap length was too long when I used it and caused over voltage on internal circuits.
The issue is that the product doesn't come with any detail specs so it all up for guessing. I tried to contact SparkFun a couple of times about this with no response.
It makes the strongest loadest sparks for such a tiny device though. I made my own taser with car ignition coil with long arcs, but they are not as strong. I may just order another one and be more careful
[Edit] Damn it! It's out of stock!
Hi, We're sorry to hear about your item failing. We did receive contact about this on 9/22/14 and responded with a request for more details. We never heard back from you, so we assumed your issue was resolved. I'll follow up with you again to see what we can do. Thanks, Tim