Member Since: May 21, 2012

Country: United States

  • I just got a shock from one that was not powered. Not a big shock, but still.

  • Help. I've burned out two of these in 2 days. The gap is just about exactly 0.5". The input voltage is 5v and about 5A is available. It cycles on for 10 seconds or less and off again for 5 seconds. More than 4 cycles in a row is very rare. I've used them in installations like this one before with success, but suddenly there are problem.

    I'm wondering if there are severe restrictions on the length of the wire between the SGI and the spark. It's about 6' I'm wondering if capacitance on the output line is a problem; the wires are close together and at one point run through a few inches of brass tube.

    At $15 per experiment I don't want to do a lot of experimenting. I need insight, quickly, or I have to find a way to generate the spark differently.

  • It fires up in under 100ms, but I haven't timed it precisely. From the sound, it's probably sparking at over 50Hz but to the eye it looks continuous. The frequency varies a little in operation and also varies depending on air humidity.

    Any metal will erode away eventually under this treatment, but I've had fine results with brass.


    These are neat little devices but they are a pain to operate. They want 5v at 3A, and my design runs on 12v. A voltage regulator like LM1084IT-5 works, but even with a good sized heat sink it gets hot enough to boil off water, and since the device is only rated to 125C, I'm probably at the maximum limit for the device, and I do not want that.

    What I really want is not to have to convert voltage at all. I'd rather run the spark at, say, 12v and 2A. Thsi device can't handle that, but if someone has a schematic for this thing, I'm assuming it could be scaled up. Has anyone opened one up? C'mon, people, share. It's a nice device but it is not quite right for long term, portable use.

  • One thing to be aware of - if you use a watchdog timer on an Arduino to force the Arduino to reboot (only know I way to do it without adding wires), the Wifi Shield doesn't seem to reboot with it. When the Arduino comes up again, it sometimes cannot find the shield anymore. The solution is to power cycle.

  • Some answers:

    Does this work with the Leonardo? Yes, right out of the box.

    i couldn’t find if it needs an antenna or not ? Built-in antenna. The range, however, is nothing fantastic, and orientation matters. I'm at -70db through a sheet of glass and 70' or so of open air. TCP connections are pretty stable at that signal strength; the connection drops maybe 1-2 times a day and reestablishes pretty easily. Around -85db, connections get quite flaky.

  • OK, my goof. It helps to tell the IDE what kind of board it is...

  • In the end, I got a working solution by having the SGI far away from other components. It's not a great solution - it means running the SGI;s output through long, carefully shielded wires to get the spark where it needs to be - but it worked in the end.

    To repeat the warning - when you prototype, making sure your physical layout matches the final construction, so you'll be able to tell if the noisy field this thing puts out is a problem or not. It's a great spark generator but you may need a lot of shielding to use it with anything else.

  • I can't get this device to work n Windows 7. I've installed the IDE (1.0.2), installed the driver in the driver directory, and tried to download the Blink sketch. The download LEDs blink and then I get

    avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x54

    Some Googling indicates I may have a bad bootloader. Do I need to send this back? It's a short, high quality USB cable, so I don't think that's the issue.

  • Does this work with the Leonardo? I've heard conflicting stories.

No public wish lists :(