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Chris at Pyroelectro made this highly detailed tutorial on how to modify a single use camera to shock its user when they try to take a picture. Dirty trick, so please be careful.

UPDATE: This is a dangerous trick, so please don’t do it.

Related:

HOW TO – Shock your Trick-or-Treaters

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


  • Rocketguy

    I advise not doing this, unless you know your victim doesn’t have any cardiac issues and/or will not beat the living crap out of you. I’ve been nailed by that cap while building another project, and it’s no fun, it’s a damn big shock.

  • Eric

    I second that. It’s quite enough of a shock that if applied just right, will cause a problem in the healthiest of people.

    Bad juju Make!

  • Matthew

    I advise AGAINST this as well. Just this week I hit the cap in a camera I was modding and sparks flew like two feet in many directions. I meant to do this to discharge it, but I really should have worn eye protection.

    Besides, if left in the circuit it could keep charging and discharging forever, causing all sorts of problems.

  • makezineidiot

    being careful doesn’t help, the capacitor has enough power to cause serious problems.
    you should either not post this, or post it as an example of what NOT to do because it’s really stupid an someone will get hurt!

  • Sarge

    Posting this without a suitable warning is pretty irresponsible.

  • Rob Cruickshank

    What they said. Bad idea. It also suffers the flaw that the contacts are far enough apart that a person could easily contact them across both hands, which is particularly dangerous. The advice to discharge the cap with a screwdriver is misguided, too. I’m by no means opposed to giving people shocks- i made Li’l Sparky as a reaction to a similarly dangerous project on the blog earlier:
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/10/lil_sparky_mini.html

  • theaty

    According to the American Heart Journal article from March 1996, “Defibrillation thresholds with monophasic versus biphasic shocks delivered through a single-lead endocardial defibrillation system,” the human heart has a cpacitanceof 120 microfarads, which is why defibrillators use the same amount. Well so do 90% of the capacitors in these disposable cameras. This technique is HIGHLY DANGEROUS and should not be attempted by anyone. Heart troubles are often undiagnosed and unnoticed. Don’t risk your life or a friends puling this prank. It is dangerous and stupid.

  • Dan

    There is nothing funny about sadism against innocent people, however the device may be handy for flushing out the office psychopath. Just let everyone know what it does and leave it lying around, the “nasty brains” are sure to gravitate toward it.

  • Eddie

    CLINTON, Conn. — A 14-year-old student has been accused of rigging a camera so that it could deliver an electrical shock similar to a Taser.

    Police say the boy modified the camera using instructions from the Internet. He brought the device to school but a teacher intervened before he could use it.

    School Resource Officer Kyle Strunjo says the makeshift device is potentially capable of giving someone a 600-volt shock.

    The boy has been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, attempted assault and breach of peace. He has been released into his parents’ custody.