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If you like high-voltage sparks arcing through the air (and who doesn’t?), check out the Coil Driver, which drives an automotive ignition coil at audio frequencies. Like other musical kits, the Coil Driver makes a great group build because you can all make cool sounds together when you’re done. However, while it’s an easy solder, this kit may intimidate the casual maker because, let’s face it, high-voltage current is scary.

Each board drives one automotive ignition coil, and you can control one or more using an Arduino microcontroller (not included). Designers Brett Downing and Daniel Harmsworth, of the Artifactory hackerspace in Perth, Australia, used these boards to build their Polyplasmic Arcophone, a giant instrument that features 13 Jacob’s ladders, zapping out music!

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. The new version (v2.0) can do much more with its onboard oscillator which got a complete overhaul, its now based on a dual comparator chip that has a bunch of break-in points, there’s a spot to feed in an analogue signal to get the board to drive a plasma speaker.

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