Make a Joule Thief – Weekend Project PDFcast

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You’re going to need a white or blue LED that is rated for 3 volts, a 1K resistor, a 2N 3904 NPN transistor, a toroid, two pieces of wire and a battery.

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You might even be able to scavenge this stuff out of your junk pile of electronics… you have a junk pile of electronics right? PDF Link

You can get the video and this pdf in itunes automatically! – iTunes Subscribe Link

Update: Windell posted more info and a detailed walk through of the toroid winding process. – Link

24 thoughts on “Make a Joule Thief – Weekend Project PDFcast

  1. The whole idea of a joule thief is to step up a low voltage to a voltage suitable for the LED. The button cells used in throwies are capable of powering the LED without any stepping up… and it would just complicate things.

  2. When your throwie battery drops below the LED threshold voltage it will stop working. The step up feature is nice because it will run on a nearly dead battery even if it is below the LED threshold voltage. The stepup won’t burn out the LED with a fresh battery because the duty cycle is very low.

    There is some critical info missing from this design, however. How many turns of wire go on the toroid, and
    which type of toroid core is used (they are
    color coded)?

  3. What’s the point of an article like this without explaining how it works? Or even linking to an article that explains how it works?

  4. The idea of the circuit is really neat and I believe that everyone could use some extra information. As previously stated, Hack-A-Day linked to one of these that, with it’s LED, fits into a small incandescent bulb.

    I hate when people link to the blog instead of the article, but there is a good discussion on the Hack-A-Day posting:

    The original article:

  5. Joule Thief type circuits are beginning to be common in some simple appliances — look for a single-AAA-cell Ray O Vac “Brilliant Solutions” penlight for $2.99 and there’ll be one inside. Probably a lot of other places to harvest them from as well…

  6. they mention blue and clear LED’s I have yellow .. why won’t my yellow led’s work? I’ve tried all kinds of windings , two sizes of torides, etc. etc. I can’t get these to run
    Is this a hoax? I don’t think so but I can’t seem to make this happen. it would seem to me that making low voltage usable is something worth developing. Even tree power might have some applications..

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