I have been fascinated with arcs and sparks, bangs and pops ever since I created an arc with a busted power adaptor.

One day I thought about making a proper “big boys’ toy” that would be safer and more convenient.

Project Steps

Mains voltage is extremely dangerous and should not be used in this project. Even though the voltage from this project is high enough to arc, it is not deadly.

First you need:

120v or 240v to 9v power adaptor



Terminal posts

Not shown: tactile switch

Connector socket

Solder the components according to the diagram.

Don’t forget to reverse the transformer so that you put power into the output terminals.

Now, put the electronics in the enclosure and make a foot switch.

Finally, put 12v into the input socket and Presto! You have your own high voltage power supply that can be connected to a Jacob’s Ladder (basically, put two lengths of coat hanger wire close enough for the arc to jump across at different positions). Have fun!