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Building a simple electric shocker

  1. Oct 16, 2011 #1
    I'm looking to build a basic electric shocker as part of simple game setup I'm making. The shock is not intended to be painful, but it should be somewhat irritating (like a pen shocker toy). However, I'm a little unsure how I'm to go about doing this. Obviously I'll need some sort of DC to AC converter, and a capacitor of some kind. I was told I could rip the DC to AC converter out of anything and just flip it around. Then I imagine it'll charge the capacitor, which I'll discharge to shock people. It sounds simple in theory but I really don't know much specifics. Will any DC to AC converter work? Is a large one dangerous? What kind of capacitor should I use? How can I alter the strength of the shock? etc.

    Any help is appreciated. I'm electronics knowledgeable but not exactly electronics trained. So be basic if possible.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2011 #2


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    I really don't think you'll get a lot of help in that direction on this forum. Try somewhere a bit more mindless.
  4. Oct 16, 2011 #3

    Way to help a beginner people!
  5. Oct 16, 2011 #4


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    This falls under the guideline of Illegal/Dangerous Activities:

    Sure, a small one may be relatively harmless (assuming it doesn't ignite dust, gasoline fumes, isn't applied to someone with an open wound, heart condition or pacemaker, etc.) but it's pretty trivial to scale it up to something that isn't so harmless.

    Consider a joybuzzer instead--all the 'shock' (in effect), none of the danger (it doesn't actually deliver any electric current).
  6. Oct 16, 2011 #5
    I'd dispute that. Especially considering such shock devices are sold to children nationwide. If I really wanted to I could stick a fork in an electrical socket. Does that mean discussing alternating current, or forks for that matter, is illegal?

    I didn't mean to step on any toes with this one. I was merely looking for pointed technical advice I felt hadn't been answered adequately online. Advice, not permission. I've received excellent friendly advice from people on the Physics forums so far and I had anticipated a similar response. I suppose I'll seek help elsewhere.

    In fact I suppose I'll just disassemble a pen shocker, or an electric lighter.
  7. Oct 16, 2011 #6


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    You'll find that all of these are probably of the mechanical joy buzzer variety I mentioned earlier (the exception that comes to mind being the gum-stick shock variety where the charge is generated by rubbing some pieces of different materials together). Yes, even the ones in the back of the old pulps and comics that claimed to deliver 40-50,000 volts (that should be enough to arc something like 2-5 inches and yet you still had to make hand contact...)

    A piezo lighter may generate a few hundred volts, but not enough current (hopefully) to kill you. Start backing that up with some real current, and you have a cattle prod, Tesla coil, or a taser.

    I'll steal Studiot's tagline here: go well.
  8. Oct 16, 2011 #7
    This, is along the lines of what I was thinking of:


    It apparently includes button cells, a chip oscillator and a tiny transformer. It's definitely an electric shock yet no where near enough to cause harm. I was hoping to get some advice on how I could order and assemble these components and build something similar myself. But no one seems to be very helpful...
  9. Oct 17, 2011 #8


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    I don't see this thread going too much further. The reason? This pen

    [PLAIN]http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/public/FwqHVX2H7OLJL9FmCoST-7A4FyacpmsW2_rHw0WRDHTnbfeYHihoAv5ndxsGBpZk661ApgKpb0W6buBtyp_QnDLLw4wMQDoHhVW44t2yNsuMrSgHLusEZodPZVGWUrOMps5Z4ATm7lEfQWXNlVSqbMSiGOZ14q7b4ivJpKEb1WSAJhM-5691QgDDJMo [Broken]

    has this warning:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  10. Oct 17, 2011 #9
    Does that mean strobe lights can't be talked about either?
  11. Oct 17, 2011 #10


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    I guess that, if all you wanted to do was find a fringe subject that you could 'get away with', then there are a few topics. Other things are, on the whole, more interesting to the majority of PF contributors.

    I'm sure you would find designs for 'shockers' on a jokes and gags website.
  12. Oct 17, 2011 #11

    jim hardy

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    yeah it can be dangeroous and real annoying.

    if you do find a design, dont use a cap bigger than 0.01 uf

    your time might be better spent reading up on ""Learned Helplessness" where such an apparatus could have semi-legitimate use.
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