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Building a Transformer

  1. Mar 30, 2010 #1
    Is it possible to build an adjustable transformer that can take 110/120 and dial it all the way down to 1 volt? I'd like to build one if possible to aid in physical development so it's very important to be able to take it as low as possible in the beginning. I'd like it to have 2 electrodes as well.
     
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  3. Mar 30, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    The variable transformer search term is "variac". That will give you info on a variable autotransformer.

    However, it sounds like you would like to use this for medical experimentation purposes, which would be totally inappropriate and dangerous if you use a simple variac. Could you please tell us more about the application, and about your background in EE and medical electronics? Are you familiar with the guidelines in UL 544?
     
  4. Mar 30, 2010 #3
    I have absolutely no background in EE or Medical Electronics. The only electrical training I've had is on the job electrical installation. Nothing major, secondary electrical. If it helps, I'm very mechanical.

    Now here's the part where I hope I dont get laughed off the forum.

    The application is for stimulating acupuncture points. Running a very small current in the beginning to open chi meridians and also to induce the piezoelectric effect in the bones as well. My training is in medical qigong and taoist qiqong. I hope this helps.
     
  5. Mar 30, 2010 #4

    vk6kro

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    Science Advisor

    You may be looking for low voltage power supplies. These give you safe DC from 0 to 15 volts. There are plenty of these around if you look on Google.

    Another device is the multi-output wall wart.
    These give you DC in a range of outputs like 4.5 V, 6 V, 7.5 V, 9 V, 12 V etc.
    They are intended to run electronic equipment.

    At least these devices are isolated from the 120 V supply, but I doubt the safety of applying even these low voltages to needles inserted in flesh. Ouch.
     
  6. Mar 30, 2010 #5
    Once an electrode breaks the surface of the skin the internal resistance of the body is quite low. Not only do you need to use low voltages but the electrodes also need to be current limited.

    Have you considered your potential liability if something were to go wrong? How would a jury react to your statement, "I have absolutely no background in EE or Medical Electronics. The only electrical training I've had is on the job electrical installation. Nothing major, secondary electrical. If it helps, I'm very mechanical."
     
  7. Mar 30, 2010 #6
    I'm not penetrating the skin with it.

    A jury wont ever react to that statement because the only mishap would be upon myself. I'm not using this on anyone else. I also know how to apply safety features so that I dont kill myself or permamently injure myself.
     
  8. Mar 30, 2010 #7
    I'm going to check out both options. Thank you.
    Lol I'm not going to issue any voltage to anything in the skin. I just used the term acupuncture for the meridian lines and points.
     
  9. Mar 30, 2010 #8

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    What you are doing is still dangerous, especially since you are not very knowledgable yet electronics or medical electronics. I would discourage you from trying to make something on your own -- look into buying a unit that carries a UL medical electronics certification.

    Thread locked.
     
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