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Designing a homemade electric lighter

  1. May 13, 2014 #1
    I'm trying to make an electric lighter ( like this http://imgur.com/a/wg8q7) using the framework of this guide.
    except mine will have a few more feature and the soldering tip will be replaced with nichrome most likely.

    Theres is just a few things that I am stuck on

    -First, Is nichrome the best material to use as the heating element?
    Assuming we do use a wire heating element the length of the wire will be 1.5-2 inches long, what would be the best gauge? any other details about it?

    -Second, I need the heating element to stay at a constant temp of at least 500 Fahrenheit
    What type of circuitry would I need to accomplish this, what if i wanted to to be able to control the amount of power?

    -Third, what would be the best batteries to use for this? I was hoping to be able to use 4xAAA or 3AA
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2014 #2


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    that second link doesn't work

  4. May 13, 2014 #3

  5. May 13, 2014 #4


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    ok cool

    yes nichrome wire would be the best
    constant temp is going to add a lot of complexity as you will need temp sensor and circuit to monitor that and then use it to control the supply to the element
    Variable PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is a common form of DC power control

    if you are also aiming for ~ 6V then 4 or 5 AA high current (say ~ 4000 mAhr) NiCad, NMH or a LiPo pack style rechargeable batteries.

  6. May 13, 2014 #5
    I see, I don't want this to be to complex, how would i do it more simply then, does the lighter in the first pictures have a PWM
  7. May 13, 2014 #6


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    I don't think so, not from what I can see of the circuit

  8. May 15, 2014 #7


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    I think most vaporizing systems use Kanthal rather than Nichrome. It may be better for a lighter.

    Kanthal A-1 is a ferritic iron-chromium-aluminium alloy (FeCrAl alloy) with high resistivity and very good oxidation resistance. It is suitable for use at temperatures up to 1400°C (2550°F).
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