Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*

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Hey there everyone.

First post from a bit of an electronics newbie. Hope I'm not stepping on
anyone's toes.

Anyhow, I bought a little plasma globe from Jaycar recently (the batter
operated ones) and decied to plug it into a variable voltage transformer.

It worked, but it didn't produce as much arcing as other globes I've seen,
so I thought I'd try increasing the voltage, which had an immediate effect.
Great! I thought. 'I wonder what happens if I increase the voltage even
more'.

Well, let me tell you what happens - you blow something in the circuit board
is what happens.

I've tested the components in the circuit with a multimeter abd they seemed
to check out. Resistors still had correct value, Caps were still
non-conductive of DC current.

However, there is what looks like a transformer although it's not quite the
square shape I'm used to. It has 4 small leads and 1 larger lead (earth?).

It seems to have gone open circuit as there is conductance between all 4
pins.

I'd like to replace it, but it has no markings on it.

Any ideas what I replace it with? I have no idea what the ball park ratio
would be for these circuits. Is the size of the Tranny an indicator of
possible ratios?

The Tranny is about1 inch long by 2/3 inch wide and has a weird lobed shape

I'll try and post a link to a pic of the tranny later on, if that helps.

Thanks

-Markus





Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 13:40:17 +1000, "Markus Aaptnews"

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It's probably a trigger transformer.

Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*



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What happens if you hit it with a hammer?



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*



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Gee, as Kamahl would say "Why are people so unkind".



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*



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Just do what every one else does,
Take it back and complain,
"It just stopped Working..."

I wanna another one....





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Really !  Wow.

Maybe you should try the same excersize on you stereo, video, TV, microwave
oven, and other electronic devices to see what happen with the same
'performance-boost' method !

geoff



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*



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What's upset you Geoff, did your sheep knock you back?



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


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Who said that I'm upset.  I am excited.  (must get a variac, not a sheep
that is...)  I can't wait. My stereo will be muchlouder, although maybe only
breifly.

geoff



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


Sorry... I thought there might be some smart people here who would know some
answers.

My bad.

-Markus

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Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


Markus,
        The transformer in this unit is specifically made for it and
thus sadly will likely be unavailable from any regular supplier. If a
suitable replacement could be found it would probably cost more than the
entire unit from Jaycar.

If you were really keen you could probably unwind and rewind the
transformer but this will not be easy or quick.

This transformer converts the low voltage DC in to several thousand
volts to run the plasma globe.

A possible replacement may be an automotive ignition coil, however this
will require completely different circuits to run the plasma globe.

The most likely failure point in the unit due to excessive
voltage/current will be a transistor, not the transformer. Try replacing
the three legged devices in the unit near the transformer with
equivalent device if available.

Good Luck,
           Brenden Ede






Markus wrote:
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Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


Thanks Brendan

I'll try that

Cheers Mate

-Markus

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Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


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I suspect most people here are smart enough to realise that it is probably
not conducive to prolong the life of electronic gear by powering it with
more voltage that it was designed for.

What amazes me is that somebody would do that, blow up his gadget, then
seemingly take pride in  telling everybody just how dumb he was !

geoff



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


You've never blown anything up yourself? -not even when you were starting
out? I find that hard to believe.

As I said, I'm a newbie. I even took the piss out of myself to that effect.

Newbies make a mess of things and then they learn from those mistakes.
That's how learning works.

I came in with no attitude, and (with the exception of a few) all I got was
smug 'har har har, aren't we all so much smarter than the new guy'. If you
don't want to offer help, then fine - don't. But to pipe up simply to make
fun of someone else is just mean.

I'm sure you people *do* know a lot more about electronics than I do - but
I'm also sure there's a bunch of things I'm better at than you.

But if you start trying to learn some of the things I'm better at, I won't
make fun of you, and I won't call you 'dumb', okay?

-Markus



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Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*



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I can speak only for myself.
It was in pre-PC times, and I had made a robust power supply for a
single-board computer. (AIM65) It was about one o'clock in the morning, I
was dead tired, alone in the house, and checked it one last time and plugged
it in. It was on the floor and I was leaning over it. It took a minute or
two before one of the BIG electrolytics exploded and shot up to the ceiling
and left a crescent-shaped scar that is still there. It missed me. It didn't
blind me. I had more luck than I deserved.
Wired in back-to-front, of course.
But not deliberately.



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Don't worry about it Markus, you did well. You don't know electronics
until you've actually blown something up, welcome to the club!

You'll learn a hell of lot by finding out *why* and *how* things blow
up, invaluable knowledge that you won't learn from a book or a course.

Dave :)


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Yeah OK.   I came in partway through and didn't see that your object was to
find out and repair the item and learn.

geoff



Re: Jaycar Plasma Globe. 'Hey, what happens if you increase the voltage?' *poof!*


Cool, no worries.

-Markus

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