Electric bug zapper

I had one of those bug zapper things that looks like a mini tennis racket only with a wire mesh. It ran on a 9v battery and was exceptionally effective. :) Sadly I made the mistake of taking it to Australia where it got spotted by customs and confiscated. :(

Back in the UK I found another one, only this one is powered by 2 AA batteries and and is nowhere near as effective. It takes several contacts to kill a stubbon mossie, and hitting a wasp with it is a game unto itself - will the stunned and angry wasp sting you before you've had chance to whack it a few more times?


I could try to find another 9v one, but they're harder to get hold of these days. Or I could find out how they work, what the electronics inside looks like and maybe make a new 9v unit to go inside the one I have. I choose the latter route. I know the very basics of electronics, but no more.

I've googled for information on how bug zappers work and can only find the obvious: the voltage is increased to a level where it'll stun or kill an insect that touches the mesh. But I'd like more detail. Does anyone have any resources they can point me to that explain how these things get such a high voltage and how the voltage is deployed such that is delivers a stunning shock?

Derek Fountain on the web at http://www.derekfountain.org/
Reply to
Derek Fountain
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I would imagine that most are simple oscillators driving a diode/capacitor voltage multiplier ladder. You should just be able to increase the input voltage and obtain an increased output voltage. At some point, the stuff will start arcing over so you likely won't be able to just use a 9V battery in place of the 3V supply. OTOH, it may work perfectly so give it a try.

Be sorta careful though, you're talking about many hundreds or even thousands of volts here. You'd probably have to try really hard before you could kill yourself with it, but you could sure shock the piss out of yourself. ;-)

Reply to
Anthony Fremont

Here's one using two D cells. Might be better:

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US$2 each, though shipping would put a kink in that.

As far as the circuits go, I think they look quite a bit like a camera flash lamp circuit. At least, for the HV generation (not the lamp part which will include a trigger transformer, lamp, and a thyristor most likely.) Except that the transformer is likely arranged for somewhat higher voltages at the outset. (300-400V for flash lamp, my guess is 4kV or so for a bug zapper.) Probaby a BJT, a specially wound transformer, a capacitor, a resistor or two. Not much.


Reply to
Jonathan Kirwan

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