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Breaktru Forum  |  eCigarette Forum  |  Modding  |  Topic: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
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Author Topic: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making  (Read 242741 times)

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Offline loadstar

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #350 on: August 20, 2013, 08:19:13 PM »
First, thanks to everyone who's posted in here thus far and for breaktru for hosting and supporting this forum. After reading through every post in this thread as well as reading through some threads on other forums I figured it was time to take a stab at making one of these myself. While having literally 0 experience with having to hand-wrap res/no res wire together the whole vaping thing has gotten me back into a number of old hobbies of mine, one being electronics, and I figured this was a good starting place. My spools of kanthal and nickel only arrived today. Over the weekend I collected what I figured would be the majority of parts needed to complete the LM2577 version as finding 120uf /330v caps at my local parts shops was impossible. I was unable to find an LM2577 anywhere either. Luckily today I was able to scoop up a couple cheap kodak funsavers from a local bargain shop for about $4 a piece. These kits both had totally different configs from one another but followed the same general schematics theme as the kodak pictured in the subsequent schematic.

All that being said, I only picked up two of these cameras. Each has 1 160uf/330v cap. Doubling these would obv equal 320uf, and I'm wondering if thats going to be sufficient? Would I just hold the switch down longer? Also, I only have 1 P.B. switch. I just dug through every old box I could find looking for all my old electronics crap hoping on another but came up with nothing of use for this project. It's been over a decade since I've played with any of this stuff and therefore I feel like a total n00b.
Is there an alternate way to bleed out the caps after charging/zapping? I have a 15k res, but without the P.B. I'm assuming I could bypass it all together and just hold the leads together? I'd prefer not to blow it up just yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #351 on: August 21, 2013, 01:29:08 AM »
new to this forum but wanted to say thanks for this thread. its working like a charm.

i wanted to touch on a post that was asking about both batteries(9v & 1.5v). i have also made the voltage divider with the specs that were mentioned and am not getting any power to the board. the meter stays on, but will not power the flash board.
my build is a kodak board with a total of 340uF. running the vellemanPMLCDL. i have a switch hooked up to the meter but the board stays on with the AA battery. i would love to have the same switch control both units. i used the same specs as mentioned.
Vin = 9v
R1 = 20K
R2 = 4.7K
Vout = 1.713v

i can wire up car alarms, but this is something new to me. any help would be greatly appreciated.

one more thing...
i cannot get the meter to stay stable. i used the pm/res resistor pack and set the meter so it would read up to 200V. voltage still drops. i know that it was mentioned that i need to measure the internal resistance and add resistance in series. i have no clue where to put the resistor.
i have a 15K resistor for bleed down.

 again, any help would be great.

Online Breaktru

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #352 on: August 21, 2013, 09:38:37 AM »
new to this forum but wanted to say thanks for this thread. its working like a charm.

i wanted to touch on a post that was asking about both batteries(9v & 1.5v). i have also made the voltage divider with the specs that were mentioned and am not getting any power to the board. the meter stays on, but will not power the flash board.
my build is a kodak board with a total of 340uF. running the vellemanPMLCDL. i have a switch hooked up to the meter but the board stays on with the AA battery. i would love to have the same switch control both units. i used the same specs as mentioned.
Vin = 9v
R1 = 20K
R2 = 4.7K
Vout = 1.713v

i can wire up car alarms, but this is something new to me. any help would be greatly appreciated.

one more thing...
i cannot get the meter to stay stable. i used the pm/res resistor pack and set the meter so it would read up to 200V. voltage still drops. i know that it was mentioned that i need to measure the internal resistance and add resistance in series. i have no clue where to put the resistor.
i have a 15K resistor for bleed down.

 again, any help would be great.

I haven't tried powering off of just the 9v w/ the voltage divider. I'm going to have to actually build it and let you know what's up. I know that panel meter draws 1ma (well within the capability of a 9v batt) but not sure what the flash board draws. Under load the 1.7v may be actually lower so I will need to see what the drop is and if I will need to calculate for a higher voltage for the FB. Can you put a volt test meter on the 1.7v output and power up the flash and see what it drops to?
I found a comment that the meter is spec'd at >100M ohm input impedance but is actually 10M ohm. Still it's high enough to not drain down the cap. Is it dropping fast or slow?
With a 10M ohm input impedance, adding another resistor in series is not needed w/ this meter. The resistor pack for the Velleman meter is to change the max high scale reading of the meter.

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #353 on: August 21, 2013, 10:55:01 AM »
hmm..i dont think i can put the meter on te FB @ 1.7v and charge the caps because they wont charge, but maybe with just a standard AA? unless putting the meter and trying to charge with the divider will give me the results i need. ill try both and let you know. maybe theres a simpler way to use both batteries but have the same switch turn the board and DM on/off?
yes, the meter was suppsed to be rated very high but doesnt seem like it. it drains about .1V/sec. i used the resitors to have it read up to 200v, but maybe if i have it set to read @ max 500V(or whatever the highest setting is) maybe itll drop even slower? when i was using a cheap DMM i would set @ the highest V settting and it would help with the drain. maybe ill try that too.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #354 on: August 21, 2013, 11:28:54 AM »
hmm..i dont think i can put the meter on te FB @ 1.7v and charge the caps because they wont charge, but maybe with just a standard AA? unless putting the meter and trying to charge with the divider will give me the results i need. ill try both and let you know. maybe theres a simpler way to use both batteries but have the same switch turn the board and DM on/off?
yes, the meter was suppsed to be rated very high but doesnt seem like it. it drains about .1V/sec. i used the resitors to have it read up to 200v, but maybe if i have it set to read @ max 500V(or whatever the highest setting is) maybe itll drop even slower? when i was using a cheap DMM i would set @ the highest V settting and it would help with the drain. maybe ill try that too.

You may have misunderstood. Put your cheap DMM on the flash board input at the 1.7v input and not the panel meter so to read the voltage when firing up the FB.

Yes you can use ONE on/off switch if you break the negative which is in common with both batteries. Omit the on/off switches for both positive legs.

Using a high scale such as the 500v range of your DMM won't show you tenths or hundreds of a volt so seeing the drop will not be noticeable but it's still there. You will see it only when it eventually drops 1 whole volt. I don't think a tenth of a volt in 1 sec will be a problem. It's the low input impedance panel meters that drop rapidly that will be a problem.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #355 on: August 21, 2013, 12:09:44 PM »
Using ONE On/Off switch for 9v battery and a 1.5v AA battery.
See attached image............
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 12:15:50 PM by Breaktru »

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #356 on: August 21, 2013, 12:48:20 PM »
Looks like that'll work perfectly! Looks like I have some improvements to make later tonight. Thanks for all the help.
The voltage drop is very minimal I found when I bleed it down from about 100V.i just thought there might have been a way to make it stay at a certain voltage without drop. I'm extremely happy with the set up I have now. I'll post some pictures when I get the chance

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #357 on: August 21, 2013, 05:24:03 PM »
i wanted to touch on a post that was asking about both batteries(9v & 1.5v). i have also made the voltage divider with the specs that were mentioned and am not getting any power to the board. the meter stays on, but will not power the flash board.

Vin = 9v
R1 = 20K
R2 = 4.7K
Vout = 1.713v

i just tried out the voltage divider and this is my conclusion:
A voltage divider will not work for the flash board circuit due to its load. Under load the voltage drops to a half of volt. I tried several configurations and even at 8v for Vout, it still drops to a half of volt.
Use two separate batteries, 9v and 1.5v. Otherwise you would need to build a 1.5v regulator.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:58:57 PM by Breaktru »

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #358 on: August 22, 2013, 02:45:39 AM »
the switch wont work for both batteries for some reason.
it works but the meter doesnt read right and the caps wont charge
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 02:53:23 AM by xbizzle84 »

Offline jonas44

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #359 on: August 22, 2013, 10:36:26 AM »
the switch wont work for both batteries for some reason.
it works but the meter doesnt read right and the caps wont charge

Looking at the circuit, it looks like it will work with 1 switch. Have you checked your wiring?

Offline MidnighToker

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #360 on: August 22, 2013, 10:47:07 AM »
OK, I fell WAY the hell behind on this thread so will try and catch up on what I saw.

Quote
If you can not get used flash cameras, Electronic Goldmine has them on sale. 10 for $4.00
SALE! Super Strobe Board (Package of 10)
cheap weldi ng
You just had me glaring at my new MIG...

Sadly, now listing $14.90
OK, I feel a little better now.  I'll stick with the MIG :D


Hey Breaktru or anyone for that matter have you tried that meter you linked by chance yet? Would it be a good choice to stick in a sparko? I have a cheapo meter I use for most things but would like to add one to the welder and the price is fine for me if it will work.
I almost always have my DMM (one of them) leads attached to the caps themselves.  Tried wiring in a voltage display, but all I had was the 2-wire ones which do NOT play nice here.

I tried so many batteries and I do hear the charge but when I touch the wires nothing happens. Do you think I can use a AW IMR 14500 battery safely?
If you're hearing the charge (and the pitch is rising), my gut feeling is that you have a short somewhere that's draining it.

Nice work  :rockin smiley:
Congrats on your successful welds. Most first time users don't have that luck and need practice with the technique.
Shit.....I STILL can't consistant welds >:(


And my offer still stands for anyone that can't get the photo charge boards/caps.  Still have some extras and was planning on raiding Walmart again soon.  Shoot me a PM

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #361 on: August 22, 2013, 11:06:52 AM »
Looking at the circuit, it looks like it will work with 1 switch. Have you checked your wiring?

yes. ive checked the wiring again this morning and same result. the meter keeps reading with "low batt" after switch is off and the reading is off. i have 1.5V to board and 9v to meter but for some reason its not working properly with meter not reading right and caps not charging. anyone know what im doing wrong?

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #362 on: August 22, 2013, 11:12:45 AM »
yes. ive checked the wiring again this morning and same result. the meter keeps reading with "low batt" after switch is off and the reading is off. i have 1.5V to board and 9v to meter but for some reason its not working properly with meter not reading right and caps not charging. anyone know what im doing wrong?

Sounds like the 1.5v is back feeding the DM meter. How about a diode to block back feed for the 1.5v battery

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #363 on: August 22, 2013, 12:09:31 PM »
yes. ive checked the wiring again this morning and same result. the meter keeps reading with "low batt" after switch is off and the reading is off. i have 1.5V to board and 9v to meter but for some reason its not working properly with meter not reading right and caps not charging. anyone know what im doing wrong?
Sounds like the 1.5v is back feeding the DM meter. How about a diode to block back feed for the 1.5v battery

Before you try a diode.... Do you have the negatives of both batteries (2 wires) on one side of the switch and the negative of FB and Dig Meter on the other side of the switch (2 wires).

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #364 on: August 22, 2013, 12:53:52 PM »
Yes. I tried it just like the diagram. The fb and the meter grounds on one side and the battery grounds on the other.

Offline loadstar

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #365 on: August 22, 2013, 10:10:52 PM »
my message above can be ignored. figured it all out and have been making welds!
2 x 160uf caps @ 4-5 second charge seems to make a solid weld on my unit.
also managed to score a massive amount of used disposables from a photo processing place for playing with a few more versions of this.

thanks for all the tips.


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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #366 on: August 23, 2013, 07:26:49 AM »
Is there an alternate way to bleed out the caps after charging/zapping? I have a 15k res, but without the P.B. I'm assuming I could bypass it all together and just hold the leads together? I'd prefer not to blow it up just yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The bleed down resistor w/ a pushbutton works well when using a volt meter. If you over shoot your intended voltage you can tap the pushbutton to bring down your voltage to your target voltage.
If you are not using a PB you can use a DPDT on/off switch. The on position will power up the flash board from the battery and the off position will cut battery pwr and discharge the cap thru the bleed down resistor.
If you break the Negative side of the battery w/ an on/off switch you can use a SPDT switch. The center position will be ground, top position will be to neg of batt and bottom position will be to resistor and the other side of resistor will be to positive of caps.

my message above can be ignored. figured it all out and have been making welds!
2 x 160uf caps @ 4-5 second charge seems to make a solid weld on my unit.
also managed to score a massive amount of used disposables from a photo processing place for playing with a few more versions of this.
thanks for all the tips.
Sorry I missed your 1st post loadstar.
Nice going. Glad it worked out. Good score with used cameras.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 07:33:01 AM by Breaktru »

Offline xbizzle84

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #367 on: August 25, 2013, 11:00:54 PM »
im not sure on how to add a resistor in series with the low input impedance of the volt meter. can someone show me a diagram? thank you
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 12:38:08 AM by xbizzle84 »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #368 on: August 26, 2013, 06:55:43 AM »
im not sure on how to add a resistor in series with the low input impedance of the volt meter. can someone show me a diagram? thank you


Have you determined the size of the resistor needed yet? If it is a 3 wire meter, it goes between the positive of the capacitor and the yellow or white lead of the meter.

Reply #332 shows where and Reply #102 shows how to calculate input impedance.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #369 on: August 27, 2013, 01:38:26 AM »
Thanks a lot breaktru!



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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #370 on: August 27, 2013, 07:26:59 AM »
Thanks a lot breaktru!
Well done MaNurse and congrats on your build :beer-toast:

Offline Squance

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #371 on: August 27, 2013, 09:46:10 AM »
Nice job on the welder. I got to get started on making one. I just need to pick up some red and black banana plugs first

Offline bustedf00

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #372 on: August 27, 2013, 05:18:16 PM »
Breaktru,

I have a new question. Is there anyways for me to have the Volt DM to  be able to reads out ohm?I want to build all in one. put some 510 connector on my zapper to be able to reads ohm of the atomizer as-well. Prefer to have only one LCD DM that can do both.

If yes, please explain how i can go about that.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #373 on: August 27, 2013, 06:05:00 PM »
Breaktru,

I have a new question. Is there anyways for me to have the Volt DM to  be able to reads out ohm?I want to build all in one. put some 510 connector on my zapper to be able to reads ohm of the atomizer as-well. Prefer to have only one LCD DM that can do both.

If yes, please explain how i can go about that.

There is a kit if you would like to install two displays at: Madvapes

update:
I found this circuit. You would need switches to isolate the volts from ohms. Also see: Ohm meter

« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:30:54 AM by Breaktru »

Offline Pantera

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #374 on: August 27, 2013, 07:22:50 PM »
That would be so cool to have one DM for two functions. Who is going to be the first to build it

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #375 on: August 29, 2013, 05:04:13 PM »
Back on sale: SALE! Super Strobe Board 10 for $5

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #376 on: September 25, 2013, 06:34:00 PM »
I've been wanting to build a wire welder for some time. I've read through this thread several times along with some other information I found. I came across plans that uses a 24 V power source. The cost of the parts is  a bit higher but it appears to be a very simple build. Would love to hear your thoughts on this design.



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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #377 on: September 25, 2013, 07:34:36 PM »
Would love to hear your thoughts on this design.

My thoughts:
The On/Off switch would create a dead short. You need to put it in series w/ either the input (+) or (-).
I would suggest a momentary pushbutton at the input.
I don't know the details of the 24v power supply. I hope it's a DC supply. I'm assuming that the 100 ohm resistor would prevent damage when the output leads are shorted to weld. A 5watt resistor is not need. A 1/4 watt will do (much smaller is physical size). The circuit is low current.

I'm partial to the flash camera circuit. It's cheap and easy.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:41:02 AM by Breaktru »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #378 on: September 25, 2013, 08:33:04 PM »
Aside from the obvious issues with that circuit, you can build a good spot welder with some caps and a 12V power supply.  You need 3 caps 2 to 3 Farads each in parallel.  The caps required are quite large.  Something like that would not work well at all as a wire welder, would just eat the wires instead of welding them.  Metal welding is normally done with a high current and a low voltage, but for welding two fine wires together, you want the higher voltage and lower current of the flash circuit.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #379 on: September 26, 2013, 01:38:10 PM »
Thanks for you feedback.

The power supply is 24 Vdc 150 mA  3.6 W.

Here's a video demonstrating it. So I guess it works.


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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #380 on: September 26, 2013, 06:04:38 PM »
What I don't like about it in the video is keeping it powered on. The resistor helps keep the power supply from burning out while the leads are held together but if you don't power it off while disconnecting the welded coil you can zap yourself. I would rather use a momentary push button to charge the caps and let go before welding.

Now I understand the 3 switches for the caps. So that you can add capacitance as needed. Seems to work for the user in the vid but I like the fine tuning of the Spark-O-Matic with a voltage range for all kinds of wire gauge and types.

The power supply is a 150ma. So why the heavy duty parts? Also using that pwr supply ties you to a wall socket.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:42:23 AM by Breaktru »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #381 on: September 27, 2013, 07:05:38 AM »
the welder i use is pretty similar  ; 24V ac - rectifier bridge ( 4 diodes) -1 capacitor 35V 2200 uF .Works for my silver wire/0,17 resistance wire , but i use a temporary button to charge the capacitor ( 4-5 seconds).

Offline vallentin

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #382 on: September 27, 2013, 01:34:48 PM »
Done the Fuji (a little different) circuit with an 18K 5W bleeder resistor.
Packed in a small laptop PSU with zip ties and hot glue. No meter, no LED (i don't need them 'cause I use my ear for it).
Works like a charm!
Yesterday I successfully recoiled 5 Kanger eGo CC replacement heads. Spot on at 2.4 ohm, 6 wraps of 0.2 mm kanthal on 3mm silica wick  (added an another strand of 2.5mm on top for flavor) and copper wire from an old IDE cable. Simple copper, not silver coated.
The old coils were thinned down from repeated dry burns and the old silica was a mess  scared:.
I will upload some pictures of my build sometime later.
Thanks breakthru!
 ;cheers;
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 04:19:23 PM by vallentin »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #383 on: September 27, 2013, 02:17:39 PM »
Nice going val  :rockin smiley:
A 5 watt bleeder resistor is not necessary. 1/4 watt will do (low current circuit).
You might want to rethink using bare copper. eJuice and copper do not mix well. A coated copper would be better. Just a thought.
Congrats on your build

Offline vallentin

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #384 on: September 27, 2013, 02:25:36 PM »
Will do for the moment.
Thanks for the tip. I will dismantle one head after a week of heavy use to see how is doing in the mix with the juice.
I'm waiting for a bunch of genesys atties and other stuff from fasttech and I will redo all my Kanger coils then. Using silver coated wire.
5 watt was at hand.
 :beer-toast:

Offline vallentin

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #385 on: September 27, 2013, 04:13:10 PM »
The build

Offline theDom

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #386 on: September 27, 2013, 04:35:34 PM »
Congrats on your welder vallentin  :applaude:

Offline vallentin

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #387 on: September 27, 2013, 04:45:38 PM »
Thanks, Dom
That Fuji board used to be a Joule Thief. Now it has been re-purposed. :D

Offline mjacksonrigg

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #388 on: September 27, 2013, 05:09:51 PM »
That Fuji board used to be a Joule Thief. Now it has been re-purposed. :D

Cool re-purposing
Good job

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #389 on: September 27, 2013, 06:13:55 PM »
Thanks!
Considering the fact that everything inside that box and the box itself came from scrapped parts, yes, you're right. It is cool.
On/Off button came from an old Kyocera printer. I have that small case for about 10 years now from an old 286 laptop PSU (5 and 12V type). Touch switches from a couple of defective lcd monitors. And so on...
With the same mini touch switches I had replaced my Lavatube2 and Vamo fire buttons. Because of misfiring and/or poor quality firing switch. You can't tell the difference.
I'll show you how if you're interested. It's a 10 minutes job (cut/file/superglue). The trickiest part is putting everything back together...
I never buy electronics if I can reuse the so called "junk".
The coolest part? I don't care about the welder looks. It works!
All I paid for was half a stick of hot glue.  :thumbsup:

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #390 on: October 01, 2013, 09:51:09 AM »
Thank you all for the great information found here.  Following it I have just finished my build and I have a few questions:

1) Is it possible to modify this setup so it can run from Li Ion batteries, ideally I would like to use some of my protected 18650's to power this thing.  Using a 4.2-3.7v battery might remove the need for a joule theif but I understand the board may not work at that voltage.  I have seen a lot of other zappers in the wild which run on these batteries though so I wonder what flash circuit they are using.

2) I built mine with the 2 optional LED's.  The power on LED does not work at all and the charging LED barely works.  I understand I have to build a "joule theif" for the power LED to function but I am wondering about the intended purpose of the charging LED, mine only lights up a tiny bit when I have the caps charged to ~300v which is way higher than we need.  Is there a way to make this LED light up under less load?

3) Did you guys ever settle on which LCD Voltmeter is the best option for this build?  I would like mine to show the true voltage and I see some mention of ones that might work but not 100% sure on which one is the best choice for this build.

Finally, I wanted to see what sort of success you guys were having with these.  I was primarily using 30ga kanthal and 30ga .999 silver with limited success.  I managed to build 2 coils where the NR leads didnt snap off but I am not confident in the welds at all.  90% of the time my NR leads break off during wrapping.  Does anyone have results with this method they are very confident in?  If so, what materials work best? 

At this point I feel like I'd be a lot more confident in just tying square knots...

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #391 on: October 01, 2013, 11:54:47 AM »
Thank you all for the great information found here.  Following it I have just finished my build and I have a few questions:
Glad we can help and welcome to the forum

1) Is it possible to modify this setup so it can run from Li Ion batteries, ideally I would like to use some of my protected 18650's to power this thing.  Using a 4.2-3.7v battery might remove the need for a joule theif but I understand the board may not work at that voltage.  I have seen a lot of other zappers in the wild which run on these batteries though so I wonder what flash circuit they are using.
The guys using the Li-ion battery are using 2 in series to power a LM2577 board. The flash board only requires a single 1.5AA battery. Anymore voltage would damage the board.
LED's are really not needed so you don't have to install them.
The advantage of using the F.B. over the LM2577 is you can use the free battery that came with the camera instead of an expensive Li-ion (2). The caps are free and the F.B. is free.

2) I built mine with the 2 optional LED's.  The power on LED does not work at all and the charging LED barely works.  I understand I have to build a "joule theif" for the power LED to function but I am wondering about the intended purpose of the charging LED, mine only lights up a tiny bit when I have the caps charged to ~300v which is way higher than we need.  Is there a way to make this LED light up under less load?
I have omitted the charge LED because of the higher voltage needed. If you MUST install one, use a standard LED with a resistor in series on the output caps. You would have to find the optimum resistance for the voltage output you are using.

3) Did you guys ever settle on which LCD Voltmeter is the best option for this build?  I would like mine to show the true voltage and I see some mention of ones that might work but not 100% sure on which one is the best choice for this build.
Most of the LCD meters are LOW input impedance which will drain the cap voltage about 0.1v per second without the series resistor. You would need to find a high input impedance meter so not to drain the cap voltage. I mentioned the link in the original post.

Finally, I wanted to see what sort of success you guys were having with these.  I was primarily using 30ga kanthal and 30ga .999 silver with limited success.  I managed to build 2 coils where the NR leads didnt snap off but I am not confident in the welds at all.  90% of the time my NR leads break off during wrapping.  Does anyone have results with this method they are very confident in?  If so, what materials work best? 
Usually the NR wire breaks and not the weld due to the bending and weakening of the wire. Another option is to weld the NR after the Kanthal/nichrome is wrapped around the wick.

At this point I feel like I'd be a lot more confident in just tying square knots...
Ay Ay Matey!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 12:08:02 PM by Breaktru »

Offline werkkrew

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #392 on: October 01, 2013, 12:12:08 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

I think I want to re-do my build without the LED's but with a Meter.

Quote
Most of the LCD meters are LOW input impedance which will drain the cap voltage about 0.1v per second without the series resistor. You would need to find a high input impedance meter so not to drain the cap voltage. I mentioned the link in the original post.

Will this meter, the one you mentioned, do the job correctly?:

If I could find one with a backlight, like the one used in this zapper, I would really like that.

By the way, here is a shot of the internals of the "Mevs-Modz Zapper V2" , can anyone help identify the capacitor and voltmeter used here?  I didn't have much luck searching for the parts by using the numbers I can see in the image.

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #393 on: October 01, 2013, 12:48:59 PM »
Yes model PMLCDL is a high input impedance. The resistor kit is also needed.

The Mev zapper meter does NOT look like a high impedance meter. Watch how rapidly the voltage drops in the video.
You will have to overshoot the weld voltage and weld when the meter approaches the target voltage
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 04:45:53 PM by Breaktru »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #394 on: October 01, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »
Yes model PMLCDL is a high input impedance. The resistor kit is also needed.

The Mev zapper meter is NOT a high impedance. Watch how rapidly the voltage drops.

That's where I get lost though, if it already has high input impedance why do I need the additional set of resistors?

Do you think I could buy a super cheap $5 multi meter and rip the screen out of it and somehow hack that into working by making it stay set to volts, I don't feel like waiting for a part to come from an online order...

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #395 on: October 01, 2013, 02:58:21 PM »
The meter I used w/ the series resistor was LOW input impedance. No resistor for a HI I.I. meter. The additional resistors for the PMLCDL is for setting the range. The meter comes set for <200mV. You have other options for a 20V, 200V and a 500V range.

A cheap $5 multimeter has LOW I.I. What I did with one of my Spark-O-Matics is connect a decent multimeter across the output lead jacks and did not use a panel meter. Like this attached. Also seen in the video
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 04:43:48 PM by Breaktru »

Offline MidnighToker

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #396 on: October 01, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »
Usually the NR wire breaks and not the weld due to the bending and weakening of the wire. Another option is to weld the NR after the Kanthal/nichrome is wrapped around the wick.
Never thought of that one....will have to give it a go.


ETA -
A cheap $5 multimeter has LOW I.I. What I did with one of my Spark-O-Matics is connect a decent multimeter across the output lead jacks and did not use a panel meter. Like this attached. Also seen in the video
This is how I've been running.  Then again, I still have yet to actually put one of these in an enclosure :(  Have I THINK 7 completed/working units sitting on my bench ATM.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 08:56:11 PM by MidnighToker »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #397 on: October 07, 2013, 12:49:41 PM »
This is the Spark-O-Matic with the PMLCDL panel meter for Voltage and Ohm reading.
I'm waiting on a couple of parts to complete. Once completed I'll post the schematic.
See attached photos. (Viewable by logged on members)

PHOTOS of completed Volt Ohm box in this post: CLICK HERE
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:07:19 PM by Breaktru »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #398 on: October 08, 2013, 01:04:52 PM »
Your clips should be of good quality. The spring tension should be strong. The inside of the clip should be flat and flush for maximum surface to contact the wires being welded.
I used a 10 gauge or 12 gauge solid wire and soldered it into the top and bottom of the jaws of an Alligator/Crocodile clip and lightly filed it flat as shown in the attached photos. You do NOT want to use the jaws alone for clamping down on the resistance wire because it will put a kink in it and it will break when bending. Also there is minimal contact surface.
This is what a GOOD welding clip looks like, see below (members only)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 04:23:27 PM by Breaktru »

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Re: The Spark-O-Matic - Wire Arc Welding for coil making
« Reply #399 on: October 08, 2013, 02:09:43 PM »
Damn man...you always have to take just that one step further, don't ya? :beer-toast:

Do you have a decent source for the aligator clips?  Every place that I've gabbed the from  I wind up with those cheap ass barelt riveted ones that get misaligned after you use them more than twice.

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