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Create high voltages with a Flyback-Transformer driver

Feb 2015

Quite some time ago I was rummaging through my parts bin and came across some flyback transformers from old cathode-ray-tube TVs I had taken apart. I had never liked throwing away interesting stuff and now was the time to tinker around with them.

Flyback transformers from old TVs take pulsed voltages of 12V and turn them into voltages >10kV. This high voltage is needed to accelerate electrons that fly at the screen which produce the picture. For more information, search for cathode ray tubes on Wikipedia.

After some searching online I found a schematic for a flyback-transformer driver (original schematic here).
I modified the schematic a little bit and designed the PCB for it. I had them manufactured in China at Shenzhen2u. The boards were satisfying for the cheap price.

Finished PCB; heatsink added later on. (Click to enlarge)

The PCB was tested on a flyback transformer and after some time of setting the trimmers, I was able to produce nice high-voltage arcs.
The schematic and PCB can be downloaded here (EagleCAD files).

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for injuries or damages that you inflict to yourself or others. High voltages are dangerous and must be handled with utmost caution.

Click to enlarge