The moment I learned about voltage multipliers I was really excited. What an awesome way to kill yourself!

I found a high voltage multiplier guide and using the image below, I created my first voltage multiplier:

Voltage multiplier schematic

Of course, mine is a little smaller:

invalid voltage multiplier

Diode 1N5404 datasheet. Philips capacitor datasheet is probably top secret. But it's 100nF and 400V (DC I believe).

I'm connecting what I believe is 30VAC 50Hertz input (that's what I get when I measure the voltage after connecting Graetz bridge to rectify the AC). However, I can't get more than 10VDC anywhere on the "multiplier". So what's wrong? Where are the right places to get the output?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your output is the most right-hand diode lead on the bottom (+) to the white wire (-). What frequency input are you using? The 1N540x are pretty pokey. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21 '14 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, at least it looks like you made a bug zapper. But seriously, 30 VAC at 60 Hz? What are you calling ground, or where are you measuring your voltages with respect to? Have you seen this, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockcroft%E2%80%93Walton_generator \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21 '14 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ What or who is Gretz? You implied electrocution so I hope he or she isn't a friend. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 21 '14 at 21:23
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka, maybe Gretz was his, now deceased, pet bug in the lower left hand corner :^) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21 '14 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant Graetz bridge. I don't have anything to measure AC voltage directly, so I use rectifier. I wanted to make clear that I measured it this way in case this could cause an error. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21 '14 at 21:29

It looks like you have things correctly connected, all though the top right cap isn't doing anything. The output in your case is from the bottom right corner to the top left corner, J4 to J1 in the schematic.

At 50 Hz and 100 nF you're not going to get a lot of current capability, but it will be enough for a voltmeter to show you the high voltage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh that's it Olin, I'll guess whatever he's using to measure the voltage is too much of a load. 100nF @50 Hz at least 100k ohm Zin...Or should I think of all those Caps as in series? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21 '14 at 22:03

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