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A description of the device from Wikipedia: "The circuit is composed of an electronic oscillator, a step-up transformer and a voltage multiplier, similar to the circuit in an electroshock weapon or stun gun, but with much lower power."

Here is an example of the device.

When does it consume power? When the button is pressed? Only when something discharges it (when a fly is killed)? Does holding down the button cause more power to be consumed?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ All electronic components have a certain amount of leakage and "quiescent" current. So it takes some amount of power to keep the HV line going. When fly swatter capacitors discharge into a fly a larger amount of current is needed to recharge and reestablish the high voltage. While the swatter is armed it consumes a smaller amount of current to keep the steady state going \$\endgroup\$
    – crasic
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's possible with a handheld electric fly swatter that it's designed to charge the capacitors once and let them bleed. In that case the current consumption when the button is pressed and held the amount necessary to charge the capacitors and keep them topped off. With the button released they discharge relatively slowly, when you hit a fly it discharges quickly. In either case this current is already consumed from the POV of the battery \$\endgroup\$
    – crasic
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 2:11

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I think there are two main moments of power consumption:

1 - You press the button and the circuit is powered up, providing the metal grids with maybe thousands of Volts.

2 - When you hit a fly: killing a fly MAY be mainly due to power stored in huge capacitors or may be a sum of capacitor energy plus the power supply. Either way, it will have to consume power to charge the capacitors back up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It should be similar to a camera flash, the current consumed will reduce as the stored voltage reaches the maximum, it may not go down to zero but should be a lot less than the peak seen when starting to charge after long storage or recent insect strike. \$\endgroup\$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 19:03

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