I am trying to make an arc lighter, tried rewinding primary of ccfl transformer/inductor with only few turns and made my own with inductor I got from cfl circuit, they all worked fine for some time but then stop working because of secondary arcing inside of itself maybe?

In my transformer I used scotch tape every few turns, can I use ptfe plumbers tape instead? It appears to have better resistance and will not puff up the windings because it is soft, is it going to be any better?

My current core has air gape in one of the E shapes in the middle, should I join two full E shapes of two matching transformer cores or it doesn't really matter?

I used roughly thousand turns for secondary and 5 turns for primary, what should be the ideal turn ratio for my needs? (I would like it to be powerful if it doesn't arc in itself)

I winded primary above secondary because I wanted to try different configurations and circuits like a simplified zvs driver (?) with two mosfets and the other with one mosfet and resistor,Is winding primary above secondary a bad choice?

I know from my experience that it is not easy insulate it properly and I do have transformer from crt monitor but I still would like to make my own

Drivers I used: Driver 1 Driver 2

I drive it from 18650 battery or a powerbank so my supply voltage range is 3.2v to 5v, powerbank doesn't work as good probably because of its own frequency thing or protection features but it does prevent short circuits

Edit: Paper tape is also an option for insulation I found perfectly sized one, I currently have 4 options, electrical tape but its thicker, scotch tape that already failed me,, ptfe teflon plumbers tape and paper tape, which one should I choose for my next attempt?

Update: I winded a new one with ptfe teflon insulation every 50 turns, it works good and doesn't die. Only have minor internal arc issues. Transformer still have gap, primary is on top of secondary


  • \$\begingroup\$ Gas furnace igniters use air cores 1 cm D x 2 L \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12 '21 at 4:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ They an generate an easy 1cm arc of 25kV \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12 '21 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ But i have seen a few people mention not to use air gaped core which raises the question of why cfl being high voltage circuits already use them, google searches point to technical details of air gaps which for me being soft dev is not proper english \$\endgroup\$
    – asim
    Jan 12 '21 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Consider that eddy currents in cores reduce BW and risetime . In order to maximize LdI/dt you need high speed. So use an air oil that will not saturate and has risetime <<1us. Got it? AWG40 autotransformer \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12 '21 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not at all, my knowledge of electronics is zero, I just use my brain to do make things, so in simple words, air gap is a good thing, not sure about the oil tho I did plan on dipping transformer in oil for increased isolation, is that what you meant? @stewart \$\endgroup\$
    – asim
    Jan 12 '21 at 10:07

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