Can anyone tell me how to make a simple electric shocking device (like a electric pen or hand buzzer style). I've seen people use piezoelectric elements from lighters (is that correct?) but I would like to know how to create one from scratch, and also what current and voltage is needed to give a small shock. Thanks, ell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ electronics should be used for good and not evil \$\endgroup\$
    – vicatcu
    Jan 19, 2011 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ no schematic but i think this is more of what your looking for? planetstephanie.net/2010/12/07/owbox you should be able to figure out how it works, but pretty much just a 555 timer 9v battery and a few other components. \$\endgroup\$
    – jsolarski
    Jan 20, 2011 at 2:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vicatcu, evil and good are often determined by whom you use the tool on, not the tool. For example, if I were to shock @tyblu, that would be good, but @pingswept and I get scolded. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Jan 20, 2011 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk... wow, never thought of it that way lol \$\endgroup\$
    – vicatcu
    Jan 20, 2011 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: Wait, why do I get scolded just because you're testing your "Touch of God" machine on @tyblu? I'm innocent! \$\endgroup\$
    – pingswept
    Jan 21, 2011 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


This is actually quite a simple circuit which works by stepping up the collapse of a magnetic field in a small audio transformer.

The schematic looks like this:


I think something like this part should work for the transformer.

If you touch the two output wires, you'll get a very small electric shock as you release the push button.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ god I love stack exchange \$\endgroup\$
    – Isaac
    Jan 20, 2011 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ When I was a kid some 50 years ago I built something like this using a Model T spark coil -- then attached the output to a doorknob handle. \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Jan 21, 2011 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ And this is safe to zap people with, right? Causing no permanent or serious damage? Thanks, that is very helpful! I always like to seek advice for potentially dangerous projects \$\endgroup\$
    – Ell
    Jan 24, 2011 at 17:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eli - Yes, it's safe because you only have E = 1/2 * C * V^2 ~= 0.1 millijoules of energy stored in the cap. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 5, 2011 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ "The effects of electrical current passing through the human body are covered at length in the International Electro Technical Commission document IEC 479-2:1987. In this document it indicates that a transient or capacitive discharge, as is the case with static electricity, requires energy in excess of 5 Joules (5000mJ) to produce a direct serious risk to health." wolfsonelectrostatics.com/04_news/index.html \$\endgroup\$
    – endolith
    Apr 27, 2011 at 18:32

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