Questions tagged [spark]

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Do you need high voltage or current to produce a spark?

An electric spark can be formed when there is high potential energy between two conductors, right? My question is can a spark be formed with high current and low voltage or only vice-versa?
JingleBells's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why is Ethernet not intrinsically safe?

I understand from a training session that ProfiBUS is considered intrinsically safe, while ProfiNET is not. Some googling indicates that ProfiNET can never be intrinsically safe, because Ethernet can ...
Stephen Collings's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
38k views

How far can mains voltage arc in air?

I wondered this while soldering a mains voltage circuit board and was surprised by how close together the traces were. It has obvious implications in design of electrical plugs, and the proximity of ...
M_M's user avatar
  • 293
15 votes
5 answers
5k views

Arduino resetting/hanging due to sparks in ac line

This is the PCB design of the project I have been working on recently (my first pcb design). The idea is to control ac appliances (fans, bulbs etc) without relays. I am using triacs which are better ...
Whiskeyjack's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Voltage required for a spark plug - dielectric constant of air

The dielectric constant of air is approximately 3 kV/mm. The typical space between car spark plugs is between 0.6 and 1.8 mm. By multiplying those numbers in mm by the dielectric constant of air, we ...
William Garske's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why did a spark occur between my HDMI cable and metal lamp base?

Edit: Update 1/2/22 @ 2:27 UTC: outlet tester shows that all outlets and power strip outlets being used were normal. Update 1/2/22 @ 21:07 UTC: performed various continuity tests which suggest to me ...
dfncrbl's user avatar
  • 89
8 votes
3 answers
693 views

In the recent Con-Ed transformer "fire", what exactly produced the color of the huge blue glow over New York City?

Blue is often linked with technology (e.g. "big blue", glowing pools of water with Cherenkov radiation, aliens in general, Nobel prizes for blue LEDs) as well as traditional things like sparks. In a ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 3,429
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

I have 5 kV available to create a spark. Is limiting the current to 500 µA as simple as putting a 10 MΩ resistor in series?

Haven't worked with high voltage much before, I'm trying to use a spark gap to ionize some gas. I have 5 kV on one side, and a plate attached to ground on the other. The 5 kV will switch on as needed, ...
Shredder's user avatar
  • 687
7 votes
4 answers
11k views

Measuring current with a multimeter - What did I do wrong?

I wanted to measure the current of a generic lithium ion battery charger. I set I plug my red lead in the A 10A max fused and black into COM. The charger is rated at 600 mA and my other lead plug ...
TheMidnightNarwhal's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Will a spark gap transmit a signal an FM receiver can "hear?"

Forgive me if this question is a duplicate, I looked around but did not see anything that quite fit. The scenario: I found a box of old FM receivers, the kinds used (I think) for assistive listening ...
Jesse's user avatar
  • 235
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Detecting sparks at the output of a high voltage flyback transformer

I was trying to generate plasma inside a cylinder for a hobby project, so I decided to use a flyback transformer from an old TV and drive it with a 555 timer as shown in the schematics. It solves my ...
Kadyan's user avatar
  • 101
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I prevent inrush current from causing sparks when I connect my project to a power source?

It is a common problem with my projects that when I plug connector in (DC connector to DC jack), sparks can be seen, although it hardly takes 10 watts of power. On commercial products, this is not a ...
Bhavya Gupta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
724 views

Sparks on grounded metal bodies on lighting strikes in the nearby (two miles)

I have a strange phenomenon in our mountain cabin, on the Italian alps: lightning strike on the nearby (not so near: < 2 miles) causes audible / visible sparks on: electric / fire wood water ...
SpecialFx's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
458 views

Any tricks for finding the path taken by small ESD sparks across a PCB?

A small ESD spark is able to find its way across my PCB at a relatively low voltage (low kV). It is not obvious which path the spark is taking and the sparks only jump when the board is sealed up ...
bigjosh's user avatar
  • 10.1k
5 votes
2 answers
998 views

Ignition coil arc initiation with protected low voltage continuation?

I'd like to initiate a spark plug arc with an ignition coil and then power the resulting (highly conductive) plasma with an ultracapacitor (low voltage, say 12V to 24V, and high current) without ...
James Bowery's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Contact sparking even with flyback diode

I'm building a circuit to measure both voltage and current given to a solenoid valve 24V DC 15W. In parallel to the valve is a voltage divider with 470k + 100k Ohm resistors. In series with the valve ...
user124717's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
968 views

How small can a spark-gap transmitter be made?

How small can a spark-gap transmitter be made? Wikipedia's got plenty of pictures ranging from "desk-sized" to "room-sized", but those are mostly either early, inefficient ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 841
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to create EMI?

I want to subject my product to large amounts of EMI to see what happens. I figure I need the EMI to be broad-spectrum to be sure it will have the best chance of wreaking havoc. However, I don't ...
AlcubierreDrive's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
6k views

Reduce/Remove Sparks in AC and DC Contacts of Relays

I see that there are sparks being generated whenever there is a connection established between two contact points in the relays. So is there a way to reduce/remove those spark generated in the relays.
Hari's user avatar
  • 95
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are engine spark plugs w/o resistor so potent killers of electronics nearby them?

I've recreated the ignition coil part of a small Honda ICE (typically used in lawn mowers or single-digit kW gensets). I use an electric motor to turn a flywheel taken from a dead engine, and I've ...
anrieff's user avatar
  • 5,429
4 votes
1 answer
7k views

What would it take to spark through electrical tape?

Forgetting for a moment that wires can get hot, and that electrical tape can melt because of it: I've been wondering how much voltage/amperage it would take to spark through your standard house hold ...
Tyler V.'s user avatar
  • 253
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Best practice for Lightning/Surge Protection on PCB

What is best practice/recommendation when I want to protect against lighting/surge? More specfically, my application requires passing the following test: "ANSI/IEEE C62.41---1.2/50 microsecond (uS) ...
hassan789's user avatar
  • 2,116
3 votes
3 answers
17k views

Where do small gas engines get the current for their spark plugs?

While technically not an EE question, until StackExchange adds a regular Engineering section, EE was the closest fit. On small gas engines like those in weed wackers and lawn mowers, where do the ...
Soviero's user avatar
  • 519
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

relay contact fails (suspect sparking)

I have a relay which is rated for 30 VDC @ 10 A or 28 VDC @ 10 A (which appears on this relay module) and I am running 12 V @ 6 A through the relay and this solenoid. After a short amount of time (...
Troy Weber's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
15k views

Have I broken my Multimeter?

Firstly, I'll answer my own question by saying that I don't think I have broken it. However, is it possible I could have? (and also possibly, the power supply I was testing). I am quite new to ...
jren207's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Spark gap minimum breakdown voltage vs air gap

I'm trying to calculate the minimum voltage needed create a spark across 2 electrodes (needle shaped) in open air at normal ambient pressure. Usually, I would use the figure of 3000V /mm as the ...
Anchovy's user avatar
  • 303
3 votes
1 answer
107 views

Safe measurement of spark voltages on a piezo-electric starter

I'd like to estimate the actual generated spark voltage on a standard home-use piezo-electric lighter used for lighting gas stoves etc. Judging by the maximum spark distance of between 1 - 3 mm ...
citizen's user avatar
  • 2,626
3 votes
2 answers
724 views

Circuit analysis of a spark gap

I am confused about the action of a spark gap. I realize the gap is breached when the voltage reaches a critical point. But what happens to the remainder of the voltage? In the attached circuit the ...
user1897830's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Make high voltage spark travel further?

Okay, so I have this piezoelectric barbecue igniter so that I can make a remote igniter. The problem is that if I add a length of wire the spark becomes very small. Is there any way to make the spark ...
Builder_Of_Bots's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
585 views

Where to put a spark gap for ESD protection--to an isolated "GND" or to protective earth?

I am designing some PCBs for a system that runs on a fully-isolated DC power supply. I have three power inputs: Protective earth (connected directly to the line earth of a three-pin US 120V AC power ...
JohnSpeeks's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
282 views

Arc welding: Why is electric arc preferred over fire for welding?

Is it because arc has a higher temperature and more controllable? Temperature of arc used for welding: 9000°F (5000°C) Fire: 400°F- 9000°F (200°C to 4980 °C) It is difficult to believe a spark ...
Dynamic_equilibrium's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
469 views

I need guidance on designing a 2 kV capacitor charging circuit

I have to design high voltage circuit for the first time in my life. Its purpose is to provide enough voltage to make a spark plug ignite a coal powder mixture. There are some requirements for this ...
박성재's user avatar
  • 115
2 votes
2 answers
216 views

Is it ok to connect a 10000 μF Capacitor to a lithium-ion battery directly?

I have a 24 V lithium-ion battery which will pump as Iᵐᵃˣ 40 A and I need to connect a capacitor directly to the 24 V battery which will be 10000 μF(10 mF). The usage of it is to keep the system ...
Hazardous Voltage's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
892 views

Stray voltages on home appliances in unearthed electrical system

Using a simple multimeter I have discovered around this home (what I may be mistakenly calling) "stray voltages", i.e voltage potentials across appliances' metallic parts that should not ...
Robert Lee's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why would touching a rubber insulated spark plug wire causes current to go through your finger?

I'm trying to understand the physics. The spark plug has a gap of 0.9mm. Why would the current go through the insulation resistance, the finger resistance and the air gap between the finger and the ...
ronenfe's user avatar
  • 435
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Modify spark igniter circuit for bug zapper functionality?

I have been doing some research on building my own bug zapper circuits for use in an art project (just for arcing electricity, I'm not killing any bugs), in particular finding a good source for ...
Emmett Palaima's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
645 views

Spark with 5 volts to solder (weld) tin

I recently visited a factory in China and saw people soldering headphone pins with a soldering device that gave sparks, melting the tin. The soldering iron was hooked up to a device and the pin was ...
John's user avatar
  • 177
2 votes
1 answer
315 views

Electrode shape in a triggered spark gap?

I was reading about spark gaps which are triggered with a third electrode, and I think that the concept is pretty straightforward, but the resource described the usage of a third electrode which would ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 507
2 votes
1 answer
456 views

Oddly placed spark gap? Samsung phone charger (ETAOU10)

I was bored one day so I took apart an old (as in no longer needed, late 2013) phone charger. Everything looks well designed except for the spark gap between neutral/live and the low-voltage side. ...
Oskar Skog's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
263 views

Simple frequency-tunable spark generator?

This may sound weird, but... I am attempting to design a steampunk / gothic horror-styled electric harpsichord, with sparkgaps as the sound source in the vein of musical Tesla coils. Unlike musical ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is this a possible design of Triggered Spark Gap?

I am trying to make a triggered spark gap for discharging capacitors (around 470uF, charged to 300-400V), for entertainment purpose. I have searched for triggered spark gap designs, but I am not sure ...
Carl Dong's user avatar
  • 119
2 votes
3 answers
106 views

Spark gap alternative

I am building a simple Tesla circuit with a 50-100 kV transformer and capacitors, discharging through a spark gap into the circuit. Is there anything besides a spark gap that would accommodate that ...
Ericm20E's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
888 views

Spark minimum current

I know from the title may sounds wired. But it makes sense to me at least for my restricted knowledge of high voltages. I'm always working with low or house voltage as well as this question may refer ...
Newbie's user avatar
  • 158
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

We want to generate a spark suitable for igniting a potato cannon (alchohol class fuel) preferably without automobile-class coils

I assume we need about 1000v for a 1mm gap. I have a coil about 2cm with an iron core, but no idea how big L is. I have a lot of 330uF capacitors rated for 200v. What would be a clean way of doing ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 1,661
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Sparking when using multimeter

I was trying to measure the voltage across two connectors that connect to a 3-pin, 13 A plug as part of troubleshooting, to verify I had circa 230 VAC present. However, when I connected my multimeter ...
Brandon Kellett's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
4k views

Multimeter, outlet and a Spark: the question of simple Voltage measurement

So I got a TekPower TP4000ZC MultiMeter. (Image source) It has COM port and two red ports: V-Ohm-etc. set at 600V Max and 500mA Max Fused 10A red fused port. Unlike other multimeters, there are no ...
Eksel's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Is an SPDT switch spark-free?

Question Will this switch spark when it is switched? Intro I am currently working on a electric longboard and I came across this problem. I have a LiPo battery providing power to the motor through ...
Koen Demonie's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
58 views

Intrinsic safety (IEC60079-11) - assessing spark ignition of RLC circuit, but the L is placed before the zener barrier

My IS circuit contains an inductance, capacitance, and resistance. Shown below is the simplified schematic, with uncountable and countable fault applied, resulting in the most onerous condition: The ...
Never's user avatar
  • 100
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Capacitor quenching circuit across Brush and Commutator of DC motor

To reduce the spark between brush and commutator segment there is capacitor and resistor spark quenching circuit is placed between each commutator segments. please find below images for detail idea ...
ketan patil's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Spark gap breakdown voltage vs gap area

I've been trying to design a 1 MV hydrogen gas spark gap. I found the resistance of such to be in the range of 7 Ω/cm, not suitable for a target 40 kA current. Can I make the spark gap shorter without ...
Alessandro Mini's user avatar