14 January 2020

Voltage multiplier

It is all right at IK1ZYW's Labs, it's just that I had no opportunity to update the blog.

Last experiment has been a voltage multiplier as Cockcroft-Walton designed it in mid 1930's. Why? Apart my quest for a HV PSU (in the order of 300 Vdc), Xmas lights came with powerful 24 Vac 20VA transformers that should be enough to power some Nixies, once voltage-multiplied.

The hardest part has been to locate high value capacitors with high voltage rating in and around the junk box. While 2-300V rating is not hard to come by, the high capacitance is required in order to keep low its AC resistance at 50 Hz. Diodes need to sustain at least 60V reverse polarity, so 1N4003 and above.

I started with 220 uF capacitor, but it got too warm. Then I replaced it with 2200uF 63V in the first stage and everything got better. With 4 diodes I reached more than 160 Vdc which happily light up an IN-14 Nixie without dropping more than a Volt.

Nice experiment so far. A final circuit would allow to pick different output voltages stepped at (24*1,41) Volts, which can be useful.

Or just put back-to-back two of these transformers, rectify the output and find a way to drop it to the desired value. Thinking ...