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TUCoPS :: Hardware Hacks :: voltage.txt

Low-Power Taser

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                 Would you take the blue pill or the red pill?


Title:      |||| Low-power taser ||||

Date:       April 12, 1999
Author:     rootwurm


i guess this would be classified as a taser, i'm not sure.  actually, credit should go to my
older brother for this one, cause he's the dude that started it all.

what you need:
a small transformer; get one from a small digital alarm clock or somesuch device.
a 9Volt battery (the square kind)
a little bit of wire
maybe a switch, if you get a switch, get a momentary one
maybe some black tape and wire strippers

what you do:

for those of you who aren't mildly electrical-literate, a transformer is a little box that will
convert the voltage from a regular wall outlet into a much lower voltage for use in small
electrical devices.  for instance, in a digital alarm clock, you've got the long cord that
plugs into the wall, and if you take the clock apart, you'll see that it goes into a small square
box (the transformer) and from there you'll see about 4 wires coming out of it.

if you already have a small transformer, take two of the four wires coming out of the
transformer, and attach the 9v to it (if you got a switch, wire it into the mess).

now cut the end that plugs into the wall off about half way (where you get about a foot of
wire coming from the transformer) and strip the two ends so there is bare wire showing.

here's what it should resemble:

  ________           .=============.
 |        )----------|             |000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000---
 | 9V    |           | transformer |                   ^wire's normally leading to the wall
 |________)--/-------|             |000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000---
             ^switch `============='

well, i'm not an artist by any means, but this should give you somewhat of an idea.

what's going on:

when you hit the switch (or connect the battery) the transformer is temporarily charged and 
discharged.  if you understand the innerworkings of a transformer, you'll know that this will
step up the voltage.

     if you don't know about the innerworkings of a transformer, lemme splain
     it in lamen's terms:  when you normally plug alot of voltage into the 
     transformer (i.e, from the wall), then the transformer will 'step-down'
     the voltage to just a little bit that is needed to light the display on
     the clock.  if you reverse this effect, you get a little bit of voltage
     (from the battery) being momentarily jumped to a much higher voltage. 

but, unlike conventional devices that use transformers, their isn't an AC voltage source
attached, it's a DC source, so you only get a momentary jump in voltage.

* don't worry, the 9v battery doesn't hold enough current to hurt you, so it's not like it
makes the black wires the same as being plugged into a wall socket!!  just a slight tingle,
like when you stick the battery to your tounge to see if it's still good.

some things to try:
if you hold the ends of the black wires with the same hand, you'll feel a slight twitch.
(don't worry, it won't hurt).  if you hold one black wire in one hand and another black wire
in the other, you'll feel it much more strongly (again, it won't hurt you)

if you stick the black wires to your wrist and hit the switch rapidly, you're fingers will
involentarily move.  it's a weird feeling.

now, most people you show this too will undoubtedly say "hell no i won't hold the wires,
get that thing away from me" so you can make it prettier by putting it all in a box and maybe
attaching the wires to springs or something (i did this once, i put the whole deal in a muscle
massager that had been 'gutted' and put two springs on the flat part of the box.  when i hit
the switch on the side, it would momentarily up the voltage)

well, have fun with this, maybe you can improve it.  send any fun ideas you've got to me, i'm
always ready to learn new stuff

rootwurm (


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