Here is a strange-looking flasher that uses an unusual form of the Marx high voltage multiplier.This multiplier uses Lumex gas tube transient suppressors GT-RLSA3230D as the spark gap, providing reliable and repeatable triggering at about 250 volts that is,much lower than the typical spark gap.
The 120 volt line voltage is rectified and doubled to provide enough voltage to trigger the suppressors and to reduce the required number of stages. The high voltage output builds up to just under 1000 volts when a miniature fluorescent tube fires. The tube firing discharges the output capacitor and the process begins again. The prototype is built into a clear plastic tube and hangs next to a bookshelf, looking pretty strange, flashing about every minute.
The circuit is constructed on a long phenolic tube with solder terminals installed on opposite sides but any construction technique will work. Remember that the circuit is line powered without any isolation so insulation is mandatory and the device should be plugged into a GFI protected outlet. Everything in an experimenter’s lab should be on GFI circuits anyway!
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