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#166576 - 07/23/07 08:03 PM Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers...  
Cutter  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Cleveland, OH

Oh, this looks pretty fun. Some nice sparks, maybe a thousand volts or so. Crouched over the MOT. Bare hands. Is it just me or does that wire they're holding, again, in their bare hands, look like 14ga or smaller? Probably only rated to 600V, if that.

Even if they aren't plugged into the wall, those kids are still dancing with death.

It's probably for the best that the transformer went to the electrical shop in the sky in the second clip.

Fortunately, there are some helpful comments posted:

At the least use a plastic rod to hold your wire instead of your (expletive) hand. In case you didn't know, that MOT has enough power to instantly cook all the meat between where it enters and exits your body. Your chances of survival are on the scale of your chance of winning the lotto. Do the rest of us in this hobby a favor and don't kill yourself, it makes the rest of us look bad.


wait are you (expletive) stupid? Thats like 2kv at an amp. that (expletive) will (expletive) you up!

And, the winning post by the author of the video:

I dont care about your safety tips. Dont post them!!!


Last edited by Cutter; 07/23/07 08:08 PM.

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools

#166583 - 07/23/07 08:41 PM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers... [Re: Cutter]  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
Hey, my neighbor's kids were doing this the other night...

...They now have charcoal for their back lawn.

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

#166633 - 07/24/07 10:31 PM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers [Re: Cutter]  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Please bear in mind that all sorts of people read this site.
This sort of thing, even though it has been posted on YouTube, doesn't make it right or safe.
As a person that works with HV as a part of thier daily work, I'd hate to see anyone get hurt.
HV is very unforgiving to those that may accidentally contact it or come within the flashover distance of the voltage source.
Fooling with this sort of thing is bound to end in tears.

#167602 - 08/16/07 03:38 AM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers [Re: Cutter]  
hardwareguy  Offline
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 50
MOTs typically put out anywhere from 1-2kV and anywhere from 500mA-1500mA of current. They look just like big amplifier transformers too... the only clue to the untrained eye that they are step up is the silicone insulation on the output and the "DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE" sticker on them.... which usually falls off after many years in a microwave.

Heck, I treat neon transformers as lethal. We have one for a that delivers 9kV at 30mA.... the threshold of cardiac problems is accepted to be 100mA in "normal" people, but 30mA could cause death if the wrong circumstances are lined up.

Things that could go wrong with you:
Bad day (dehydration, off balance electrolytes)
Unforseen nerve problems
Unforseen heart problems (arrhythmias, etc)

In any case, 30mA would be terribly painful. My dad worked with neon and he can vouch for this! Lets say you got zapped from the tip of you finger to the middle of your finger, a casual contact zap.... that's a nice chunk of of energy in a little area. The burn would be nasty.

9kV makes a nice Jacob's Ladder but we are smart enough to unplug the dang thing when we need to adjust the gap width! We also are aware of the fact that the output is not isolated... 4.5kV with respect to ground on either output terminal!

A fly landed on that Jacob's Ladder.... we plugged it in just in time too! It makes a WONDERFUL bug zapper. Fly + 9kV = BANG! 270W into a fly vaporizes it pretty quickly.

#168121 - 08/27/07 02:42 PM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers... [Re: Cutter]  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
Video has been pulled

#168462 - 09/05/07 10:29 AM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers... [Re: jdevlin]  
derailed  Offline
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 14
Coastal, GA
the only good thing about MOTs being used like that is that since there is no built in current limiting like in a neon transformer they tend to burn out very quickly when you're trying to draw an arc off them.

For a short time they will output WAY more current arcing than they ever would be delivering in an oven. The Tesla coil builder folks love to use them, but they do have to provide for some way to limit the current or they quickly die.
Just removing them from an old oven can be deadly too since there is a very large high voltage capacitor you have to remove as well.

There are also videos out there of people pulling arcs off of distribution "pole pig" transformers. Now that is something to see...

#168463 - 09/05/07 11:20 AM Re: Oh, kids and their microwave oven transformers... [Re: derailed]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
I thought "snuff films" were illegal

Greg Fretwell

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