Quickie Marx Generator

Here are some pics of a quick and dirty Marx generator I built out of largish ceramic capacitors in response to a question on the 4hv.org forum. The poster was curious as to if such devices would work in Marx service. Although I had already built the smaller previous device with ceramic caps, I got these 4n7 6k3V capacitors off eBay, so it was easy to just build it to demonstrate that reasonable performance can be had from such caps.

quickie ceramic cap marx generator

It is a simple 8 stage unit, the gaps are formed by the capacitor leads using the same techniques developed in previous prototypes. It's erected capacitance is about 590pF. The charging resistors are 1M 1W units of good quality metal glaze insulation. The stored energy is about 1J, giving quite bright and fat sparks but not too loud a bang.

light picture of the quickie ceramic cap marx generator

Very cheap and cheerful unit. Works great, very well behaved, but these particular capacitors are not happy about operating above their ratings for too long. Even though they look just like larger versions of the 470pF units tested above they don't fail the same way. Keep the voltage below 6kV or else the capacitors will be slowly destroyed (I found that out the hard-way).

1 comment.

Parent article: Marx Generator.