• Category Archives Electrostatics HV Low current
  • High Voltage Experiments » Electrostatics HV Low current
  • Pin Pong Cyclotron


    1 x Hv DC supply 15-30kv
    1 x large plastic mixing bowl
    1 x pin pong ball made conductive
    Aluminum tape





    Take the bowl and clean thoroughly. Using the Aluminum tape create the pattern on the inside of the bowl shown above. Try with the supply an ensure that there are no arc overs. If so trim some tape off the offending areas. Ensure that the top of the pattern comes to the top of the bowl. pierce a hole in the middle, bottom of the bowl and stick a wire through the home to the HV side of the supply, use a piece of tape to attach the wire firmly. Connect the top edge of the bowl with another piece of tape an connect this to the other terminal of the supply.

    Create a conductive ping pong ball. (details here Conductive Balls for HV experiments )

    With the supply off, throw the ping pong ball into bowl so it runs around the bottom of the bowl. Turn on the supply. The ball should accelerate and maintain a healthy velocity around the bowl.


  • Pie Tray Fountain


    High voltage low current source >60Kv
    Small aluminium Pie Trays
    Sphere (if not using a VDG)




    Stack the pie trays on top of the high voltage source, either on top of a VDG dome, or on to a sphere connected to the high voltage source
    Apply the high voltage, the pie trays will float up of the top of the stack one at a time creating a fountain.


  • Lichtenburg Figures – Toner


     Metal Sheet
    Acrylic sheet (8mm thick)
    30Kv PSU
    Needle or Pin
    Photocopier (or laser printer) Toner




    Clean the Acrylic thoroughly, ideally using an alcohol based cleaner. Ensure the sheet is clean and dry before applying the voltage.

    Attach the high voltage source between the pin and the metal plate, If you don’t want to support the pin, heating it up and punching it a couple of mm into the acrylic works ok, Ensure the wires are as far away from the acrylic as possible.

    Apply the high voltage, carefully dust the toner onto the acrylic around the pin.

    The toner should stick where there is a static charge on the acrylic, but leave fine strands visible as lichtenburg figures.

    Turning off the high voltage leaves the toner and pattern.

    It is possible to transfer the pattern on to paper, by laying the paper on to the pattern and carefully rubbing the bac of the paper, ensure that the paper doesn’t move during the transfer process.


    Img20130818_10006 Img20130819_10013 Img20130819_10019

  • Franklyn Bells


    HV Generator 10Kv Plus
    2x Small Telephone Bells or similar
    Cotton or nylon string/twine
    Conductive ball (see https://www.extremeelectronics.co.uk/hvexperiments/conductive-balls-for-hv-experiments/)
    Small Bolts to mount bells
    Insulated wire
    Retort stand or support to attach twine to



    Franclin bells


    Mount the two bells onto the bolts through the hole in the centre of the bell. Mount the two bells on a non-conductive surface.

    Mount the ball on the string so the ball sits between the two bells.

    Adjust the two bells so the edges are 10mm away from the outside of the ball on each side.

    Apply high voltage across the two bells.


    A similar setup to above, but uses a short track of PVC pipe with the ball running on top rather than a pendulum. Supply is a TV flyback transformer giving around 25Kv.

  • Electrostatic Motor


    HV Generator 10Kv Plus
    3x Drinks Bottles
    Coat hanger
    Adhesive backed foil
    Copper wire




    Cut and unbend coat-hanger to give a single straight piece of wire slightly longer than the drinks bottle. File then end to a point.

    Clean out the bottles.

    On one of the bottles make a small hole in the middle of the base of the bottle so the coat-hanger can pass through cleanly. Make a slight indentation in the cap to this bottle to allow the sharpened end of the coat hanger to sit in the indentation.

    Cover the sides of the bottle with foil ensuring that there is a break in the foil on both sides. The foil should only cover the flat sides of the bottle, leave a 10mm gap between the end of the foil and the base of the bottle.

    Replace the bottle top and pass the wire through the base of the bottle to rest in the dent in the bottle top. Stick the wire down to a solid surface with the bluetack

    On the other two bottles coat the outside of the bottles completely with foil, again leave a 10mm gap between the bottom of the foil and the bottom of the bottle.

    Attach the wires to the two outer bottles pointing towards the inner bottle.

    Stand the two outer bottles near, but not touching centre bottle with the wires pointing to the sides of the inner bottle.

    Apply a high voltage to the outer two bottles.