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Build Your Own Stun Gun 311

mariox19 writes "Wondering what to do with your disposable camera when you're finished with it? TechTV has an article describing how to reach out and zap someone with a home-made stun gun. I discovered the link via Bruce Schneier's latest Cryptogram, where Schneier half-jokingly warns not to let airport security find out about this, lest (in their 'wisdom') they ban cameras along with nail clippers."
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Build Your Own Stun Gun

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  • by whiteranger99x ( 235024 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:28PM (#9164322) Journal
    And the best part is that you could zap them and capture the moment. Now there's a Kodak moment!!
  • Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by General Sherman ( 614373 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:28PM (#9164324) Journal
    I wonder if tasers are ever going to become controlled devices.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:34PM (#9164355)
      As the article demonstrates, any time you can get a battery, capacitor, and some wire together, you have the resouces to make a simplistic taser.

      I don't know any way they'd be able to regulate those situations, since capacitors of some type are found in nearly every electronic device. Anything that has to have a "flash" of power has a high-voltage capacitor behind it... the cammera flashbulb being the most typical example.
      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

        by irokitt ( 663593 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .ruai-setirdnamihcra.> on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:31PM (#9164598)
        You know, the capacitors in a CRT monitor contain more than enough juice to kill a man. Just something to keep in mind...
    • It would be very difficult to control things that are so easily handmade. Just pick up a few components from Radio Shack and you've got a simple stun gun. Even if they SOMEHOW restrict access to the individual components, you can cannibalize just about anything for them (like a digital camera, as this article points out).
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

      by blincoln ( 592401 )
      I wonder if tasers are ever going to become controlled devices.

      Just to be irritatingly picky, I'm going to point out that there's a difference between a taser and a stun gun.

      "Taser" is actually an acronym for "Thomas A. Smith Electric Rifle," and is a handheld weapon which fires barbs into its target with compressed air. The barbs are tethered to the gun with wires which transmit the electricity.

      A stun "gun" is a handheld device that has two short metal probs that you physically touch to the target, lik
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by MikeXpop ( 614167 ) <mike.redcrowbar@com> on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:29PM (#9164327) Journal
    ...Schneier half-jokingly warns not to let airport security find out about this, lest (in their 'wisdom') they ban cameras along with nail clippers
    The first rule of Homemade-stun-gun Club is...
  • About the only way I can think of securing against such a threat would be to ban all battery-operated devices from the plane.

    This could be tolerated if some sort of PC functionality were included in seatback entertainment consoles, but since those aren't even found on every plane, I'm going to guess that this would be hell for geek air travelers.
    • About the only way I can think of securing against such a threat would be to ban all battery-operated devices from the plane.

      Yep, some backlight inverters for laptops run at over 1000V for firing a cold cathode tube.
    • by UpLateDrinkingCoffee ( 605179 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:58PM (#9164479)
      And just what kind of threat does a stun gun pose to deserve such a measure? I mean really, people are always going to be able to do all sorts of harm to others. Trying to attain security by micromanaging everyone's actions is just not a working solution. Sure, it's sensible to ban handguns and large kitchen knives from airlines, but battery operated devices? Nail clippers?? Long fingernails could do more damage than the clipper.
  • Way back... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:30PM (#9164337) Homepage Journal

    In junior high electronic shop class (~1978-79) we'd charge a capacitor up, say "Hey $NAME.." and toss it to the person. Force of habit dictated the person would usually catch it and get a nice suprise.
    • by General Sherman ( 614373 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:38PM (#9164371) Journal
      I did the same thing, only even more low-tech. We'd take a styrofoam cup covered in tin foil, charge it with static electricity from a van de graf generator, and toss it to the person.

      The trick was not to touch the metal and keep it in another non-covered cup.
      • Re:Way back... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:03PM (#9164506) Journal
        Actually, if you can have any kind of discharge, you can build a primitive coil gun/sten gun.

        In my freshman year of EE, we used to build capacitor banks and use them to power our coil guns.

        And another thing to do is to use Flyback drivers to discharge and use them to power hi-voltage stuff. Ofcourse, this knowledge came to us much later, but was useful neverthless :)

        With a little bit of expertise, you can build a transistor flyback driver in a matter of minutes and do quite a lot of nasty things with it ;)
      • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:28PM (#9164585) Homepage
        I did the same thing, only even more low-tech. We'd take a styrofoam cup covered in tin foil, charge it with static electricity from a van de graf generator, and toss it to the person.

        We had it even simpler in NYC public school. We'd shout someone's name, and when they turned around we'd shoot them. Good times.
      • back in my way, we didn't have fancy-schmancy van de graf generators... we had to run a strip of rawhide through our own hair when we needed electricity... and we liked it! and when we wore through all our head hair, we'd rub it on our... well, nevermind, but we liked it!
        • It's amazing to me how many times one can proofread something, and still miss a mistake like typing "way" when you meant "day"... the mind is a funny thing, especially at this level of intoxication. :)
    • Psh. Junior high? We still do that now.
    • Re:Way back... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by skasingularity ( 777400 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @11:34PM (#9164872)
      Once me and some of my friends were staying in a hotel in Hilton Head, and we stopped by the local mall. We found a camera store and they gave us a box full of disposable cameras for free. We took a bunch of them apart, and in the name of science, I donated my to be shocked. We ran some copper wires from one of the flash units, and used pennies as contacts. I taped one penny to the back of my hand, and one to my palm. It wasn't working, so I pressed on the pennies, and they got close enough to run a current through my hand, making my whole arm tingle, and leaving circular burn on my palm and the back of my hand.

      Yes, it did hurt.

  • by wheresdrew ( 735202 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:33PM (#9164344) Journal
    Sure. Different airports ban different things. On a recent trip from Seoul to Tokyo, I had a pack of Duracell AA batteries confiscated by security at Gimpo airport in Seoul. Not rechargables or anything special like that, just plain alkaline AAs, still in the package.

    However, when I was leaving Japan I noticed security at Haneda had no such rules. In fact, you could buy both alkaline and lithium batteries at the shops beyond the security checkpoint there.

    I've yet to get an explanation for why plain batteries are considered a security risk.

    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:37PM (#9164367)
      I've yet to get an explanation for why plain batteries are considered a security risk.

      I think you just got it. Batteries represent stored electicity... and they can't exactly trust that the battery's voltage is really what's on the label if you don't have a device that you can show properly operates.

      Sure, that's paranoid... but that's what the security people are in the business of doing.
    • I've done quite a bit of national (that is, not international) air travel, and thought I'd note what they've both done and not done, often at the same airport.

      Force me to send my laptop through a scanner separately. (Or sometimes, not)
      Force me to boot my laptop. (Or sometimes, not)
      Force me to take off my shoes which have metal in them. (Or sometimes, not)
      Pad me down. (Or sometimes, not)
      Confiscate my keychain can opener. (Went on several flights before they took it away)
      Check my luggage. (Or someti
      • My first time flying was the week before last. On the way to the big airport on the way home to visit my parents I went through security no checks, just had to take my electronics out of the carry on. They didn't even xray them just a swab. The a week later I go back through the small airport in my home town and they pad me down after a zipper set off the metal detector. Then they went trough all my luggage(full of audio electronics, big pipe bomb looking studio mic) questioned me 101 questions. It took aro
  • Great.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    all we need now is a follow up article about all the people who killed themselves while making their own stun gun.
  • According to the article a touch only made the person being shocked weak in the knees, and he's not a very big guy. So while this might be an interesting project and will likely be great fun for some people at frat parties it seems useless as a stun gun.
    • by gooberguy ( 453295 ) <> on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:40PM (#9164383)
      True, it wasn't as effective as a normal taser, but with a larger capacitor it could have more than enough zap to stop a person's heart. Also, the victim was shocked on his arm, not his chest or head. I have a feeling a good torso hit would be much more effective.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        That's the scary part, most people don't have a clue what a taser gun is in the first place, not even the authors of this camera stunt project.
        The goal is not to inflict pain, that would not even stop a determined attacker, and he would end up hurting twice as bad for pissing him off.

        The point is not to shock a person's heart with high voltage. The way real police grade tasers work is by sending electric pulse into the muscles, so the muscles contract and retract multiple times per second (or is it milisec
  • How is this anything special? I remember ripping the capacitors out of a disposable camera, plugging them into a battery and taking the setup to school when I was about ten years old.

    The following Kill Bill-esque encounters with sworn playground enemies was a thrill. In fact, that's about when I got some respect for the first time from the 'in crew'.
  • by Caeda ( 669118 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:40PM (#9164382)
    I suppose its possible that "some" cameras have the right hardware inside to make this. However, personal experience leads me to believe that there are cameras which will deliver just enough shock to piss someone off even more. In fixing a rather nice digital camera a while back, I just happened to touch the wrong wire and... ZAP!!! Ouch? Yes. A knockout? Definately not. Confusing, especially since the batteries werent in the thing. Put it back together, tried it, ended up charing the thing again. Took it apart again. Discovered another wrong spot to touch... ZAP! Equally painful the second time, but still no knockout... That time I ended up throwing the thing in a brief hand spasm which resulted in it landing on my leg and... oh no.. ZAP! That was number 3 and damn I hated that thing but it was still just painful and nothing like a stun gun should deliver. Heck. Not even as bad as picking up a damp laptop battery and having it discharge into you. That'll make your arm numb for hours ;)
  • by sn0wman3030 ( 618319 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:45PM (#9164408) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone else notice that the URL is,2 4682,3653392,00.html ?
  • Cattle Prod (Score:5, Informative)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:48PM (#9164423) Homepage
    Just stop by your local farm store and pick up a cattle prod. Or order one at or one of their many competitors.
    • Ok smart ass, now how the hell am I supposed to sneak one of these on one of our friendly airlinines huh? I mean common, look at the size of those damn things!

  • Yeah so the article really just says that the battery in the camera can charge the capacitor, and you can procedure to discharge that capacitor on a grounded person. Big deal.
  • This is dangerous (Score:5, Informative)

    by sploxx ( 622853 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:50PM (#9164439)
    Yeah, capacitors on slashdot once again :)
    But beware that this is really dangerous. I touched a flash capacitor some time ago, 40uF@400V are not really nice. 200uF@600V and I can assure you that you will fly across the room, hopefully surviving the shock. I have several 1uF@10kV caps, and I don'T dare to charge them to > 3kV (LOUD, risk of EMI, some PC failures already because of cap discharges)

    Because this is all too destructive, here is a nice modification (I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY!!):
    Leave the connection to the flash tube intact. Increase the capacity of the HV cap. Add capacitors salvaged from other cameras, or as a very cheap alternative, from PC power supplies.
    Check the voltage rating. Often, they're rated at 800uF@200V, if your flash light operates around 200V, connect two of them in series (+ -)(+ -).

    You can get nice, very *bright* flashes with this method. Do not add to much or the flash time will explode.

    Problems here:
    - NEVER touch power supply caps, they can store 10x - 20x the energy of flash caps. Lethal!
    - Discharge the CAPs from the power supplies before salvaging.
    - Discharge the unit after use with an *isolated* gripper, better yet, a high-wattage resistor (few kOhms) hold by an *isolated* gripper.

    Someone said that more that more than 10 joule are dangerous, but I think you should not set an upper bound for harmless capacitors.

    PS. Someone told me that you have to drink much liquid after an electric shock. Because it removes toxic products from your body which could result in kidney failure or so. Maybe the medicine-studying /.ers know more?
    But... better don't let this happen!
    • Re:This is dangerous (Score:5, Informative)

      by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:11PM (#9164532) Homepage
      "PS. Someone told me that you have to drink much liquid after an electric shock. Because it removes toxic products from your body which could result in kidney failure or so. Maybe the medicine-studying /.ers know more? But... better don't let this happen

      Yeah, not a bright (so to speak) idea. When a significant jolt of electricity runs through your body, it can cause destruction of lots of cells (including those that do important things like regulate heart rhythm). When the cells get fried, the explode. If they're muscle cells (and you have lots of them even if you're a ninety pound weakling), they spill a protein call myoglobin. Too much myoglobin clogs up your kidneys. This isn't a desirable outcome. Since "the solution to pollution is dilution", pushing lots of fluids can help protect the kidneys. This is typical care for an burn patient (electric or otherwise) in a hospital setting. As the old saying goes, "do not try this at home..."

      • Interestingly enough, I've heard an electric shock can save your life, though.

        A friend of mine who is in the Special Forces told me that when they were in the desert his friend got bitten by a very deadly snake. Were it not for the DC shock they gave him from a nearby car's battery, he would have died. He said that it works because the muscle contraction that results restricts the movement of the venom. Furthermore, the lactic acid produced as a byproduct of the extreme muscle contraction works to destr
    • by jafiwam ( 310805 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @11:21PM (#9164816) Homepage Journal
      I touched a flux capacitor and haven't been the same since 1955.
    • Re:This is dangerous (Score:4, Interesting)

      by merlin_jim ( 302773 ) <James@McCracken.stratapult@com> on Sunday May 16, 2004 @12:01AM (#9164964)
      Problems here:
      - NEVER touch power supply caps, they can store 10x - 20x the energy of flash caps. Lethal!
      - Discharge the CAPs from the power supplies before salvaging.
      - Discharge the unit after use with an *isolated* gripper, better yet, a high-wattage resistor (few kOhms) hold by an *isolated* gripper.

      I deal with high voltage power caps in my hobbies of railgun and coilgun design. Whenever building a prototype, I know I'm going to be monkeying around with it, and I know I'm going to get shocked accidentally...

      So I take a high ohm resistor and put it across the cap leads. Put it as close to the cap as possible; if it's after you in the circuit, the high frequency nature of the cap discharge can cause it to not affect the circuit.

      How big? Well the resistor here is serving two purposes; one as a bleed resistor. In that case, you want it's rating high enough that it doesn't put a strain on your charging circuitry, but still low enough to bleed power relatively quickly. From that standpoint something between about 10 KOhm and 1 MOhm should be good; caps don't have a ton of storage capacity so even a high value resistor can bleed voltage relatively quickly. And 50V, while impressive, just isn't as dangerous as 1000V... Batteries usually have an internal resistance of about 80 Ohms (the battery appears to resist the flow of electricity like an 80 Ohm resistor would, when it is in short circuit)... depending on the efficiency and design of the charging circuit, low resistances might significantly affect its performance.

      Of course the other side of the equation is that the resistor is the last line of safety in case of accidental short circuit during charging; during a short circuit, the resistor will absorb some portion of the power. My trusty voltmeter says that my resistance from terminal to terminal (that is, one hand to the other) is above 1 MOhm when lightly touching the terminals, and hovers near 47 KOhm when I am.

      I'd like the bleed resistor to be significantly more conductive than I am; if it's before me in the circuit and I'm lucky enough, it might save my life... I usually choose about 10 KOhm.

      Oh and I'm experimenting with putting it in series with an open-core inductor. From a power perspective, an open-core inductor is a magnetic energy storage device. And for fast spikes, an inductor ends up having far more energy storage than a capacitor. By having it parallel to the capacitor but series with a large resistance, I shouldn't affect the discharge time total as I would with an inductor in series with the cap. The inductor shouldn't affect the circuit inductance enough to matter (typical circuit inductance in a coilgun might be 100-2000 mH)

      But that's all beside the point. The point is: bleed resistors don't have to be held in place. For maximum safety, make them permanent...

      Of course, that's assuming that your charging circuit will provide charge constantly, and isn't on some sort of timer or level sensor...
  • Awe Man! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bedammit ( 678849 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @09:55PM (#9164465)
    Ok Im a photographer and this sucks. Sure I've know about this for years. While we are at it.. we should inform national security about several other things that can be made into dangerous items. Rubber bands (Useful to construct projectiles) Ethernet cable, shoe string, belts, power cables (good for strangling) lighters (duh) alcohol (useful with lighters) coke bottles (useful with lighters) T-shirts (useful with lighters) (If you didnt get the one above Molotov cocktails) hmm I just realized this list can go on and On.. I watched a lot of MacGyver, James Bond and Mr. Wizard BeDammit BeOS is reborn and its called Zeta
  • Posting it on Slashdot ought to keep it a secret!

    er, wait...

    --Ben []

  • by focitrixilous P ( 690813 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:02PM (#9164499) Journal
    I remember when my physics teacher showed us a huge capacitor bank. Chared it up and discharged around a columb to a paper clip. No warning of loudness at all, just asked someone to turn off the lights and BLAM! Dischared! It was pretty cool. If only cameras had such potential. Looks like another weapon is going to be added to my garage armory. (blow gun that shoots nail darts, potato gun, and now this.) I should probably AC this, but let the feds take them away. I can always make more. Unless nails, PVC pipe and paper are banned, that is.
    • I have a great idea! Polyester slacks plus two wire grids in them, hooked up to a charging system for a bunch of caps in your belt. Power anything! I'll make a mint!
    • I took a capacitor out of one of these disposable cameras a few months ago, and just for curiosity's sake, I used an insulated screwdriver to short it out.

      The sound was equivalent to a small gun going off. It more than startled everyone in my apartment =)
  • by Beebos ( 564067 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:15PM (#9164548)
    Do the universe a favor and do not build your own stun gun. The little sisters and pet dogs of the world will thank you.
  • NOT a problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jridley ( 9305 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:24PM (#9164571)
    I've gotten whacked with charged flash caps a number of times. It's about enough power to make you jump a bit and shake your hand.
    The article talks about "holding it on someone for 5 seconds" - well, that won't do a damn thing; this is a capacitor, it discharges and that's it. There's a charging circuit, but it's very wimpy; it takes the circuit 5 to 10 seconds to put that much energy into a cap for a few millisecond shock.
    You want a deterrent? Learn to run fast. You're going to need it, ESPECIALLY if you try to use one of these things.
    • The article talks about "holding it on someone for 5 seconds" - well, that won't do a damn thing; this is a capacitor, it discharges and that's it. There's a charging circuit, but it's very wimpy; it takes the circuit 5 to 10 seconds to put that much energy into a cap for a few millisecond shock.
      You want a deterrent? Learn to run fast. You're going to need it, ESPECIALLY if you try to use one of these things.

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing reading that comment...

      Of course the problem is that the capac
  • Man.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ziggy_zero ( 462010 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:30PM (#9164596) dad did this when he was a teenager. For some reason he never taught me how.

    Anyway, what I did when I was a teenager was wire up an old shocking pen with two wires, attached it to a telescoping antenna, and made a prong at the end out of a binder clip and two paper clips. I went around pronging everybody.
    • Those shocking pens are cool. I found one at work once. We were having contests to see how long we could hold the thing down for, and we also were playing aroudn to see how many people the shock could go through at once. Fun stuff.
  • I made one a long time ago and decided to put it into an altoids tin. The red button allows it to charge, the toggle switch sends power to the "terminals". Charges to 330 volts in around 10 seconds, and drops about 30 volts every time you zap someone with it. The duct tape "battery holder" gets kinda flaky sometimes though... Brings "Curiously Strong" to a whole new level.

  • Explosive Capacitors (Score:2, Interesting)

    by foxalopex ( 522681 )
    Actually, I'm surprised they didn't point out that some electrolytic capacitors if wired in backwards can literally explode! Appearently the insulator can suffer an instantaneous breakdown causing the stored charge to short in on itself. The resulting pulse of heat vapourises the insides and since a capacitor is a sealed metal can. Well you know. I had an electronics prof warn me about this after he accidently put himself in the hospital once. Yup airplane authorities will be pleased to know this.
    • I wonder if you could make an EMP cap using this effect...

      When Dielectrics fail, they spot fail. A small piece cooks and becomes conductive, and the lowered resistance in that spot keeps the failure from ocurring elsewhere. Some metal to spread that discharge area out and decrease it's resistance could cause a quicker discharge, as well as serving as an EMP antenna.

      Make a cap with a dielectric with a specific breakdown voltage. Make an ultrasmall charging circuit that runs off a watch battery. Make a
    • As a teenager, a friend and I bought an assortment of electrolytic caps and a spool of wire from The Shack. We took my benchtop 12V supply around the side of house and had great fun hooking caps up backwards to one end of a 40 foot long piece of wire. The best explosion was had from a funky looking cap that was made in Mexico. Pieces of that sucker flew everywhere. We even got a nice little fireball at the moment of detonation. We even experimented with supergluing the rubber "safety corks...specially
  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @10:58PM (#9164710)
    I was taught by a bunch a school kids a really neat trick.

    You set the flash on one of these fuji disposable cameras, then quickly hit the camera on the top of your head in a quick-jerk action.

    What this does is it sets the flash off inside the camera without taking any film. And if you get it to work, it sure looks pretty funny... ....even if it doesn't work you'll look like a dork hitting a camera on your head.
  • I have learned plenty about the caps in camera flashes from two places, first my science fair project which tested the high endurance batteries, I opened the camera up so that I could put a larger cap on the circuit, I wound up getting shocked a few times, enough to have my legs give out (quite scary, falling and not being able to stop yourself). I also learned that caps do not fully discharge after you shock yourself once. I shocked myself, then assumed that it would be discharged, and got a lesser shock f
    • Interestingly enough, the only thing that they save in a disposable camera is the AA batteries.
      Not true or no longer true.
      Kodak pays 3 cents for the camera (even if not theirs) and 5 cents for camera and AA or AAA. Every two weeks or so somebody comes to the lab I worked at. She counts the cameras and batteries, lining them up nicely, and hauls off two big bins for recycling.
  • by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @11:09PM (#9164769)
    After watching a video where they take apart a MuVo2 for its Hitachi Microdrive and then say the iPod mini has the same drive (correct, but the iPod's microdrive will NOT work in any digital cameras), I'm convinced TechTV's "dark tips" have become dangerously innacurate.

    Don't do this. Compared to a stun gun, a photoflash capacitor stores a lower voltage, direct current high amperage charge which is delivered all at once. Yes, if delivered across the heart, it could be leathal. If delivered across flesh, it will burn you. In almost no cases will it stun you other than the surprise of getting shocked.

    Real stun guns use a high frequency alternating current, VERY low amperage spark. Real stun guns are also quite cheap on eBay.

    If you want to make a joke shocker from a disposable camera flash, here's a much safer method:

    Get a cheap disposable camera and take it apart. Discharge the capacitor with a screwdriver. Get rid of the capacitor.

    Notice the heavily insulated wire running to the center of the xenon photoflash bulb? Remove it from the photoflash bulb and attach a longer wire that will go to one of you're "shocker's" probes. Make sure the connection is well insulated.

    Locate the portion of the circuit board that is shorted to activate the flash charging circuit. Usually, it's a small flexible metal "button" with plastic over it. Yank that sucker off of there and short the points on the board out with solder, or if you like, you can attach wires and add your own on/off switch.

    Get a battery holder, some sort of case to put all this in, and a momentary pushbutton switch. Attach the wires from the battery holder to the circuit board, a wire from Negative to your other "shocker probe". Connect the momentary pushbutton switch to the trigger circuit (usually two peices of metal that were positioned near the shutter). Position the probes to be less than 1/8" apart. Put all this crap in a box and try it out. When you press the momentary pushbutton switch, you should get a nice spark.
    • by Tmack ( 593755 )
      Take a transformer (no, the electrical kind, not the shape changing robot kind) thats got different primary and secondary windings, and a 9v battery. In its simplest form, take the two wires from one coil and attach to battery while victem holds the others, then disconnect the wires. For a better effect, connect/disconnect very quickly. A friend and I had a bunch of fun making shock boxes (back in Jr High) with this, to the point where we had a metal cube about 3" per side with a mercury switch inside, and
  • This may be news to /.'ers, but nail clippers, nail files, hell, even knitting needles are not banned anymore. You can bring them in your carry on luggage without a problem.
  • When I built my potato guns, I didn't like how unreliable those stupid piezo-electric grill igniters were, so I decided to use a camera flash circuit (hey hey!) to build the charge. The spark points that I'd made from pieces of solder kept burning out, so I tried using a spark plug. That wasn't working either, so I ran the output through an ignition coil, and bam! It works every time now! I realized afterwards that I could have just done this without the flash circuit, but it works so well I haven't bot
  • Does anybody know how feasible it would be to combine something like this with a walking cane [], to create a stun cane? I imagine one could pack quite a few batteries and capacitors into a cane's staff. It'd be quite a way to defend yourself while still looking fashionable [].

    Would such a thing be illegal to carry?
  • How many volts do you generally have to charge a capacitor with to produce a shock that will make people take notice? Assume the skin isn't wet and is of normal thickness (i.e. not the eyelids or the soles of the feet.)

  • Check out the Gadgeteer's Goldmine []. It's a sort of Anarchist's Cookbook for the electronics hobbyist. My favorite is the "Lethal Burning Device". It is basically a reverse stun gun. Normal stunguns feel like getting hit with a sparkplug. It's high voltage and the current measured in microamps. The "burning device" featured lower voltages (low thousands or the hundreds) and milliamp scale currents. It spoke of testing the device on a raw steak. Let's see....there was also the tabletop homebuilt CO2 las
  • by pantycrickets ( 694774 ) on Sunday May 16, 2004 @12:43AM (#9165103)
    Boy.. how times stay the same. :)

    How to make a ZaPPeR GuN
    By Panther Modern TNO/TBF

    The zapper gun is kinda like a commercial stun gun. It is not as
    powerful, and is mainly used to piss people off, not to put them down.
    It will scorch skin very painfully, if applied. Total cost for it is
    around $20-$25, and it is a fun thing to make if yer kinda bored.
    If you don't know what a capaciter is, read no further, go find out
    what one is/what one looks like, then come back. Anyway, materials

    Qty Description Approx price

    01 Disposable Fugi-Film FLASH camera $15+TaX
    01 Small-Mid radio shack projekt BoX $2-$3 or so..
    02 Dry wall nails 10-20 cents
    01 Radio Shack SPST Push Button $1.50
    01 1 Alkeline AA battery $0.50

    This is to make a fairly nice version.
    For the raw, crappy version, all you
    need is the camera. I won't even go
    into details on making it, you can
    figure it out for yerself.

    Okay. Get the camera. If you want, take some pictures. ALL OF THEM,
    or none of them. Cause if you don't take all, you'll ruin the film..
    Now, when yer ready, first, rip off the cardboard. You'll have a plastic
    box. Open it up, as well as you can. Be very careful not to damage the
    circuit board, wires, flash, etc. Once it's open, discard the plastic
    case, and the film. Now, looking at the circuit board, one can see
    a fairly empty space. Rite in the middle of it, will be 2 small copper
    "plates." Soldier your button to this place. YOu may also remove the
    flash at this time, as it will be shortly rendered useless. Also, you will
    notice two protrusions of copper strip. Pull 'em off, and MAKE SURE they
    aren't touching when you finish, cause it will ruin the gun. Next, put
    the circuit board in the project box. Drill one hole so you can see the
    LED. THis will tell you when the gun is ready to FIRE! (When the LED
    flashes). Next, line up approx where you want your two tips. Line up
    the capaciter with this. Drill holes. Next, drill one last hole where
    you want the button. Now, remove the generic AA battery in the camera,
    replace it with your hi-quality Alkeline AA battery. Now, stick the nails
    in, and soldier them via wires to the two capaciter leads. Seal them in
    place with either expoxy or hot glue. Now, wire up your button, and stik
    the LED in the hole you made for it. CLose up the box. Your gun is made..
    Just push the button, holding down for apporx 2 seconds until the lite
    flashs, and touch whatever you want to SHOCK. This gun is semi-lame, but
    is also fun, and good for boredom..Have PhUn!!

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken