Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 5, 2010

Geek Group Impulse Generator Demonstration – Project Thumper

at 12:17 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

The Geek Group has lots of interesting equipment but the Thumper Project is one of the most impressive. The system has gone through 7 revisions so far and more are in the works. Our friend Bob Davis has been making lots of similar devices but on a bit of a smaller scale.

“Thumper is a High Energy DC Impulse Generator that is capable of producing a 1,800 Volt discharge of approximately 80,000 Amps for a duration of about 0.003 seconds. For a brief instant Thumper can output roughly 144,000,000 Watts, or more energy than most fair sized cities use at any given moment.

Imagine that for a second. Take all of the electricity in every home, business, school, hospital, everything in your entire town….and run it through a pop can for just an instant.

The capacitor storage banks are configurable for different voltage ratings, current ratings, and discharge times when needed. This is the standard 1,800VDC configuration that it was designed for and how it is usually operated as it’s a pain to change all the bank and cell jumpers. We operate Thumper at the 1,800 volt setting, but only charge it to 1,600 volts to be as nice to the caps as we can be as this is a particularly harsh use for them”


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5 Responses to “Geek Group Impulse Generator Demonstration – Project Thumper”

  1. MrMaigo Says:

    With over 14 grand worth of caps, I won’t be building my own

  2. Berni Says:

    WOW now thats one big pile of caps.

    I imagine its a good idea to use ear protection as shorting the cap bank on the coilgun i had (only 5 of such caps) made my ears ring, how must this thing be loud considering its like 50 times bigger.

  3. vic Says:

    I think the calculations are a little off. 144MW*3ms = 432kJ, but 1/2*160*2000µF*450V^2 = 32.4kJ.

    I managed to plate some copper onto plastic once, by accident. I messed up a board routing and I ended up shorting the 230V mains with a 2mm wide trace. When I plugged the board in it exploded instantly in a blinding flash. When I recovered my vision 30 minutes later, the plastic surface underneath the circuit was full of shiny colorful depositions.

  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Vic,

    I still usually shield my eyes the first time I power up a circuit just incase a mistake causes a transistor or cap to self destruct. I wish I had some accidents that gave me some nice results like that. 🙁

  5. Bob Davis Says:

    I blew up a volt meter working on one of my can crushers. Too bad the camera was off……..

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