SHOWALL HIGH VOLTAGE ROBOTICS
Figure 2 - This is a good place to find a high power 40 Kilovolt power supply!
Figure 2 - This is a good place to find a high power 40 Kilovolt power supply!

After studying many Marx Generator designs on various websites, I decided that I needed much more power than the usual television flyback into disc capacitor systems that are often built to demonstrate this device. Don't get me wrong, these systems can put real lightning right onto your desktop, but my goal was to smash rock, not just make an amazing loud spark. The ultimate energy level that my device would be capable of would be limited to the input power supply power, so I had to search for something a "little" larger than a television flyback transformer or a neon sign transformer. Enter the "pole pig"!

I have always been impressed by those massive Tesla coil projects powered by connecting a hydro transformer (pole pig) in reverse to make it output somewhere between 15 and 50 Kilovolts. I thought, "Why not?" If a pole pig works well in a 12 foot tall Tesla coil, then why not in a giant Marx Generator as well? I thought it would be cool to make the first pole pig powered Marx Generator and let out some seriously scary high energy discharges! So, I acquired a massive hydro pole transformer from the local steel scrap yard, and only had to pay for the weight of the copper (about $75). I tested the huge capacitor on site to ensure it did not have an open circuit and then had them move it to the back of a large truck using a fork lift so I could take it home and experiment.



Figure 3 - Inside that 4 foot tall can lives a massive high voltage transformer
Figure 3 - Inside that 4 foot tall can lives a massive high voltage transformer

The pole pig weighed over 500 pounds, and was larger than a 40 gallon drum! I knew that a lot of the weight was the casing as well as the cooling oil inside, and that it would not be necessary in this application as the loading on the transformer will never be as high as it was while servicing an entire city block with power demands. I used my angle grinder to slice off the top and then carefully drained and properly disposed of the cooling oil. No, it wasn't PCB based oil, as they haven't used that for many years and the date on the top of the can (barrel) was only a few years old. It took some time to get the massive transformer out of the can, but after a little work using a shop hoist, the 500 pound transformer was sitting on top of the work bench at my secret lab, waiting for a new life.

What was surprising was the tiny high voltage supply wires coming into the input of the massive transformer. These two wires were no larger than 30 amp house wires, which in a way made some sense considering they step down from 40 Kilovolts to only 240 volts. On the output side of the transformer there were three massive copper strips to supply the 120 volt and 240 volt outputs to the house connections. I intended to hook this beast up in reverse, feeding 240 volts into the outer taps in order to have my little friend supply me with at least 30 Kilovolts of lethal energy. I say lethal because the output of this transformer would be as deadly as the output on the high tension wires up any hydro pole! Any mistake made with this device would be the last mistake ever made. HUGE amounts of caution and fear must be exercised when working around this kind of power! It demands respect.

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