Category Archives: Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius BOB IANNINI

Subassembly Pretest

To run a test on ihe device, follow these sieps:

1. Turn pots R5 to full counterclockwise (CCW), R4 trimpot to midrange, and SI to off (down position).

2. Connect a 10- to 25-watt, 500-ohm testing power resistor to the output leads. If you have a scope. it is suggested that you connect it to the drain of Ql.

3. Apply a 12-voll DC to the input leads, and turn Si on (to the up position). Adjust R5 full clockwise (CW) and note that the input cur­rent does not exceed 2.5 amps. Adjust trimpot R4 to limit this maximum value with R5 at full CW. Check for wave shapes as shown with R5 at full CW and CCW. Do not operate into the

test resistor for too long as the resistor may overheat.

4. Verify D4 LED lighting when S1 is energized.

Final Rssembly

To complete the assembly, follow these steps:

1. Cut a 10-inch piece of З’/мпсЬ OD schedule 40 PVC tubing for the enclosure (EN1). Rework the 3’/2-ineh plastic end caps by sim­ply poking two small holes for the output leads (CAPl). Cut out the eemer of cap CAP2 by placing it onto a suitable form and remove the center with an x-acto knife using the wall of the form lube as a guide.

2. Retest using a load resistor and verify all the controls before actually using the device. It is a good idea to attach suitable connection clips to the input leads tor battery terminals.

3. Connect the output leads to a suitable probe scheme and study the instructions section of these plans.

4. Place a high-voltage warning label on the enclosure (see Figure 24-7).


Your fish stunner is intended for survey tagging and population evaluation of certain species. The system is designed to operate from a 12-volt battery and draws 3 amps at maximum output. The unit is shock circuit protected and utilizes our highly efficient induction charging and switching to obtain the high – peak currents necessary for the high conductivity often found in brackish waters. A power adjuster con­trols the duration of the pulse, therefore controlling the current flowing in the water. The pulse repetition rate is factory set at 25 pulses per second. The ratio of the pulse’s “on” to “off” time is controlled by the power adjuster control. The output voltage with a load of 500 ohms is over 300 volts at its peak at a cor­responding current of over half an amp. No load volt­age rises to a high value and open-circuit operation must be avoided. Five hundred ohms correspond to a water resistance representing a typical freshwater pond found in southern New Hampshire.

At these parameters, the power dissipated into the water is around 25 watts and is effective up to 10 feet from the boat.

The effectiveness of the system is dependent on the following:

• Is the target fish within the area?

• Are the fish bottom dwellers?

• The fish size. Larger fish are easier to stun than the smaller ones.

• The water temperature may be too cold. This is important for proper operation.

Subassembly Pretest

Figure 24-7 Fully assembled unit

Intended for bottom fish such as catfish.

Preferred Method

Subassembly Pretest

May not work that well for
scale fish Water
temperature should be

above 70 F for best



Subassembly Pretest

Subassembly Pretest

• Use of ihe correct dragline, chains, wire mesh, and weights for the particular fish. Several examples are shown in Figure 24-8.

Please nole that the system utilizes a floating out­put, which means you do not have to use the electri­

Separate drag leads about 3 to 10 feet.

Will depend on water properties. Experiment for best results.

The area between the electrodes is where the fish will be affected Most fish will swim towards the positive electrode where as they get closer they become stupefied and stunned The above sketch shows the use of the floating output approach where no ground is required either to the boat or externally

You may ground the negative lead using the boat or motor as the contact now requiring only the use of one drag line electrode.

Chains must be allowed to drag on bottom

A multidrag line may be made by using a Insulated boom and eyeboltsto attach the chains. Electrical contact can now be made to each chain by the two output leads creating an electnc field between the chains Any fish between the chains will experience the effect. A tether bndle is made from nylon гора with voltage lead taped or tie wrapped to secure Note thet thle approach

should not be used in waters with a lot of bottom debris that can snag the device.

Boom may be mounted to transom using longer nylon father tines as shown in preferred method

An electrified survey is made by attaching 2 conductive loopa mounted at the ends of a wooden boom piece Our test model was made as shown with a separation of approx 3 feet between loops. One loop is connected to the positive output lead and the other to the negative There is no grounding U6ed as current must only flow between the loops The hendte was made from a 6-foot length of 1 x 3 pine with 4 screws attaching It to the boom section The bare wire loops were press-fitted into pre-drilled holes through the boom whare they ware epoxied in place. We used yfe" copper tube With approx 16“ diameter for our model as it is reasonably self-supporting and can be easily reformed if accidentally bent.

The voltage feed wires can also be slid into the holes for the loopa or can be attached to the loopa by soldenng or using a wi cismp The voltage leads are run up along the sides of the handle where they are connected to the shocker We actually mounted the shocker and 8 D cell betteries to the handle, making a completely self-contained system The voltage leads are tapad or clamped Into place.

cal system ot the boat or the boat itself as an elec­trode. If it is metal, you may choose to do this for cer­tain applications. This is simply done by connecting the negative output lead to the -12 VDC input or craft common, forcing a grounded return.

Figure 2Ч-В Electric fishing probes

A floating output provides a certain degree of safety for the operator because he or she must make actual contact with both output leads simultaneously to get shocked. If you now ground one of the output leads, it is possible to get shocked just by being in water that may be inside the boat and making acci­dental contact with only one of the output leads.

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project

This usel’ul project is intended used for driving worms out of the ground or stunning fish while in their normal environment. This stupefying effect allows tagging and relocating as the fish float to the surface. It is best to check before trying this in public waters, as many states do not allow “electric fishing” except by those qualified.

The device (see Figure 24-1) must be used with caution as improper use can cause electric shock.

The finished project should have a danger label affixed to it.

Expcct to spend 550 to $100 for this outdoor proj­ect. Most parts arc readily available, and any special­ized parts are obtainable through www. amazingl. com. The parts for this project are listed in Table 24-1

General Description

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project

As shown in Figure 24-2. this project generates an adjustable 1 to 2 joules of 600-volt pulses at a 30- reps-per-second rate. The output of the circuit is elec­trically floating (no ground reference) to minimize but not totally eliminate a dangerous shock potential. The output leads are intended to be connected to probes or drag chains, as shown in the operating instructions.

The device is housed in a З-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tube with splash-proof plastic end caps. The front cap retains the control panel with power switch (Si), pulse energy pot (R5). light-emitting diode (LED) power on the indicator, and the input power leads. The rear cap has a passage hole for exiting the output leads. This arrangement helps protect the device from moisture but in no way makes the unit submersible.

Circuit Description

The circuit utilizes inductive charging similar to that used in the ignition systems of older automobiles. The primary winding of the transformer Tl current charges through metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) switch Ql. The current ramps up to a value determined by і = Et/L, where E equals the 12 volts-direct current (VDC) input, L the inductance of the Tl primary, and t the “on” time of switch Ql. The pulse energy is now equal to Li2/2 because it is being controlled by the “on" time as determined by pot R5.

Transformer Tl requires cutting in an air gap nec­essary to store the inductive energy because the core itself would saturate, making Tl useless.

Tinier II is wired as a stable pulse generator with a fixed frequency determined by the total value of pot R5 and trimpot R4, along with timing capacitor C2.

Trimpot R4 is used to set the maximum core charging time range of R5. Resistor R6 and capacitor C5 decouple the operating voltage (Vc) to timer П from the main 12 VDC. LED D4, along with the current – limit resistor, indicate when power switch SI is on.

Construction Steps

To begin assembly, follow these steps:

1. Lay out and identify all parts and pieces, checking them with the parts list. Note that certain parts may sometimes vary in value. This is acceptable as all components are 10 to 20 percent tolerant unless otherwise noted.

2. Create the PBl assembly board at 2Ча X 5 inches from a piece of.1 X Л vector board. Note that it is a good idea to duplicate the placement of the perforated holes as shown in Figures 24-3 and 24-4. This makes placement of the components identical lo what is shown.

3. Assemble the board as shown, inserting the components into the board holes. Proceed from right to left, attempting to obtain the lay­out as shown. Dashed lines indicate connec­tion runs on the underside of the board.

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project


Note that certain leads of the actual compo­nents will be used for connecting points and circuit runs. Do not cut or trim them at this time. It is best to temporarily fold the leads over to secure the individual parts from falling out of the board holes for now.

4. Rework the Tl transformer as shown in Fig­ure 24-4.

5. Put the frame assembly (FRAME) together, as shown in Figure 24-5. You may want to trial-fit the components before actually fabri­cating.

6. Mount the components to the frame as shown in Figure 24-6, using TYE1 wraps to secure Tl. Note the mounting of Ql, using a thermo pad and nylon screw. The large capacitor Cl is mounted behind the assembly board with the ground side attached to the common ground­ing lug LUG I.

7. Preconnect all the leads as shown in Figure

24- 4. Note that the wires intended for input and output leads are 3 to 4 feet in length. They may be longer or shorter.

8. Check the wiring for any potential shorts, wire bridge shorts, poor solder joints, the correct­ness of the components, and the position and orientation of semiconductors and capacitors.

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project

Figure 2Ч-Ч Final wiring showing transformer rework

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project

View side m

You may use these drawings as templates for fabncatmg the frame section Note lo verify hole dimensions for components used.

Figure 24-5 Construction of the frame assembly template

Fish Stunning and LLIormer Project

Figure 24-6 Isometric overall view

Fabrication and Mechanical Assembly

To begin the assembly of the device’s machinery, fol­low these steps:

1. It is assumed the power board as outlined is properly operating. Check for the absence of

corona in the high-voltage section. Corona dope is a coating that reduces elcctrical leak­age. Remove all sharp points and insulate with corona dope and so on.

Take a window screen and place it Hush against the objective end of the image lube. TUB 1. with a piece of clear scotch tape.

Secure the tube on the bench via modeling clay and temporarily connect it to the leads from the power board, as shown in Figure

23- 2. Observe the proper clearance of the leads and components. Darken the room and place a source of infrared filler light pointing toward the tube. (Use a flashlight preferably with an IR filter.) Note the tube glowing greenish and an image of the screen appearing either sharp or blurred. If the image is good and sharp, you are in luck. You may further improve the focusing by adding the 22- megohm resistors as shown in Figure 23-2.

This is usually noi necessary.

Fabricate EN1 from a 7-inch length of 2 Ъ inch ID schedule 40 PVC tubing. Note the hole adjaccnt to the HA 1 handle for feeding high-voltage wires to the tube from the power

board and */4-20 threaded holes are dimen­sioned in Figure 23-4 for securing and center­ing the image tube. These holes are located on a 120-degree radius.

4. Fabricate the HA1 handle from an 8-inch length of 1 ‘/2-inch ID schedule 40 PVC tubing. The tube must be shaped and fitted where it abuts to the EN1 main enclosure.

5. Fabricate the BRK 1 and 2 brackets from a half-inch-wide strip of 22-gauge aluminum as shown. Note the holes for #6 X ‘/4 sheet metal screws for securing the assembly together.

6. Fabricate TUB 1 from a 3 ‘/2-inch length of 2-inch ID schedule 40 PVC tubing for the objective lens. Note this is only 2 inches long when using the optional optics and“C orT” mount adapter fitting.

7. In order for TUB 1 to telescope into the main enclosure EN1, suitable cylindrical shims, САР2 and CAP3,must be fabricated. These are the 2 %-inch plastic caps. CAP2 has its end removed by cutting out the center using the wall of tubing as a guide for the knife. CAP3 has a smaller section cut out for LENSl. This method is cheap and works reasonably well. You obviously could substitute the pieces with properly fitted parts fabricated from alu­minum or plastic if you desire. This approach is more professional looking but can be much more costly.

8. The lens shown is a simple, uncorrected con­vex that is adequate for most infrared source viewing. It is not a quality viewing lens such as the optional 50 mm wide-angle or 75 mm tele­photo with the С mount threads. When using this lens, you should either create or purchase an adapter ring that will adapt to the lens threads and fit snugly into the enclosure. See CMT1.

9 The 1R16 image tube has preconnected leads The negative short lead attached to the objective end must have a 10-inch lead spliced to it. Insert the lube partway into the enclosure and snake the leads through the access hole. Position the tube and gently screw in the retaining screws by hand lo secure and center it.

10. Connect the leads from the tube to the power board as shown.

LI. lnscri the power board into the HAl handle. You will have to determine the access hole and drill for the switch Si once the board is secured in its final position. Wires should be long enough for the complete removal of the assembly when the handle is secured in place via the BRKI bracket. This allows any prelimi­nary adjustment or service. Leads may be shortened once proper operation is verified. Connect the battery to the power board and energize switch SI. If you did your homework, you will not have to readjust the focus taps or divider values. Once the operation is verified, check for any excessive corona and eliminate it. Position the board to switch SI adjacent to the access hole in the handle. It may be neces­sary to further secure the board in place via foam rubber pieces, a room temperature vul­canizing (RTV) adhesive, and so on. Slide a flexible rubber membrane over the access hole and insert the battery and cap САРІ.

12. Finally, assemble everything as shown in Fig­ure 23-5 and mount the infrared filtered flash­light. You will have to seal any light leaks using plumbers’ “monkey dung” or coax seal.

13. Adjust the objective and Ihen Ihe eyepiece for the clearest image.

Special Notes

The unit is shown with a built-in infrared source con­sisting of a common, everyday two-cell flashlight fit­ted with a special infrared filter. Any visible light leaks musl be sealed with electrician’s gunk, coax seal, or black liquid rubber.

This approach allows total flexibility in viewing sources not requiring infrared illumination as the light need not be energized or may even be removed. The light source may also be intensified by replacing the two D cells with an eight AA cell NiCad pack providing approximately 9 volts. A suitable lamp may be substituted, providing several times more illumi­nation. The lamp and batlery life will be greatly

Fabrication and Mechanical Assembly

Flashlight with infrared filter, sealed for light leaks


Note top tube positioning screws are cut flush when mounting integrated illuminator.

See step 13

Eyepiece can be a short focal-length magnifying lens

Optional rubber membrane for switch cover allowing activation

Fabrication and Mechanical Assembly

Figure 23-5 Final view

reduced as this approach is only intended for inter­mittent use. Note the now available halogen lamps are far more intense and make excellent infrared sources.

Longer-range viewing may be accomplished by using other, more intense sources such as higher – powered lights, auto headlamps, and so on. These must be fitted with the proper filters to be usable. A range of several hundred meters may be possible with these higher-powered sources. A source capable of allowing viewing from up to 500 feet is referenced in the project parts list.

Obtaining maximum performance and range from the system may require the optional lens system specified. The viewing of externally illuminated infrared sources will not require the integral infrared source.

You will note that this device is excellent for view­ing the output of most solid-state, gallium arsenide laser systems, LEDs, or any other source of infrared energy in the 9000 A spectrum. No internal infrared source is necessary when viewing these actual sources.

Table 23-1 5ee-in-the-dark prolECt

Ref. ft





1.5K, ‘/■’ – watt resistor (br-gr-red)


15K, ’/-a – wait resistor (br-gr-or)


10 m/25-voIt electrical vertical capacitor (blue or green can)


.047 m/50-volt plastic capacitor (473)


47 m/100-volt plastic capacitor (474)



270 pfd/3 Kv plastic disk capacitors



6 Kv. КЮ-nanosecond high-voltage avalanche diodes


MJE3055 NPN TO 220 case transistor


Special transformer info #28K077



Pushbutton switch


5Чі-> 1 Чг – inch perforated board wilh.1 X.1 grid


Snap battery clip



24-inch length of #22 vinyl hookup wire


12-inch. 2D Kv silicon wire


Image converter tuhe



8- X 2 ’/p – inch schedule 40 gray PVC lube, created as shown


3 Чг – inch length X 2-inch ID schedule 40 gray PVC



9- X Чг – inch-thin aluminum strip as shown


2-inch plastic cap for handle



2 3/« – inch plaslic cap as shown


45 x 63 double convex glass lens

SWl, 2


4* -20 X I-inch nylon screws



#6 X 4* – inch sheet metal screws

Optional parts





Prefabricated С mount adapter for EN1 enclosure


Small eyepiece


6-inch glass infrared filter. 99.99 percent dark, for 0 beam light


200.000-candle-power infrared illuminator invisible to the naked eye, at 12 VDC


Circuit Description

Transistor Ql is connected as a free-running resonant oscillator with a frequency determined by the combi­nation resonance of capacitor C3 and the primary winding of the stepup transformer, Tl. This oscillating voltage is stepped up to several thousand in the sec­ondary winding of Tl. Capacitors C4 through C15, along with diodes Dl through D12, form a full-wave voltage multiplier where the output is multiplied by six and is converted to direct current (DC). Output is taken between C5 and С15, as shown, and may be either positive or negative depending on the direc­tion of the diodes. Different values of voltage may be obtained at various taps of the capacitors. Figure 23-2 shows the connections for the taps to ihe image lube.

The base of Ql is connected to a feedback wind­ing of Tl where the oscillator voltage is at the proper

value to sustain oscillation. Resistor R2 biases the base into conduction for the initial activation. Resis­tor Rl limits the base current, wheras capacitor C2 speeds up the deactivation of Ql by supplying a neg­ative bias and capacitor Cl bypasses any high-fre – quency energy. The input power is supplied through switch SI via a “snap-in” battery clip.

Circuit Rssembly

To put the circuitry together, follow these steps:

1. Lay out and identify all the parts and pieces, checking them with the parts list. Note that some parts may sometimes vary in value. This is acceptable as all components are 10 to 20 percent iolcrant unless oiherwise noted. A length of bus wire is used lor long circuit runs.

2. Create the PB l perforated circuit board as shown in Figure 23-3. Enlarge the holes as follows:

Thirteen Vitrinch holes for the junctions of the diodes and the capacitors in the multiplier

Note that Ql may require a heatslnK II battery voltage exceeds В volts.


Circuit Description

Circuit Description

Figure 23-2 Power supply schematic

Circuit Description

Figure 23-3 Assembly board

Seven ‘/«-inch holes for mounting the switch (SI) and the external connection leads

The switch is shown attached to the assembly board but may be remotely located using interconnecting leads.

3. Assemble the board as shown in Figure 23-3. Start to insert components into the board holes as shown. Note to start and proceed from right to left, attempting to obtain the lay­out as shown.

Certain leads of the actual components will be used for connecting points and circuit runs. Do not cut or trim at this time. It is best to temporarily fold the leads over to secure the individual parts from falling out of the board holes for now

Note that the solder joints in the multiplier sec­tion, consisting of C4 through C15 and D1 through D12, should be globular shaped and smooth to pre­vent high-voltage leakage and corona. The solder globe size is that of a BB. Run your fingers over the joints and verify the absence of sharp points and pro­trusions.

Also note thatTl is laying on its side and uses short pieces of bus wire soldered to its pins as exten – r ч sions for connections to the circuit board.


Circuit Board Testing

To test the circuit board, follow these steps:

1. Separate high-voltage output leads approxi­mately 1 inch from one another.

2. Connect 9 volts to the input and note a cur­rent draw of approximately 150 to 200 mil – liamperes when SI is pressed.

3. Decrease the separation of the high-voltage leads until a thin, bluish discharge occurs, usu­ally between Чг to 3A of an inch. Note the cur­rent input increasing. The increased value depends on the length of the spark, corona, and so on, but should not exceed 300 mil-

1 і amperes.

4. Check the collector tab of Ql and add a small heatsink if too hot to touch. A heatsink tab is shown in Figure 22-4 (Chapter 22).

For those with a scope, it may be interesting to note the wave shape at the collector tab, as shown in Figure 23-2. Note this is without any sparking occurring.

Note the takeoff point for the focus lead. This point is approximately at ‘k the output voltage. The unit may be powered up to 12 volts-direct current

Circuit Description

Figure 23-4 X-ray view showing innards

(VDC) but will positively require a heatsink on the tabofQl.

This unit is capable of producing 10 to 20 Kv from a small, standard Ч-volt battery. It is built on a printed circuit hoard (PCB) or a small piece of perforated cir­cuit board and can easily be housed or enclosed, as the application requires. Applications include power­ing image converter uibes for night vision devices, ignition circuits for flame-throwing or – producing units, capacitor charging for energy storage, shocking clectric fences, insect eradication, Kirlian photogra­phy, ion propulsion electric field generators, ozone producing, and more.

See-in-the-Darlc Project

This useful and interesting project shows how to build a device capable of seeing in total darkness. Unlike conventional devices requiring the minute light from the stars or other ambient background light, this system contains its own infrared source, allowing covert viewing of the desired subject (see Figure 23-1).

Assembly is shown in two parts, the high voltage power supply and the final enclosure with optics and an illuminator. Expect to spend $50 to $100 for this useful infrared imaging system with all the special­ized pans available from www. amazingl. com.

General Description

Lhis project shows how to construct a device capable of allowing one to see in total darkness. It can be used to view a subject for recognition or evidence – gathering reasons without any indication lo the target subject that he or she is under surveillance. It is an invaluable device when used for detection, the align­ment of infrared alarms, invisible-laser gun sights, and in communications systems. This technology can also be used to detect diseased vegetation in ccriain types of crops from the air. to serve as an aid to nighttime varmint hunting, and to view high-temperature ther­mographic scencs where heat is used to produce the image. This device is excellent for use with the infrared laser described in Chapter 9. “Handheld Burning Diode Laser Ray Gun,” with a perlormance that is as good operationally as units that cost much more.

The unit is built using readily available parts for the enclosure and basic optics. The batteries are enclosed into the housing and do not require side packs, cables, and so on. The range and field of view­ing are determined by the intensity of the integrated infrared source and the viewing angle of the optics. Readily available and low-cost optics are usable, but they may have spherical aberration and other adverse effects. This approach keeps the basic cost down for those not requiring actual viewing of detailed scenes. Improved optics will eliminate these effects and can be obtained at most video supply houses as an option.

Assembly foeuses around common polyvinyl chlo­ride (PVC) tubing as the main housing and a spe­cially designed, patented, miniature power source for energizing the image tube. The tube is a readily avail­able image converter being used by most manufac­turers of similar devices. This tube establishes the limits of viewing resolution and is suitable for most applications but may be limited if one desires video perfection.

See-in-the-Darlc Project

Figure 23-1 See-in-the-dark viewer

The viewing range is determined mainly by the intensity of the infrared source and can be controlled by varying this parameter. Our basic unit is shown
utilizing a 2-D cell flashlight with an integrated filter placed over the lens to prevent the subject from see­ing the source. This provides a working range of up to 50 feet (reliably) and can be increased to several hun­dred using a more powerful source such as a 5 to 6 cell flashlight. Needless to say. the builder can choose his or her infrared source and adjust the optics to meet his or her needs. Infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or lasers, as described in our catalog, are also good illumination sources. Long-range, quick viewing may utilize a small, two-cell light with eight nickel – cadmium (NiCad) A A cells to replace the normal two D cells, providing a significantly brighter infrared source yet lasting for less time than the normal D cell would.

The unit can also be operated using external sources such as super-intense Q-beam handheld lamps with an added filter extending the range out to 400 to 500 feet, providing a wide field of illumination. Note the viewing of active infrared sources such as lasers does not require the internal infrared source.

An optional long-range, infrared illuminator for viewing up to 300 feet is available. See #HLR10 at www. amazmgl. com and optional equipment can be found on the parts list at the site.

Basic Theory

A subminiature high-voltage power supply produces approximately 15 Kv at several hundred microam­peres from a 7- to 9-volt rechargeable nickle cad­mium (NiCad) or alkaline battery. This voltage is applied to the tube (IR16) with the “plus” going to the viewing end and the “negative" to the objective end. A focus voltage is taken from a tap in the multi­plier circuit and is approximately Чь of the total potential.

An objective lens (LENSI) with an adjustable focal length gathers the reflected image, illuminated by the infrared lens, and focuses this image at the objective end of the tube. Image conversion now takes place inside the tube and is displayed on the viewing screen of the tube in a greenish tinge. The viewing resolution is usually adequate to provide

subject identification at a distance of 50 feet or more depending on the intensity of the infrared source and the quality of the optics.