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Old 28th January 2003, 02:54 AM   #1
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Default Anyone have tips for DIY caps?

I slapped together a DIY cap today (I was bored, ok) and I pretty easilly got a velue of about 0.6uF or so. I'd like to one day build my own 100uF cap (I might settle for 50uF), any ideas how? I made my 0.6uF with about 5 feet of aluminium foil cut in half (about 4" x 60" sheets) and I rolled it up halfassed (really halfassed, watching tv, didn't even take my time) with saran wrap (it's for the cool factor, not quality, ok?) and clamped it between two pieces of metal (this greatly increased the capacitance (by a factor of three or so)) to get rid of even more air, looks ugly, but good enough for me. I was amazed how much capacitance it yielded, since I just did it as an experiment I was aiming for 100nF (that's why I did such a halfassed job). Now to get 100uF I guess I could do a better job, and use alot more foil. but even then it's getting really large, is there a better grocery store dielectric out there (nothing special, I like the idea of building these parts out of crap), or any other tips from those whove played around with rolling their own caps?
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Old 28th January 2003, 12:41 PM   #2
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Last time I tried rolling a cap it was for my Tesla coil.

I doubt you'd really get too much voltage out of your saran wrap...maybe 100V worth. Note also that the aluminum foil is several times thicker - it'll make for a high Q but will simply waste space at anything below several amperes of [resonant] current.

For 100uF, you might take a completely different tactic. Look up anodizing on the web, also take apart a few electrolytics, and try drawing your own conclusion.

Tim
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Old 29th January 2003, 10:59 PM   #3
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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100V would be fine. As for anodizing I guess that would be the way to go, I hadn't thought of it. It's not meant to be used in any aplicaiton really, just for the novelty of building one.
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Old 29th January 2003, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default GREASE LIGHTNING

Hi,

Quote:
Last time I tried rolling a cap it was for my Tesla coil.
I could have guessed you were a fan of the great Nicolas Tesla too...

Actually rolling your own small value coupling caps isn't all that hard...100mF however is going to give you crampy fingers.

Cheers,
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Frank
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Old 30th January 2003, 12:30 AM   #5
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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i helped my dad make caps for his tesla coil it was heavy and was made of glass. HERE KITTY KITTY :O )


zzzzzzzzzzzzap
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Old 30th January 2003, 12:55 AM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Homemade caps will almost invariably be crappy; it's tough to wind them tight enough, and without the tricks of extended foil construction, they'll have a high inductance. But if your just doing it for spits and grins, try using polyethylene wrap (lower dielectric constant than Saran, but better soakage properties) or Teflon tape (where you'll get higher breakdown voltage). Oiled paper will give you a nice '40s ambiance.
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Old 30th January 2003, 02:22 AM   #7
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Yes indeedy I've done saltwater caps too...works fine

Tim

P.S. I'm a fan of the great Metallica too (now playing: The Unforgiven II)
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