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Old 6th November 2012, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Home made capacitor! working!

I made a working capacitor
but in the process i ripped a 200 volt 270uF capacitor to shreds
but i got it out perfectly without damaging it.
i unwravled the two sheets of metal and threw out the thin paper film that used to go on them
i took two sheets of printer paper and put it in place of the old paper film
and i quickly dipped it in some plain water
i wrapped it back up tight and taped it back together with some packaging tape and a twist tie (was all i had to use)
i tested it and it works pretty good at low voltages (5 volts or less)
it works almost perfectly..
and it somewhat acts as a diode.. one way stores energy better.
I have no clue what the maximum capabilities of this new home made capacitor are such as the voltage.
and i have no clue how many uF's it can store. (when i tested it seemed to be around 200uF to 400uF about the same as when it was an actual capacitor and had the old papery thin film (it smelled bad)
and i was sure there was some bad chemicals in the old papery thin film so i washed my hands a lot after getting rid of it
i'm still testing the little home made capacitor and seeing how well it works.
i know i could of just used aluminum sheets and some large sheets of printer paper
but i didn't have any aluminum foil so i just opened up the small capacitor that i found in a bunch of parts and junk and replaced the yucky papery film with some nice printer paper and i just soaked it slightly in some plain tap water for a second or two
then i took it out and wrapped it back up and held it together with some packaging tape and a twist tie... literally..
but it does work which is pretty cool
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Old 6th November 2012, 04:01 AM   #2
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This is so misguided I don't know where to begin.
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Old 6th November 2012, 04:11 AM   #3
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Seems like you're having fun then. The water soaked paper will not last very long, should use something else. Using water will either eventually dry out the paper, or possible make the paper rot or start a mini mildew plantation.

Good luck with experimentation! I suggest experimenting with other types of paper, and oil.
Hope you are not using this in your stereo or anywhere else :-/

Edit:
Do try to avoid air pockets in the foil.
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Old 6th November 2012, 07:58 AM   #4
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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And water conducts, and so acts as a resistor or even a short circuit between your plates. What works at 5 volts won't work at higher voltages.

Salt water in various salinities instead of plain water.

An experiment would be to try different materials, like thin plastic sheeting, thin plastic film like food wrap, oil soaked paper, glass, etc. And the thickness of the material can be varied - thick paper versus thin, etc.

When I was a kid, and I am now talking over 50 years ago, I started building a large tesla Coil. Look up Tesla Coil if you want to know what it is. They generate hundreds of thousands of volts at high frequencies.

In the power supply of these things we needed a capacitor. It was not a large capacitance, but it did have to withstand extremely high voltages. SO part of the project from Popular Electronics (an old magazine) was making one. They took a pane of window glass, and glued a sheet of aluminum foil to either side of it. A little space between the edges - the foil was smaller than the pane - and there you had your cap. Thin sheets of brass (hobby store) would work too. I bet steel window screening would work.

IN TV sets, the CRT is glass, and they coat the inner and outer surfaces with conductive paint. This forms a capacitor. The pulsing 15-20kv on the third anode lead needed some filtering. It needed a cap, not a large value one, but a cap nonetheless, and this worked as that cap. Older TVs did not rely on the CRT itself for this. There were these special caps, referred to as "doorknob capacitors" due to their shape. Most of them looked to me like ceramic insulators, but they are in fact very high voltage caps. The cap value will be in picofarads. SOme old Tesla Coilo projects would use a few of those caps. IN the 1950s, the doorknob caps were common.

If interested, google "doorknob cap".
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Old 6th November 2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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yesterday i dropped the capacitor in a bowl full of canola oil just to see what would happen
it doesn't do much but it seems to give it more capacity.
the voltage it seems is what charges the capacitor..
if i have a weak button cell battery to charge the capacitor and then use both the capacitor and button cell battery combined it easily makes it more stronger than the battery alone for a short burst when i hook it up to my little testing device (its a little speaker i use to test things with like how much power something has)

oh and i'm not looking to make a capacitor in nano farads
i'm looking to build one up in the hundreds of uF's or even thousands of uF's or more
should i try the aluminum foil and wet printer paper trick? it sounds like it would work like a super capacitor from what a tiny little capacitor does!

Last edited by realflow100; 6th November 2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 6th November 2012, 02:58 PM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Yep. That's exactly how a cap should work.
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Old 6th November 2012, 03:05 PM   #7
johnm is offline johnm  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realflow100 View Post
i'm not looking to make a capacitor in nano farads
i'm looking to build one up in the hundreds of uF's or even thousands of uF's or more should i try the aluminum foil and wet printer paper trick? it sounds like it would work like a super capacitor from what a tiny little capacitor does!
I wouldn't do that until you're FULLY aware of all the safety precautions first.....

P.S. Do you read the responses given to you realflow? I don't see any replies above... A lot of useful information being freely handed out to you in all the threads you've started.

Last edited by johnm; 6th November 2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 6th November 2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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i am fully aware of it. I read everything in peoples posts.
it's not my fault i was born with autism.. i'm just autistic..
so sometimes i may not listen perfectly... i'm not trying to ignore you..
and salt mixed with water can become dangerous and toxic when exposed to electricity
and a lot of other things can be dangerous as well... such as capacitors on a motherboard storing energy and shocking me if i mess with one i'm careful with those now because i have been shocked by one once on accident and it is not fun. so i made the capacitor without any salt because anyways i'm out of salt lol.
I do try to read the stuff in the links you guys are posting for me. but i'm partly autistic so it's hard to cope with being the internet D: sorry
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Old 6th November 2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
And water conducts, and so acts as a resistor or even a short circuit between your plates. What works at 5 volts won't work at higher voltages.

Salt water in various salinities instead of plain water.
...
I disagree on the water conducting part.
Water in itself does not conduct electricity very well, there has to be something else added to it, like salt, acid, certain forms of dust, earth/mud or some minerals.

"Electrolysis of pure water requires excess energy in the form of overpotential to overcome various activation barriers. Without the excess energy the electrolysis of pure water occurs very slowly or not at all. This is in part due to the limited self-ionization of water. Pure water has an electrical conductivity about one millionth that of seawater. Many electrolytic cells may also lack the requisite electrocatalysts. The efficiency of electrolysis is increased through the addition of an electrolyte (such as a salt, an acid or a base) and the use of electrocatalysts."

If we're talking specifics here I would try waxed silk paper and plain vanilla alu foil. Just fold it 2 times and make a cigar roll, dip it in wax or something for sealing.

Edit:
Never tried it before, but that is what I would try out first anyway.

Edit2:
I remember when I learned to make transformers we used some really high grade silk paper and square thick solid core alu wire. Works up to several kv if done correctly.

Last edited by KaffiMann; 6th November 2012 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 6th November 2012, 07:04 PM   #10
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

They say ignorance is bliss.

A paper dielectric will give a relatively high voltage rating, and can be soaked
in oil to help prevent the ingress of moisture, water doesn't help here at all.
You'll end up with a non-polar capacitor with a small value for its size.

High value low voltage polar capacitors are a different kettle of fish,
and the above approach simply won't work for them at all.

rgds, sreten.
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