Marx generator

Update March 28th, 2010 – see some sparks 🙂


Update February 26th, 2010 – >20cm sparks!
The two marx generators has been fit together on a nice platform, using some tick PVC from PETs to insulate each tower. Also the missing caps have been added and I have 2×11 levels!

P1020203s P1020206s P1020208s

The HV kicksbacks from this device are really dangerous for my power supply, so I will fire it up, after I finish the protection module. Keep an eye on this page for some neat monster sparks!

Update February 11th, 2010 – 20cm sparks!
I’ve built a second marx generator and hooked the two together. Incredible monster discharges of up to 20cm without any tweaking (I suspect to get even more out of it):
The frequency is still good aprox 2 discharges / second with a 555 flyback powersource.
Still the twin marx generator is incomplete, I need to add 3 more stages in those empty sockets, then do some tweaking for max performance.
The schematic for the dual marx generator is as follows:
dual (twin) marx generator 20cm sparks

Update February 4th, 2010 – 7cm sparks!
I’ve added more stages for a total of ten. To save some capacitors, I’ve reconnected them in series of 2 for 12KV@5nF. The result was 7cm sparks:

P1010801 P1010802
P1010803 P1010820

First version February 1st, 2010 – 5cm sparks!
Here is a first preview of my Marx generator. I’m using 6KV@10nF capacitors connected in a block of 3 for 18KV@3.3nF.
The resistors are 2W 1M, but I should use two connected in series to hold the arc-overs better. Currently there are 7 stages.

Here’s a video in HD @720p:

And some pictures:

marx generator radu motisan 1 marx generator radu motisan 2 marx generator radu motisan 3

The schematic:

My current setup produces 5cm sparks. A simple way of producing very high voltages with cheap components.

This article has 38 Comments

  1. As avea nevoaie de mai multe detalii: ma intereseaza la la cati volti este alimentat si la ce fel de curent(AC/DC)Marx generatorul 5 cm spark. daca se poate sa ma ajutati si cu o schita mai detaliata poate as reusi si eu sa fac experimentul. Va Multumesc!

  2. este alimentat la 10KV DC (iesirea de la un transformator de linii cu dioda incorporata). Schite sunt destule mai sus, daca ceva e neclar spune-mi si te ajut.

  3. this marx generatör is my university project. And i am going to build it. but i don’t know how do i do it. if anybody send me this (marx generatör) circuit shema , equipments and aquipments values, and similasions and other documents i will be very happy and graduate..
    thanks for now
    my e mail is :
    thank your

  4. Hello Onur,

    It’s a very simple construction. Use this page to see my results, try to improve if you have new ideas.

    The components are a bit expensive (like all HV components), but you can build the capacitors yourself. See:

  5. hello onur,

    what do you want to use the marx generator for? what voltage level are you hoping to achieve?

  6. this is my school project.
    i wantto: give to input 15 V and get output 220V,380V or 400V etc. by marx generatör

  7. you will need a few KiloVolts at least, so the spark can jump the spark gaps in the marx generator design.

    try a flyback transformer, you have all the details under “High-Voltage”

  8. if i go a shop and buy one “flyback transformer” and put it to my marx generator power supply, is it ok?

  9. thank you very much radu. i will search about flyback transformator to buy. and try to build my device

  10. hi radu,
    my teacher give a circuit shema. And he said: it is working by 24 vdc. it has 10 capacitors (500 uF) and resistors (100 kohm). and inside the sparks, using relays. i wantto show you this circuit. i have only 2 days for give my project to the teacher. so i need your help. if you wantto help me please contact with me on ( msn messenger and facebook mail is: ) ( and e mail is: )
    thank you
    see you soon

  11. AND I NEED SOME DOCUMENTS, for my presentation and report.WHERE ıs the marx generator USING, ON INDUSTRIAL, MILITARY, etc.
    thank you very much..

  12. hi, i am intrested in your arc generators. do you build custom ones? i am ready to pay you for all the costs (electronical parts and for your efforts) i am in germany. drop me a line if you are intrested. we will talk the details if you are intrested thanks

  13. Funny, but I’ll probably be in munich next week. I wouldn’t mind to build you a custom one. What exactly do you need?

  14. Very nice. I’m doing one.
    How did you solder your round copper wire?
    It’s better to use copper pasted. I used solder alloy.

  15. Te rog pune la fiecare articol o lista de peise si numarul lor, ar fid e mare ajutor.

  16. Mr. Motisan,
    I have found your site to be extremely helpful in my attempts to construct my own Marx Generator. However, I need a few pointers. I have the hopes of running my Marx Generator off of a Cockcroft-Walton Generator with 84 stages, yielding an output of just over 10,000v. Would this be comparable to you flyback, or would I have issues relating to current? Second, with regards to the resistors, I have 1W 1M resistors, would you recommend connecting 4 in parallel to achieve the 4W of current you mentioned, or could I get by with less?
    Finally, with regards to the capacitors, I have been doing quite a bit of research, but this is still a little fuzzy: If I decrease the capacitance, will the only thing effected be the discharge rate, or should I aim to have 5nF for each stage?
    Thank You for any assistance you can provide.

  17. Hi Alex, 84 stages will not work because of time delays and incomplete capacitor charging.

    Did you make a typo or is really the OUTPUT you want 10KV only?

  18. Mr. Motisan,
    The intentions were to use an 84 stage Cockcroct-Walton Generator to provide an input voltage to the Marx Generator at 10KV. I apologize if my previous phrasing was misleading. The Marx Generator will likely be 2X11 stages like your own.

  19. Buna,Radu.
    De trei zile te am descoperit pe net,si am ramas placut surprins de tot ce realizezi.Deasemenea apreciez foarte mult dorinta ta de a veni in sprijinul celor care doresc sa faca ceva. sunt pasionat de energie alternativa,si am o mare dorinta sa fac ceva care sa mi usureze factura la energie.M am gandit sa fac un tub covertor Gray care sa functioneze cu ZVS pe care l ai facut tu.Ce zici?,Am facut o schita cu transf, condensator si eclator dar nu functioneaza,acestea urmand sa alimenteze o bobina Tesla,al carei curent de 5 kv trebuia sa se descace in tubul Gray,arcul electric rezultat creea curenti de intensitate mare,care erau captati de plasa din tub.Un fir tras de la plasa tubului si altul de la impamantare zice ca da tensiune mare care poate fi folosita.Acum ce vreau sa te intreb,arcul electric de le ZVS nu face acelasi lucru ca bobina Tesla ? Cred ca m ai inteles ce am vrut sa spun,de aceea te rog sa ma ajuti cu cateva sfaturi,poate ai o varianta si mai buna.Multumesc mult pt intelegere.Gabriel

  20. Salut Grabiel,

    Pentru inceput am sa te indrum cu bobina tesla. Am realizat una folosind un invertor cu oscilator Royer (ZVS) in partea de primar pentru generarea unei tensiuni de aprox 10KV. Aceasta e inmagazinata in condensatori si printr-un eclator formez un oscilator de relaxare , care produce pulsurile necesare functionarii bobinei tesla. O poti vedea aici:

    Cat priveste energia din nimic, eu sunt sceptic, pentru ca din punctul meu de vedere incalca legi ale fizicii. Dar sunt curios sa vad ce experimentezi, asa ca poti sa-mi trimiti poze sau sa-mi spui ce ai mai reusit sa faci.

    Numai bine!

  21. Hi Sir,

    We are leading manufacturer of Ceramic Capacitors in China,

    High Voltage Ceramic Capacitors, such as doorknob type 30KV 3000pf, 40KV 570pf, 50KV 560pf, 750pf, 1000pf, 100KV 500PF, 100KV 1000pf and etc…for HV power supplies, Marx generators, Power generators, Gas Lasers, X-Ray Power Supplies and etc…

    Please feel free write to me , let’s talk more, thank you in advance!

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    Shanghai Imax Electronic Co., Ltd.
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  22. how ican dwcide the rattings of capacitor and resistor…for small marx gen.

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