Author Topic: High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent  (Read 2347 times)

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Offline bullet308

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High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent
« on: July 31, 2012, 02:07:24 am »
Hi:

Dave's latest video on his DC-DC power converter reminded me of a product that I was very interested in at one point but couldn't justify the cost per unit:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Geiger-counter-power-supply-module-dosimeter-NEW-/160808650312?pt=BI_Security_Fire_Protection&hash=item2570f14648

A compact little converter that takes 3v DC up to 400v DC at 100uA, specifically designed for driving Russian Geiger tubes. Just the ticket for the stuff I am playing with, but even in volume the price only drops to US$22 per unit. These are apparently ex-Warsaw Pact Cold War surplus. I am hoping this does not make them too exotic to find a replacement for.

A quick survey of Mouser, Digi-Key and their cronies reveals nothing quite like it. I am hoping that somebody out there might know a trick, because building an HV power supply up out of parts is a bit annoying and rather too bulky for some of my applications. A turnkey solution would be preferred,

Thanks in advance:


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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 02:32:31 am »
If you're looking for something cheap to use in mass production, this probably isn't it. But you might want to look into modifying the flash circuitry from disposable cameras. Runs off of 1-2 AA batteries and outputs a fairly high voltage. May have a lot of disadvantages for your application, such as unregulated output voltage.
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Offline Psi

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Re: High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 02:35:29 am »
If you could get a higher +/- DC voltage using an off the shelf module you could use an opamp to generate an AC voltage, say 24V.
Then feed that into a 16 stage diode/cap multiplier made from tiny SMT components.
Since you only need 100uA the components can be small

« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 02:37:04 am by Psi »
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Offline IanB

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Re: High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 03:14:14 am »
As nitro said, disposable cameras contain a circuit that boosts 1.5 V DC to 300 V DC. If you fed a higher voltage in I am sure you would get a higher voltage out. You could perhaps put a feedback regulator around the circuit to get 400 V out by varying the input voltage.

Alternatively you could cannibalize the coil and transistors to construct your own circuit.
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Offline bullet308

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Re: High-Voltage, Low Amperage DC-DC Converter Equivalent
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 01:36:30 pm »
Yeah, I am familiar with the disposable camera hack. Its not difficult at all either as a hack or a scratch-built circuit. The only question I have about that approach is the efficiency of the circuit in general and the  transformer in particular. Though, the little module above only claims fifty-something percent efficiency to begin with, so I am not so sure that a simple transformer circuit could not beat that. I suppose I need to just build one and test it.
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