There are times you find yourself looking for a relatively high voltage (100V to 200V often in my case) but low current DC power supply. I have zener diodes that are higher than 30V, which makes the lab supply useless, and filament LEDs with forward voltage over 60V.
When I need to test them quickly, I used to hook up a simple rectifier circuit to a variable AC power supply (nothing more than a slidac with isolation transformer). While this gets job done, the setup is capable of supplying much too high current (1A or more), so I was always very nervous and extra careful in handling the circuit. All I need is a little HV generator that gives me around 200V DC and only capable of supplying a milliamp or less. Realizing that I do have such design available – one of the Nixie supply circuit – I just decided to put one together to use.
Pocket HV Generator schematics
A single AA battery seems to be enough to generate over 200V on the output with no load. But the output quickly lowers when you draw 0.4mA. So it feels pretty safe to handle this casually, and I can only feel a bit of tingling, not electric shock when I touch the output terminals. The tool proved to be quite handy and useful in testing variety of things:
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