Making a Jacob’s Ladder, to Celebrate a Million Subs!

I would say Jacob’s Ladder is one of the most dangerous things one can make, so reconsider!

A MILLION SUBSCRIBERS! Thank you everyone for helping me get there!

And if you want to download the 3D files of the stand I designed, you can download it from the link below, but please only use it for spiritual purposes! As you saw in the video, it is too small to support a Jacob’s ladder which can be a lethal combination. But it can be a nice piece with a candle and scented sticks.

How a Jacob’s Ladder works? Like I showed in the video, it is made of two metal rods that grow wider as they go higher. A very high voltage is applied between the two rods that creates an arc at the shortest distance between the rods. As the arc is heating the air, the hot air rises and pulls the arc up with it.

Jacob's LadderOf course maintaining an arc over an air channel requires a lot of power, especially as the channel is stretching as it goes up. The stretched are channel is more resistive which reduces the current through it. If the current drops below the threshold that is required to keep air ionized, the channel breaks and the arc stops, and restarts at the shortest gap. The channel can also break if it hits a non conductive piece.

The photo above is taken with a one second aperture speed and the arc seems to cover the entire space between the rods. But in reality there is one rising arc. If you look carefully at these arcs, you see they look like many strands stretched between the rods. This is due to the 60Hz power line frequency that results in the arc flickering.

I did talk about how to increase the voltage difference between the rods by using an AC voltage multiplier circuit. Of course the circuit I showed was just one stage, which doubled the peak difference between output terminals:

One stage voltage increamentBut multi-stages can be used in configuration below to further multiply the voltage level, as shown in figure below:AC Voltage Multiplier Circuit

I talked about how this circuit works in more detail back in my article “Effect of High Voltage AC/DC on Human Body” which you can read.

Safety Tips on Dealing with High Voltage

It is very important to know what to do dealing with high voltage and there are many situations that might require different actions, but I summarize as much as I can here:

  • DON’T! Leave it to a professional to deal with high voltage!
  • If you must, first shut down everything to do with high voltage supply before handling anything.
  • If you are not sure if the circuit is off, DO NOT RISK anything! Step away and call a professional.
  • Always wear protective and electrically isolating gear, like gloves, boots, clothing and etc. Of course all these are rated for some voltage level, and above a certain level, everything breaks down. So make sure you know what beast you are dealing with.
  • If you are stock in a situation where you don’t have necessary gear, then make sure you touch things with only your right hand (unless your heart is on the right side) and ALWAYS make sure no other spot of your body is touching any other conductive surface or earth ground.
  • If the voltage is extremely high (>10kV power lines and such) Do not get close to power lines at all! Proximity won’t create an ESD like discharge, but that arc will turn into a thick thunder bolt that melts and burns everything. It is not safe at all unless the power is shut down first.
  • If you are in a situation where a high voltage line is broken on the ground close to you, if  you are in a car, stay in there. If you need to move out and step away, you must keep your feet together and hop away. Remember that the voltage is so high that every meter of the ground is at a large voltage difference. If you take a normal step, each of your feet will be at a different voltage that will arc through your body. Hopping will make sure your feet are close enough to keep the voltage difference between them at a minimum, And make sure you don’t fall either! If you are over 10 meters away from the power source, then you can run away!

Please leave other safety tips in the comments if you know more so people can read and know too.

And again thanks a lot for helping me get to a million subscribers, and stay safe!

36 thoughts on “Making a Jacob’s Ladder, to Celebrate a Million Subs!

  1. Hey I just got a fancy new laptop and I want to use it in my car. The stores don’t sell one powerful enough. Could you make a video on how to build one and show everyone how much they are getting ripped off when they buy one. Mine for example is output 19.5V 7.7A and 150W this is 12V DC to 19.5V DC

  2. I like your videos.It is amazing.I also want to get the onetesla TS drsstc,but I am in China,and I am a middle school student,I don’t know how to get it.And I am in town,the price of it is too high for me.Can you help me?

  3. I like your videos.It is amazing.I also want to get the onetesla TS drsstc,but I am in China,and I am a middle school student,I don’t know how to get it.And I am in town,the price of it is too high for me.Can you help me?

  4. Hi,I am your fan from China and love your videos very much.Your videos are very great.They can also help me with my study.

    And congratulations on your 1 million subscriber!

  5. Hi, amazing video!
    But, please take care on safety.

    My question: You mentioned, the hot air is contributing in pushing the arc up.
    To add to this, how do you see about the mag. fields? As there is current flowing in both wires, the mag.field by default is pushing the arc away from the source?

  6. your unibrow is the most famos in the world never trim or shave it man. when i was a kid i wanted to find out what made a light bulb light up so i unscrewed the light bulb and stuck my finger in the live socket wow did i get shocked and i did it over and over agian because i could not see the electricity i was about 5 years old. so my mom showed me a 9 volt battery and shorted it with a paper clip so i could see the sparks. i have been shocked by high voltage many times and im still kicken. i understand what its like to be shocked in the different ways you showed in your video were meeting your maker was darth vader. keep making videos we need more and they are educational to. also my cousin loves your videos as well and my dad and i watched them together he gets a lot of laughs from them thanks.

  7. Hi Mehdi,
    Keep up those funny and educational vids. As long as you keep posting we know you are still alive and not fried by electrons yet.

  8. My girlfriend banned me into the garage. PLZ give me one of these printers so that I can do some cool stuff at least. Thx bro. Your vids make my day. Dont kill yourself.

  9. Every time I watch your tremendous vids I can’t stop laughing ( there are litterly floating rivers of tears out of my eyes!)

    Lulzbot Mini would be nice to have one, that’s for sure!! I don’t think you’ll send it to the Netherlands 😛 But maybe by Jacobs ladder it will find the way to Holland easy 😉

  10. Hello man, I am struggling engineer from Turkey, it would be great if I can lay my hands on that printer. If I get the printer I will print your GREAT UNIBROW!

  11. Dear friend, I like your program a lot, make me laugh a lot, I always wait for the new videos, respectively I would like to have a 3D printer, waited for a long time, saving little by little, but I think it is impossible to get one someday GOD would give me one. But the important thing is your YouTube program, thank you.

  12. I love making stuff, but honestly 3D printers are pricy, having one would really be great. Plus I could always print a robotic army to take over the world and become the host of the electrovlog. Hahaha👾🖖

  13. That was great video, but extremely dangerous. I once tried to make jacobs ladder, only i used three MOT in series and some HV caps and diodes to make voltage doubler, i managed to get around 13-15 kV @ too much amps haha, it trip my 50A main breaker in about 4 seconds haha (230V in europe).

  14. Electro-BOOM!!!! You are one of the most informative and definitely one of the funniest guys that show the fun…. AND danger involved with electricity. You coined one of my favorite new acronyms….FAF! Thank you for taking the time to make these videos for all of us! I would like to give the printer to my 12-year old son who I think would have a blast making things with it. We could maybe do father son things with it👍. Keep it safe!!! Congratulations on 1million!!!

  15. Hi. At least you have succeeded to produce any arc. I was wondering about the gift… I was about to say that it would be the only thing I havent broke yet. But going back in time, I see I was trying to build one by myself, and “by myself” shows it was broken already, so.. But yours looks nice, good luck to the others.

  16. I’m a college student and in a trade school also believe that this give a is mad cool.Id be the happiest hard working person ever!Blessing to your family and everyone else reading that gives back and always helping when you can.Id really keep the 3d printer care for and use .

  17. I’m getting into electronics now in a big way after years but I find the hardest thing is the physicality. The building of housings, wheels, spikes, fun things etc.

    Oh how I wish my circuits could turn into things that entertain my cat. Everything I make lives on a breadboard.

    I would like it to entertain my kitty as much as me.

  18. Congratulations on your 1 million subscriber!

    The Jacob’s ladder that i’m familial with are the wooden ones that you can get at renaissance fairs. You should ElectroBoom the wooden toy and remix it with some electricity!

    Also 3d printers are awesome!

  19. No one seems as concerned as I was about this particular video. Mehdi usually puts on a great act in a relatively safe and controlled manner. This experiment however was far from safe and highly lethal. I’m glad Mehdi is still alive after what happened. I appreciate your videos, but I believe it is critical not to sacrifice safety over comedy.

    P.S. congratulations on your 1 million subscriber.

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