Alternative way triggering coilgun discharge - not using an SCR, IGBT or FET?

I recently finished building most of what is needed to be used in my coilgun. Built a small variable voltage SMPS which outputs anything between 150-500V, designed for 12v input but will run lower happily. After extensive testing of the circuit and my capacitors, I came to the conclusion I had no "delicate" way of actually discharging a cap into a coil (realised how serious this was after discharging a half charged 500J cap by shorting :S).

I would like a way of discharging up to 1kA (minimum voltage of 500V for a portable coilgun design. Semiconductor switches rated for this are so rediculously expensive, I won't even consider them (an SCR rated for this will cost me at least $400 brand new, used ones are very hard to come by in this country). I was wondering if it would be possible to make some sort of ionization tube, similar to a flash tube without the flash.

Mechanical discharge is something I definately want to avoid after previous experiences but I would consider it if there was a way of doing it without the blinding flash and microsonic boom.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

2 Answers

  • Ubi
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do not know where to get an affordable SCR, but you may have other options such as a mechanical contactor that can work depending on the specifications.

    Check out the 4hv forums under railguns... there are a ton of topics there.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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