Making S’mores with 50,000 Volts

Cooking a Marshmallow with HV

[Skyy] sent us a video of him cooking s’mores with an electric arc. He’s using a flyback transformer with a zero voltage switching (ZVS) driver. This produces about 50 kV, which is more than enough to toast the marshmallow.

ZVS is a technique that triggers the semiconductor switches when they have zero voltage across them. This ensures that there’s minimal heat created by the switches, since they are not interrupting any current at the time they are toggled. ZVS is also used in lighting dimmers to switch off power without creating interference.

If you’re interested in the details, there’s a great tutorial on building the driver. If you’re interested in learning how it works, check out this simulation video.

[Skyy] admits that his setup isn’t terribly safe since it uses a breadboard, which isn’t rated for the high voltages and currents. Keep in mind that these circuits could kill you. After the break, watch a marshmallow fry in a 50 kV arc.


  1. Eric says:

    Cute but I don’t think it’d get the center of marshmallow hot and gooey. Too much heat on the outside, cold in middle. But this project might have other good use like frying a CD-R and DVD-R

  2. chido says:

    cool! we at hackerspace Brmlab have been doing something similar – making caramel using MOTs, with very tasty results – here’s the recipe ;)

  3. gannon says:

    I’ve done this before. Unfortunately the arcing gives it a weird ozone taste :/

  4. Willy says:

    go jayhawks!

  5. BiOzZ says:

    eep i have killed one of my old tek DSOs using a 555 push-pull flyback driver that close to a scope … careful!

  6. Lars Knudsen says:

    Reminds me of the first Ghost Busters movie…

  7. radicom56 says:

    Is Skyy a Kansan?

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