Swap Your Microwave For A High Voltage Stereo

When building a new project, common wisdom suggests to avoid “reinventing the wheel”, or doing something simple from scratch that’s easily available already. However, if you can build a high-voltage wheel, so to speak, it might be fun just to see what happens. [Dan] decided to reinvent not the wheel, but the speaker, and instead of any conventional build he decided to make one with parts from a microwave and over 6,000 volts.

The circuit he constructed works essentially like a Tesla coil with a modulated audio signal as an input. The build uses the high voltage transformer from the microwave too, which steps the 240 V input up to around 6 kV. To modulate that kind of voltage, [Dan] sends the audio signal through a GU81M vacuum tube with the support of a fleet of high voltage capacitors. The antenna connected to the magnetron does tend to catch on fire somewhere in the middle of each song, so it’s not the safest device around even if the high voltage can be handled properly, but it does work better than expected as a speaker.

If you want a high-voltage speaker that (probably) won’t burn your house down, though, it might be best to stick to a typical Tesla coil. No promises though, since working with high voltages typically doesn’t come with safety guarantees.

Thanks to [David] for the tip!

30 thoughts on “Swap Your Microwave For A High Voltage Stereo

  1. This is not a nice HV project, it is the result of an irresponsible man who is going to die of cancer, taking his neighbors with him … He not only uses the transformer, he uses the full magnetron, which emits a large amount of power in the 2.4Ghz band. with the immense risk to the health of anyone who is nearby.

    It would be prudent for hackaday to notice the danger of contracting cancer that this project implies, which is much more important than a high voltage burn.

      1. I’m fine with standing back and waiting to see what high levels of “low frequency” radiation do to people. Standing forward would require using the fact that I am made of “people” and a willingness for self sacrifice for the greater good. Since “me” is a sample size of 1, meh, some other f***ers can investigate further.

      2. Maybe the corona plasma emission is wider band than just the 2.4GHz and therefore is emitting ionizing radiation also since we can clearly see visible is being emitted without a doubt from the high energy plasma.

        Funny how people forget nonionizing radiation can create ionizing radiation also… you know heterodyne, pulse train or carrier wave with modulation can create lower frequencies for sure from the omni or unidirection beam and heterodyne and high energy wireless methods can create higher frequencies. Same goes with electrophysiological effects that can be cumulative stress like traumas especially if localized to create a higher duty cycle effect.

        Granted, that’s not what the COTS systems are designed to do… I hope at least. :-|)

  2. I was confused by the amount of bass this was generating; typical plasma speakers are quite tinny on their own. I think the microwaves this is spitting out are directly stimulating the microphone on the camera (though it could also be dubbed).

  3. Frankly speaking it seems a little .. alternative) despite of knowledge of effect hundred years despite of AliExpress sellers wich have been sell tesla-coil speakers dozen years the author rediscovers it again) bravo! You should to check were anywhere there any electromagnetic waves and would it be received to speaker-receiver wireless! It would be revolutionary!

  4. Whoever wrote the article’s title forgot stereo audio reproduction requires multiple drivers.

    What’s wrong with just saying “High voltage flame speaker built with microwave parts”?

        1. RADIATION, which means one thing to a nucular physicist and another to an EM wave. But to tin-hatters, all the same regardless of energy or power density. 5G, smart meters, atom bombs, all the same.

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