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Max Hacks His BrightSparks Trophy

BrightSparks 2019 winner Max Simmonds has hacked his trophy to create a plasma speaker.

The unique trophies, which are designed by Boldport, are actually real circuit boards meaning that Max was able as able to use its traces, castellations, and pads as part of his project.

It uses a simple 2 BJT astable multi-vibrator to generate a (reasonably) high frequency 150KHz square wave to drive an old CRT flyback transformer, VIA a low side IGBT and an IR2110. This "carrier wave" is then pulse repetition frequency modulated (via a high gain amp that squares up incoming audio) with the shutdown pin of the IR2110. The result is plasma that varies air pressure, generating sound waves like a traditional loudspeaker.

Max told DesignSpark: "I was awarded this trophy a while ago by Electronics Weekly and RS Components. As it was a real circuit board, I knew that I had to do something with it. I scavenged my electronic junk boxes for everything needed to make a plasma speaker. Given that the award was entitled "BrightSparks", I thought it was an apt project!"

Are there any other BrightSparks winners out there who have hacked their trophy yet?

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25 Jun 2020, 9:59