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While scouring the Internet for interesting high voltage modules, I came across this little unit that stood out from the others by having two different coloured leads going to a classic double carbon-fibre emitter. There was no real information regarding its function, so I bought one to analyse.
It was either going to be just two random wire colours commoned inside, possibly a high voltage one and one referenced to internal ground or possibly even opposing polarities.
When it arrived, the first test I did was to see if both emitters were directly connected. They aren't. I then powered it up and used the floating probe test in front of the emitters to give a rough indication of ion polarity and level. The white lead showed a negative potential and the green one a positive potential.
A full depotting and reverse engineering shows that the high voltage side has only a slight capacitive coupling to the low voltage side, and uses a two capacitor/diode voltage multiplier for a high negative voltage on the white lead, and the green lead is effectively high voltage ground.
The vicinity of the carbon fibre tufts to each other, and high potential difference between them results in a very faint purple corona discharge on the tips and a very low level output of ozone. It appears that the primary function of this device is purely trace ozone production.
I'd guess it's designed for use in generic fan/filter units for small rooms, or perhaps for vehicle use.
The power consumption of the circuit is surprisingly low. It runs on 12V (with polarity protection) at a tiny current of 17mA (0.2W). That would make something like this perfect for use with a small 50mA 12V solar panel for adding a slight hint of ozone to remote buildings/vehicles likely to get musty.
The lack of direct connection to the 12V supply and effective ionic "short circuit" at the emitter head suggests this unit won't have the issue of classic ionisers creating a high voltage difference between the primary and secondary of an isolated power supply.
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The high voltage module explorations are continuing, my apologies, if you're getting ozone fatigue and ionizer fatigue, but here is a common enough. Chippy chinese module. You stick in this case 220 volt in and this one has loads and loads of emitters of as pairs, and you sometimes see this if you open things like air conditioners or room with fan units you'll find that in the duct that the air comes out, you'll Find when these little modules poking through and it's the ionizer function - and i thought initially when i bought this one that it would be. I was quite intrigued by these because i actually bought it really, because i wanted these little spacer things that, with the carbon fiber emitters just pre-made, it was just a convenient way to get them, and i thought they might have been all individual resistors to spread the Load, but if you bring an emitter and you stick it to continuity, then every single one of these carbon fiber gon na have to hold on my fingers because uh it's quite hard, making a contact on the side.

Carbon fiber, you think, it'd be really conductive but they're all just basically they're all just common together, because i kind of thought: is there a reason they're in pairs and also are they divided but they're not. But then i saw another module that looked like this and i had the same little plastic assembly, the same little carbon fiber clusters, but it had individually colored wires going off and i thought are the have they just used green and white because it's what they had Or is there a reason for that? Are they doing something different and i've got one of the modules through it operates at 12 volts? Normally, i'm wary about these modules that operate 12 volts, because a normal ionizer like this one creates a very high voltage with two circuitry with reference to ground, but uh this one does appear to have. It appeared to have a positive charge on one the negative charge in the other, so i decided to depot it um. I had two of these, so i well.

I bought one to depot fundamentally and it took a while to depot uh. It contains interesting stuff here. If you want to, we go at reverse engineering, it is the two layers of the circuit board, um interesting. The text is, i was going to say, interested text is one way round and text is the other way around.

I have just done an absolutely massive boo-boo. I was up late last night doing some high voltage design. I submitted a circuit board to glc pcb complete with a spelling error right on the front. It's uh you'll see that when it arrives, but if you want to be a snapshot of that for reverse engineering, it not you're going to see an awful lot had to take all the components off.

It was the only way to actually get that because uh just the way it was all covered and resin stuff was so close and the last few components were trapping the resin. So we have the incoming positive supply goes through a diode and it goes to a smoothing, capacitor or just general local capacitor. I shall finish finish this drawing hold on where's, the blue pen. I shall finish this by coloring that one in like with one of my crayons, so that's a 220 meg fart capacitor.

It goes to this little transformer, a very neat, little transformer, it's the multi-section secondary. It looks as though it's got actual a primings primary section. Then it's got three secondary sections and then there's a transistor and then just uh associated with that there are one two three four surface: mount components with the feedback winding it's very low current. Let me just cook this up to a bench supply and i'll.

Tell the current is it's ridiculously low for a little 12-volt circuit like this, so here's positive on here's negative on the current is 14 milliamps. This thing is now producing always one at the tip, because that it turns out that's what it does. 14 milliamps at 12. Volts is ridiculous that makes it viable to use something like this on its own tiny little solar panel in remote locations for keeping places fresh.

The transformer couples across to the high voltage winding here is the high voltage winding i'll call that sec high v high v. This is the primary and this is the feedback um, and that goes over to a couple of a little tiny, 100 picofarad, 6000 volt capacitors and equally tiny little high voltage diodes interesting. I've not found these exact diodes. It's it's quite odd.

They have a little pattern. Then that i'll show you afterwards well i'll show you now, if you can imagine the diode there's the diode uh at the end. They've got little pattern of arrows in the end, but no text on it. That might be because the text is maybe conductive, because it's metallic i'm not really sure, but that is a chamfered pattern.

The pattern indicates its voltage rating very, very strange. I didn't know that until today, so there's a capacitor here, capacitor there and then the diode going across like that and one to create a little voltage multiplier. Then there's a 20 mega ohm resistor and a 10 mega ohm resistor. I wonder why they chose 20 mega ohm, for that one and they've got hv high voltage and then what i guess is high voltage ground and it's basic creating its own ground.

In that side there is a position for another. Resistor would couple it to the primary but they're, not using that. I wonder if this is a multi-use circuit board. Let me bring in the schematic and show you this.

I shall zoom down on this. The schematic the incoming supply goes via diode, that's nice! Then it's got the local filtering, smoothing general sort of reservoir capacitor for stability, probably to prevent noise just circuit stability. More than anything else, it's got the primary winding of that transformer, quite a low, uh impedance, and then it's going to transistor. The transistor is at c2383, which is rated 160 volts for gain with a gain of 150.

It's probably rated for that. High voltage um, just because of the when it turns off. It could go quite spiky, but that's what diffused um the feedback winding. It comes via a little feedback network so that initially, when it starts uh turning this transistor on so initially when you turn it on current will flow through the feedback wind.

It will go through that 30k resistor in that 100 ohm resistor, and it will gradually turn this transistor on as soon as current starts flowing. It will couple it back into the feedback winding, as the current suddenly starts. Increasing from that, you get a a fairly high. Current will be coupled directly through this capacitor for the start of each feedback cycle and limited by this 100 ohm resistor, and this little capacitor here is probably for stability and timing.

But then, once uh, this capacitor is fully charged. The current goes through 30k resistor, so i think it's just to increase the efficiency of the circuit in its oscillation uh. It's a specialist area, high frequency oscillators, like this it's covered across to the secondary winding, which is the high voltage and across that you've got a basic little voltage multiplier. I would thought: maybe you could do it differently, but here is that effectively the? What did they call it? They call it hg, and this is hv, because this is the high voltage one and that goes to carbon fiber cluster emitters.

So one end of the coil just goes straight there. The other goes through the step up arrangement with the multiplier. I would have thought they might have done that differently to the other connections so effectively. Uh.

When i was getting that sort of, i was getting a very strong negative voltage, but i wasn't getting so much of a positive voltage to the meter when i held it in front of the probes. That is presumably because of uh electrostatic effects and the fact it wasn't directly referenced to the circuit ground. There is a resistor that you can put in and well they could put in manufacturing. That would reference it to the ground.

That's the one i wouldn't normally recommend addy and they haven't. But i thought that instead of this arrangement, they could have made it more efficient. Perhaps, by doing this arrangement for the secondary had a capacitor connected to each end and then a diode pointing to one side and dive points the other. So this end would be the positive high voltage and this had been negative and then they could have used a couple of 10 mega ohm resistors to output.

I don't know why they specifically did that, but when you test this, when you put it into a chamber with a ozone meter - and you turn on it - does put out a fair amount of ozone when you look at it in the dark, you can see the Very distinct in pitch black, particularly with the camera, to enhance it because the cameras can see better than we can. You can see that slight fizzled purple glow on there and the current flow is effectively it's not blowing ions out like a typical ionizer. It's all happening between these two clusters and high voltage between the means that corona is forming on the surface of those little spiky carbon fibers, and that means it's effectively. Well, it's like a sharps plasma cluster type unit.

It's effectively got a positive one, a negative one, although in this instance one is just grounded and others the high voltage, but it's effectively creating more than anything else. It's just creating trace ozone but interesting it took a while to take apart. I did some of the dissolving of this with acetone or you just. Can you see that glowing site? That's my little glow-in-the-dark 3d printed thing.

I think it may feature that different video bam. It was a i started off with acetone the acetone dissolved. Well, it softened it to the point that you could get a knife and you could actually just you could kind of peel the resin off but um. It was just as easy heating it up and then using the acetone, because it would only go down.

It would only soak into a certain depth and then it just you'd peel down, then it'd be rock solid. Again then you'd have to soak it and it didn't matter. If you left it overnight, it didn't seem to go much beyond much level. It seemed as if it like, once it had gone to a certain depth.

It just stopped, but i found that heat was the best thing and then for the last remnants uh, a dip in the acetone and just leave it soaking for an hour just to get the last few bits out, but that's it so. I've been in aliexpress. I've been looking for these 10 little diodes. I've found similar ones, but these ones are five millimeters long and they're, 1.9 millimeters diameter, so say five by two millimeter.

I didn't find ones that match that i found ones that are about 10 millimeter by three millimeter, which is close enough, but it's not the same thing and these diodes it's high voltage. But it's also they're rated for very fast turn off they're designed for use with high frequency oscillators, but that is it. That's the most recent finding and a thorough exercise and depotting that took quite some time now. Can i want to depot this one and see? What's inside this, maybe i'll do that later, but that is it current progress of investigating interesting chinese products.

Well, this one came from aliexpress by the way, i think they do have them on ebay, um. Oh one thing worth mentioning if you do run this off a 12 volt dc supply. Theoretically, because all the activities happening between these electrodes, there shouldn't be too much of a voltage differential across the supply created. So it might be safe enough to operate with a standard plug-in power supply.

I'm not really sure i'd have to test that, but interesting enough. I've ordered a couple more just because i want to do further experiments with them as the experiments and probing of this technology continues.

13 thoughts on “Intriguingly different “ioniser” module (de-potting and schematic)”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ionizer Ions says:

    These low end ionizers are often capable of hcho and acetone Voc intermediates. They consistently show such byproducts in various studies/reports. And how you place the emitters can change ion output. They have to spaced appropriately

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ex Orbis says:

    Please make a "how to de-pot (Chinese) circuitry" video ?

    I have some small soft start modules which are stupidly expensive and am dying to know what kind of rare elements they used justifying the cost.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Robert Gaines says:

    I used to use air ionizers like that one, but they gave me horrible sinus headaches. I do get sinus and tension headaches a lot, but using those made them twice as bad. They'd make me have nauseating headaches on a daily basis. The dust was also ten times as bad. It would stick to everything especially around the ionizer. It just wasn't worth it. I just use air filters now.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joseramirez says:

    Clive, at the risk of testing your patience, re: my earlier query connecting the ioniser to a 12v car cigarette lighter: how do I know which of the ioniser's leads is +ve and which -ve? From what you said that isn't obvious? Does it matter? And does the cig lighter need to be fused?

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Calum A says:

    Clive, I have been watching your videos for years. You really are fantastic. I don't understand how you get the time to do all of this but it's much appreciated.

    Even though I have been watching your videos, with the intention of learning electronics, I am still utterly clueless.

    I am more of a kinesthetic learner for sure. Still love your production and the chilled vibe of the videos. So easy to watch.

    Us Brits seem to have a different style to our American cousins. No jump cuts less scripted and generally more chilled. I find that funny. I have had go unsubscribe from some American YouTubers wwaaayyy to over the top.

    Keep up the fabulous work.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bunny Killer says:

    dug up some old parts from the mystery box and found a 120/3kv transformer, a set of X-Ray diodes, 20KV 102 blue ceramic caps… jumped the output of the transformer up to 12KV via some doublers and made a grid for producing ozone… I used 2 heatsinks from some old computer processor main chips… it worked fantastically, was putting out loads of ozone, had the room saturated within 10 minutes. Im either gonna have to remove a stage of doublers or find another transformer it was just too efffective 🙂

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars cory lytle says:

    I've had that strange thing happen when trying to remove things with solvents. It goes so deep and stops. I've wondered if the solvent swells the material and bascily gets too tight for the solvent to get any deeper. Stuff to think about when you really need to be asleep.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Susan Amber Bruce says:

    I am wondering if I should get an ioniser, if you use one Clive what is your choice and do you have a purchase link please
    Or did you do a video about using ioniser and if not could you please do one(a video I mean)

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dogphlap says:

    I found this on eBay where it is suggested to be used inside a car passenger compartment. Output voltage 3kV. Would this device be capable of igniting gasoline fumes assuming some careless fuelling of a car with a window open to allow the flammable vapour access to the car interior where this device might be operating ? Perhaps Clive could be persuaded to try an experiment with his remaining working device and a small amount of vaporised petrol.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars annoloki says:

    The alternative voltage multiplier circuit doesn't work too well without using a two-transistor oscillator on the input to the transformer to provide power on both sides of the cycle, you get an unbalanced charging of the two capacitors, and you can only discharge through the pair what the least charged capacitor is holding. Protecting the transistor from reverse current is the ability for current to come off the secondary as quickly as possible, any limits there (such as by the capacitor it's flowing into being full) causes the voltage to rise on the primary side when the transistor is in the off state. (yeah, I had the same thought!) It works better with the Royer/Baxandall oscillator, as that will charge both capacitors equally 🙂

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Erasmuspipebagger says:

    Hi Clive. I watch (listen to really) many of your videos, while I'm servicing air rifles (random but true) I recently watched a repair of a tiny Chinese pulsing pump, and thought I'd gotten to the bottom of the problem with my haze machine. Turns out it was a tip of the iceberg and there is apparently a fault with the circuit board that controls the pump / heater / timer. I was wondering if it would be possible to post the job lot up to you, along with the return postage and happy to pay for any repair if you could figure out and possibly do a video of the repair of the thing. I use a nice ILDA laser, and the haze really makes it (as you can imagine, without it, the laser is pointless)
    You may be ridiculously busy, and not able to do it. As my dear departed of mam used to say "if you don't ask you don't get"
    Also used to say (in reply to "What's for tea?") Shit with sugar on. That's Yorkshire mum's for you. Best regards Mark.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rotaxtwin says:

    I have seen these on eBay, was thinking of ordering a couple too. Just the other day I was leaving a medical/professional building and as I went through the double doors of the exit I got a whiff of ozone. I wonder if I would have noticed that had I not been 'raising my ozone consciousness' via Clive ??

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Lee says:

    I’m wondering if you’ve seen the Radio Shack commercials on instagram for learning basic electronics and coding. If such a kit is worth the money. Or if you could suggest a kit for the newb wanting to learn more about how circuit boards are created?

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