Over the last few years flash crackers have become popular. They make a rapid cracking sound and a flash of light. I have tried to find more information about how they worked online but there wasn’t very much out there. They are a great jump scare or to simulate gun fire. These are a great and simple element to implement in to a scene. You can integrate them to a relay controlled switch or a motion sensor, what ever would fit in to your existing control systems.
I wanted to know more about how these worked and I had one that needed to be repaired so I took one apart and photographed it. The repair I had to do was to replace the two 450 volt 100uf Capacitors.
I will provide a few details of what I found out about these devices. They take a 120 volt ac input around 2 amps, This is converted and used to charge the 450 volt caps which are then discharged and recharged rapidly using the electrodes in the top section. I found that they have a small powerful magnet epoxied in to the top section, I believe that this is used to generate a magnetic field that allows the electrodes to discharge the energy stored in the capacitors. Each of the outer electrodes are tied to one of the capacitors and the center electrode is tied to one of the legs of the transformer.