Most people, when in need for self-defense, usually turn to purchasing a manufactured taser or stun gun. But few people actually embark on the journey of making their own.
And it can be quite fun, and you also learn a few things about how electricity and circuitry works (if you don’t know already). Some engineer students are given similar projects in the beginning of the course, so it’s nothing fancy or hard to make. You can use parts that are easy to find, either from gadgets you already have, or some refurbished devices or second-hand cheep ones.
While there are loads of tutorials online, some are too easy, others are even dangerous, we’ve compiled instructions, which require of you items that are accessible and easy to find, and the process itself doesn’t ask of you days upon days to achieve. So, if you’re up for the challenge, we believe you will enjoy this article and tutorials.
BBQ lighter taser
You will need very few items – a barbecue lighter, scissors, duct tape and an ordinary. Begin by dismantling the lighter and pen. You need to remove all the screwdrivers and tapes that are on the lighter so you can open it safely. Then you have to locate the small black item which holds the two cables, which basically start the spark when you try to use the lighter the normal way. Cut the cables, so that they are on average the same length as the pen you’ve prepared. Cut the plastic insulation off the top of the two cables, no more than half an inch.
You then need to make sure that the two cables are stretched facing away the button of the black item you extracted from the lighter. Imagine that when you need to use the final taser, you have to press the button just like you do with a pen.
Next, take the pen and dismantle it too. Remove all the items that are inside, including the ink filler. You should have only a tiny tube-like item. Attach to the pen the black item and cables, so that the cables go along the pen’s length. The taser’s button should be where the original pen’s button was, and the naked cables should be where the pen’s top used to be.
Use the duct tape to tightly attach the items together and you’re basically ready with this. Since the lighter’s generated electricity isn’t of high voltage, the shock won’t be as strong. It all depends on what you use for the electricity generator.
Kodak camera taser
The next is slightly more advanced, since it doesn’t use just the small electrical part of a lighter, but the circuit board of an old Kodak camera. So for this tutorial you will need a Kodak camera and a soldering iron. A helpful item to prepare is a screwdriver.
Use the screwdriver to remove all the screws from the camera so as to remove the protective casing. Remove the battery first and then the film. Word of caution – be careful with the battery because if you touch it while it’s still set firmly in its slot it may shock you. Remove it safely, by holding it at the protective areas and do that first. Next it will be easier to handle the items.
Also, you need to remove the light bulb, but do so careful so you don’t destroy the entire setting. The circuit board can easy be broken apart as it’s made of plastic.
Next, as you have removed the battery you will have two protruding wires. You must solder one additional wire to one of the camera wires, and a second one to the other wire. This means that you virtually have to extend the already soldered wires that are in the camera by adding a bit more length.
Your final steps are to add the battery back on so it can provide the electricity and power. By pressing the camera’s button you activate the electrical circuit and if you hold the wires to an object you will literally see sparks fly out.
To make sure this is a safe taser for you to use, as you don’t want to taser yourself, you better use a hard plastic case in which to place the circuit board and battery, and only leave the cables sticking out (so they actually work). Glue two pieces of ‘Five Star’ binder, and you have the safety casing. Also, cut a hole where the button is, so you can actually press it. Or you can also use cardboard to make the casing. Since cardboard is more flexible, you may not even need a button hole. You can also tape the entire thing with protective insulating tape.
Disposable camera taser
Here is another version of the above taser we made, but in slightly more detail and a bit of a different setting. You again need a camera (it could be a Kodak camera) but any disposable camera will do. What makes disposable cameras so often used for homemade tasers is that they contain a value capacitor, or in short ‘super cap’, meaning that it can store high voltage charge so that the camera produces a bright flash. Pressing the button you hear the snap inside. That’s when the capacitor charges up.
So let’s begin. Prepare the disposable camera, some wire, duct tape as usual, and Velcro.
Useful tip: You can get a free disposable camera in the local convenience store. Since these are quickly used and then literally disposed of, you can get them for free.
So, open the camera and remove the paper cover. In case you want to disguise the ‘taser’ to keep looking like a camera, you must be extra careful, since it may fool an ordinary person. This is especially true of small children. So, if you put back the paper cover, you must be aware that people may confuse it for a real camera.
As you opened the camera, you have to then remove the battery too. Next, press the plastic clasps which hold the two sides of the camera, in order to open it. As you open the camera you will see the circuit board. Don’t touch it yet!
The next step is important – you must discharge first the capacitor. It may often store energy even if you don’t use it and this energy must be released first before you proceed onward. Take an ordinary screwdriver or other similar object with a metal head and rubber or plastic handle (this is also important!). Touch the ‘super cap’ with the metal head of the screwdriver so that the energy is moving.
You should see some sparks and pop. This means the energy is already released. If you don’t hear or see anything, keep trying. In case you still don’t produce any sparks and pop sounds, then obviously the capacitor doesn’t store any extra energy and you’re safe to proceed.
Next, remove the circuit board from the camera case. It should be relatively easy to do so. Find the flash box – you need to remove it from the circuit board, as you don’t need it. Otherwise, keep everything else where it is. You can test the capacitor one more time with the screwdriver before you move on. Just as a double check.
Now, take the two wires you prepared in the beginning of the tutorial. Remove part of the top plastic insulator to expose the actual wires. Next, you need to wrap each wire end to a corresponding capacitor wire (right where the flash box was). Make sure that the two wires can’t touch each other in case you move them about. They must be tightly wrapped around the capacitor. Otherwise you risk a short-circuitry.
Now it is safe to close the other case of the camera. It should look again like a camera, except that it’s not. The two cables you just attached to the capacitor should come out from where the flash box would have been if the camera were intact.
Then take the two cables and tape them tightly to the camera, but make sure the ends are exposed, and you tape them so that you still have the exposed wires tight on the camera’s edge. Use the duct tape to do all that wrapping and securing in place. Basically the wires you see exposed on the camera now are what will shock the opponent or aggressor. So, to keep yourself safe – don’t touch these exposed wires.
Before you make the protective case for your taser, place a battery in the camera and press the camera button. Hold the taser to an inanimate object (a plastic or a metal object) and as you press the button you should see strong sparks and popping sound as the electrical contact is made. If that works, then your taser is ready. Now, on to the protective casing.
Use a bright color for your casing, so that you are constantly reminded that this is a dangerous item, that you shouldn’t play around with. Use the Velcro to make a sticking flap around where the exposed wires are. You can also design a battery holder to the side of the taser, so that if it falls into the hands of a child it won’t electrocute itself. If the battery is away from the camera slot, then it’s a safe gadget.
Otherwise, keep in mind that since the above taser doesn’t use alternating current but is constant, it can virtually kill a person or animal. The current is so strong that if you hold if for longer than a fraction of a second it can rip the heart tissues and lead to death. If you want to produce an alternating current as real tasers do, you may want to adjust the circuitry if you know what you’re doing.
Bug zapper taser
Another type of taser is one that uses as a base electrical gadget a bug zapper. Bug zappers look like tennis bats but run electricity so you can neutralize insects. The main thing we’re interested in the zapper’s handle, since it holds the battery and circuitry.
Safety tip: remove the battery before you start dismantling the bat or it may electrocute you.
Take the zapper and use a screwdriver to open the entire thing. Start with the nails on the handle and open the case. Then remove the net part. You need to cut the two wires that come from the handle and are connected to the bat’s net. Cut them carefully. You don’t need the net part any more so cast it aside. We’ll focus on the handle part.
Next you need to tie together the two hanging wires you just disconnected from the bat’s net part.. Then take some pliers and use them to expose the second wire you will see (it should be ideally a black cable). Expose the wire without damaging it.
Prepare two long nails. You need to tie around them each of the two exposed wires – one wire for one nail, and the other for the second nail. They will be handing, but we’ll fix that later.
Close the handle’s lid, and use the screwdriver to position the corresponding nails in their place. Use glue on the two hanging nails you attached to the exposed wires. Glue them to the inner sides of the handle. They should now stay firm. Basically, the pointy ends of the nails should go forward, pointing away from the handle.
You’re ready to place the batteries. Be very careful with this item, as it doesn’t have a button to start the electricity going – it is already active and running. Try testing it on an inanimate object. The taser should produce strong sparks upon contact with the object. Don’t use this as a joke to other people or on animals. It may cause serious damage!
Stun baton taser
You can also build a stun baton, that is, the end of the baton will have the stun/taser ends to electrocute the enemy/opponent.
Without going into too much detail, you can take a PVC pipe that has cap on each end. The electrocuting end should have two electrodes protruding and they should be 10 mm apart from each other. The other end of the baton should have the actual charging part, which will produce 5VDC. You can also attach LED lights so you have an indication when it’s working and when not.
For the battery, you can use a Lithium ion cell. This only won’t put out more than 4 volts. Attach inside also a boosting circuit, so you can quadruple the voltage to up to 16 volts. If you add later a Royer circuit, you may end up with the amazing 900 volts. You can experiment with different types of circuit boards, and if you have access to different refurbished gadgets you can dismantle them and test their boards.
A few words of caution
Either way, a circuit board plus a battery set will take you anywhere into your journey of making a taser. It’s very important to be cautious first before being too curious. Also, it’s best to handle this manual operation always with some thick rubber gloves, especially for working with electrical circuit boards, or you risk to get electrocuted yourself.
You may also have to check the laws and regulations in your country, state or region, since some of these devices may be illegal. This means that if you want to use this gadget on the street you may have trouble later with the local authorities. Never carry this in public as well, even if you don’t use it. It’s a potentially deadly weapon and you may be in serious trouble.
Keep these items away from children and animals (especially if you have them at home). It’s also best to keep the taser in a folder or casing, and have the battery removed at all times when you don’t use it. Even if it’s far from children’s reach, they may still have the imagination of finding it.
And finally, don’t play with this item. Most of them, as already pointed, are a constant current, which means they can rip your body’s tissues to pieces and damage permanently vital organs, and eventually kill the person/animal within seconds. This is especially true if you use a circuit board from a powerful device. We will not be held responsible if you hurt yourself by making and using one of the above tasers.