ZapCage Version 2.0

ZapCage 2.0 Technical Specification

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 1 week

This is the improved version of ZapCage 1.0 that combines the power supply with the cage unit. I found this to be a better design for my purpose and made it a lot less cumbersome to operate. This was a lesson I learned a few weeks after using the bug zapper and decided to make the integration.

To learn how to build the cage, please refer to page1 and page2 of the previous build.

The photos above shows the two modules of the previous version of the bug zapper.

To make the integration, I had to make sure that there was enough room under the top endcap to fit the battery and the circuitry. The battery was a little high and could not be enclosed under the endcap so I had to make a cutout in the board so that it could fit.

I made the cutout for the battery at a location that would not interfere with the place of the other components such as the driver circuit board, the capacitor cluster, transformer, etc.

I only needed a clearance space of a 1/4" for the battery to fit, so the depth of the battery tray is a 1/4", the thickness of the board. The battery tray is made from a clear flexible plastic cover used for folders. I used this material because it was thin, waterproof and strong enough to hold the battery.

The battery tray is hot glued in place and a quick test proved that everything fits perfectly.

I found that the previous version of the ZapCage caught the insects in the mesh but didn't zap them as I thought. It turns out that commercial bug zappers uses a much higher voltage at around 2000V or more and this was essential in producing the spark and loud zap.

To produce a much higher voltage, I decided to use the voltage tripler from a non-functional mosquito zapper to triple the input voltage. The potential difference across the mesh of a typical mosquito zapper is 1485V and the driving circuit operates at 20.67kHz.

I desoldered the wires from the circuit board connected to the mesh and wall connector. This unit had a bad transformer and I had no replacement for it so it was rendered useless.

To obtain the voltage tripler, I desoldered the transformer from the circuit board and cut the board right in between the two rows of holes where the transformer mounted.

The picture shown above is the voltage tripler/multiplier. You can also see a schematic here. I also desoldered the reservoir capacitor (the large one) because I was replacing it with the electrolytic capacitor cluster.

The fuse for the circuitry remained the same from the lantern and was hot glued down at a suitable place. The fuse of coarse prevents the circuit from overloading and catching fire.

To accommodate the much larger voltage increase, the capacitor bank voltage capacity had to be increased. This was done by adding 4 more 200V reservoir capacitors in series to the existing ones to make a total voltage capacity of 1800V. Since the mesh will be operating at about 1500V, the capacitors had a safety margin of about 300V.

The input wires for the voltage multiplier is soldered to the contacts on the circuit board where the output leads for the transformer was soldered and the capacitors soldered at the opposite end.

The multiplier was also hot glued down securely and the input wires connected to the tube's electrical wires and driver circuit as shown in the top right picture above.

Next was mounting the mains transformer that charged the battery. I found that placing the transformer in front of the battery was the best place to mount it since the power cord came in through the top endcap just above it.The transformer was a little tall, so I made a small groove in the top surface and screwed it down.

To place the power switch and charge indication LEDs, I decided to place them just in front of the carrying handle since it was real convenient to reach with my thumb while carrying.

The LEDs were then hot glued in place on the endcap and the wires soldered to the switch. The LEDs had to be desoldered from the circuit board and extended by wires to be installed in the endcap. The driver circuit board is also secured to the base plate with hot glue.

I formed a knot in the power cord after inserting in through the hole and hot glued it in place. The wires were then connected to the transformer and insulating caps were screwed on as shown above.

This is the final layout of all the components after everything was hot glued in place. There were no interference of the top endcap and any other components and every thing was well placed.

This is what the finished product looks like when it is charging the battery. The red LED illuminates when the battery is fully charged.

This is what I originally envisioned what the final product would look like and now it finally does. It proves to be a lot more portable since it is now one unit rather that two.

Click here to see the finished product of the previous version.