Wires for 12000 volt transformer

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Forum topic by TFW posted 03-06-2019 05:36 PM 388 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 43 days

03-06-2019 05:36 PM

So I have been using a microwave transformer with some jumper cables to do my original Lichtenberg art. I recently came across a 12000 V neon sign transformer. I used jumper cables on the set up also but quickly noticed that the voltage was leaking through these jumper cables creating a very dangerous situation. I am a master electrician so I know the dangers that come with this type of voltage. I haven’t used the neon sign transformer again in fear of accidental electrical shock but was wondering what everyone uses for the cables on their Lichtenberg machine. I know they have 12000 – 15000 V rated cables that they sell online but most of these machines I’ve seen online or using standard jumper cables. I know they aren’t rated for 12000 volts but everyone seems to say just use jumper cables . The ones I used were kind of old so I was wondering if the insulation had just deteriorated over time or if I really need to just step it up and buy a 12000 V rated wire and clamp. I Like the clamp set up so that I do not have to touch Any live parts while the powers on. I just turn it off and then move my clamps in rods to where I need them next. Please let me know what all of you use and maybe even a link of where you got that set up from. Thank you in advance

8 replies so far

View wingless's profile


31 posts in 69 days

#1 posted 03-06-2019 05:52 PM

Glad you’re not zapped…

The high-voltage wiring is available many places, like Digi-Key. Here is one option.

It isn’t just the wiring, but the splices must contain the voltage. Things like multiple layers of adhesive shrink tubing, or other methods must be used for proper termination.

View Andybb's profile


1856 posts in 930 days

#2 posted 03-06-2019 06:15 PM

I know nothing about this other than it looks cool and scares me but was looking at this the other day. Just in case there is any info here that you can use, he includes links to what he used.
Lichtenberg microwave

Lichtenberg Wood Burning Machine Making Cables

Is it really 12,000 volts?? Yikes!! Everything I read said that even with the voltage doubler it’s no more than 5K volts as mentioned here.

Also saw this…

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View splintergroup's profile


2588 posts in 1549 days

#3 posted 03-06-2019 07:50 PM

12KV is common for neon sign transformers.

A good wire is solid core spark plug wires.

View Andybb's profile


1856 posts in 930 days

#4 posted 03-06-2019 08:00 PM

12KV is common for neon sign transformers.

- splintergroup

Oops. Sorry. I missed that tid bit.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Bill White

5188 posts in 4287 days

#5 posted 03-06-2019 08:39 PM

Just don’t kill yourself.

-- [email protected]

View panzer's profile


6 posts in 686 days

#6 posted 03-09-2019 03:36 AM

Electric fence hook up wire is rated for 20kv. If I was doing this I’d wear class 2 voltage gloves.

View PPBart's profile


69 posts in 157 days

#7 posted 03-09-2019 04:07 PM

Interesting project—but having been zapped by a motor capacitor once many years ago, I have a healthy respect for and want nothing to do with that now!

-- PPBart

View Madmark2's profile


444 posts in 915 days

#8 posted 03-09-2019 05:49 PM

Silicon spark plug wires
Read the label on the wire itself for its rated voltage – seems an electrician would know that. Neon light transformers go as high as 200kv albeit at a miniscule current, what does the wire you’re using say?
Wire is a catalog item go to any major electrical suppliers web site and spec out what you need.
I went to and looked up high voltage wire and they have stock wires to 60kv. What does the data plate on the transformer say?

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