Posted 2010.12.07 20.07 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

What do you get when you mix electronics, boredom, a pinch of depression, and a warped sense of humour? Well, an Ow!Box! is one possibility…

Yes, it’s a fun-for-all-ages way to cause a little pain — without leaving any pesky scars or evidence. Just touch the two screwheads and crank up the juice. How long can you last? How much can you take?

Impress your friends, baffle your family, make it into a drinking game, or just wire up some chairs around the house.

The function is simple: Power from a 9v battery is run through a 555 timer chip to create DC pulses. These pulses are used to trigger a simple transister, which tweaks the primary winding of a step-up transformer. The secondary winding of the transformer is wired to the neon bulb as well as the touch contacts. A BNC port also allows the signal to be routed….elsewhere.

Put in a fresh battery, turn it on, and have fun!


  1. Your name says:

    1) Reed switch.
    2) One of those cheap ‘magician’ magnetic rings disguised as jewelry.
    3) Fun. More fun than you would ever have expected, really.

  2. Robert says:

    Hi – have you got a circuit for this? eg what frequency are you running the 555 at, are you simply driving the transformer from the 555 output via a transistor, and do you know what the transformer primary/secondary ratio is? I’ve been trying something like this with an audio transformer but without much luck so far.

  3. catkinjunior says:

    schematics ? are generally considered helpful

  4. Stephanie says:

    I don’t have schematics or details on the circuit for this. It was actually from a kit – like amongst the educational kits for kids, eg. 1 watt mono audio amp, LED flashers, long duration timers, and oh hey an electric pain generator.

  5. Jake says:

    How to modify to construct a device that will shock/scare away deer when they come to munch on my rose bush. Place on stake inside bush, nose touches wire and they are gone – hopefully for good.

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