Neon Screwdriver Modification

Note: not all neon screwdrivers have a cap that unscrews!

Here is the original screwdriver with the parts disassembled.

The problem here is the tiny resistor, which is probably rated for a voltage much lower than 264 volts (the maximum single-phase mains voltage in the UK). So my solution was to replace it with two 220k resistors in series, each rated at 350 volts.

Here is the assembly: a new neon bulb soldered to two resistors. One solder joint is insulated so that the neon wires can't touch each other. There's no room for the original spring.


The final result. The right-hand resistor is hooked over and the screw cap grips it. The left-hand resistor lead is coiled so it presses against the screwdriver blade end.


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