Boost Converter
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200-450V variable power supply (with 15V input). The circuit is suitable for powering nixie tubes or charging capacitors.


This is a working device, but since there is always room for improvement, it is tagged as "work in progress".

The circuit is basically a "mashup" of a boost converter described on and example circuits described in the 555 datasheet.

The .T3001-file is a Target3001 project file containing schematic and routed two layer PCB layout.

The contains all necessary files for PCB production (if you want to order a PCB from a manufacturer)

The output from the boost converter is unregulated, so if you want to use the circuit for anything else than charging a capacitor bank, you should add an electrolytic capacitor in parallel with the output.

Warning: Some capacitors are capable of storing lethal amounts of energy for a very long time (several hours/days). Be very carful if you plan on using this as a charging circuit.

The device can be powered by a 5-15V power supply.

Component list: D1: UF4007 diode

D2: 1N4002 diode

R1: 2,2k resistor

R2: 22 k resistor

R3: 1 k trimpot


L1: 170 uH inductor

C1 4,7 nF capacitor

C2: 10 nF capacitor

C3: 47 uF electrolytic capacitor

IC2: 555 timer

The design is rather generic. If you want to experiment, you can (In addition to substituting the inductor) replace C1 to modify the frequency range. R1/R2/R3 controls frequency and duty cycle.

Update (18. May 2012): I have been using this circuit for charging a 450V/6000uF capacitor bank. To minimize the charging time, I removed diode D2. This increases the duty cycle of the 555. In a charger scenario, the initial current will most likely fry D1, and then the mosfet if you don't add a high wattage current limiting resistor on the output( I used a 47 ohm / 5W resistor). It is also a good idea to add a heatsink to the mosfet.