The Grassinator!

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by Raildig, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

    [size=+1]Ztrains Homemade Static Grass Generator[/size]


    Maybe it's the January doldrums but the forums seem to be a bit slow recently. If you're looking for a really useful and relatively inexpensive project to get you going... how about a static grass applicator?

    I found the plans for this applicator online... here is a direct link to the downloadable PDF:
    Static Grass Plans in PDF Format

    I've made a few minor changes from the PDF plans but it is essentially the same unit as in the PDF. If you do make this however I would avoid using the 9VDC battery and go with the 12VDC wall wart as the power supply.

    The whole unit is relatively inexpensive to build and it really works well. As with anything electrical... be careful when building and using.

    Have Fun!

    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2008
  2. david f.

    david f. TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    i've wanted to mess with one of these for a while now.
    dave f.
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I posted that fly zapper from Gold Mine many months ago on a post. Glad someome made something from it.

    Depending on the input circuitry, the 12v adapter could give significantly more effective energy than the 9:12 ratio. Most wall-warts have poor filters = high ripple = higher peak voltages. And wall-warts are rated for Volts @ Load. If the load is light, you'll get even more volts. Measuring a typical 12v adapter with no load, using virtually any meter type will read ~15V. 9V adapters will read closer to 12V with no load. So any adapter from 9-12V should work, as long as it is rated for at least 100ma (0.1A). But using a 12V 1A (1000ma) isn't really going to get you any more than a 500ma version.

    Very nice design though. I'm impressed how you got that tall grass to all stand up so well. I haven't tried taller grass yet, only he really short stuff.
  4. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member


    This design uses the Electronic GoldMine 15,000 volt output negative ion generator rather then the bug zapper's 1500-2000 volt output:


    I've never tried the bug zapper for static grass but I can say this this design works very well.

    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
  5. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Forgive the ignorance on this end, but what is the ion generator? Is that the 9 volt battery or wall wart?

    Electrically challenged and also in other areas,
  6. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

    Hi Loren,

    Here's the negative ion generator itself:
    12VDC (15kV Output) Negative Ion Generator-The Electronic Goldmine

    I'm definitely not too knowledgeable with electronics (which is why I was happy to find the PDF above!)... here's a bit of text from Wikipedia:

    "An air ionizer is a device which uses high voltage to ionize, or electrically charge, molecules of air. Negative ions are particles that temporarily contain an extra electron, causing the entire molecule to possess a negative electrical charge."

    Mostly... it works :)

    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
  7. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

    I prefer to place a cat (short hair) on my layout, near some fresh glue and zap it with a Taser :eek:) Loren raises all my "scratch" building supplies.

  8. david f.

    david f. TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    short or long ... i'm just entertained by the image of tazing the cat!
    can you tell i'm a dog person?
    dave f.
    "i like cats ... they taste like chicken."
  9. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    David, isnt it funny that everything taste like chicken. Rattle snake, gator, and now, cats. If it taste like chicken, then I rather eat chicken.
  10. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter


    I'm not the one raising all those's Karin's fault.

    First time I catch kitty kitty on one of my modules then I'm going to invite David over for some BBQ feline patties. Static charge be hanged!

    One question though, how many lives of a cat does one good jolt from a taser count for anyway?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  11. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    this is really cool. hope you don't mind that i referenced to this topic in the n-scale section.
  12. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter


    I've gone and spent my bongo dollars and will begin collecting my other items.
    I noticed that you used a slightly smaller container to hold the grass.....looks like some sort of tupperware or the like container?

    You know, if you really wanted to be the kiddie's pal and earn extra bonus points and be considered the all time 'most helpful sort of chap' type of guy, maybe you could post some pictures of your assembly methods......that is, if you took some pictures.

    Reason I ask is because I'm a little fuzzy on how you wire the thing up.....remember, some of us are electrically challenged........well, at least I admit I am.

    Sure looks like the cat's pajamas though.
  13. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

    Hey John

    Great gadget, and i definatly want to make one..... i'v been wanting to buy the Nock one for a while now, but have been short on $$$$$$. So this is right up my ally.

    Question; One the site you listed with the assembly instructions, it has a link to the "electronic goldmine" for the ion generator. How did you find the right part on that vast site??? I typed in ion generator in the seach protion, and came up with 19+ pages of parts!!!!!!!

    Any help on the make and model of ion generator you used, and where you got it would realy help...... Thanks in advance.

    Tony B....
    Wasatch Z Club
  14. animek

    animek TrainBoard Member

    I can see it on CNN " A group of Z scale modelers all got electrocuted and died in their basement, because they all tempered with some grass applying device without knowing zip about electricity, but they all died happy with a smile on their face since they had achieved a long life dream":bear-laugh:

    I can see the dude at The Electronic Goldmine received all those orders for the ion generator, and going " What the heck is going on here?"

    Just joking, this is something I wanted to try since a few years now.

    Thanks for the links and the PDF file John

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2008
  15. RSmidt

    RSmidt TrainBoard Member

  16. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter


    I posted the suggesting in a past Applicator post and also as a discreet post idea. I get the flyers monthly.
  17. J o e

    J o e TrainBoard Member

    I finally made my own and it works! This was a lot better than spending $110+ for the Noch version.

    Attached Files:

  18. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Looks good Joe. Let's see some fields grow !

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