Bug Zapper


Active Member
Normaly i am good at these special efx rigs but here is a problem i can not seem to solve.

A bug zaper ie. this thingy http://www.mosquitozapper.com/bk25.jpg

I have one in full veiw of the audiance and i need it to "zap" on cue what is the best way of acomplishing this?

my ideas on the subject:

1- a pice of meat on a pully that can be pulled in to the contact on commmand

2- a well timmed sound effect combined with a well placed and geld birdy behind it.

other then that i have no other ideas and this is a crucial part of the design of the show.

What are your sugestions.

maybe using a peice of meat and a little servo and using the reciver and controler from an r/c car or something could work. as long as the arm you use to connect the meat to the servo is insulated you should have no problem
if your using a tiny little servo you should be able to zap the meat quite fast and be able to pull it away fast with little to no noise from the servo
Have someone stand offstage and throw a rasin into it. OR if it's too far away get a slingshot and shoot one in. Go to Wal-Mart and buy a RistRocket for like $5.00. They are very accurate.
CHScrew said:
Have someone stand offstage and throw a rasin into it. OR if it's too far away get a slingshot and shoot one in. Go to Wal-Mart and buy a RistRocket for like $5.00. They are very accurate.

the problem with that is what if you miss? not only will you mess up the cue, but you may hit someone.
and im sure people will be saying that when someone sues for being attacked by an audience member or some cast member.

not to mention, chances are, youll miss your target at least one time.
Why not run a small wire (via a switch), between the grids so that it creates a small enough gap between the grids to allow an arc when activated (thus simulating a bug being zapped)?

I would use a relay to control it, so as to isolate the switch from the actual wire being used to create the short. This way, you protect the person using the switch.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to set up but will take a bit of adjustment in positioning the wires as you would need a small gap between one end of the wire and the grid would to get the zap. Otherwise, it would just be a dead short.
Sory the sling shot is out plus it wouldnt conduct enought electricity to work as it has little to no water content.

The wire sounds intresting what would the schematic look like?

My thoughts would be to use this schematic:


Remember to ensure that you are extremely careful when working on this and obviously unplug the bug zapper when doing this and when making any adjustments.

Make sure that you wire the relay so that you use the NO (normally open) connections on the switch, not the NC (normally closed) connections, which would result in a short/arc as soon as power was applied to the relay coil.

I would strongly recommend testing it on a protected circuit.
Well making it work with DMX is going to be one hell of a challenge unless you have a DMX operated switch already in your inventory. The other option for control form the booth would be to use a switch pac and then supply power to the relay using an AC to DC power pack and then leave out the momentary action switch. Thus, when switching on the power pack you activate the relay.

However, my thought was to simply use a long lead between the switch/DC power and the bug zapper/relay, so that it can be triggered from off stage. I still think this is the easiest and most practical option. The relay should be easy to hide on the top of the bug zapper or even inside the top of it and the cable coming from the relay and going to the control unit can be tied to the cable for the bug zapper.

I have updated my schematic to better reflect the separation of the two components.

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