Build Static Grass Applicator

How to build your own static grass applicator.

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Start with the working end. The way it delivers grass determines how good your scenery will be.

A tea strainer is one of the best grass containers to use. Use it as it is or add a cap.

static grass tea strainer

You can also use a mason jar and add different screens. The advantage of a mason jar is that you can keep several filled with the grasses that you are using and just change you jar.

Now we have to get a static charge on the tea strainer.

So we need a static field generator.  If you are spending time making a static grass applicator, get something that you know will do what you want. And that is to have your grass standing up without having to use a vacuum cleaner.
negative ion generator

.Get something powerful like this 15 kvDC anion generator.

You want to turn your static grass applicator on and off. The switch you  use should be one of the plastic type typical of the one pictured here.

plastic switch

You are dealing with 15 K the DC will and you may get feedback if you use a toggle switch with a metal toggle. That feedback can be one heckuva jolt!. Be safe. Stay insulated.

Power? For the anion generator recommended above, 4 to 12 V DC is required.  12 V DC will give the strongest static field. Current rating is really not important. You are not building a transformer. The anion generator does not pass current. It creates a static field. .5 to 1.5 amp capacity of your power supply is sufficient.static grass power supply

Use a discarded gadget charger. Or connect to a power pack. Or to your train layout track. If you use a gadget charger, cut off the wire  tip and add banana clips.


So, we have power, a grass container, an anion generator, and the switch.


anion generator with connectors and switch

Now attach solderless connectors to three of the anion generator leads. Connect the fourth to the switch.



wire with switch

Run a short piece of wire from the switch and connect a solderless connector.




static grass applicator connected

Here is where you are now.


plastic electrical box

Now let’s put all this together in a box. A plastic electrical junction box works great. You can make something else.



Drill some holes and put on female banana clip receptacles.

Drill a hole and install the switch.


drill as a reamer

If you don’t have the drill the proper size, drill a hole smaller than the switch diameter. Then use a sander on your rotary tool to enlarge the hole. If you do not have a rotary tool, put some abrasive paper in your drill chuck and use it as a sander.


anion generator wiring diagram

Hook up your wires. To the right is a wiring diagram.




staticgrassking internal wiring expanded

staticgrassking wiring

And here is what it looks like in real life.




DO NOT CHECK OUTPUT VOLTAGES OR CURRENT OF ANY NEGATIVE ION GENAERATOR! IF YOU DO, YOU WILL BURN IT OUT.  The way to test is to make some grass patches.  If the grass does not stand up, contact the supplier of your anion generator or us for help.

Use banana clips on the ends of all power supply and container leads.

static grass applicator grounding wire

Make a grounding wire using an alligator clip and a meter or so of wire. Add a banana clip.



Plug in the power supply, grounding wire and tea strainer.
staticgrassking with strainer and power supply




You are ready to go.

If you would like to have the negative ion generator alone so that you can design and build your own static grass applicator,  Click Here.

If you would like the convenience of having all the parts for the control unit on hand,  there is a kit available. Click Here.

And if you would like to have the control unit assembled for you so that all you have to do is add the power supply and grass container, here is a link to an assembled control unit. Click Here.


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