If it's stupid and it works, then it's not stupid! This Marx Generator was built for free using wet sticks from my garden, and homemade Leyden Jar-style Soda bottle capacitors. The bottles are filled with salt water, and the outside is wrapped in foil. If you want to go extra ghetto, you can use foil from a Garlic Bread loaf like I did, and salt water from the ocean. The only thing that actually costs anything is the ZVS flyback driver (which costed $16), but you can also run it from a CRT television that has its tube unplugged (but the TV won't last very long). I found my CRT Flyback on the street. This Marx Generator's output is approximately 100-120 kilovolts as each capacitor holds roughly 30 kilovolts when it sparks. The four capacitors are connected in series via the spark gap.
Also included in this video is a test of various electrolytes in one of the Leyden Jar capacitors. This was by popular request. The capacitor in this case was not connected to the Marx Generator in any way, it was just an independent test to see which electrolyte was best for my purposes.
→It works just as well as a regular Marx Generator. This one is only four stages but its spark length is 5-6cm, which is quite decent.
→It costs literally nothing. Real Marx generators usually cost $100 for a decent one.
→The capacitors are actually very tolerant of high voltages, and the sticks can be easily replaced.
→It's absolutely huge in comparison to a Marx generator that uses proper components
→The sticks catch on fire and have to be re-wetted every now and then
→It's probably more dangerous than a regular Marx Generator
→It's dodgy and ugly
The idea for this project came from Kreosan, a channel run by two Ukrainian electricians. It is the PhotonicInduction of Europe! They too made a Marx generator using sticks, however they did use real Pulse capacitors rather than my jimmy-rigged foil bottles. They also used more stages later. In the first part of their video, they only used four stages and got very similar results to my Marx Generator.
Kreosan's channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/kreosan
Kreosan's Marx Generator video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRgYai6FlCQ
Marx Generator Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx_generator