Thinking of building my own home Electrolysis device

Nohair, you said you built one already? how do you do it, i kinda know how to follow a elec. diagram, but how do i actually put it together like you did? thanks…

Katrina, you can usually get the stuff you need at a radio shack or hobby store. A circuit board and the components and voila! For most of us, it’s easier and maybe even cheaper just to get a One Touch for $30.

Well i was thinking about doing that, but some of the areas i want to do, would require a smaller needle on it, so thats why i thought building one might work too, but i’ve never built anything that worked before, so i just wondered if someone already has something built or has adapted a smaller needle on a One touch by now…i have a unit and replacement needles on order still, its been 3 weeks now, hopefully i’ll get soon…

It’s pretty easy to assemble your own, fairly professional galvanic unit. No circuit boards needed. You’ll see from the initial diagram in this thread, that the circuit is just a simple single circuit. Mainly it’s just handy to have a small plastic box to hold the parts together. I started off with a professional probe and selected a uni-probe stylus from and I ordered it with a banana plug end as the jacks that they would mate to are easily available from Radio Shack. I also got a box of 3M (0.003 diameter of medium length) needles (you can use any size you think might work better) so there’s about $50 for the professional part. So there’s the “Tip of Needle” equipment in the diagram. was pretty quick at getting me my order.

I found a small project box at Radio Shack that holds a 9 volt battery. I wired the jack for the needle to one battery terminal. The other battery wire goes to a $2 potentiometer mounted to the project box. A 10k will do just fine, but a 25k or 50k can also work if you think you’ll be wanting to use very low settings for less pain and longer periods of time.

The ammeter portion is optional. I mounted some speaker jacks to the box from Radio Shack that the ammeter probe can plug into. You need an ammeter that can read low enough settings as we’re dealing with very low amperage and the $20 Radio Shack fits the bill. After a while you’ll probably get a good feel of the potentiometer settings you need and won’t need the ammeter and you can just jump the terminals for the ammeter with a stiff wire to keep the circuit complete.

I then used another banana jack and plug (they come in pairs from Radio Shack anyway) which I ran a wire with a simple alligator clip (insulation not required) on the other end to clip onto a sponge. That’s pretty much it.

You then plug in the ammeter (if included in the project) and set it to the lowest DC amperage setting, turn the potentiometer to about 10k (you can make 1k marks on the project box by measuring with the ohm-meter portion of the ammeter). Insert the needle in a follicle and step on the sponge soaked in salty water to complete the circuit through your body. Remember the 0k setting on the potentiometer is full amperage and the highest setting, which could burn you rather quickly; that’s why the above diagram with a 7k resistor makes sure you’ll never get full amperage but it may also limit getting a higher setting than you may want at times. A 10k setting would be about the same as the lowest setting on the one touch.

I also attached an external battery jack for using a 12 volt rechargeable battery, which is cheaper in the long run than burning up 9 volt batteries. You could also include a jack for an external foot switch and attach the sponge to your ankle with some Velcro.

Well I finally got my one touch in the mail, and i tried to do some hairs on my arm, but i wasn’t sure how to do it very well, cause when i put it next to the hair, it felt like i stabbed myself with a needle, i was told its just supposed to slide in really easily, but i had to puh it in, and it kinda felt the same as just pushing a needle into your arm, so what am i doing wrong?

Katrina, you may be inserting it too deeply or at the wrong angle. The width of the probe makes those things harder to use on fine hairs-- start on thicker ones. It takes a lot of practice, which is why many of us just pay for a pro to do it right the first time.

Well i have a phobia of needles, and every time i try, i kinda get it in, but not all the way, so i think the needle may be too big too, i still haven’t actually completed a current yet on any, cause i want to make sure i have it in correctly, but i can’t seem to get the angle or anything

Hi everyone

I heard good things about one touch
But what I’m worryed about Is you have to
do one hair at a time & What I heard
It would take forever to pull all of my air
one by one . It that true or it is missleading
info that I’m receiving & Does those patches work
on finally free igia systems
I’m trying to learn as much as I can . roc

[ July 29, 2003, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: roc853 ]

Electrolysis is always one hair at a time. Galvanic electrolysis takes from 15 seconds to several minutes for treatment. Some multi-needle pro machines allow you to set up to 16 needles at once to speed things up, but you insert each one, one at a time. Blend is quicker per hair, but still one hair at a time. With the One Touch (a galvanic device), I generally did 45 to 60 seconds of treatment per hair, plus there’s more time cleaning and preparing for the next hair, so it’s pretty slow. But the results are permanent, so unlike temporary methods, once it’s done, you don’t have to do it again. See for more tips.

Patches do not work and Igia is famous for selling scams that don’t work.

I have some comments to those considering building their own electrolysis device. I have accumulated a great deal of experience in this area, and did most of my facial work myself. My first machine was a voltage regulating (Similar to One-Touch) galvanic device. I found that regulating the voltage does not work well, and is potentially hazardous. This is due to variation in contact resistance at the current return point between the skin and the anode, which causes the current at the follicle to fluctuate wildly. To overcome this problem, I researched a way to create a current regulating circuit. My first circuit worked very well, and would work with a 9-volt battery. The drawback was the cost of the circuit was prohibitive. Due to my engineering background, I was able to produce a circuit that is cheap to build, and has all the features that would make home electrolysis safe, and effective. Below I have listed the specifications of the device:

  1. 9-volt battery power
  2. A low battery/bad connection warning LED
  3. 4 comfort settings that automatically regulate the current and treatment time to produce safe and effective results.
  4. Replaceable Uni-Probe stylus with integral activation switch (Avoids the use of a foot peddle).
  5. Low cost (under $100)

I have tested the circuit, but due to an intervening crisis, have been delayed in producing a number of devices for trial. Please Email me at if interested. I would like to find a number of interested individuals to provide machines to for evaluation. My goal is to provide an alternative to the One-Touch, that is affordable, safe and effective.

[ September 10, 2003, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: Windy Farnsworth ]

I applaud your efforts to provide a device that is more sturdy than the One Touch. It falls apart so easily. I’ve also created my own, but do not have the time to produce a marketable competitor.

The Uni-Probe is a nice simple probe that I have used for quite a while. I would be wary of the integral activation switch in the stylus as I would be concerned that my finger would get pretty sore after an hour or two of pressing on it, but is definitely a simpler setup for marketing. Perhaps you could incorporate a jack in the main box for an optional foot switch for those that wear out their fingers. I use a cheap finger switch designed for a radio, attached to my big toe.

I’ve used a 12 volt rechargeable for several years and only have fluctuation problems if I let the battery get low, so I can understand having the warning LED. My solution is to just keep the battery adequately charged.

Another good feature would be an LED that indicates when the circuit is active. I place a small salt-watered sponge on my ankle held with a loop of velcrox with an alligator clip. After a while the sponge dries out and the treatment doesn’t produce any lye; sure enough I need to recharge the sponge. Occasionally I’ll use an amp-meter in line that would indicate the amperage, but the battery in the meter doesn’t last long and isn’t cheap, so I usually just bypass it, as with enough practice one gets to know by feeling and reactions what is working and what isn’t.

Good luck with your project. It’s a device that is really needed out there.

A couple of important points:

  1. The finger switch would only be pressed momentarily.

  2. The only safe and effective means to control treatment is to regulate the current, and the treatment time. The machine would regulate this independent of the operator. The operator would be able to set the comfort level, which would be pre-sets designed to control the treatment level to prevent skin damage.

Momentary is relative. It is usually not a second or two, but 15 to 60 seconds or so for galvanic electrolysis. I tend to press harder than really necessary, so after a couple hours (a typical treatment session for me) of crunching my finger about 100 times, I know I’ll have a sore bent finger. I’ve never had pain with a foot activated device however. It would just be a good and cheap option (just a mini-jack, e.g. Radio Shack 274-248 or 274-292) to have an alternative for those that develop sore fingers.

Also, you can’t really totally prevent skin damage. Some people can develop a “high” comfort level where they could just use the most powerful current setting and treat for much longer than necessary. The chances of doing much damage with galvanic electrolysis are slim, but can’t be easily avoided in all situations via hardware controls, unless your device is also going to automatically cut off the power at some point irregardless of the switch being activated (in which case the “active LED” would really be needed) and you’d probably have to build in additional controls to accurately time the treatment, since not all hairs require the same amount of amp-hours to succeed. The operator must still apply some skill as to the time of treatment, usually obtained without a teacher and thus a chance of doing damage to oneself until they learn what not to do. Still it does not hurt to regulate the current as the battery wears down.

If you try to automate too much, you create a device that might be too complicated for the casual user and could still be over-ridden by those that don’t follow safety instructions carefully. The One-Touch is extremely simple, just a battery and a potentiometer, with the rest left up to the user. Basically a competitive device just needs to be made sturdier (wires that don’t break after a few hours of use), uses professional probes (such as the UniProbe which are easier to use, cheaper, and readily available), and have some kind of switch other than a finger drooling salt water down into the probe area and pitting out the device. I also built in an external DC power source jack so that I could use a rechargeable battery (a 12 volt radio battery), since the 9 volt batteries wore out too fast and it got a little pricey throwing them away. I also built in the ability to attach an Amp-meter, but don’t use the option any longer. Cheap jacks that provide extra functionality if optionally desired.

Pressing the finger switch starts a timing squence. The comfort setting regulates the current and treatment time to assure safe operation. The One Touch device is dangerous because the current at the follicle is a function of the contact resistance at the anode, and the resistance of the needle, both in series. The One Touch is incapable of regulating the current to prevent skin damage and perminant scarring. The One Touch also does not regulate the on time to prevent overtreatment. The operation of my device is very simple, first choose a comfort setting, and press the finger switch. No need to watch the current with a meter. My device will use a adhesive patch that is attached to a convenient location on the body. The patch is used in EKG’s and the like. They come in boxes of 50, and are fairly cheap.


How important are the needles? A few years ago I tried constructing my own machine and for a needle I used a single strand of copper wire I took from a standard twisted wire cable. I can’t remember how I did the rest, it has been about 10 years ago, but it was basically a 12V lantern-type battery, some alligator clips and a glass of water. I would like to construct another machine and try to talk my wife into using it to remove the hair from my back. Does anyone have a link for a schematic. I know a little about circuits, but I’m not a genious like some of y’all.

The circuit is so simple it almost doesn’t need a diagram. Get a battery from 9 to 12 volts. On the postitive pole, attach a wire that connects to your body (an aligator clip on a salty wet sponge, a metal bar that is normally held in the hand, or a pad). On the negative pole, have a wire go to a $2 potentiometer of about 10k (this allows you to control the current). On the other connection of the pot, attach a wire to the needle (preferably a real stylus for about $25 and a box of professional sterile probes for about another $25), but in theory the wire strand would work. That’s the basic circuit.

Best to also include a switch somewhere to break/connect that circuit so that you can control when the current is active, such as a foot switch (which could be just stepping on the salty wet sponge if you were doing the work on yourself). You can also include a meter inside that circuit (specified in earlier posts here) if you want to monitor the actual current, but after a little practice it won’t really be needed.

Is anyone else having trouble opening the diagram??

The original diagram posted by bluespot was linked to another site and no longer exists.

I’m moving my web site and have added pictures of my home made device at