Hey guys I'm trying to make a device that heats up fairly high to heat up coals. The coals are fairly small maybe the size of a half dollar. I wanted to make something simple and wanted to know if i could take a cigarette lighter coil and connect it straight to a battery or would i have to make a circuit and a separate heating coil.The power supply could be anything but preferably 5-12 volts.
Your average car cigarette lighter is designed to just connect directly to a 12V power supply (car battery) through a fuse (for safety). It will draw quite a bit of current, so if you want to switch it on/off by an Arduino you will need something to do that for you - a high current MOSFET, or BJT would do the job.
If you make your own you'll need nichrome wire - it doesn't burn away when red-hot and it keeps a fairly constant resistance as it heats (unlike most metals whose resistance increases with temperature).
There are tables of nichrome wire (resistance/unit length versus diameter) on the internet somewhere.
Nichrome Wire characteristics and pricing on small quantities...