A small plasma (glow discharge) based ion source and circuit are described in this work. The ion source works by producing a high voltage pulsed discharge between two electrodes in a pressure range of 50-100 mTorr. A third mesh electrode is used for ion extraction. The electrodes are small stainless steel screws mounted in a MACOR ionization chamber in a linear arrangement. The electrode arrangement is driven by a circuit, design for low power operation. This design is a proof of concept intended for applications on small cylindrical ion traps. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.