Geek alert: Tesla Coil
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Audio Redneck

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Ok, so the truth is I'm a computer geek, nerd, what have you. I even have a door placard with my name and "Computer Geek". And needless to say, I am into almost anything that has to do with electricity. And since I am a member of our local Mid America Science Museum, I got invited to the reception, last night, for our newest display:

A one-to-one replica of the Tesla Coil, at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, California. The one at GPO was built in the late '20's. While not the largest, these are two of only three built to Tesla's original design specs.

The only other unit like this is at Fry's Electronics in Fremont, CA. (Seems the builder is buddies with Kevin Fry and has build several "classical" displays for his stores.) After a reception and a short video about Nicola Tesla, we heard a brief lecture by Bill Wysock who, along with his fiancée, built this unit.

We then went over to the display for 1,500,000 Volt demonstration. (I kept waiting for the dinosaur skeleton to start moving and someone scream "It's Aliiive!
) Unfortunately, I had to get the kids home so I couldn't hang around to speak with Wysock. Wysock will also be doing the restoration of the GPO coil scheduled for 2005.

This is now part of our permanent displays. Here is a like to some pics of the coil at Fry's The only notable difference between it and ours is that our Faraday cage is alot more open, making the coil and lighting easier to view.

(end Geek Alert)
 
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chadbang

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Very cool. I like the Fry electronics pics. I've never seen a good clear picture of a Tesla coil before. My friend wrote a film script about Tesla (currently with Danny DeVito's Jersey films) and I helped him research it (I hunted down weather control tapes by a former Colonel - strange stuff- and some other hard to find books, but I guess I never saw a good picture of a Tesla coil. Now that I'm looking at it, are those "plasma" light that you see - the little glass globes - partially based on Tesla's coil? They look similar with the spherical emitter. That a really beautiful item. Telsa may have thought it safe, but I'm not going anywhere near those 1,500,000 volts. As Bela Lugosi said in "Ed Wood" "Get dat away from me! One of those ******* things burned the hell out of me on Chandu the Magician!" or something along those lines.
 
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Audio Redneck

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Yes about the plasma lights. Just achived a little differently and with the aid of some gas (Mid America has had one of those since they opened in the early '80s - now it has a big brother
).

As far as safty, its really pretty safe If Properly Built and Tested . Here is a pic from the Tesla Technology Research web site (the builders).


this is a 13million volt Model 13.

Check out the desktop sized Model 1

The sole purpose of the faraday cage is to contain the electrical noise these things put out and keep people from touching it (to protect the coil).
 
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andrzejpw

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hehehehe, we have one at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA. I do presentations with it.
Stop by sometime on a Sunday. So much fun to scare people with.
 
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wallijonn

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i wonder, is this the basis of the plasma cannon that the gov'n'mt is using to blow holes in the ozone layer?
 
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andrzejpw

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Lol, no, its Tesla's idea to transmit electricity wirelessly.
 
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joelongwood

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I live about two miles from Tesla's laboratory in Shoreham on Long Island. My wife has joined with a group of people to try and preserve this building and turn it into a science museum. From what I know about Tesla, he got the royal shaft from his fellow scientists, chief among whom was Thomas Edison. A real shame, as today's school kids have no idea who he was and what he contributed.
 
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bootman

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Quote:

Originally posted by joelongwood
I live about two miles from Tesla's laboratory in Shoreham on Long Island. My wife has joined with a group of people to try and preserve this building and turn it into a science museum. From what I know about Tesla, he got the royal shaft from his fellow scientists, chief among whom was Thomas Edison. A real shame, as today's school kids have no idea who he was and what he contributed.


Sad, but true.


There was a good PBS special on him.

Telsa: Master of Lightning
 
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Audio Redneck

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Quote:

Originally posted by bootman
Sad, but true.


There was a good PBS special on him.

Telsa: Master of Lightning


Yep. Our display shows a 5min snapshot of that PBS special and sells the complete 90min version and book in the gift shop.

Edison was convinced that AC was too dangerous. Westinghouse pretty much built his business off of Tesla's patents. Oh, and Marconi didn't invent radio - he just worked out the bugs of Tesla's ideas because Tesla was busy giving us AC electricity. Seems everybody made money off of Tesla's ideas but Tesla.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Audio Redneck
[Check out the desktop sized Model 1


Screw the desktop size, I wants me a Model 13. Finally something to keep the squirrels down off of my trees and birdfeeders.
 
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grinch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Audio Redneck
Check out the desktop sized Model 1


man is that ****ing sexy. i'd get one for my desk here at work to show coworkers, but i bet my mg head would pickup even more odd signals then.
 
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Audio Redneck

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Yeah, that model one would be perfect for the old "pretending to be electrocuted" gag. "This is like those plasma globes without the glass - perfectly safe. Watch......aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaattttttuuuuuuurrrrnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiittt tttttoooofffffffffffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
 
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mezzman

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Check out Dr. Megavolt .
I saw him live at the Burning Man festival in Nevada this summer and it was quite amazing to see 15'+ bolts of lightning shooting out of this thing! He even held a 40" flourescent tube to the coil and it lit up with an incredible intensity before bursting into flames!


Also take a peek at The Advanced Lightning Facility !
 
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eric343

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I used to be a bit of a Tesla freak; I've still got two tabletop models (one's REALLY tiny, about 1.5" diameter and runs off a regular tiny HV tranny) and a Wimshurst generator.

I'd LOVE to see one of those in operation



Oh, and Joelongwood, I wish your wife great success. (I REALLY envy you, seeing that lab would be really cool...) And spread the word about Tesla, since you're a teacher yourself you're in a position to 'help the cause'...
 
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andrzejpw

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mmm, wimshursts machines are fun as well.
Quite fun when you connect the Lyden jars. . .
 
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