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May 14, 2002
11:40 AM   Subscribe

Bert Hickman has a ten inch diameter Tesla coil powered from two neon sign transformers in his screened-in (but unheated) porch, along with a device that produces magnetic fields strong enough to shrink coins. One of the byproducts of the coin-shrinking: an eight inch ball of plasma.
posted by tranquileye (15 comments total)

 
Neon sign transformers, come on, go pole pig:

"they are supremely dangerous. While you may survive a shock from a neon sign transformer a pole pig will surely kill you instantly. The power level is high enough that body parts can be burnt right off."

I used to know where this page was with a picture of a tesla coil in a warehouse that was like 15 feet tall with 12-17' streamers coming out of it, but I can't find it.
posted by jeb at 12:17 PM on May 14, 2002


The quarter-shrinking photo gallery is quite a fun diversion! Even though he sometimes uses too many! Exclamation! Points!
posted by brownpau at 12:46 PM on May 14, 2002


A warehouse at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard (now decommissioned) in San Francisco, owned by a friend of Jim "printer's friend" Heagy, has a 15-20 foot Tesla coil that does light shows in the summer (I saw lightning bolts about 100 ft long arc out of it, pretty neat stuff).
posted by luriete at 1:40 PM on May 14, 2002


I've seen that too luriete. At an SRL show in SF.
http://www.srl.org/shows/austin/show/tesla6.JPEG
posted by culberjo at 3:03 PM on May 14, 2002


Ben Hickman has a ten inch diameter Tesla coil

Oh, I thought he was just glad to meet me.
posted by billder at 4:34 PM on May 14, 2002


Glad that I wasn't that guy's parents when he was a curious toddler!
posted by HTuttle at 4:41 PM on May 14, 2002


There's some very cool stuff here (scroll down), starting with some pics.
posted by mikhail at 8:59 PM on May 14, 2002


oh yeah, and CD zapping.
posted by mikhail at 9:00 PM on May 14, 2002


This is all very cool, and dang impressive. However, everybody seems to just be zapping coins and assorted bric-a-brac, to no good end. At the risk of stirring up a "Tesla was an unappreciated genius!" debate, what practical applications does any of this have?
posted by yhbc at 9:05 PM on May 14, 2002


yhbc: At the risk of stirring up a "Tesla was an unappreciated genius!" debate, what practical applications does any of this have?

Practical? Well... you could always blow up 500,000 acres of Siberian forest with a force equal to 1,000 Hiroshimas from the opposite side of the globe... :)
posted by hincandenza at 9:35 PM on May 14, 2002


"...what practical applications does any of this have?"

It (the Tesla coil) had/has[?] alot to do with the wireless transmission of energy. There's a nice look at Tesla at Master of lightning. with some interesting interviews such as this one, discussing the ups and downs of Tesla's ideas and theories.
posted by mikhail at 9:53 PM on May 14, 2002


Thank you, mikhail - after skimming the links, I know I will enjoy taking a deeper look at them. But, Tunguska? Occam's razor says it was probably a meteor, hincandenza.
posted by yhbc at 9:59 PM on May 14, 2002


I know it probably was (although the lack of a crater...?)- I was kidding! Geez, doesn't anyone read title attributes anymore? :)
posted by hincandenza at 10:58 PM on May 14, 2002


That looks like the thing Man or Astroman used to pull out for the end of their shows. I asked on of the guys in the band about it after they stopped using it & he said that the insurance company found out about it & freaked. :(

Yep, just looked at thier site & under "Astro_Technology" (sorry can't link to it cause of the evil frames), it has a broken link to "Tesla Coils." It must have been much lower power than the coin shrinking one (I hope).

It looked fucking great though, in a tiny club with these crazy lightning bolts shooting around.
posted by password at 11:15 PM on May 14, 2002


Dean Kamen plans to build a 400 foot coil in southern Idaho which will broadcast power to the next generation of Segways. Advance word is that "they will build worlds around it".
posted by Opus Dark at 11:42 PM on May 14, 2002


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