TCBFW Teslathon 2001

This is temporary storage for the TCBFW Teslathon pics I took with my Olympus C-3000z.  All of the time exposure pics are 1 sec or 2 secs in duration.  As usual, I forgot my tripod so some pics are blurry from excessive camera motion.  All images have been resized to 800x600.  I can supply the original 2048 x 1536 of most images upon request.  This page will be improved as time permits.  I didn't take pictures of my gear or the other TCBFW gear that is pictured on the main TCBFW page. 
I only documented the "new stuff" here.   Ross 9/24/01

Ted Rosenberg's Haunted House Coil

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Ted's Coil that he made for the
Hangman's House of Horrors
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This shot shows the bottom end of the coil and the triggered spark gap

Misc HV Stuff

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Phil's new tube coil.  Note the new primary and grid modulation circuit.  (Everyone picked on his old primary because it melted every time he ran)
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Phil's Thyratron Demo.  The HV PSU is charging a cap to ~30KV.  The thyratron dumps the cap through the flourescent light and makes it strobe.
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Ross' NST coil with Fiberprobes attached.  The probes allow accurate measurement of primary current and voltages.

Pulsed Power Experiments

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Bill's Emery's Pulse Rig
4 Caps rated at 14.5uF & 40KV
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Now we bus in Phil's caps
(8) 14.5 uF caps at 40 kv is 92.8 kj
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Now we slightly overvolt the stack!
(8) 14.5uF caps at 41.5 kv is 99.89 kj
( This is over 10X more power than my quarter shrinker! )
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The medallion in the containment
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Bill has charged the stack to 41.5KV and is getting ready to fire.
Note the special high voltage safety apparatus that Bill is wearing on his right hand.  It was necessary because the case of the varaic was arcing to the floor - we didn't waste time looking into it since Bill we knew Bill was totally safe with his special glove :-)

Aron's Tesla Coil - Components.  See Aron & Justin's Page.

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Aron's Coil
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Aron was contracted to build this beautiful coil and RSG.  We tested it for the first time using the Warthog PSU and cap bank.
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Aron's Tesla Coil - Initial Tuning and First Run

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Faraday Shield Suit by Bill Emery - Low Power Test

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Bill gets ready to try his HV suit at low power on my NST coil
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Ain't Skeered!
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Hey, No Pain! 
Lets go for the big arcs!

Faraday Shield Suit by Bill Emery - High Power Test

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Faraday Shield Suit by Bill Emery - High Power Test, Part II (standing on a wooden palate)

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All photo credit for the following pics belongs to Dave Wightman.
You can see Dave's 2 megapixel originals at
Description and HTML by Ross-O.

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Ross-O's Tube Coil

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Tube Coil Upper Deck

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Tube Coil Power Controller

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Coil running at 7KW making 28"

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Ross-O's NST Coil

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NST Coil Bottom Deck

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Depotted NST making 14KV, 200ma


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Bert Pool's Maggie

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Bert Pool's Maggie

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Close-up of secondary

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Max admiring Bert's Hot Glue Art!

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The driver for the maggie

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The gap and capacitor

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Bottom end of maggie

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Things are busy in the barn!

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Warthog Ballast (see specs)

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Warthog gap and primary

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Close-up of Warthog Gap

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Overview of Gap

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Warthog Ballast (see specs)

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Ted's Rosenberg's Coil

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Ted's NST protection Circuit

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Phil's big current transformer

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Aron's Coil

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Aron and Ted

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Aron's Beautiful gap

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Aron's Beautiful Gap

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Bill's reworked pulse discharge rig

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Bill is getting it ready!

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Bill's field distortion switch

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Pouring oil on the caps to prevent creepage & flashover (just in case)

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Phil's reworked pusle discharge rig

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Phil's Containment.  This is the part  that he blew completely off the shelf!  Hey Bill - Phil is now the most dangerous!

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Phil's field distortion gap

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Phil's little tube coil

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Inside Bill's Containment

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Dave's little coil

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Dave's little coil

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Phil's antique bipolar coil

TCBFW Teslathon Minutes by Ross-O

-- Fri Eve --

* we played around with Phil's 4(?) stage Cockcroft-Walton multiplier fed by a 12KV distribution transformer.  I was amused with the loud screetching and hissing noise that all the sharp corners made on the C-W as the voltage at the top approached 60KV (?).

* Watched some cool video's including the Electrum documentary, the kVA Promo Video, a short film in which Brian Basura and I provided Tesla special effects, and Las Vegas Extremes II (an excellent video involving lots of street bike stunts and scantily clad women being naughty)

-- Sat --

* The day started early. Phil and I got up around 7AM, had our coffee and donuts, and started moving large equipment out of the barn so there would be space for the Warthog to make 12 foot arcs. We also patched in my 40A breaker and drop cord so I could run all my gear over in the corner of the barn.

* The next order of business was getting my tube coil to run in a less destructive manner. My VTTC ran best with much more grid power dissipation than the 150 Watt spec. Lots of empiracle testing revealed that the crazy waveform I was getting on my grid was the result of too many turns on my grid winding. Reducing the number of turns from about 18 to 8 dropped my RMS voltage from more than 1KV down to 350V. The grid current is still around 350ma but the power is much lower. The new waveform is a clean sine wave. I managed 26-28" arcs at 5KVAC and 1.45 amps on the plate.

* Bert Pool pieced together a small maggie that is a prototype of a really large one he has on the drawing board. The maggie had tuning issues and only managed 3-4 foot arcs but it was interesting to examine and play with.

* The warthog ran as always - 8 foot arcs to the walls and ceiling and the occasional 12 footer to the barn door. The guys did the usual 5+ minute runs with no problem at all. I got in a small faraday cage near the hog so I could get a better look at the arcs

* We ran 3 different pulse discharge rigs on Saturday. My small unit is 10KV, 178uf, 8.9KV. Bill's unit uses (4) 11KJ, 40KV caps in parallel. We slowly marched up to 44KJ with his rig to test out the gap, containment, etc. Bill shattered a nickel at 44KJ. Phil also has (4) of the 11KJ caps on his rig so Bill decided to wheel Phil's rig over an parallel it with his own. We then had 88KJ of energy at 40KV. The loud hiss of corona and some occasion popping noises filled the room as the capacitor bank neared 40KV. Bill wanted a nice even 100KJ so he charged the cap to 41.5KV. The resulting bang was much louder than a gunshot and video shows that the 450lb lid of the containment hopped 6-8" in the air! This is probably the most energy that any hobbyists has ever fired! We had a huge medallion in the chamber to see if it would shrink although the real goal was just to try to charge and switch that much power without losing any system components. It was one hell of a bang!

First quote of the day as the cap bank is charging:
[Bystander] - "DO you guys hear that popping noise? Is that normal?"
[Bill] - "Yeah, don't worry about it. Stay down"

* Ted Rosenberg brought his Haunted House coil over with the triggered spark gap. The coil needed much more topload and is a great candidate for more input power. The coil is beautifully constructed and managed 2-3 ft arcs with a single unmodified NST.

2nd quote of the day:
[Aron to Ted] - "Well... When you decide you want bigger arcs, Give me a call..."

* Phil had a triggered thyratron set up to dump a small cap across a flourescent tube. It was interesting to see standard flourescent tube being used as a flash tube. The thyratron and driver was a neat thing to see for those of us who had never seen one operating.

* Aron demonstrated a small flyback driven CW multiplier that he built for Phil for last year's Teslathon.

* I connected my fiberprobe set to my NST coil and demonstrated how to make primary current and voltage measurements through the isolated fiber-optic link. 

* The largest challenge of the evening involved scavenging components from the Warthog and other coils to complete a large 12" diameter x 6 foot long coil that Aron built. Aron trucked in the base, secondary, and rotary spark gap. Phil supplied the caps from the Warthog and a stack of toroids that were laying about. The toriods were much to small for the secondary but larger toroids were not on hand and Aron probably didn't have enough turns on the primary to tune the toroid from the hog using the hog's capacitors. Wires were ran out from the hog's power controller to the coil. A little tuning resulted in white-hot 8-10 foot arcs to the barn. We relocated the coil so that the nearest point to the barn was 11 feet and it still sprayed arcs all over the barn. Great Job Aron!

* The moment of truth - Bill tries out his Faraday cage suit! Early runs were against my small NST coil. The suit handled the 5 foot arcs from my coil with no problems so it was on to Aron's coil. The pictures tell the rest of the story. The suit performed flawlessly allowing Bill to take 8 Ft arcs to the head without even the smallest tickle or shock.

* The day wound down around midnight as the last coilers packed their gear and headed home. 

I hate disclaimers but I have a sneaking suspicion that someone will get inspired by these photos and go hurt themselves... Do not attempt any of our experiments unless you know what you are doing and are willing to accept full responsibility for any repercussions - up to and including the death of yourself or others!  Every Tesla Coil or large capacitor is capable of causing deadly injuries or lifelong disfigurement.  We have years of knowledge and hands-on high voltage experience and it would be impossible for us to teach the necessary safety protocols via the web so we don't even try.  

 You try this + You die = Your fault.

Ross-O's Main Page  |  TCBFW Main Page  |  Contact Ross  |  Contact Phil of the TCBFW  |  Bert Pool's Website  ]