Re: Mark's Big Coil

You wrote: 
>	I am curious, as I'd imagine many on this group are, about your 
>giant coil. From your description it sounds like it was a very major 
>undertaking - both time-wise and financially! From what I know of my 
>Colorado Springs Notes, it sounds like your 25 ft. arcs are about as 
long as
>the longest Tesla ever reported (point to point).
>	Was there some reason for building it other than for pure fun?
>-Ed Harris

Actually, I believe Tesla reported 35 feet point-to-point and 75 feet 
if you stretched them out.  Yes, the big coil was a large undertaking 
in both ways you mention.  I did it because I wanted it to be the LAST 
coil I ever made.  This coiling thing has been a 20 year obsession with 
bursts of major efforts going on from time to time.  We just wanted to 
build something very serious and then go on with our lives with TC's 
being a done deal (yeah sure).

We (Steven Goldstein and myself) worked on it solid for about 9 months 
at Boss Film Corp.  They are a special effects house that did 
Ghostbusters, 2010, and a zillion other movies.  We had access to their 
model shop (lots of good tools and supplies), their parking lot, and 
their power.  We were invited onto their lot by their pyrotechnic guy, 
Thaine Morris (remember the flames up the elevator shaft in "Die 

The coil lives horizontally on an 18x8ft trailer.  It is raised to 
vertical by a hydraulic gantry, and then the trailer is driven away.  
The coil assembly stands 2 stories tall, the secondary winding being 4 
x 11 feet.  The idea was "Have Tesla Coil, Will Travel".  We wanted to 
build the world's biggest Tesla coil and gig with it.  Well, we did do 
a few gigs with it, such as the opening of the Nike Campus in 
Beaverton, Oregon, and the "Back to the Future III" party on the 
Universal lot, where the spark struck the clock tower on request.  We 
did "Terminator 2" with a much smaller 2.5KVA unit putting out 4 

The total cost of the big coil was $30K (choke, gasp, wheeze!)  I was 
making real good money then and thought the project would pay off.  Who 
knows, it still might.  The coil lay dormant in its trailer with flat 
tires (cue violin music) at Boss for the next 5 years.  Two weeks ago 
we moved it to where Steve is now working.  It seems it is to be 
resurrected (yay!).  Actually, we call the gantry mechanism "the 
resurrector".  I will keep all informed, and will probably be asking 
for tech advice along the way.


I'm lying, I built it for fun.