May as well add my 2 cents too although non-tesla.
About 30 years ago, when I lived in an apt. in NYC, my upstairs neighbor did
SOMETHING to screw up my TC on regular intervals. No amount of sane
So, I adjusted a rather powerful super-regenerative short wave receiver,
notorious for spurious radiation, and tuned it to the channel broadcasting
the 196X SuperBowl on my TV.
I then left it on and walked out of the apartment to another friends place
to watch the game.
Mine was not 24/7. Just long enough to achieve the results desired.
My upstairs idiot never watched even one down, much less the game.
When he casually mentioned the occurrence in the elevator the next day, I
blew it off with 'yeah, me too...'
Original Poster: Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>
At 09:11 AM 11/09/1999 -0800, you wrote:
>I understand the FCC (due to budget cutbacks) really has dropped out of the
>enforcement side of things, at least for the small guy. Anybody know
>differently? I hear lots of fear, but have yet to hear of anyone (hobbies
>level TC experimenters) actually getting busted. Now if you are operating a
>Pirate Radio station, then you do have to watch your back. I was somewhat
>concerned while experimenting with my audio modulated Tube coil that
>someone would complain, but it was really a crappy transmitter.
Well, here I go again...
I do know of one person that the FCC actually tracked down and
running a TC. He was using a continuous FET driven coil to jam his
neighbors (apartments) obnoxious radio. A local business complained after
a "few weeks" (he ran it 24-7) and the FCC happened to be in town messing
with the giant WWV transmitter here (Fort Collins, Colorado - you can tune
it in on the fillings in your teeth!) Of course, once they turned on the
fancy equipment and punched in the frequency, he was located in a matter of
minutes... The landlord kicked him out of his apartment (they had a search
warrant and all). I don't know about the fines but they were probably
trivial compared to getting the boot from his home (that's all he complains
of). Obviously, he was really asking for it. However, it IS possible to
attract the Federalies if one really tries... I think his coil was tuned
to an AM station and had an antenna arrangement to help get the signal out
For "most" of us, Tesla coils do not radiate very far or attract too
RFI attention due to their low frequencies and poor transmitting
properties. However, one must always be vigilant of people getting mad at
you and fix the situation before it goes too far. I live in a college
town where the neighbor to the right has a dog that is not in the lease.
On the left, the guy has a small TC in the garage ;-). In the back, I
don't call the cops when the beer parties go on till 4am (even IF I don't
get invited :-|)... So, I "got the goods" on them all ;-)) However, none
of them would ever suspect I run a TC in my basement aside from my
wandering to and from the garage with 5 foot long coils, toroids, hundred
pound variac stacks and such... Working in the basement of a steel sided
house eliminates practically all the RFI stuff. Living in "cable TV land"
really helps too since TVs really like to glitch at 120Hz around TCs.
Another "trick" that is really effective, is to offer to demonstrate
coil for kids and charity causes. Another local coiler was just in a big
story in the local paper running his TC for kids at the local learning
center. Obviously, a real "super nice Mr. Science kinda guy" doing neat
things to help kids get interested in science... The cops are NOT going to
bust him anytime soon!!
One IMPORTANT difference between running a Tesla coil and having big
or explosives is that you can't really kill a bunch of other people with a
Tesla coil. No "bad person" is going to walk into a school and kill a
bunch of kids with a Tesla coil. Therefore, the authorities don't get too
excited about them (especially when they really DO have to worry about
people with guns and explosives walking into schools and killing a bunch of
kids!!!). Yes, you "can" kill "yourself" with a Tesla coil. However, you
can kill yourself by jumping off of big rocks in national parks too. But,
quite frankly, only you get splashed so nobody really gives a !-at-^$#. You
only serve as an example of Darwin's theories... I don't think gun or
explosive examples of government regulation are realistic to apply to Tesla
coils. I can give you three Tesla coil related deaths. However, compared
to deaths from guns and explosives, they simply don't count... In the last
100 years, three people are dead. Your probably safer running your Tesla
coil than riding in a bus, flying in a plane, or playing chess... (a local
person got shot dead over a chess game a few years back too...). How many
other hobbies can claim only three deaths in 100 years? Yes! grandma
falling over dead while knitting DOES count! Sorry if I don't take this
thread too seriously, but I have been in court rooms many times in my life
(on all sides except the bench, moderation fills that need ;-)). If a
"Tesla coil violator" were on trial and I were on the jury, I would get up,
and walk out!!!
If any political candidate were to run on the "anti Tesla coiling
let me know and I'll run against him... All we need is another incompetent
dog catcher in office... If "the body" can win, so can I!!
BTW - If all else fails... "Oh no officer! That's not a Tesla coil, that's
an Oudin coil!" Call the district attorney and check on that!!
BBTW - In the interest of fairness, since "i" too have been "mouthy" on
this thread, all posts on this subject have gone with very minimal
moderation to avoid tainting this with my own, rather strong, feelings...
"They can have my Tesla coil when they pry my cold dead finger from the
variac..." - yeah right!
Even the "moderator" has his strings ;-)