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Re: BIG DUMMY Accident

>Tesla list wrote:
>> Original poster: Tesla729-at-cs-dot-com
>> Hi all,
>> I thought I would share a little mishap that occures to me yesteray
>> while running my 10 kVA pole pig coil. I had been running it at near
>> full power with screaming 8 to 10 ft. streamers filling up my little 12
>> x 20 ft. shop and observing this from ~13 ft awy behind a grounded
>> alum. screen shield. Then I had the bright idea to turn the variac down
>> so the output was only 2 or 3 ft. (about as low as I can go and keep
>> the SG firing reliably) so I could "safely" walk up closer and observe
>> the RSG action at a closer glance. I then proceeded to do that and
>> walked up to within about 5 ft. of the spark spouting coil. Then, I bent
>> down to look at the firing SG and everything was hunky-dory for the
>> first ~15 secs. or so. Then, all of the sudden, I was viciously attacked
>> by a train of streamers on my right shoulder blade. The electricity ran
>> down my legs and thru my feet out of my exposed toes to the concrete
>> floor. It was quite painful and unpleasant but I was okay. Thankfully, the
>> power was low, but boy did I feel like an idiot!!
>> I decided to share this with the rest of you coilers to let you know just
>> how dangerous our hobby can be when we get just a little complacent,
>> and I'm preaching to myself more than anyone! Lethal voltages are dealt
>> with on a regular basis with this hobby and if we're not careful, we tend
>> to get complacent and complacency can kill you when dealing with high
>> voltage. Have fun everyone, but lets KEEP IT SAFE!!!
>> SAFER Coiling in Memphis,
>> David Rieben

Heh, I thought I was the only one that things like that happened to...

My second coil was a large bi-polar coil calculated out and dimensioned
from a picture in R.A. Ford's "Tesla Coil Secrets". The seconday was a
four-foot, 12 inch dia. sonotube. With 12kv-at-30ma I was getting about 20"
from each terminal. Back in these days (15 years ago) I used to foolishly
play with the arcs while standing on a sheet of plexiglas (perspex). My
coil-building buddy and I were playing with the arcs one time when a white
bolt about 18" long connected his right shoulder to my left shoulder. The
surge knocked us both to an instantaneous sitting position. It was a strong
shock. Scary.

Another time, a friend was filming a different coil with a video camera.
This was a very small coil. Maybe 12" long and 3" in diameter, running on a
7.5kV-at-30ma neon transformer. I was showing how I could hold on to the top
of the coil as it operated (stupid! I know ;) and then draw small arcs off
my body. I twisted up two small aluminum foil "rods" and had my
video-camera-operating friend hold one of the rods while I held the other.
I wanted him to draw an arc off my foil rod while I held the top of the
coil. He did it. I never had a worse shock in my life. It turns out that
the power-cord from the video camera (a big shoulder-carry type) coupled to
the coil through the rf-connection when our foil rods touched. He got it
kinda worse since the power cord was running down his back. I think it was
one of types of shocks that kill people...you know, the kind you hear of
people standing in a puddle of water while they stick a knife in their
toaster? That was about the scariest shock I ever got.

In fact, as I've built more coils and gotten older too, I guess, I have
more respect for the dangers of coiling than I ever even knew existed when
I first started. I see it now as kind of like playing with a rattlesnake
As long as you do it right, and never make a mistake, you'll most likely
never get bitten. But you *could* make a mistake, or do something out of
ignorance that could really mess you up.
Be careful *and* be respectful of your coil.
Thanks for listening.