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Re: BIG DUMMY Accident

I was operating a coil and this friend had his video camera operating and he
got close enough that he got a nice film of several archs slamming into the

Fortunately the outside was made from metal or his camera would have become
a very expensive paper-weight as the metal redirected all the energy to my
friend's hand and towards ground.

He didnt' know he was being hit till he played it back and you could hear a
drum like bleetting sound as the camera was recording the sparks slamming
into the mike on the front of it.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tesla list" <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
To: <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 6:36 AM
Subject: Re: BIG DUMMY Accident

> Original poster: "Dan and Nancy" <ntesla-at-nc.rr-dot-com>
> >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
> >> 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
> >> 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,
> >> 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
> >> 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
> >> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> (literally!).
> 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.
> Dan