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Re: Lightning from the fingers, ect...

Original poster: "Terry Fritz" <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>

Hi Adam,

>At 10:34 PM 5/7/2002 -0400, you wrote: 
>A while ago, I asked this question and I think people are afraid that if you 
>tell someone, they will try it, but I won't. Anyway, I have always wanted to 
>know how they do the famous lightning from the fingers trick. Can someone 
>explain to me how this works. once again, I am not trying (or planing) to do 
>it, I am just a curious person. 

Usually somebody sits atop a specially made coil and plays like they are
the toroid...  More easily said than done :))))  The people that do this
usually have decades of experience and the finest high-dollar coils made
that don't do "odd" things.  A vast number of "bad" things can happen.
Your clothes or hair could catch fire.  You could get startled and fall off
onto the primary coil.  You could "power arc" and die like the "expert"
Henry Transtrom did...  Basically, serious injury and death are the
"problems"...  As Johnathan reported on today, electrical injuries are some
of the worst types that you can "survive".  We saw what happened to the
dummy on Ripley's!!  ;o))

I was a bit concerned about the Ripley's show tonight in that Danielle has
long hair*.  A single strand flying loose could draw an arc.  Suddenly,
"you've got problems!!"  Brent is fast to the off switch, the paramedics
could smear on burn ointment, the hair will regrow, and Danielle looks like
she could tough it out.  But in a fraction of a second, things go from fun
to emergency...  I did note that her gloves were hard wired, so we even
have the experts a bit scared ;-))

>Also, to hook up all the components of a TC, 
>does it matter what gauge of wire you use? I was thinking 10 gauge. 

The "primary loop" needs pretty heavy gauge wire since the currents are
about 1000 amps and resistance there can really hurt a coil's performance.
Everywhere else, "normal" wire is fine.

>another question, where can I get an RF filter.  I think that is what I need, 
>I need something that will stop the high voltages from going back through 
>the wall. When I am running my tesla coil (very small at the moment), my 
>parents complain about the TV becoming very staticy, is this from the RF? If 
>it is from the RF, is it going through the air to the TV, or through the 
>wires in the house to the TV. What would i need to stop th! e static problem?

First, you need a really good RF ground.  Your coil's secondary, the NST,
and high voltage stuff need a ground rod and a BIG thick short wire for
connection.  That will draw off a lot of the static.  Putting ferrite cores
on the primary wire near the spark gap will help knock down the RFI at TV
frequencies.  Not too much should get through the AC wire after that, but
it is hard to say without being there to see "things".  In general, short
heavy wires with really good grounding solves all.

*unlike Robert with close to 30 years of experience :o))


I love people that do this stunt!  But it is VERY dangerous unless you know
practically everything there is to know...