Forge yourself a real, working Tesla cannon

By » Sun, May 20 2012
Rusty forging at the Hazard Factory 450x600 Forge yourself a real, working Tesla cannon

Real-world mad science at the Hazard Factory (img by Rob/Hacker Friendly)

The Tesla Gun is a hand-held, battery powered lightning machine. It is a spark gap Tesla coil powered by an 18V drill battery. You pull the trigger, and lightning comes out the front.

I’ve given a few talks about how this project came to be, and it’s a bit of a long story. I could not possibly have built it without the help and expertise of Seattle’s many hackerspaces. Take a look at the basic components, and you’ll see what I mean.

Yeah, I see what he means. He means you need a damn fine, extraordinarily professional garmenter with laser-focused attention to detail when it comes to Faraday underpants.

Actually, I really do wonder how they managed to operate this thing safely. They don’t say. And that doesn’t stop them from shooting their lightning launcher.

Rob and his Tesla Canon 450x337 Forge yourself a real, working Tesla cannon

"Better living through portable electricity." (img by Rob/Hacker Friendly)

Of course, the devil is in the details. How do you tune this beast? What about eddy currents in the housing? What do you use for an earth ground? Why is it so LOUD? How do you not die while operating it?

I’m afraid that this post has already gone on far too long. I’ll explain a bit about those topics in future posts. Until then, stay safe and make AWESOME.

Until then, enjoy this video, and check out your friendly local hackerspace.

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