Re: Arcs off the fingers and getting killed in the process...
To the (entire) Tesla List.
Dear Terry, Nick Field, John Freau, Jeff Parisse (my "partner" in
kVa efx.,) et. al.
This subject of Tesla Coil safety has indeed, taken on new
proportions, (thanks mostly to this, and other e-mail lists.)
Terry's (and others') observations of the "new reality" of just
how far a (young) or (inexperienced) "coiler" can go, even on
his/hers first attempt at "coiling" is now of a magnitude unthinkable
less then 20 years ago.
I am one of "those" demonstrators, who have shown videos as
well as live demonstrations, of 4 foot + long arcs, coming off of
metal "sewing thimbles" on my fingers, being energized by a
moderately powerful Tesla Coil. Brent Turner's efforts took
my concept one step further, in that he is (aways) "wired" with
a copper conductor, that runs from the platform he is sitting on,
to the chain-mail gloves he is wearing, to elminate most of the
shock hazard possibilities. Note I didn't say the word "potential"
as I don't want the symantics of what I am saying here, to be
Another part of Terry's post mentioned "seasoned professionals"
like Henry Transtrom. His (death) was untimely, and obviously
directly linked to his use (and unanticipated) circumstance, of
becoming part of a ground path circuit, that caused his death.
We must all ask ourselves, how then, when it can "happen" to
a properly trained, and very experienced individual as H.
Transtrom, do we (the now growing number in this "Tesla
Community,") mitigate future disasters. Ponderous thoughts
Look at what happened to the Alaska Airlines flight, just two
days ago. Look at the NTSB and the FAA (not to mention
Alaska Airlines' own internal safety guidelines for checks,
re-checks, inspections, certifications, etc.) Accidents will
*still* happen! And they do. All the time. No matter how
good the maintenance log (and individuals who perform it,)
no matter how far-reaching, the "safety manuals" dictate,...
old Mr. (Edsel Murphy) *still* gets his "licks" in!
So, to place a little (rational) perspective on all this....
Every time, any of us (me included,) do anyting around any
size Tesla coil, be it solid state driven, NST, pole-pig, etc.
AWAYS, ALWAYS, treat every part of the circuit (and entire
apparatus,) just like you were coming close to a stick of
dynamite, and you (already have) a lit match in your hand.
Electrical safety (all aspects of it,) can not be too overstated or
overdone, especially on the part of those of us, who do
"coiling" for more then just a hobby. A (borrowed) term from
some prominent people on this list....."Safe coiling to you all!"
> Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 19:59:03 -0700
> To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: Arcs off the fingers and getting killed in the process...
> From: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> Original Poster: Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>
> Hi All,
> With the recent TV show about Dean Ortner shooting sparks off his fingers
> and the other stunts pros like Brent turner and Robert Krampf perform,
> there is the question of how we should handle this whole matter...
> Supplying the "how not to
> get killed" part is far less obvious...
> So how do we try to convince people that Tesla coils can kill very easily
> in this new world... And how do we convince them that those old pictures
> of people arcing things of their fingers is really dangerous when it looks
> like so much fun...
Tesla Technology Research