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Re: [TCML] Sparks and neighborly fun
I was at work showing my coil a shocker that puts out about 5' streamers and the
owner of the deli and bar across the street called the police. So we get a visit
by two highway patrol officers who were too fascinated by the coil to ask many
questions and they didn't want to leave and miss any of it.
Still nothing to compare to the hilarity of pretending to be a 'SC Mountains
It does remind me of when I used to ride the bus a lot and I'd get these
teenagers who would stare at me, just to bug me. I don't look particularly
different, but these guys will just choose someone to try to make uncomfortable
by staring at them and it seems I look like a good potential victim.
So one day I decided if they are going to stare at me I might as well give them
a reason to and that's when the fun began.
One time I pretended to be eating invisible butterflies, I'd snatch them out of
the air and stuff them into my mouth making chameleon like munching movements
with my mouth and head. This guy's eyes started getting bigger and bigger and he
says "What are you doing?" in a rather timid sounding voice and I said "I'm
eating invisible butterflies! .. They're good!" and offered him some. He held
out his hand to receive them and looked at them a moment and then said "No
Thanks" and waved his hand in the air as if he were releasing them.
Nother time I simply let my left hand start floating up, and the third time I
suddenly slapped my hand with my other while saying "STOP THAT!" and sat on my
hand. The guy staring at me was so badly startled that he jumped so high he
almost hit his head on the roof of the bus.
Needless to say they left me alone for awhile.
From: Scott Bogard <sdbogard@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Tesla Coil Mailing List <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, August 16, 2010 12:20:46 PM
Subject: Re: [TCML] Sparks and neighborly fun
Wow you have nosy neighbors, most of my neighbors within eye shot make
no attempt to see my coil, then again I really only have two neighbors
within eye shot. The police won't care unless somebody complains, and
if your shutting down by 8:00 and limiting to 10 second runs I don't
think you will have anything to worry about. I ran my 4 MOT coil in
town at my cousins house for Halloween a few years back and my aunt
could barely hear it just inside the house, so as loud as it may seem in
person, walls work wonders for blocking out such sound. I did once on a
separate occasion have to explain to some cops why I had a distribution
transformer in the back of my pickup, the conversation ended with "is it
"Ok, be safe then."
You gotta love Pa!
On 8/15/2010 11:36 PM, Joe Mastroianni wrote:
> Can't run the coil in the garage anymore, so I have to roll it out to the
> On a quantitative note, we measured some spark hits at 5+ feet. Nothing like
>the 81 theoretical inches I could get if everything was perfect, according to
>all the programs. My tuning lead wire is getting warm, which leads me to
>believe running a pretty high VSWR in my primary, and I saw one racing arc at
>full power. I could tune the thing a bit better and maybe even adjust the
>coupling a bit more. Though now that I have to run in the driveway, I'm not
>going to be able to do a lot of trial-and-error experiments as the noise at full
>power is now pretty loud (I will take measurements next time) and the neighbors
>are taking notice.
> Which brings me to anecdote #1: concerning the police.
> Just as I was running up the power on my first test of the day two cop cars
>went tooling past my house at what could be described as a reasonably hurried
>pace. They were not heading to my place, but rather some disturbance in the
>wooded mountain side area at the dead end. I ran my coil, but was unable to
>see the arcs in the bright sunlight except for the occasions when the streamers
>hit the strike rail. Otherwise, they were nearly invisible.
> My neighbors across the street are an elderly couple, and I have on occasion
>helped them get out of their car when they return from errands. I wave to them,
>they wave back. Since the coil has been in the driveway, they have stopped
>waving and stare at me suspiciously.
> They appeared in their garage, getting into their car. I waved, they stared, I
>set about making a clamp to attach my tuning lead to the copper tubing. I had
>been using an alligator clip, which on occasion of poor tuning got so hot it
>burned the insulation off the wire upon which it was soldered. So I switched to
>clamping the lead to the tubing with a piece of sheet copper to make the
>connection less resistive. Though the clamping slowed me down.
> After about 30 minutes the two police cars pulled up in front of my house.
>They were side by side, and the cops inside were talking to each other, fairly
>well ignoring me in the driveway while I worked with a screwdriver and wrench,
> At this point my wife came and asked me for help mounting some shelving, so I
>abandoned the coil in the middle of the driveway (which is only about 30 feet to
>the street), we put up the shelf. By the time the shelving was up the cops were
>gone, though they had lingered for a while, and I even tried to make eye contact
>to see if they wanted to ask about the coil. I figure in our smallish town, its
>good for me to advertise what I am doing so nobody confuses coiling for
> I live on a street that dead ends at a trailhead many people use on weekends to
>take day hikes in the Santa Cruz mountains. So on weekends there is a lot of
>foot traffic past the my house. I may have mentioned that last week I had
>several passers by and even the UPS man approach me in my driveway and challenge
>me about the coil - insisting they had uncovered my secret - that I was going to
>make "free energy" with my machine. To get these strangers to leave, I agreed
>with them wholeheartedly. The power and oil companies ruled society as we knew
>it. And that it was only us makers of "free energy" who were going to become
>the new rebellion that sweeps the globe.
> That satisfied them. Though I think some of the hikers told other hikers, and
>that's why I had more than one group come and insist I was making "free energy",
>to which I absolutely agreed, figuring that with the persona of a typical SC
>Mountains nutcase, I could be left alone in my tie dye shirts and pony tail.
>Don't have the pony tail yet. Working on it.
> Anecdote #2: the neighbors and police (again)
> The wife and I decided to roll the coil out into the driveway to test my new
>tuning, and to see the arcs better in the twilight. We rolled it out, cranked
>it up to max power, let it hum for about 10 seconds, and then shut it down. I
>took my measurements and was putting the coil back in the garage when a neighbor
>called. He came over with his daughter-in-law asking to see the coil.
> Of course. This is why we coil (partly). We want to show off our work.
> I have everyone stand behind me, put their fingers in their ears (it really
>echoes in the garage), and I crank up the coil. Nicer arcs because it's darker
> Cool. The neighbor's son comes by, looking for his wife. Have to demo to
>him. Oh joy. I get to run my coil again! And I do.
> Then my wife suggests the classic fluorescent bulb experiment. My neighbor and
>family are enthusiastic. Yes, we must see this.
> We duct tape a fluorescent tube to a 5' ladder, put a breakout on the toroid,
>and we make sparks. They hit the tube, it lights up, arcs come out the far side
>of the tube and dance up and down the rungs of the ladder. Everyone is
> Let's try more, they insist.
> But no. It's 8PM and I know that very same neighbor has an infant daughter
>(yes, a 30-year old son and an infant daughter - welcome to california) and it's
>her bedtime. If his wife gets pissed at us, we're toast.
> So we shut down for the evening.
> Meanwhile, my neighbor across the street has come out and seen the crowd. I
>wave and invite her over. She turns away. Some 15 minutes later the police
>roll by. We wave. They wave and head on past.
> Three cop cars in one day. I have lived here nearly 4 years and haven't ever
>seen even one cop car. I'm too old for this disturbing the neighbors bulldingy.
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