My latest project for the Spark Museum is my “Sparknado” Tesla Coil controller. It can play music on two digital Tesla coils simultaneously via fiber optic cable. Source for the music can be MIDI input and/or MIDI files stored on the internal SD card.
I have about 15 songs in the sd card. But the one we play most often is “imperial March” from star wars because everyone recognizes it and goes nuts. When we play the tesla coil, the coil isn’t just sitting there by itself sparking. It is hanging from the ceiling and one of us is under it on the floor, reaching up with a long fluorescent tube “playing” the song on the coil. The effect is pretty awesome:
I noticed that it appeared that the person holding what looks like a fluorescent tube was not holding it at the very end of the tube. Would it be possible for the high voltage to travel through the tube and shock the person holding the tube?
Yes, that happens once in a while, getting shocked by one thing or another is pretty much a daily occurrence for us. During the show we even invite a volunteer couple to experience the “electric kiss” , a popular18th century activity where one person is charged with a few hundred thousand volts of static electricity and their partner kisses them. Puts a little spark in their love life!
More so than you might think! Nikola Tesla was friends with Mark Twain. One day Twain was visiting Tesla & Tesla lit up a glass tube using one of his coils. Twain is said to have exclaimed “ My God Tesla, you’ve just invented the light saber!”