João Duarte got his degree in Electricity and Electronics engineering at the Universidade do Algarve and is an active member and original founder of the eLab Hackerspace in Faro. He brings us a… Tesla Coil.
The Tesla Coil, as the name suggests, was invented by the well known Serbian scientist/inventor/engineer Nikola Tesla (obligatory The Oatmeal cartoon reference here) and operates with a high-voltage, high-frequency transformer, which is able to transmit power from the primary to the secondary circuits through a resonant frequency. At the top of the secondary circuit there’s a discharge toroid, where one can see the lighting-like plasma filaments made of thousands of volts generated by the transformer.
Tesla Coils are wildly used in fiction movies in suspense, dangerous and malefic or action scenes (hint: The Terminator). But you can also use them in much more creative ways, like this one:
What’s really interesting with this project, it was done using mostly used and relatively easy to get materials: copper wires, copper tubes, aluminum tubes for the exhaustion, a neon signs high voltage transformer, and get this: a homemade capacitor, like the ones used by Nikola Tesla, made with a bucket, salt water, oil and glass bottles. This alone should be enough to attract lots of people and attention at the Maker Faire.
João, we’re ready! The other Makers, bring some batteries with you, electricity might fail. :)