Man builds lightningshooting Tesla Gun lives to tell the tale

first_imgSome people read about some awesome but imaginary thing and leave it at that. Others want to make it a reality. Anyone that has ever fantasized about a working lightsaber can relate to one young man’s interest in the Tesla Gun depicted in the fabulous graphic novel The Five Fists of Science. The difference? He actually built it.The final working Tesla Gun is a portable spark gap Tesla coil that is powered by an 18V drill battery. Most of the Tesla coils you’ve seen are probably of the spark gap variety. These contraptions consist of a power source, conductive coil, and capacitor. Basically, this means the the Tesla Gun shoots lightning, and it isn’t even that expensive to build.The housing was made from aluminum using a Nerf gun as a mold. The mold was imperfect, so some milling was needed to smooth out the rough edges. The high-voltage switch in a spark gap coil needs to be a good insulator, but very durable. The switch will be dealing with thousands of volts and some excess heat every time it’s activated. For this project, porcelain was chosen.The electrical system is composed of the aforementioned drill battery along with a flyback transformer that steps the 18V to around 20,000V. A bank of capacitors stores the charge that is then used to strobe the coil itself. The primary and secondary coils are made of ABS plastic wrapped with copper wire, and are used to direct the charge outward through an aluminum toroid (the “barrel” of the gun).This isn’t a simple weekend project by any means. You have to know what you’re doing in order not to kill yourself — did I mention it shoots lightning? Kudos to this fellow for pulling it off. I am suitably impressed.via HackerFriendlylast_img

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