Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No good can come of this.

I made a Jacob’s Ladder powered by a neon sign transformer. Why? I wanted a quick and dirty project with a high “oooh ahhh” result.


Instead I burned up hours of my life trying to bend two pieces of wire just right for about 5 minutes worth of “heh, badass” quickly followed by “wow that took way too long…”.

The upshot here are the important lessons learned regarding the fantastically high voltage (10-15 thousand volts) produced by this transformer:

  1. You only have to touch 1 of the 2 electrodes and it will shock you.
  2. You so much as think about looking directly at this thing and it will shock you.
  3. Say the word “insulation” to a high voltage device like this and it will laugh at you, and then shock you.
  4. Connecting 1 of the electrodes to my doorknob and waiting for someone to enter without knocking was actually the best result of this experiment.

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