Gadget Freak Case 111: New Gun Shoots Light Bulb Storms

November 05, 2007

Here's a gun that can light up an unplugged fluorescent bulb or spark electrical storms in an unplugged incandescent bulb - the same effect as a plaza globe.

Richard Morrow of Cheshire, England, built the Tesla Coil plasma gun using the casing of an inexpensive cordless hand drill. He uses the trigger of the hand drill as the plasma gun's trigger. The device is powered by a 12V battery. The high frequency, high voltage from the gun causes the argon gas in light bulbs to become ionized, which creates streamers that are attracted to the fingers holding the bulb.

The low power means the plasma arcs are limited in size. The interference created by this wireless energy can also cause electric devices to switch on and off as well as making the devices behave erratically. Morrow says several improvements could be made on the design that could provide greater power and thus greater arcs.

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Amt Part Description

2 PCB Mount holders for 1xN cell 839-3078
1 10k 0.33W Carbon Film Resistor 296-6300
1 Photo Resistor (ldr) 699-0002
1 100k 0.33W Carbon Film Resistor 296-4743
1 10 nF 100V Polyester Capacitor 995-0018
1 100 uF 10V Electrolytic Capacitor 859-0122
1 100 uF 10V Electrolytic Capacitor
1 100 uF 10V Electrolytic Capacitor
Additional parts required:
2 Spark Coil 1 & 2 Small Ignition Coils
1 C3 Topload Sphere
1 L3 TC Primary Coil
1 L4 TC Secondary Coil

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