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Topic: Power source for Electric chair
Message: Posted by: joe faro (May 31, 2011 06:54PM)
Can some one tell me what is the best power source for the electric chair act? I know some have used violet ray wands but they can't be left on very long. I've looked at neon light transformers and florescent light ballast. Can any one advise?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 31, 2011 07:34PM)
Tesla coil.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (May 31, 2011 07:38PM)
There are also solid-state tesla coils, which allow you to bypass a regular process of tuning.
Message: Posted by: Michael K (Jun 1, 2011 11:08PM)
The historical answer is a generator from a Model-T Ford. Which are readily available and easy to come by...or so I read.

Professor Fountain
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jun 2, 2011 06:21AM)
I ended up using a Oudin coil from here: http://www.teachersource.com/ElectricityAndMagnetism/TeslaCoils/OudinCoil_InchTeslaCoilInchwSafetySwitch.aspx. Also look up "Neon testers"; they are similar.

My understanding is you'd only want to use the neon transformer for a Jacob's Ladder, and I don't know about the ballast.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 3, 2011 04:45PM)
Stephon, do you prepare the Oudin coil the same way as a violet ray generator? Copper wire in the end?

I have Slims notes on it and I even bought a V.R.G but it is so old I really don't trust it. Alas I have a chair with no sparks.
Message: Posted by: joe faro (Jun 5, 2011 07:31PM)
Thanks for the input. I've had a Model T coil since I was a kid but I used it with finish nails in the seat of a wood chair. Half the nails have a wire soldered to them and attached to the output,the other half are attached to the ground I then used a door bell button to give the victim a short but very hot shock. I no longer do this but still have the chair and coil. If you use this for The Human Dynamo I'm guessing the person can't be grounded without being shocked?
Stephon, I looked at the Oudin coil and it looks very much like a violet ray wand. The instructions also mentioned not to leave it on more than 10 min.,have you had problems with it over heating?
I did find a site that sells solid-state tesla coils( http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com ). If any one uses a solid-state tesla coil,what output voltage should I try?
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jun 5, 2011 11:17PM)
With the Oudin coil, I don't think you'll have to worry about it being on for 10 minutes at a time. It won't be, and if it is, your electric act may be too long.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jun 6, 2011 08:59PM)
On 2011-06-05 20:31, joe faro wrote:
Stephon, I looked at the Oudin coil and it looks very much like a violet ray wand. The instructions also mentioned not to leave it on more than 10 min.,have you had problems with it over heating?
[/quote]I didn't leave it on for more than, perhaps, a minute at a time, and there were no problems.

I tried running a jumper cable from the coil to the plate, but found that the output dropped significantly. Now, the coil is mounted beneath the plate, with a contact plate connecting them.

I believe what I have is essentially the same thing as a violet wand, except that it is not 60 yrs. old, nor does it come from a Ukrainian sex shop. ;)
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jun 7, 2011 02:02AM)
I turn one on and off nearly everyday about 60 times. For 30 seconds to a minute each time its on, and have been doing so for over a year. The coil is fine, there are no signs of it wearing out or anything like that.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jun 14, 2011 11:52AM)
Agreed, I barbecued Lady Diana's butt with a violet wand everyday for a year. They are both still going strong last I heard. Cycled about 30 second on and off x 4 with a 20 min. break.
Message: Posted by: Elton Litzner (Aug 11, 2011 06:32PM)
In the process of building an electric chair, Plan on using the Violet Wand, I have seen footage of an effect where arcs of electricity shoot from the finger tips for what appears to be several feet. Running to somthing off screen. P.M. If you have any info on this more advanced demonstration.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 13, 2012 11:10AM)
All these years later and I still don't have any sparks. I'm purchasing a Oudin coil to make a little boys dream come true. My 60 years old VRG can go back to the e-bay gods.

Stephon, So you have a brass plate on top of the surface with the coil directly underneath? No wire, just a copper plate that connects the top plate to the coil?

This is the last side show stunt that I have always wanted. I don't know what I'll dream about after this...
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 14, 2012 01:58PM)
Basically, yes. However, I saw a rig that had copper tubing wound around, but not touching, the coil and connecting to the plate. It may be that this gives you a better spark, but I don't have the EE knowledge to know for sure.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 14, 2012 02:01PM)
Found a picture I took of it. Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 17, 2012 02:30PM)
That's interesting. I've never seen a coil set that way.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 17, 2012 03:48PM)
It seems a little on the large size. Still ...... Better Han having an unwanted baby.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 17, 2012 09:56PM)
Huh, I can't imagine having a gap would increase the current? I would have thought to be the strongest conductor is should be hard mounted.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 18, 2012 02:33AM)
On 2012-08-17 22:56, Rotten wrote:
Huh, I can't imagine having a gap would increase the current? I would have thought to be the strongest conductor is should be hard mounted.

Well even with a good hard mounting the coil should stop ......

Look I am going to keep going with this 'joke' until someone laughs!!!!!!!!! Even if it takes me 3 weeks!
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 18, 2012 11:15AM)
I was talking with someone about this a couple days ago and they said the coils create a spark gap that increased the voltage. This is all gibberish to me, so take it for what it's worth.
Message: Posted by: Lurchenstien (Aug 18, 2012 12:44PM)
Saying that, the Van De Graaff generator springs to mind. Having the smaller sphere closer to the larger gets a reasonable but constant charge going through. Moving it further away obviously means the charge has to build to arc across the gap. Though I couldn't tell you if that'd transfer to the VRG. Guess there's one way to find out what difference it makes.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 18, 2012 10:08PM)
I thought gaps were for decreasing the juice but I'm no electricity expert either.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 18, 2012 10:09PM)
Oh geez, I just set Dave up again.
Message: Posted by: gypsycaster (Aug 20, 2012 11:16AM)
Just marking this convo....I'm in the same boat.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 20, 2012 05:12PM)
On 2012-08-18 23:09, Rotten wrote:
Oh geez, I just set Dave up again.

Don't be too proud of yourself! ;)

I am a little on the easy side........ Hey what's this chalk powder on my shoulder ...... AGAIN!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 21, 2012 10:53PM)
Harley - this was the one that was at the Gathering last year.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Aug 22, 2012 09:22AM)
Hey Dave, mind the gap!
Message: Posted by: Martin_Ling (Aug 27, 2012 08:33AM)
If I am correct, Gaps are for increasing the frequency, not voltage, your capacitor bank increases the voltage. I am an electrician, and built Tesla Coils however its still rocket science to me. Magical, if you will...
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 27, 2012 04:39PM)
How does increasing the frequency effect things? (What is rocket science to you, is quantum physics to me)
Message: Posted by: Martin_Ling (Aug 27, 2012 07:07PM)
Well, let me preface this with by no means do I really know what I am talking about. But the principle is that the high voltage, and low amperage is still extremely dangerous but the high frequency is what makes the energy run across the outer layers of derma instead of a deeper path that would theoretically cook or stop ones heart. Truly the research on high frequency energy is still inconclusive. Most coilers will tell you that direct contact however painless, still isn't a good idea.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 28, 2012 06:00AM)
That actually makes some sense. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 28, 2012 02:43PM)
On 2012-08-27 17:39, Stephon wrote:
How does increasing the frequency effect things? (What is rocket science to you, is quantum physics to me)

Pish ...... T'was just day dreaming to Einstein.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Aug 28, 2012 06:25PM)
I have some old Abbott's plans, and notice that the legs have glass insulators at the ends.
Is is a good idea to NOT have your feet touch the floor?
What other safety tips are worth knowing when working with this apparatus?
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 28, 2012 10:07PM)
Finding that copper plate is proving to be a challenge. I'll find it yet....
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 29, 2012 05:24AM)
Ask a place that specializes in gutters. Or a metal shop.
Message: Posted by: Zagam (Aug 29, 2012 03:36PM)
Thrift stores are a good source for big brass plates. The big ones people use for decoration. You might get lucky and find a copper one, but I can't imagine brass is a bad alternative. Actually, an aluminum baking sheet is probably just as good and cheap.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Aug 29, 2012 04:53PM)
Hobby Lobby...

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 29, 2012 05:46PM)
Go with copper.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 30, 2012 06:43AM)
Holy cow!! Thanks Jim.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 30, 2012 02:34PM)
I think I found mine at Ace Hardware.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Aug 31, 2012 03:30AM)
Been to several Ace's as well as a few other DIY stores. Then I drove to a Hobby Lobby and a Hobby USA. They both had smaller cuts of it. So I finally ordered it online like I should have from the start.

Do any of you have the new Oudin with the on off press button on the side? I figure a band clamp would fix it on. Then just turn it on and off from a main breaker switch on the power end.

I'm starting to get excited about this toy!
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 31, 2012 12:14PM)
Yes, mine has the on/off switch, and that is exactly how I control it.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 31, 2012 04:59PM)
On 2012-08-31 13:14, Stephon wrote:
Yes, mine has the on/off switch, and that is exactly how I control it.

Wow that's some revolutionary thinking ..... On off switch! You should file a pattent. ;). Just don't use anything already filed by pear ..... Er, I mean ..... Peach ..... Pomme de terre ....... That's I apple (nearly went with a pink lady joke).
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Sep 2, 2012 02:48PM)
Okay, my questions showed a lack of savvy, but that is why I asked them.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 2, 2012 03:04PM)
I would have thought that the chai needs not to be earthed. You probably don't want earthing until such point as you are ready for you big moment ..... The discharge .... Typically with people gasping (as sparks shoot, things light ..... Etc)

If you are earthed whilst charging happens any charge will dissipate .... (please note I am probably wrong .... Just wanted to gt a rude joke in)
Message: Posted by: Zagam (Sep 2, 2012 06:52PM)
I'm half guessing and half remembering from high school electronics class so don't listen to hard but if the person in the chair is grounded, I think the charge won't build up. If, after the charge builds up, the person gets grounded, I think they end up fried.

It's funny, this forum. I never knew I needed this chair until I started thinking about it after reading this thread. My wife can never know about this forum.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 3, 2012 01:41AM)
When she fins out you'll get moaned at ...... Well I do :(
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Sep 3, 2012 09:13AM)
Zagam, are you talking about the chair or your wife? Are you grounded?
Message: Posted by: Zagam (Sep 3, 2012 06:08PM)
I'm not grounded in any sense of the word, but I suspect few reading this are. At least not grounded in a way the general population deems acceptable. And, really, isn't that where the fun starts?

Back to topic; are the Brill plans for this chair any good? Or are they *really* for info only? I really must make on now.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Sep 3, 2012 06:54PM)
They're vaguely sufficient, if I recall correctly. I built my first hot box, based on those plans. It works, but not as well as I'd like.

Of course, what I'd like, would cost at least 15K.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Sep 3, 2012 11:42PM)
Vague is a good word. I have the Abbots plans and they are very similar. This thread is all a fella needs.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Sep 4, 2012 08:25PM)
Here's an odd but sound question. Can the person sitting in the chair have metal on their costume or jewelry with out feeling sparks off it? I assume it wouldn't matter since it isn't grounded but I just ordered a costume with a ton of metal on it. I don't want the girl to be uncomfortable for beauty sake....
Message: Posted by: thatmatt (Sep 5, 2012 09:30AM)
The Oudin coil seems to be the most popular power source for the electric chair act nowadays. I'm sorry to say I haven't seen it in action so far. The only performer doing this act I know is an old friend of my uncle's, but he is old-fashioned and uses an electric chair built with a Model "T" coil. At every conference he attends, he could spend hours arguing that the Model "T" coil is still the best for this type of performance.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Sep 5, 2012 10:53AM)
I've had a couple Model T coils. With their age and history of use, it's now hard to find one that works well.

Oudins are comparatively easy to find, and do the job.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 5, 2012 01:15PM)
On 2012-09-04 21:25, Rotten wrote:
I don't want the girl to be uncomfortable for beauty sake....

Pish would you please return to the convention .... More beauty less comfort when it comes to women's 'fashion' .....
Message: Posted by: Paul_Rheaume (Feb 25, 2014 12:39AM)
Modern day Spark coils are available from J C Whitney auto supply. these are better than the old wooden ones from Model T cars. they produce about 10 KV. The Violet wands produce from 10 to 50 KV depending on the adjustment. My first plans were from the UF grant illusion book and worked fine (spark coil). The Violet wands (available on Ebay)or the modern versions available from science supply houses or neon sign suppliers make for a better display. To get the big time effects like sparks from the fingertips, you gotta go big. I just got a 250 KV tesla coil. this baby will throw 24 in sparks!!! But I am having second thoughts about using it. You connect the top of the coil to the plate the girl is sitting on. The sparks shoot into the air from her thimble covered fingers (the arc is hot and the heat will burn) just as in the smaller versions (spark coil or Violet wand), the girl must be insulated from the ground, but in this case, about 30 inches above the ground (24 inch sparks). Yes the "skin effect" does take place and she feels nothing, but with the larger units, there are RF burns that occur inside the body to be concerned with. Also another factor is that of concern it the amount of RF radiation and it's effect on local electronics (phones, computers, pacemakers etc). When Tesla did it, these were not around to get shorted out. Will probably still use the big one, but only for background effect. Boy it is noissey!!!