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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Electric chair help needed (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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rocky clements
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I bought a "Volta the Electric Girl" electric chair recently. It worked great the couple of times we rehearsed with it, with fluorescent bulbs lighting in her hands. It has set for a couple of months since the last time we used it and now the light bulbs only light up if the person standing by the chair is also touching the light. If the "talker" releases the bulb, it goes out while in her hands. I have to think I am overlooking something obvious, but if so I can't think what it is. The chair is built from Osborne plans. I am emailing Paul also, but thought I might get input here before he replies. Any input would be appreciated.
Addy
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Not sure about this particular model, but is the power turned up all the way? (If in fact there's a power knob)
rocky clements
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Yes, the power knob on the device is turned up. Thanks for the reply.
Harley Newman
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Higher humidity can impede how it works.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
rocky clements
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That would make sense. We are in the subtropical southeast where condensation rolls down windows. If that is the case, I don't think I will get a lot of use out of my electric chair around here.
abigkahuna/1
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Just turn it to "11" that'll do the trick Smile
Freak Prodigy
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The magic word is.....

Hair dryer.
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Harley Newman
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Air conditioning might help. Cooler air doesn't hold humidity as well.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
rocky clements
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I think we have everything figured out now. Thanks for your input!
Martin_Ling
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Sounds like you figured it out, but we use a tesla coil in our act and it is very dependant on a good ground, also you cant put a line conditioner or powerstrip anywhere in line with the power. In talking to coilers they say that it is imperative to have a dedicated ground, i.e water pipe or such as to not interfere with other electronics. But if I am correct in thinking this design is the same as the one I am thinking of, it uses far less fussy technology and I believe doesn't even need to be grounded at all.
Martin_Ling
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...and Ive killed another thread.
Stephon
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Don't worry Martin, 400 years from now they'll write an epic poem about you, and eventually create some sort of visual entertainment in which the Angelina Jolie of that time will play The Magic Café's mother.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
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"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Rotten
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I'm curios what Paul said. I have always wanted one. I built a chair but left it in another state before the electronics were complete. It's still there but I want a lighter version now. I don't know Paul's method. I own the Owens magic plans, and Brills plans. I thought about building one from Slim's notes. Dermer tried to sell me a wand 15 years ago but kept my money for a while before I tracked him down in Little Rock. He was kind enough to give the money back AND give me a beautiful print of an iron tongue pygmy banner. So we're cool.
Rotten
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Said Owens but maybe I mean Abbots? It's been forever since I have looked at the archaic drawings.
Kondini
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In reply to the original post.

If the complete unit is stood on a metal plate (The on/off control switch could be foot worked from the plate as well) Then the HF electric is restricted to the area around the plate (As in the Taurus Supply model) This ensures a full ammount of current to light up any bulbs.

Even if this adaption was not to satisfaction,,,you would only have to rest the end of the tube / tubes on the plate and they would light up to full capacity.

Ken.
Harley Newman
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“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
rocky clements
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Great link! We will have to consider adding a jug of gasoline to the electric chair routine. As to the original post, I haven't been able to get a reply from any of the people I have contacted who I thought may have direct experience with the prop. However, as Kondini's above post suggests, we have determined that the lights will not light to full extent by simply being held in the girl's hands. The bulb has to have a ground. The "talker" holding the other end of the light works fine to light the bulb, or as Kondini suggested, touching the end of the bulb to any metal object will cause it to light brightly. In the routining, it looks fine for the talker to hold the bulb and then it lights in his hand as the girl touches it. I was just under the impression (and maybe incorrectly) that the bulb should light brightly in her hand alone. I would still love to hear any input from someone who has some firsthand experience with one of these props, as we are still learning, although we did debut it in a show today with success!
Kondini
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Not being sure as to the exact set up and power capacity you have I can only comment in regards to my own unit.

The version I use was supplied by Taurus Magic of Bolton many years ago. Not a chair but a box which you stand on and on / off control with a foot switch. Its light wieght and runs off mains and batteries, used thousands of times and only had to replace the foot switch through wear and tear.

The power put out is quite high and if you step off the unit onto the ground while its running, gives quite a kick (Only did this by mistake once ! Thar was enough).

The force field around the unit is pretty large (If someone is standing up to three feet away from it, holding a tube, the tube will flicker and as you move closer, fully light up.So lack of power has never been a problem for me.

I have held up to five tubes end to end with speckies holding the tubes together and all light up (Of course as the distance increases from the first tube the light power slightly decreases with each added tube, but can be clearly seen).

From your post, it seems to be a lack of power problem or design fault. I would go for a larger coil and see if that achieves your aims.

Ken.
rocky clements
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Can you tell me where to look for a larger coil? I am only familiar with the one in the Osborne plans.
Harley Newman
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Search "Tesla Coil", and you'll begin a very interesting journey.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
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