We’ve seen Tesla coils before, but nothing quite like this. Rob Flickenger has thrown caution to the wind and has built one extraordinary Tesla Gun. And it really works, complete with an incredible 20,000 volts and 2,000 amps of pure electrifying excitement.
Inspired by the Tesla Gun in The Five Fists of Science graphic novel, this real life Tesla gun is a handheld spark gap Tesla coil powered by a drill battery. It’s about the size of a small rifle and it is able to send out those crazy Tesla sparks at anything within about two feet of its business end. Naturally, it gets pretty hot and heavy pretty quickly, so all the components had to be up for the job.
There is definitely some MacGyver-ing going on with the 18V drill battery, plus the ferrite core of a flyback transformer that came by way of an old television set. The primary coil is made fom high voltage wire and high-density polyethylene insulation, while the secondary coil is made from 2.5-inch ABS pipe wrapped in 20-gauge enameled wire. You get the aluminum toroid out the business end.
Flickenger assures us that while electricity is dangerous, this is no more dangerous than a baseball bat. Tell that to the idiot who will inevitably try to recreate this toy and zap his way straight to the emergency room.