TCBA founder, Harry Goldman and the TCBA logo

TCBA - Tesla Coil Builders Association

Devoted to the construction, operation and theoretical analysis of the Tesla coil

TCBA Volume 10 - Issue 1

Page 2 of 18

News Notes

Jeff Goldblum as Tesla?

The LOS ANGELES TV TIMES (June 24-30) carried a feature story on Jeff Goldblum, the movie and television star who was once mentioned for an oscar nomination for his portrayal of the mad scientist in THE FLY. “Perhaps it's not surprising that Goldblum and (director) David Lynch are talking about doing a film together. Goldblum says they both share an interest in a flamboyant, Yugoslavian-born inventor, Nikola Tesla, for whom a unit of magnetic flux density was named after. A script is being developed.” (tip from Alfred Croix). (Editor's note: Goldblum reiterated a desire to play Tesla when being interviewed on the CNN “Larry King Live” television program.

The Tesla Lightning Protector

If you happen to be driving along the outskirts of Gary, Indiana, and pass the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, you will see a tower that employs an unusual structure at its top. It appears to be an exact duplication of Tesla's “Lightning Protector” patent (1,266,175). (tip from James DiMichele)

Its Symposium a Huge Success

I have been informed that the International Tesla Society Symposium held in July at Colorado Springs was a huge success. Some large Tesla coils were displayed and several TCBA members presented papers. Jim Hardesty gave a most interesting talk on the history of X-Ray development and Jim and Ken Corum presented papers and demonstrations on the production of fireballs. Anyone interested in obtaining copies of the papers presented should write to the ITS at 330-A West Uintah, Suite 215, Colorado Springs, CO 80905.

World Congress on Safety Science

The first World Congress on Safety Science was held in Cologne, West Germany on September 24th-26th. Topics included (1)fundamentals of Safety Science, (2)Conversion and Utilization of Conventional Nuclear and Regenerative Energy, and (3)Risks Involved in Hazardous Substance Handling, Transportation and Environmental Interaction. The objectives of the Congress are not only to consider risk and assessment with respect to technical and anthropoligical aspects, but to give egual priority to ecological, industrial, medical, and legal questions. For further information, contact Leila Manfred at (203) 798-0811 or FAX (203) 798-0694. Information may be obtained by writing to 108 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, CT 06811.

Tesla's Lightning Generator

POPULAR ELECTRONICS for September featured an article on the design of Nikola Tesla's famous high voltage coil. The introduction carried a brief discussion of Tesla's high voltage Colorado experiment (with the usual errors). In addition, the editorial was devoted to Nikola Tesla (“The Forgotten Genius”).

The not so Favorable Editorial

While the POPULAR ELECTRONICS editorial treated Tesla favorably, a not so favorable editorial appeared in Cecil Adams' column “The Straight Dope” (Chicago's Free Weekly Reader). Letters favorable to Tesla were rebutted by Adams who characterizes the Tesla of the 1930's, a man both physically and mentally beyond his powers, rather than the genius of the 1880's and early 1900's. (tip from James DiMichele)

Gadgeteer's Goldmine

Gordon McComb's GADGETEER'S GOLDMINE is a 406-page publication containing “55 Space-Age Projects.” Although I do not consider the Tesla coil to be a space age project, the book does include a Tesla coil, Van de Graaff, Jacob's Ladder, induction coil, plasma ball, and a host of up-to-date solid state projects. It is well worth $29.95 (plus shipping) and should be in every experimenter's workshop library. The book also includes a long list of suppliers and other pertinent information for the basement tinkerer. It even mentions TCBA. If you buy the book, you also get the latest catalog from TAB BOOKS, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0850.

Tesla's Terminal Capacitance

If you examine the antenna construction of Tesla's Long Island wireless tower, you will notice that he used many small-curved forms to make up the terminal capacitance. The Emile Haefely Co. of Basil, Switzerland, uses the very same principle in their high voltage impulse generators. The generators stand over 20' tall and produce up to 6.4 megavolts. (tip from Bill Smith)