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  • Mad Scientist's "Jacob's Ladder" Lightning Prop

    Hello, sorry for the late reply -- I was on vacation!I can't really give you much advice, because I don't know enough about electricity. Like so many things, I learned just enough to safely get through one project, then promptly forgot most of what I had learned. Any info I still retain is six years old, and therefore quite suspect, so please don't risk any lives on it.That said, here's what I remember: The right kind of transformer is extremely heavy (like, 40 lbs), and extremely dangerous. One wrong move could be your last. Failure to keep it out of reach of curious visitors could result in tragedy. So please get a professional electrician involved for advice. I used an old guy at one of the electronic salvage stores in my area; he was very helpful.For what it's worth: I've personally...

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    Hello, sorry for the late reply -- I was on vacation!I can't really give you much advice, because I don't know enough about electricity. Like so many things, I learned just enough to safely get through one project, then promptly forgot most of what I had learned. Any info I still retain is six years old, and therefore quite suspect, so please don't risk any lives on it.That said, here's what I remember: The right kind of transformer is extremely heavy (like, 40 lbs), and extremely dangerous. One wrong move could be your last. Failure to keep it out of reach of curious visitors could result in tragedy. So please get a professional electrician involved for advice. I used an old guy at one of the electronic salvage stores in my area; he was very helpful.For what it's worth: I've personally decided these things are too dangerous for home use. Maybe I'm getting chicken in my old age, but I have a grandson now, and I really didn't want that fun project to end in tragedy. In fact, when it came time to dismantle my Jacob's Ladder (we were moving to a smaller place), I threw it all into a dumpster rather than give that deadly transformer to another hobbyist. I'd never be able to live with myself if someone bought it from me and then was killed by it.So I'll reiterate: Get professional advice! And if you succeed in creating something cool, please share it with me!Cheers, -- Eric

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