Playing with electricity is fun if you observe some basic safety rules and use some common sense. If you don't respect electricity, however, the "jolt from the volt" is liable to turn you into an overdone vegetable.

Be Warned!

A while back, our engineers noticed a video on the web where some dastardly souls ran ordinary 120v house current through a helpless pickle. This amused and delighted our staff so much that we decided to try it with our own 12,000 volt Jacob's ladder.
See our video here! (258k)

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The Cap-Zapper

This project starts with a pair of 16,000 microfarad, 60 volt electrolytic capacitors. WATCH OUT! It will shock the hell out of anyone who decides to complete a circuit with their body parts.

Charging the Caps

1. Securely brace the upper wood piece so it has no chance of making accidental contact with the lower piece during the charging process. Use a regulated power supply to charge the caps. The use of insulated alligator clips (test leads) is recommended! Always be sure that you use the proper voltage, current, and polarity. DO NOT try to charge capacitors from a 120v household outlet, or wire them directly to a high capacity battery.

2. Use a multimeter to monitor voltage!

3. After about 10-30 seconds, disconnect the power leads. Then use a NON-CONDUCTIVE triggering device to cause the upper wood block to fall and make the plates touch. POW! Lots of dangerous current zaps across the plates! You can see the bright flash between the wood pieces in the photo (below).

Here, a Dangerous Laboratories engineer carefully constructs this device.

Microwave Ball Lightning
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