Several years ago, I wrote a MAKE: article about Greg Leyh, a brilliant, understated high-voltage engineer/artist in San Francisco who builds the world's largest Tesla coils. For as long as I've known Greg, his dream has been to create a massive lightning laboratory with two 10-story Tesla Coil towers to study high-power scientific phenomena. Indeed, Greg's operation is called Lightning On Demand. With the only barrier being money, Greg has now come up with a "highly cost-optimized version" of the Lightning Laboratory. With this new design, Greg only needs $348,000 to make it happen. And he's launched a Kickstarter project to seek funding to build this magnificent DIY scientific instrument. Greg says:
Rather than being a purpose-built, conservatively designed machine, the new approach is literally designed around used materials, scrap and salvaged equipment. There’s a lot of great obtainium out there these days!
This new design should still be able to produce the conditions needed to trigger a relativistic avalanche as per Gurevich and Zybin’s calculations [200kV/m, 50m characteristic avalanche length.] Ultimately I hope to trigger a super-long discharge event and discover if there’s any connection with Gurevich’s relativistic runaway breakdown theory, or at least get some gamma-ray precursors.
"The Lightning Foundry
"Power Tripping" (MAKE: Volume 11)
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]