It’s a bit difficult to estimate the size of the Tesla coil from this picture, but look closely at the hand rail on the red-orange wall to the left and that helps. The 10-foot tall musical Tesla Coil project has been on-going for about two years. But the team at X-Labs — a hackerspace affiliated with the University of South Florida — finished it just in time for the University’s engineering expo later in the month. There’s some information about it to be found in the recent student newspaper article on the project. A lot more build details are found on the groups website, although that post is quite old.
You can’t call it a musical coil unless there’s a demo video, and that can be seen after the jump. What better to test the thing than by playing the Super Mario Bros. theme? We’re actually more partial to the Imperial March (it’s also fun to hear played on stepper motors).
7 thoughts on “X-Labs Hackerspace Completes A Big 2-year Tesla Coil Build”
Wow… it is crazy to see something you were a part of years ago in its fledgling state actually make something. I hope they fixed that railing the coil is zapping, I remember accidentally breaking it four years ago.
My school still kicks ass. GO BULLS!
BSME, class of 1991
Now THAT’S an exciter!
I’m the current president of X-Labs and want to say thank you to Hack a Day for featuring our Tesla Coil as well as being an awesome website in general! This has been my favorite website for several years now and I check it multiple times a day. I just saw this post a couple minutes ago and my heart skipped a beat!
As for the X-Labs website, I will be updating it later tonight :)
Also, we haven’t even run the coil at full power yet. So far, we have achieved around 10 foot arcs before tripping the 240v 20a breaker with the coil at 75% capacity. We are currently working on finding a bigger outlet as well as getting polyphonic midi to play on the coil. Feel free to ask me any questions about it, and check out the other projects on our website!
You could try contacting some industrial sites in your area, many industrial places have 400v.
I’m so happy to see this finished. I rarely talk to anyone from X-Labs anymore, but to see something beautiful and complex come out of the group reassures me that none of the time I spent with X-Labs was wasted.
Don’t stop, guys. Ride this momentum.
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