Arc Attack Shows Off Tesla Backpack Which Is Certainly Not A Weapon



[Steve Ward] showed us his Tesla coil project which looks very much like a video game weapon. The hand-crafted masterpiece really packs a punch, able to throw off fat white arcs or a bit less threatening bolts of purple plasma. The video above is noisy and dark, but the look at the electronics in the backpack (holy huge capacitors batman!) and the quick functional demo are both more than worth posting. Unfortunately we didn’t get audio of the gun in action so you’ll have to image those sound effects.

The rig is powered by a 5Ah lithium battery which provides the 60V that gets boosted to 400V. The giant caps already mentioned store about 2k Joules (we love it how [Steve] can’t say that 2,000 Joule figure without beaming with joy). This project is the most advanced version of the prototype we saw a few years ago in Kansas. If you want to see more of what these guys are up to head over to their homepage.

23 thoughts on “Arc Attack Shows Off Tesla Backpack Which Is Certainly Not A Weapon

    1. I got to see him demonstrate this. He turned down the power and zapped a few members of the audience. On that setting it probably wasn’t any worse than a van de graaff, but I still wouldn’t want to get hit by it on full power.

      1. Yeah, I get the feeling that full power isn’t messing around. But at the same time he wasn’t being cautions enough with the white-lightning setting for me to think it would mean running for the defibrillator.

        Now that I’ve said that, I’d wager they *do* carry an AED with them for their shows.

        1. I’d be worried about my electronics, a camera or cellphone and such won’t like that thing one bit, and probably not even on low power.
          And maybe if he tunes it he can also zap nearby RFID’s,

          1. You’re just guessing though. I don’t think even the big ArcAttack coils have ever damaged any silicon except for their own, back when they were perfecting the design. The gun is super low power so far as Tesla coils go and kind of a marvel of engineering. It stings a little, not as bad or as long as those prank pens that shock you.

          2. Indeed Ross M., I am just guessing, but that brings up the question where the info is about him testing it on devices, surely he thought of that himself you would think.

          3. Steve hasn’t updated his website since he was 13, but since there are so many other solid-state Tesla coils drawing hundreds of times more power out there there’s no use testing this theory. Think about how all of these videos are filmed. I’ve never been concerned with my personal electronics around Tesla coils. They don’t destroy personal electronics. They can’t even cook a steak.

        2. In crazy legal-land, carrying a defibrilator means you were planning to cause heart attacks. Then again there’s probably a fairly strong legal opinion on carrying round a backpack full o’ lightning already.

          1. @Greenaum – no, it means you are taking precautions. Your logic dictates everyone with a first-aid kit is planning to stab someone, and everyone carrying duct tape is planning to break something.
            As to the rest, it comes down to intent. If you are on a stage shouting disclaimers and streaming lightning and someone decides to lick the electrodes anyway, I doubt you have a case.

  1. I’m really loving this, execution and packaging, and thinking to myself, Steve, in v2 please try adding a laser pulse option that will partially ionize the air so as to direct the plasma along that path and give some aim. I’m not sure if that would be safer or more dangerous, but do we really care anyway? I wonder how powerful of a laser pulse is needed to have any notable effect on the path taken?

    1. The US military were experimenting with that a while ago, probably still are. I think the answer is “really, really powerful”, as in he’d need a trailer behind him to carry the power supply and cooling. The military one is planned for vehicle mounting.

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