Dr. Mega Volt and his Amazing Tesla Coil
Dr. MegaVolt is a performance act that has appeared at three Burning Man festivals (1998--2000). It features a person in a metal mesh suit interacting with artificially generated lighting. The Doctor sets objects on fire with electricity originating from large Tesla coils, spars with the electric arcs and exhorts the audience to worship the elemental force of electricity.
- http://fnord.org/gallery/album23 (nice URL,eh?;)
Dr. MegaVolt has its roots in my Tesla Coil experiments that began at age 12. I built a coil that threw a 4-in arc, and used it in a Halloween show at my parents' house in the Boston area. The next incarnation of the coil made a 12-in arc and scared the neighbors' kids while also jamming the reception of my parent's TV during Knotts' Landing. I stepped up to the 10-kW class of coil in graduate school, taking advantage of a bottomless pit of scrap material and power electronics discarded by the Dept. of Energy laboratory behind U.C. Berkeley, combined with the serendipity of my doctoral thesis advisor’s absence while on sabbatical in Italy. Suddenly I had a machine that could produce 10-ft arcs, and it attained some notoriety from the U.C. police and the homeless that roamed the campus at night.