Author Topic: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils  (Read 2160 times)

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Offline EofK

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Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« on: November 07, 2007, 01:30:04 PM »
Two guys with way too much time on their hands have built in their backyard twin Tesla coils that play the Super Mario Bros. theme song.  Electronics Club: 1, Jocks: 0. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1O2jcfOylU
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 01:37:05 PM »
Wow.  Awesome.  Great link!
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Offline EofK

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 01:59:01 PM »
Why thank you!  And posted just in time... youtube has stopped working for me now.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Keble

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 04:49:48 PM »
What's really scary is that there are a whole bunch of such videos on YouTube-- from a whole bunch of different people.

Offline EofK

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 05:04:18 PM »
What's really scary is that there are a whole bunch of such videos on YouTube-- from a whole bunch of different people.

What's really really scary is that this is something Mr. Y. would do if he had enough free time. 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 07:10:50 PM »
It's on my To Do list for June (growing longer all the time....)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 07:11:03 PM by ytterbiumanalyst »
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Offline EofK

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 08:36:02 PM »
Note to self:  Do not enter backyard in June.   :D
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline prodromas

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 02:08:07 AM »
Mrs Y that is the funniest thing I have seen all week! As a connoisseur of Mario and it's music really appreciated it. Mr. Y how would one go about building such a thing? not step by step but just basic.
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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2007, 03:36:51 AM »
Looking at the science of this, how in the world does one make such music with Tesla coils? ??? :o
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 11:35:22 AM »
Mr. Y how would one go about building such a thing? not step by step but just basic.

Quote
Looking at the science of this, how in the world does one make such music with Tesla coils?

Don't know yet; ask me again in June.   ;D

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Offline EofK

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2007, 11:40:15 AM »
Looking at the science of this, how in the world does one make such music with Tesla coils? ??? :o

I'm wondering that myself.  I think maybe the music doesn't come directly from the coils, but maybe with music playing in the background, the soundwaves cause the coils to react?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 11:40:51 AM by EofK »
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Ebor

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2007, 11:58:37 AM »
There's an explanation one the note and comments on that video:

"The music that you hear is coming from the sparks that these two identical high power solid state Tesla coils are generating. There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programed into the computer software."

Ebor

(who thinks this would be a Very Cool family project for the back yard)
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Offline EofK

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2007, 04:06:20 PM »
^ Ah, pays to read the rest of the page!  Thanks for that!  Very interesting... and I agree, and interesting family project.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Keble

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Re: Ways to Impress Your Friends #918: Musical Tesla Coils
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 12:31:38 AM »
A somewhat more elaborate explanation: the Tesla coil is essentially an RF high voltage transformer; the sparks make sound by punching a hole in the air. Your typical coil operates in the middle kHz to MHz range, which means that the sound of continuous sparking at one power level is ultrasonic and all you here is a hiss. However, you can modulate the power output with an audio signal and then the high frequency sound generating of the RF signal serves as an AM carrier for the audio sound. It sounds terribly distorted on most of them because it is; when the sound source is actual sparks, the all-or-nothing conduction of the sparks clips the daylights out of the audio signal, and you hear a lot of fuzz. If you set it up for corona discharge instead, you can get darn good sound reproduction.

Two inevitable tunes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFZrcKnxnio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANiKSPtwTVc

a corona discharge example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-EaxOig-UY