Sunday night – post pongal preachings

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

I gathered from some of my friends Facebook posts that yesterday was Pongal .. a harvest festival celebrated in India.. It’s a time where you are supposed to “rise above petty preoccupation and mundane melancholy”.. not a bad sentiment  !..   I celebrated by eating some of Diane’s Chole.. She’s an awesome Indian cook.  I used is as an excuse to dip into my huge collection of Indian pickle.. (makes my mouth water even typing that !)

Including 5 different bottles of chili pickle.. some of them 3 years past date.. the BEST KIND !

Aside from eating weirdly preserved vegetables, I had a slow and peaceful day.. Diane and I took a great snowshoe  wiht the dogs in the 18 inches of snow out in the woods.   I spent  most of the rest of the day working on my tesla coil .. Still got a few bugs.. but seems to be working .. I’m now working on the music interface.. Here’s a half power demo at various frequencies.. .. the sparks are just over 2 feet.. I hope to tune it to get another foot or so..   Sorry the video is so shaky.. I was twisting knobs and trying not to get zapped.. It looks better than it feels.. :-)

OK.. all for now.. gotta sleep.

Nite all, nite sam

-me

Saturday – Tesla meets ‘droid phone

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

So.. As folks following this blog may remember, I’ve been trying to finish up a new tesla coil.. This one will eventually be able to play music, run on 120V, 220V or 12v car batteries. It’s turning out to be a very. very complicated build.. the toughest thing I think I’ve ever built (except perhaps, our kids) .. I’ve had a bunch of missteps on the way.. I’ve blown out diodes, transient suppressors, capacitors… luckily, nothing more expensive than 17 bucks .. Anyway.. today.. it all started to work.. beautiful long blue sparks, a deep throaty roar as I turned up the juice.. I reached for my camera.. Oh.. shoot.. I dropped it on my hike up Camels Hump this Wednesday.. so  grabbed the only camera I had.. my droid..    Now.. electronics and high voltage don’t really mix very well.. event though I was 2 meters away, my droid camera started going completely crazy as I tried to photograph the spark.. I thought I got a couple of movies.. but then the screen started to freak out.. Now as I sit to enter this blog.. I realize I fried my phone.. all the videos and pictures are gone.. ad the camera app is flipping out completely.  The fields that a tesla coil put out can mess with electronics.. over the years I’ve managed to fry a variety of cordless phones, garage door openers, alarm systems, light dimmers.. but .. until tonight.. never a cell phone..

.. So.. I count that failure as a success..

Now.. if only I could revive my phone..

note all, note sam

-me