This device lives in the "stuff and nonsense" category. Every switch and dial makes different things happen including flashing lights, moving dials and fog. I didn't have a chance to chat with the maker, but it appeared to live with the stuff from the Cowtown Computer Congress, a Kansas City maker collective.
The Mad Scientist's Laboratory
Welcome to the mad scientist's laboratory! As you feast your eyes on this display, keep in mind that all of this was brought in and set up just for a two day event. The huge tube houses a home brew Jacob's Ladder. Most impressive.
Unfortunately, there were always willing volunteers waiting in line for diagnosis and treatment. I only got to see the act without hearing it. In the next image, the Doctor is approaching the patient with great care lest he still harbors residual electrical energy from his first round of treatment.
Repeat after me: Mwah, ha, ha.
Power Wheels Racing League
Our next stop transitions from the world of AC to the wonders of DC. Have you ever noticed the jawas that cruise neighborhood trash piles the night before the real trash hauler comes? The amount of useful detritus that ends up by the curb is truly sad :(
Fortunately, it isn't just flea market, Craigslist and ebay flippers plucking good bits from the garbage! When the right maker gets hold of one of those old battery powered kiddy cars the magic and madness of Power Wheels racing can begin!
You might guess from this pit area scene that the Power Wheels Racing League isn't about stock vehicles. Nope, these are like the nitro burning funny cars of the kiddie car world. Most of these have at least two deep cycle marine batteries in their customized chassis. A day at the races includes endurance laps, drag racing and trips around the road course.
Yeah, I want to do this in the worst way. The participants get bonus points for flair. There are more photos from the 2011 event at http://vintagetechobsessions.blogspot.com/2011/12/late-maker-nerd-news.html
Real Cars with Electric Style
This little car got a lot of attention. It has a hybrid drive train with pedals for the driver and passenger and a battery powered electric motor. It is a street legal 1998 import from Europe. While it is a daily driver, the lack of air conditioning probably causes it to be parked during heat spells like what we have been experiencing. As I write this, it is 95 degrees at 10:00 PM after an afternoon high of 104. Thank goodness for Tesla and Westinghouse!
This car is more for show than go. Still, who wouldn't love to cruise around in a reproduction of the Back to the Future Delorean?
And now, welcome to the madness that is Arc Attack! This band hails from Austin, Texas. They built these two Tesla coils that crank out 12 foot, 500,000 volt streamers. On top of that, they vary the input frequency so the coils "sing". The act started in 2005 and has been refined along the way. The coils were redesigned after an unfortunate fire. Just this year they added a robotic drummer to the crew.
I was unable to upload one of my videos, but there are plenty of samples on YouTube. The sound may be a little garbled because these things are incredibly loud! The microphone on my Sony NEX3 was totally overwhelmed.
Yeah, he is getting hit in the head with a streamer. So jealous...
A friendly reminder about the archaic concept of copyright: all photos are copyright Dwayne F. at vintagetechobsessions. Please cite the source if you liberate my images. They are not to be used for commercial purposes with or without citation. You could wake up with an Oliver 99 hovering over your bed. You have been warned.