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Awesome Electricity

Optima/Clarios Brings Free EV Charging to Dust Fest

Optima/Clarios Brings Free EV Charging to Dust Fest

Off-roading and overlanding have increased greatly in popularity; however, these venues remain largely off-limits to owners of EVs due to the lack of charging units in the backcountry. Now, Optima and parent company Clarios have created a unique and fun opportunity to encourage EV owners to get off the grid and play in the desert – with free charging.

Building a Working Star Wars Plasma Blaster

Building a Working Star Wars Plasma Blaster

The blasters in Star Wars supposedly fire bolts of plasma energy held together with a magnetic field. This sounds like pure science fiction, but Jake Makes wanted to see if he could create the same effect with a real-world weapon. While he came up with an approach that looks pretty accurate, it’s not technically the same idea at all.

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Ignition Coil vs. Circuit Board

Ignition Coil vs. Circuit Board

We don’t recommend playing with the electricity from a car’s ignition coil, but Styro Pyro is an expert at these sorts of things. In this video, he shows what happens when the power from these high-voltage transformers is applied to the bare metal traces of a blank circuit board. We’re guessing stuff would start smoking if the board had parts on it.

A Brief History of Batteries

A Brief History of Batteries

We rely on batteries to power everything from our watches to our phones to our vehicles. But where did batteries come from, and who invented them? Origins explores the history of batteries and their evolution since 1799. Along the way, you learn we don’t see “B” cell batteries and what frog legs and torpedo fish have to do with it all.

Making an Ionic Plasma Thruster

Making an Ionic Plasma Thruster

After making a bladeless fan that runs on ionic wind, Integza wanted to see if he could harness that electric breeze to create a small jet engine. He used a small transformer to step up the voltage and wired it up to send electrons between a nickel and copper-plated ring. It’s not very powerful, but it’s still incredibly cool.

Thunderstruck on Tesla Coils

Thunderstruck on Tesla Coils

Franzoli Electronics rode down the highway, broke the limit, and hit the town with another electrifying performance by his Tesla coil band. This time, the high-voltage musicians added some lightning to the AC/DC classic Thunderstruck. The improved expressiveness and stereo capabilities represent a big upgrade from past Tesla coil concerts.

Squirrel-powered Phone Charger

Squirrel-powered Phone Charger

Quiet Nerd wanted to know if a squirrel running in a wheel could generate enough electricity to charge a phone. He built his squirrel-sized wheel using a baking pan and a stepper motor to recharge a battery pack. Once he placed it in the woods, all kinds of animals checked it out, but did they generate enough energy? We bet a hamster would be more effective.

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The World’s Hottest Candle

The World’s Hottest Candle

When is a candle not really a candle? When it’s a high-voltage plasma flame like the one shown here. James from The Action Lab shows how an ultra-high-frequency solid-state Tesla coil can produce an intensely hot flame that can’t be blown out and that can even melt steel.

Overpowering Electric Toys: Volume 2

Overpowering Electric Toys: Volume 2

Not long ago, Aboringday entertained us by sending too much voltage through some electromechanical toys. If that didn’t satisfy your appetite for destruction, he’s back to subject another bunch of toys to more power than they were designed to handle. We still can’t decide whether to laugh or cry for the toys.

Overpowering Kids Toys with Too Much Electricity

Overpowering Kids Toys with Too Much Electricity

Most electric kids’ toys run on relatively low voltages. Aboringday wanted to see what would happen to some electromechanical toys if you ramped up their power beyond their rated voltages. The experiments top out at 30 volts, so don’t expect flames to shoot out of anything. Most of the results are amusing, but we felt bad for that bee-stung dog.

Self-launching NERF Missiles

Self-launching NERF Missiles

After engineering NERF darts that can fire themselves, Joel Creates thought he’d try the same with those larger NERF missiles. Typically launched with a pump-action weapon, Joel’s capacitor- and flash cotton-powered missile launchers are self-contained and launch with the push of a button. Those wrist-mounted launchers look super cool too.

Experimenting with Low Voltages and High Currents

Experimenting with Low Voltages and High Currents

Mehdi from ElectroBOOM demonstrates the relationship between voltage and amperage by reducing the output voltage of a microwave transformer to the point that it produces massive amounts of current. Expect lots of buzzing noises, noxious smoke, math equations, and melted objects along the way.

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Electric Shock Piano

Electric Shock Piano

There are lots of ways to learn to play the piano. Joel Creates and his friend Eric came up with the cruelest method. Their electric piano keyboard uses negative reinforcement, zapping students with high-voltage electricity if they mess up. It has electrodes on every key, so it shocks the same finger that played the wrong note.

Exploding Capacitor Alarm Clock

Exploding Capacitor Alarm Clock

Do you have trouble waking up? Mehdi from ElectroBOOM has the solution. He built an alarm clock designed to startle you from your sleep by blowing up capacitors. The trick is an alarm clock that triggers a rotating magazine that holds ten capacitors and applies a high-voltage power source.

Making an Electromagnetic Railgun That Fires Water

Making an Electromagnetic Railgun That Fires Water

Mehdi Sadaghdar was jealous of the views of an obviously fake video showing a magnetically-powered water cannon, so he decided to try and create something real that would approximate the same effect. Naturally, his experiments involved playing with dangerous electrical currents. Get ready to lower your expectations, folks.

Electric Arcs + Magnetic Fields

Electric Arcs + Magnetic Fields

What’s more fun than playing with powerful neodymium magnets? Adding high voltage electricity, that’s what! Magnetic Games shows us some of the fascinating kinds of plasma arcs that form as 20,000 volts are applied to different shapes, sizes, and arrangements of magnets.

The Plasma Piano

The Plasma Piano

After melting all of the strings on his piano with high-voltage sparks, Mattias Krantz wanted to see if he could still make music with the thing. So he got to work building a series of circuits that fire plasma arcs onto the piano’s metal backboard to make sounds when he presses the piano’s keys. But it wasn’t easy getting it to work.

Avengers on Tesla Coils

Avengers on Tesla Coils

Marvel characters like Living Lightning, Electro, and Thor have the ability to control electricity. But only one of those guys is an Avenger, so we’re imagining that the tesla coils in Franzoli Electronics latest video are basically rounded versions of Mjölnir shooting their lightning bolts at Captain America’s Vibranium shield.

Making a True Bladeless Fan

Making a True Bladeless Fan

Those fancy Dyson fans are called “bladeless,” but they really just hide their fan blades in the base. Integza wanted to see if it would be possible to build a fan that actually has no blades. His theory was that he could harness and direct the ionic wind created by high-voltage electricity.

Capturing Electrical Arcs in Slow-Motion

Capturing Electrical Arcs in Slow-Motion

Mehdi Sadaghdar from ElectroBOOM has made a career out of playing with electricity. He teamed up with Gav and Dan of The Slow Mo Guys to shoot some high-voltage sparks from his tesla coil and Marx generator. They managed to capture some incredible shots at speeds up to 1,750,000 frames per second. Here’s Mehdi’s video.

Literal Electric Piano

Literal Electric Piano

Musician and maker Mattias Krantz has done some pretty crazy things to pianos. This time, he teamed up with Mehdi Sadaghdar of Electroboom to create the most dangerous piano ever. Using a bunch of cheap camera capacitors, he modified his hammer-head piano to create high-voltage sparks when played.

Around the World on Tesla Coils

Around the World on Tesla Coils

During their 28 years together, Daft Punk used lots of synthesizers and electronic equipment to make their music. But as far as we recall, tesla coils were not in their arsenal. Thankfully, we have Franzoli Electronics, who used his high-voltage noise-makers to play an awesome cover version of Around the World.

Syringe vs. Tesla Coil

Syringe vs. Tesla Coil

Tesla coils give us one of the few controlled ways to see electricity. Apparently, if you stick a nail into a plastic syringe, point it at a live tesla coil, and pull its plunger that it would extract the electric plasma into its barrel. Original footage from ElectroBOOM.

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