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Topic: Lightning bolt
Message: Posted by: MikeRaffone (Mar 3, 2009 01:10AM)
Is there an effect/gimmick on the market to produce a lightning bolt or quick burst of sparks? The closest thing I've used is the funken ring but it misfires sometimes and breaks easily. Maybe something electronic but can be hidden in the hand?

Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 3, 2009 01:20AM)
Viking makes a flash gun which is available in double and single barrel:

Message: Posted by: Bernie Balloons (Mar 3, 2009 08:02AM)
Message: Posted by: Fitz (Mar 3, 2009 11:11AM)
Those are all good gimmicks but I think the best one for your effect would be a flint flasher. http://www.theatrefx.com/store/commerce.cgi?product=pyrowizard_kits

This is like a funken ring but much more dramatic, the draw back is you have to re load it after every use but it is a solid prop and great effect.

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 3, 2009 12:53PM)
Would something like this ignite flash paper? (Seems like a really dumb idea, but I am just wondering.)
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 3, 2009 12:58PM)
Well in the Viking unit I posted, flash paper indeed is used (havent checked the others).
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Mar 3, 2009 01:02PM)
Closest I can think of would be a flash canon. The small ones fit in your hand and can shoot out a burst of flame at your command. Alternatively, if you are looking for a burst of light, you may go with something like Flash Burst.

Message: Posted by: MikeRaffone (Mar 3, 2009 04:30PM)
Everything above is about fire or sparks but I am looking for a lightning bolt. Thanks for trying though.

Maybe I need to ask Ken Scott because...
I just found this video with him using a lighting bolt but don't know if it is a real magic effect or just a special effect done with video editing software.

Skip to 2:10 on the video below and you will see what I mean:


Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 3, 2009 04:56PM)
That's a special effect, added to the video as it was being edited.

The closest thing I can imagine to that is to use a Jacob's Ladder or Tesla coil.
Message: Posted by: randirain (Mar 3, 2009 05:21PM)
I have a Tesla coil that I use for an electric chair bit.
It's not something you can hold in your hand, and it's really loud.

A Jacobs ladder is even worse.
If you build a spark gap Tesla Coil, that spark gap is a Jacobs Ladder.
If you touch it, you will die.

My Tesla coil puts out about 25,000 volts, but very low amps.
It still doesn't feel good, but it won't kill you.
The spark gap inside it is over 9,000 volts at high amperage, and will send you into cardiac arrest if you touch it.
Not to mention fry your eyes if you look at it for long periods of time.
I know this for a fact.
Of course you could make a lower Jacobs Ladder, but it still couldn't be touched.

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 3, 2009 08:56PM)
My point was that a spark like that to the head would be painful, to say the least...:crazydude:
Message: Posted by: randirain (Mar 3, 2009 09:39PM)
Well... While sitting in the electric chair I had it discharge from head...
(long story)

Yeah.. it doesn't feel good.

My depression is gone though!

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 4, 2009 06:32AM)
My cousin used to run the high-voltage lab in the electrical engineering department at the university I attended. The center of the main lab was occupied by a massive (probably 15- to 18-feet tall) van de Graaf generator. It generated upwards of four million volts static for the purpose of creating lighting for experiments. One of the things they used it for was to test insulating gloves for electric companies. Another was to vaporize half-inch copper rods. It was very cool to watch (and very loud)!

Once the experiments had been completed on a particular day, the charge would be bled off the globe for safety. One day, however, as he was locking up for the day, a residual charge arced over from the globe and popped him on the head, travelled through his body and arced from his finger to the metal door he was closing. When he woke up about twenty minutes later, he realized that about a quarter-inch of his middle finger was missing, and the wound had been cauterized.

Other than that, he was fine, but this demontrates the danger of messing with high voltage...
Message: Posted by: DonHarlan (Mar 4, 2009 09:36AM)
Mike you might try the igniter by Jim Pace, one of his gags with it are to walk up to an outlet and get shocked. The igniter when combined with very little flash cotton and some sparkle additive, makes a small flash and a large rain of sparks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQVjhPhBmJk look for 25 seconds in. Good luck with your search.
Message: Posted by: Fitz (Mar 4, 2009 10:48AM)
Randi how do you measure the voltage output on your electric chair? I fried a $350 Fluke meter a few years back and I am still not sure how many volts my electric man prop puts out... I think it about 50,000 volts but I would really like to find out.

Message: Posted by: randirain (Mar 4, 2009 12:52PM)
Fitz... I am guessing based upon calculations that are used for Tesla coils.

The way mine is built it should put out about 3 times as much as the transformer does, and the transformer is a 9,000 volt neon transformer.

Message: Posted by: Fitz (Mar 4, 2009 01:57PM)
Okay Thanks

Message: Posted by: MikeRaffone (Mar 4, 2009 04:20PM)
Forgot about the dangers of electricity. I'll stick with fire for now.

Jim Pace Igniter looks really versatile. His website has a more detailed video demo and I will probably end up getting it. Thanks.

Message: Posted by: Nitrogen (Mar 11, 2009 03:27PM)
Jim Pace's lighter looks great. An Electric Funken ring is also made by Sylvester the Jester.
Message: Posted by: Nitrogen (Mar 11, 2009 03:37PM)
Sylvester's ring was at Kevin James site that was already linked to above.