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4hv.org :: Forums :: Tesla Coils
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Red Alert Tesla project

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Author Post
Tesladownunder
Sat Sep 29 2007, 03:51PM Print View
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
I have let out hints that I was working on a Tesla coil to simulate the Red Alert Tesla coil. Red Alert was a real time strategy game that was very popular since its release in 1996. It is also many people's only contact with the concept of a Tesla coil. The TC was a major Soviet base defence unit, able to fire long sparks at intruders. It was augmented by Telsa troopers for extra power.

The TC as depicted in RA had multiple toroids and a sphere on top and had coloured supports and could shoot spark over long distances. The sparks were usually white with some yellow ones.

I can make the multiple toroids and have shown how to get the coloured sparks. The other structures and Tesla trooper can be modelled.
The long sparks I am now in a position to show with the first shot below. This was the first major hurdle.
Note that like all my pics, this is a single exposure with no photoshopping.






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Sulaiman
Sat Sep 29 2007, 05:11PM
Registered Member #162
Joined: Mon Feb 13 2006, 10:25AM
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2739
Now that's truly amazing....

You've done it again Peter,
this one's sure to get about a billion hits!
Great stuff.

How's it done?
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Dr. H.
Sat Sep 29 2007, 06:17PM
Registered Member #931
Joined: Mon Jul 30 2007, 05:25PM
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 485
How long is that spark ????
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Capper
Sat Sep 29 2007, 06:20PM
Registered Member #914
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 06:22PM
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 85
>>Note that like all my pics, this is a single exposure with no photoshopping

I'd call it a fraud - the bottom of some of the sparks are flat and cut-off. You overlaid multiple images.

C@P
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Bauerb2
Sat Sep 29 2007, 07:29PM
Registered Member #973
Joined: Tue Aug 28 2007, 07:32PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 66
i dont believe the pic though.. it looks as if the metal garage is closer than the hoop. and as capper said, they look cut off at a few spots.

mentiroso.... hehe
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Marko
Sat Sep 29 2007, 07:34PM
Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 02:40PM
Location: Zadar, Croatia
Posts: 3145
It looks like he dragged two conductive wires/breakout points separated by a non-conductor in the line between the coil and hoop. The same thing used for his ball as it appears.
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Tesladownunder
Sat Sep 29 2007, 07:39PM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
Capper wrote ...

>>Note that like all my pics, this is a single exposure with no photoshopping
I'd call it a fraud - the bottom of some of the sparks are flat and cut-off. You overlaid multiple images.
C@P

People regularly call my stuff photoshopped. It still hurts a bit though. Usually they don't bother to read the simple explanations on my site. Although this is not on my site yet I have explained how I was going to do it here or here in Mystery photos. The thing is that this must be easier than photoshopping. Particularly when I have many photos and out-takes.

Span is about 19 feet. The spark is 3 feet not 19 feet and it gets pulled along during the exposure.
I repeat that all my photos are single exposures with only minor adjustments such as brightness and cropping.

Pic 1 is a shorter (18ft) span with a 20 second exposure.
Pic 2 is an outtake. Out of focus and the wire fell off the hoop. Burnt some grass which the kids thought was cool and what we really should be photographing.
Pic 3 shows the spool closeup with the connection to the short length of nylon line.
Pic 4 shows the spool and you can just see the line up to the hoop. From there it joins to a nylon line again which I pull on.

TDU









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Steve Conner
Sat Sep 29 2007, 07:41PM
Joined: Fri Feb 03 2006, 10:52AM
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 6706
Well Capper, technically it is fake, it just wasn't faked digitally. I agree that it must use the wire method.

It still looks awesome though, proper job TDU
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Shaun
Sun Sep 30 2007, 04:04AM
Registered Member #690
Joined: Tue May 08 2007, 03:47AM
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 616
It obviously is not hitting the shed even though that's closer to it because it is targeting the hoop. I mean, come on, the Red Alert TC didn't just hit random ground objects, it only struck non-Soviet grounded objects (and people).

I guarantee you on some random geekblogosphere site's comments: "wow how do u get that thing 2 target stuff?!"

And then the essential Youtube comment that we've all gotten on TC-related videos: "OMG how u do that?
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Tesladownunder
Sun Sep 30 2007, 12:42PM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
I haven't been very clear I guess. This is not a 19 foot spark. It is a 3 foot spark which is pulled out on a wire over 15 seconds over that distance towards the basketball hoop. The cameras long exposure over 20 seconds makes this look (sort of) like a very long spark. That is entirely the effect I want to give to simulate the Red Alert TC which was able to target things with "microwave beam ionisation guidance".
Now that I can do that I will proceed to the other modelling aspects and the next problem which is trying to tune a sphere and 3 toroids plus a 25 foot wire. I am using 13 of 17 turns to tune a small toroid with say a 6 foot wire. I may have to make temporary primary turns as I would prefer this to making another cap bank to add on.

Here is the topload as per Red Alert. The upper part is my 4 inch secondary which died recently with internal flames and smoke. Looks perfect on the outside though. It happened that it was a simple fit to the top of my big TC and also to the sphere and allowed room for a spool. Nearly 12 foot high without adding to the base so has to be disassembled before going back into the carport.
The photo below is just a bit of fun using multiple gaps in the wire. A Tesla "plasma cannon" if you wish.
A 10 second exposure with no wire movement.

TDU


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Reaching
Sun Sep 30 2007, 01:43PM
Registered Member #76
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 10:04AM
Location: Hemer, Germany
Posts: 458
i dont understand, why do you want to "simulate" a stategy games fiction on teslacoils. those threads are tend to drop the seriousness of this forum and his members. what do you guess a guy would think if he just searches the forum for pics without reading the text?? I mean, this thread has the potential to make a joke out of serious´s pictures in the eye of an amateur. well, its just a fake, but do you mean a guy would know this? NO!

Seriously, this thread belongs to chatting or somewhere else, not to teslacoils
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ragnar
Sun Sep 30 2007, 04:32PM
Registered Member #63
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 06:18AM
Location:
Posts: 1423
I'll have to admit that I rather enjoy the trick photography.

When I moved into my apartment this year, my flatmate's only exposure to Tesla coils was RA1, the popular computer game. He got pretty excited when he saw my 13.56MHz coils and my CW stuff, and even more fired up when I used an interrupter. Quite often he gives me suggestions involving high voltage for photographic effect, but because I don't have the inclination or my own camera, I don't do it.

Peter is (to my knowledge) the only person who has put in the effort (and 90% of that effort probably isn't apparent in the pictures) to 'mock up' a decent real-world imitation of the conceptual RA1 Tesla coil. I think it's a neat private joke, and we can all have a giggle at nobody's expense.

The "long exposure and draw-wire" may be obvious at first sight to us, but the coil and the sparks really do look great. Keep it up, Peter
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Tesladownunder
Sun Sep 30 2007, 04:55PM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
Reaching wrote ...

i dont understand, why do you want to "simulate" a stategy games fiction on teslacoils. those threads are tend to drop the seriousness of this forum and his members. what do you guess a guy would think if he just searches the forum for pics without reading the text?? I mean, this thread has the potential to make a joke out of serious´s pictures in the eye of an amateur. well, its just a fake, but do you mean a guy would know this? NO!
Seriously, this thread belongs to chatting or somewhere else, not to teslacoils

Hmmm.. Harsh criticism of new Tesla techniques not previously seen on the net.
Perhaps you would criticize Tesla himself for using a double exposure in his famous spark photo. Or perhaps you would keep your own exposures to 1/30th second rather than your unrealistic spark photos like in your avatar which are clearly long exposures.

If you don't understand people's interest in Red Alert, and you can't understnd why I might have an interest in this then you will have no interest in this thread and you can exercise your right not to visit it.

Are you saying my "fake" photos make a joke out of serious Tesla photos? So name me a more serious Tesla photographer than I am. My TC photos are probably taken with a similar exposure time to yours, yet mine are "fake". That is a pretty solid insult.

You are concerned about people just searching 4HV for pictures. People looking for Tesla coils Google directly for the 13000 pictures (of which my "fake" Tesla coil on a car accounts for about 1% of these). That won't take them here to 4hV which Google picks up 300 images only.

If you feel I should be sent to Chatting or worse, then discuss this with the mods or set up a poll to find out if others feel as you do. If you don't feel strongly about this then it is getting a bit close to flaming for my liking.

TDU





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Reaching
Sun Sep 30 2007, 05:32PM
Registered Member #76
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 10:04AM
Location: Hemer, Germany
Posts: 458
maybe a bit harsh

but, there are so many fools out there looking at your pics and saying "wow a big military defence people grilling mashine or so" . i see it everywhere and all day on my own forum which has over 240 german members interestet in teslacoils. i always wanted to show the "nature" of teslacoils. your pics are great and i like them, but i worry that many people out there are not concerned about "what they are"... they look at the pics found on google or somewhere else and look like this O_o ... long exposures etc,, everyone here photographes their teslacoils with a long exposure. you have great ideas, but why do you explain how youve done it so lately in this thread? are you like the comments of people thinking about how you´ve done it? and if thats not enough you compare a teslacoil with a men killing mashine in one of thousand silly computergames digging out the old imbecility, teslacoils can kill people over a long distance etc.
you´re right. this thread is nothing for me, and i doubt that there are other members who are thinking like me about this.
fact is, we, as a community have the task to show people what teslacoils really are.
you, on the other side, show people with your pics what a teslacoil really isnt
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Kizmo
Sun Sep 30 2007, 07:15PM
Joined: Thu Mar 22 2007, 07:40PM
Location: Northern Finland, Rovaniemi
Posts: 621
http://4hv.org/e107_files/public/1191080970_10_FT0_teslara18fttrial1000.jpg

On the top end of your secondary, that bright spot, is that inter turn arcing or is that just reflection? I just broke my secondary with that kind of failure :)
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Tesladownunder
Sun Sep 30 2007, 07:27PM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
Reaching, your attitude has been shared by others For example Steve Connor was unhappy about me giving a name to an effect (Eye of Sauron) until he remembered his most recent TC is named after a Norse gods hammer

Some people on this forum should realise there are possibilities after you use the science to get the sparks that you want. Many seem to stop there which is fine. Some, however go on to actually use the coil to do other things. However, the public, which you seem to imply are idiots that have to be educated, are by and large, NOT interested in another Tesla coils sparks or the science behind them.

On the other hand they ARE interested in the Art of Tesla coils. Witness the spectacular success of Steve Ward's musical Tesla coil. The public understand music and this was a new approach to it. Sure it is not new stuff ( I bought a plasmasonic board from EVR years ago) but it was in the right place at the right time.

Similarly, my Tesla coil on a car was recognisable as a thief deterrant that people can relate to. Neither relies on a knowledge of the science.

Similarly again, the worlds number one real time strategy game had a Tesla coil that was understandable. It zapped you if you got too close. A good message, I think.

However people who are interested will come to the site or to blogs and some will end up with a better knowledge of the science.

So I have chosen to go down that path. I am purely interested in getting the best single exposure picture that is instantly recognisable as a Red Alert Tesla coil. It will still be a photo and not a computer graphic. It will be just as valid as your photos that don't represent what you would see in a video. Once I have the final product, I will put it out to the public. I anticipate it will be popular and hopefully again have enough website hits to slow 4HV down again.

I put my construction and progress on 4HV as there are some people who will find the techniques and construction interesting. This is after all new. You have decided new and bad. I will let the public decide.

Kizmo, you are right about the short between adjacent windings. I was horrified to see it. I scratched around with a pocket knife and gave it a dob of polyurethane and have not had further problems yet. It will probably breakdown in time and I will have to remove a winding. Unfortunately, it is on the dark side of the coil and I might not notice it letting the smoke out.

TDU
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Kizmo
Sun Sep 30 2007, 07:48PM
Joined: Thu Mar 22 2007, 07:40PM
Location: Northern Finland, Rovaniemi
Posts: 621
--offtopic--
Tesladownunder wrote ...

Kizmo, you are right about the short between adjacent windings. I was horrified to see it. I scratched around with a pocket knife and gave it a dob of polyurethane and have not had further problems yet. It will probably breakdown in time and I will have to remove a winding. Unfortunately, it is on the dark side of the coil and I might not notice it letting the smoke out.

TDU

I had exactly same kind of thing with my 8" coil. I was behind camera and failure was at opposite side. My brother noticed it first and he cut the power but it was too late. I got now few carbon tracks and deep burns around my secondary. I'm going to try fix that, i just unwound damaged part away and i will grind all carbon and burn marks away, fill those holes with epoxy and coat that with few layers of polyurethane. Then i just re-wind it with new wire and put few layers of polyurethane over it :)

I have no idea if it works but i think i have nothing to loose.

--offtopic--


But anyway, nice pictures!
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Reaching
Sun Sep 30 2007, 10:27PM
Registered Member #76
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 10:04AM
Location: Hemer, Germany
Posts: 458
TDU. If youre up for more hits on your pics, do it... share your stuff with other people. yeah, those people who tell their parents and friends that they´ve seen a teslacoil which produces balls of lightning and 19 foot long streamers like in red alert that can kill people etc. dont you think theres enough confusing commercial stuff out there?
be proud of living in australia. would ive done something like this here in germany, a swat team already had inprisoned me.
it would have been in all news that a mad scientist build a people killing teslacoil like in red alert. the politicians would have released a law against those videogames. be proud of living on that continent with the smallest population per km²...

a guy on my forum who uploaded a video of his coilgun had been arrestet a few days later. they took his coilgun and other stuff just for the video on youtube!!!
Be careful with this pics and be careful about yourself, especially about your good name here in this community.
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Capper
Sun Sep 30 2007, 10:49PM
Registered Member #914
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 06:22PM
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 85
Well, I'm sorry if I upset you with my comment. I looked at the photo and I could tell it wasn't a 19 foot spark. Sparks don't just end at places (and 90 degree angles) with nice hot thick white spots - I know, because I've only been able to make 12 footers myself, and that was at 25kW of input power. I've also spent quite a bit of time taking pictures of sparks, and I know what they look like.

If you want to make a 19 foot spark, tape a few dozen CDs to some thick fishing line and string it between the hoop and the coil. It looks cool, but makes a mess of the driveway (and coats the secondary with tiny pieces of aluminum).

Someone did it once with a sheet of mylar coated with some sort of magnetic material at one of the Cheesehead 'thons way back also.

C@P
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ragnar
Mon Oct 01 2007, 01:16AM
Registered Member #63
Joined: Thu Feb 09 2006, 06:18AM
Location:
Posts: 1423
I'd prefer the appropriate comments on this thread to be moved into an appropriate thread in the moderating forum.

wrote ...
...we, as a community have the task to show people what teslacoils really are...

No, we don't have a "task" to educate anyone. We are not accountable to the whims of "the people". We as one "community" do not owe or submit to the ignorance of another "community".

wrote ...
...you, on the other side, show people with your pics what a teslacoil really isnt...

Peter kindly offers to show his neat photographic techniques in a closed-membership forum. Aren't we lucky?

I don't believe we are any "safer" in Australia than in the US or Germany from overzealous public servants and law enforcers. Comparing a long-exposure photo of a Tesla coil to a video of a coil gun is a bit of a long shot.

I'd suspect that fabricating a device that launches a projectile faster than a certain velocity (or otherwise defined) may be plainly ILLEGAL in Germany. It should come as no surprise that the police exercised their power to confiscate it.

A coil gun is a GUN, intended to launch a projectile as fast as possible. A Tesla coil is often-used in theatrical special effects. Compare the tangible killing power.
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Coronafix
Mon Oct 01 2007, 02:57AM
Registered Member #160
Joined: Mon Feb 13 2006, 02:07AM
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 935
Good work TDU, look forward to the end result!
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Steve Ward
Mon Oct 01 2007, 03:51AM
Registered Member #146
Joined: Sun Feb 12 2006, 04:21AM
Location: Austin Tx
Posts: 1055
Hey, i think what Peter is doing is pretty fun . I see no harm in it at all, so i dont know why Reaching is so uptight about it. While the idea to replicate the graphics of a video game might seem silly and trivial, i think Peter has been rather clever with all of his "analog" tricks to replicate what was dreamt up by some game programmer. In fact, rarely do coilers manage to take really nice pictures of their machines performing... i think he is taking that to a new level, which in my opinion is very cool.
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Cain
Mon Oct 01 2007, 04:13AM
Registered Member #624
Joined: Tue Apr 03 2007, 07:50AM
Location:
Posts: 59
if we have a look at this topic from a "non -coilers" point of view then the photo has just as much relevance as the coils we make...

they serve no real useful purpose.. they are art... fun to play and experiment with, and challenge yourself to get longer sparks...

yes the is a serious side.. the are VERY DANGEROUS but we all know that, and anyone who wants to build one will see the many many warnings about them..

but we all want to show our coils off.. I'm sure there isn't many coilers that make em and don't show there friends..

i think peter has just looked outside the box in ways to show his coil off
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Tesladownunder
Mon Oct 01 2007, 04:14AM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
Thanks for the encouragement everyone.
Can't talk now, busy making Tesla supports in Soviet Red and getting my Tesla Trooper made before my base is rushed

TDU
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Bjørn
Mon Oct 01 2007, 04:30AM

Joined: Fri Feb 03 2006, 02:20AM
Location: Hyperborea
Posts: 2023
I can't decide if this is harmless fun or if it is designed purely to generate the maksimum number of page views with the least amount of effort.

My best guess is that it is somewhere between.
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Sulaiman
Mon Oct 01 2007, 05:26AM
Registered Member #162
Joined: Mon Feb 13 2006, 10:25AM
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2739
I have yet to see ONE practical use of a Tesla Coil by members of this forum - Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Coiling is primarily a hobby/amusement, some make a few bucks, all learn something.

If you can't have fun/entertainment with a hobby then what's it for?

Keep on coilin' Peter .... Good on ya mate!


The worst outcome is a slight addition to general misinformation amongst non-coilers
there's so much genuine misinformation out there in the 'new age' group that TDU's actions are negligible,
maybe many more coilers will arise to continue the hobby?

At the very least ,TDU has livened up this forum !
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Tesladownunder
Mon Oct 01 2007, 07:22AM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
Bjørn Bæverfjord wrote ...

I can't decide if this is harmless fun OR if it is designed purely to generate the maksimum number of page views with the least amount of effort.

The other Boolean Operator is AND.

Also harmless fun and maximum publicity is probably better than dangerous and unpleasant and no-one knowing about it.

Mind you the effort does not seem like the least amount yet but a few things are starting to take shape.

Supports are visible and the Tesla trooper has a vague outline.
"Rubber shoes in motion.."


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Bjørn
Mon Oct 01 2007, 07:25AM

Joined: Fri Feb 03 2006, 02:20AM
Location: Hyperborea
Posts: 2023
I have yet to see ONE practical use of a Tesla Coil by members of this forum - Please correct me if I'm wrong!


You are right in that tesla coils have little or no practical use in this form but the criticism is not on of practicality but something else. It is not about having fun either.

Let us look at cars as an example:
1. You can have fun by optimizing performance and efficiency to get you around the track as fast as possible.
2. You can have fun by degrading performance and efficiency by adding ineffective spoilers and neon lights and using trick photography to give the impression that performance has increased.

Both lack practicality, both are fun, yet there is a very significant difference. So it is clear that practicality and entertainment value are not the only factors.

My concern is that it all seems like a Google trap. Red alert is probably the most common part of popular culture that referst to tesla coils and the first paragraph seems to be written just for Google to find so lots of Red alert players will end up here. It might be coincidence but looking back it seems that the number of page hits seems to be a significant factor in these projects.

A part of this site has always been to show off projects but it has generally been projects does not depend on popularity for their existence. Now we are getting into the area of showing off just for the sake of showing off and that brings unpleasant associations to why this forum exists at all.
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Tesladownunder
Mon Oct 01 2007, 07:43AM
Joined: Thu Feb 02 2006, 09:45AM
Location: Bunbury, Australia
Posts: 1424
What Bjorn says is correct but the conclusion that 4HV will suffer google hits is probably less than he thinks. As evidence of the Tesla coil on the car, I am unaware that there was a big increase of hits to 4HV. Perhaps Chris knows.
What will happen is that I will have this on my site and blogs and forums will refer directly to my site.
I was going to say that Googling Red Alert and Tesla will not result in many hits to 4HV at all. I just checked and this thread was number 10 of 68,000 hits Nevertheless once it is on my site that should take the hits, but I do not want to set that up until the pictures are optimised and that is still weeks away.

Anyway I don't think 4HV will suffer for it. Also it may be of little interest. It is hard to predict what will be popular.

TDU
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Firnagzen
Mon Oct 01 2007, 10:15AM
Registered Member #567
Joined: Tue Mar 06 2007, 10:55AM
Location: Singapore
Posts: 147
I'd agree with TDU. First, I'll point out that RAII is now considered an old game, and mostly out of favour, so really, how many people'd search 'red alert tesla coil'? Not too many!

Secondly. TDU does state that while not digitally faked, the image is only half the story. How is it different, really, from, say a movie? It's purpose is to entertain. P'rhaps TDU might want to add a disclaimer, but that's just an idea.

Reaching, umm... I appreciate that you're worried about persecution. But then, governments doesn't really operate on secret police style disappearances anymore.

Anyway, good work, Peter! By the way, why are you modelling a tesla trooper? If I remember correctly, they were immune to tesla coils. (I could be wrong, though. But logically, if they can have a protable one, they should be immune!)
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