Oklahoma man gets a jolt out of lightning machine

By: CBS Newspath
By: CBS Newspath

NEWCASTLE, Okla. -- Some people get a real charge watching as lightning dances across the sky during an electrical storm. A Newcastle, Oklahoma, man has found a way to harness some of that electrical energy, right in his own backyard.

Even on a clear Oklahoma night, lightning is never far away...in the heavens, or in a Newcastle backyard. One man--Kevin Eldredge--can bring the fire in the sky down to earth with this device that he built.

"It’s a high-frequency, high-voltage resonant transformer," Eldredge says of the apparatus better known as a Tesla Coil.

"I started with some small ones back in the early 1990s, and just went from there and couldn't stop."

Finally, Eldredge built a 16-foot high Tesla Coil a few years ago.

Tesla coil builder Kevin Eldredge says, "I like lightning. I like to watch lightning--sparks--and this took care of that."

During set-up, he follows a written checklist.

"Well, my memory's not perfect anymore, and I’ll forget little things. They can be costly when I don't remember--or dangerous."

When he flips the switch, you see why.

Like Tesla, Kevin Eldredge alarmed his neighbors when he first fired up his lightning machine. The fire department came to investigate.

Thanks to YouTube, anyone with a computer can now watch the fun when he sparks a little touch of Tesla in the night.

Here's a link to Kevin's YouTube channel.

From CBS Newspath

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