22 December 2013

The day I got ZAPPED BY 3,500,000 VOLTS!! - Tesla Coil Act


I'm extreme blessed with all the experiences that my career had brought me, all the exciting things I get to do, all the places I get to go. Today's experience was one of the most exciting ones!
(Watch the video at the end of this post!)

The Science Centre Singapore was a special place for me. You can say I grew up at the Science Centre. Back in my primary school days, I used to hang out there almost every day. Back then, I was a latch-key kid and I got a "Friends of Science Centre" pass which gave me unlimited free entry to the Science Centre. And every day after school I would hang out at the science centre, immersing myself in this fascinating world! It was like a playground to me, and what a playground! It was filled with exciting and expensive "toys"! Now that I think back, the Science Centre was the root of many inspirations that had crafted my life and career today.

Through the Singapore Maker Faire, I got to know the awesome people behind the Science Centre and had the opportunity to work with them on a number of projects. With all the fascination I had in the past, this was a childhood dream come true!

This was the "first taste" in preparation for a show I'm trying to put together.
If you have been an avid reader of my blog or have been keeping track of my progress, you would have realised that I took a big leap in my career. I started out as a Magician, but now my obsession with special effects and electronics took me to another level. Not that far from what I used to do, but definitely more exciting or should I say... "electrifying"!

A Tesla Coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla. He was also the reason behind many of the things we use today, including AC current, short-wave radio and many more! Read about his top 10 inventions that changed the world.

Where can you find a Tesla Coil in Singapore? At Science Centre Singapore of course!
Science Centre Singapore houses a huge Tesla Coil capable of generating voltages of up to 3,500,000! To give you an idea of how high a voltage it is, your standard household socket (in Singapore) outputs 220 to 230 Volts. This Tesla Coil produces about 15,000 times that voltage!

Preparations for the act took a long time as this was after, all a highly dangerous act! A number of safety checks and procedures were put into place and at any given time, if any one of them were to be compromised, the technician have to call off the act. Even up till the last moment before flipping the switch! After all, it is not just my safety that is in concern, there are also up to a hundred spectators at times surrounding 3.5 million volts of electricity running loose!

 James thoroughly checking through every inch of the suit to make sure there were no gaps.

The suit used in the act was made of heavy chainmail! Not that kind of chain mails you get in your mailbox asking you to forward it to 10 others, but an intricate suit made up of tiny chains tightly weaved together.

Getting into the suit was a major task!


Every inch of my body had to be isolated from the metal suit. I looked like a terrorist inside!

A terrorist with a sexy pair of shades...

When in doubt... Use duct tape!

Looking not-so-sexy in a chain mail suit!

All set! Ready to be zapped!


 There were of course several risks involved in this act. But I was in a building filled with over-qualified technicians, scientists & professors, I feel safe! :-)

Mr Abdul, the man behind the equipment is an extremely qualified technician who is dedicated to his work. His dedication and professionalism is highly remarkable. You'll need someone like him to handle a sophisticated piece of equipment like this!

Ready for some action!

Doing the final check!
(I love the reactions from the people in the background!) 


"You send shivers down my spine" has new meanings...


The show ended with an EXPLOSION!!

Watch the video!

This is Clarence, Deputy Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore.
Professor Lim (Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive) & Clarence have been extremely supportive of the things I do and had given me lots of opportunities! Some exciting developments are on the way! Look out for it in my upcoming posts!

This was one of my wildest dream came true! Thank you everybody at Science Centre Singapore for this ELETRIFYING experience!!

You can catch a demonstration of the Telsa Coil (equipment demo only) showing twice a daily at the Science Centre Singapore! Showtimes are at 12pm & 5pm. Head to the Science Centre Singapore website to find out more!

With gratitude,
  - Kiki Tay

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