Thanks to Goli Mohammodi and Makezine.com for the permission to repost their interview with 16-year-old Cameron Mira (CamDAX), maker, artist, club organizer. Cameron is coming to East Bay Mini Maker Faire for the second time, bringing his Tesla coil as well as a his new pinball machine. Find him upstairs in the dark room in the Studio One building.
1. Tell us about the audio-modulated full-bridge Tesla coil you’re bringing to Maker Faire.
When I was around five, during lightning storms, me and my mom would sit in the kitchen and watch the lightning strikes in the distance — it was really neat. Where I lived at the time was very flat so you could see it easily. A few years ago I saw ArcAttack at Maker Faire and it showed me how much I really like lightning. This last year I built a spark gap Tesla coil, and I’ve been experimenting almost twice a week with [the effects on] different things. First I tried the usual stuff: fluorescent lights, wood, or a screwdriver. Then I tried more elaborate things like Hershey’s Kisses, scanner laser tubes, wire sculptures, and then fused glass pieces.
When the Young Makers program came around, I joined and decided to make an audio-modulated full-bridge solid state Tesla coil. We haven’t finished it yet, but we plan on having it done in time for Maker Faire. It’s going to have a cool light-up control panel with an RGB LCD screen, a big red button, metal pushbuttons with LED rings, and some other light-up components. The buttons have to light up so you can see them in the dark. We hope to play songs no one else has tried, like the Quantum Leap theme song, Scooby Doo theme song, and maybe a Beatles song. Our demonstrations will include music playing through the coil and lightning sculptures made out of metal and glass.