Dr. Megavolt

Dr. Austin Richards built the principal coil used in his Dr. MegaVolt performances in 1991 at UC Berkeley with the help of Paul O’Leary. They did an analysis of the coil’s operation with a spectrum analyzer and digital storage scope, and did some fun performances, but there was something missing from the show: A human element. In 1996 members of Survival Research Laboratory built a cage to protect a person from Tesla coil currents, and Austin got inside the cage as a stunt at a party at Christian Ristow’s warehouse space. The result was as expected: he felt no sensation of electricity while in the cage. All the current flows on the outside of a conductor, isolating the interior from potentially dangerous electric fields.


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