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Are Jacob's Ladders legal?

May 8th 2015, 20:54


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
This is kind of an off-beat question, but, with the ever-stricter rules regarding interference, is it legal to operate a Jacob's Ladder (the climbing spark-gap special effect made famous by the original "Frankenstein" movie and hundreds of knock-offs)? Can such special effects still be used (such as in theatrical productions or home Halloween decorations), or do they produce too much RFI to be legally operated?
May 11th 2015, 14:44


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Jacob's Ladders and the FCC
Operating Jacob's Ladders (as well as Tesla coils) are broad-band RF sources and can interfere with radio, TV, maybe cell phone, cordless phone, and other communications equipment. There have been reports of the FCC tracking down and fining people for this interference - I don't know if these stories are true but it is definitely something to think about before running your creation for an extended period of time, at least. The FCC would probably confiscate your setup as well - which would likely be more traumatic than the fine (as hefty as it might be!) Perhaps, consider a Faraday cage in addition to the Plexiglass ozone shield :-).

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