About Tesla Universe
Back in 1983, Nikola Tesla was featured on the television show Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Not long after this, Radio Electronics magazine featured a large article about Tesla. It was these two moments in history that sparked a lifelong fascination in one of the greatest inventors ever. I began looking for more information related to Tesla, but didn't have much luck. There were only two books at my local library, one of which was Prodigal Genius and the other was a book of electrical experiments including a tube-driven Tesla coil. I tried to find the parts to build the coil but was disappinted to discover that the tube the schematic called for had been discontinued years earlier.
A few months later, I was lucky enough to find pieces of a Tesla coil that had been donated to a thrift store after a science fair. The most interesting piece was a 15,000V neon sign transformer. I used it to create a Jacob's ladder right away. The Tesla coil was a little more difficult because I needed a capacitor and a secondary coil. The project sat on the shelf for a while until I obtained magnet wire and a plexiglass office chair mat I used as a capacitor dielectric. Soon after, I was making sparks. The output was poor at first because I had no idea how to tune or optimize the coil.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I continued building coils and other high voltage projects pulled from magazines like Radio Electronics, Popular Electronics, etc. I found the Tesla Book Company and ordered a few books from them. I also discovered the T.C.B.A. Newsletter, but was unable to subscribe. When I turned 18, I had to put the hobby aside for a while to concentrate on pursuing my career.
Although I had a career and family to focus on, I continued to experiment with high voltage and read everything I could get my hands on about Tesla. When the Internet came around, I immediately considered a Tesla site and it seemed like a good idea, but it just never materialized. There were a lot of Tesla sites already, but none seemed to live up to the epic porportion I envisioned. A few years ago I was able to step up my hobby a bit and I finally built a large coil. I contacted Harry Goldman and ordered a full set of the T.C.B.A. Newsletter issues. I also discovered Richard Hull and the T.C.B.O.R. I ordered all of Richard's tapes and gleaned a lot of information from them.
The T.C.B.A. Newsletter had ended after 20 years in 2001. Richard had moved on to fusors and the last T.C.B.O.R. video was produced in 1999. I believed the information in these two resources to be invaluable and decided that the time had come. I would build the ultimate Tesla site and seek rights to provide these resources to the world. I contacted Harry Goldman and introduced myself and my plan. Harry is a very kind and generous man, but he was cautious at first and it took some time to earn his trust. We came to an agreement after almost an entire year had passed. While in negotiations with Harry, I also spoke with Richard Hull about acquiring the rights to the T.C.B.O.R. But unfortunately, this is not a possibility at the present time.
The past two years have really been an experience. From day one, I've had extremely high expectations for this site. It is a testament to not only my lifelong dream, but also to my career as a web developer. Compromise on any level was not and will never be an option. I reviewed and tested numerous platforms and software packages and was unable to find a single one that fulfilled all the requirements I had for the site. I then decided that I would select the best sites or software available that provided the functionality needed and create my own system using them as models.
Developing a custom platform was no small feat, but it ensured seamless functionality throughout the site. Going this route required a significant investment which primarily consisted of time. The result, however, is a much more extensible platform that can be grown or expanded as needed.
The initial version of the site includes community features such as forums, chat rooms, the user account/profile system and an events calendar. The primary content elements are the T.C.B.A. Newsletter, a dynamic timeline of Tesla's life and achievements as well as a database of Tesla quotes. Most sections and content allow for member participation through comments. Comments may also be replied to and voted upon. The goal is to allow the members a level of control in maintaining the content that makes up the site.
Now that the main framework is complete and the site is online, my plan is to focus on additional content. I have been collecting Tesla-related material for years and will begin adding it on regular basis. Additional community features will be added as well. These include member blogs, user-submitted articles and stories, interactive coil plans database, suppliers and sources database, photo and video galleries and much more. All updates will be featured on the home page in the main system blog.
I really don't have an idea of how much traffic the site will generate. I have a budget set aside to maintain the dedicated server hosting account with a finite amount of bandwidth. It is my hope that any additional costs will be covered by user donations as well as by selling the remaining stock of T.C.B.A. Newsletter issues.
I am currently in discussions regarding becoming a board member of the Tesla Wardenclyffe Project . I am extremely interested in doing whatever possible to assist with the preservation of the Wardenclyffe site and hope to use the Tesla Universe to further this goal as well. This will most likely be acomplished by contributing a portion of donations received to the project.
Although funds will likely be needed, our plan is to keep the site ad-free. I really believe advertising would detract from the site, and I have no intention of considering anything the would cause this.
It is my hope that this infomation has given you a glimpse into the dream that became the Tesla Universe. Our goal is simply to carry on the legacy of Nikola Tesla and to hopefully bring additional recognition to him and his achievements so that what remains may be preserved for future generations to explore and learn from.
All feedback, both negative and positive, would be appreciated. We truly want to provide a valuable and easy-to-use resource for everyone. Any suggestions will be considered, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant. Please feel free to contact us should you have any input you'd like to share.
Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy the Tesla Universe.
Cameron B. Prince
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