ESTC Post-conference Debrief

Aaron Murakami’s Energy Science Technology Conference finished up yesterday, so I thought I’d do a play-by-play on my experience of it this year, while it was still fresh.

Because I was speaking this year, the whole event felt more like work, but more satisfying because I was confident people would be able to make use of the information.

So the conference didn’t officially start until Wednesday, but I got there early to catch up with old friends and share old war stories and experiments. Monday was hanging out and enjoying a nice Independence day with friends.

Tuesday (day 0)

Tuesday was getting equipment together, getting things set up and making sure nothing blew up. We did a dry-run of a couple experiments and got some music to play through a Tesla Magnifying Transformer (3-coil Colorado Springs setup). Everything still worked, nothing blew up, so it was a successful test.

Wednesday (day 1)

Wednesday presentations weren’t quite in my field, so we spent much of our time discussing experiments and directions we’re all going. I left early to do some last-minute touch-ups for my powerpoint and got lots of sleep.

Thursday (day 2)

Thursday was my presentation ‘how to build a Tesla coil the way Tesla built them’, and really the first time I’ve ever been in front of a real audience. I had lots of time beforehand to set up, but one of the demos I could not find a proper tune for, so I had to deviate a bit.

For my talk I basically covered the different types of Tesla coils, what people build today and how they differed from the coils Tesla constructed. The coils we’re building have no primary and no secondary, which blows a lot of EE’s minds when they hear it.
I then covered the physical design+construction and then ran a few demos to show what you could do with them:

1 – ‘near-zero-energy’ resonance. An extremely tiny 5v oscillator powering a Tesla Coil, able to pick up the field with a field strength meter to demonstrate the dielectric field produced by the coil
2 – low-power bulb lighting. Using a signal generator and one wire, lighting a full florescent tube from about 2 feet away and also taking a few measurements to show how the field is extending into space
3 – ‘destruction of energy’. This one was slightly modified to illustrate the test I had performed in the shop.
A pair of Tesla Coils opposed create a ‘null zone’ that energy seems to disappear into. So you run hundreds of watts of a power source and the coil configuration appears to make the energy disappear. No significant field outside a few inches, no magnetic field, no significant RF emissions detectable outside of a short distance, and yet power is being consumed by the coil. The coils do not get hot after 3min at ~800 watts.
I then fed the same transmitter power to a resistance wire, and within seconds the wire was hot enough to singe/scorch a piece of white paper sitting on top.

Feed 800 watts into a pair of Tesla coils, the energy sloshes around and disappears. Almost no heat.
Feed 800 watts into a few feet of resistance wire, the energy is converted to heat which very quickly singes paper and starts to glow a dull red.

The presentation focus was to give people a foundation so they can actually start replicating Eric Dollard and Tesla’s work. At the moment there are fewer than a dozen of us worldwide that are doing anything remotely like this, and we desperately need more if the tech and principles are to survive.

Later that day my colleague Griffin Brock did his presentation and I served as wingman/DJ to operate the high-power HF amplifier so he could play some music on a Tesla coil.


Got a crash course in vector network analyzers, and now I can tune Tesla coils with them.

I never thought you could condense all the critical info into only a few hours. Regardless, I’m now ready to take my coil knowledge to the next level to improve the calculator as well as do more advanced measurements.

That afternoon was a demo of the Carson Electrostatic converter (which I had attempted to replicate on a couple occasions.) I really like the style because it is such a simple embodiment of parametric variation.

Later that evening was another colleague course covering some through-the-ground telluric experiments performed over the past 6 months or so (some with myself).


Showcase of the morning was the corpse of an EV gray motor, and a long history of the tech by Mark Mckay.

I had a very productive chat with him later breaking things down logically and simplifying the configuration with the help of Mark’s knowledge. Especially interesting was his comments regarding iron wire.

The Cosmic Lightbulb

This was a trio game between Aaron Murakami, myself, and Griffin testing various bulbs under Tesla monopolar induction fields.
I was basically playing ‘DJ’ with the amp, trying to tune each bulb to the new field+frequency condition.
I did some pre-preps tuning, but after a couple bulbs the coils were shifted slightly that threw off all my tuning charts. Efficiency went down the toilet, but I did manage to keep tuning most of the bulbs. Could best be described as ‘tuning a potato’.


Bourke Engine

Got some good tidbits regarding high-efficiency engine design, even though I may never end up building such a thing, it would make a very fun side-project.
He’s clearly a businessman, but I respect that he is very open about the systems he’s making. The engine improvements are all clearly stated and easily constructed using the advice he provides. In fact it reminded me a bit of my own presentation giving a crash-course on IC engines instead of Tesla coils.

Tesla Turbine – Jeremiah Ferwerda

Presentation was a little rocky in places but he got through OK. He’s been doing turbines for several years and has had several breakthroughs so he’s a good source of insight and full of protips like:

  • Minimizing rotor mass
  • Using carbon fiber / fiberglass blades instead of steel
  • Discovering the ‘back-pressure’ on intake. Suggests a heat-pump effect alongside the heat engine effect.

Panel discussion

Sitting alongside my Tesla peers answering questions. The whole thing was a bit of a blur but I think I made some meaningful statements. Some good online questions regarding iron wire that warranted a thorough answer.

And that’s about it. Heading back home today to rest and decompress before getting back to the next wave of experiments

PS: If anyone else attending the conference has any neat pictures/videos/insights/questions, please share them with me at 😉

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