Friday, 17 May 2013

Electrified Tea Leaves

So a few days ago I set you all a Mystery Object of the Week quiz, well today is the big reveal.

While there were some interesting guesses (thanks Adrian), no one got it right. It is in fact a static grass applicator -- an example of the grass can be seen to the left, and I've blogged about static grass in more detail on my railway modelling blog.

Essentially this specific applicator is the handle and electronics from a fly swatter with the swatting bit replaced by a tea strainer and a crocodile clip on the end of a wire. (it's easy to build although I bought mine from eBay) Pressing the button causes a static field to be setup between the tea strainer and the crocodile clip so when the grass fibres fall out of the tea strainer they align vertically to produce the grass. What you don't want to do, however, is let the crocodile clip and the tea strainer touch as the rather large amount of stored electricity, that would normally be used to kill a fly, gets released with a bang and a flash of light -- certainly something you don't want to get too close to!
18 May 2013 at 06:15 , ADRIAN said...

You are welcome Mark.

19 June 2013 at 21:47 , GB said...

OK. I'd not have guessed that if I were put in a room with all the words in the dictionary and allowed to sort them randomly for 100 years.

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