The content of this site is intended for information purposes only. If you plan to duplicate any of the experimental work described on this site then you do so at your own risk.

Risks incurred by conducting this type of experimental work include, but are not limited to, damage to equipment, serious or life threatening injury to the experimenter, serious or life threatening injury to anyone else. Under no circumstances should you attempt experimentation unless you have sufficient knowledge and experience in dealing with electricity and electronics.

  • High voltages can kill.
  • DO NOT use direct connections to the mains supply unless you know what you are doing - don't rely on a RCD to save you.
  • RESPECT CHARGED CAPACITORS. They can be deadly.

The highest voltage which can be considered to be 'safe' is 50V DC, however, if you stab yourself with the leads of a capacitor that is charged to 50V then it may kill you. The resistance of your skin is the only thing protecting you from electrocution by even smaller voltages - remember, it's the current that kills you. Capacitors and switching devices can and do explode. As well as producing airborne fragments, an exploding device could also pose a fire risk. If you value your sight then wear safety glasses or place the capacitors/switching devices in a shielding container. The design of such a container is your responsibility.

Do not look down the accelerator tube of the coilgun - even from the breech end (where the projectile is loaded) - because projectiles might be fired backwards out of the breech depending on how the coilgun is setup. Projectiles could be travelling at modest speed so don't point the coilgun at anything which is breakable or expensive. Be aware that projectiles can ricochet off objects so shoot it at something that will capture the projectile - a carboard box filled with 'scrunched' newspaper is one possibility. Do not shoot small furry animals with a coilgun. Do not shoot yourself or anyone else with a coilgun. All it takes is a moments stupidity to result in the loss of an eye. In short, be sensible.

If you manage to make a high energy (or not so high energy) coilgun then it could be classed as a 'firearm' which means you could face prosecution for being in possession of a 'firearm'. Don't believe me? you'd better check out the laws where you live. As far as I can make out, the UK firearm laws could be applied to a coilgun so be careful how you conduct your experimentation.

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