TECH SA: SAMSAT adds two more Tesla coils, KSAT 12 receives exclusive look

Coils are high frequency transformers invented by Nikola Tesla

SAN ANTONIO – In this week’s TECH SA, KSAT 12 got exclusive look at four coils operating at the same time at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology or SAMSAT. 

“The Tesla coils are high frequency transformers and they were invented by Nikola Tesla to transmit power wirelessly,” David Monroe, founder of SAMSAT, said. 

Monroe said they received the first two smaller coils about a year ago and added the two bigger ones about four months ago. 

“The big ones are running a little over a million watts and the smaller ones are probably 6,000 to 8,000 volts,” Monroe said. 

The coils were put together by Monroe and Steve Klec. 

The local museum is hoping to inspire children and get them engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly known as STEM. 

“They can learn about alternating current and direct current. What the differences are. They can learn about radio frequencies and how they can transmit electricity or radio waves through the air,” Monroe said. 

The museum, which opened in 2016, is located at 102 Mabry Drive, the site of the old Kelly Air Force Base. The main room is where a chapel once stood. 

In the museum there are unique items, including a camera cellphone built in 1997 by Monroe. 

“It took 10 years to circuit small enough and write the software, so we can get it operating in a handheld device,” Monroe said. 

Monroe hopes the museum motivates children to get involved in STEM and become scientists of the future. 

The museum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

Jason Foster is News Operations Manager at KSAT. He's worked in the news industry in Texas for more than 15 years, including as an executive producer and a photojournalist. He's been at KSAT since 2015.

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