Columbia Falls’ Inspector Gadget Visits Troop 41

By Beacon Staff

Professional tinkerer Larry Chouinard is always into something.

Welding go-karts, flying RC airplanes and helicopters, launching rockets, building things that sort of explode and now, experimenting with high-voltage electricity. Thankfully, at low amps.

This past Tuesday, Larry and his son Dusty visited Troop 41 in Columbia Falls and showed off Larry’s latest hobby – high-voltage, low amperes electrical generators and related toys.

One boy holds a fluorescent bulb in his hand. The bulb isn’t plugged into anything, but the high-voltage (and again, safely at micro-amp current levels) field around Larry’s table of antique electrical generation gadgets lights up the bulb as if it was plugged in.

Larry and Dusty showed off gadgets that demonstrated how electricity was stored in earlier days, and how a very, very small amount of current can ring an old-time telephone ringer, and throw a stack of pie tins around the room like UFOs.

Larry had a room full of guys from 11 to 61 entertained with his electrical gizmos, all built by hand from parts he often crafted himself. That thing about the price of our toys…it’s still true.

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