Mystery Object 406: Zapper Gun

Size: Fly Swatter

Recorded: July 2016

Not the circuitry on the business end.

Not the circuitry on the business end.

Found: Libtyville, Illinois, USA

Circa: Current

Made: United States

Material: Plastic and Circuitry

Status: Known

 

Libertyville is a classic mid-American time. It looks like a great place to use as a setting for a 1950s alien invasion, which is why I wasn’t surprised when I found a ray gun on a guy’s desk as we were transacting business.

Turns out it’s NOT a toy, and it’s actually a way to do something safely. It’s also something many people would have at home, but only if they were hobbyists. This man was a professional.

Hint 1:

Spoiler

It doesn’t shoot anything.

[collapse]

Hint 2: 

Spoiler

It actually gets shot at, sort of.

[collapse]

Answer: 

Spoiler

It’s a coil tester for a car’s engine. The coil emits high voltage to the spark plugs, which spark and cause the small explosions that make the car move. That high voltage is dangerous, so it’s hard to troubleshoot. This device lets the mechanic see the firing pattern as flashes in the handle of the gun, so any misfires can be diagnosed. The flappy part in the end is what picks up the voltage from the coil.

[collapse]

 

Do you have a mystery object you’d like to share? Whether you know what it is or not, we’d like to hear from you! Drop us a line at jeff@collegeofcuriosity.com.

  Click for larger images

No trigger!

No trigger!

Tagged , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.