A loud cracking sound and a flash of light momentarily fills the room. The source? A deodorant stick seems to be the culprit, but looks can be deceiving. The deodorant stick is actually a taser.
Tyler Schrader, a 21-year-old junior and computer science major at Wittenberg started making tasers his sophomore year of high school. His father works at Wittenberg as an electrician, so spare parts have always been around for Schrader to experiment with.
“I started mostly out of boredom, and an excess of creativity,” said Schrader.
So far, he has made two tasers, a cattle prod, a smoke ventilating fan, a trip wire, and neon lights. All of these creations were made with simple household products, and some electrical pieces; for example, the trip wire was made with a clothespin, wire, fishing line, and an electric toy gun for the source of energy. The tasers only require a few electrical parts, and then as Schrader put it, “after the electrical part is done, all you have to do is get creative with the housing for it and you’re good to go.”
Working with tasers can be dangerous. Schrader accidentally touched the electrical board a few times while working on his various projects, and felt the power of his creation.
“It sucks. You touch something on the board and you’re wide awake from the shock. It’s the weirdest feeling.”
Others have also felt the power of his tasers. In high school, Schrader and his friends used to dare each other to get tased.
“We were just bored,” said Schrader. “It was probably stupid, but we were just boys being boys.”
While he has a sufficient list of creations, there haven’t been any recent projects due to school and work getting in the way of free time.
“For me, once I start a project, I have to finish it,” said Schrader. “Once I started a new one of these projects, I couldn’t stop until it was complete.”
Schrader also has a few YouTube video demonstrations of his tasers. His most popular video is the deodorant stick taser, but none of the videos have gained that much popularity so far. For his next video project, he wants to make a tutorial video.
“I’ve always wanted to make a video like that on how to build the taser, but I never did. I could definitely see myself doing it now that I have a new camera,” said Schrader. “It would be top quality.”
As a computer science major, Schrader wants to stay in this field of work, and work towards bigger projects. He is interested in possibly attending technical school or grad school for electronic or computer engineering.
“I really want to do something with electromagnetism,” said Schrader. ”My goal is to find a way to generate electricity through magnetism as an alternate energy source, or to work with magnetic levitation; that would be super cool.”
Schrader is also looking forward to having colleagues to work with eventually. He is most looking forward to having a sounding board for ideas for different creations.
As for his tasers, Schrader thinks that he will continue making them, but just as a “pet project” in his free time. He’s looking towards the future to make a career and to “do something big.”