Meet America’s mad professor. For nearly 40 years Bob Iannini, founder of Information Unlimited, has been mail-order mentor and parts supplier to electronics hobbyists willing to take on some of the most dangerous DIY projects in the world.
Need kits, plans or supplies for a Tesla coil? Pick a size — Information Unlimited carries itty bitty 2-foot science-project-type Tesla coils, all the way up to terrifying 6.5-foot, 2-million-volt monstrosities. More practical consumers can pick up laser components, bug zappers and high-voltage transformers and switches. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, Iannini offers a massive EMP blaster gun kit capable of disrupting electronics or igniting explosive fuels with a radiating electromagnetic pulse — a pre-assembled unit will set you back just $32,000
“I was always into weapons,” Iannini says. “Heavy duty. The scientific, electronics weapons part of it is good research. It’s sound research, it’s fascinating, it’s interesting, and it’s very highly marketable, you know, as long you don’t come out with something that you’re going to get some young crazy kid to take out a whole school or something.”
From a 53-acre property in rural Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, Iannini and his team also build custom projects, like the three-toroid Tesla coil Chevy commissioned to promote the 2012 Volt, and manage Iannini’s patent portfolio — he’s won dozens of patents for everything from insect repelling to circuits that control the light of a cold cathode lamp. His two books Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius andMore Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius enjoy a cult following — a third book in the series will come out in June, and Iannini says it will include, for the first time, plans for a functioning rail gun.