Friday, June 29, 2007

Basic Pieces of a Tesla Coil

Apparently, there are numerous upon numerous ways, methods, plans and so forth for creating a Tesla Coil. These depend on the power source and materials used just for starters. They can be very personalized! I read a fascinating walk-through on creating a coil made just from items this guy could find dumpster diving.

Anyway, here's the breakdown and it gave me much insight into the basic components that make up a Tesla Coil. My first one is going to be on the very small-sized scale, so keep that in mind.
  • Primary Power Supply
  • Capacitor
  • Spark Gap
  • Primary Coil
  • Secondary Coil
  • Secondary Ground
  • Toroid (transformer)
I'm now into the phase of researching just what size power supply I want to use and that will start to affect what I do/use for the other pieces. I posted an ad on CL looking for a used neon sign transformer in the 7-12 kV at 30-90 mA range.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Want to Coil!

It's been a long time since I called myself a "newbie" about anything, but in the area of high voltage projects, I am practically infantile. I've been interested in electricity and have actually wanted to become a residential electrician for a long time. However, that's where my knowledge of current ends, with basic household projects like flipping a circuit breaker or installing a new light switch.

After watching the (horrible) movie, The Prestige, which highlights some of Nikola Tesla's achievements, I became interested in constructing my own Tesla Coil. I love to learn (and believe I can learn almost anything) but my particular learning style requires that I have practical application. Good a abstraction I am not. So this seemed like an easy way to get myself started down the road to improving my understanding of electrical current, circuits and, well, math.

I've been doing A LOT of research on Tesla Coils, examining others' designs and getting a grip on the basics of "coiling." My favorite bit of knowledge so far comes from the awesome resources available at

Tesla Coils are VERY VERY LOUD!!!