Can I use an ignition coil to run the primary coil of my tesla coil?

Alright, I ask that everyone please read everything in this question before answering :).  I hopefully going to be very thorough.  I am building a tesla coil and am just about to give up and buy a NST.  I have many high voltage sources laying around, but, so far I haven't had much luck.  The first plan was to use a large ballast (florescent light) to drive a flyback, but it was to powerful, so I got a CFL driver, and it didn't work (not the driver so much as the whole project)  so now I am left with an ignition coil.  I know that I can use a light dimmer switch to power it, but it will still be 60hz I think and I here that is not safe for a tesla coil.  Although, I don't think anyone is going to let high frequency and voltage arc across their skin anyway.  So will something at this low of a frequency still work to power a tesla coil.  If not do you have any ideas I can use.  I have a flyback transformer and an ignition coil so any ideas that come to mind please share.

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A low frequency is actually more dangerous than a high frequency (60Hz is not high) the output of an ignition coil hurts but I doubt it is lethal. See this it's not quite lethal.
The ignition coil is not the most dangerous part the tank capacitor is the one you need to be careful with that can easily kill if your not careful.

So yes an ignition coil will work to power a small to moderate sized Tesla coil.
jj.inc (author)  The MadScientist6 years ago
Thanks, I hope I didn't make it out that I think 60Hz is high and high is more dangerous. I just wanted to be sure that 60Hz is ok for a tesla coil in the way of fast enough. ;)
jduffy545 years ago
actually, the tesla coil operates MUCH higher than the input. Most are acutally 60Hz input, but using a capacitor and spark gap, the frequency is shot up to thousands or more Hz. Point is, yes, an ignition coil will work.
no mate, your thinking of jacobs ladder! even so, an ignition coil is to be used with a 12v sla, with minimum amperage of 7AH, for that purpose anyway, i wouldnt recomend it anyways as youde need a special converter driver to go with it.
jj.inc (author)  oldmanbeefjerky6 years ago
I am thinking of a tesla coil, but it works for a jacobs ladder also.