loading
This Instructable will walk you through building a medium sized Tesla coil.

Step 1: DANGER

Unlike some other high voltage experiments, a Tesla coil's streamers can be very harmful. If you are shocked by the streamers, you will not feel pain, but your circulatory and nervous system can sustain severe damage. DO NOT TOUCH IT WHILE ON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Also, I don't take any responsibility for you hurting yourself.

This isn't to say that you shouldn't get into high voltage though, its just that if you are planning for this to be your first HV project, its a little to involved. Instead, try out a nice microwave oven transformer, and be safe!
<p>Tesla himself said te purpose of this was not to have a light show but to bring power to the home. </p>
Does this actually work to power things?
<p>What does 'NST' mean?</p>
Neon sign transformer. Typically in the range of 6-15 thousand volts and 30-60 milli Amps.
<p>@alarika - try ebay</p><p>Seems a like an older post and not sure if the original poster is around, but a few questions.</p><p>1) It looks like you are using the metal tray as one side of the capacitors, so you need to ensure the aluminum foil around the bottles is in contact with the tray, correct?</p><p>2) Finding NSTs but at 6kV to 7kV. Anything to adjust in the instructions or is it just that the spark is less?</p><p>3) So, how did you ground the secondary if you can't use your mains ground? Did you stick a wire into the literal ground (which certainly could work)?</p><p>4) What is that item on the top of the secondary? Just curious, but I assume it is just placed on top of the PVC with no connection to the coil, or did you attach the enameled wire to that metal 'dome'?</p>
I'll skip question one, as I'm unsure. <br>2) Recommended NST power ratings are between 10-15 kV @ 30-60 mA. Otherwise, the spark gap may not fire at all. <br>3) Using mains ground is not good. Rather than a wire in the ground, most pound a 2-4 foot copper pipe in the ground, and use a thick gauge cable to connect to it. <br>4) The secondary coil's wire is connected to &quot;the metal dome.&quot; Also known as a top load, a metallic dome-like structure is placed on top to act as a capacitor, and a break out point for arcs. It can greatly help increase the arc length.
<p>Where can i buy the NST </p>
<p>How tall is your secondary coil?? My instructor wants to know how tall it is. Thanks!</p>
<p>&quot;try out a nice <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Microwave_Oven_Transformer_High_Voltage_Rig/" rel="nofollow">microwave oven transformer</a>, and be safe!&quot; is a bit of an oxymoron. Those things will kill you as fast as anything else. Neon Sign Transformers (NST's) are much better suited for beginning HV enthusaists. </p>
<p>I like your countertops. </p>
<p>hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa it will fry everytjingh in your house</p>
&nbsp;for the love of god do not use 6 snapple &nbsp;jars with a 15kv 30ma nst you will get about 10 min of run time out b4 1 or more blow!!! all 6 were leaking badly. i think ill try a serise/parallel with 12 of them
<p>I got similar results. I ended up going with polypropylene. </p>
<p>Why do they leak? Isn't there any way to prevent leakage. Or how you know that caps are leaking?</p>
<p>they would leak at the top of the foil with streamers moving to the lip of the bottle at 15kv</p>
Its easier and more convenient to make a plastic sheet and alluminium foil capacitor.<br>
<p>But as i see from your picture that they are too far for arcing at 15kv if considering that you need 1kv per 1mm to break the air. Anyway is there a way to correct it?</p>
<p>there is far more then 1.5 cm gap! It was do to leaking. When it leaks you will see dim looking feelers bleed from the edges of the foil</p>
HOLY&nbsp;CRAP!!!<br /> <br /> I just fixed the Instructable!<br />
Bro could u help me but explaining how to do that in a video chat
Bro could u help me to do my project
how many volts will one of the snapple bottles produce?
lol!!! good thing you did cause I have 4 litle girls in my house, is it ok if i use 9 small mouth pint jars instead? <br> <br>(i only would have done 3) <br> <br>thanks alot for makeing these instructions. <br> <br>ps i couldn' comment on the right one so this is for DevCoder
yeah
hi
<p>What is a more effective tesla coil? Setup A or setup B?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>I've always gotten the best results from setup B</p>
<p>neon sign transformer,</p><p>No one should be building this if they can not Extrapolate and Simplify V = I/R</p><p>I mean come on I know Ohms law, but my maths is rubbish, and I only know basic algebra, but Tesla Coils can kill if you have; a Pace Maker, Epilepsy, history of a Stroke, history of DVT, history of blood clots and they can also cause Asphyxiation due to electrical interference in the respiratory nerves.</p><p>I know enough about Darlington pairs, Brige Rectifiers and Decade Counters to know my way around Electronics, and this is not something anyone should build if they do not feel comfortable with over 200,000 units of IV.</p><p>It is not something I would attempt to build, I already got a shock from installing a new fused circuit in my Mains Fuse Box, I do not care for another.</p>
<p>This Tesla Coil isn't going to produce 200,000 W. I do agree though that safety needs to be a priority here.</p>
Keep off your mains box especially if its metal clad. <br><br>Have to agree with you though. I work in Industrial Electrics and some advice/techniques here are....uhm.....dangerous.
So cool. Thanks for sharing.
<p>Great Post! What would I need to adjust if I wanted to use a 2&quot; diameter pvc pipe? or 3&quot; for that matter? Thanks!</p>
Almost everything xD
<p>Anything cheap in place of NST or OBIT (tight budget- $15)</p>
CFL driver flyback transformer :) or zvs driver, ot 555 timer driver, or ballast driver! So many options and everyone gives better results...maybe...the zvs is the best... You can squeeze out 50kV out of a fly back xD
flyback transformer
I have two 9kv nst's with single hv and one earthed to case, can you give us the correct configuraration to use them in a tesla coil.
Yes.....dont use them !
I followed the instructions and got the spark gap running for a bit but afterwards the coil would not release any more sparks and im not sure what the problem is so can i get help?
Read some of my above comments. You should work it out with some electrical knowledge. :-)
<p>is it possible you shorted it out?</p>
<p>Where can I find a cheap transformer that works with this?</p>
Make your own air-cored (do not use iron core) transformers. Not at all difficult for a project like this but remember to 'tune' the circuit, it is Radio Frequency, for maximum efficiency, therefore, maximum fun !
<p>I found a few of them by putting an ISO request on neon lights with broken tubes (usually transformer is good) you can easily find them 9-12kv</p>
<p>I found a few of them by putting an ISO request on neon lights with broken tubes (usually transformer is good) you can easily find them 9-12kv</p>
<p>how much energy does this produce? how can i figure input output?</p>
You need to know your transformer primary input voltage and &quot;step up&quot; ratio i.e. with an input voltage of 240V and a 1:100 ratio your secondary output will be 24,000V, or 24KV.<br><br>Next, through 'mutual inductance' you need to know the turns ratio on your secondary transformer ( the one that SHOULD, and the first for that matter be 'air cored' - not iron, and also of a Radio Frequency type and not mains if you truly want lightning !), oh yes, in this case the second has 455 turns so providing you have a 240V 1:100 ratio feefing a 455 turn you should get 10,920,000 Volts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or 10.92MV.<br><br>For maximum efficiency you ate also going to have to tune the inductance of your circuit to match the discharge capacitance to ground which is where the lightning arc is leaving the top of the apparatus and capacatively coupling, through the air, into the ground/earth ! <br><br>Hope that gives you a bit of an idea ;-)
There is a lot more to this than you might think ESPECIALLY if you value your life, or your home or anything you love near your experiment. Professional advice !

About This Instructable

1,810,057 views

1,089 favorites

License:

Bio: Devin is a cool guy, eh doesnt kill himself while doing stupid things, and doesnt afraid of anything.
More by DevCoder: How to Make a Table-Top Van de Graaff Generator How To Clean a Macbook Motion Sensitive Tesla Coil
Add instructable to: