Introduction: MINI TESLA COIL


this is a very cheap mini tesla coil made of stuff i had lying around.
how it works: "Electricity flows into C1 until a high voltage is seen across G1. When this voltage is high enough, a spark jumps across the gap and allows C1 to discharge into L1 and L2. The voltage "bounces" back and forth at an extremely high rate. When the rate of discharge between C1 and L1 matches the rate of C1 and L2, the two circuits are said to be "in resonance" and the voltage goes up through the roof."

DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE: although the amps are relatively "low" this can still be dangerous. always turn it off before making adjustments unless you are experienced. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU GET HURT!

Step 1: You Will Need...

Picture of You Will Need...

a 9.5in x .9in (od) PVC pipe 
15 high voltage capacitors 
matching round head bolts
a bottle
2 pens
electrical tape
speaker wire
about 300ft of 32 awg mag wire
18 awg solid core hook up wire

hot glue gun
different drill bits 

power source:
flyback driver or

Step 2: Secondary

Picture of Secondary

this will take a lot of time do do but is pretty easy. all you have to do is wrap the 28 awg wire around the PVC pipe until there is about an inch of space left on each side held in place with tape. the way i did mine: i put 3 nails into my desk, one i put the role of wire on, the other two i used to keep tension on the wire so i could use both hands to hold the pipe, it took me about 1/2 an hour to finish.

Step 3: Capacitors

Picture of Capacitors

i got my capacitors from CTR TVs and monitors, they are the rounded  square-ish kinds...
solder them all together in series so you have one open lead on each side. i had no specs on the ratings of them, i just used random ones, most high voltage capacitors will work (the shiny ones are best). if you dont have any of these or dont want to use them, there is one other alternative, make one. you can follow plasmana's instructable on how to build one., or...

Step 4: Spark Gap

Picture of Spark Gap

get two pieces of wood, drill a hole through then to fit your bolts and screw them in. they dont have to be round heads but they work better.

Step 5: Base

Picture of Base

i used a wooden board i had in my garage and cut it (about /in inches) 10x7.5x1. i put the coils in the center and all the other stuff on one side, now im left with a bunch of space on the other side but its to late to cut it.

Step 6: Primary Coil

Picture of Primary Coil

for this you will need the bottle knife speaker wire and glue gun. make sure you use a water bottle, peal off the label and cut off the bottom and the top, it should be about 4in tall, then wrap the wire about the bottle about 4 times with about an inch of space between each turn and glue it to the bottle as you go.

Step 7: RF Chokes

Picture of RF Chokes

RF chokes dissipate the frequency's given off by the tesla coil, with out them you could ruin other electronics. you can make them by winding 28 awg mag wire about the pens (take out the insides first) and taping the ends to keep them from unwinding.  

Step 8: Power Source

if you spend money on this project it will most likely be the power source. this tesla coil will only run on AC power, iv'e tried it with DC and it was ether very poor or nothing at all.
this is what i used, it was the only high voltage AC power supply i had.
or you could always use a NST, i didnt have the money to buy one.

Step 9: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

you use the picture below as a guide but it not the best way to go, you can make it anyway you want as long as you follow the schematic (if you want it to work). 

Step 10: Test It *video

hook every thing up and plug it in, you probably wont see much happening until you put your finger close to the outputs or light bulb, it will make a plasma globe kind of effect.  


eldhose.abraham.399 (author)2016-11-14

Will a DC 3V To 7KV 7000V High Voltage Generator Boost Step-up Power Module work as power supply

Nope it is too weak try a zvs flyback

laurenzane10 (author)2016-12-15

What about a transformer? I'm trying to recreate it but it doesnt have a transformer which I've seen on a lot of other ones.

SHOE0007 (author)2016-08-27

I have ordered a mini tesla coil and I plan to grow bacteria (friendly) and expose them to electromagnetic and static charges to see if the bacteria are affected.

Here a link

Here my proto type which would cost much less .....

And here is another link...

DominickC3 (author)2016-03-22

what is that thing that connects the 2 pens? Also when and where do you add the lightbulb, just after everything is done place it in the secondary coil or what?

Dhiraj swami (author)2016-02-02


Brysonh (author)2015-10-21

how would you make one without the spark gap?

lightning r fun (author)2010-10-01

instead of a flyback or NST, would i be able to use a marx generator power supply to run this?

JohnW32 (author)lightning r fun2015-04-17

A Marx Generator is too slow. It takes time to generate the HVDC (<1Hz) and the TCoil operates very fast (1kHz - 1GHz). This incompatibility can be overcome but it would require some work with very little reward. Even a giant Marx would not generate appreciable amperage for the TCoil to transform.

i dont see why not, all you really need is a continuous AC power supply

I am trying to make a handheld (sort of) tesla coil, and i am trying to run it off of a drill battery(18v 1.5A), so I want to get some sort of high voltage supply to run off of the battery which is dc not ac.

is there any sort of voltage multiplier that runs off of dc instead of ac?

would a MOT work with a flyback driver?

this is my plan

i dont know, you need much more DC power to get the same results as AC power

what if i used a flyback with an inverter circuit?
and i dont understand one thing, does a tesla coil run off ac or dc?

i think you could do that
it is possible to run DC tesla coils but i used a 9.5kV DC power supply and i didnt work at all but with a 2kV ac power supply i got the results in the picture

could i use a MOT to power this?

and would 2-3 NSTs in series make bigger sparks?

yes you probably could use a MOT
i you put them in series you will probably overload the NST and if you dont depending on the combined voltage it may be to powerful for the coil, 6-15kV is the most common voltages for tesla coils, one should be good.

my biggest problem right now is trying to find an inverter circuit(a simple one), to drive a transformer to give me my high voltage.

do you know of any such circuit?

there is a circuit that consist of a relay that rapidly turns off and one which can drive a transformer, or you could use AC, here is a schematic....

do know how to turn it to ac instead of pulsed dc?

no i do not, ive been needing an inverter circuit but i cant seem to find any schematics for one, only AC to DC.

i keep finding circuits for inverters, but they are 12 volt car batteries to 120v ac
i just want 12v dc to 12v ac

hmmm, get a 12V wall wart with the current you desire and take out the rectifier and put it back together (if it has one)

i don't understand.

most wall warts have a 12V DC output, if you open it up theres a transformer and usually a bridge rectifier, if you remove the rectifier you will have AC output.

but my whole point is to run it off a battery, not mains power

The only thing i can help you with it pulsed DC, i dont know how to make DC into AC but i would like to.

i'm no expert in making transformers, but if i were to make a small 1:1 transformer, with 1 coil with 22gauge wire, and the other coil with 10gauge wire, would i get higher current coming out the 10gauge side while running a flyback transformer through the 22gauge side?

the thicker the wire the higher the current. You have probably heard lower voltage higher current and vice versa, well that can me modified by using thicker or smaller wire on the pri/sec coils of a transformer. im not sure if a flyback will work because the have low current output. (most of the time)

i'll try it out, and if it works, then great!

Hey what about a 555 timer oscillator? I was working on something and was using one of those and thought that it just mite work.

what about this:

does a flyback driver turn your power to ac or pulsed dc?

depends on your input, it will always be the same just different volts, current, ect.

there is a relay circuit thats turns the relay off and on super fast to make pulsed DC, or you could use AC, here is the schematic....

my church asked me to do a display for halloween, and i was going to do a jacobs ladder, but i wanted a longer arc than the 1 inch that i have from a 4500v nst.
so i was wondering if i had one nst running to the input of another nst, if that would increase my power, or if i just connected one output of the first nst to one output of the other, then short out the other 2 leads with the jacobs ladder, if that would increase my spark length.

if you put the NSTs in parallel you will increase the current, this will mean the arc will be hotter, by this you will be able to stretch the arc further.

is there a way to make the arc longer, but keep the same current?

and could i run the output of the nst to a mot?

i dont not have an answer to ether of those questions, do you have any MOT's by the way?

not yet.
i wasn't going to get one until i knew for sure if i could use it with my nst.
i was gonna get it from a garage sale or something

yeah me to but i cant find a microwave anywhere!

where do you live?

North Carolina, a few mile south of Raleigh.

im out in the sticks in oklahoma

oh, ok, last saturday i was up near tthe mountains and i found an old microwave in a very very old house, as well as a bunch of other stuff but yeah i got a microwave!

spark light (author)Jimmy Proton2011-02-20

DO NOT MESS WITH MOTS unless you are 100% sure of what you are dealing with! YOU WILL KILL YOURSELF!

Jimmy Proton (author)spark light2011-02-20

trust me I got this!

ALOT of garage sales around here
about 20 a week advertised in the paper about 10 more not in the paper

but i would need a thicker diameter secondary.

what i have now is about 1" diameter for the secondary

anything about the size of a water bottle should work

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