Step 7: Make a Peculiar Tesla Football Antenna

This coil was one of Tesla's later designs, and is said to have spooky anti-gravity effects when pumped with the correct frequencies and voltages. I won't be working in that high-power range with this un-powered crystal radio !

The core of the Tesla Football Antenna is made with four 2 inch paper cones glued and taped together. The paper cones were doubled up, two on each side, for strength and smoothness.

The 30 gauge wire conical coils are wound laboriously by hand. The thick 10 gage copper wire was carefully bent to conform to the football coil without disturbing the coils of the coil. (Note to self...don't try this again without coating the wires with a resin or glue first, because the coils will start unravelling...)

After this small coil-winding feat, two snazzy Banana Plug ends are put on. These ones were found at an electronics store.

Here's a link to a similar coil that puts out sparks!

<p>great post. Can you please say something about the results ? any Vortex found ?</p>
<p>I have made with my 130 in 1 electronic kit something a bit different a two transistor radio. Here is a diagram from the 130 in 1 manual website page 134.</p><p><a href="http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_Manual_REV-C.pdf">http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_M...</a></p>
<p>I made the radio using a Rubbermaid container and decided to make one cone and one pancake antenna. I am running PC and am trying to find software like audio hijack but the closest I can get is audacity which is free. @mrfixitrick if you could point me to audio hijacks PC equal I'd really appreciate it.</p>
<p>Thanks for your example of the Spooky Radio! It is hard to replicate the Mac for audio like this, I'd recommend getting an old Mac from someone who gives it away, (find a local Mac users group) and use it just for this. There are older versions of the Audio Hijack software available.</p>
<p>Looking at the audio output jack, I see an error.</p><p>The ground (black wire) on the jack should be connected to lower bottom lug.</p><p>The two terminals on top can be connected together or reverse what you have and put the diode, capacitor, resistor to the lug you have the black wire on.</p><p>I used to own the store you purchased the items from, so I am familiar with the wiring. The jack has a built in switch that disconnects the lug where you have the diode, capacitor, resistor wire connected when a plug is inserted. If you need more help I can send a drawing or contact Mike at https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/</p>
Im not sure i follow. Your saying im using the wrong one of the three as a ground?
<p>Yes the ground is the terminal on the bottom ( the one you do not have connected), connect your black wire there. Also the two other connections are wrong.</p><p>The terminal you have the diode, capacitor, resistor connected is a switched output. To correct the wiring for what you are doing tie the top two pins together or move the diode, capacitor, resistor over to the pin you have the black wire connected to.</p><p>The switched output terminals are used for radios that when you plug in an earphone the speaker turns off and unplug the earphone the speaker works again. So only one or the other works at a time. A feature not used in this project. A feature that can be by passed by just connecting them both together or not using the switched output by reversing the diode, capacitor, resistor from what you have. </p>
<p>so I made the modifications by adding a connector wire between the two and moving the ground. I did notice a slight difference in what it picked up but only in the way of interference. </p>
<p>Good, that is what you want. Lots of sound when you touch the antennas or put a RF noise source close to them. Some people claim to hear voices from the static noise out of a radio not tuned to a station, or see movement on a snowy TV screen and hear things in the static.</p><p>This is where your computer and audio program come into play. You should be able cut or boost some of the noise. Then add sound effects to enhance them.</p><p>For instance a lightning strike close by will just cause a clicking sound, but if you alter that click to sound like a base drum with lots of reverb etc. now is makes a totally different sound from just a click. </p><p>mrfixitrick can tell you more about the computer part, he stated audacity was very close to audio hijack. Now that you are getting allot of noise, I would just try to adjust the program to give you the desired output.</p>
<p>Thanks, ZElectro...I could not have put it better myself. There is a saying, &quot;I used to think there were interruptions to my work, until I realized that the interruptions WERE my work!&quot; In that way, the noise we hear on the radio between stations, becomes our work. We accent and decipher noise by tuning and transforming with software.</p>
I see i will have to change that over once i get home from work. Thank you very much for that!
Sharp eyes! :) <br>Thanks for the help for PaulR13 !
<p>Most excellent...thank-you for sharing! </p>
<p>Hey!, i made it with a friend for an university proyect and it works perfect! so much funny, thanks for share! Also, we learn so mucho about the radio with this video: </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0-PParSmwtE" width="500"></iframe></p><p>I highly recomend to understand how it works.</p><p>Cheers!</p>
<p>I made this device with great success. Here is a sound sample of my first audio test; <a href="http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3" rel="nofollow">http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3</a></p><p>The audio file was exported directly from the Audio Mulch program into WAV format and then converted to MP3 @320kpbs.</p><p>I was able to keep parts cost low thanks to <a href="http://www.taydaelectronics.com" rel="nofollow">taydaelectronics.com</a> and <a href="http://comtrolauto.netfirms.com" rel="nofollow">comtrolauto.netfirms.com</a>. The total for everything was $18.80. I made the copper antennas in a conical shape because to me, it looks better visually. Even when it's not plugged in, it looks great sitting next to synthesizers and other music gear. Lots of fun!</p>
<p>Updated link for Spirit Radio audio test #1;<br><a href="http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3" rel="nofollow">http://llamamusic.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3</a></p>
<p>A great build with fun sounds! Thanks for sharing it.</p>
<p>why the resistor at R1...?</p><p>also you never detailed frequecncy range...</p>
<p>All you have do is find similar parts to these in the diagram on page 134 and reference where you got it and you have an extremely powerful radio. When I build it and attached multiple antanna and I could hear the radio 7 feet away Louldly from the radio.</p>
<p>Here is the transistor set diagram for a more effective and amazing two transistor radio from electronic playgrounds 130 page 134 expirement 113.</p><p>Reference: <a href="http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_Manual_REV-C.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_M...</a></p>
<p>شكرا جزيلا</p>
any old school electricians out there, you know how to make this work without the use of a laptop? I am pretty sure Tesla did not use a laptop to power the speakers.
<p>You could probably just stick an old (or new) small amp on there. Should not be too hard.</p>
<p>i used an old guitar amp and i got great reception on WBAP (820). Does anyone have an idea how i can pick up, well, spirits? Maybe i need to increase the feedback on the coil. </p>
<p>the laptop is accepting the signal and amplifying for clarity and sound magnification. Headphones will do the same, but cannot record or playback, :( surround sounds also work, plug it into the feed in! Like I said the laptop is a sound magnifier.</p>
<p>Xtal head phone/ceramic headphone. You also could try a piezo tweeter, or piezo mike/speaker.</p><p>(the link to mike has all the parts)</p><p>Remember b4 their were amplifiers, they had simple Xtal headphones, (cans).Unfortunately Lindsay's Publications went out of business, they had scads of books on everything old.... how to build from scratch.</p><p>If size is not an issue, you could make a variable cap out of cardboard and aluminum foil.</p><p>Just google Xtal Radio , or Crystal Radio and go to one of 300 sites. Some show you how to make individualy parts, need a fixed cap, roll your own! What is in a simple cap, foil and insulator paper</p><p>To make it loud enough to hear w/o putting it in the ear, try making a passive smartphone amplifier. (here on instructables they have a few of them.) Ten add the Xtal headphone as the source. Inside a bose wave radio is a baffle that is a folded horn, go for it!</p>
<p>After making this radio, I gave a quick demonstration to the other guys living on the same floor as me in the dorms. They heard the whispers but didn't really comprehend what exactly they were hearing until I explained what the device tapped (more like traveled) into; they pretty much fainted when I spoke the words &quot;disembodied souls&quot; and &quot;parallel universes&quot; HAHA. Seeing that I attend very small &amp; extremely religious liberal arts college in no-where Ohio, they all took the bait. HAHA Priceless. It's too bad these misinformed peers of mine buried it somewhere the next morning while I was in class. Ill just make another one. </p>
<p>Any substitute for 1N34A diode ?</p>
<p>People really believe this is &quot;Tesla's spirit radio&quot;! Ridiculous! :-)</p>
<p>Tesla listened to the heavens, heard signals, and people thought he was mad. Turns out he was the first to listen to the repeating triple pulses of Jupiter...</p>
Seems like scientific consensus (and laypeople who think they're experts after reading one article) have been wrong before. How do you feel about geocentrism? Just saying.
<p>Don't you mean Kanye-Geocentrism? Gee's I crack me up....</p>
<p>Hello. Is it necessary to use Plexiglas? Does using the normal metal cover that comes with the jar interfere? Thanks!</p>
<p>Mrfixit,</p><p>I enjoyed your post, do you have the video's anyplace that does not require adobe, perhaps on you tube? I love the look of double coils. Is the sound program a freebie for the MAC?</p><p>Have you ever listened to telephone poles? (I do not kid here, there was a site many years back that was all about &quot;singing telephone poles&quot; and it was not a rock group. I wish I had the site right now, I ask everywhere I go whenever it seems appropriate.</p><p>Kinda like when the Ent's ask the Hobbits if they have seen the Lady Ents!!</p><p>thanks</p><p>sparkie</p>
Guys! You need to pay attention to the ads in the comments! Everything you need is at Mikes Electronic Parts!! Lol
<p>As best as I can determine the 60/160 pF variable capacitors no longer exist. Nothing on google, eBay, Aliexpress, or any antique radio supply that I can google. Does anyone know of a source?</p>
<p>Check out Mike's Electronic Parts &quot;Spooky&quot; Kit here: https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/spooky-tesla-spirit-radio-parts-kit/</p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5pcs-Duplex-223p-60pf-140pf-2-1mm-Hole-Shaft-Radio-Variable-Capacitor-s484-/281822604077?hash=item419defab2d" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5pcs-Duplex-223p-60pf-1...</a></p><p>This should work (I have built a crystal radio with these before).</p>
Thanks for the tip. I ordered on U.S.A. eBay site. No worries!
I updated the parts list to reflect the new parts and near-complete Kit available from <a href="https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com" rel="nofollow">Mikes Electronics</a>. Check it out!
<p>How can we trace down the original parts list that Nikola Tesla himself used?</p>
<p>You can't because tesla didn't do this but you can track down old diodes and capacitors.</p><p>For example:</p><p><a href="https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/1n450/" rel="nofollow">https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/1n450...</a></p>
<p>You can't. Tesla simply didn't do this.</p>
I'm absolutely lost on how you've got the cone antenna wired to the device... Can you draw a diagram or something? Thank you so much!
Hi again, so we have the radio made but can't get anything out of it except a very low static signal. And the variable capacitor does not seem to affect anything. We have the radio going into a sound card so we can connect to active monitors as the built in output on the computer was too low volume. So all we seem to be doing is getting cool effects off a very small amount of static, no am radio or variable with capacitor or light diode! I've read all the comments so not sure if there's much you can suggest but let me know if you have any more tips. Thanks, Hannah
There may be a problem with a burnt diode or bad connection. The diode can burn from the heat of soldering it. (Note: Use a pliers as a heat sink when soldering. )<br><br>To see if things are working properly, you can try using a long antenna to get more gain on local radio signals. I use a 20 foot piece of copper wire strung across my living room ceiling! :) Otherwise without antenna, may be hard to hear local am radio.<br><br>You should be able to hear an electric motor for example as a test. A Dremel tool or electric drill close to the radio should be easily heard. Use multiple &quot;Gain&quot; modules if necessary to increase the volume. To hear laser, needs a delicate setup with lots of gain. The radio must be &quot;on the edge&quot; by being very sensitive.<br><br>You might be better off using the built-in output of the computer, and then amplifying that. (As the sound card may be cutting off and may use a different grounding system.) <br><br> What computer do you use?<br>
<p>You must use Audio Hijack Pro or comparable Windows software to amplify the signal and give it texture. I use three levels of gain, and other modules to modify the sound. Then, static takes on a whole new dimension.</p>
hi there - yes we are putting it through audio hijack and using your screenshots for reference - and yes the static does sound good! but i don't think the variable capacitor is working - should this change the sound of the static too? we get no change when turning the knob... also no change with electromagnetic interference or with shining the light on the diode...<br>thanks, hannah
How can pay you to make me one of these radios?
<p>You can call me dumb dora are anything you like but what is this spirit radio for.? I have seen the video's and post. Is it a listening device of some kind. Like a micro phone? That is what I am understanding. And if it is why go to all the trouble? Please email me because I will probably not remember how to get back to this site. I really would like to know what it is for. Also my great great great grandfather invented the radio receiver is this what this is.? Here is the link that explains his invention, his diagrams on how he built the receiver are there also. </p><p><a href="http://www.wdrcobg.com/doolittle.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.wdrcobg.com/doolittle.html</a></p><p>Here is my email address if someone could explain to dumb dora please I am interested on what it is and what it is for. Judykdoolittle@gmail.com</p><p>Thank you !!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I am re-inventing myself as an inventor, after too many years as a mechanic! I enjoy learning from Tesla disc Turbines, magnetic motors, and Crystal ... More »
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