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The Improved Simple Tesla Coil

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After finally finding some good sources on Tesla Coils, I set off to see how well built my previous instructable, "The Simple Tesla Coil" was. My findings were grim, it was performing terribly considering that the transformer draws in 990 watts. So I set out to change that. I would recommend that you skim through my previous instructable before attempting this one.

I suggest that you read the entire instructable before ever attempting to build it. You may end up halfway through and realize that you don't have access to a tool or material, and waste time and money/supplies (I only had to buy the magnet wire this time!).
 
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Step 1: Supplies

Ha! This isn't supplies! This is safety! Please read. I am NOT responsible for any injury, property damage, or death that may occur as a result of you building or operating this device. After reading new sources, I have found that fatality is likely if you happen to touch the line in, or primary circuit, so don't! The secondary circuit is a grey area, you might die, you might not, but DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING besides the off/on switch and keep your distance when using this thing.

Alright, for my supplies I used:
-A 15 kV 60mA neon sign transformer (same one as before)
-16 Snapple bottle salt water capacitors/leyden jars (made more than before, check previous instructable to see how to make these).
-Lots of plywood, 1.5" diameter PVC, and some wheels for the supporting structure (Design your own structure out of whatever you have lying around, its cheaper that way)
-Spark gap from previous instructable (1/2" gap now, made from two bolts through opposite walls of 3" PVC)
-Shop vac
-1/4" inside diameter copper tubing, 30 feet long
-Various lengths of HV and/or regular 120V, 15A wire (it works too if you keep it away from other wire to avoid arcing)
-Long metal rod to use as ground (NOT the ground for your house! Bad things will happen to the electronics you love!)
-Extension cord (to stand way back!)
-4" diameter PVC for secondary form -19" long
-800 feet of 24AWG enameled copper wire (aka magnet wire)
-A toriod (previous instructable- 3" minor diameter, 11" major)
-Patience!
You might be better off using this type of electrical box:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_132845-295-56915301_4294821892_4294937087_?productId=3332608&Ns=p_product_price|0&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl_Electrical%2BBox_4294821892_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_price%7C0&facetInfo=

It is made to hold a switch and the breakout holes in the back/sides allow you to use these to clamp the wires in place so they can't tear out:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_45112-15527-49650_4294821891_4294937087_?productId=1087255&Ns=p_product_price|0&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl_Conduit%2BFittings_4294821891_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_price%7C0&facetInfo=

It would be bigger then the box you used, but then the switch would be more securely mounted and completely concealed inside the box instead of hanging out slightly.
MistaStokes (author)  NitroRustlerDriver2 years ago
Yeah, I would suggest this to anyone attempting that step. I only did it my way because I didn't want to buy one, and had a small one lying around.
luxdaxor1 year ago
would you any particular tape for this?
luxdaxor1 year ago
Could we use particle board, instead of plywood? I only say this because I have some lying around.
MistaStokes (author)  luxdaxor1 year ago
I think so, it depends on how conductive the glue or resin holding the particles together is. A simple test I did to test the plywood was to hook up the transformer to the wood, with the wires contacting points on the wood several inches apart, then turning on the transformer (plugging it in since I had no switch at the time, and seeing if it arcs or burns the wood. I'm pretty sure particle board would not be conductive, even at 15kV, but I'm no lumber expert.
EXPENSIVE transformer!
i need to find a inexpencive neon transformer
what type of wire did you use? Like what type of high voltage wire? and where can i get some?
sorry to keep bothering you, but when you covered the capacitors with aluminum foil, did you cover the bottom? Also I'm having trouble on how to connect them together. Say i had 10 capacitors. would they be attached in a single file? or would they have a figure 8 pattern to them
MistaStokes (author)  disappearingshadow2 years ago
No problem! I did cover the bottom of each capacitor. They would be connected in "parallel", meaning that all the foil would be wired together, and all the nails or wire would be connected, just like when you wire light bulbs in parallel.
I'm gonna make this for my third term project for my high school engineering class. It looks like a fun build. May i please have a copy of the pdf file. Oh and for the capacitors did you stick a nail in them or was it a piece of wire? -Irene
MistaStokes (author)  disappearingshadow2 years ago
For the capcitors, I used wire. Nails would work, too. What .pdf are you referring to? The instructable?
I was wondering if I can have a copy to both of the instructables on pdf file
R.A.T.M2 years ago
so height frequencies goes on the outer of the skin and low starts to penetrate but you have be careful because some height frequencies coils may feel fine and look ok but can cause nerve damage so unless you are a pro you wont know what is what
MistaStokes (author)  R.A.T.M2 years ago
Yes. Even if it doesn't hurt, it can be harmful.
No i wass telling i know you had some questions in the guide
bpark10002 years ago
Replace the spark gap with a "segmented gap" (4 to 5 shorter gaps in series). This will reduce the heating in the gap and increase output.
MistaStokes (author)  bpark10002 years ago
I am thinking about doing this. I need more identical bolts first!
wanabop2 years ago
Why do you have the toroid? I think there would be a greater spark if a grounded wire was brought about 1 foot from the toroid.

Some large caps can be made using aluminum flashing, and sheet plastic, then enclosed ina PVC sealed, pipe filled with mineral oil.

regards,

Dennis
MistaStokes (author)  wanabop2 years ago
Thank you for commenting, Dennis!

The toroid acts as a small capacitor (all conductive metals have a capacitance, be it a small one), the toroid shape is ideal for building a small charge around its radius during the nano seconds between the high frequency pulses generated in the secondary circuit. This charge helps the energy to "leave" the circuit and for arcs.

Placing a grounded wire near the toroid does create larger sparks, as the electricity in the toroid is attracted to the ground. I've done this in my instructable, see images 4, 19, 20, 21, and some others. The tall thing next to the coil in certain images is actually the ground rod that I used, as I didn't hammer it in all the way.

I have heard of people creating capacitors in similar fashions, I plan to do that on my next coil, whenever that is. I used glass leyden jars just because they were simple and cheap, and I had all the materials lying around.
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