Instructables
Picture of Wireless Rainbow Light Powered by Tesla Coil

     Here is a project that uses radio frequency energy generated by a small, bipolar Tesla Coil to energize a ring of multicolored, cold cathode lamps. As with any high voltage device, use caution and good judgment when operating.

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools

Bipolar TC (1) – purchased, scratch built or modified,

                  monopolar unit

 

Cardboard sheets cut from a shoebox

 

Multicolored CCLs (8) – 10 cm x 0.4 cm; available thru

                               hobby shops

 

Rubber grommets (4) – available from Radio Shack (http://tinyurl.com/7ufs58b)

 

Utility scissors

Office hole puncher

Compass

Ruler

Step 2: Tesla Coil Fabrication

Picture of Tesla Coil Fabrication
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     I opted for a scratch built TC. Except for the following modifications, the design was nearly identical to the monopolar version that I described in a previously published i'ble (http://www.instructables.com/id/Tesla-Night-Light/).

 

     I mounted the secondary horizontally, disconnected it from ground and then capped the ends with aluminum discharge globes bolted to ceramic insulators. Lastly, I used a concentrically coupled coil to replace the pancake primary. Once the TC was completed, the remaining construction was intuitive.

Step 3: Lamp Support Construction

Picture of Lamp Support Construction

     Scrap cardboard from a shoebox served as supports to secure the ring of lamps around the primary coil form. I cut two, 5 cm diameter circles with center holes having the same size as the secondary coil form. Next, I made a radial cut to the center hole of each support so they could slip over the ends of the secondary.

 

Step 4: Punch Holes and Insert Lamps

Picture of Punch Holes and Insert Lamps

     I used the paper punch to make eight equidistant holes about 0.5 cm in from the edge of each circle. After placing the supports on the secondary and aligning the holes, I inserted 8 colored lamps.

Step 5: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly
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     Finally, I cut four grommets in half and slipped one over each lamp tip.

Step 6: Final Adjustments

Picture of Final Adjustments
     After powering up the TC, I adjusted the variac and spark gap to produce a flickering display of rainbow colors. Here is a vid of a monopolar version of the rainbow light:
 
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