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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    It's hard to diagnose electrical problems from a distance, but here's a few things to try: 1. Cut the voltage. The Slayer Exciter will work just fine at 9 or 18 volts. You may be overvolting your circuit.2. Check your connections. Make sure you have the proper polarity connections to the primary coil. Reversing these is bad; the coil will work poorly or not at all, and you may toast your components. 3. You may have ruined your components already. Heat is the enemy of solid state components. Can you selectively replace pieces in the circuit, one at a time?4. What gauge wire are you using in the coil and in your circuit? How many turns on the primary? How many on the secondary? Too few turns on the primary can resulting in too much power being drawn, hence overheating and poor performance...see more »It's hard to diagnose electrical problems from a distance, but here's a few things to try: 1. Cut the voltage. The Slayer Exciter will work just fine at 9 or 18 volts. You may be overvolting your circuit.2. Check your connections. Make sure you have the proper polarity connections to the primary coil. Reversing these is bad; the coil will work poorly or not at all, and you may toast your components. 3. You may have ruined your components already. Heat is the enemy of solid state components. Can you selectively replace pieces in the circuit, one at a time?4. What gauge wire are you using in the coil and in your circuit? How many turns on the primary? How many on the secondary? Too few turns on the primary can resulting in too much power being drawn, hence overheating and poor performance.5. What diodes did you use? Are they installed the correct way? What resistor did you use? What wattage?

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  • Mr. Apol commented on Mr. Apol's instructable High voltage car ignition coil project2 months ago
    High voltage car ignition coil project

    The circuit is simple:

    Here's a diagram.

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  • Mr. Apol commented on Mr. Apol's instructable Tabletop Tesla Coil2 months ago
  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    Uninsulated wire will not work. When you apply electricity to it, it will short circuit across the turns of wire. You must use insulated wire. Usually this means enamel insulation on magnet wire.

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    It's easy to convert a Tesla coil to a slayer exciter, not so easy to do the reverse. Your coil is very small, and while you can probably get it to resonate and make sparks, it won't be much. I don't know how much voltage/amperage a mosquito swatter makes, but I'll bet it isn't much. You'd be better off with an Oil Burner Transformer (OBIT), or Neon Sign Transfomer (NST). Then of course you need a spark gap and capacitors . . . PBT

    Tesla coils aren't so difficult to make or tune, but they have parameters that have to be observed or they simply won't work.Here are some ideas to try on your slayer exciter:Test both primary and secondary coils for continuity. I don't know what gauges of wire you're using, but a single break could cause all the problems you're having. Test the primary first with a multimeter and see what the resistance is; then test the secondary. They should both be 0 ohms or close to it (the 2ndary will have higher resistance than the primary).One at a time, replace all your components and test for proper operation. Try sliding your (proven) primary up on the 2ndary, a half inch at a time, and see if that improves performance. Check all the connections in the wire harness. If you insert a wire too f...see more »Tesla coils aren't so difficult to make or tune, but they have parameters that have to be observed or they simply won't work.Here are some ideas to try on your slayer exciter:Test both primary and secondary coils for continuity. I don't know what gauges of wire you're using, but a single break could cause all the problems you're having. Test the primary first with a multimeter and see what the resistance is; then test the secondary. They should both be 0 ohms or close to it (the 2ndary will have higher resistance than the primary).One at a time, replace all your components and test for proper operation. Try sliding your (proven) primary up on the 2ndary, a half inch at a time, and see if that improves performance. Check all the connections in the wire harness. If you insert a wire too far and clamp down on insulation instead of bare wire, you'll have trouble. I've done this myself. Use a straight, plain fluorescent tube to test for output. A properly functioning SE will excite a CFL, but if the CFL circuitry has a fault, you may be trying to light up a dud. Paul

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    First make sure your LED will light up at the proper voltage. You can't test continuity with a bulb that won't light at the found voltage. Your circuit board looks OK, but it's kind of hard to trace the wiring when it's all the same color. ;-) Your diode connection could be tighter. Try to eliminate any excess wiring, shorten your leads to straight, efficient lengths and get rid of any twists or tangles. Make sure your clipped together connections are really connected. Low voltage connections can be very finicky.Reduce the primary by one turn and test for function. Keep reducing the number of primary turns until you get output. If you never get any output go back to 3 turns and try something else. Sometimes moving the primary higher up the secondary helps. Make sure you have the polarit...see more »First make sure your LED will light up at the proper voltage. You can't test continuity with a bulb that won't light at the found voltage. Your circuit board looks OK, but it's kind of hard to trace the wiring when it's all the same color. ;-) Your diode connection could be tighter. Try to eliminate any excess wiring, shorten your leads to straight, efficient lengths and get rid of any twists or tangles. Make sure your clipped together connections are really connected. Low voltage connections can be very finicky.Reduce the primary by one turn and test for function. Keep reducing the number of primary turns until you get output. If you never get any output go back to 3 turns and try something else. Sometimes moving the primary higher up the secondary helps. Make sure you have the polarity of the primary connections correct. The exciter will not work if the polarity is reversed--or not very well.Do the dark room test for sparks. If necessary, check or swap out individual components one at a time to see if they are defective. Sometimes manufactured diodes and resistors are not what they are claimed to be.Try to find a straight, plain fluorescent tube. They are the easiest kind to light up with a slayer exciter.

    It's hared ti diagnose electronic problems from a distance. but you wiring seems correct. Did you wrap the secondarywithout gaps and with no overlapping of wire? Your primary connection is too long and tangled; tangles affect resonance. What transistor did you use? Is it a NPN or PNP? Try touching the base of the CFL to the secondary when it's energized. In a darkened room, hold a piece of metal very near the end of the top wire of the secondary and see if you get a spark.By the way, did you scrape the insulation off the ends of all the wires? Not to be snide, but enamel insulation can be hard to see, but of course you need clean connections in order for the device to work.Try different voltages, both lower and higher.

    It's hared to diagnose electronic problems from a distance, but your wiring seems correct. Did you wrap the secondary without gaps and with no overlapping of wire? Your primary connection is too long and tangled; tangles affect resonance. What transistor did you use? Is it a NPN or PNP? Try touching the base of the CFL to the secondary when it's energized. In a darkened room, hold a piece of metal very near the end of the top wire of the secondary and see if you get a spark, however tiny.By the way, did you scrape the insulation off the ends of all the wires? Not to be snide, but enamel insulation can be hard to see, but of course you need clean connections in order for the device to work.Try different voltages, both lower and higher.

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    No topload is necessary. You might get better propagation if you stand the secondary up, vertically.Paul

    There's no exact number of ratio. A smaller secondary will work, but it will not output as much as a larger one. You'll have to experiment with the primary. On your coil I'd try 3 to 5 turns of larger gauge wire to start with. It looks like you have too much in the photo.Paul

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    You will not be able to light LEDs. You need fluorescent tubes or CFLs.Follow the wiring directions as to polarity, or the exciter will not work properly. If you have already switched poles around, you may have ruined your transistor--but follow the Instructable and try again with a fluorescent bulb of some kind.Paul

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    Starting from scratch costs run like this: magnet wire, $20-30 depending on how much you use and gauge; electronic components, $5 total; PVC tubing, about $3; fluorescent tubes, etc, whatever you have lying around. $40 would probably cover it all.The cost would be less if you have some of this stuff lying around, or if you use wood instead of perf board, etc. At these low voltages common wood and plastics would not be out of line. Sometimes you can salvage magnet wire from the windings of old electric motors, for example.Paul

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  • Pipe Dream: A Low Voltage Tesla Coil or 'Slayer Exciter'

    I rather think the rippling is the result of the power pulsations inherent in the transformer design. In the case of the Slayer Exciter, the transistor is pulsing on-off-on-off to the primary coil. It would be interesting to see if the pulsations changed with faster transistors.There's not going to be much in the way of corona or arcing with a 6 or 9 volt slayer exciter. There's just not enough voltage for such a display. It's kind of the point too--achieving resonance at such low voltage is very interesting.

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  • Mr. Apol commented on Mr. Apol's instructable Tabletop Tesla Coil6 months ago
    Tabletop Tesla Coil

    Sounds kind of dangerous, actually. First you have to open a fluorescent tube (full of mercury vapor), then fill lit with brine? What do you use for a center electrode? Any liquid filled capacitor is going to be very lossy too. That's why most coilers use commercially made caps. Their insulation is superior, so you lose less power through corona.Still, it's an interesting idea. I once made caps out of old incandescent bulbs (no toxic gas there, just argon). They did work, but the dielectric stress of Tesla coil pulsations made them crack. Fortunately I was using dry filler--copper coated BBs--instead of liquid.

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  • Mr. Apol commented on Mr. Apol's instructable High voltage car ignition coil project6 months ago
    High voltage car ignition coil project

    Thanks. As long as the questions are rational, I always reply, and if I have new info to add, I do that too.Paul

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