Here's a picture
Don't confuse voltage with power. Though more voltage usually has more current flowing and voltage with current IS power.. And at resonance with the inductance of the Tesla primary ( that is the main idea ) The capacitor will see two to three times the NST voltage. A
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You're not generating any power. You're taking power from the power company, that they generated using some other power source, and converting it to a higher voltage but lower amperage. In the process you actually loose some power. And if you're not careful that things gonna bite you.
5000 volt transformer and 5 saltwater jar capacitors with beer can lining
Large prego jars
If your feeding 5000 volts into those home made caps then you have 5000 volts. Capacitors store and help to smooth out voltage. They do nothing to increase it. Though they could be decreasing it a bit. If you want to know the output then put a voltage meter on it.
So the smoothing I. The current creates the arc I was understanding they charge and release at the frequency of th transformer
Yes without the capacitors hooked to any kind of load they are charging up with the 5000 volts. What you put in is what you will get out for the most part.
Get a voltage meter and see for yourself. A picture of a device does nothing to indicate the potential of the device.