Introduction: Tesla Coil - the Russian Slayer Exciter

In this instructable Ill share my build of a small SSTC Tesla Coil.
There is a video on YouTube that inspired me:

Although that looks very cool, my main question was:

"Really? And Can I build it?"

So I dive right in and designed a PCB along the way. That way it's easier to reproduce and a little bit safer to build. However, Be warned! This is high voltage. Touching any part of the circuit or even the output of the coil CAN KILL YOU. Rebuild and use at your own risk…


You will need the following components:

PCB is available here:

1x 1u / 400V Maplin SC88V I used Wima MKP4
1x 22u Digikey P5877-ND I used NMG 105°C 22uF/450V
2x 10k 2 Watts
1x 10k 2 Watts
1x 1k5 2 Watts
1x 22R 17 Watts, or use 2 x 47 Ohm/ 10 Watts in parallel
Integrated Cir.
1x BT152 I also used a 3pin screw terminal for easy exchanging And use a small heatsink
1x IRFP460 I also used a 3pin screw terminal for easy exchanging And use a small heatsink
1x HFA08TB60 I also used a 2pin screw terminal for easy exchanging And use a small heatsink
3x 1N5408
1x 1.5ke15
1x 1.5ke440a 1,5ke400a will also work
1x Fuse 5AT Fuseholder with 5A slow fuse
6x TBLOCK-I2 2pin screw terminal
1x TBLOCK-M3 3 pin screw terminal

Potmeter 22K Make sure it has a plastic dial, not Metal!
2 power switches to operate the inductive loads
4 ballast transformers (fluorescent light transformers) I used Tridonic EC30 C502K
And you'll need a power cord to connect the circuit to your outlet. I would recommend using a isolation transformer for safety

Also, you'll need some small heatsinks for the 3 semiconductors on the side of the board....remember to isolate their body from the heatsink electrically.

Secondairy coil
Isolated copper wire AWG 32 (0.2 mm2)
1000 windings This is approx..25m total length
PVC Pipe 90mm diameter Length 30cm
Isolation varnish - Make sure to apply a thick layer of varnish to increase electric isolation

Primairy coil
Thick isolated wire AWG 14 (approx. 2 mm2) 4 windings
PVC Pipe 120mm diameter Length 30cm

Step 1: Warning - Working Safely Is Working Best!


I, Mark Donners, The Electronics Engineer, may or may not endorse various Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and all DIY projects are purely “at your own risk”. As with any DIY project, unfamiliarity with the tools and process can be dangerous. Posts should be construed as theoretical advice only.

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Disclaimer short version:

This is a DIY project, use any provided information and/or materials at your own risk! I am not responsible for what you do with it!

Make sure that you know what you are doing! High voltage can kill!

Step 2: The Electronic Circuit

The circuit of this "Russian Slayer Exciter" has some similarities with a standard Slayer exciter circuit.

It uses a FET as switching device for the Tesla coil and it 'rides' on the inductive power of a few Ballast coils that are normally used for fluorescent lights. A thyristor is used to set the trigger level to determine how often the ballast coils are loaded with energy. A potentiometer is used to change this trigger level. By changing the resister value of the potentiometer by turning it's dial, the pulse rate can be adjusted.

There is one major disadvantage to this methode. NEVER TOUCH the open end of the coil ( any any part of the circuit for that matter) depending on how it is wired, you could be touching the power line of your outlet directly.!This is a typical "Watch but don't Touch" kind of coil.

The pcb is available at

Step 3: Winding the Coils

Secondairy coil

As you can see in the photo, the secondary coil has a diameter of approx. 90mm and I applied approximately 1000 windings of 32AWG isolated copper wire.

Make sure that you apply enough isolated varnish after winding the coil to isolate it properly.

Also, the beginning of the winding should be as short as possible in regards to connection terminal.Same goes for the output end. You should prevent unnecessary length of wire 'hanging' around in the inside of the coil because this might cause a flash-over later.

Primary Coil

The primary coil is made up of 4 windings in the range of awg12 ( approx 2mm2 or similar). Wind them around a piece of PVC pipe with a diameter of 12 cm.( a bit smaller or wider will also work). Make sure the wire is isolated because this is the high power end!

Wiring of the Primary Coil.

Keep in mind that if you see only little sparks when all is assembled and you're doing a test run, that the polarity of the primary coil plays a major part in being successful. Changing the polarity might make all the difference. Trail and error.

Step 4: Connecting the Dots

Connecting the parts.

When you have assembled the PCB and finished winding the Primary and secondary coil, it is time to hook it all up.

- Connect the Ballast coils 2 pairs (each pair consists of 2 ballast coils in parallel)

- Hook up the 2 switches to operate the coils

- connect the potmeter if you haven't done so already

- connect the primary and secondary coils

- place the primary coil over the secondary coil

- Connect the mains but don't plug it in just yet!

Step 5: Fire It Up!

Ok, so everything is ready right?

a few last notes:

Make sure the secondary coil has a breakout point. This can by a nail or piece of hard wire that point up in the air towards the ceiling. If you leave it out, a breakout of sparks might happen at the top of your coil which is something you don't want for sure!

Did u double check your circuit board and connections?

If you have an isolation transformer or Variac trafo etc, this might be a good time to use it.

Remember, sparks or no sparks, When it's plugged in to the net. NEVER touch the circuit, the heat sinks, or the output of the coil!.Always unplug your setup from mains! Always!!

Remember the one hand rule: "I've got one hand in my pocket...and the other is touching electricity...." That way you will decrease the change of current going trough your heart when you are unfortunate to electrocute yourself.

No Fire it up!!

Did you get the same nice long sparks is seen in my video?