Tesla Coil - the Russian Slayer Exciter

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: https://youtu.be/mFCHe0wEVls

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.

If you are at all uncomfortable or inexperienced working on these projects (especially but not limited to electronics and mechanical), please reconsider doing the job yourself. It is very possible on any DIY project to damage belongings or void your property insurance, create a hazardous condition, or harm or even kill yourself or others.

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The information provided is for entertainment and promotional purposes only. You may not rely on any information and opinions expressed in it for any other purpose.

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 Tindie.com:


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?

1 Person Made This Project!


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1 year ago

Is there any chance you could give me the current or inductance values I should aim for with the ballast? I made a ballast by adding an air gap to an old 12v transformer and it limits current from the wall to about 1.6amps. Approximately 170mH of inductance. I wound some other outputs that do more current, but am wondering what the max should be. Also I am using 120v, so I reduced all the resistor values by about half, does that sound correct to you?


Reply 1 year ago

No Idea about the current, it is actually the in-rush current that is important. I used this balast: TRIDONIC EC30 C502K al it says is the nominal current of max 0,4A and a labda of 0,32. No inductivity is mentioned. Maybe you can google it. I dont have a LCR meter to measure it for you. A regards to the resisters: NO! thats not how this works. You can play around with R1 and R2 but thats about it.


2 years ago

Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the Tesla Coil was American, so I don't quite understand what you mean by "Russian Slayer Exciter" also, what you say about two hands is incorrect in this situation. That rule is only applicable when your hands are touching oppositely charged sources. In this case, the electricity goes from you to ground, not across your heart, at least not in the same fashion. If you want to touch it,you can either 1. make sure the frequency is above 20 KHZ, and then when you touch it, you will feel a slight burning sensation instead of electric shock. The good thing about this is that there is no feasible way for the electricity to hurt you if you don't do it too much. (If you do it to much it will cause damage, but a little will not cause any damage). Alternatively, you could make a Faraday cage by getting a metal glove of some sort, and then connecting the glove to a ground source (the middle pong on your wall outlet)
. Another thing to point out is that having a nail of some sort or any object with a sharp end will result in the charges running away from the Tesla coil, and you will see less electricity. I absolutely LOVE this circuit though!


Reply 2 years ago

No no, the one hand rule does apply. Because you can touch the output of the coil with one hand while the other hand is touching a ground like for example your heater or some metal pipe/rod... that wat it can run trough your heart. The danger of this circuit is that the output is directly connected to one wire of your outlet. In some countries the wiring is not set by law. Meaning fase and neural can be swopped.


Reply 2 years ago

Ahh, I assumed you meant touching the tesla coil with two hands, both connected to the same source. Also, all circuits have to be connected to two sources (+ and - or - and gnd) to allow current to flow.