Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla

Today is Nikola Tesla's Birthday, A famous inventor, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. He discovered AC power which can travel much farther than DC power as well as the AC motor. and invented the very well known Tesla Coil. As well as many other things we still use today.

Topic by Yerboogieman   |  last reply


make a transformer? Answered

I am wondering how to make a homemade transformer for an early tesla coil (the kind with the flat primary and secondary coils). Thanks in advance, Josh1324

Question by josh1324   |  last reply


The "Truth" about Tesla?

These guys at www.lindsaybks.com/gallery/teslamyth/ttesla1.html say that Tesla didn't invent the Tesla Coil, radio, or AC power. Now, I'll admit that I didn't read all of the arguments completely. I did, however, read the Tesla Coil page in its entirety. One claim is that the Tesla Coil was predated by one Elihu Thomson's patent  "Method of and means for producing electric current" (number 500,630). This patent was filed in 1893 - while Tesla's earliest patent on the Tesla Coil, "System of Electric Lighting" (number 454,622) was filed in 1891. Nice try. They are definitely correct, however, in saying that many parts of Tesla's history has been overly-dramatized. For instance, there is a claim that Tesla's remote controlled boat used a primitive form of voice recognition to take spoken commands from his audience. Obviously, it didn't, and the patents show nothing of the like. Do the other claims on their website have any merit?

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


its a bit late but someone had to do it

i would just like to thank nikola tesla for all his work for humanity he was a genius and in what i have heard about him even edison couldnt hold a candle to him he invented ac electricty(widely used today despite EDISONS FALSE CLAIMS)                     floresent bulbs                     a more effective of way of maufactaring light bulbs(up yours edison)                      the electric motor                      romote control                     xrays                     robots                      tesla turbine                      spark plugs                      vtol aircraft and many more patients and god knows how many great ideas in his head   but sadly he died penney less alone and mad in the new yorker hotel in manhatten                    and the only reason why is best idea arnt in use today is because (im not conspiracy theorist)  that the  people who are in charge bankers oil companies extra are afraid if they cant control the electricty they will lose there power and be over througn by the masses

Topic by The ironman   |  last reply


Permanent Magnet Motor

I learned a couple of years ago about a motor developed by Nikolai Tesla that operates using neodymium magnets. If anyone has any information about this or other similar motors, please post information and help to save the earth from the evils of oil!

Topic by HazzardFan75   |  last reply


Carbon Button Lamp

The Nikola Tesla group forum is asking for new projects, so I'm posting this as a suggestion. I would love to build it myself, but I lack the tools and money. This is my first contribution to Instructables, so please comment constructively. Nikola Tesla invented the Carbon Button lamp as a kind of incandescent light, because Thomas Edison banned him from using his incandescent filament bulbs. Nikola later discovered that versions of it could also be used in wireless, trans-Atlantic telegraphy, and to investigate what we now call x rays. In fact, he even used the lamp (or something similar to it) to take x-ray photographs, 8 years before Wilhelm Rotgen discovered them.For this reason, I must warn you: this device may possibly generate x rays. I am not responsible for any harm of any kind that may or may not result from re-creating this interesting device. There are phosphors that you can buy that will absorb x rays and re-emit them as visible light. I recommend that you coat the bulb with it until you know for sure that the x rays aren't strong enough to hurt you, or if makes x rays at all. Mixing it with a phosphor made for uv light wouldn't hurt either. Theory of Operation:The bulb is powered by a Tesla Coil, or other source of high voltage, high frequency current, such as a driver for a plasma globe (actually, the modern plasma globe is descended from this kind of technology!)When the power is turned on, electricity bombards the carbon button. Because carbon isn't the best conductor, this causes the button to heat and release electrons into the bulb's vacuum (the technical name for this is "thermionic emission," or the "Edison effect") . These electrons, in turn, excite the remaining air molecules and cause them to create visible light. This is strikingly similar to how fluorescent lamps work!Supposedly, the bulb should shine 10 times brighter than an incandescent bulb.(Note that the excitation of the air molecules, not the incandescence of the button, is actually the main source of light from the bulb.)If anyone decides to build it, please post an instructable showing the steps and finished product. I suggest you get started by reading the patent, number 514,170. You may also want to read part of Tesla's lecture, "Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency."To anyone who will attempt this, I wish you good luck!

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


Mini tesla coil? Answered

Is it possible to make a small tesla coil with a toilet paper roll for the secondary coil?

Question by josh1324   |  last reply



Wireless Power Transmission

Nikola Tesla's grandest vision was the transmission of large amounts of power without wires. His work in this area was abandoned by his contemporaries, and there is still much debate over if it could or could not work. I would like to hear your opinions on this. Do you think it is possible? Would it require only one transmitter, or several, spread across the globe? Would it be safe? Would it be worthwhile? Could Tesla's original spark gap circuit been sufficient to drive it? Or would it be better to use vacuum tubes or solid state setups? Would the operating frequency be very high or very low? Pictured below is how I think Tesla may have done it, based on the information I've seen. It's a bit over-simplified, but to the best of my knowledge, it covers most of what is needed. Please note that, although the transmitter terminals would be at a much higher elevation than pictured, the receiving terminals could stay at a relatively low elevation. This link is to a YouTube video of someone using a small Solid-State Tesla Coil for wireless power transmission: www.youtube.com/watch Edit: I had orriginally imagined that the system would work by capacitive coupling between the Ionosphere and the coils. Afterwards I realized that electrostatic capacitive coupling will decouple after seperation between two plates is greater than 1/2 the wavelength (or, at least in theory), so I personally abandoned the idea. The only problem is that I can't imagine how power would be sent to airplanes. Also, this is a very good read on the subject, from a very interesting site: www.teslaradio.com/pages/wireless_102.htm

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


Tesla's "magnetic wave" communications idea proposed for mine safety

A report in Science Magazine describes a proposal to use Nikola Tesla's magnetic amplitude modulation as a way for trapped miners to communicate with the surface.

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply


The transformer in my Tesla coil fried, how can i prevent this from happening again? Answered

I recently built a tesla coil, and after some demonstrational use in school the transformer burnt out (it wouldn't do anything, and a red light appeared inside). I have already ordered a new one, but i want to prevent this from happening again. Any tips from experienced tesla coilers? thx in advance, all help is appreciated.                  additional details: transformer: 6500v, 21 ma. ordered here. the tesla coil has gone without sparking for a few seconds at a time, however resumed after turning it off and back on. could this be related to the spark gap length or something similar?

Question by biolethal   |  last reply


Pancake Coil

Hello, I was going to try building an old Tesla "Pancake" Coil, and then write an instructable for it. (please don't steal my idea!) Does anyone have any information or building techniques at all that they can give me to help? The Pancake coil is just a Tesla Coil that has a flat secondary, as well as a flat primary. Tesla used it in his early radio and wireless power transmission research. The primary circuit should be pretty much the same as a conventional Tesla Coil. But I am a bit confused as to how to build the secondary. A few questions I have: What wire gauge should I use (I'm pretty sure that Tesla didn't use magnet wire for this)? How do I determine the space in between the turns? (more to come) I realize that most people don't build these kinds of coils anymore, and therefore most people probably won't be able to answer my questions or give me any info; I'd just thought that I would try and see if any one could. It would help me a lot. Thank you.

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


My latest project

My presence has been a little lighter on the site lately. Not so many cookie patches or links to things on the internet that catch my eye as I'd like. The reason for all this is that a couple weeks ago, my son was born. At 42 minutes into 09/09/09 we welcomed Orion Nikola Lewis into the world. Everyone's been doing just fine. Life has changed and all for the better.

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Bre Pettis's Show!

Bre Pettis (use to make videos fore MAKE, before kipkay took over) has his own TV show, and the pilot will be airing on the History Channel on Friday, September 26th at 9PM! The first episode will be about Nikola Tesla (and if you don't know who he is then you can just leave this forum now!).see full article herehttp://brepettis.com/blog/2008/09/04/history-hacker-history-channel/

Topic by guyfrom7up   |  last reply


No one noticed

While I briefly joined in on the recent change-of-image-thing, no one ever questioned the image I chose including Kiteman , Lithium Rain and others: Are people not paying attention, or do they not care? I've formed an opinion that "another B&W / Sepia dude" looks much the same as any other... L It's a bit tricky to put a name to a face, but I think I've passed-off someone else (with a very well-known-name as Nikola Tesla without really trying) - come on who is he? - patch for the giving.

Topic by lemonie   |  last reply


Carbon Button Lamp

The Nikola Tesla group forum is asking for new projects, so I'm posting this as a suggestion. I would love to build it myself, but I lack the tools and money. This is my first contribution to Instructables, so please comment constructively.Nikola Tesla invented the Carbon Button lamp as a kind of incandescent light, because Thomas Edison banned him from using his incandescent filament bulbs. Nikola later discovered that versions of it could also be used in wireless, trans-Atlantic telegraphy, and to investigate what we now call x rays. In fact, he even used the lamp (or something similar to it) to take x-ray photographs, 8 years before Wilhelm Rotgen discovered them.For this reason, I must warn you: this device may possibly generate x rays. I am not responsible for any harm of any kind that may or may not result from re-creating this interesting device.There are phosphors that you can buy that will absorb x rays and re-emit them as visible light. I recommend that you coat the bulb with it until you know for sure that the x rays aren't strong enough to hurt you, or if makes x rays at all. Mixing it with a phosphor made for uv light wouldn't hurt either.Theory of Operation:The bulb is powered by a Tesla Coil, or other source of high voltage, high frequency current, such as a driver for a plasma globe (actually, the modern plasma globe is descended from this kind of technology!)When the power is turned on, electricity bombards the carbon button. Because carbon isn't the best conductor, this causes the button to heat and release electrons into the bulb's vacuum (the technical name for this is "thermionic emission," or the "Edison effect") . These electrons, in turn, excite the remaining air molecules and cause them to create visible light. This is strikingly similar to how fluorescent lamps work!Supposedly, the bulb should shine 10 times brighter than an incandescent bulb.(Note that the excitation of the air molecules, not the incandescence of the button, is actually the main source of light from the bulb.)If anyone decides to build it, please post an instructable showing the steps and finished product. I suggest you get started by reading the patent, number 514,170. You may also want to read part of Tesla's lecture, "Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency."To anyone who will attempt this, I wish you good luck!Patent: http://www.google.com/patents?id=UpldAAAAEBAJ&pg;=PA1&dq;=514,170+tesla&source;=gbs_selected_pages&cad;=0_1Lecture: http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1892-02-03.htmQuestions:What can one use for the carbon button?Could one use a modern, hollowed-out light bulb for this? (I would think there would be some problems with sealing the globe, and with the stem.)Edit: I recently found the third picture in Tesla's Colorado Springs notes and his "apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy" patent. It must be the single-electrode x ray tube I was talking about before...

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


Is it Illegal?

Here's a forum where you can ask if something is illegal and hope to get answers... My question: I have a electronic version (I got it for free) of the book "Nikola Tesla Colorado Springs Notes" I want to print it because it's a pretty data intensive book and I don't want to go blind from reading it from my computer. So would it be illegal for me to print this for my own personal use (not selling, giving away, etc...) Part 2 of that question. If I were to take it to a place such as Pro Copy (a print shop) would they turn me down? It was copyrighted in 1978... I have to take it to a print shop cause I don't want to murder my printer with 431 pages of text

Topic by guyfrom7up 


Could a 12v 6w bicycle bottle generator be used to simultaneously charge two USB devices at 5v 3w?

I'm looking to power a few different USB devices while I ride my bicycle. Hub dynamos are typically 6v 3W AC, which makes them pretty conducive to USB which is 5v 3W DC, and there are some kits that do just that. However I've found a few bottle generators (the kind that run against the tire) that produce 12v 6W (I'm not sure, but I think they are DC). Now I'm no Nikola Tesla, but it seems to me that one of those could charge two USB devices at once. Either some kind of splitter or just a 12v battery with a USB hub. 

Question by jhattabaugh   |  last reply


Tesla Costume

Hello, so this year for halloween I am hoping to go as our hero Nikola Tesla. the costume will be fairly easy I'm just planning on wearing an old suit etc. but what i really want to do is incorporate some type of electrical effect into the costume. I know a bit about electronics and can solder and figure things out when needed, all i really need is an idea of some type of electrical thing that wouldn't kill me and i can power via batteries.  in a perfect world I would like to create some type of spark gap generator between my hands but this might be too lofty an aspiration.  Anyway if anyone has any ideas specifically ones that wont kill me and aren't too hard to accomplish i would be very grateful. 

Topic by jumbohiggins 


How can I ground a Tesla Coil if I don't have access to the ground outside? Answered

For a project in school, and as part of a speech I'm delivering on Nikola Tesla, I had hoped to have a relatively small Tesla Coil to bring in and show off. The only trick is, the classroom is on the second floor, there are no windows, and it just today snowed where I live (so taking the demonstration outside doesn't seem like a good idea)... So I have really no idea how to ground the secondary on this beast. I've read a lot about Tesla Coils and seen a lot of schematics, but nobody can give me a good answer for grounding them except for "drive a metal rod into the ground". And despite that, I see videos on Youtube of small tabletop coils (of the scale I wish to build) that don't appear to be connected to anything as a ground other than the mains outlet.

Question by MatrixPhreak   |  last reply


Waveform of pulsed magnetic fields... Answered

I have recently been astoundingly interested in magnetic fields, for seemingly no reason. The point is, that in reading up on it, and being a big fan of the greatest mind of all time, Nikola Tesla, I have been stumped with a question that I can't quite seem to answer, and can barely wrap my head around. My question is this; when one takes a normal electromagnet and sends pulses through it, is the resulting pulsing field considered to be longitudinal or transverse waves, or something else all together? This has baffled me, and I am curious to see the answer. Another question I have is, what exactly does Tesla mean by "hertzian" waves, I'm assuming that that his "non-hertzian" waves are longitudinal waves, but I could be wrong. A little background on the question... This question arose when I was looking at the 'ible "spooky tesla spirit radio"  (something along those lines, I'm not sure the exact name). I read somewhere in the comments section that Tesla found Hertzian waves to be, for lack of a better term, a waste of time. This brought the question of different waves up, and one thing led to another and here we are!! Thanks for any and all answers!!

Question by arhodes18   |  last reply


High Frequency Alternators

Look at a picture of some arcs from a common spark-gap Tesla Coil, and then compare it to the arcs from a solid-state. What makes the two so different? The difference comes from the Solid-State Tesla Coil to operate in CW (constant wave) mode. This means that its power supply is uninterrupted, whereas in a spark-gap type, power is being switched on and off hundreds of times per second. If the output terminal of a CW coil doesn't have a brake out point, no corona or spark will occur. For anyone who's investigating wireless power transmission or Tesla's version of radio, this is a very helpful feature, since corona only wastes energy. And if it does have a brake out point, it can create some pretty interesting spark displays, as I mentioned above. An arc to a grounded object increases the current in the arc to such a point that it turns into a white-hot "flaming" discharge. All-in-all, a CW type coil is a pretty interesting kind to observe. But solid-states can be pretty difficult and annoying to build, and expensive as well. Since solid-state technology obviously was not available to Tesla, he found a different way to operate his coils in CW mode- a generator that was specially designed to produce radio-frequency power. He had originally created it for high-frequency arc lighting. Today, I have seen absolutely no coils run by a high frequency alternator. Of course, an alternator would be admittedly difficult to build, but since it could probably deliver more power than a solid-state coil, it would be worth it. Does anyone know if there are any companies that still make these alternators? Would anyone be interested in recreating it? Should we even bother? Thank you for listening. Peace!

Topic by ElectricUmbrella   |  last reply


I want to learn how to build a vacuum tube guitar amplifier

I have a slight issue that I am sure a lot of you do too... I have a million interests, hobbies, and maybe even some borderline-diagnosable passions. My problem is, I am 40 years old already, and I do not have years left on Earth to become a full-system level electrical engineer, a full-stack software engineer, and a master carpenter... just to name a few. So, I am looking for the best resource that you guys can suggest for where to start so that I can learn how to build a tube amplifier along the lines of a Fender, Marshall, Vox AC30, et cetera. of course, I do not aspire to revolutionize, or even evolution-ize guitar amps, and I also do not aspire to build some esoteric masterpiece copy with three independent channels, each with a separate EQ, a foot-switch, and multiple ins/outs. I just want to build a simple, 1-channel amplifier that has enough power to produce a very clean tone without distorting, but has a gain, and a master volume so that it can be "pushed" to produce a distorted sound. I do not care at all if it sounds "good." I just want to do it, and I do not want to have to spend 2 years going down a Nikola Tesla rabbit hole trying to learn every theory of physics, electronics, etc. I just want to learn how to construct the circuit(s) and not electrocute myself by being dumb. So, don't get me wrong... I want to learn the right way! Just looking for a good resource. Amazon.com has dozens of books with titles that all sound the same. Does anyone know of the quick-and-dirty-bible for this?

Question by Dolmetscher007   |  last reply