Author Options:

Tesla Coils? Answered

I've looked all over the 'net for info on how Tesla coils work, bu all of them are too complicated. Can someone help me?

Goodhart mentioned:
"...This (negative ion generators), in conjunction with a larger Tesla coil can produce even nastier voltage spikes if one tweaks the 555 a bit.."
How? I only want to make a (very) small one.

I don't understand what the spark gaps are for, the coil parts I kinda understand, but all the rest is too confusing.


bit late but: i would suggest a SSTC (solid-state tesla coil) like the one im working on. it needs no spark gap or hv transformers and should cost less than 50$

If you decide to, I will be happy to design one for you. I can also make a parts list, and then just send you instructions on how to build one.

thanks! I am busy with wayy too many other projects, but if I ever get the money and time, I will definitely contact you.

From what I understand, the spark gap acts to stop and start the flow of electricity....when the voltage is not high enogh, no spark, the flow drops, the voltage across the coil drops and wham, a backlash of High voltage electricity.

The spark gap lets the capacitor be fully charged. The spark gap starts out with no spark because there is not enough energy going to it. This is because the cap is pulling all the energy from it. When the capacitor is charged, it overflows, and the electricity goes to the spark gap. This makes a spark, and isolates the spark gap, primary, and capacitor in one circuit. The energy from the cap flows through the primary and creates a magnetic field that supplies the secondary. Once the cap is discharged, the spark gap will shut off, and it repeats.

One of the reasons for including a diode on all relays is to prevent that "current collapse" across the coil. In this instance, it is being created on purpose.

'kay, thanks. I don't think I'll make one, just because I don't have the money at the moment. Every dollar I earn is going towards my new forge.

. That's a pretty good way to make sparks, too, ;)

Yeah. I only have one problem that I've encountered so far; I can't find a suitable anvil.

. I think there's at least one group here for "forgers." I can't find it right now, but that should be the place to ask about where to get anvils.

A Tesla Coil works because the transformer(in this case probably neon) will boost up line voltage between probably 6,000 to 15,000 volts it will charge up a capacitor which will then discharge across the spark gap causing a high voltage pulse to be sent through the primary and then will be boosted up and grounded through the secondary coil.

. If the Wikipedia entry doesn't explain it for you, I can't do any better. They are not _that_ complicated to build, especially one of the newer designs.
. If you have some mechanical skills, a Van de Graff generator might be a better project.

Thanks anyway. I probably won't make one anyway.