Tesla Coil

by Stephen Hobley on July 28, 2008

We did the final assemble and checks on our Tesla coil on Saturday night, we rolled it out into the back yard and switched it on…

Nothing is as scary as that first time…

And…

Nothing exploded, imploded, melted, smoked or fried…

We were able to tease 7″ sparks out of the toroid with the safety ‘wand’. We tapped the primary on the recommendation of Teslamap – but we’re not trying to fool ourselves that this thing is tuned. We just built the oscillator tuner based on the 555 chip and we’re going to try and tune it properly.

The static gap is quenched with a tough little AC blower and set to about 0.18 inches. After operating for about 30 seconds the tungsten electrodes did not see very warm at all.

So after getting the tuning as perfect as we can, some of the things we’re going to examine next are:

* Height of the secondary from the primary.
* Height of the toroid from the secondary.
* Spark gap distance / better quenching.
* Addition of a rotary gap. (this is NST based, and so I’m not sure if this is safe…)

Our setup is:

Variac -> RF filter -> NST (12Kv) -> Terry Filter -> Static gap -> MMC (16 series with 10M 1/2 Watt bleeders) -> 0.25 copper tubing primary (15 degrees 12 turns total) -> 4″ 24 gauge wire secondary (19.5 coil height) -> 12″ / 3″ spun toroid.

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