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Old 12-25-2014, 11:14 PM #1249
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

USAbro, that is a nice looking secondary. Did you wind that by hand? I haven't started mine yet. There is a lathe I can use at work but it's slowest speed is 19rpms, I'll have to do some testing with pipe and wire to see if it's too fast.

Also the first 12-14pages of this thread a fairly insightful regarding your set up. I look forward to seeing your coil come to life!


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Old 12-26-2014, 03:29 AM #1250
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

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Originally Posted by Down with Umbrella View Post
USAbro, that is a nice looking secondary. Did you wind that by hand? I haven't started mine yet. There is a lathe I can use at work but it's slowest speed is 19rpms, I'll have to do some testing with pipe and wire to see if it's too fast.

Also the first 12-14pages of this thread a fairly insightful regarding your set up. I look forward to seeing your coil come to life!
Thanks. That secondary is only 14 inches on 2 inch pipe though. So today I got bored and wound by hand, a 18inch secondary on 3 inch pipe! It took three hours.

And yes I did wind it by hand. Right now I'm trying to get a power supply.

I don't know how long it will take, but I'm determined, if it takes five years, to get at least six inch streamers!


A question. Would it be possible for a person like me, with decent soldering skills, to build a solid state unit?

Also, I'm still trying to find out, on a SSTC, does the primary use HV? I'll google it but I thought I'd ask.

I'm gonna being picking up some plexi glass soon so, I'll be able to improve the base.


Important Question! Will it hurt performance that the winds on the secondary, aren't perfect? Even though I did lacker it, some of the winds are slightly loose, and although it looks good, I was wondering if this really hurts performance. I can't find a way around it though, at least while doing it by hand.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:45 AM #1251
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Re: SSTC- primary runs at low voltage DC up to 1200v maximum because of the limits of silicon technology. Most run at 70-270V DC.

Uneven winds do create some inefficiencies but they're minor. It's overlaps and any damage to the enamel that's a problem.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:57 AM #1252
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

So I suppose that the SSTC is far too complicated for me probably?

It's just getting the hv transformer, and making a spark gap that won't melt like my last one did, and also, the expensive caps.
I'd make my own, but I can't even test out performance of them and even test any thing without the hv transformer.

I'm determined to get one somehow though.
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Old 12-26-2014, 12:53 PM #1253
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Did you see my above post where I offered to send you a 12kv/30mA NST transformer for free if you paid for shipping?
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:35 PM #1254
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

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Did you see my above post where I offered to send you a 12kv/30mA NST transformer for free if you paid for shipping?
I did see it. I'd like to take you up on that, but I'm not sure about a few things.
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:56 PM #1255
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

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USAbro, that is a nice looking secondary. Did you wind that by hand? I haven't started mine yet. There is a lathe I can use at work but it's slowest speed is 19rpms, I'll have to do some testing with pipe and wire to see if it's too fast.

Also the first 12-14pages of this thread a fairly insightful regarding your set up. I look forward to seeing your coil come to life!
If your form fits in the lathe its perfect!

I do mine with a big drill on a variac and comfortable speed is 60 rpm
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:25 PM #1256
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

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Originally Posted by USAbro View Post
So I suppose that the SSTC is far too complicated for me probably?
Yeah, I'd wait until you've got a firm grasp in at least one of the core aspects. Stick with SGTCs for now, they're super forgiving.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:07 AM #1257
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Yeah, at his point, I'm not sure how comfortable my dad would be with me connecting a "home made" solid state board, directly to mains!

Anyways, today I did work on the spark gap. 5/16 inch bolts with washer to act as heat sinks. Even with a lamp ballast 2mm arc, they get hot enough to make water turn to steam.

And images.

Spark Gap Assembly, arcing, and lamp ballast.

Last edited by USAbro; 12-28-2014 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Images Removed
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:41 AM #1258
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

That is one of the reasons why spark gaps
need forced air cooling. The washers are a
good idea, though. It will help dissipate
some of the heat. The supports should also
be made out of something other than wood.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:58 AM #1259
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Okay, I'll redo the support to be made from 3/4 inch PVC pipe. It will be straighter too.

The problem with the fan is it blows out the arc. But I guess when the rig (capacitors and coil) are connected, the sudden discharge won't be extinguished.

A fan may not any ways, but blowing a puff of air on it my self though, does extinguish it.

Images incoming in the next day or two.

About the washers. It would be nice if I could find copper washers and maybe nuts also.

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Old 12-27-2014, 02:06 AM #1260
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Brass should be fairly easy to find. It's
not as good as Al or Cu, but still better
than steel.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:02 AM #1261
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

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Brass should be fairly easy to find. It's
not as good as Al or Cu, but still better
than steel.
Yeah, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to go back to Home Depot now. The bolts are pretty big, and I upgraded tonight to 3/8 inch. And with the washer, it shouldn't overheat.

Anyways, we'll see. I'll be back at it tomorrow. I may also buy some flexible duct for the top load. I'm not sure if pie pans will make the cut.
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:55 AM #1262
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

Today I remade the spark gap, with pvc pipe for the supports. I used 3/8 inch bolts and washers for the heat sinks. Gap distance is adjustable.

Also, I need to know, will a 9kv 20mah NST work? What kind would I need. I'd like to get a 15kv 30mah, but I'd like to know what the minimum would be for the Tesla Coil to work.

Below are images of the new static spark gap. After running with just the ballast, with 2mm arcs, it gets hot enough to make water boil and/or steam.

Thanks for the help so far.


Attached Thumbnails
Tesla Coil Build Thread-dsc00510b.jpg   Tesla Coil Build Thread-dsc00511b.jpg   Tesla Coil Build Thread-dsc00512b.jpg  

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Old 12-28-2014, 01:02 AM #1263
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

ANY NST will work.

The difference is you have to match the tank capacitor to the ratings of the NST to get anything more than pitiful performance.

Use this calculator here: DeepFriedNeon - Tesla Coils
And multiply the results by 1.618 for use with a static spark gap, or use as is for a rotary gap.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:28 AM #1264
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Default Re: Tesla Coil Build Thread

What do you think of my gap?

Also, I had this question and found the same on another forum, so I copied and pasted.

But the other forum users didn't answer very well.

"what i don't understand is that if the capacitor charges to the voltage of the power supply, only, why would the gap breakdown due to the voltage across the cap and not the voltage across the power supply? isn't the voltage across the power supply the same voltage that will eventually be across the cap"?


So this NST will work? Just wondering. http://www.amazon.com/France-15030-P...gn+Transformer

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