Old 04-29-2012, 06:21 PM #1
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Default My first tesla coil! *updated*

Hi all! I have seen the TC build thread, but I wasn't really sure if I should open a new thread about my first TC build or post it there.
So finally I have made a new thread because the post would be long, and I can link it into my signature ^^


It is driver by a ZVS flyback driver, so the power is really low. The streamer are quite short, but hey its my first one and it works!

I thought it will be more harder to build than my TEA laser, but it wasn't.
There is no video, because my psu which is powering up the ZVS shut down after a few seconds cause overload.

Her are some specs: The input is about 5kV (5mm spark gab) and something between 5 and 10 mA.
The primary has 5 windings with 1,5mm cooper wire an the diameter of it is 7cm.
The secondary has about 423 windings with 0,2mm wire. It is 13cm high. The diameter of the secondary is 4,5mm.
I have build the capacitor out of aluminum foil and out of overhead projector foil, so I don't really know the specs. But it survives the 5kV easily .

So here are some pics!


That is it - my mini tesla coil ^^


Testing it with a screwdriver.


Here you can see why I have used a screwdriver. It looks far better in real but the streamers a really weak :/.

I have a question too, is it safe to touch such a TC?

I hope you like it!

Pic update






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Old 04-29-2012, 07:37 PM #2
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Very nice first solid state driven spark gap coil! For 50VA input that looks damn good for being entirely untuned, nice work!

You can still use DIY plastic/foil caps for larger tuned builds but you need to have a capacitance function on your meter (or even better, a LCR meter) to find out what the caps come in at.

What you can do now, is experiment with different sized top loads. Smaller toploads resonate with smaller primary coils, and vise versa, so by varying the size of the top load you can try and tune your coil a bit. Just make aluminium foil ball like you have but progressively smaller and larger and see which works best.

Oh and no problem about making a new thread, it isn't a forum rule to only post tc stuff in the build thread, just there as a central resource about building tc's. Now that I see there is interest I may make a post with various resources linked so one can make their own TC optimally.

Edit: I just noticed, are those WIMA FKP-1 capacitors in the back of the photo? I assume for the ZVS driver. If you have more of them you can make a MMC with them for the primary tank capacitor and you'll see a huge improvement in streamer length. Don't use the MKP or MKT ones though, only the FKP ones are good for TCing.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:54 PM #3
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Nice coil there Nice arcs for 50va in . I wouldnt recoment touching a TC as it can casue damage to tissue without the useer been aware , i did it onece and i had a wierd feeling in my arm for over a hour .
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:31 AM #4
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Im no expert but, wouldnt the irregular surface of the foil ball cause losses
by allowing corona to bleed off energy? To me it would seem something
like a large round brass door knob might be better, just a thought.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:52 AM #5
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Yeah foil balls are lossy, but sometimes more efficient substitutes are not available or affordable.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:01 AM #6
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Small TCs are safe to touch, but when you start
getting into the 1kw range and beyond, sparks start carrying enough current to cause
damage
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:32 AM #7
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Good job for your first build
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:09 AM #8
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

I love a good ghetto build!
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:18 PM #9
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Thanks all . I have searched for a round topload, but can't find something useful :/. Today I will take a look again, maybe there is something i can use ^^
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:46 PM #10
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

You could use a soda can cut down a bit for a topload.

Alternatively, if that's not available, you can use a baseball wrapped in aluminum foil too. Just try to get the foil as smooth as possible to reduce corona losses.

And Tesla coil's are never really "safe" so to speak to touch.

The reason you don't feel pain when you touch them is because it's AC, and it's really high frequency; your nerves stop responding to pain impulses when the frequency is roughly above 1 khz, if I remember right.

You can still get RF burns, which are extremely painful. Basically the electricity cooks your skin to a certain depth (depending on how bad it can even go to the bone... ow!) and you don't feel it until later. Be careful when playing with electricity!
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:46 PM #11
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Default Re: My first tesla coil!

Damn I dont have both . I have tried some things, some bigger and smaller toploads, and this seems to be the best one ^^. I have took a few more shots
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:54 PM #12
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Default Re: My first tesla coil! *updated*

Nice little improvement there.

If you wanted to improve upon it further you would have to make a capacitor tuned to the resonant frequency of your secondary and then retune the primary, but I say why bother. For 50VA in that's looking pretty sweet.

See if you can find a fluorescent tube to have fun with now.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:45 AM #13
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Default Re: My first tesla coil! *updated*

Very nice build! I love it! It can only get prettier from here.
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