How To Make a Tesla Coil

Every garage electrician knows Nikola Tesla and the inventions he made.  This very gifted electrical and mechanical engineer dreamed of a wireless source of electrical energy.  At a very early age, he experimented with different systems.  The most famous of which is the Tesla Coil.  You may have heard of this.  And you have definitely seen one.  That is, if you are a science fiction enthusiast, you're sure to have come across the Tesla Coil. 

A Tesla Coil produces a "lightning effect".  This is because electrical energy can be seen as bolts and shocks of light coming from the source.  The light displays are beautiful to watch.  But little is understood about the reasons why Tesla developed his Tesla Coil.  Basically, Nikola Tesla wanted to send energy wirelessly.  And he actually succeeded on a small scale.  As early as the late 1800s, he invented the Tesla Coil.   In the present, many enthusiasts and hobbyists are forever making variations on this invention.  Some use lots of inductor types and mix and match the basic requirements with springs, using other types of metal like copper and aluminum.  But the basic steps are these:

  1. You first need an energy source.  For most people, this would be a power outlet. 
  2. You also need to have a transformer.  That is, a step up transformer.  A step up transformer works by incrementing the power of your outlet.  A typical rating is above 9 kilovolts.  You can use a neon sign transformer or an automotive coil transformer.  Different types of transformers produce varied effects.
  3. The next thing you need is a capacitor.  There are capacitors that are easily obtainable on the market, but if you want to make one, you can use layers of polystyrene alternated with aluminum or copper plates.  Capacitors function as a temporary storage space for energy.  These capacitors release energy when they are fully charged.  Then the current continues on to the spark gap. 
  4. The next step is to make spark gaps.  You can make this by using L brackets. 
  5. After you've set the brackets, you wrap a heavy gauge wire around a cylinder.  Make sure that you have at least 6 coils, and your cylinder should be more than 8 inches in diameter. 
  6. Take four pieces of pipe (PVC) and poke holes on it.  The holes should have a distance of less than half a centimeter between them, and make sure that they are in balance.  This is where you put your primary coil.
  7. After this, you should create your secondary coil.  The secondary coil is made by wrapping an enameled wire around your PVC.  Make sure that you have around five hundred coils.
  8. Once you have your secondary coil, varnish the wire evenly.
  9. Then you make your RFCs.  To do this, wrap 20 turns of enameled wire around 2 pieces of PVC that have a diameter of a little less than 2 centimeters.
  10. To start assembling the parts, mount the doorknob on the secondary coil.  And set the secondary coil in the middle of your primary coil.  Attach both on a wood board.
  11. Then attach the remaining PVC pipes at the bottom of the board.  Place the spark gaps and the RFCs on the top part of the board.  Next is to attach the capacitor on top of the transformer and slip this underneath the wood board set up. 
  12. Lastly, you have to connect a ground wire between your 2nd RFC and the primary coil.

That is how you make a Tesla Coil from stuff that you can find easily.  You can toy with the set up to get the desired effect that you want and design your Tesla Coils with different types of power inductors.  But always make sure that you follow safety rules in making a Tesla Coil.


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