It was only until a few days ago that I actually began thinking about my Tesla Coil project again, only this time It will be The Real Thing. I made many small prototypes in the past to make sure that I understood what the outcomes will be when I adjust the values of certain components and the length between the spark gap to alter the resonant frequency. So far I have a few things ready such as the high voltage transformer. I will be using a MOT (Microwave Oven Transformer) as this was the cheapest way to go. Understandingly that these transformers are very dangerous, It should hopefully provide me with enough current to charge the capacitors. On that note, a useful application I found on the Android Market place called Tesla Calculator, helped me to determine what value of capacitance I will need.
If there’s anyone who’s made a Tesla Coil before who’s reading this, please feel free to give any advice in the comment section below.
As for now, I will be updating this page to show the progress of the project, right up until its ready to be turned on. Stay tuned!
Day 1 – 30/06/2014
Day 1 concluded of finding the wooden pieces to thread the copper pipe through for the primary coil. I started off by measuring them to make sure that they are all the same height and mark off any excess pieces. Then I marked where I will be drilling the holes – along the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle. In total there are 5 holes and as you can probably guess, I will be coiling it round 5 times. At first there was three holes but I wanted more to make sure I get the most out of the coil since It will be a while If I was to make another one.
After these wooden pieces were finished, I had to determine the length of the copper pipe needed which will serve as my primary coil. For this, I used 1/2 inch diameter pipe. I measured out roughly using string as my tutor taught me, to find out how much pipe I will need. It came to ~20ft.
Day 2 – 01/07/2014
Today was a good day. No seriously, I bought the primary coil! 30ft for £11! I only needed ~20ft but I guess the extra 10ft could be used for the upper coil which I can use for grounding to make sure the arcs from the toroid don’t short out the primary (which can be very bad).
18:11pm – I recently got given a board approximately ~2.8ft to mount my four wooden pieces onto. This was achieved by marking out the board and positioning the wooden holders where they would situate once mounted. In the middle there is a circumference of about ~16cm where the secondary can sit.
Now that this is completed, it’s time for the tricky part. Feeding the copper pipe round through each hole… or maybe cutting the pieces of wood in half diagonally then resting the pipe ontop of the grooves? This way we can easily place the other half back on top making life simpler. Stay tuned! This is for tomorrow.
Day 3 – 02/07/2014
Today I wound the primary coil which was proved to be quite a challenge. It’s not perfect, however at least it’s better than nothing and hopefully should give me what I need. I decided to cut the pieces of wood diagonally where I had originally marked and then screw down on both sides the top half to keep the pipe in place. It was wound around 5 times and cut at the end where I can attach the wires. The last thing to do is to bend the pipe more into shape while I wait for the Capacitors to arrive and the secondary wire.
17:58pm – So after a few alterations, I finally finished the primary coil. Since this was out of the way, I decided to start work on the Electronics. So, I found my self a board and screwed down the High Voltage Transformer and connected the wires to 13 Amp terminal blocks which are strapped down to the board via cable ties to neaten things up. As of now, I’m just waiting for the 500g of 0.56mm Enamelled Copper Wire I bought to wind the secondary. I decided that this will be around 5ft.
Update – 02/12/2014
It’s been a while since I’ve done work on the main circuit, however the good news is, is that it’s completed!
I salvaged our old 750W Microwave and got some great parts. I took the 0.92uF 2100VAC Capacitor with the bleed resistor and diode. The diode was taken out since it was no longer needed, however the resistor will be useful to discharge the capacitor after use.
As you can see from the above images, the transformers secondary coil has been connected to the capacitor, which then connects to the live (brown) wire appearing behind it. This will lead into the primary coil as made previously. The spark gap is connected to the Ground (casing of the transformer) as indicated by the Earth wire; since there is a gap, there are two screws, thus the other screw closest to the capacitor is connected in parallel with the transformer – which is connected to the capacitor. This then finishes off our high voltage circuit. The next step is to create the secondary coil with the toroid.
Updates will come slowly, but stay tuned!