Quoting Dan McCauley inquring about a beginners coil project:

 DM> what kind of transformer would you recommend that i start    
 DM> out with (ratings that is).  

A 9000 volt 60 ma (miliamp) neon sign transformer would be my
recommendation for a beginners first coil.

 DM> Also, from what i have been reading and studying, they say   
 DM> you should first choose the transformer and design from      
 DM> there. Is this the most efficient way to start your design   
 DM> of the tesla coil or should i begin the design process       
 DM> somewhere else?  

I have always started designing with the secondary coil first. A
real high Q (high quality) secondary coil is the heart of the
Tesla system. Before I wind the secondary however, I always
design in the remaining tank circuit components. It has always
seemed easier to make adjustments to the proposed system if I had
some idea about the physical size of the system, and the base
operating frequency. These figures directly relate to the
secondary coil characteristics.

Richard Quick
... If all else fails... Throw another megavolt across it!
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12