> Updated 6-17-96
I have (with the assistance of others) put together a list of
references for those who are interested in Tesla and his work.
> Tesla Book Company, PO BOX 121873, CHULA VISTA, CA 91912
This catalog is pretty good: Tesla Coil handbooks, Tesla Coil
design manuals, coil plans, Tesla's Diary, Tesla's Lectures,
Colorado Springs Notes, and many other titles. The catalog has a
1-800-398-2056 information/order line.
> Twenty First Century Books, Box 2001, Breckenridge, CO. 80424.
Twenty First Century Books also has a very complete Tesla book
catalog, with several new titles (first edition of Tesla's "New
York Lecture, April 6 1897" to name one). Tel: 303-453-9293
> Lindsay Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 12, Bradley, IL. 60915
> Voice - 815-935-5353 ; Fax - 815-935-5477
Lindsay also offers a good selection of Tesla literature, classic
electronics publications, reprints, and T-Coil Design software.
Ask for their 1996 Technical Catalog.
> High Voltage Press, 4326 S.E. Woodstock, #489, Portland
> OR 97206 USA Tel: 503-775-3209
Publishes and sells the three booklets by George Trinkaus
> THE INTERNATIONAL TESLA SOCIETY, INC, (ITS) P.O. Box 5636,
> Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80931, USA
The ITS has a book shop that mail orders:
> High Energy Enterprises, P.O. Box 5636, Colorado Springs, CO.
> 80931, USA Tel: 719-475-0918, Fax: 719-475-0582
This source has many good Tesla publications and literature/
instructions on high voltage devices; historical and modern.
Get the "1996 Resource Guide" which is the best and most compre-
hensive Tesla catalog I have seen to date. There are several
new titles for 1996 in this ever expanding offering: oscillator
handbooks, HV capacitor construction guides, Tesla Coil con-
struction guides/manuals/software, Tesla's Colorado Springs
Notes, Radio Tesla, Tesla's Diary Comparisons, and many, many
more Tesla titles. A must have catalog for any Tesla buff.
To get a complete listing of the books, pamphlets, and software
I have reviewed below, you will need to contact all of the book
sources above. There will be some duplication of titles, but a
unique gem or two will be found from each source. These book
sources also cater to fringe "science" people. I tend to stay
away from titles with words/phrases: free-energy-scalar-wave-
zero-point-gravitobiology-time-travel, etc.. I include this
material in the fringe or "crackpot" scientist catagory.
Of course, what you do is your business, but: CAVEAT EMPTOR!
> The TESLA COIL BUILDERS ASSOCIATION, (TCBA) Harry Goldman, 3
> AMY LANE, QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK, 12804, USA; tel: (518) 792-1003
Publishes a quarterly newsletter NEWS, with parts mart, Q&A,
reader project, historical project, topical reprints, papers,
etc.. Back issues and index are available, tell Harry I sent you!
> Information Unlimited, P.O. Box 716, Amherst, NH., 03031, USA
Tesla Coils, rail guns, lasers, tasers, plasma cutters, Jacob's
ladders, stun guns, plasma globes, HV power supplies,...
Completed units, kits, parts, or just plans. Nice catalog.
Tel: 603-673-4730, Fax: 603-672-5406, Order: 800-221-1705
> The U.S. Patent Office, Washington, DC.
Copies of Tesla's patents are available for $1.50 each. You must
specify patent numbers.
> Tesla Information, 18321 Edgewood Ave., Villa Park, CA. 92667
They carried Tesla coil design instructions, manuals, and
supplimentary papers and manuscripts.
> Vangard Sciences, P.O. BOX 1031, Mesquite, TX, 75150
BBS: 214-324-3501; Has Tesla software, Tesla papers and Tesla
info; public domain information accepted and available.
> Barnes & Nobel Booksellers, 126 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011
Tel: 1-800-242-6657. I list them because they have really been
increasing their number of Tesla titles. In addition to: THE
COMPLETE PATENTS, and a couple of other books reviewed below,
they also have a video tape: NIKOLA TESLA: THE GENIUS WHO LIT THE
WORLD, that takes the viewer inside the Tesla museum in Belgrad,
Yugoslavia before the recent civil war. Some of Tesla's handmade
exhibition equipment was still operational, and his original
demonstrations were reproduced for the video.
> Tesla Memorial Society, 453 Martin Rd. Lackawanna, NY, 14218
Produced the video mentioned above.
Internet mailing list for Tesla info, files (public domain), or,
write to: Chip Atkinson, 7675 Matai Court, Niwot, CO. 80503
> To subscribe to the USA-TESLA newsgroup send the following
message (via internet): subscribe usa-tesla-at-usa-dot-net "Your Name"
Where "Your Name" is your name, do not use quotation marks. Send
this message to:> listproc-at-usa-dot-net
... Books to look out for:
> THE COLORADO SPRINGS NOTES, 1899-1900
By Nikola Tesla... Hardcover, 440pp, Published by NOLIT, Beograd,
Yugoslavia, 1978. At the time of his death, Tesla was actually a
Yugoslavian dependant. Recognized as a national hero, the govern-
ment of Yugoslavia had set up a small trust fund to insure Tesla
had rent and food. When he died in 1943, his personal effects
were examined, plundered a bit, then forwarded to his next of
kin, Yugoslavia, who built a museum in Belgrad (spel Belgrade &
Beograd) to house them. In the mid 1970s the Tesla Museum
organized Tesla's notes from the 1899-1900 experiments at
Colorado Springs, CO., and sent them to the museum publisher
NOLIT. This edition ran in 1978. Prefaced and annotated by
Dr. Aleksandar Marincic, Assoc. Prof. of EE Beograd Univ. and
advisor to the Nikola Tesla Museum, Yugoslavia; it transcribes
Tesla's original english manuscript w/schematics, and B&W photos.
> NIKOLA TESLA ON HIS WORK WITH ALTERNATING CURRENTS
> AND THEIR APPLICATION TO WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY, TELEPHONY,
> AND TRANSMISSION OF POWER
This is a fine product of a modern legal research, edited by
Leland I. Anderson, published in 1992 by Sun Publishing, Div. of
Boyle & Anderson, Denver, CO., 80219. Library of Congress Catalog
#92-60482, ISBN 0-9632652-0-2, paper 237pp; this book is the
transcript of Tesla's pre-hearing interview conducted by his
legal counsel in 1916. The interview was precipitated by a number
of pending court cases in the fledgling radio industry. One of
the attorneys conducting the interview held an EE degree. Photos,
patent covers, schematics, mechanical drawings, etc. were
submitted by Tesla as the stenographer recorded his answers and
explanations. None of this material was intended for print, and
there is no question as to accuracy or authenticity. His
testimony and depositions led to a US Supreme Court decision in
his favor 1943. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
> NIKOLA TESLA: LECTURE BEFORE THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
> - APRIL 6, 1897
Nikola Tesla, 1897, (edited and prefaced by Leland I. Anderson)
published by Twenty First Century Books, 1994, Library of
Congress Card No.: 94-61004, ISBN 0-9636012-1-0 (hard cover) ISBN
0-9636012-7-X (soft cover), 123pp, $12.95 cover price. This is a
real gem. Tesla was the third speaker of the evening April 6.
The hour grew late and the presentation was cut short. Leland
Anderson has retrieved the entire lecture as it was originally
written by Tesla, and has included the sections that Tesla had
determined not to present due to conflicts with pending patent
applications. The lecture covers coil construction (complete with
techniques, drawings, and photos), radio schematics, the AND
logic gate schematic (incredible), radio and X-Ray tube con-
struction and experiments. This is another overwhelming proof
that Tesla was at least a half a century ahead of his time. One
resonator schematic used for production of X-Rays was heralded
as a great improvement when it was re-invented 38 years later by
D. Sloan. This is no interpretation, this is the original work.
> EXPERIMENTS WITH ALTERNATE CURRENTS OF HIGH POTENTIAL AND
> HIGH FREQUENCY: A Lecture delivered before the Institution
> of Electrical Engineers, London
by Nikola Tesla, with an appendix by the same author:
> TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRIC ENERGY WITHOUT WIRES
1904, Mcgraw Publishing Co., New York, reprinted 1986, Angriff
Press, P.O.BOX 2726, Hollywood CA 90078, 162pp, ISBN 913022-25-X
The title is a pretty apt description. The lecture (presented in
1895) covers his RF work and lighting systems with details of
single terminal bulb design, circuits, and some coil design and
construction. Tesla also expands on his ideas for wireless power
transmission that were presented in a lecture in St. Louis in
1893. The appendix is quite interesting, and consists of a
reprint of an article that was solicted by "Electrical World and
Engineer" magazine for their 30th aniversary issue, March 5,
1904. At the time the appendix article was written, Tesla's
Wardenclyff project was beginning to show signs of stalling: cost
overruns, construction delays, and problems with financing. The
project of course never saw commercial completion, though Tesla
did fire it for experimental purposes.
> THE INVENTIONS RESEARCHES & WRITINGS OF NIKOLA TESLA
Nikola Tesla, 1893 (edited and prefaced by Thomas Commerford
Martin), ISBN 0-88029-812-X, published by Barnes & Nobel (1992
second edition). 512pp, hardcover, (Item #1774447, $9.98 US)
Transcripts of Tesla's famous lectures and articles up to
December 1893, with many sketches, schematics, and wiring
diagrams of Tesla polyphase systems, coil systems, single
terminal RF light bulbs, RF systems etc.. Basic principals of
electron microscopy, laser light, and radio are discussed.
> THE COMPLETE PATENTS OF NIKOLA TESLA
Nikola Tesla, edited by Jim Glenn; 1994, ISBN 1-56619-266-8,
Barnes & Nobel, paperback, 535 pp, $14.98 (plus a couple of bucks
shipping and handling in the U.S.), Barnes & Nobel item # 1903210
The title says "THE COMPLETE PATENTS", but Tesla, fluent in at
least five languages, had dozens of additional patents approved
in countries outside the U.S.; however, all one hundred and
twelve U.S. patents are reproduced in their entirety. I should
stop and note the excellent quality of this edition. The text
from the original patents has been completely reset in new type
for this edition, and all paragraphs are numbered to match the
originals. In addition, all of the schematics and wiring dia-
grams are faithfully reproduced. This book is not to be compared
with the murky second generation photocopies that were sold for
years at $40.00 per set and contained many illegible sections.
> JOHN STONE STONE ON NIKOLA TESLA'S PRIORITY IN RADIO AND
> CONTINUOUS-WAVE RADIOFREQUENCY APPARATUS
edited by Leland I. Anderson, published as "THE A.W.A. REVIEW"
Volume I, 1986 by the Antique Wireless Association, Inc.,
Holcomb, New York, 14469. I received this 41 page paperback
booklet courtesy of Leland I. Anderson and was very impressed
with Stone's views and interpretations of Tesla's work. John
Stone Stone was witness to Tesla's famous trio of lectures in New
York in 1891. Stone went on to a career in wireless, making an
association with Lee de Forest (inventor of the audion, the first
triode tube amplifier), then going on to become a leader of the
Institute of Radio Engineers: president in 1914-1915, Medal of
Honor 1923. Stone devoted his entire life to developing radio.
Needless to say, his work was greatly influenced by Tesla; he
clearly and concisely traces the radio industry back to Tesla's
1891 lectures and Tesla's patents that followed. Excellent!
> NIKOLA TESLA'S DIARY 1899 - 1900
John T. Ratzlaff & Fred A. Jost, 1979, Tesla Book Co.,
ISBN 0-9603536-0-7, paperback, 182pp. This book opens with the
corrections, omissions, and comments on the 1978 NOLIT publi-
cation, THE COLORADO SPRINGS NOTES 1899-1900 by N. Tesla.
Ratzlaff went the Beograd museum, carefully examined Tesla's
original documents, and noted the errors in the NOLIT edition.
The second section proceeds with the full translation of the
commentary by Prof. Aleksandar Marincic, the museum consultant.
Prof. Marincic's original comments were edited from 67pp in his
original Serbo-Croatian, to only 37pp in the NOLIT english
translation. The loss of commentary was significant, and should
be read in full to get a better understanding of Tesla's Colorado
Springs work. Ratzlaff then moves to include the correspondence
between Tesla and George Scherff (who managed Tesla's New York
lab during Tesla stay in Colorado Springs) which gives an insight
of the equipment Tesla was using, and his day to day concerns.
The book concludes with six selected Tesla patents needed to
better understand Prof. Marincic comments. Excellent reading!
> GUIDE TO COLORADO SPRINGS NOTES
Richard Hull, 1994, published by Twenty First Century Books, or
available from the author: Richard Hull, 7103 Hermitage Road,
Richmond VA, 23228. ISBN# 0-9636012-2-9, paperback, 129 pages.
Richard Hull is head of a group: Tesla Coil Builders Of Rich-
mond (T.C.B.O.R.), which is currently the world leader in Tesla
Magnifier development. As such, Mr. Hull is qualified to review
and guide the reader through Tesla's sometimes cryptic notes
from the Colorado Springs Lab. Mr. Hull converts all of Tesla's
archaic units of measurments into the modern Farads, Henrys, and
Hertz, then explains Tesla's experiments so anyone can clearly
understand what he did. Mr. Hull slants the perspective towards
the practical coiler who is looking for better power processing
efficiency. Included is a 32 page appendix with numerous closeup
photos of the author's Magnifier lab. Cost is $24.50 (which
includes shipping and handling in the U.S.), and is well worth
the price. Mr. Hull also offers an excellent video tape series
which includes a video presentation on the construction of
homemade pulse discharging high-voltage capacitors (Video #3),
with many tapes on 1/4 wave and Magnifier systems.
> VACUUM TUBE TESLA COILS
James F. Corum, Ph.D. and Kenneth L. Corum, 1987, published by
Corum & Assoc, Inc., 8551 State Route 534, Windsor, Ohio, 44099,
USA. ISBN 0-924758-00-7. Tesla Math, tube coil circuits, theory.
This book is geared more for the advanced coiler with some
knowledge of calculus, but offers enough for the beginner to be
on the "read" list. This book is a guide to the significance of
Tesla's Extra Coil work, the infamous lab at Colorado Springs,
and the history of resonators. Many charts and much of the theory
are easily understood. Excellent technical bibliography
> TCTUTOR A PERSONAL COMPUTER ANALYSIS OF SPARK GAP TESLA COILS;
> With Particular Emphasis on Tesla's Colorado Springs Machine
"Written for the IBM Compatable Family of Personal Computers"
by James F. Corum, Daniel J. Edwards, Kenneth L. Corum, 1988
Corum & Associates, Inc., 8551 State Route 534, Windsor, Ohio
44099; Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 88-92703; ISBN 0-
924758-01-5; This package includes the software and a book.
Geared more for the advanced coiler, it offers the opportunity
for RF power processing simulations through changes in Tesla's
patented coil circuits. Nearly all components are listed as
variables, with Tesla's Colorado Springs machine providing the
default software settings. Rotary dwell times, coupling, coil
resistance, etc., can be changed in this software package.
> TESLA, MAN OUT OF TIME
Margaret Cheney, 1981, published by Dorset Press, ISBN 0-88029-
419-1; available from Barnes & Nobel, 320pp, hardcover, (Barnes
& Nobel item #1611151, $7.98 US). Well balanced and researched
biography of Tesla; accurate, informative, and good reading.
> PRODIGAL GENIUS THE LIFE OF NIKOLA TESLA
John J. O'Neil, 1944 reprinted 1978, Angriff Press, P.O.BOX 2726,
Hollywood, CA 90078, no ISBN or Lib of Congress No, paper 326pp.
John J. O'Neil was a friend of Tesla's in the newspaper and
publishing business and began work on this book shortly after
Tesla died. The biographical details are complete, Tesla is
portrayed fairly and in his best light. This book falls short in
technical presentation; while it was not the author's purpose
to burden the reader with technicals, the chapter on Tesla's work
at Colorado Springs and details of the oscillator there are woe-
fully inaccurate. Still, a good reader.
Tad Wise, 1994, Turner Publishing, Inc. 1050 Techwood Dr., NW,
Atlanta, GA. 30318, ISBN 1-878685-36-8 (Hardcover) ISBN 1-57036-
163-0 (Paperback). Distributed by Andrew & McMeel, 4900 Main St.
Kansas City, MO. 64112 and available from Barnes & Nobel (Item #
B118884, $9.98 paper). Billed as a "biographical novel" this book
is a very loose biography laced together with fictitious dialog
between Tesla and his co-workers, friends, and associates. The
book portrays Tesla in an unnecessarily bizarre light by playing
up on his eccentricities. In all fairness, others in the book are
not portrayed in their best light either; the description of
Edison as a mean, gnomelike figure with snarled teeth who spews
tobacco juice everywhere but in the spittoon finally did the man
justice. There is no technical meat or merit in this publication.
> RADIO TESLA: The secret of Tesla's Radio and Wireless power
George Trinkaus, 1983, High Voltage Press; No ISBN; booklet 37pp.
This paper is both unique and informative. At the time it was
written the Tesla Magnifier was still a mystery, but the rest of
this publication shines. The sections on grounding and earth con-
duction are excellent. Trinkaus has pasted in wiring diagrams,
patent covers, schematics, drawings, and photos of classical
radio and high-voltage circuits and components such as: coherers,
magnetic detectors, vacuum tube detectors, crystal detectors,
rotating rectifiers, Marx generators, Tesla mutiplex, Tesla
regenerative, Tesla's hetrodyne, Tesla Tanks, resonance; all
pictured next to clear and concise text explanations. Not only
is this book easy to read, but it opens the mind.
> TESLA'S MAGNIFYING TRANSMITTER
Marc J. Seifer, Ph.D., 1986, published by the author, BOX 32,
Kingston, RI 02881, no ISBN or Lib.of Cong. No., booklet 37pp.
This is a chapter (Section 6) taken from Dr. Seifer's doctoral
thesis on Tesla. The author has done his homework to provide a
good overview of the Tesla transmitter theory without getting too
technical. Many of Tesla's patents are tied together showing how
Tesla may have intended the use of advanced multiplex circuits
and superconducting coils in his commercial transmitter stations.
Good use of references, excellent bibliography.
> TESLA '84; PROCEEDINGS OF THE TESLA CENTENNIAL SYMPOSIUM
> "In light of Modern Physics", An IEEE Centennial Activity
edited by Dr. Elizabeth Ann Rauscher, Nuclear Physics and Mr.
Toby Grotz, BSEE; published by the International Tesla Society.
This is a very interesting publication, as several ground
breaking papers were presented August 9-12, 1984 by such notables
as Robert Golka, Dr. James and Kenneth Corum, and Charles Yost.
In additon a previously unpublished paper credited to Dr. Nikola
Tesla: "The New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive
Energy Through Natural Media" discusses and diagrams the open-
ended vacuum tube and power systems that Tesla was reported to
have designed as the projector (power head) for a particle beam
device. Another very interesting paper presented by the Corum
brothers discusses Tesla's X-Ray patents as a method of
rectifying the extreme high-voltages produced by large electrical
oscillator/resonator sets. The resulting DC could be pulse
discharged at ELF frequencies to determine cavity resonate modes
of the Earth. The conference ends with (my op) some mind numbing
explanations of "zero-point-scalar-wave-modern-ether"...Uggg
> PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1988 INTERNATIONAL TESLA SYMPOSIUM
edited by Steven R. Elswick, 1988, published by the International
Tesla Society, ISBN 0-9620394-2-X, 185pp. This book is a compil-
ation of the papers that were presented in 1988 at the Symposium
in Colorado Springs. Authors include Dr. James and Kenneth Corum,
Dr. Marc J. Seifer, and Dr. Elizabeth Rauscher to name just a few
of the better ones. Several of these papers are significant,
as the focus of much of the conference concerned resonate modes
of the earth and Tesla's Colorado Springs and the Wardenclyff
oscillators. Other papers centered on: Tesla beam weapons (no
real data presented), electrotherapy, and the AC/DC wars. The
conference ended with several worthless (reviewer's op) papers on
> THE TESLA EXPERIMENT: LIGHTNING AND EARTH ELECTRICAL RESONANCE
> A Commentary on 1983 Research & Test Results
Charles A. Yost, 1983, Dynamic Systems, Inc., Leicester, NC,
published by Tesla Book Co., no ISBN or catalog #, booklet, 40pp.
This paper by Charles Yost is very interesting in that it
provides modern, reproducable data, from a simple roof antenna,
coax, ground, and a Hewlett Packard 1207A Storage Tube O'scope.
The experiment measures electrostatic transients caused by
lightning strikes up to 50 miles away and presents the unaltered
data which strongly supports Tesla's earth resonant ideas.
> ELECTRICITY AT HIGH PRESSURES AND FREQUENCIES
Henry L. Transtrom, orginally published: 1913, second edition
1921, Joseph G. Branch Publishing, Chicago; Reprinted 1990, ISBN
1-55918-054-4, Lindsay Publications, Bradley, Illinois, 60915.
Paperback, 247pp, Lindsay # 20544, $ 11.95. Excellent technical
book; useful in calculating and designing coil control systems,
coils, inductance, field strengths, capacitance, etc.. Classic
transformer construction and reference text, but the Tesla
coil/capacitor designs are primitive by today's standards.
> HIGH FREQUENCY APPARATUS
Thomas Stanley Curtis, 1916, Everday Mechanics Co., Inc., New
York; Reprinted 1988, paper ISBN 1-55918-003-X, cloth ISBN 55918-
004-8, Lindsay Publications Inc., Bradley IL. 60915. Paperback,
246pp, Lindsay order number 20030, $ 11.95 : Classic coil text,
much of which was reprinted in 1985 by R.A. Ford in his book
"Tesla Coil Secrets". "Classic" means before the age of plastics,
and these historical coils and coil components frequently lack
efficiency, reliablity, and safety. The sections on rotary spark
gaps and step-up transformers is excellent however.
> TESLA COIL SECRETS: Construction Notes and Novel Uses
R.A. Ford, 1985, Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley IL 60915
ISBN 0-917914-31-7, paperback, 74pp. Ford researches and repro-
duces several classic Tesla coil and component designs from
publications of yesteryear. He updated nothing, but did include a
very good section on rotary spark gap designs.
MB> I hope the following information on Tesla books will be of
MB> interest to some of you. - Mark Brown
MB> I recently purchased the following books from Lindsay
MB> Publications, Bradley IL 60915: Their Technical Books
MB> catalog has many Tesla Coil books in it. Their service was
MB> EXCELLENT!! I have tagged each book with a brief "review."
MB> The opinions are my own. Lindsay order numbers are given (#).
> DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION OF INDUCTION COILS
# 20404, $ 12.95; Step-by-step guide to building your own
induction coil. Reprint from early 20th century magazine project.
Fascinating, but many turned brass parts, etc..
> EXPERIMENTS WITH ALTERNATE CURRENTS OF HIGH POTENTIAL
# 4392, $ 9.95; (no review given by Mark, but it is an EXCELLENT
> HOW TO BUILD A 40,000 VOLT INDUCTION COIL
# 844, $ 4.95; A solid state design that uses a surplus auto
ignition coil and a power transistor. Almost all Radio Shack
parts. Small booklet. Some info on Kirlian photography, ozone
production, etc. Interesting (and easy - no coil winding)
project, but not a Tesla coil.
> HIGH POWER WIRELESS EQUIPMENT
# 4953, $ 9.95; Step-by-step process from old radio magazine on
building an spark-gap transmitter. Nice historical information,
fascinating processes and diagrams.
> TESLA'S LOST INVENTIONS
# 748, $ 5.95; Booklet (by George Trinkaus). Short descriptions
of several of Tesla's most interesting inventions, including
turbines, etc. Good, but too short!
> TESLA COIL DESIGN MANUAL
> JHCTES TESLA COIL DESIGN SOFTWARE
> TESLA HANDBOOK
> TESLA COIL CONSTRUCTION GUIDE
(Separate Titles) John H. Couture, 1992, 1992, 1988, & 1994;
JHC Engineering Co., 10823 New Salem Point, San Diego, CA., 92126
USA. No ISBN or Lib. of Congress catalog #, but these are
available from the author and the bookdealers listed previously.
The first two titles are based on John Couture's design theory
and some empirical data. The basic math for 1/4 wave coil
winding, tank circuit design, performance, etc., is well laid
out, but when it comes to using his charts to predict the best
design parameters, it falls short. Many of my best coils would
never have been built if I had gone by his data. His JHCTES TESLA
COIL DESIGN SOFTWARE also kicks out my coil designs, saying they
exceed the construction voltage breakdown limits! The program is
based on the same sets of data.
The TESLA COIL CONSTRUCTION GUIDE is a 1994 update of the TESLA
COIL DESIGN MANUAL. This update does away with some of the prob-
lems of the earlier publications, but the author still advises
that coils be wound with insulated stranded wire, and advocates
using small (even tiny) primaries, large capacitors and small
dischargers. These guidelines indicate that John Couture's design
process is derived more from radio theory, and not from years
of experience in actual Tesla coil construction and testing.
Coils built with this design method do work, but they require
larger power supplies, and they sacrifice a lot efficiency and
reliability. His grounding suggestions have improved only slight-
ly from his previous titles (they are still inadequate), but his
ideas for RF filters and choking are now closer in agreement with
mine. A beginner would find this a useful book. Couture has laid
out some good wiring diagrams, wire tables, some "OK" coil plans,
Faraday cage instructions, and a series of experiments. As usual,
his math section is very well thought out and organized.
> TESLA COILS! 100 Years of Electrical Magic
Brent C. Turner, 1991, self published, 118 pp, soft cover, no
ISBN, contact the author at: 18321 Edgewood Ave., Villa Park, CA
92667 USA. The sales address for the book is: P.O. Box 3612
Fullerton, CA 92634-3612. This book does a good job of briefly
covering all three basic coil types: Spark Gap, Vacuum Tube,
Solid State. Useful to have for the wiring diagrams, specs, and
basic math. This makes a good general purpose reference book.
Well organized. Brent has a home page at:
> TESLA COIL
George Trinkaus, 1986, 1987, & 1989, Third Edition, Extensively
Revised. No ISBN, published by High Voltage Press, 4326 S.E.
Woodstock, #489, Portland, OR., 97206 ($4.95). Mr. Trinkaus has a
few Tesla booklets out for under $10.00. This one is a simple
Tesla Coil built from scratch: neon sign xfrmr, beer bottle salt
water capacitor, brass bolt spark gaps, PVC plastic pipe second-
ary, primary wound on a Rubbermaid "Servin' Saver" bowl, copper
toilet tank float for a discharger... Need I say more?
> TABLE-TOP LIGHTNING : HOW TO BUILD A
> POWERFUL, COMPACT, TESLA COIL
Lloyd F. Ritchey, Jr., 1992, published by the Tesla Book Co.,
paperback, 38pp, ISBN: 0-914119-26-5. The author also advertises
manuals, kits, and parts: Ritchey Productions, 7803 Stanford,
Dallas, TX 75225, USA.. This short booklet details the plans for
two basic Tesla coils evolved from the "classical" designs of the
1920s and 30s. While I am sure the coils that are detailed will
live up to the promised performance of 24 inches of spark... My
own designs and techniques are years ahead of Mr. Ritchey. I
found the book to be full of the misunderstandings and misinform-
ation that are extensions of the design errors that coilers began
making 70 years ago. I like a high inductance, all plastic,
hermetically sealed secondary coil with no holes in the coil form
and a large high Q copper pipe primary that can be tapped for a
wide range of efficient operating frequencies; I am sorry Mr.
Ritchey, you missed the boat to the 20th century.
> MODERN TESLA COIL THEORY
Duane A. Bylund, 1990, Tesla Book Co., no ISBN or Lib. of
Congress No, paperback 142pp. Available from Tesla bookdealers
and the author: Duane A. Bylund, 140 S. 700 E., Spanish Fork,
Utah 84660 USA. Duane has developed very powerful, efficient, and
reliable, solid state oscillator circuits for base feeding Tesla
resonators. These solid state driver and coil designs are excel-
lent for lighting bulbs and for conducting experiments with wire-
less power transmission through ground currents. The book is also
chock full of Tesla math and theory, and includes chapters on
spark gap and tube coils, sections on waveforms, grounding and
counterpoise experiments, multiphase coil systems. This is a must
have book for any serious coiler.
> HIGH VOLTAGE GENERATION WITH AIR CORE SOLENOIDS
Thomas W. Lee, 1995, self published, contact the author at:
8329 East San Salvador Drive, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258, USA,
No ISBN, 146 pp, hardcover, $40.00 (usd). This is an interesting
publication as it covers many areas of Tesla coiling that are
only briefly mentioned in other books, "singing" coils for
example. It suffers from poor editing, off topic discussions, and
lack of focus on what really does work for high performance Tesla
coiling. The coil designs are poor.
> THE CAPACITOR HANDBOOK
Cletus J. Kaiser, 1993, CJ Publishing, 2851 W. 127th St., Olathe,
KS 66061, ISBN 0-442-01558-5, Lib. of Congress No. 92-35798,
hardcover 124pp. This is a nice little book. I found it both
interesting and useful, but still not the last word in a cap-
acitor reference book. The book opens with a chapter explaining
theory, including basic math, then moves on to separate chapters
for each type of commercial capacitor design. The book concludes
with a very nice math appendix, a decent glossary, and biblio-
graphy. What I found missing were dielectric tables, which given
the detail of the rest of the book seemed a glaring omission.
> HIGH VOLTAGE CAPACITOR DESIGN HANDBOOK
K.R. Scott, 1994, published by Lambda Publishing Group, P.O.BOX
1894 Lawrence, KS, 66044-8894, USA. No ISBN number, booklet of
about 25 pages, cover price $6.50. This is a compilation of
reprints from: old Pop. Magazine capacitor projects, a Tesla
patent, some capacitor descriptions from an old radio catalog,
some instructions taken from Transtrom's book (reviewed above)
and finally; some recent tables showing electrical properties and
constants for modern plastics, and several pages of essential
capacitor math (which you could photocopy out of any current
amateur radio or electrical engineering handbook).
> THE TESLA COIL COMPENDIUM
Randall S. Peterson, no date, ISBN, publisher, etc.. I guess it
is available from Randy at: 16671 T.R.51, MT. Cory, Ohio, 45868
This publication is a compilation of Randy's favorite designs.
The coils are "OK", but a little dated. Randy used to ship out
complete kits and fully assembled coils in his spare time...
> "The Incredible Inventions of Nikola Tesla", by David Hatcher
> Childress... it is not presented as a textbook IMHO, but more
as a cartoony overview. It also contains the Lecture NT gave to
the IEE in London. This one seems to be regurgitated every time a
new Tesla Book comes out. I didn't buy it! Phil Mason
> MODERN RESONANCE TRANSFORMER DESIGN THEORY
D.C. Cox, no date or ISBN, published by the Tesla Book Co..
I will quote from the inside jacket: "This book was written and
dedicated to the young coil builders who will design, modify,
measure, test, and evaluate today's technology, and then, design
and develop tomorrows highly efficient Tesla coil systems."
I don't think I ever got a thing out of this book, although it
does have design math, toroid math, etc.. DC Cox is a pro, and
his company Resonance Research, designs and builds museum coils;
but never forget he is in it for the $$$$$...
... Additional resources, reviews
> Resonance Research Corp. RTE. 1, Shadylane Rd. Baraboo, WI
> 53913 USA, Tel: 608-356-3647
This is D.C. Cox's company (see publication notes above) and I
assume he sells completed coils, plans, and parts (sources say he
sells rotary gaps). But he won't reply to even an information
request without $10.00 in his hands (no personal checks accepted:
bank money orders or cashiers checks only).... Go Figure...
> Tesla Technology Research, 2527 Treelane Ave, Monrovia, CA
> 91016 USA ; Bill Wysock is a well known, respected coiler. My
sources say he sells rotary gaps.
> THE BELL JAR
Journal on vacuum work written by Steve Hanson and published
quarterly, $15.00, 35 Windsor Drive, Amherst, NH, 03031
Many high voltage projects.
> THE TESLA COIL DESIGNER
IBM DOS coil construction software by Walt Noon. Available from
Lindsay Publications, others. This is a first class Tesla
Coil design package that reduces the hours and hours of paper,
pencil, and calculator time to mere seconds. All constants and
formulas are already programed into the menu driven package, just
"plug n chug" for fast 'n' accurate coil calculations. Write to:
> Walt Noon III, 3283 Belvedere, Riverside, CA 92507 USA
> October 1992, Popular Electronics pp 69-71, Fun With Tesla
> Coils, by Charles D. Rakes
This article builds a small solid state coil using a driver
oscillator which base feeds the HV HF Coil. The project uses
a 567 tone decoder IC, a few resistors, caps, and a power supply
to drive a small coil to light bulbs etc.. The secondary is wound
on a piece of 4" PVC, looks simple and inexpensive (~$80.00). My
archives contain a self extracting program (TESLABLD.EXE) that
gives detailed instructions on building this project.
> November 1993, Electronics World + Wireless World, (magazine)
pp 937-942. "The spark that gave RADIO to the world", by George
Pickworth: "Marconi" this and "Marconi" that; Tesla mentioned
only once; but it did have clear photos and diagrams of what not
to do... As well as useful photos of damped wave trains produced
with authentic gap systems. A good general explanation of spark
gap types and functions.
> March 1995, Electronics World + Wireless World, pp 190-195.
"Like Lightning?", by Malcolm Watts: This is a fine article on
the basic principals and theory of Tesla coil design, con-
struction, and operation for the beginning coiler. The article
includes wiring diagrams (including how to connect diagnostic
equipment), basic coil math, component design and construction,
and both spark and fully lighted photos of a small coil built by
the author. Highlights include a section on steps to take to
bring a coil into tune, and construction of a dry fired poly-AL
capacitor from scratch. A corrected formula for a minor error
appeared on page 271 of the April 1995 issue of the same
> BUILD YOUR OWN LASER, PHASER, ION RAY GUN & Other working Space
> age Projects
by Robert E. Iannini. Sounds goofy, but there a lot of inter-
esting and workable designs here. One chapter on a neon sign
transformer based Tesla coil. ~250,000volts.
> GADGETEER's GOLDMINE
by Gordon McComb. Similar to above. Lots of parts sources listed.
Also has a chapter on building your own PLASMA GLOBE.
> RADIO ELECTRONICS - SEPTEMBER 1991
This issue has a construction project for a soild state Tesla
coil by Duane A. Bylund. ~ 100,000volt system
> A SOLID-STATE LOW-VOLTAGE TESLA COIL DEMONSTRATOR by Donald G.
Bruns, American Journal of Physics. #60 (9), Sept. 1992, pg 797
> HIGH POWER ELECTRONICS
by W. James Sarjeant and R.E. Dollinger c1989 Tab Books
ISBN 0-8306-9094-8; Absolutely great with chapters on spark gaps,
hard-tube pulsers, transmission lines and pulse-forming networks
(blumleins too), marx gens, HV air-core pulse transformers, and
more. Your mind will be expanded, and the math is very
manageable. Zap, Mark
> * INTERNET - freebie *
The Tesla group archive <tesla-at-grendel.objinc-dot-com> is online. The
ftp-site is nic.funet.fi alias ftp.funet.fi and this site can
be connected using anon-ftp. The files are in the directory
/pub/sci/electrical/tesla and it's subdirectories.
If one does not have online-ftp it is possible to get the files
using ftp2mail-gateways via e-mail. Some ftp2mail-services:
ftpmail-at-decwrl.dec-dot-com or ftpmail-at-cs.uow.edu.au
bitftp-at-pucc.princeton.edu or ftpmail-at-lth.se
bitftp-at-dearn or to bitftp-at-vm.gmd.de (Europe only)
ftpmail-at-grasp.insa-lyon.fr or ftpmail-at-ieunet.ie
bitftp-at-plearn.edu.pl or bitftp-at-plearn (Europe)
In order to get more information on this subject one has to send
mail to an address above and use just "help" as a body-of-letter
to get information on the precise format of the script language
that the particular site uses. If one uses the keyword "ftplist"
one will receive a list of the other sites available.
The information is available via World Wide Web as well - the url
is: http://ftp.funet.fi/ftp/pub/sci/electrical/tesla. This is
just the beginning of Tesla on WWW - there shall be more in the
nearby future. <FTP tips by Kristian Ukkonen>
> Another INTERNET-freebie; Check out anon ftp to
ftp.ee.ualberta.ca (circuit cookbook directory) There is a nice
small book by Harry Suomalainen called TESLA COIL THEORY AND
APPLICATIONS - it's in POSTSCRIPT
> The Condenser Products Corp., 2131 Broad Street,
> Brooksville, FL 34609 USA
> Tel: 904-796-3561, Fax 904-799-0221
Manufacturers of commercial high-voltage plastic film, pulse
discharge, (Tesla) capacitance. Minimum order $150.00, minimum
shipping time about 6 weeks. These are where my big commercial
capacitors come from, as they will build them to your specs.
> Solomon Corporation, P. O. Box 245, Solomon, KS 67480
> Watts: (800) 243-2867 Tel (913) 655-2191 Fax (913) 655-2502
Supplier of power distribution (pole pig) transformers.
<tip from Scott Myers>
> T & R Electric, P. O. Box 180, Colman, SD 57017
> Watts (800) 843-7994 <tip from Scott Myers>
Supplier of power distribution (pole pig) transformers.
> H&H Transformer Inc. (303) 289-2802
Denver area pole pigs, tip by Chip Atkinson
> NWL CAPACITORS, 1 Industrial Dr., Snow Hill, NC 28580
> Tel: 908-842-5757 Fax: 908-842-1161
or as it was given to me by Richard Hull...
> NWL CAPACITORS, 8050 Monetary Dr., Riviera Beach, FL., 33404
> Tel: 407-848-9009
Custom manufactured high voltage pulse discharge Tesla caps...
> NWL Transformers, Dept. G, Rising Sun Rd., Bordentown, NJ 08505
Source for neon sign transformers.
> Sprague Electronics, 134 Fulton Ave. Garden City Park, NY 11040
Source of high voltage capacitors.
TS> Plastic Capacitors, 2623 N. Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 99120
TS> Tel: 312-489-2229.
High-Voltage, pulse discharge, plastic film (Tesla) Capacitance
TS> Cornell-Dubilier, 1605 E. Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford,
TS> MA 02744, Tel: 508-996-8564 They bought out Sangamo
> Danny Churchill at Commercial Radio Co. in VT, 802-226-7582,
sometimes has some interesting stuff around. I bet you'd
find him interesting even if he didn't have whatever model
you currently need. Among other things, he manufactures
custom high-voltage inductors and transformers, in an old 3
story brick schoolhouse converted to a factory/warehouse. (T.S.)
> Hipotronics, Inc., RTE.22, Brewster, New York, 10590 (or 10509)
> TEL: 914-279-8091
Manufacturers of high-voltage test equipment. Capacitors,
transformers, bussing, toroids, etc. are available. These are
the guys who make the test gear that power utilities use to
destroy their xmission equipment to determine breakdown limits.
> CSI Capacitors, 810 Rancheros Dr. San Marcos, CA, 96069
> TEL: 619-747-4000
Another source of custom made, commercial plastic film, high-
voltage, pulse discharging, (Tesla type) capacitance. Ask about
left over units from production runs, sometimes you will find a
bargin in a top quality cap.
> Nick Andree, Hi-Way Company, Surplus Electronics, 305 Wisconsin
> Ave. Oceanside, CA 92054 Tel: 619/967-7225
Surplus Sprague HVDC rated capacitors, excellent bypass caps
> George Trinkaus, High Voltage Press, 4326 S.E. Woodstock, #489,
> Portland OR 97206 USA Tel: 503-775-3209
Carries some surplus HVDC rated Sprague doorknob caps.
> Maxwell Labs, Inc., 8888-G Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA, 92123
> TEL: 619-279-5100
Manufacturer of commercial high-voltage equipment, capacitors,
power supplies, etc..
> Vacuum Tube Industries, Inc., 506 North Warren Avenue,
> P.O. Box 2009, Brockton, MA. 02405 USA
> tel: 508-584-4500, tel: 800-528-5014, fax: 508-584-0096
Specialize in new and rebuilt 450 KC power tubes for commercial
RF induction heaters and the supply & control xfrmrs, cooling
loops, etc.. These are the type tubes I would use for a CW coil.
> Antique Electronic Supply, 6221 S. Maple Ave, P.O. Box 27468,
> Tempe, AZ, 85285 TEL: 602-820-5411
Source for the tube coil builder, many old/rare vacuum tubes and
related equipment (sockets, mica caps, power supplies, etc.) for
projects like "Lil Tesla Coil" of the 1960's Pop Electronics era.
> Weisner Electronics, 149 Hunter Ave, Albany, NY, 12206
> TEL: 518-438-2801
Another source for the tube coiler. Plate xfmrs, mica caps,
tubes, assembled Tesla coils, etc..
> Edmund Scientific Company, 101 East Gloucester Pike
> Barrington NJ 08007-1380 Phone: 1-609-547-8880
> Fax: 1-609-573-6295
> Fair Radio Sales, P.O. Box 1105, Lima, OH 45802
> Tel: 419-223-2196, 419-227-6573, FAX 419-227-1313
"One of the best sources for electronic surplus." H.Goldman
> ALL ELECTRONICS, PO BOX 567, VAN NUYS, CA 91408
Tel: 1-800-826-5435 <tip by George Trinkaus>
> GAR-RON Plastics Corp., 5424 Pulaski Hwy., Baltimore, MD 21205
> Tel: (800)492-4695 (they have a catalog)
Specialty plastics dealer, good source for coil forms.
> The Coax Connection: Joe Cassata, 10 S. Meadow lane
> Naperville, Ill. 60564, Phone# (708)-420-0342
Here is a good source for coax cable AND magnet wire, He carries
in stock sizes from #22 gauge to #10 gauge, and can order other
sizes. He sells by the pound and his prices are decent. Good
quality stuff! <tip from Mark Graalman>
> MWS Wire Industries, 31200 Cedar Valley Dr., Westlake Village,
> CA 91362 USA PH: (818) 991-8553 FAX (818) 706-0911
Source of square and rectangular wire for custom inductors.
> Ross Engineering Corp., 540 Westchester Dr. Campbell, CA 95008
Supplier of discharge terminals
> Superior Electric, 383 Middle Street, Bristol, CT 06010
Tel (203) 585-4500, Fax (203) 582-3784 Customer service direct
line (203) 585-4750 or (800)787-3532, ext. 4750; Manufacturers of
industrial variacs, this the the comapny that makes POWERSTATs,
used by most coilers in their control cabinets. Source of factory
replacement parts. <tip by Scott Myers>
> Tungsten face on steel slug spark gap electrodes
The Miller (welding supplies/parts) part numbers are:
095 621 base $3.50 porcelain, each one holds 2 gaps
020 622 point holder $8.52 Al, 4/base, cooling fins all around
020 603 HF point $3.25 steel slug w/ tungsten face, 4/base
Prices are for each piece, avail as an assembly. <Mark Napier>
> Marlin P. Jones & Assoc. Inc., P.O.BOX 12685, Lake Park, FL
> 33403 USA Fax 1-800-4329-9937, Fax 407-844-8764,
Tel: 407-848-8236; Sources for surplus: ferrite toroid cores for
HV RF chokes, Current transformers for panel ammeters, EMI line
filters, meters, power control relays/contactors, fans, etc..
> JOHNSON SHOP PRODUCTS; PO BOX 160113, CUPERTINO CA 95016
Tel: 408-257-8614 Fax: 408-253-6228
Inductors; Current Transformers; Ferrite & Iron Powder Toroids,
rods, & "boxes" for RF chokes; relays; circuit breakers, etc..
> Another good catalog: C & H Sales Co., 2179 E COLORADO BLVD
> PO BOX 5356, PASADENA CA 91117-9988 USA Fax: 818-796-4875
Tel: 800-325-9465 Tel: 213-681-4925, Tel: 818-796-2628
Filters, meters, fans, relay-contactors, switches, HV & LV
capacitors, LV transformers, variacs, etc.
> R & D ELECTRONICS, 5363 BROADWAY AVE., CLEVELAND OH 44127
> Tel: 216-441-8500 Tel: 216-441-5577 Tel: 800-642-1123
Known locally as "Electronic Surplus", they are an excellent
source of typical Tesla coiling fare: current xfmrs/meters,
variacs, HV wire, relays/contactors, RF filters & choke cores...
<tip by Mark S. Rzeszotarski, Ph.D.>
> Yet another good catalog: Surplus Center, 1015 WEST O ST
> P.O.BOX 82209, Lincoln NE 68501-2209 USA
> Fax: 402-474-5198, Tel: 402-474-4055, Order: 800-488-3407
Surplus equipment supplier useful on large coil projects.
Lots of aircraft parts: high-performance DC motors for rotary
spark gaps, hydraulic double action cylinders and power paks
for remote control tuning, spark gap cooling loops, etc..
> Electrical Insulation Supplies,Inc., 1255 Collier Road, N.W.
> Atlanta, GA 30318 Voice 1-404-355-1651 Fax 1-404-355-6069
A good source of equipment and supplies for Tesla coil builder.
Ask for their full line catalog. <Tip from Bob Mazzullo, NYC>
> Edward Wingate, "Wingate Electric", 545 Salmon Creek Rd.
> Brockport, NY 14420 USA
I list this address for completeness. CAVEAT EMPTOR! Mr. Wingate
is mailing flyers advertising rotary spark gaps.
> Richard T. Quick II, 10028 Manchester Rd., Suite 253, Glendale,
> Missouri, 63122, USA
I have a two hour video tape that documents my 10" diameter
secondary coil and 10 KVA power supply in operation. It covers a
wide area of related high voltage experiments and techniques.
(Jacob's Ladder, RF choking, spark gaps, critical coupling, etc.)
Due to the dangerous nature of this work I cannot be responsible
for the safety of life, limb, or property should anyone choose
to, or attempt to, reproduce any of the equipment or experiments
featured on the video. To obtain a copy: send a blank, high
quality, VHS video tape; a first class postage pre-paid, self
addressed mailer; and $10.00 US. I will happily trade tapes.
This text file gets regular updates, as I both see and receive,
many requests for information on this subject. YOUR references
or reviews would be welcomed additions to this file. While I
always try to be as accurate as possible, there are no assur-
ances that ANY of the information posted here is error free, or,
that there is no risk in acting on this information.
Revelant text files from Tesla coil theory and operation
discussions, GIF file spark gap diagrams, graphical coil
instructions (all w/text instructions & parts lists), GIF wiring
diagrams and circuit schematics (with text instructions and
explanations), scanned T-Coil photos, as well as Tesla Coil
shareware calculator programs and other public domain programs
and material are available on the internet and on various BBSs
for free. See the internet references tagged with an * above.
This information/software is also mailed out at no charge to
anyone who sends me a self addressed postage pre-paid mailer and
five or more blank formatted IBM DOS 1.44 mbt floppy disks.
... If all else fails... Throw another megavolt across it!
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12