As moderator, I couldn't post an "executable" attachment (even if it is
a zip file). Many subscribers can't take large or binary files.
Anyway, to the task at hand...
Looking back at my first tesla coil, I believe that the biggest problem
that I faced was the amount of power input. I had an 8" diameter coil
wound with 18 ga. wire on a cardboard form. I used 18 ga. wire for the
primary and glass plates and aluminum foil for the capacitor. I was able
to get a spark about 8" from the top to ground. I never saw any
The next biggest two problems were the spark gap and capacitor. The spark
gap was two 1" aluminum balls with about 3/4" between them. The problem
with this gap was that it didn't quench very well at all.
The capacitor that I made was very lossy too. I could see the corona
around the edges of the plates in all but the brightest light.
Other problems were that I was using a wire gauge for the primary that
was too small. Compared to the other problems though, this was minor.
As for toroids, they are nice, but not necessary. Many a coil has been
built using a large sphere. However, these are expensive (sometimes) too,
so you could start out using something "appropriate". I started out using
wok lids. They are spun aluminum dishes that I held together with tape.
>From the side they look like () in cross section. One of the TCBOR guys
(Alex Tjynsek (spelling is wrong)) uses pots and pans with fine results.
I would suggest making a smallish coil first. They are cheaper and
easier to build. I made my first working coil with 26 ga. wire on a 3"
form with 750 turns of wire on the secondary and about 12 turns of 4 ga.
solid grounding wire for the primary.
There are files on the ftp site that you can down load for information.
See ftp.funet.fi in /pub/sci/electrical/tesla/misc. In particular,
coilbld.zip and caps1.txt.Z. If you can't get access to a UNIX machine
or some other machine that handles compressed files (ending in .Z), I
could help you with putting them in another format.
Richard Hull and TCBOR produces a series of video tapes that I wish I had
when I was starting.
Hope this helps.
On Sat, 15 Jun 1996, Tesla List wrote:
> >From ZODAPOP-at-aol-dot-comSat Jun 15 07:58:26 1996
> Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 06:14:46 -0400
> From: ZODAPOP-at-aol-dot-com
> To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Cc: ZODAPOP-at-aol-dot-com
> Subject: BEGINNER
> hi all,
> this file has the coil i am building.
> is it sound ?
> or do i need to build a better way to fire it?
> or is there a better one to build?
> an what kind of sparks can i expect, if any?
> and will a sparkplug gap go on it?
> an what does it look like?
> or do i need a toroid?
> this is all new to me.
> is there a video, an can i get one?
> i have been an electrican for 14 years
> and a maintaince electrican for 6 of them
> at a major makeup plant.
> i can build almost anything.
> an for what i dont know
> i have a good support team at work,
> electronics boys / mach shop/ an engineers.
> but many have never heard of a TC much less how it works
> what i dont know is anything about electronics.
> you are over my head
> i know the parts
> but not what you are doing with them or why
> maybe i need to go back to school.
> has anyone the time or enegy to help me.
> JAMES DARREN ZODA HALEY
> I.B.E.W. 295
> [Part 2, Attached file "TESLABLD.EXE" 78KB]
> [Unable to print this part]