Idea for Tesla Coil Mailing List (Books)
From: John H. Couture [SMTP:couturejh-at-worldnet.att-dot-net]
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 1998 11:47 PM
To: Tesla List
Subject: Re: Idea for Tesla Coil Mailing List (Books)
To All -
At the time that Richard Quick reviewed my books and JHCTES TC computer
program there was little TC information available and coilers were building
coils by the "seat of their pants". They said that the design of Tesla coils
using the theoretical equations and math did not work. It was faster to
build and rebuild coils until they worked properly than to get bogged down
in math that they couldn't make work.
I did not agree with this attitude and attempted to write books and
develop a program that would show how the theory and calcs could be made to
work. These books and program would be based on dozens of real coils that
were built and tested by myself and others. Other authors have since written
TC books and have written programs but none have the graphs or have
developed a "watts to spark" program with calcs for 46 TC parameters like
the JHCTES program.
I believe it is time to update the comments by Richard regarding my books
and program. From his review it is obvious that Richard was not completely
satisfied with my books or program. I believe this was due to
misunderstanding some of its contents. In fact by using the new Internet
availability he later wrote an excellent book on building Tesla coils. Of
course, there are no graphs or program like I had earlier published.
However, his book is very complete information and recommended for
beginners. It should be noted that all TC books and programs are for the
beginner. The advanced coiler must still build non classical coils by the
"seat of the pants" method because of the limited knowledge we have
regarding how a Tesla coil really works.
My comments regarding Richard's review are as follows.
1. The Tesla Coil Construction Guide replaces the Tesla Handbook and not
the Tesla Coil Design Manual.
2. Richard had trouble with the graphs (charts) because these were new at
the time and not useful to coilers building "seat of the pants" coils.
3. Richard had trouble with the earlier versions of the JHCTES programs
because they were not very user friendly. For example, the new version 2.3
does not "kick out" a design that is out of tune or has other problems. The
new version has defaults to guide the user. The inputs and outputs have been
carefully selected and the calcs automatically made to keep the system
always in tune when changes are made.
4. The TCC Guide does not advise that coils be wound with insulated
stranded wire. Any reasonable insulation or type of wire can be used.
5. The TCC Guide does not advocate small primaries. Any reasonable size
primary can be used. If the JHCTES program is used the calcs will
automatically be done to keep the system in tune.
6. My books and program are based on both electrical and electronic
theory. They are also based on empirical data obtained from dozens of real
7. Richard mentioned grounding. Because my suggestions do not agree with
his does not mean they are not correct.
I thank Richard for reviewing and commenting on my books and program. It
has given me an opportunity to correct some of the misunderstandings.
At 11:40 PM 6/17/98 -0500, you wrote:
>From: Chip Atkinson [SMTP:chip-at-pupman-dot-com]
>Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 1998 4:09 PM
>Subject: Re: Idea for Tesla Coil Mailing List
>That's a great idea. There has already been some effort to do that
>by Richard Quick. One thing that's useful is that it may provide ideas if
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>> 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.
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