Re: First Tesla

Tesla List wrote:
> Original Poster: "Van Breuggeman" <ryanb-at-ij-dot-net>
> Salutations, I was pondering if anyone could offer their opinion on my tesla
> coil. It is my first ever, and I get about 8$ a week for money. I am only
> `3, which means a limited cash flow. I am hoping to make a working tesla by
> Jan 25th. I plan to use the following: wood base, 8 awg coaxial cable
> primary 2.75 inches tall, seconday pvc painted with polyurethane, and wound
> with about 85 feet of some high voltage 8 gauge copper wire, toroid for
> discharge made of aluminum, salt water capacitors(4 gatorade bottles), a 1
> or 5 kv transformer, not sure which, and I plan to use a specific design I
> am working on to increase efficincy of my coil. I know the plans sound not
> complete but I have spent about 58 hours online and in the library
> researching teslas. If anyone could offer advice on any cost effective(cheap
> but good) ways to make a great tesla coil, let me know. Thanks.
> ----Ryan B


Use the #8 Gauge wire for your primary, get rid of the coax in the
primary since, if it's the type with a braided shield, it will be very
lossy. If the coax is "hardline", then the outer conductor would work OK
for a primary. You also need much more inductance in your secondary -
this means more turns of finer gauge magnet wire (typically #20 - 26
gauge) are needed for your secondary. You didn't mention the proposed
diameter and length of the secondary coilform, so it's difficult to
provide anything more specific. To improve efficiency, the best thing
would be to go from saltwater caps to polyethylene-oil caps, since
saltwater caps are quite lossy. They are perfect for an inexpensive 
"first time" coil however. Check out the on-line references and design
aids at:

Good luck, and safe coilin' to you!

-- Bert --