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Re: DRSS-XXX? (Cost of SGTC vs. SSTC)

Original poster: Terry Fritz <teslalist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


At 10:35 AM 4/17/2005, you wrote:

Hi Dan, All,

While this is true in the extremes, and special circumstances, I believe that it creates a false general impression. I think it is fair to say that the average cost of an SG coil is less than the average cost of an SS coil of the SAME power and general construction. There is also the added fact that a working SG coil can be built with visits to the hardware store and/or a junk yard, while an SS coil requires one or more of these:

1) You have a larger bankroll
2) You work in the electronics industry and thus can get free samples or play "stockroom shrinkage". ;-))
3) You are located where you can dive in the electronics industry's dumpsters.

Test equipment which is optional for a SG coil is mandatory for an SS one. The precision diagnostic equipment for tuning and adjusting my first 4 SG coils were an analog multimeter, and oscillator, and later, two LEDs. I would not recommend trying to build and adjust an SS coil without a decent scope.
For the average newbie or neophyte, I believe that the "classic TC" still yields the best ratio of (spark-inch)/(dollar*manhour).

For 2 cents plain,
Matt D.

If one looks over my DRSSTC's parts and prices at:


One can get a pretty good idea of how much stuff costs. Everything was new off-the-shelf.

One could probably cut the power filter to $100 and dig up the chassis parts for about another $100. A simple remote control with wire for say $10. You "could" take out the protection but I think it would pay for itself rather fast so that's $50. the rest is $250 in hard electronics that you really need. So it could be made for about 500+ dollars. Probably $700 buy the time the bugs are worked out. Of course, things can be "found" cheaper too... I think I spent about $2000 total, but there was a lot of R&D, "fancy stuff", and revised board stuff going on there.

But you do need a fairly good understanding of how everything works and how to put it together. So an electronics background or good knowledge is pretty needed. One would need a scope. Current monitors can be made cheap.

Of course, one can go out and make a SG coil for less than $100 with a little digging and the technology is super well known and available.

So I think the DRSSTC is for those that "have the calling". I certainly would not recommend them to just anyone entering the hobby. Of course, Jimmy and Steve are not exactly "old timers", but I think Jimmy's dad is an EE and Steve has the details down solid.

So the DRSSTC my not be for everyone, but those that are interested should be able to find the details they need to decide. Dan's book is super cool so it is the first step ($35 more dollars ;-)).


BTW - I think DRSSTs are still "Tesla coils" since they look just like Tesla coils ;-))


You can see the typical Gap, MMC, NST, etc. power deck to the rear right. That has changed to the black box here:


In a way, the DRSSTC is more "Tesla coil like" than tube and CW coils since it's sparks are pretty much just the same as a Spark Gap Tesla coils.