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

Original poster: Steve Ward <steve.ward@xxxxxxxxx>

My DRSSTCs didnt cost nearly as much as Terry's.  I scrounge most of
the expensive parts (heatsinks, big diodes, electrolytic caps).  The
coils are cheap to make as with a SGTC.  The control electronics are
pretty cheap.  You can make your own PCBs with copper clad board, a
marker and some etchant for a few bucks.  Lots of parts can be had as
samples from texas instruments and fairchild semiconductor.  If one is
*really* resourceful (as i think i am) you could make a DRSSTC for

The giant DRSSTC-2 might have cost $200 in parts total ;-)... though
its about to cost some more as i make new plans for it :-).

Terry spent a lot of money making everything professional with the
rack case, custom made PCBs (at $65 an order i think... adds up fast)
and buying a lot of parts (like the electrolytics) new.

IGBTs can be had on ebay for excellent prices still if you wait for
the right auction to come around.

Like Terry says, you do need to have a pretty solid background in
electronics to make everything work without a complete meltdown on
first light :-).  Ive learned all i know about electronics from tesla
coiling, and i learn all that from the internet.  I only started to
get the hang of solid state electronics about 2.5 years ago now.
Havent taken a single electronics course, so there is no excuse that i
had the chance to be educated at a university or anything.  And heck,
Jimmy Hynes was just a junior in high school when he came up with the
whole thing (not sure how he got so smart though! ;-))..  Oh, and i
guess i need to add Jimmy to the list of online resources as he has
helped me quite a bit.  I also owe thanks to Steve Conner for helping
me along with theory at times.

Steve Ward

On 4/17/05, Tesla list <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Original poster: "Paul B. Brodie" <pbbrodie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Terry,
> I really appreciate you taking the time to enlighten us on the expenses,
> trials, and tribulations of DRSSTC building and development. Your
> description is very enlightening. Although I would dearly love to get to
> the point where I could build a DRSSTC, I can see now that unless prices
> get reduced drastically somehow, it will forever be out of my reach. Maybe
> I can model one someday on my computer and try and enjoy that. Regards.
> Paul
> Think Positive
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tesla list" <<mailto:tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <<mailto:tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2005 2:49 PM
> Subject: Re: DRSS-XXX? (Cost of SGTC vs. SSTC)
> > Original poster: Terry Fritz
> <<mailto:teslalist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>teslalist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > 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:
> >
> >
> <http://drsstc.com/~terrell/partslist/MasterPartsList.pdf>http://drsstc.com/~terrell/partslist/MasterPartsList.pdf
> >
> > 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 ;-)).
> >
> >
> <http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/sstc_publication.htm>http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/sstc_publication.htm
> >
> >
> > BTW - I think DRSSTs are still "Tesla coils" since they look just like
> > Tesla coils ;-))
> >
> >
> <http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/P3220011.JPG>http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/P3220011.JPG
> >
> > You can see the typical Gap, MMC, NST, etc. power deck to the rear
> > right. That has changed to the black box here:
> >
> >
> <http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/P3220012.JPG>http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/P3220012.JPG
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> <http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/FirstFullRun-03.jpg>http://drsstc.com/~terrell/pictures/FirstFullRun-03.jpg
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Terry
> >
> >