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Re: Hello from The Newbie

Original poster: Chip Atkinson <chip@xxxxxxxxxx>

Hi Chris!

Welcome to the list!  Starting small is a good idea.  Cheaper and you can
get a good feel for things.

Do you have any construction sites that you can hang around?  That's the
best place for materials.  I'd get a PVC pipe if you can or if not,
something a bit thicker.  Perhaps a cylindrical pitcher or something from
Target.  I think you'd be better off with something a bit on the thicker
side just to provide a firmer surface to avoid getting 50% done only to
accidentally crush the thing or to have it crush and shed all the turns
you have so lovingly put on it.

You can also find small sections of copper pipe as well as hunks of wood
for mounting your project on.

I have found that if I go to electric motor shops I can often get the
tail end of a roll of wire and not have to pay winding costs to have it
put on a spool.

You can use beer bottles for capacitors as well.  I haven't done that
myself, but it's a cheap way of making capacitors.

Hope that can get you started.


On Sun, 16 Jan 2005, Tesla list wrote:

> Original poster: "Chris Watkins" <tesla@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Hi all!
> Chris here, with my first post. Location: 35 miles west of Atlanta, GA.
> I've been scouring websites, reading articles and posts about Tesla Coils,
> for a few weeks now. The list kept popping up, so of course I subscribed :-)
> I've been in awe of Tesla coils since seeing a demo in school, too many
> years ago... but I never considered actually building my own. After seeing
> that it doesn't appear to be "rocket science", I've decided to "Just Do
> It".
> (With assistance from you who have "been there and done that", hopefully!)
> I haven't decided all specs... but my first will surely be a bit on the
> small-ish side,
> especially compared to some monster coils seen here and elsewhere on the
> net.
> I'm not greedy, yet! If it's capable of ~4-6" sparks, after tweaking and
> tuning,
> I'll declare success. Anything more is gravy. I'll set higher goals for my
> next coil.
> Maybe I'll venture more than $25, to build that next one. This one will be
> junk.
> I'll be scrounging for most items, whenever practical. As a packrat, I
> expect to find
> enough "junk" laying around to come up with most of the ingredients for the
> project.
> If I happen to mention a thing you *know* does not work, by all means clue
> me in!
> If something is "not optimal, but may work", I'd appreciate that knowledge
> as well.
> OK...
> For starters, I think I'll wind the secondary. I'm not expecting it to be
> gorgeous
> or perfect, but I'll do the best I can. Scrounging around, I'm not finding
> much
> in the way of coil forms. The first two possibilities are: A paper towel
> tube, or
> a Pringle's chip can. Using partial specs below, which one would you
> choose...
> if you were forced to wind a functional Tesla secondary using one or the
> other?
> (Note: I'm not opposed to butting two items together if necessary. ie... on
> first
> thought, I'm guessing 2 Pringle's cans, 6:1 with ~1000 turns might work
> well.
> I'd rather use only one item, but will use two if it's felt that one just
> won't work)
> Pringle's Can (with aluminized liner & steel end cap removed)
> 2 15/16" Diameter
> 3:1 Aspect ratio
> ~500 turns of 26 gauge wire
> Paper Towel Tube
> 1 3/4" Diameter
> 6.2:1 Aspect ratio
> ~625 turns of 26 gauge wire
> I'm sure I'll have a couple dozen more questions before the year(week?) is
> over :-)
> Thanks in advance for any response.
> --
> Chris