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RE: Hello from The Newbie

Original poster: "Lau, Gary" <gary.lau@xxxxxx>

Hi Chris:

Welcome, I'm happy to see that you have the requisite personal quality
where every household item is viewed as a potential Tesla coil

The progression of design and acquisition generally begins with locating
a high voltage transformer, and the overall size of the coil and the
choice of other components is based on the transformer.  As the
transformer is generally one of the more difficult items to get, this
only makes sense.  For instance, if a 15kV/60mA NST just happened to
make itself available to you, a secondary of the size you described
would be too small and unsuitable.

But back to your question, I would avoid the Pringles can at all cost.
It's not worth the effort to try and remove the foil lining; who knows
if there is also foil laminated within where you can't see it?  Go to an
office supply store and spring for a cardboard mailing tube if you
really can't afford a piece of PVC pipe.  Either will work equally well,
but the PVC will be much more sturdy and easy to mount.

Regards, Gary Lau

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tesla list [mailto:tesla@xxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 10:27 AM
> To: tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Hello from The Newbie
> 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
> 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
> years ago... but I never considered actually building my own. After
> that it doesn't appear to be "rocket science", I've decided to "Just
> It".
> (With assistance from you who have "been there and done that",
> I haven't decided all specs... but my first will surely be a bit on
> small-ish side,
> especially compared to some monster coils seen here and elsewhere on
> net.
> I'm not greedy, yet! If it's capable of ~4-6" sparks, after tweaking
> 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
> me in!
> If something is "not optimal, but may work", I'd appreciate that
> as well.
> OK...
> For starters, I think I'll wind the secondary. I'm not expecting it to
> gorgeous
> or perfect, but I'll do the best I can. Scrounging around, I'm not
> much
> in the way of coil forms. The first two possibilities are: A paper
> 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
> 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
> well.
> I'd rather use only one item, but will use two if it's felt that one
> 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