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Re: [TCML] Choosing components to build my first Tesla Coil

Hi Yesn,

I wrote a web page that describes the design process:

To your questions -
1) The best-case spark length is proportional (not linearly) to the power,
watts, of the transformer, not just the current.  The transformer is the
starting point of the design process.  Once you have chosen a transformer,
the optimal choice of the capacitor follows from the transformer and spark
gap type.

2) I'm not sure what you mean by "calculate the maximum capacitance of one
capacitor".  Most people use the following spreadsheet to design an MMC:
For static gaps, you should use the middle Static Gap LTR Cap column, and
being in Europe, I assume that you would use the 2nd page for 50 Hz
8KV isn't specified but 9KV is probably close enough, maybe round up for
the cap values.

3) Terry filters are not required, but particularly for novices, it may
save your transformer.
What needs to be spaced far apart?  If you're talking about the spark gap
spacing, read this CAREFULLY.
The wider you space the spark gap electrodes, the higher the voltage that
the capacitor and transformer will be subjected to.
Spreading them wider than the "proper" width will permit voltages far in
excess of the normal operating voltage of the NST to develop.  This is the
single biggest reason that NST's die - people making the spark gap too
wide.  The sparks from the coil WILL get longer the wider you make the gap,
up until the NST burns out, so don't think that this is how you determine
the correct width.

4) Bleed resistors cause the charge on the capacitors to be slowly
discharged so that it will be safe to touch within a couple of seconds.
Basic R-C circuit.

5) Exactly - it's just been found to work, not at all critical.

6) Exactly correct.  Ask away.

Regards, Gary Lau


On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 3:03 PM, YESN via Tesla <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> So I am building my first tesla coil. I live in europe and it's a school
> project.
> 1: I am going with an NST with an output voltage of around 8k Volts. (I
> live europe so input isn't 120 at 60 Hz). How exactly is the current rating
> of the transformer related to the length of the arcs? Is it totally
> dependent on the capacitor tank? Or both?
> 2: I have seen the formula to calculate the maximum capacitance of one
> capacitor. However how do you decide the number of capacitors you are going
> to use. ( I am going with multi mini capacitor).
> 3: I have read about terry filters keeping your transformer safe. Is this
> absolutely necessary? Or do they need to be spaced far apart?
> 4: How do bleed resistors across each capacitor work?
> 5: Apparently the most popular ratio of height:diameter of your secondary
> coil seems to be 5:. Is there an good reason for this. Or just a good thumb
> rule that other coilers found to be effective?
> 6: I don't know if i am using pupman correctly. I hope my questions
> weren't too dumb.
> Greets!
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