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Tesla Coil Help

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    Hello everybody! :D
    Im building a tesla coil for a science fair and needed some help with it. For the toroid, I got a rubber pipe which I intend to bend to a toroid and wrap with aluminum tape. Will this work? How will it be different if I use a metallic sphere?
    Also, for the spark gap, should I use thick bolts or thinner ones?

    Some details about my coil:
    Transformer- NST, 9kV, 30 mA
    Secondary coil- 0.5mm copper wire, about 600 turns
    Primary- 1/4 inch copper tubing. 6 turns

    I might use this thread to post more questions in the future. Any help would be great! :D

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2010 #2
    I recommend following the instructions that you found to build the project first and then doing variations later. An aluminum tape toroid will probably make a decent terminal if that is what you are talking about. But a Tesla coil is high frequency apparatus and too much capacitance loading it can actually reduce the voltage. This is difference from say an electrostatic machine like a Van de Graff generator where you want as large a spherical terminal as possible. So for this reason I suggest that whatever terminal the instructions specify should be used to insure that the device will start out working properly.
  4. Apr 3, 2010 #3
    Okay. The "source-guy" used a can hammered into a dome shape lol :P.
    I have more questions.. I hope you dont mind-
    What are the things I can demonstrate using a tesla coil? I was planning on a lighting up tube lights, wirelessly. I guess I can also show electromagnetic induction by inducing a current in a wire and using it to light a bulb. What else? I've read that they can make wood glow. NO idea if that is true. Can it be used to demonstrate anything else?
    Another thing-
    What are tesla coils used for? Im sure people are gonna ask me this in the exhibition, so I must be prepared. I know that they dont have much use anymore. I have also heard that "modified" tesla coils are used in street lamps.... dunno if its true or not.
  5. Apr 3, 2010 #4
    iirc, Tesla coil was used some experiments in transmitting radio in late-19th and early-20th century.

    If you are interested in Tesla coil, read "Tesla - man out of time" (first 10 chapters covers the period Tesla built the coil). You can also take a look on "The ultimate Tesla coil design ..." (McGrawHill).
  6. Apr 8, 2010 #5
    Can you guys tell me some do's, dont's and tips which I should keep in mind while operating/building the tesla coil?
  7. Apr 12, 2010 #6
    Im working on the capacitors now. How do I find out the total capacitance I need in my primary circuit? Im planning to use an MMC arrangement.
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