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Tesla Coil

This is just an archive page now. The project has relocated to Teslab.
Tesla Coil
founder: chido
depends on:
interested: pasky
software license:
hardware license:

The aim of the project is to build a small tesla coil with focus on the parts being made as much as possible by hand and using common and accessible materials. Due to the hackerspace premises being unsuitable for setting up a tesla coil (electronics everywhere!!1), we are aiming to make it small enough to be able to run it either inside a cage or outdoors.

The project includes:

  • the material research part (finding suitable common household items usable for the construction - for example, I used a piece of toilet plumbing as core for the secondary coil)
  • component assembly part (coils, spark gap, capacitors…)
  • circuit design


We have a more-or-less finished secondary coil (315 mm long, 65 mm diameter, 0.6mm wire, cca 560 turns, wound on waste tube and finished with wood lacque) and some experience with building the beer-glass-capacitors (which we have lost, unfortunately). We also have a copper sphere, with diameter 482mm (slightly dented on one side). Warning: chido is very inexperienced with electronics, therefore we are looking for experienced (and somewhat brave) people willing to answer stupid questions :)

The current plan is to build the tesla coil in the style of

Next step

  • circuit design + determining which parts need to be assembled
  • research of suitable materials
  • assembly of parts/acquiring of non-buildable parts
  • put it together :)

Meetings and Sessions

Currently we are trying to resurrect the project, anyone willing to participate is welcome!

Meeting #001
When: 18. 08. 2010 16:30
Where: Letnany
We have met and decided to go with a solid state tesla coil in the first iteration. Since two of the people interested in this project are currently too busy to invest the time needed, we decided to put the project on hold for now. If anyone is interested to start working on it immediately, we of course are willing to offer our support and hardware we have so far gathered.

Session #002
When: 5. 08. 2012 21:00
We have brought the coil and sphere to brmlab and decided to hack together a quick lightning generator.

PLANNED Session #003
When: 24. 08. 2012 19:00
Since it seems that each of the people involved in this project seem to have a different idea on how to actually build the thing (and consequentially each of them doesn't know what the rest is doing), we really need to meet and decide on ONE way how to proceed :) So that we can effectively work together. The main goal would be to put together a parts list.


Instead of 555 timer, we use a 10kHz-generating FPGA. Instead of the transformer, we use HR7937.

Results: (it does not work properly yet, but we have built a scary-looking device)

Actualy working on (ask kappi):

Gate driver (generator) - not completed, searching for propriate driver:

Full H-bridge - completed:


project/tesla_coil.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/25 07:28 by ruza