Low power Tesla coil

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by CrazyAl, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. CrazyAl

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Hello, I am trying to make a low power Tesla coil. The problem is I am not aloud to use mains power in any of my projects due to my paranoid parents, so I am currently stuck with using one of those portable fly zapper circuits that puts out around 1600V DC. I am not sure what the current draw is but it is powered by 2 AA battery's so I am guessing that is way under powered for a Tesla coil, even a small one.

    I have tried making up a jar capacitor bank and putting them in parralel with the zapper (the zapper has a built in capacitor) and then putting a small spark gap in series with the primary coil of my Tesla coil. As you might have guessed there is NO break out from the topload, but when I put a grounded object next to the top-load I get an arc of about an inch from the top-load to the grounded objects. These arcs are more of a light pinkish colour rather than a bright blue colour. I have tried using an ignition coil to drive it set up in a conventional Tesla coil tank circuit using the bug zapper pulsed through the ignition coil to power it set up but I don't even get an arc when using grounded objects using that. how ever when i just hook up the ignition coil to my zapper it outputs a blue arc of around half an inch.

    So basically my question is will the fact there is limited current available from the AA battery's in the bug zapper effect the operation of the Tesla coil?

    Thanks! (sorry if my spelling and grammar is off as I am tired).
     
  2. CrazyAl

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Well I have made my self a new step up transformer for my bug zapper and I know appear to have *some* breakout with the top load removed and the lights turn off. Its only a few mm arc lengths and some corona when in the air and when I move a non grounded object near it arcs at just under an inch. I guess its just a case of tuning and getting all I can out of such a low powerd Tesla coil set up.

    I will post a you-tube video of it soon.
     
  3. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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  4. CrazyAl

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    So does the available amp-hour matter for the source (ie a pair of AA battery cannot provide much current for long on a high draw device.) and If so how does the amount of current flowing through the primary coil effect performance of the Tesla coil?

    Thanks
     
  5. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
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    Tha AH rating is mostly for time, but also because if you try to draw a decent amount of current from a low AH battery you rarely get the rated output voltage due to tis internal resistance.

    12V is just much easier to work with, a 555 driving a power MOSFET at a decent frequency (there's a "sweet spot") will get a lot of output from an auto ignition coil. The fun of making a Tesla coil actually lies in winding your own coils. Time consuming yes, but a true Tesla coil has a resonant input frequency in the primary circuit for maximum transfer efficiency.
     
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