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Tesla Coil Group Project 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:40 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Boise
After talking with some people during the various Hack Nights, we came to the conclusion that we need to create a group project. Somehow I volunteered to try and wrangle the cats to try and get a project off the ground.

So without further ado the project I will try and start up will be a Tesla Coil design and build.

A friend of mine (Caspian) has already built a Tesla Coil following these instructions:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Buildin ... esla-coil/
I am pretty sure with the people that we have in OLI we should be able to "improve" upon this design. If you have a better design or something that you would like the coil to do, then by all means speak up. The first part of this project will be brain storming and trying to come up with the scope. Once we get the scope locked in we will start to put together a plan and assigning tasks to groups to complete.

A couple of types of the expertise we will need are:
Circuit Designers
Coil winders

We also need to find someway to make this project unique to OLI. I mean a Tesla Coil is cool and all, but an OLI Tesla Coil that does X is even cooler.

Please remember that this is designed to be a group project. Some of us are more than capable enough to build one of these on our own. But let's use this as a learning experience for the group.

Let's also use this thread to try and keep the project and ideas organized. Worst case if you start another thread that has to deal with this, just post a link in here back to it.


Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:12 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:40 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Boise
One thing we will need to do is decide on how big we want it, and how much voltage we want to generate. I am of the mind that the bigger the better, but I am immature and that is probably less realistic.

We will also need to store this in the hacker space. I'm thinking of something that is 3 or 4 feet tall, and then figure out the rest of the dimensions.

What are your thoughts?


Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:20 am
Posts: 6
Real Name: Jim
Does OpenLabsIdaho have a theme song?

Tesla Music


Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:01 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:40 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Boise
I'm not sure if OLI has a theme song or not. But we could definitely add in this capability to the Tesla coil.

Last time I talked with Caspian he was setting this up with an Arduino. We ran into some issues the first time as we didn't have the right parts to get it working. But I believe he got it working later on.


Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:17 pm
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Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:00 pm
Posts: 21
Real Name: John Hodges
The instructables link gives no secondary coil specs, the biggie. Search finds much discussion but few examples; one is 1200 turns #24 enamel wire single-layer on 6-inch PVC pipe, 34 inches long. I get 1900 feet, or 2.3 pounds of wire, ie, a 5-pound spool costing nearly $100. (Last month Reuseum had one big spool, but I think too fat gauge)

ebay has 1lb of awg26 for $18 postpaid, 1200 feet, 0.0159" diameter, enough for 1200 turns on 3.8" diameter, about 20" long, 5:1 ratio. Can this work? (not saying soldering two spools together won't work, but it surely lowers odds of initial success)

PVC pipe seems the most common coil-form, not ideal, but affordable. Thin wall is better. Grover's thinnest is "S&D" in 3 and 4 inch nominal diameter, about 0.1" wall. My only bullnose center is 2.5", so my lathe won't spin these pipes directly, but I've had luck solvent-welding a flat PVC plates into pipe ends, after center-drilling them; then I can mount between ordinary centers. At least the ends are true round, and it makes chucking squishy pipe possible.

-John Hodges


Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:31 pm
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