Programmable SSTC

A programmable and simple to build Tesla Coil (SSTC) that runs from low voltage, ideal for use in cosplay weapons and small props.

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A programmable and simple to build Tesla Coil (SSTC) that runs from low voltage, ideal for use in cosplay weapons and small props.

There's two main circuit boards used here. One is the SSTC driver its self which is a simple self resonant single transistor board, while the other is an Arduino compatible controller using the ATmega4808 microcontroller.

The programmable interface makes it possible to add all sorts of cool spark effects including music.

The Tesla coil its self consists of a small secondary resonating at about 700kHz, and a single turn primary coil. It is pulsed directly from a low voltage DC supply (12 to 30V) and can give some quite impressive sparks.

The pulse timing is controlled with the PWM-4808 controller. I am still working on the last bits of code, but it already has some great features including PWM, Burst fire, Special FX (the sparks make cool laser sounds and change in appearance) and music.

So far the music is tone based, but it is capable of full audio. I am working on a suitable audio library to do this.

I am also working on a basic 3D printed / laser cut mount for this so it can be held as a gun, and then people can simply build around it to make their own awesome scifi cosplay weapons that shoot real sparks!

I will publish the code on github once I am satisfied it is mostly bug free. I will also publish any 3D print files and so on if I manage to get around to making them! If anyone would like to help with code or the 3D design, that would be awesome.

  • 1 × SSTC-OCRi Solid State Tesla Coil Driver
  • 1 × PWM-4808 Programmable controller

  • Halloween Tesla Gun!

    Richard10/29/2021 at 17:13 0 comments

    I've now got it fully working on batteries in the hand held gun shape.  I added the skull on the end to fit the Halloween theme. I hope this can give people ideas on how to use it and add on their own cool designs. In the video below It is running one of the special FX pulse modes so it gives that sound and a nice spark effect. It is possible to program all sorts of pulse patters for different sound effects and spark shapes.

    I will make the laser cut design files available once I finalised everything so hopefully it is easy for people to modify and use for their own cool sci fi prop weapons. 

    The controller is Arduino compatible and has breakouts so it is simple to integrate some awesome WS2812 / neopixel type effects into it too. The SSTC driver is easy to pulse width modulate and can therefore even support full PCM audio output. This means you could record laser sound effects and have them actually made by the plasma output. I'm really looking forward to releasing all the parts and code for this and seeing what you creative folk will come up with!

  • First prototype of laser cut enclosure

    Richard10/26/2021 at 20:16 0 comments

    I managed to cut out and put together the basic form today including the main PCBs. There's a few bits I need to change, but generally, it turned out great. There's room in the handle for a couple of 18650s and a small DC-DC convertor so I will test out how well it can run from that as a power source.

  • Laser Cut Enclosure Update

    Richard10/25/2021 at 21:38 0 comments

    Bit of progress on the laser cut design.

    Control panel with OLED display at the back for selecting modes and effects

  • Plasma Gun Basic Design

    Richard10/19/2021 at 20:00 0 comments

    I was initially planning to 3D print a gun enclosure for it, but decided on a simple laser cut design instead. This screenshot is from FreeCAD where I am working on my initial concept. A laser cut design is easier to produce copies as 3D printing would be very slow. My aim with the design is to keep it simple and make it easy for anyone to add their own shapes and addon modules easily, Later on when I want to make it look more sci-fi, I will add some 3D printed parts, LEDs and so on.

    I've not decided on a battery back yet. I'd like to keep the overall size small, so may use some small li-po packs and possibly a DC-DC step up module for the extra long sparks

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