I began this adventure while attempting to rebuild a tabletop spark gap Tesla coil I previously used in demonstrations at some Maker Faire's. That coil was a basic spark gap coil using a 12 volt power supply, a television fly-back coil driven by a ZVS circuit and hand rolled high voltage capacitors. My primary goal was to make a small and safe (table top sized) spark gap Tesla Coil with an integral and rechargeable power supply to use for demonstrations at a local science museum as well as in classrooms at local schools.
Since I achieved my primary goal, my new goal is to provide the information for anyone to build a similar coil, including how to change design parameters based on what resources they have available.
I will be posting links to all files and resources used to build this Mini Tabletop Tesla Coil Powered by an Arc Lighter.
I'm putting together a few diagrams to make values like major and minor diameter of toroid, as well as the various heights mentioned. There may be some missing dimensions (like insulation on wire in primary coil) but I will add these.
I really love the high voltage projects Jay shows on Plasma Channel
(https://www.youtube.com/c/PlasmaChannel). While it is sometimes difficult to
replicate some of his designs they still provide excellent ideas and
Since I am
frequently inspired by the content he produces I always keep my eye
out for new projects he posts and that is how I came across his build of an arc lighter powered spark gap Tesla Coil.
In attempting to replicate his build of an arc lighter powered spark gap Tesla Coil I ended up encountering a few Issues – the main one being that calculations based on his design didn’t seem to work out right. In addition, missing information made it even more difficult to replicate:
top-load (what was used was some sort of drawer pull - no actual dimensions given).
no specifics on the distance from the top-load to the secondary coil windings
no estimated capacitance of top-load
no information on coupling between the primary and secondary coils or even just the distance between the 2 coil forms
I did attempt to work around these issues since he did provide the capacitance of the primary tank circuit (capacitor bank) and the inductance of the secondary circuit (coil form dimensions including height of windings and wire gauge).
In the end I designed a new coil based on the secondary coil geometry and the primary capacitance from Plasma Channels design since I had already made these 2 elements. I also used the same High Voltage diodes that he listed except that I changed that portion of his power supply from a single diode rectifier to a full bridge rectifier (in the hopes of increasing power to the primary coil).
To check all calculation's and optimize the design I used JavaTC.