Nine not-so-easy steps to build a singing Tesla coil

We love a good Tesla coil music performance, but have never really considered building our own. After reading [TheHomebrewGuru's] guide to musical Tesla coils we’re still not considering it. Whether or not you’re going to undertake the project, his massive writeup is worth a look.

The tutorial begins at the beginning, with a bit of background on these devices, including what they are, where they came from, and the electrical theory behind them. From there it’s on to the build. This isn’t a go-out-and-buy it type of project. You’re going to need some ingenuity to hunt down parts that will work, and will work with each other.

The image above shows a partially built device, using sheet metal ductwork covered in foil tape as the torroid at the top. The column is wrapped in wire, forming the secondary coil, and the wooden base is ready for the installation of the primary coil. Electronics will be housed between the two wood discs of the base, with a TI Launchpad board driving the music part of the hack.

There isn’t a good demo video of this playing music. But you can get the idea if you look back at the head-mounted tesla coil which did a great job of pumping out the tunes.

6 thoughts on “Nine not-so-easy steps to build a singing Tesla coil

  1. For those willing to trade the fun, time and difficulty in starting from scratch and sourcing pieces for the laziness in getting a kit, I suggest taking a look at http://easternvoltageresearch.com/

    That’s were I got the kit for my DRSSTC that was featured here: http://hackaday.com/2011/06/06/million-volt-guitar-rocks-the-house-for-science/

    Only $300 for the 85% kit. Just had to build a base for it (out of plastic cutting boards no less) and add a switch panel and I was good to go. But be warned, DRSSTC’s are best know for large sparks out of small coils ( I get ~22″ out of my 14″ coil), but only support a couple octaves of mono-phonic frequencies.

  2. When nobody posts replies on hackaday, its usually indicative that everybody is trying to replicate the build in the post. That’s the spirit!

  3. Nice write up and I appreciate the time that went into it, but I would have preferred more technical info. Not everyone has to do the math, but if it were me, I’d want to have a firm understanding of all of my currents, voltages, capacitance, and inductance values.

  4. There isn’t a lack of comments due to everybody working on their very own TC, it’s probably because the linked article is an instructable… I tend to have little faith in people who create instructables as they are the most irritating form of conveying this type of information.

    I don’t want to just mimic steps with minimal background information. Instructables provides a step by step means of recreating the content, and I feel that most readers of hackaday aren’t simply looking for assembly instructions, but a deeper knowledge of the topic…

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