Bare-bones Musical Tesla Coil is Tiny and Tinny

We’ve seen musical Tesla coils aplenty on these pages before, and we’ll be the first to point out that [Kedar Nimbalkar]’s musical high-voltage rig doesn’t quite qualify as a Tesla coil. But it’s dirt cheap, and might make a pretty cool rainy-afternoon-with-the-kids project.

Chances are good you have the parts needed for this build lying around the house. All that’s needed is an audio power amplifier and a high-voltage source. [Kedar] used a Class D amp board and a 3V to 7kV high-voltage module sourced from eBay for a couple of bucks; if you really want to go cheap, tear down that defunct electronic fly swatter gathering dust on top of your fridge and harvest the high-voltage module inside. The output of the amp feeds the high-voltage module, the HV leads are placed close together to get an arc, and the glorious high-fidelity sound will wash over you. Or not – sounds pretty awful to us. Still, it looks like a fast, fun build.

If this project gets you in the mood to go the full Tesla, check out this coil big enough to produce 12-foot arcs, or even this musical Tesla hat.

14 thoughts on “Bare-bones Musical Tesla Coil is Tiny and Tinny

  1. Dan, you may have been “the first to point out that [Kedar Nimbalkar]’s musical high-voltage rig doesn’t quite qualify as a Tesla coil”, but that didn’t stop various others from making the same observation. Why, I might almost think that folks don’t read the articles before commenting!

  2. It’s time to rip apart another old TV for fun!
    Should be able to do this without any extra parts besides jumper wires and some serious soldering. :)

    I think it sounds terrible, but you could possibly still recognize most ‘tunes’ played with it; still sounds better than anything I’ve built with HV. :)

    1. Make sure the electrodes are the right shape and in the right position. What you are doing is heating the air to make it expand, but once you have this small source of vibrations you may want to think about what sort of resonator would improve the effect. You can put the entire thing in a wire mesh for safety and radio interference control too.

  3. On Google News, I’ve been seeing a sharp up-tick in Hackaday listings, and I have been clicking on them, mostly with good outcomes. I assume there is a ‘campaign’ underway; either by Hackaday or Google … you may be interested to know, it’s working.

    Just now I searched GN with ‘tesla’, to follow the car-drama. High in the returns is this post. It’s not the height of depraved evil that there is nothing tesla here, nor that there isn’t even any hacking-content here! It’s a ‘link-post’…

    But when my own stuff starts showing up highly placed on Google News, I do hope that I actually deliver what someone clicked to see.

    I’ve known vaguely of Hackaday for a long time, but it never really elbowed it’s way far onto my radar … until it started being carried on Google News.

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