Vacuum Tube Tesla Coil

[xellers] may have been in 8th grade when he built this vacuum tube tesla coil, but he did a fantastic job. Unlike most of the tesla coils we have shown, this one doesn’t use a high current transformer from a neon sign. Instead, he’s gone the direction of vacuum tubes. He spent a total of about $125 which isn’t too bad. Most of us could reduce that cost by scrounging from our parts bin.

12 thoughts on “Vacuum Tube Tesla Coil

  1. Nice setup. I started playing with electronics back in high school, and it was all tubes back then. Nice to see younger people interested in these “old” parts.

    I still keep many tubes in my stash. That’s the only stuff that is going to work after an EMP :P

    Required question: Where is the Arduino? LOL :P

  2. This one uses a Microwave Oven Transformer instead of a Neon Sign Transformer, but it still needs an xfmr to get from 120 to a few kilovolts for the primary of the Tesla coil which kicks up to hundres of kV. The tube substitutes for FETs or spark gaps which run the Tesla coil at kHz instead of tens of Hz.

  3. Whilst it may not use a neon sign transformer, it uses a microwave oven transformer which is considerably higher current. A MOT is normally 500mA vs a neon sign transformer which is typically 30-60mA. It just runs at a lower voltage.

  4. i did see a design somewhere that used a surplus VFD extracted from a broken VCR as a makeshift triode.

    might work (possibly) for VTTC duty but they aren’t really optimised for this so the performance will suck. But hey if its $0 versus $150+ … :)

    fwiw the heaters are normally 1.5 or 6.3V and typical plate voltages are around 20-30V but like many valve devices they can be overdriven if cooled.

    failing that, any old triodes can in common with MOSFETs be connected in parallel. each really needs its own heater voltage but this increases the power handling by many times.

  5. Nice build!

    Tube Tesla’s are nice because you don’t require a spark gap, which can be tricky to get right and produces a lot of uv rays that are bad for the eyes.

    However, consider how many safety wussies barked at the recent arduino ac shield post, it should be pointed out that microwave oven transfomers are LETHAL because they put out substantially more current than the more commonly used neon sign transformers… If ever there was a project that required a warning, these are it.

  6. This looks like its been put together using a valve doubler or tripler from an old TV set. We did this many years ago in a workshop I was a trainee in. I think the voltage from those valves is around 4-5KV if memory serves me.

  7. Much of Nikola Tesla’s perpetual motors are being used by the American and Russian military in secret underground facilities. The Russians are in fact more advanced than the Americans which they demonstrated when they opened up a spiral in Norway’s skies right on the eve of Obama’s Nobel Peace prize. American scientists were quite angry at the fact that they are behind, but this is how the controllers, the so called Committee of 300 wish it to be.
    For decades, the Russians have been in possession of Cosmopheres that can travel to Mars and further. They have built underground cities in the Moon and Mars but the USA cannot do anything about it, for it has been subverted since the creation of the FED. Those who control the money flow control government. As Harold W. Rosenthal, the Administrative Assistant of Senator Javits of New York, in 1976, revealed in a public interview: “Roosevelt was our man…since Roosevelt the United States government has been under our control.” Harold explained that by controlling the Media, schools and churches that a false reality can be created quite easily. Remember Orson Wells story he told the American public through his radio show one day? And how he created such fear and panic just through the Radio airwaves?
    Our history is full of inaccuracies, or lies, for the news service was always of great value to the Talmudic Babylonian financiers, as Rothschild demonstrated when he got hold of news about the result of the battle of Waterloo before everyone else.

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