Adjustable Tesla Coil Build

This coil has no trouble shooting sparks across four meters of empty air. [Finn Hammer] has been putting in some long hours on this labor of love, and we put in some time reading through his progress thread. He started down this path about a year ago and every step of the way he produces beautiful work. We enjoy seeing his prototyping techniques, moving from concept to hand drawing to CAD diagram before starting the physical build. Check out the demo video after the break and as you read through his thread look for the green arrows that lead to other videos and resources.

4-meter sparks


How the coil is tuned during use


Demonstration of real-time coil tuning


[Thanks Bill]

35 thoughts on “Adjustable Tesla Coil Build

  1. Personally, Tesla coils do nothing for me.


    I have great deal of admiration for a well designed, well built machine, and completely understand how these things could be an addictive time-sink for some.

    Nice job!

  2. “Very clean looking & great job with the hardware! I’d love to do a Tesla coil, but I can’t figure out any practical use for it…”

    Tesla coils are very sensitive to objects and people around, even tiny Teslas make great proximity sensor

  3. I don’t know why tesla coils are so popular. They were invented by a mad scientist. They do nothing other then to through away allot of electricity up in the air along with your bill to pay for an expensive light show.

  4. @T&P
    tesla invented the radio AC current the electric motor the electric generator the air turbine and so much that’s around us tesla is not some mad scientist and i suggest you pay more attention in history class before you go trolling around on here

  5. oh and another thing T&P … the tesla coil was built to send free wireless electricity any ware in the world … and the concept worked when he lit up a light bulb form 1.5 miles away using a small coil (small compared to his plan) and he invented the florescent bulb

    so thank tesla for everything that you have

  6. Not to mention Tesla holding quite a few patents, including the electrical equipment inside the Niagra Falls power stationand the “poly phase” electrical motor. Edison absolutely hated Tesla.

  7. @t&p

    If it wasnt for that mad scientist, All your power and appliances would be running on inefficient DC instead of AC, transformers, alternators, and induction motors wouldnt exist, etc. etc. etc.
    Tesla was a MUCH greater contributor to modern power distribution than any other inventor, such as Edison.. (pfffttt)

  8. “Very clean looking & great job with the hardware! I’d love to do a Tesla coil, but I can’t figure out any practical use for it…”

    What about base defense? Duh…

  9. “Very clean looking & great job with the hardware! I’d love to do a Tesla coil, but I can’t figure out any practical use for it…”

    you can test neon bulbs with them. Or just light stuff on fire

  10. Well,
    some asking for practical usage,
    I guess put one of those into your yard and switch it on gives you a pleasant mosquito free time at your garden and on your balcony. However, careful selection of the location is needed otherwhise it it will be a dog, cat and other critters free zone as well.

    Oh my god now I have a pictures of fried squirrels for the rest of the day in my mind.

  11. practical usage?
    how about what tesla designed a tesla coil to do … transmit power wirelessly!
    you can transmit some power over 100 times longer than the spark leanght

  12. Folks!
    I have run a tesla coil in a room with many mosquito’s in it, and the majority of them ended up as specks of zoot on the toroid of the coil.
    But in all honesty: A coil is built because it makes women smile and men jump in exitement, when they see it operate.
    The coil can also be used as a musical instrument, and if you like to see my work on that front, some of it goes back more than 6 years:

    Cheers, Finn Hammer

  13. When i ask people if they know Edison they say “lightbulb”. But when i ask about the way smarter and more important man Nikola Tesla their don’t know anything.

    Edison was an idiot for claiming DC was better than AC. His wonderfull lightbulb has a 10% efficiency.
    Tesla’s inventions still has way more impact on society than a vacuum glass bulb with a tungsten wire.

  14. roflmao @thesteven re. still.

    actually tesla was experimenting with liquefying gases as well as vacuum pumps (read somewhere that in all likelihood he generated x-rays well before roentgen)

    oh, and yay for :)

  15. Tesla was one of the greatest minds of all time. He is almost completely overlooked I believe because he had the idea over a century ago to make power available to everyone at no cost. If his ideas were ever completely realized, the world would have been a completely different place. This is the man that modified a Pierce Arrow to run on wireless electricity in 1930! He drove it for 9 days and at a top speed of 90MPH! NOW THERE’S SOMETHING TO HACKADAY!

  16. I heard that tesla was 7ft tall, and had sparks coming out of his ears, and that if you ever meet him and looked him in the eye then he could produce flames out of yur butt!

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