If you’ve ever wanted to build a Tesla coil but found them to be prohibitively expensive and/or complicated, look no further! [Richard] has built a solid-state Tesla coil that has a minimum of parts and is relatively easy to build as well.
This Tesla coil is built around an air-core transformer that steps a low DC voltage up to a very high AC voltage. The core can be hand-wound or purchased as a unit. The drive circuit is where this Tesla coil built is set apart from the others. A Tesla coil generally makes use of a spark gap, but [Richard] is using the Power Pulse Modulator PWM-OCXi v2 which does the switching with transistors instead. The Tesla coil will function with one drive circuit but [Richard] notes that it is more stable with two.
The build doesn’t stop with the solid-state circuitry, though. [Richard] used an Arduino with software normally used to drive a speaker to get his Tesla coil to play music. Be sure to check out the video after the break. If you’re looking for a Tesla coil that is more Halloween-appropriate, you can take a look at this Tesla coil that shocks pumpkins!
10 thoughts on “Solid State Tesla Coil Plays Music”
Build-built. Get it right, twice in 2 or 3 days.
The guy that build this tesla coil, and wrote about it, is the same guy that sells the PWM-OCXi boards for £64.99 (about €82) + shipping, of which you could need 2. Because he didn’t publish anything about the parts used, or a circuit diagram, (he wants to make money selling them) you could only build this if you bought the parts in his webshop.
Could we please have an [HACKVERTISEMENT] prefix for such articles?
Yeah this is an advert for a 65 UKP driver board. no circuit no info. datasheet is a “how to configure it” sheet. Nice though but this falls clearly into the device advert category. Hope he bought advertising space.
Funny, because it’s just as easy to follow links on that page to a commercial product as it is to follow different links to schematics and “how it all works” articles.
the guy has a perfectly good DIY section where he gives circuit diagrams, and spends a shed load of time replying to comments.
I was on this site the other day looking at the DIY inductive heater, if he had a board available in a much more powerful size then I’d simply buy his version rather than bother about making my own. (in this case the inductive heater isn’t the project it’s a tool I need to complete a project.)
True, but to be fair the PWM-OCXi boards are quality products with some fail-safes built in and this commercial site has a ton of build instructions including a more basic power pulse controller. This gives anyone with the motivation a place to start and start well.
Also this article features a project on a commercial website, the guy never claimed he was doing it for free, it still a sweet project. You would buy components for projects, some people make components which is impressive as hell but if you treat the PWM-OCXi as a component this project is awesome….
You only need one circuit and any other square wave source to modulate it. The OCXi is just a component used in the project.. You can make your own driver but the idea of this article was to show how simple it can be to make a musical SSTC. For a lot of people, building an SSTC drive circuit from scratch is just too much hard work, especially when they can self destruct so easily.
Must say I am saddened by the lack of any serious audio examples. I’d love to know if this thing can handle more complex audio output or even basic polyphony.
You can modulate from any audio waveform regardless of its content.
High quality 1-bit polyphony is possible using an algorithm from the PC speaker era. http://cd.textfiles.com/multimediamania/UTILS/WINPLAY/ Some 5 years ago I started experimenting with this algorithm and added pulse width modulation to individual channels to achieve volume and sound texture changes over time. (Code not yet open sourced because it’s an experimental uncommented mess)
Which sounds like this: https://soundcloud.com/zom-b-3/polyphony-using-1-bit-winplay
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)