How-To Geek

DIY Spark Gap Tesla Coil Delivers Cheap Tesla Coil Fun

If you’re interested in some high-voltage experimentation on the cheap, this DIY Tesla Coil is a steal.

Daniel Kramnik, a high school student and electronics hobbyist, shares his plans for a high quality Telsa Coil. He writes:

Shoot foot-long bolts of lighting through the air, light fluorescent tubes without wires, and power your other high voltage experiments with the aid of this tabletop-sized Tesla coil! Once the parts have arrived, it comes together in about a weekend, and for less than $200 even for those without a big bin of spare parts.

$200 might seem steep, but in the world of Tesla coil purchasing and construction is a deal. Tiny table top Tesla coils start at $200-300 and larger models can easily break $1500. Daniel’s impressive build is a downright bargain at under $200.

Watch the video above to see it in action. Hit up the link below if you’re interested in building your own. Have experience with high-voltage workshop antics? Sound off in the comments with your favorite experiments, tips, and tricks.

DIY Spark Gap Tesla Coil [Instructables via Hacked Gadgets]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/5/11

Comments (2)

  1. Lady Fitzgerald

    I couldn’t get into the website but this reminds me of the one I built when I was a kid (freshman year of college). My Daddy and I scrounged around for a used neon sign transformer (we didn’t have microwaves back then). I made the capacitor for the spark gap oscillator using multiple layers of window glass (scrounged from a discarded window in the alley) and aluminum foil. I wound the primary and secondary coils for the second transformer (it was an auto transformer) on a well shellaced (shellac was what we had on hand) cardboard carpet tube and used a huge ball bearing (also scrounged by Daddy) for the top terminal. Based on the length of the arc I could draw from it, it was putting out roughly 500kv. It was a bare bones project without any filtering so it put out RFI that knocked out TV and Radio reception for over a block.

  2. cee


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