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 a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). 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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