Cigar box tesla coil vintage DIY plans

cigar box tesla coil free diy plans

The induction coil is replaced by vacuum tubes in the cigar box tesla coil. With a tesla coil built from a few familiar radio parts you can try for yourself some of Teslas fascinating experiments in transmitting power without wires.

Some spectacular experiments may be performed with this Tesla coil in a darkened room. A burned-out fluorescent light tube held in one hand will light when the high-frequency spark jumps to one end of it. A 300- to 500-watt incandescent light bulb produces a very beautiful effect when held by the glass and placed so the spark jumps to the base of the bulb. Small neon bulbs light with their characteristic rose color when the spark is attracted. These experiments are performed using only one terminal of the Tesla coil secondary.

If two stiff wires are connected to the secondary terminals of the Tesla coil and bent so they are parallel to each other for a distance of 3 or 4 inches, but separated slightly farther than the spark can jump, the area between them will be filled with innumerable tendrils of violet light. A wheel or cone of light tendrils may be formed by bending the end of one wire into a circleabout 3 or 4 inches in diameter, and pointing the end of the wire attached to the other secondary terminal at the center of the formed circle. A very interesting experiment may be performed as follows: take a glass jar like that used for the Leyden jar and put a coating of tinfoil on the inside as was done in constructing the Leyden jar. This tinfoil coating is connected to one secondary terminal of the Tesla coil. A very fine wire is formed into letters and stuck to the outside of the jar. When this wire is connected to the other secondary terminal of the Tesla coil, the letters will glow with a weird violet light.

All these experiments must be performed in a dark room. It may be necessary to shield the spark gap with a small wooden or cardboard box making sure it is not set afire by the spark. Many more interesting experiments may be devised, taking great care to avoid shocks and burns. Keep your face away from any object connected to either coil.
The frequency of the voltage in the Tesla coil will probably be in the neighborhood of 2000 kilocycles (2 million cycles). While the voltage is high, the current is low, and since high-frequency currents travel almost entirely at the surface of a conductor, the current does not produce much of a shock when passing through the body. However it will burn the skin at the point where the spark strikes it.

Vintage cigar box tesla coil plan shows construction of the experimental Tesla high-frequency coil. The coils are wound on ordinary cardboard tubes. A core 2 1/2″ in diameter and 26″ long is used as the high voltage secondary.

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