Huge Tesla Coil

First Power Up

It is always a pain attempting to setup something like this in the driveway.  I started at about 8:30, as it was just starting to get dark.  Lots of stuff needed to be drug up from the basement and hooked together.  When things don't work, time is the enemy, as the noise MUST stop by 10:00 (local ordinance).

Functionality started at about 9:45 and we pushed it a bit to 10:15.  The locals were getting grumpy.  Just the adults mind you.  There were kids gathering in the street to watch and wonder.  They never call the cops saying "there is something cool going on over there, stop it".  I have yet to get a visit from the local police.

Lots of sparks.  No equipment was blown up.  Everybody lived to tell about it. A good night by any measure.

Here is the slapped together setup. The ground rod is at the base of the air-conditioner, where the big cables go. Power supply is in the middle, toward the back.  High voltage lines are draped over the purple containers to stop power leakage.  A foil-ball is taped to the toroid to direct the excitment toward the firepit.

The capacitor is made up of 1 yellow MMC (0.02 uF) + a white Maxwell (0.02) for a total of 0.04 uF. The new 8 contact asynchronous rotary spark gap is used to connect the capacitor to the helical primary.

The power supply and slide-choke are hooked to 120 volts for today.  Hit about 40 amps, sooo, that is about 5,000 watts.
Sometime will hook up to 240 volts for maximum power, 10,000 watts.

Not sure if I need it, but using RC filter plus spark-gap for protection of power supply.  R is 2 x 1,000 ohms @ 225 Watts and C is 2 x 500 pF.  The Rs get very hot.

High voltage cables were stepped on a lot and have some pinholes.  They must be kept off the gound to prevent leaks.

Jeremy and Chris show overall scale and then run off before power goes on.

Photo with a flash.  Can see all 8 spark-gap electrodes lit up.  Fire pit is within range.

Turning flash off looks cooler.  Multple strikes. But spark gap is washed out.