The combination of several physical laws in one device is perceived by people far from physics as a miracle or a focus: departing discharges, like lightning, glowing near coils fluorescent lamps that are not connected to a conventional power supply, etc. At the same time, you can assemble the tesla coil with your own hands from standard parts sold in any store. electrical engineering. It is more reasonable to delegate the device setting to those who are familiar with the principles of electricity, or to carefully study the relevant literature.


  • 1 How Tesla Invented His Coil
  • 2 Tesla Coil Working Principle and Application
  • 3 Making a Tesla coil with your own hands at home
    • 3.1 Scheme
    • 3.2 Tools and materials
    • 3.3 Step by step instructions for making the coil
  • 4 Features of manufacturing other types of devices
    • 4.1 Video: how to create a mini tesla coil

How Tesla Invented His Coil

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla - the greatest inventor of the XX century

One of the areas of work of Nikola Tesla at the end of the nineteenth century was the task of transmitting electrical energy over long distances without wires.

On May 20, 1891, at his lecture at Columbia State University (USA), he demonstrated an amazing device to the staff of the American Institute of Electrical Engineering. The principle of its operation is the basis of modern energy-saving fluorescent lamps.

During experiments with the Rumkorf coil by the method of Heinrich Hertz, Tesla found that the steel was overheating. core and melting insulation between the windings when a high-speed alternator is connected to the device current. Then he decided to modify the design, creating an air gap between the windings and moving the core to different positions. He added a capacitor to the circuit to prevent the coil from fading.

Tesla Coil Working Principle and Application

Tesla coil

When the corresponding potential difference is reached, the excess energy is released in the form of a streamer with a violet glow.

This is a resonant transformer based on the following algorithm:

  • the capacitor is charged by a high voltage transformer;
  • when the required charge level is reached, discharging occurs with a spark passing;
  • the primary coil of the transformer closes, causing oscillations to occur;
  • turning over the connection point to the turns of the primary coil, change the resistance and adjust the whole circuit.

As a result, high voltage in the upper part of the secondary winding will lead to the appearance of impressive discharges in the air. For greater clarity, the principle of the device is compared with swings, which swings people. A swing is an oscillating circuit of a transformer, a capacitor and a spark gap, a person is the primary winding, a swing is a movement of electric current, and the height of a rise is a potential difference. It is enough several times with a certain effort to push the swing, as they rise to a considerable height.

In addition to the cognitive and aesthetic use (demonstration of discharges and glowing without connecting to the network of lamps), the device has found its application in the following industries:

  • radio control;
  • data and power transmission without wires;
  • darsonvalization in medicine - treatment of the skin surface with weak high-frequency currents for toning and healing;
  • ignition of gas-discharge lamps;
  • leak detection in vacuum systems, etc.

Making a Tesla coil with your own hands at home

Designing and creating a device is not difficult for people familiar with the principles of electrical engineering and electricity. However, even a newbie will be able to cope with this task if you make competent calculations and carefully follow the step by step instructions. In any case, before starting work, be sure to familiarize yourself with the safety regulations for work with high voltage.


Tesla coil consists of two coreless coils, sending a large current pulse. The primary winding consists of 10 turns, the secondary - from 1000. The inclusion of a capacitor in the circuit allows you to minimize the loss of spark charge. The output potential difference exceeds millions of volts, which allows to obtain spectacular and spectacular electrical discharges.

Tesla Coil Pattern

Before you take up the manufacture of the coil with your own hands, it is necessary to study the scheme of its structure

Tools and materials

For the collection and subsequent operation of the Tesla coil will need to prepare the following materials and equipment:

  • transformer with output voltage from 4 kV 35 mA;
  • bolts and metal ball for discharger;
  • capacitor with calculated capacitance parameters not lower than 0.33 µF 275 V;
  • PVC pipe with a diameter of 75 mm;
  • Enamelled copper wire with a cross section of 0.3–0.6 mm - plastic insulation prevents breakdown;
  • hollow metal ball;
  • thick cable or tube of copper section of 6 mm.

Step by step instructions for making the coil

DIY Tesla Coil

Power supply can also be used as a power source.

The coil manufacturing algorithm consists of the following steps:

  1. Selection of power source. The best option for a beginner - transformers for neon signs. In any case, the output voltage on them should not be lower than 4kV.
  2. Discharger manufacturing. The quality of this element determines the overall performance of the device. In the simplest case, it can be common bolts screwed a few millimeters apart, between which a metal ball is mounted. The distance is chosen in such a way that the spark flew in the case when only the spark gap is connected to the transformer.
  3. Calculation of capacitor capacitance. The resonant capacity of the transformer is multiplied by 1.5 and get the desired value. It is more reasonable to get a ready-made condenser with the specified parameters, since in the absence of sufficient experience it is difficult to assemble this element independently so that it works. In this case, it may be difficult to determine its nominal capacity. As a rule, in the absence of a large element, the coil capacitors are an assembly of three rows of 24 capacitors each. At the same time on each capacitor must be installed quenching resistor 10 MΩ.
  4. Creating a secondary coil. The height of the coil is equal to its five diameters. A suitable available material, for example, a polyvinyl chloride pipe, is selected for this length. It is wrapped with 900-1000 turns of copper wire, and then coated with varnish to preserve the aesthetic appearance. A hollow metal ball is attached to the upper part, and the lower part is grounded. It is advisable to consider a separate grounding, since when using a common house it is likely that other electrical appliances will break down. If the finished metal ball is missing, then it can be replaced with other similar options made independently:
    • wrap the plastic ball with foil, which should be carefully smoothed;
    • wrap a corrugated pipe with aluminum tape rolled into a circle.
  5. Creating a primary coil. The thickness of the tube prevents resistive losses, with increasing thickness, its ability to deform decreases. Therefore, a very thick cable or tube will poorly bend and crack at the bend points. The pitch between the coils is 3-5 mm, the number of coils depends on the overall dimensions of the coil and is chosen experimentally, as well as the place where the device is connected to the power source.
  6. Trial run. After completing the initial settings, start the coil.

Features of manufacturing other types of devices

Flat tesla coil

It is mainly used for health purposes.

For the manufacture of a flat coil, a base is preliminarily prepared, on which two copper wires with a cross section of 1.5 mm are laid parallel to the plane of the base. From above laying is varnished, prolonging service life. Externally, this device is a container of two spiral plates inserted into each other and connected to a power source.

The manufacturing technology of the mini-coil is identical to the above algorithm for a standard transformer, but in In this case, less consumables will be needed, and it can be powered from a standard 9V battery.

Video: how to create a mini tesla coil

By connecting the coil to a transformer that outputs the current through high-frequency music waves, a device can be obtained, the discharges of which change depending on the rhythm of the sounding music. Used in the organization of shows and entertainment attractions.

Tesla coil is a high-frequency resonant high voltage transformer. Energy losses at high potential differences make it possible to obtain beautiful electrical phenomena in the form of lightning, self-igniting lamps, discharges reacting to the musical rhythm, etc. You can assemble this device from standard electrical parts. However, we should not forget about the precautionary measures both during the creation and during the use of the device.