Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 24, 2006

Tesla Coil Overview

at 7:16 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


Roger Smith made a great overview of how a Tesla coil is built. Warning, don’t attempt to build one of these as your first electrical project. Roger was also kind enough to give us an interview, here are the interview results.


Interview with Roger Smith

Hacked Gadgets: How did you get into the electronic/electrical hobby?

Roger Smith: I first got interested in Tesla coils when my older brother built one as a science fair project for school. I’ve always been fascinated by electricity.

Hacked Gadgets: How much would it cost to build a Tesla coil as big as this one?

Roger Smith: One of the wonderful things about Tesla coil building is that there are so many ways you can build one. Most people use materials and components that are easiest to find or of the lowest cost. For example, many people use microwave oven transformers to power the Tesla coil because there are lots of junk microwave ovens around. It would be possible to build a coil like this at no cost at all if you make a lot of the components yourself and salvage a lot of stuff from junk however most people would end up spending somewhere between 500.00 and 1000.00 dollars I think.

Hacked Gadgets: What is the craziest “Mad Scientist” invention you have ever built?

Roger Smith: The craziest thing I ever built was a giant laser pointer made up of about 200 little laser pointers all hooked up to shine in the same direction. It’s impressive but I haven’t found a practical use for it yet, other than playing Dr Evil.