Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator


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This is a fun and useful circuit for demonstrating high frequency high voltge. It can produce up to about 30KV, depending on the transformer used. It is cheap and easy to make, thanks to the standard TV flyback transformer used. It can power LASERS (although I have never tried), demonstrate St.Elmo's fire, and even cause a fluorescent bulb to light from as much as 2 feet away.

DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE

Schematic

This is the schematic of the solid state tesla coil/high voltage generator

Parts

Part
Total Qty.
Description
Substitutions
R1127 Ohm 5W Resistor27 Ohm 10W Resistor
R21240 Ohm 5W Resistor240 Ohm 10W Resistor
BR1150 Volt, 6 Amp Bridge Rectifier
C118000uf, 35 Volt Capacitor
Q1, Q222N3055 NPN Power Transistor
T1124V 5A Transformer (See "Notes")
T21TV Flyback Transformer (See "Notes")
S11115V 3A SPST Switch
MISC1Case, Wire, Heatsinks, Line Cord

Notes

  1. T2 is a high voltage flyback transformer salvaged from an old TV, or ordered from Fair Radio Sales (see Where To Get Parts). Look for the biggest, most intimidating transformer you can find. Old tube TV's are a good place to look. The transformer should not have a rectifier built in.
  2. You will need to rewind the transformer's primary. First, remove the old primary, being careful not to damage the high voltage secondary. If the transformer is wound with all windings incased in plastic, use another transformer. Second, wind on 5 turns of 18 AWG wire, twist a loop (center tap), and then wind on 5 more turns. This becomes winding C-D. Now, wind on 2 turns of 22 AWG wire, twist a loop, and wind on 2 more turns. This becomes winding A-B.
  3. Q1 and Q2 will run HOT if not used with a large heatsink. After the circuit has been running for a minute or two, you should still be able to put your finger on the transistors without being burnt. Also, R1 and R2 will run hot.
  4. If you experience arcing on the exposed transformer leads, select a lower voltage for T1. If you are powering the circuit with a power supply (see Power Supply), just crank down the voltage.
  5. For a real high voltage output, connect a voltage multiplier (from an old TV or computer monitor) to the output of T2.
  6. If the circuit does not work, reverse connections A and B.
  7. I finally got around to taking some pictures of the circuit in operation. Here they are:

    Arc from generator without voltage multiplierArc from generator with voltage multiplier

    The first picture is the high voltage generator without the voltage multiplier. Notice how hot the arc looks. The second picture is the high voltage generator with a voltage multiplier installed. Notice how much brighter the arc is.

    Me charged with high voltage holding a glowing light bulbMe charged with high voltage holding a glowing light bulbMe charged with high voltage holding a glowing light bulb

    The above pictures of myself were taken with me standing on an pie plate that was resting on the top of a plastic bucket. The pie plate was connected to the high voltage generator and charged to about 40,000V. If you do this, be sure to have someone else turn on and off the high voltage generator. Also, don't touch anything when you are charged. Have everything you are going to hold/play with already sitting on the bucket and away from grounded objects. Remember to take off your watch...

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Comments

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anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Friday, July 15, 2016 8:59:44 PM
About a month ago I read where someone was using a stun gun to launch potatoes. Well I got on ebay and purchased one for about $5.00. I've tried it out on several spud guns and it works quite well. Was Actually cheaper than a $6.00 lantern igniter. Spark is much thicker and goes further than one of those Piezo igniters. It also comes with a rechargeable battery! Lookup Viper stun guns on ebay, I think you'll be surprised at how cheaply you can get them! Dave
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 8:35:24 AM
Can this light my house free electricity?

(Editor's notes: Yes, of course.)

JudgeMental
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Thursday, April 07, 2011 4:00:07 PM
I have been reading the comments and just wanted to add that this circuit does create a hi frequency resonance. This is caused by the switching times being set by the saturation of P1 (A,B). this means that once the circuit starts, It allows the power to flow through the primary in one direction (we will assume Q1 switches on the first time as this is down to very tiny differences in the transistors as to which one starts). The flow will the switch the other way as the base of Q2 exceeds 0.6V. at the same time as doing this, the voltage at the base of Q1 is continues to fall to the switch off point. This works because both the primary and P1 are centre tapped, with the centre being ground. A couple of things to make note of are.... Always us an AC flyback transformer not a new DC type. Make sure your flyback is ferrite cored and is gapped as this is what helps to set up the resonance. And lastly, If you add a spark gap to the secondary output, the circuit becomes safe to use even when your grounded as high frequency, high voltage with ultra low amps is the only thing that can pass the gap.
Brian Drake
need help on getting high freqency for TIG welder
Friday, February 11, 2011 11:15:58 AM
I have made a arc welder from microwave transformers that works very well. I would like to add the ability to tig weld. I have all the required equipment to TIG weld (argon/CO2, hoses,cable, tig torch, tungsten,ect.) except for the high frequency AC voltage that would normally be provided by the welding unit. If anyone has any input on how to add a high frequency AC mode to the homemade welder please let me know.
pha3z
Not High Frequency
Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:42:29 AM
This circuit looks good, but I think its incorrect to claim it as "high frequency". It appears that it runs at 60Hz AC. This is incredibly LOW frequency for a tesla coil. The point of the coil is to create a resonant effect. To do this, you need very high frequency that matches the resonance of the coil. Also, this circuit is very dangerous because the pulse durations are so long. A super high frequency circuit with very short duty cycle (Pulse ON time of less than 50 microseconds) is much safer and will even be far more powerful. I recommend reading Tesla's patents and studying other info on Tesla coils. Nonetheless, great work and thanks for sharing!! :)

(Editor's notes: The circuit doesn't run at 60Hz. Its frequency is mainly set by the characteristics of the transistors and the primaries of the flyback. Flyback transformers don't even work at 60Hz.)

Mark
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:35:49 AM
Does anybody know, where to get already done product to buy like for example:I would like to have something like input: 3V - 12V output 500V - 1kV. I dont know even where to look, I was looking on google I couldnt find even one product.
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 2:54:28 AM
what is the voltage input to T1 and what is the output voltage of T1 and what is the input voltage to T2
wagino
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9:44:14 AM
i've made a ps with fly trnsformer,and it works but... what should i do with the other pins? sometimes spark occured between them. especialy some closest pins with ground pin. one of pin closest is also draws purple spray, but never spark
Mhavskie
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, September 13, 2009 6:01:45 AM
ZVS inverter or mazzilli inverter is the best flyback driver using IRFP250
zainka
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 6:15:43 AM
ahem... you say "remember to take your watch off.." but I can clearly see that YOUR watch is still on!!! Any experience you wanna share :) ?
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, April 19, 2009 6:18:48 PM
what is the function of the resistors? i have nte 291 transistors rated for 40w 4 amp
mukhtar mukhtar
150 v DC to 100 kv
Friday, March 06, 2009 3:56:23 PM
I need electronic circuit for the continued effort of the current up to 100 kV
Kerriggor
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 3:06:23 PM
Hey ive been trying to build one from scratch but it keeps melting i would realy like it if i could get some plans oh and i have remade Nikola Tesla's teleport machine bad thing melts everything i send
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, December 13, 2008 9:12:27 PM
that is crazy, Charging yourself like that. You have a light saber, until you accidentally ground yourself... Awesome project, but a bit too high volt for me.
China
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Thursday, November 06, 2008 8:17:47 AM
is it dangerous for a learner?
Techineer
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:49:12 AM
Regarding regulation of the output voltage.... true regulation would be very difficult to obtain; however, the amount of output voltage will be determined by the number of turns in the primary coil C-D. If you want less output voltage, add more turns on C-D. Fewer turns may produce more output voltage, but run the risk of blowing the transistors, as they will need to conduct more current.
cduma
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:32:15 AM
I have also seen a similar circuit using just one transistor
cduma
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:31:08 AM
Let me be the first person in the history of the internet to leave a positive response on the forums. This circuit works very well, actualy to well. I was playing with the spark with screwdriver and it arced through the plastic. ahhhh i love the smell of RF burns in the afternoon. I estimate about 50kv. I havent gotten much chance to use it since I keep breaking the transistors via accidental short circuits and overheating. you MUST use heatsink compound. My circuit is an abomination using 7 resistors in parelel and series to get the values required.
D.C.. Coxnonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Monday, July 28, 2008 11:19:16 PM
I use a BUF420 M power transistor. It's rated at 450 VDC 30 Amps and will not fail like the 2N3055's do. this single transistor in a large TO-3 heatsink will drive large flybacks. I also stock large flybacks based on the old 1968 large Zenith TV sets (3,800 turns on sec). Mine have 4,200 turns of #42 AWG on sec for more output. These will drive plasma globes up to 24 inches in dia.
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Monday, June 23, 2008 5:54:04 PM
You can find it if you follow the red cable from the top of the screen... cant miss it...
spark
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:56:38 AM
abhikant; I think you need variable duty cycle to vary the output voltage. You would need a 555 driver circuit for that.
Asep Sopyan
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, April 12, 2008 2:20:34 PM
can u gave more information about Tesla generator. i want tray to build the generator.that just for my hobbys
abhikant
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Friday, March 14, 2008 6:16:04 AM
can we control its high voltage if so then how
derric
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, January 27, 2008 8:19:52 AM
What a great man Ken you are, your site is so fabulous thanks to god who gave you that knowledge.
apis
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:12:12 AM
How can we regulate the output voltage?
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:00:44 AM
cool site
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:23:53 AM
i have an Ignition Coil from a ford modle A its in wood with a relay ontop and 3 coper rod contions 2 on side 1 on the end. it looks like it could take a lot more volts than the newer ones. Have any good ides. let me know.
Raven
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:17:23 PM
maid my own tater gun and such but i need to learn how to build this badly lol im trying to use a sparker from a small hand held lighter that has the long neck and only works 1/100 times or so so were can i get most of theese parts alot of them i think i might already have but were can i get some of the from componets? ( computer screen?)
JW
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:49:19 AM
I built this circuit years ago for igniting my spudgun, it worked great! I tried the version with only one transistor as well but this version works much better! Thanks for this circuit! JW
kolovrat
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:02:08 AM
hm i used this flyback (on the pictures) for runing real tesla coil. it is interesting effect as i dont need large capacitetors(high frequency). flyback is runned with 2- 3055 transistors on 18V and neon light is lit 1m away.. i think it is pretty good for round 80W...
Charlie Whittaker
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, October 27, 2007 10:28:28 AM
where would i locate the voltage multiplier in a CRT pc monitor?
Bhathiya
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:52:19 AM
It's really great to see.But it should be very careful.i like to know the principle of this.
charlo
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Monday, October 15, 2007 8:04:32 AM
your project was great!!! i love it. im always viewing your page ever since my first view but i still viewing it until now. i just wan to learn from your good invention.. can ou teach me about it? thanks for your site...
Ken P
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, October 03, 2007 12:14:14 AM
'thoroughly enjoy your web site' very usefull thanks ken.
boxa888
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 7:15:49 PM
hey so if you jump off being that charged wont you get really shocked or hurt when you ground??? please tell me . i never uderstood charging someone like a capacitor
Duma
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 9:37:53 AM
Hey, could you use a cascade with this? btw seeing how everyone is complaining about the one person who is upset about the fact that this is not a coil i will too! NOT A COIL
Matt
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Thursday, September 06, 2007 7:15:44 AM
That is friggin cool. I'm starting to get into electronics, and browsing through some projects when the word "tesla" caught my eye.....had to look. Anyone else reminded of C&C Red Alert? :-)
spacifique
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 6:36:57 AM
Hi. Would it be easier to use a signal generator and some transistor or opto-coupler to control a car ignition transformer? I am working on a system to have high voltage pulses at low amps. Thanks.
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, August 04, 2007 7:05:31 PM
Vary good project. This isn't a tesla coil, but I think this is better then tesla coils, becourse you have the full power out (by the way, does this have any out-frequency?). I made an 220VAC converter to 624VCC, using two Eletrolytic 350V 10,000µF and four 5404 (two in paralell, becouse of the high current. It is vary powerfull, even without lightning, try to put the terminals in water with salt, when full-loaded. It gives a nice boom.
Lloyd
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 11:34:13 PM
Hey u guys need to calm down. the guy is sharing his project with people so they can learn and have fun. No its not a real tesla coil but its still a fun project with easy parts to come by. Thanks for sharing. P.S. if you would like help building a real tesla coil feel free to e-mail me.
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, July 22, 2007 1:31:42 PM
wow!!
Corbet
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, July 07, 2007 11:53:53 PM
Hey dude calm down we all know its just a flyback driver but its still kinda neat
ValveSmith
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Wednesday, July 04, 2007 12:52:35 PM
2N3055's! You need some real transistors with some hfe. How about a 2SA1943?
Joćo Crispim
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, June 17, 2007 9:18:06 AM
I've just made one of this high voltage generator. it works fine but i need more. i already got 2 secondary coils in series on one ferrite. the primary is not made yet. i wanna know if a can duplicate the 5 turns to 10 turns in order to get more power out of it and make The power transistors cool down a bit. I'm powering it with 12V cos 24V made the power transistors get really HOT (and yes. they are on a really big heat sink). what should i do ?
Alex
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Saturday, June 09, 2007 5:43:52 PM
as the rest said it's not a real tesla coil BUT with one of this you can go further and power a SGO tesla coil (the real stuff) ... basicaly to use this instead of the neon sign transformer CHEERS !!! nice job and congratulations ! hope to see more ! Good luck !
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Sunday, June 03, 2007 7:48:26 AM
Have you any idea how to regulate frequency using a function generator to influence the primary? Thanks, Gordon
Bernard
A regulator Schematic
Sunday, April 15, 2007 7:13:10 PM
Hi , can you please fin me the schema of a regulator who can have the faulowing caracteristic ?? input :150-230 V AC output : 230 V AC power ;4-6 KVA thanks
bobrgv
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Tuesday, March 27, 2007 6:49:09 AM
Hello Nice cct, I have one going at the moment giving about 8kv and used for research into ZPE and oscillators. I tend to agree it is not a Tesla coil and it does not work on the theoretical Lonitudanal wave concept. It is neat because it uses the natural resonant frequency of the loop via feedback. A useful WEB site during my very brief tour it has captured my imagination. Bob
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Monday, March 26, 2007 5:35:21 PM
this is not a tesla coil
anonymous
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator
Friday, March 16, 2007 7:58:23 PM
are you calling this a Tesla Coil? is just a flyback driver tesla coils are high frequency high voltage air cored transformers this is not air cored
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