TCBA founder, Harry Goldman and the TCBA logo

TCBA - Tesla Coil Builders Association

Devoted to the construction, operation and theoretical analysis of the Tesla coil

TCBA Volume 11 - Issue 1

Page 10 of 18

Practical Amateur Magnifier Construction Techniques

Richard L Hull

Tesla Coil Builders of Richmond

7103 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Virginia 23228

Nikola Tesla's magnifying transmitter of 1899 in Colorado Springs has been a tantalizing “carrot” hung out in front of amateur Tesla coil builders for years. It appears that only in the late 1960's and early 70's was an attempt made to duplicate any of Tesla's work (Golka). Amateur coil builders may have succeeded in building a true magnifier prior to 1980 but no photos or proof of a successful system has been found in any of the searches or inquiries made by our group here in Richmond.

Articles have been written on how to make a magnifier but no proof (photos of a working system) have been offered. Just recently our group came across a couple of photos of two stacked coil type magnifier systems shown at the Tesla symposium in Colorado Springs in 1990 built by Bill Wysock and Lowell Beazley. We have no data on these coils and cannot say for sure how they performed. Other than these coils, we have seen no evidence that any amateur Tesla coil builder has ever successfully built or operated a true magnifier.

Having experimented with and operated several large standard Tesla coils over the last 3 years, our group naturally turned its attention to the magnifier as a next “logical step” in our research into high voltage resonant systems. In late 1990 we started an all out effort with 4 different people investigating and experimenting with first, “free resonance” and finally on to the magnifier itself. We have, to date, successfully assembled and operated three different magnifier coil systems. These systems have ranged from 1kw to 3kw in input power (lower power magnifiers). A larger 5-8 kw system is being planned while experiments with existing systems continue. We offer this paper as a practical tested methodology for the construction of a magnifier type system that works.