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 14 - Issue 1

Page 4 of 18

In the Morning Mail

“You do a great job, the newsletters are a source of inspiration and a tribute to your effort.” (D.K. Lashley)

“I think that if there was a plaque, award, or medal of some kind for teaching and providing information about Tesla coils, you should receive it!” (Spencer Jensen)

“I ran across this issue of Skeptical Inquirer... The author was wrong when he says 'True Tesla coils are not used in scientific experiments today.' Not true...I spoke with a physicist working with another system in Albuquerque who said they use a Tesla impulse transformer (?) to get their voltage. Sounds like a scientific application to me.” (John T.M. Lyles)

TCBA News (is) by far the most eagerly anticipated bit of mail I receive.” (Bill Whalen)

“Great information in the TCBA newsletter.” (Harold Faretto)

“Congratulations on Richard Hull's dedicating his book to you. I can think of no one more deserving than you because you are the one who has brought all of us together!” (Ed Wingate)

“I must say that you have a really great newsletter.” (John Sturgeon)

“I can't say enough about your publication - just loads of info in every issue.” (R. Bertino)

“As always, the quality and content are unparalleled!” (Scott Fusare)

“I can't express enough how much fun you've helped me have over the years with my coils.” (J. Turnbull)

Catalogs Received

Lehman Scientific, RR1, Box 580, Wrightsville, PA 17368-9762. Buys, sells, and trades electronic test and laboratory equipment.

C&H (Fall, 1994) catalog, 2276 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107. Lots of good stuff, both mechanical and electrical.

Rage Electronics, 2450 Turquoise Circle, Newbury Park, CA 91320-1200. FAX 1-800-2-RAG-FAX, phone 1-800-670-3457. High quality new and used test equipment (prices hefty).

New Members*

Ronnie FryeCameron, NC
Dave McKightGalloway, OH
Hildon GoldSan Jose, CA
Stephan RosenthalClovis, CA
Craig BratcherChesterton, IN
Albert DrakefordNew York, NY
Philip L. MasonEngland
David WatsonNew York, NY
Eric D. ColeCordova, TN
A.F. Dorval, Jr.Harrisville, RI
Martin R. NeedlemanAnnapolis, MD
John PosaAnn Arbor, MI
Daryl P. DackoLinwood, MI
David E. QuallsLong Beach, CA
Rick KellnerSpringfield, OR


Timothy RaneyMaple Grove, MN
Phil RemboldBedford, TX
Jeff KucanNew Berlin, WI
John H. ReedSterling Heights, MI

* as of October 31, 1994

(171) Tuning Tesla Coil

I have made a Tesla coil from plans in the April, 1933, issue, using a G. E. transformer from a neon sign, with a secondary voltage of 12,000. I get only a 3" spark, and a weak one at that. I get best results when the induction coil is shunted out, and only three turns on the primary of the Tesla coil. Our condenser is about the size described (18 glass plates, 10"xl2", with tinfoil); do we necessarily have to shellac the plates before we put them together? What can be the trouble with the coil?

Malin, Oregon.

When you use a neon sign transformer, it is a little more difficult to establish the position of resonance, which is absolutely essential to the proper operation of a Tesla coil. We would suggest that you take off taps from one side of the condenser and cut them into the circuit, one pair of plates at a time; and also change the inductance, until the proper resonance point is reached. If your rotary gap is not properly constructed, you will not get maximum efficiency. For testing, we suggest a pair of pointed zinc electrodes which should be separated at a maximum distance, and be parallel with (across) the stationary electrodes of the rotary gap; and the disc of the rotary gap should be removed from the motor so that no sparks will fly across. When the apparatus is tuned properly, it will work - even with the transformer which you now have.

Everyday Science & Mechanics
July, 1934


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