Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tesla Coil Gossary

Tesla Coil Glossary by Bob Davis

Tesla Coil – A collection of coils and wire designed to make great big sparks
• Spark Gap Tesla Coil – a Tesla coil that uses a spark gap to switch the power just like Tesla did.
• VTTC – Vacuum tube Tesla Coil – One that uses vacuum tube(s) as the switching device.
• SSTC – Solid State Tesla Coil – An oxymoron as these things were never designed to do that.
• IGBT – Another type of SSTC but usually a little more successful at working without self destruction.

Transformer - device used to convert the main power source to something that will produce big sparks.
• NST - Neon Sign Transformer - Normally used to light the beer signs in bar windows but also used to make big sparks.
• OBIT - Oil Burner Ignition Transformer - Normally used to start a fire in an oil fed furnace but can also produce big sparks.
• MOT - Microwave Oven Transformer - Normally used to cook your food but it can also cook you.
These normally do not produce long enough of a spark but they can be wired in series or used with a voltage doubler.

Capacitor – Device used to store a charge then release it to produce bigger sparks.
• Paper capacitor – Aluminum foil and paper arranged to make a capacitor.
• Door Knob Capacitor – Big capacitor that is shaped like a door knob, usually these can take a lot of volts.
• Home made capacitor – Old beer bottles or whatever used to make a home made capacitor.
• MMC – Many, Many Capacitors - arranged in series or series/parallel to make one big capacitor.

Spark gap – Favorite part – makes sparks what else? Sometimes self-destructs.
• Fixed Spark Gap – Two things that sparks fly in between – sometimes intentionally.
• Multiple Spark Gap – Several spark gaps arranged in series, usually air cooled too.
• RSG - Rotary Spark Gap – Motor driven rotating spark gap, runs cooler as power is only on for a ‘short’ time.

Coil – Sometimes just a pile of wire but it should be neatly wound in circles to look good.
• Primary coil – Flat or angled coil of large wire that creates the primary magnetic field.
• Secondary coil – Long coil of fine wire used to pick up the magnetic field from the primary, many, many turns but it looks neat of wound properly.
• Choke – A type of coil usually wound around a ferrite core and it is used to stop RF noise.

Top Load – Anything from an aluminum plate to a large torroid used to store the high voltage until it arcs over and makes big sparks.
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