Written December 2001
A MINIATURE VALVE TESLA GENERATOR
by Fred Nachbaur, Dogstar Music ©2001
Here's one of those "just for fun" projects. This is a tube-driven miniature tesla
generator (also known as "tesla coil") that I tossed together from odds and ends
from my junk bin. It does all the usual tesla coil things; plasma globes (as implemented
here), lighting flourescent or other gas bulbs without contact, Jacob's Ladders, all that
sort of thing.
Plasma globes are especially effective with this kind of design. An ordinary clear 3"
"vanity" light bulb (40-60 watt) is connected to the hot side of the output. Bringing
ones hands close to the globe causes deep blue arcs to be emitted from the filament supports.
Touching the globe intensifies the effect, colouring the plasma arc with an orangish tint due
to an added content of metal ions in the plasma stream. Pictures don't really do it justice,
but at least will give a bit of an idea:
"G'Zot!" Plasma Globe under normal room lighting
Before we get on with it, here's the usual disclaimer:
This project should be attempted
only by experienced electronicists, or under the direct supervision of such a person. High
voltages can be dangerous, even lethal. Even at low currents, carelessness with high voltage
can result in painful burns.
This device can furthermore generate ozone, which is harmless
(perhaps even beneficial) in low concentrations, but higher concentrations may be hazardous.
Use this device only with adequate ventilation.